MaiStoryBook Library: Franklin’s Flying Bookshop + A Thousand Fireflies & Storybook Crafts

Introducing this *Final Friday of 2017* special read aloud featured  in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Franklin’s Flying Bookshop” by Jen Campbell and Katie Harnett

Book Synopsis and Review

Franklin the dragon loves to read. Through books, Franklin can become whatever and whomever he wants to be~ a bandmaster and songwriter, a professional acrobat and ringmaster, a scientist exploring the stars, or a knight at King Arthur’s round table. Franklin’s home is a library cave of books~a chamber of knowledge and adventure~ with books and comics scaling the walls *even the door is made from a swinging bookshelf*. Franklin wants nothing more than to share his love for reading and his reading adventures with others, and while he reads aloud to the mice, bat, and spider friends dwelling with him in his nook, whenever Franklin ventures out of his home into the village, everyone he meets runs away in fright~ judging Franklin by his outward appearance. That is, until Franklin meets *Luna* a special friend who shares his passion for imagination and reading adventures. Together, Franklin and Luna hatch an epic plan to share their favorite stories with those around them, hoping to inspire others to join in and discover the joys and wonders of reading!

For this last Friday read aloud of the year, I chose this special book that truly captures how I feel about books, and how I hope you feel about books too! I thought it would be the perfect way to end the year, to remind us about the importance and wonders of reading! My goal is to share some of my favorite books with all of you, and to share my love for reading~ and this book, *Franklin’s Flying Bookshop* is all about a little girl and her dragon friend who hatch a plan to share all of their favorite stories with the world! It’s a magical tale, with gorgeous illustrations and a meaningful message about the thrilling adventures tucked away in books, the power of reading and the knowledge it brings, and the ability of reading to transport you beyond boundaries and into your wildest dreams!

Vocabulary List

  • Village (p. 5) a place where people live that’s like a really small town in the countryside
  • Trapeze (p. 7) a type of swing where you hold onto and hang from a bar between two ropes, people in the circus use them a lot
  • Quaking (p. 9) shaking
  • Croquet (p. 14) a game played on the grass where you use a mallet, or stick, to hit wooden colored balls between mini goal posts
  • Hoist (p. 19) lift something with a rope

Themes/Main ideas

  • The Magic of Stories and the Power of Reading: Stories can transport you to adventures beyond your imaginations. Reading develops knowledge, imagination, and skill.
  • Friendship: True friends support you and the things you love and do.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Franklin’s Flying Bookshop” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos!

By the Light of a Thousand Fireflies + *Mai* StoryBook Crafts

Happy Last Friday of 2017!! Can you believe it?! It’s already the end of the year~ and what a wild, fun, memorable year it’s been! Let’s take a moment and think about what was one really special thing about this year 2017, that you remember most? Do you have one in  mind?  Well, for me, one definitely important memory of 2017 was starting MaiStoryBook and being able to create all of these interactive read alouds and crafts with and for all of you! Thank you for reading along with me and exploring all of the wonderful features and aspects of books with MaiStoryBook! I’m excited to start a new year with all of you, with a bunch of new books and read alouds! But before that~ we have this special craft of the week. One of the lines in this week’s story *Franklin’s Flying Bookshop *that truly stood out to me was *and he read by the light of a thousand fireflies.* That description created such a magical image in my mind, I just had to find a way to bring that mystique to life! Thus, prepare for an afternoon of imagination, *reading*, and trails of glitter, sparkles, and *firefly* sprinkles!

Materials for *By the Light of a Thousand Fireflies*

  • 2 sheets of plain white paper
  • Black paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Gold, white, silver, sequins/ glitter
  • Glitter glue
  • White/gold pom poms
  • Photo of child reading a book
  • Glue

Materials for *Mai* Own Story Book

  • 1 sheet of colored paper
  • 2-4 sheets of pain white paper (depends on how many pages you want)
  • Markers
  • Stapler

Directions for *By the Light of a Thousand Fireflies*

  • Glue the photo onto one sheet of white paper, and cut it out, leaving a *glowing* border of white around the photo. Set it aside.
  • Paint the other sheet of white paper completely black.
  • While the paint is still wet, glue/stick the photo onto the bottom middle of the paper.

  • Before the black paint dries, sprinkle the glitter and sequins on the black paint,  surrounding the photo.
  • Use the glitter glue to add dots and swirls, and to glue on the pom poms.

  • Use the glitter glue to add rays of light, or patterns around your photo.
  • Have fun with the glitter and sparkles~ and surround yourself with *the light of a thousand fireflies*

Directions for *Mai Own Story Book*

  • Stack the sheets of white paper, and trim the sides so that they are smaller than the colored paper. Fold them in half.
  • Fold the colored paper in half, and insert the folded white sheets in the middle.

  • Staple the fold to create the binding for your book.
  • Use the markers to add the title, your name for the author and illustrator, and to add illustrations and the story

Enjoy Your Firefly and Story Book Crafts!

  • Display your *By the Light of a Thousand Fireflies* Photo Craft in your room or in the house, to remind yourself and others of the magic and wonders of reading!
  • Share the Photo craft and explain the scene from *Franklin’s Flying Bookshop*~ use it to launch a retelling of the story.
  • Create your very own story~ illustrated and written by you!
  • Share your story with others, and carry it along with you to have your own mini traveling bookshop!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Thousand Firefly and Story Book Crafts*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy these sparkling, magical, and creative crafts! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Firefly Photos and Story Book creations*  and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: When Santa Was a Baby + Santa Baby Rattle Craft

Introducing this *Friday Eve Before Christmas* special Santa read aloud featured  in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“When Santa Was a Baby” by Linda Bailey and Genevieve Godbout

Book Synopsis and Review

Who is that special someone who rides a sleigh ~ and comes on Christmas Eve?? It’s Santa Claus, of course! So you may know who Santa is~ but – how did Santa become Santa?? What was Santa like when he was *a baby*??? Well,  in this beloved Christmas holiday children’s book, we get a glimpse into Santa’s past, and how Santa came to be the Santa he is today! It may be hard to believe, but a long time ago, Santa was *small just like you *! Growing up, Santa was always a bit different than the other babies and kids – he had different interests *like a intense curiosity for chimneys*, he played with his pets differently *like harnessing his hamsters to matchbox sleds filled with trinkets*, and he even laughed differently *there were no “ha ha ha’s” for Santa, but instead…can you guess it??*  But being different made Santa special, and for that, his parents were forever proud.

The perfect read for Christmas Eve, this book will prep your little ones for Santa’s *special visit* on Christmas Eve night. Throughout Santa’s childhood, lookout for the allusions to all things *Santa* that we know about, and ask your little ones if they can connect Santa’s childhood to their current knowledge about Santa now. Overall, this festive story about one of the most important Christmas characters will charm children with its rosy illustrations and clever revelations about Santa Claus.

Vocabulary List

  • Thrilled (p. 4) super excited
  • Dandy (p. 5) excellent
  • Sack (p. 7) a large bag made out of cloth
  • Harnessed (p. 12) attach an animal to something
  • Inherited (p. 19) receive something from someone

Themes/Main ideas

  • Growing Up and Childhood: Everyone has a childhood that influences who they grow up to be.
  • The Joy of Giving: Similar to last week’s theme~ giving gifts is just as fun, if not even more fun, than receiving. It makes you feel good to make someone else happy!

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “When Santa Was a Baby” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos!

Santa’s Baby Rattle Craft

*Santa Claus* My Christmas Eve nights involved many of the classic traditions. I can recall hanging the stockings with care, using the brown masking tape to tape it to the fireplace mantle, putting extra layers on mine to ensure it would not fall off. Christmas Eve morning we’d rummage through the kitchen cupboards, searching for Santa’s cookie plate with the hand-painted trees and holly. The afternoon would consist of cookie baking, (im)patiently waiting fro them to cool, and then slathering them with frosting, sprinkles, candies, chocolate chips, and anything sweet we could get our tiny hands on. We’d pile high a stack of color blasted sugar cookies, leaving a trail of rainbow sugar crystals behind as we balanced the plate in our hands over to the fireplace for Santa. It was the one night of the year we were scrambling to get to bed early, dressed in our favorite pajamas and squeezing  our eyes shut, hoping to fall asleep as quickly so that it could be Christmas morning as soon as possible. And sure enough, every Christmas morning~ Santa never failed to deliver. Now, with all of the toys that Santa must craft and deliver, what would have been his favorite when he was younger? Well, for this week’s craft, we have the chance to create a *special* toy for Santa Clause~ his very own *Santa Baby Rattle* complete with glittering frost and silver jingle bells ~ the perfect sights and sounds to comfort a baby Santa.


  • 1 pinecone
  • 1 sturdy stick
  • 1 red ribbon
  • 2 jingle bells
  • White paint
  • 1 medium paintbrush
  • Mini paper plate
  • White/gold/silver sequins
  • Hot glue gun


  • Pour some white paint onto the mini plate and paint the pinecone white using the paintbrush.
    • If using acrylic paint, wash the brush right away to repent brush damage
  • While the paint is still wet, hold the pine coat over the paper plate and sprinkle on the white/gold/silver sequins – they should stick to the paint.
  • Allow the pinecone to dry.

  • Once dry, use the hot glue gun to attach the ribbon, pinecone, and stick.
    • The ribbon will attach to the bottom of the pinecone and the stick.
      • Place glue on the bottom of the pinecone.
      • Find the middle of the ribbon, and stick one edge of the section to the glue on the pinecone.
      • Place the stick to attach to the bottom of the pinecone. Add more glue to the stick and the pinecone. Use the ribbon to wrap around the stick and the bottom of the pinecone so that it sticks to both. Make sure it is glued securely so that it stays.
  • After glued, tie the red ribbon into a bow.

  • Then, glue the two jingle bells where the stick meets the pinecone to add further stabilization, and to produce the jingle Santa Sleigh bell sound.
  • Let it dry, and then shake your new Santa Baby Rattle!

Enjoy Your Santa Baby Rattle!

  • Use the rattle as a reading buddy guide, and rattle it whenever sleigh bells are mentioned, or *like in the read aloud video* whenever you read *Ho Ho Ho!* in the story.
  • Use the craft material prep as a chance to go on a Winter Nature Walk with your little ones ~ keep an eye out for pinecones and sturdy sticks!
  • Use the jingle bell rattle to bring holiday cheer and festivity  around the home!
  • Sing a lively rendition of *Jingle Bells* with the family!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Santa Baby Rattle*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this festive, musical craft! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Santa Baby Rattle Crafts*  and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Illustrations Spotlight: Miracle on 133rd Street, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

In honor of the First Day of Winter~ Featuring this vibrant, holiday children’s book in the  Illustrations Spotlight Collection:

Miracle on 133rd Street by Sonia Manzano, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

You may recognize this book from being featured in this week’s Local Library Finds Holiday Edition post~ and while I try not to recycle books, and instead bring new content and share a variety of treasures, flipping through this gorgeous tale, my eyes soaked in the bright, bold colors, and the exuberant style~ I just had to photograph almost every breath-taking page!

I couldn’t help but want to share these illustrations with all of you~ and I couldn’t keep from imagining my own future little one flipping through the colorful pages, eyes lighting up with wonder and excitement over the clashing colors and holiday cheer. One tradition I want to create is  *Christmas Eve Story time* Each Christmas Eve night, our little one(s) will get to open one special gift ~ a new children’s book! The night will end with *reading*~ with a sweet family story time ~ cuddled under Christmas blankets by the fireplace or already tucked in cozy in bed, with our holiday pjs on and cheeks blushing with excitement for tomorrow morning. We will read the new book, spending this special night huddled together, sharing a storybook to add to our own growing *home library collection.* This is definitely an *illustrations favorite* that will be making its way on our bookshelves! Check it out below for a sneak peak to whet your own appetite for a visual holiday feast!

About the Illustrator: I just discovered Marjorie A. Priceman this weekend through this book, and she is already one of my favorites! What treasures we can find at the library! I am definitely going to be looking up her many other books~ and you should too!

Born in 1958,Marjorie A. Priceman is an American illustrator of over 30 acclaimed children’s books. She lives in Lewisberg, Pennsylvania. Her style is unique for its energetic and whimsical vibes. Swirling colors leap off the page, creating rollicking romps of joy and vibrance. While she often collaborates with other children’s book authors, matching their text with her colorful illustrations, she also writes and illustrates her own books.

She has received Caldecott Honors for her illustrations in Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! by Lloyd Moss, and Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the Frist Hot-Air Balloon Ride, which she also wrote herself. Overall, her illustrations are playful, clever, and full of rainbows of color, adding new dimensions and elements to each story they help to tell.

*~In this featured book, Miracle on 133rd Street, Christmas Eve got just a bit more magical~*

One of my favorite pages is this vertical spread. I love the creator’s decision to make use of the length of the page, emphasizing the height of the building, and turning the book so that the bustling complex could fill the entire page with a shock of bright red. A cast of colorful characters peek through the windows, and patterned draperies line the windowsills, bringing a burst of liveliness to a snowy, winter day.

I also adore the full page spreads on each page~ every inch and corner of the page is filled in with artwork, creating a scene that envelops there reader into the storybook world. Notice on this spread the thin tendrils of swirling wind, and the myriads of rainbow buildings. I can close my eyes and just imagine taking a winter stroll along this urban street side~ with the little puff ball snowflakes hitting my cheeks, and small children running by, giggling mischievously as they chuck snowballs at each other.

Marjorie A. Priceman’s style makes magic on the pages! Check out the swirls in the sky, a milky way of stars with waves of violet and sapphire. The people practically prance through the air, while the moon hangs low above them, a sideways crescent, lighting up the sky with a burst of white, glittering light. I could continue on and on about each and every page~ but I’ll save some of the magic for you to discover for yourself! Check out a couple more sneak peeks below with these two fun pages:

Hopefully, you are as convinced as I am that Marjorie Priceman is an illustrator to look out for! For a copy of this beautiful book: Check your local bookstore or ask your local librarian to help you find a copy. Some other fabulous finds of hers to keep an eye out for: Emeline at the Circus, Friend or Frog, and Princess Picky. If you check out these books, or find any other gems, please comment and share on your own adventures into Marjorie Priceman’s world of colorful wonder!

*In the meantime, checkout out a read aloud of one of my current holiday favorites here. *

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Local Library Finds Holiday Edition: Santa’s Miracles in the Snow

Family traditions~ they are what make the holiday season special, what bring us together to share love, laughter, and joy, to gather around the table for a delicious meal and conversation, and to fall asleep with dreams of Christmas morning cheer and prancing sugar plum fairies dancing in our minds ~ all while snuggling beneath piles of red velvet quilts, glowing with the warmth of feeling loved. Some of my own family holiday traditions~ the Christmas cookie decorating, icing the frolicking reindeer and big Santa bellies with sugar crystals and smooth, creamy frosting –  decking the Christmas tree with glittering, glass ornaments and gold trinkets, creating a *white* Christmas with our own glistening form of snow – staying up late and dressing up in our best attire for midnight mass, where we sing Christmas carols with open hearts and bursting lungs – making gift giving and unwrapping last the entire Christmas day, saving Santa’s stockings for nighttime opening by a crackling fire, dressed in pjs and sipping hot tea or cocoa.

The holiday season is the time for family and friends ~ a reminder to be grateful for the precious time we have together, and to cherish each other’s company. *Plus~ holiday season means Winter Break, which means plenty of free time to delve into the world of reading~*

As much as I *love* Christmas, I was a bit underwhelmed when perusing my own holiday children’s book collection. A few treasured classics *think The Night Before Christmas and The Polar Express* caught my eye, but the meager pile could not match my excitement for the holiday season. While my mind flitted to making lists of holiday book must-haves, the pile growing magically in my mind’s eye with a whirl of green and red sparkles, I   reluctantly acknowledged that purchasing a whole new *shelf* of holiday books was not in my budget. Maybe a couple of special ones could bet bought each Christmas, but building any book collection is a slow and steady process! It requires a mix of older classics and childhood favorites, books from Christmas’ past and books newly released this holiday season.

So as I carefully choose my two holiday favorites to add to my own personal collection, in the meantime, how can I tide myself over with festive-children’s-books-cheer? *Did you guess it??* With my Local Library of course ~ my very own local Santa’s workshop of books ~ for all the little ones to enter the world of reading and fall in love with the pages they discover. *Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is a brand new book~ about you!~*

Check out the Book List below to see some *holiday* themed local library finds to look out for at your own library!

MaiStoryBook’s Local Library Finds ~ Holiday Edition

  1. The Snowchild by Debi Gliori
  2. Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Christian Robinson
  3. Waiting for Santa by Steve Metzger, Illustrated by Alison Edgson
  4. Twas the Fright Before Christmas by Judy Sierra, Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
  5. Santa Claus: The World’s Number One Toy Expert by Marla Frazee
  6. Carlos, Light the Farolito by Jean Ciavonne, Illustrated by Donna Clair
  7. Three French Hens by Margie Palatini, Illustrated by Richard Egielski
  8. Miracle on 133rd Street by Sonia Manzano, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
  9. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, Illustrated by Cheryl Harness

*~Take a sneak-peak inside these library gems~*

  • The Snowchild
    • A sweet winter story sure to get your toes twitching and nose wrinkling for the kiss of frosty snow. Katie loves to play- but her games are always bit off from what the other children are playing. Discouraged from having to always play alone, one day, Katie builds a snowchild~ her very own friend! And with the magic of winter snowfall, this dear snowchild may just bring a long a *real* friend this season for Katie.
  • Little Penguins
    • In this super-sweet, super-simple story, 4 little penguins venture out into the snow. With playful illustrations, short text, and adorable penguins, little ones will love learning about snow adventures. Dreams of land covered in snow, and of being bundled up with mittens and scarves are sure to float in your little one’s minds after reading this cute book!

  • Waiting for Santa
    • Perfect for any *non-believers*, this animal friendly Christmas story will get you and your little one prepping for Santa’s special visit! Bear tells his friends they have to get ready for Santa! Disgruntled Badger insists Santa won’t be coming, but Bear reminds his friends that the magic of Santa is that you need to believe! After all of their preparation, will Santa show up after all?
  • Twas the Fright before Christmas
    • For all the Halloween lovers ~ prepare to combine your two favorite holidays with this hilarious spin on the Night Before Christmas ~ Halloween edition! *On the night before Christmas in an old haunted house…not a creature was stirring, until…. Aroo-rooo!!!* Find out what happens on Christmas Eve in this haunted house of rollicking fun and spooky characters!

  • Santa Claus: The World’s Number One Toy Expert
    • How does Santa know *exactly* what toy to give each child? How does he know the *perfect* gift that will make Christmas Day the most *wonderful day of the year?* Well, in case you didn’t already guess it, Santa is the Number One toy expert in the world! And what is necessary to become a toy expert?? Hours and days, 364 days to be exact, of researching toys, taking notes, testing toys, and compiling data~ until finally, it’s the day before Christmas Eve once more, and Santa has his finalized gift list completed just in time!
  • Carlos, Light the Farolito
    • A beautifully illustrated story introducing a Christmas custom practiced by families in and from Mexico ~ Las Posadas. Las Posadas is a traditional reenactment of the Nativity scene. In this tale, Carlos must step up and take his Grandfather’s role of being the Innkeeper during this year’s Las Posadas. As the procession in the streets draws nearer and nearer to his home, Carlos must overcome his shyness and fear to welcome the joyful celebration into his home.

  • Three French Hens
    • A twist on the classic *12 Days of Christmas* ~  when the mademoiselle sends her true love three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree, what happens when the three French hens…never arrive?? Instead of being delivered to the *true love* in Paris, the three French Hens end up at Phil *Fox’s* house in the Bronx. Phil the Fox, after going without a decent meal in weeks, can’t believe his luck when these three hens appear on his doorstep. But, with a little Christmas magic, these Three French Hens just may be able to bring some true Christmas spirit to Phil Fox’s home this holiday season!
  • Miracle on 133rd Street
    • Prepare to be enchanted by the most colorful, vibrant illustrations to be seen this Christmas! In this holiday treat of a book, an urban families Christmas dinner dilemma becomes a community celebration and a holiday miracle! On Christmas Eve, when Mama discovers that the roast cannot fit into the over~ Jose and Papa walk the streets, knocking on neighbors doors to find someone with a large enough oven willing to help. However, no one seems to be in the holiday spirit, until the delectable scent of Mami’s cooking begins to draw the neighbors from their houses ~ bringing everyone together for a holiday feast.
  • The Night Before Christmas
    • No Christmas story collection is complete without this classic. The perfect bedtime story for Christmas Eve, little ones will be racing to shut their eyes and fall asleep in anticipation of Christmas morning and the surprises it will bring! Either that, or they will sneakily yawn and hide under blankets, eyes wide awake as they strain their ears for the jingling sleigh bells and reindeer hooves on the roof.

*~I hope you enjoyed these special holiday treasures I found! Please comment below and share your own Local Library Holiday Finds! I’m always looking for new treasures to read!~*

*~Shoutout to my local Library: Oceanside Civic Center Public Library~*

*Plus, checkout out a read aloud of one of my current holiday favorites here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

*~ Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli + 12 Windows of Christmas Craft

Introducing this winter holiday themed children’s book classic *sing along*, featured  in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“The 12 Days of Christmas” by Greg Pizzoli

Book Synopsis and Review

This newly released children’s holiday book is based on the old-time classic, favorite Chritsmas carol~ the 12 days of Chirstmas! However, in this version, written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, even though the lyric text is familiar and predictable, matching the original song, it’s the illustrations that transform this standard classic into a whole new experience! Pay close attention to the pictures, as Pizzoli tells a whole other story through his illustrations! Opening the song book with the pressing question *Is there a such thing as too many gifts?*, children will begin to consider, is it better to give many mediocre gifts, or one special, sentimental gift?

This read aloud can actually be treated more as a sing aloud sing along! The words are the lyrics to the original 12 days of Christmas song, so if your little one is familiar with the words, then definitely have them join in and sing along! Throughout this book, children will ultimately  laugh out loud with sympathy for the mama elephant, and *mischievous glee* of course, as the story-song unfolds, with each page progressively filling up fuller and fuller, packed with the animal gifts from the one-and-only, *true love.*

Vocabulary List

  • Partridge (p. 4) A brown bird
  • Turtle doves (p. 6) A dove with a soft sounding call, very loving toward its partner bird
  • Bulk (p. 14) a large amount
  • Leaping (p. 24) jumping really high
  • Pipers (p. 26) someone who makes music blowing a pipe

Themes/Main ideas

  • Giving is better than Receiving: Bringing joy and happiness to someone else gives you a wonderful feeling!
  • Quality over Quantity: One very special gift can be better than a lot of not-so-special gifts

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “The 12 Days of Christmas” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos!

12 Windows of Christmas Craft

*~ Christmas pageants~* Flashback to elementary school days with annual holiday pageants~ dressing up in our best attire, aka velvet dresses, satin bows, hair curled, and a dab of lipstick. With candles and mini lanterns sparkling in the dark night sky, we positioned ourselves on the high rises, staring out unto a sea of parents’ faces masked by camera lenses and washed out by camera flashes. I can hear the cue of the music and the instantaneous hush of the audience as all of us on stage took a deep breath to fill our lungs, and then on signal, opened our mouths to a wave of song and holiday cheer! I remember, as a child, I always thought of *The 12 Days of Christmas* as a “big” kid song ~ it seemed like such an admirable feat to be able to memorize all 12 days of the song! Too bad back then, I did not have a handy-dandy *reading/sing-along guide* to help me out! This week, blast the holiday tunes, and create a 12 windows of Christmas reading/singing guide with your own little one to help them recall all of the gifts the *true love* brought over to Elephant’s house. Prepare for an afternoon of Christmas carols and creativity *aka best combo ever!*


  • 2 red and 2 white pieces of construction paper
  • 1 green, 1 black, and 1 green piece of construction paper
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil


  • Turn the red papers horizontal. Draw 2 rows of 3 windows (squares) on each piece of the red paper, so that there are 6 windows on each page, and 12 in total.
  • *Requires adult help* Cut along 3 edges of the windows, leaving the left edge of the red square attached ! ~ Important ~ make sure the left edge is still attached!
  • You should now have 12 window flaps.
  • Next, put glue around the red window paper along the edges, NOT on the window flaps, and then glue the red papers down onto the white paper.

