The boots are off, Santa is snuggled on a big comfortable sofa and he reaches for his book. Santa loves a book. He loves it because it brings him to other worlds that even he who travelled so far on his sleigh cannot imagine. This year he delivered more books. Luckily, he had read that Royal Mail had taken a peek into the children’s letters to him. They noticed children were asking for more books, so he packed more onto his sleigh having taken the good advice from Booktrust.
Santa’s favourite book was written by Compton MacKenzie It is the story of a summer long ago when Santa was invited to London to meet little Red Riding Hood. She was living in poverty with her family in St Giles and he decided that she would be happier if she and her mother went up to Banbury Cross on a cock horse.
To do that she enlisted the help of many Nursery Rhyme characters such as Goosey, Goosey Gander, Gregory Griggs, Jack Horner, Georgy Porgy and Mother Goose.
He remembered that when Little Red Riding Hood got to Banbury Cross, she had to go to school but her teacher was Mary Mary Quite Contrary and oh so very contrary!
She had a curriculum of subjects taught for five minutes starting at 8 o clock in the morning from gastronomy to Hebrew, decimals to butter making, grammar to kings of Israel and deportment and reading. Little Red Riding thought that school was a miserable place with all this formal learning and liberated the children and took them into a magic tunnel where they entered a world of play and fun. It was very exciting …… Santa sighed; his story retained quite a familiar ring. He opened the book to reread it.
When Santa reads a book, he also keeps a packet of post its at the ready. He uses them to highlight a lovely tongue curling word, a sad moment that reminded him of something, the new idea he would share with Mrs Christmas. The book has such endless possibilities. Don’t limit them. Love books, savour them, use them to explore feelings, learn from them, enjoy them. Don’t let Mary Mary Quite Contrary turn them into a curriculum teaching tool for literacy. Here’s to many new books in 2020 to savour and delight.