Friday, November 6, 2020

A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman

Once Thanksgiving is over and the calendar flips to December, many well-meaning schools, teachers, and librarians will start preparing their lesson plans to teach their Christmas Around the World units.  There is nothing inherently wrong with teaching a Christmas Around the World unit, but I get irked when I see teachers and staff using bulletin board displays, storybooks, and worksheets that depict cartoony children with big goofy smiles and dressed in stereotypical cultural clothes.  Instead, I prefer to see books, drawings, and resources that depict real children engaged in authentic activities and traditions.  

A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman (affiliate link to Amazon) does a good job of teaching us about Christmas around the world without having to resort to cartoony stereotypes.  The children in A World of Cookies live in various countries around the world and they set Christmas cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve.  Each cookie is delicious and unique to the country it comes from.  At the end of the book, the author includes recipes for each of the cookies for you to try on your own.  Read on to learn more about A World of Cookies and about ways you can integrate it into the lessons you teach.

Learn about Christmas around the world, Christmas traditions, & different types of Christmas cookies with A World of Christmas Cookies by M.E. Furman.

🍎 Title: A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World
🍎 Author: M.E. Furman
🍎 Illustrator: Susan Gal
🍎 Date: October 17, 2017
🍎 Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
🍎 Pages: 48

Story Summary from Amazon

A World of Cookies for Santa takes readers across the globe to see all the treats that await Santa on Christmas Eve. Head to the Philippines, where children leave out puto seko cookies and ginger tea for Santa; jet to Russia for a honey-spice cookie; then set out for Malawi for a sweet potato cookie! When you've returned home, the journey's still not over—M. E. Furman provides recipes for children to bake some of Santa's cookies for themselves. A World of Cookies for Santa is a multicultural celebration that families will return to year after year.

Learn about Christmas around the world, Christmas traditions, & different types of Christmas cookies with A World of Christmas Cookies by M.E. Furman.

What Are Traditions?

A World of Cookies for Santa is about children who live around the world and leave some of their country's traditional cookies out for Santa.  Depending on the age of your students, you may need to do a quick mini-lesson about traditions.  What are traditions?  What are some examples of holiday traditions you follow at home?

A tradition is the handing down of information, beliefs, or customs from one generation to another.

Learn about Christmas around the world, Christmas traditions, & different types of Christmas cookies with A World of Christmas Cookies by M.E. Furman.

Reading the Story

A World of Cookies for Santa is a non-fiction book students can read to learn specific information.  Each page follows the same format.  We learn the name of a country, what Santa is called there, one type of Christmas cookie from that country, and an interesting fact or two.  This format lends itself well to introducing kid-friendly research projects to your students.  Before Christmas, read and discuss A World of Cookies for Santa with your students to learn a little bit about the countries in the book.  Then after Christmas, revisit it.  Have each student select one of the countries from the book to research.  What country did they choose?  Where is it located?  What is its capital?  What is its population?  Language?  Culture?  Traditions?  Any other interesting details we should know about?

Learn about Christmas around the world, Christmas traditions, & different types of Christmas cookies with A World of Christmas Cookies by M.E. Furman.

Geography

Santa has to visit a lot of countries in A World of Cookies for Santa.  He visits countries on every continent not counting Antarctica.  Pull out a world map and try to find each of the countries Santa visits on the map.  Does he visit your country?  Can you track the route Santa took in the book?  Can you come up with a better route?  What are some interesting land and water features Santa will fly over?  If you are really ambitious you could take a globe, some clear tape, and yarn to trace Santa's route.

Note:  Be prepared... this happens to me every year... whenever my students and I look at world maps prior to Christmas, one of my littles will always look at the North Pole, see that there is no land at the North Pole, and panic.  How can Santa's workshop be real if the North Pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean???  My response... sea ice...  Santa's workshop is built on sea ice.  That usually satifies them.  

Learn about Christmas around the world, Christmas traditions, & different types of Christmas cookies with A World of Christmas Cookies by M.E. Furman.

My Grandma's Christmas Cookie Recipe

In the back of A World of Cookies for Santa, you will find recipes for each of the cookies in the book.  These are authentic recipes that you can make at home or at school with your students.  Yum!  A few years ago I participated in a virtual cookie recipe exchange with some of my online friends.  Reading A World of Cookies for Santa reminded me of the recipe I typed up and shared with them.  It's the recipe for my grandmother's Mexican chocolate cookies that I posted below.  These cookies are best served warm and with a glass of cold milk.  

How to Make Mexican Chocolate Christmas Cookies

What about you?  Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie you like to bake with your family?  Do you leave out special cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve?  Tell us about them in the comments below!

Learn about Christmas around the world, Christmas traditions, & different types of Christmas cookies with A World of Christmas Cookies by M.E. Furman.

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1 comment:

  1. This book looks so good! I’m definitely adding it to the list of Christmas books I get my daughter this year.

    ReplyDelete

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