  • Then, cut out 12 mini green circles to fit on the house windows.
  • Glue the green circles to the outside facing window flaps. Write numbers 1-12 on each flap successive flap.
  • Next, for the roof, cut out a black triangle. Measure the edge of the storyboard roofs so that they match up with the red house.  Glue the roof to the house.

  • Now, time to add in the drawings! Use the pages in the book to guide you as you draw in each set of characters for each of the 12 days of gifts.

Enjoy Your 12 Windows of Christmas Craft!

  • Reread/ re-sing the book with your new reading guide! Use the 12 Windows Craft to try and see if you can sing all twelve verses!
  • Prepare and perform a mini Christmas Carol *12 Days of Christmas* song recital for your family, and us this singing guide to hep you remember all 12 versus!
  • Have fun peering through the windows of the house, and seeing what new creatures were brought into the house each day!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *12 Windows of Christmas*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy these fun *Christmas caroling* crafts! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *12 Windows of Christmas Craft* and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Ganit and Adir Levy, Aurora Whittet, and Jacob A. Boehne

*Highlighting up and coming illustrators and authors from independent publishing houses and self-publishers*

Please reach out to MaiStoryBook through Instagram, FB, or by commenting on my blog, and *share or tag* books, authors, or illustrators who would fit into this category of independent/self publishing! I’m excited for the wonders we will find!

Now without further ado~

This week’s *interactive* children’s book gift guide:

What Should Danny Do? by Ganit and Adir Levy

Published by Elon Books: Self-Published

MaiStoryBook is all about the *interactive* reading experience~ getting children involved and engaged in the reading by sparking conversation and stoking their imagination. With *What Should Danny Do?” be prepared for the *interactive* reading experience of the year~ where you *aka your little one* has the power to *choose* how the story ends! How is this possible?? Scattered throughout the story are questions asking. *What should Danny do?* each time the tale comes to a crossroads and a decision must be made.   Based upon your child’s answer, flip to the corresponding page number, and continue the story to see how the decision affected the ending. With *nine* different endings to explore, children will delight in making choices for Danny, and, *added bonus,* through the process, will ultimately discover the power their own choices have to shape their own days and lives.

In this interactive book, with the power to *choose,* children take an active role in the creative process, becoming pseudo-authors themselves, as they rewrite the story and its ending based on the decisions they make. They control the ebb and flow of the story. Plus, it’s an engaging way to teach cause and effect to little ones, as each choice they make results in a direct consequence for Danny. Discuss the alternate outcomes with your little ones, to emphasize the notion that actions have consequences. The perfect gift for this upcoming holiday season to inspire in children a love for reading~ Follow Danny, our mini storybook superhero in training, to learn about the most important super power of them all: *The Power to Choose!*

A bit more about the Authors: Ganit and Adir Levy

Ganit is a former teacher and Adir is an internet entrepreneur, aka astrophysicist junkie. He ties on a daily basis for various projects and clients. Ganit and Adir are parents to four amazing children. In their free time, they enjoy writing, painting, and date nights at Target. To learn more about their book, visit their site, and follow them on Instagram: @whatshoulddannydo.

Use this coupon code for a discount off your book purchase: DANNYROCKS

Check here to find this book for your own home library!


How to Turn Your Mom Into a Monster by Aurora Whittet

Published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing:  Self-publishing company that helps authors identify with their audience, develop a strategy to reach them, and design a tailor-made roadmap of their publishing journey from beginning to end.

The perfect gift for your own *little monsters* at home, delve into this outrageously adorable tale to discover the secret of *How to Turn Your Mom Into a Monster.* Providing a humorous spin on all of the *monstrous* behaviors your little ones may display day to day, this book frames these naughty romps as the secret formula to making *mom’s monster come out and play!* For all of the parents whose own *own-inner monster* threatens to unleash every now and again, *think lunches smeared all over clothes and the table, picking fights with siblings for no apparent reason, more water out of the tub than in it* this tale is sure to charm and delight both you and your little ones. Kiddos will gasp at the *monstrous* actions and directions of these baby monsters ~ and will giggle gleefully as they, and you, realize that they can actually relate to the little monsters behaviors.

Plus, ever have incidents regarding *Time For Bed,*~ well, bedtime is little monsters time to shine! And , provided purely for your little one’s convenience, is a complete, *interactive* Reason Chart, with a fill-in-the- blank sentence frame with an extended word bank, used to craft the ultimate reason why your own little monster cannot go to sleep. “I can’t go to sleep because the ______ ______ my _________” Children will squeal with laughter crafting up outrageous excuses, *think~ the dinosaur chewed my hair, or *a personal favorite*, the unicorn pooped on my nightlight.* Sure to become a bedtime favorite, beware your own inner monster coming out to join the fun~ good thing Mama Monsters are the *cuddly* kind!

A bit more about the Author: Aurora Whittet

A national award-winning graphic designer in her day job, Aurora lives with her family in Minnesota. Today, she has completed her first Young Adult series; the Bloodmark Saga and made her debut as a children’s author with Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love. She is also a trained birth doula. To learn more, check out her website:, follow her on Instagram: @aurorawhittet, and like her on Facebook.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!


 Two Long Ears by Jacob A. Boehne

Published by Schiffer Publishing: A family-owned, independent publisher of high-quality, nonfiction books since 1974

A unique counting book for kids, while teaching children to count from one to ten, *Two Long Ears* also exposes little ones to the many ways people decorate their bodies. Promoting the acceptance of a tattoo and piercing culture that is rarely displayed for kids in other media forms, this counting board book is the perfect tool to start the conversation with young ones about accepting differences in appearances. A great resource for educators and parents to teach the value of diversity, the book is filled with illustrations that depict a wide variety of body art, from knuckle tattoos, to facial piercings. The artwork is inspired by traditional tattoo designs that children may be familiar with seeing, such as roses, and more not-so-traditional styles such as stars along the hairline and bright purple hair.

