Feeling lonely during the holidays? Ask your local elementary school if you can read a holiday favorite to younger students. It is a wonderful way to share special books with a room full of silly, smiling listeners. And being around children is a sure way to add a sense of delight to the season.
Some of our favorites include:
- Papa Panov’s Special Day: Ruben Saillens ; Adapted by Leo Tolstoy, by Mig Holder and Ruben Saillens
- Together for Kwanzaa, by Juwanda G. Ford
- The Power of Light: Eight Stories for Hanukkah, by Isaac Bashevis Singer (Author), Irene Lieblich (Illustrator)
- any Christmas book by Jan Brett
- Latke, the Lucky Dog, by Ellen Fischer (Author), Tiphanie Beeke (Illustrator)
- Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story, by Angela S. Medearis and Daniel Minter
- Littlest Angel, by Charles Tazewell
What are some of your favorite holiday books? Do you have a family tradition of reading a particular story on a special night? Do you and your friends share beloved holiday books over cocoa? What are some of your favorite memories of being read to, or reading aloud?
(contributed by Susan Ray)
Although April is actually National Poetry Month, it’s never too soon to delight in the song, the truth, the joy, the diversity that is poetry.
Mona/Jane kept books of poems at her bedside always. She found comfort, peace and wisdom in poetry that was especially welcome at the end of the day. Mona/Jane loved the beauty, the melody of the words, and encouraged those new to poetry to enjoy the fun of the language. She shared her gift of connecting with the poet by inviting new readers to imagine what the poet might have seen, felt, experienced when writing.
A few of her cherished, better known poets were W.H. Auden, Christina Rossetti, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Rainer Maria Rilke, Walt Whitman, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and perhaps her favorite, Robert Frost.
On Jane’s Day of Service this February 28th, consider the following ways in which you can share Mona/Jane’s lifelong love for poetry:
- Memorizing a poem that holds special meaning to you
- Reading poetry aloud to your child’s classroom
- Posting an uplifting poem on the bulletin board at work
- Sharing your family’s favorite poetry with the elderly at a local nursing home
- Sitting down and writing some poems of your very own
Hast thou named all the birds without a gun?
Loved the wood-rose, and left it on its stalk?
At rich men’s tables eaten bread and pulse?
Unarmed, faced danger with a heart of trust?
And loved so well a high behavior,
In man or maid, that thou from speech refrained,
Nobility more nobly to repay?
O, be my friend, and teach me to be thine!
You are always welcome to contribute your ideas and suggestions in the Comments below, and please join others in sharing your poetry and photos of the ways you’ve chosen to participate in Jane’s Day of Service on our Facebook page: