Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Santa vs. The Penguins

We have an on-going interest in our house in the North and South Poles.  Ben likes to look at maps and ask about where Santa lives and whether it is colder or warmer than where the penguins live.  So, I decided to get us a bit more focused on learning about what's going on at the ends of the Earth.

Firth, we revisited one of our favorite children's books, The Polar Express - which, of course, doesn't tell us too much about the North Pole, but introduces it as a wonderfully cold and magical place where Santa lives.  For our weekly chapter book, I picked one about the South Pole, Mr. Popper's Penguins - a fun little book about a man who is fascinated with explorations to the South Pole and finds himself with a house-full of penguins.  Both these books have been turned into movies (starring Tom Hanks  and Jim Carrey, respectively).  I haven't seen either of them, but look forward to seeing them, along with Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two (featuring the voice of Robin Williams), when the weather gets a bit colder.  I also wonder if the kids would enjoy one of my favorites, March of the Penguins.

We've also explored a few children's books about Inuit culture, as well as others about animal migration, and a few random fun ones just set in the North or South poles.  They include:
For more scientific information, we visited the non-fiction section of the library and checked out the Eyewitness book, Arctic and Antarctic where we learned more about the differences between the two poles and a great deal about the animals that live there.  We also learned about how climate change is affecting the polar ice caps.  North Pole, South Pole is also filled with fun and easily accessible factual information.

The muskox is one of the few mammals to live in the Arctic year-round
 I anticipate that as winter and Christmas approach that we will revisit many of these books, and a great deal more.  There are also so many fun holiday crafts that incorporate ice and penguins, so while I'm enjoying the last of the summer weather, there is certainly lots to look forward to in the coming months!

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