The bold, colorful, and bright illustrations will surely capture little ones’ attention. Plus, an interactive component is included at the back of the book with an unfolding, colorable wall poster. The poster is covered with the outlines of the ten figures from the book, and children are encouraged to add their own modifications and decorations to the characters. Through this simple and short storybook, children are guided to begin to realize that piercing and tattoos are not modifications meant to hide or change who you are~ but rather to celebrate who you are and what you have that’s already great!

A bit more about the Author: Jacob A. Boehne

Jacob A. Boehne is an artist and early childhood educator. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife and two children. Heavily tattooed himself, Jacob aimed to create a book that portrayed people with body piercing sand tattoos in a good light. His goal is to have the book be used as a tool to begin talking to children about accepting differences and promoting diversity. To learn more, follow Jacob on Instagram @twolongearsbook. 

Check here to find this book for your own home library!


*~Support these independent/self-published authors and illustrators and check out what they’ve been writing and creating.  Please share any books, authors, or illustrators that fit into this category by tagging me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary,  posting on MaiStoryBook’s FaceBook page, or commenting on the blog below! I’m always looking for new treasures to read, support, and share with all of you!~*

*Plus, checkout out an interactive  read aloud of a winter wonderland tale   here.*

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: Bear Snores on by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman + Winter Wonderland Party Wheel Craft

Introducing this winter holiday themed children’s book, in honor of the winter/holiday season, featured  in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Bear Snores On” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

Book Synopsis and Review

*~ Oh, the weather outside is frightful~ But the fire is so delightful~*

In the midst of winter, and swirling snow storms, where can you find Bear?? Snuggling, cozy in his lair, hibernating, of course! And who else will you find there in the den?? A mouse, a hare, a badger, a raven, a wren, a mole, and a gopher *naturally~* As the woodland animals steadily make their way into Bear’s warm den, where Mouse has started a cozy fire, bringing with them snacks and goodies for sharing, a spontaneous winter friendship party commences~ all while Bear snores on. But, what happens though when Bear wakes up to see all of these uninvited guests, partying in his den?? Without him?? Read this special winter tale of friendship and inclusion to find out~ What happens when Bear Wakes Up??*

Brimming with cute, loveable, woodland creatures, this is the perfect read for huddling by the warm fire place on a chilly winter day, with a bowl of popcorn and a cup of black tea, or *hot cocoa with marshmallows for the kiddies.*  The clever rhyming scheme, repetition, and predictable plot make it an instant childhood favorite, as little ones giggle and guffaw over whether or not Bear will snore on, and giddily guess, *but what happens if Bear does wake up???* The perfect book for a read aloud, make sure to include those big Bear Snores~ and of course have the kiddos snore along with you! *Can you snore as loud as a bear* Little ones will definitely rise to the challenge! Also, this is a great book for talking about animals and hibernation; I love it when learning is made fun through children’s books!

Vocabulary List

  • Lair (p. 1) cave, tunnel, where a wild animal sleeps
  • Dank (p. 5) cold and wet
  • Divvy (p. 13) to share
  • Stokes (p. 20) adding wood or coal to keep a fire burning
  • Blustery (p. 29) windy

Themes/Main ideas

  • Hibernation: Perfect opportunity to introduce hibernation, and how some animals sleep through the winter
  • Friendship and inclusivity: Friends come together for food and fun. It’s the most fun when everyone is included, and everyone is laughing, chatting, and playing together!

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Bear Snores On” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos!

Woodland Winter Party Wheel Craft

*~ Tis the season for holiday parties and family and friend gatherings ~* The best part of the holidays is spending it with the ones you love~ and sharing a delicious meal with cheer, laughter, and good conversation. Our annual holiday party at our house is my favorite festive gathering of the year! I review the guest list and their dishes for the potluck *checking it twice*, daydreaming of the bounty of savory food and sweet cookies and cakes. The house is decorated and the lights are strung, twinkling like little gems of golden light on the archways and along ceiling walls. The *real* Christmas pine tree is delicately decorated with all-glass ornaments, a *white* Christmas tree glistening with light-catching crystals. As the guests start to trickle in, the house is soon filled with the warmth of friendship, family, and love. This week’s storybook craft inspired by *Bear Snores On* recreates that joyous party aura~ revealing a winter woodland party amidst the swirling snow of winter~ A soft glow of warmth amidst a cold frosty scene.  Prepare for an afternoon of winter party prep with your little ones!


  • 1 sheet each of black, white, yellow, and blue construction paper
  • Glue stick/tape
  • Scissors
  • 1 Pipe Cleaner
  • Set of Markers
  • Pencil


  • Layer the 4 sheets of paper and trace a large circle to fill the page. Cut it out so that you have a circle for each color.
  • Cut the white circle in half, and glue half of it to one half of the yellow circle.
  • Draw a snow scene onto the white half, treating the middle edge as the top, and the archway as the bottom

  • Cut the blue circle in half and glue one half to the black circle.
  • Trace and cut out a snowy ground shape from the remaining half of white paper, and glue it to the middle edge of the blue on the blue-black circle. Cut out little dots of snow, a moon, and starts to glue onto the blue half. Treat the middle edge as the ground, and the archway as the sky.
  • Draw trees with a  brown marker.

  •  On the black half of the circle, trace a cave opening so that there is a small border of black around the edges of the cave opening, as in the example photos.
  • Cut out the cave mouth.

  • Layer the black-blue circle on top of the yellow-white circle. Poke a small hole through the middle of the circles, just big enough to fit a pipe cleaner through.
  • Cut a small piece of the pipe cleaner and weave it through the hole, so that the two ends are sticking out on either side of the circles. Bend the edges down to keep the pipe cleaner in place. You should be able to spin the blue-black circle around on top like a wheel.

  • Position the Cave so that the yellow beneath is filling the cave entrance. Divide the yellow into five separate parts.
  • Starting from the left, in the first part, draw the mouse and the fire.
  • In the second part, draw the hare, the popcorn, and the tea.
  • In the third part, draw the badger with the honey nuts.
  • In the fourth part, draw the gopher, mole, raven, and wren.
  • In the fifth part, draw the Bear~ awake and ready to party! *optional to add balloons!

