Hi, Lezlie! Thank you for dropping by to share the book trailer of your SWEET picture book, Finding Christmas.
When the story opens, Hare is found decorating the tree, Squirrel is busy sprinkling sugar on the hazelnut cookies, and Mouse heads out to find a last-minute gift for Hare. Do you have a favorite holiday tradition?
Lezlie: I love everything about the Christmas season – decorating, baking treats, and buying gifts for others! But much like Hare, Squirrel, and Mouse, one of my favorite things is when my little burrow fills up with family and friends and we sing one carol after another (sometimes at the top of our lungs, just like Hare)!
It’s no secret the world could use a good dose of kindness these days. Finding Christmas is the story of three woodland friends…
…who show kindness to a stranger in need. Because of this, they discover the holiday in a whole new way. Do you have any suggestions on how to help children think of others during the busy holiday season?
Lezlie: Yes! I’m super excited about the Gifts of Kindness Advent Calendar that my publisher, Albert Whitman, has created! Follow the pictures and simple instructions (below) to make this fun, easy craft/advent calendar with the children in your life. I can see kids getting really excited about opening a bag every day during the holiday season to find a small treat/and a suggested task of kindness. By doing small and simple things, like holding the door open for someone or leaving a note/treat for the mail carrier, children can feel the joy of doing for others. I can’t wait to create one of these advent calendars with my grandchildren when I see them at Thanksgiving! You can find the free downloadable/printable instructions on my website at www.LezlieEvans.com as well.
What was your inspiration for writing this story?
Lezlie: That’s a great question! One Christmas Eve when my six children were still at home, I was swamped getting everything ready for the big day. A large pile of toys lay on our bedroom floor waiting to be wrapped. My husband offered to help and I gratefully took him up on it. He set about wrapping the gifts and finished the job in record time. But we soon realized he’d forgotten to put names on the gifts. (Insert my hysterical cry of panic here.) With no time left to buy new paper and rewrap the gifts, we decided to put the presents under the tree without any names, let the children choose one at a time, open it, and then give it to the sibling they thought needed it/would love it the most. This turned out to be one of our most cherished family memories. Our children loved giving the gifts away to their delighted siblings, and my husband and I loved watching the sweet exchanges that took place. It was so much fun, our children insisted we leave the names off the Christmas presents every year from then on. When Hare, Squirrel, and Mouse give their gifts away, they find great joy. Just like my children did on that unforgettable Christmas Day.
What is the best gift you’ve ever given someone?
Lezlie: Last year I came up with the idea of giving my family a Christmas Eve sleigh ride. We drank hot cocoa and sang songs as the horse-drawn sleigh jingled through the snow-covered fields. It was definitely memorable.
Please finish these sentence starters:
Picture books are ways to create strong bonds and lasting memories.
School libraries are magical places where journeys are taken, dreams are formed, and discoveries are made.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me… If you could have one Christmas wish, what would it be?
That this holiday season be filled with peace on earth, good will toward men. A girl can dream, can’t she?
Borrow Finding Christmas from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.