Pat Miller, Author
Kathi Ember, Illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company, September 2010
Suitable for: Ages 5-8
Themes: New Year’s Resolutions, Holidays, Helping Others
Opening/Synopsis: Squirrel pinned up her brand new Nut-of-the-Month calendar. “It’s January first, “the radio said. “A great day to make a resolution.” Squirrel is puzzled because she doesn’t know what a resolution is. She visits her woodland friends, Bear, Skunk, Mole and Turtle to ask them what it means to make a resolution. They share with her their resolutions and she begins to help her friends with their resolutions. Squirrel still hasn’t thought of a resolution for herself.
Why I Like this Book: The story has a very lovable and generous protagonist who thinks about helping others before herself. There is a wonderful forest of animal characters, including a bear who is a librarian. Miller’s book is a great way to introduce children to the significance of a New Year and discuss resolutions. Ember’s acrylic illustrations are warm and friendly. Activity: Normally we don’t think about including children in making a resolution. Have your children or students list 3-5 items that they would like to do in the coming year to improve themselves. They can be as simple as trying new foods, reading to a younger sibling, helping an older neighbor take out the trash, and trying a new activity, musical instrument or sport. Teachers may want to begin the New Year by having their students discuss ways that they can improve their classroom. Create a doable list and follow the progress the remaining school year.
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