  • Reposition your Wheel so that the sky is at the top and the cave opening is filled with the snow scene below. Spin your wheel clockwise and see how the characters in the cave are slowly revealed, one-by-one!

Enjoy your Winter Woodland Party Wheel

  • Reread the story with your Reading Guide Party Wheel~ slowly spin the wheel to reveal each new friend in the cave. Follow along with the story until the full party is revealed!
  • Use the party wheel to retell the story without the book, and share with a family member or friend.
  • Make up your own story using the woodland creatures on the wheel. What’s happening today in Bear’s cave???

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Woodland Winter Party Wheels*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy these fun *party prep* crafts! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Woodland Winter Party Wheels* and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Olga D’Agostino, Ligia Carvalho, and Liz Somerville

*Highlighting up and coming illustrators and authors from independent publishing houses and self-publishers*

Please reach out to MaiStoryBook through Instagram, FB, or by commenting on my blog, and *share or tag* books, authors, or illustrators who would fit into this category of independent/self publishing! I’m excited for the wonders we will find!

Now without further ado~

This week’s *sweet~treats*:

The City Kittens and the Old House Cat by Olga D’Agostino aka Mrs. D

Published by Dog Ear Publishing: offers a responsive team of editors, book designers, layout technicians and book marketers  to guide you through the  self-publishing process

*Kittens + Christmas?* Yes, please! Any child keen on cats will love this kitten Christmas tale. Nyda, who was once an adopted little kitten herself, is jolted from her comfy, calm lifestyle when her human family’s daughter brings home two kittens from the *big city.* The two little ones, are at first timid and cautious, wary of the looming Christmas tree and towers of presents. But soon,  the colorful ornaments and glowing Christmas lights lure the kittens out to explore and play. Nyda warily guards her belongings,  reluctant to share her home with two new kittens~ that is, until she hears their Christmas story, and how they came to be a part of their family~* This holiday season, Nyda learns to open her heart and home to new friends and family~* The best holidays are those surrounded by ones you love*

With longer amounts of text on each page, this book is perfect for early readers, or for an extended, multiple day read aloud ~ or you can cozy up for a slightly longer storytelling to fit in this Christmas story in one sitting. Themes of sharing, welcoming, and loving are interspersed amongst this sweet tale of kittens and one old cat during the winter holiday. The festive decorations and adorable animals will create warm-fuzzy feelings in your bellies and hearts. Plus, Mrs. D is an accomplished author with a large selection of children’s books to peruse. Take a look at some favorites below!


A bit more about the Author: Olga D’Agostino aka Mrs. D

Mrs. D. (Olga D’Agostino), is an award-winning author from Ukraine. She grew up on a farm in a village nestled in the beautiful Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine. Surrounded by nature and the real world, without TV and toys, she learned to read at a very early age, and books then became a huge part of her life. As a child, she used to create her own imaginary world populated with characters from books she read. She finished business college in Lviv, Ukraine. To escape the harsh reality of life in the Soviet Union, she immigrated to the United States in 1992 with her two small daughters.  She is currently a member of SCBWI, speaks several languages fluently, and loves reading, writing, gardening, and traveling.To learn more, follow her on Instagram: @mrsdbooks  and on Facebook, and check out her website: Plus, check her out on Etsy , to purchase the adorable stuffed animal monster feature in the photos above, and to purchase your very own copy of the book!

Check here to find this book for your own home library!


Max Loves Cupcakes by Ligia Carvalho

Published by Archway Publishing: self-publishing company that offers the highest-quality design, formatting, editorial, and marketing services provided by a team of specialists

*Have a sweet tooth? Calling all lovers of cupcakes!* Prepare for your taste buds to be tingling on this delicious, baking adventure! Join Max and his family as they bake up a batch of homemade cupcakes~ homemade frosting in all. This delightful baking book takes you through the steps of baking~ from finding all of the ingredients, to following a recipe, to learning about safety rules in the kitchen. Most importantly though, of course, join Max and his parents as they discover how to have fun in the kitchen! This interactive book includes opportunities for your child to find and point out different baking tools and ingredients throughout the story *like a delicious cupcake version of I Spy.* It’s the perfect prep for an afternoon of baking with your own little ones! Mmmm, I can smell the scents wafting from the ovens already!


This scrumptious story highlights the value of cooking as a way to bond with your little ones and create memories that will last a lifetime. Food is powerful for being able to bring people together~ baking and cooking together is one way to fortify that bond and make it even stronger. Plus, *added bonus*  there is a terrific CUPCAKE RECIPE at the back of the book~ perfect for transitioning from the story nook to the kitchen to whip on your own batch of sweet treats! Plus, don’t forget to follow the kitchen safety rules you learned in the story! Clean hands and watch out for that *hot* oven~* I’m about ready to whip up another bakers dozen myself~*

A bit more about the Author: Ligia Carvalho

Ligia Carvalho lives in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada, with her three bars and husband. She is a Brazilian Canadian author, passionate about books, cooking, and traveling. *Max Loves Cupcakes* is her first book for children. To learn more, follow her on Instagram

Check here to find this book for your own home library!


Rocco the Buffalo and the Lost Toothbrush by Liz Somerville

Published by Chuck House Publishing: Self-Published

Brushing teeth ~ little ones either *love it* or hate it. Well, after reading *Rocco the Buffalo and the Lost Toothbrush* they will definitely *love it.* This rhyming read aloud makes the perfect holiday gift for any reluctant *brushers* out there~ *or for a dentist 😉 * or~ for teaching young ones how to keep their teeth healthy and shiny. A fun read for helping establish the morning bathroom and teeth brushing routine, follow along as Rocco searches for his missing toothbrush, traipsing through his room of toys, and peeking in on his little brother. When he finally finds his missing toothbrush, a catchy rhyme takes you through the teeth brushing routine, from squeezing the toothpaste, to brushing the pearly whites, to rinsing with cool water. Perfect read for making an ordinary routine FUN!

