Saturday, 14 December 2013

Picture Book Explorers at Christmas

Christmas is a very busy time of year and I know that a lot of Home Educators, schools and families use the last few weeks leading up to it to focus on crafts and other essential preparations.
Here at Branch Out World we have a Picture Book Explorer guide that is perfectly suited to some seasonal learning. The story of The Mousehole Cat ends on 23rd December, making it a perfect book to read in the run up to Christmas. The suggested activities in the guide, however, are suited to any time of year, so don't feel that you have to wait until next Christmas to explore this fab picture book if you haven't already done so. Because there are already so many ideas and learning materials that focus on Christmas, the BOW Picture Book Explorer guides you and your children through other learning suggestions inspired by this story.

The book itself is set in the Cornish village of Mousehole (pronounced Mowzel) and is a retelling of the local legend of Tom Bawcock. He is commemorated every year on Tom Bawcock's Eve with the eating of a giant fish pie while the Christmas lights in the harbour at Mousehole attract many visitors. It's a place I would love to visit, but being a good 7 or 8 hour drive away from my home, it's unlikely I'll get there any time soon.

Instead, I'll be continuing our own tradition of taking my children out for a walk in the dark to look at the Christmas lights of our village, both the main ones and the ones in peoples houses and gardens. As we walk round and as an extension to our exploration, I'll remind them of the lights in Mousehole harbour and I'll be encouraging them to think about what designs they would come up with to commemorate that event. I wonder what designs they'll come up with if I suggest for them to design lights with local significance....

If you 're exploring The Mousehole Cat with your children this Christmas (or indeed at any time of year) you can find out more about Mousehole's Christmas lights and view a gallery of photos from years gone by. What a lovely way to commemorate a local legend!
And if you're anywhere near Mousehole today, maybe you'd like to go to the lights switch on  :)

And now, it's time for a story with Jackanory Junior :)

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