With cute, colorful illustrations, and a cuddly main character, Rocco the Buffalo is sure to charm with his sincere intentions and sweet disposition. Not only do young ones learn about brushing teeth, through Rocco’s actions and experiences, they learn about taking responsibility, not blaming others, searching for and finding lost things, and~ if your little one’s have siblings ~ join Rocco as he learns how to be a wonderful *big brother.*

A bit more about the Author: Liz Somerville

Liz Somerville lives in West Virginia with her husband and 2 energetic boys. She graduated from West Virginia University with a Masters in Occupational Therapy.  She loves mountains, the beach, books, and ice cream. Inspired by her oldest son, she wrote this book to teach little ones a daily-required skill in a way that was fun! To learn more, follow her on Instagram: @roccothebuffalo, and visit her site,

Check here to find this book for your own home library!


*~Support these independent/self-published authors and illustrators and check out what they’ve been writing and creating.  Please share any books, authors, or illustrators that fit into this category by tagging me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary,  posting on MaiStoryBook’s FaceBook page, or commenting on the blog below! I’m always looking for new treasures to read, support, and share with all of you!~*

*Plus, checkout out an interactive  read aloud of a winter wonderland tale   here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats + *Forever* Flake Science Craft

Introducing the winter holiday themed children’s book in honor of the First Day of December, featured  in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats

Book Synopsis and Review

*~Welcome to the Winter Wonderland~* One winter day, Peter wakes up and peaks through his window frame to see his world miraculously transformed into an Earth of glittering, soft, white, fluff. Donning his bright red snow suit, Peter ventures into this new world of winter wonder~ followed by his footprints~ tracking his every movement and step through the snow. From snowball fights, to snow angels, to snowmen, and sledding, join Peter as he explores the joys and thrills of the first snowfall of the year. With so much fun and fascination, Peter is determined to save a piece of this magical landscape to keep with him forever. Scooping a snowball and placing it into his pocket for safekeeping, Peter returns to his warm, cozy home for a bubble bath and good night’s rest~ only to find, later in the evening, that his snowball keepsake has disappeared! But, as Peter will soon learn, the magic of snow is its beauty in nature, and some things are better experienced then saved away~*

What better way to kick off the winter holiday season than with this Caldecott award winning, winter favorite “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats. The Caldecott Award Medal is awarded to the best illustrated book of the year for the beaufitful illustrations~This book won this award way back in 1963! Now this winter tale  is truly special for capturing the magic of a child’s first snowfall~ Keats recreates the sense of wonder that occurrs when a child wakes up to their world convered in a shimmering blanket of* white* Through this story, we will follow Peter, a  young boy, as he explores this winter wonderland, with the hopes of capturing some of the magic to keep the wonder with him forever. This book is as truly unique as a snowflake ~ and as you may know, no two snowflakes in the whole world are alike ~ now that’s *magic*

Vocabulary List

  • Tracks (p. 12) a rough path made behind you by walking or making marks on the ground
  • Smacking (p. 15) hitting or striking
  • Heaping (p. 22) very big and piled up
  • Firm (p. 24) strong and solid
  • Melted (p. 30) when something cold and frozen turns into a liquid due to heat or warmth

Themes/Main ideas

  • Beauty of Nature: The magical transformation of the world during the seasons can bring pure pleasure and wonder
  • The Magic of Snow: Explore what snow is and the activities you can play in snow: snow angels, snow balls, snowman, sledding. Each snowflake is unique!

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “The Snowy Day” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos!

 *Forever* Flake Science Craft

Growing up, living by the coast in Sunny Southern California, snow was but a winter wish~ a landscape appearing only in my dreams~ my dreams of a white Christmas, cuddled up with family under piles of blankets as the swirling snow floated down outside, creating an enchanting show of spiraling ice crystals. I longed for the fresh blast of icy air on my flushed cheeks, and for a red, *frost~kissed* nose to be warmed by the fire. I daydreamed of snow angels and snowmen, and sledding down the slopes, racing my siblings and landing in bundles of piles of limbs and laughter. I can imagine how, with all of the frosty fun, a little one would want, more than anything, to store a keepsake of this winter wonderland to remember forever. But, how to keep a slice of snow with you forever~ that icy fluff that masks itself as an illusion, one moment in your hands, the next, melted away and gone?? Well, my friends, prepare for a winter miracle~ you are about to make your very own *Forever* Flake~ a crystal snowflake that will stay with you forever~ Prepare for a festive holiday afternoon, growing snow crystals in your very own home, for a snow crystal creation that will last a lifetime!


  • One white pipe cleaner
  • String
  • Pencil/Stick
  • Scissors
  • Jar with a wide opening, safe for holding hot water, big enough to hold 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 3 tablespoons of borax
  • Spoon for stirring


  • With scissors, cut the pipe cleaner into 3 equal sections.
  • Twist together the three pieces at their centers to create a 6 pointed star/snowflake shape.
  • Compare the size of your snowflake shape to your jar opening, the snowflake will need to be able to easily insert into the jar, without squeezing, and have enough room to be removed from the jar at a slightly bigger size due to crystal growth. Use the scissors to trim, if need be.

  • Cut a piece of string length, eyeballing it to make sure the pipe cleaner snowflake can hang down, below the 1 cup of water in the jar.
  • Tie one end of the string to the center of the snowflake, or to one of the six limbs.
  • Tie the other end to the middle of a pencil or stick so that the snowflake can hang freely in the jar.

  • Set the snowflake and pencil aside.
  • Pour a cup of hot water into the jar.
  • Add and stir in 3 tablespoons of Borax and stir until it doesn’t dissolve anymore.

  • Lower the snowflake into the mixture and let it sit undisturbed over night.
  • The next day, carefully lift the snowflake out of the jar, and enjoy your gorgeous, ice crystal *forever* flake.

*Extra: For different colored crystals, add food coloring to water before placing snowflake or pipe cleaner shape into the jar mixture.

Enjoy Your *Forever* Flake Science Craft!

  • Reread the story with your snowflake crystal reading buddy.
  • Turn the crystal snowflake into an ornament and use it to decorate Christmas trees.
  • Share your *forever* flake to tell friends and family about snow and snowflakes.
  • Experiment with different pipe cleaner shapes and colors to create more crystal decorations for the winter holidays.

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Forever Flakes*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy these gorgeous ice crystal creations! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Forever Flakes* and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*