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San Domenico School News & Events

Ms. Strand’s Holiday Book Recommendations and Reflections
New York Times


Karlyn Strand


This year I'm finding warmth and comfort in tradition, so I suggest turning to old favorite holiday stories, along with books that offer inspiration and hope. One of these is a picture book about Mister Rogers: You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood. The soothing words by Aimee Reid and the simple, cheary illustrations by Matt Phelan are anchoring when many of us feel adrift. Fred's mantra, “You are important. You are valuable. You are enough—just as you are” especially resonates when many fulfilling aspects of our lives are absent or distant, leaving a void. Fred reminds us to turn to mentors, helpers, and music when our path is difficult.

It is also a wonderful time to turn to nature. Did you know that December 21st is the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn? This celestial event is the closest proximity of these planets since July 1623 (think Plymouth Colony).  But then it occurred at sunset and viewing was obscured. So the last clear viewing was in March 1226 (think Sixth Crusade). I recommend catching the great conjunction this year as it won't be matched again until March 2080! Click here for more information.  

But if you're searching under the heavens for that perfect book to give yourself or for family or friends, check the NPR Book Concierge. You can hunt for books using an extensive array of criteria. It's great for exploring titles by age and interest. More great lists of books - and more - can be found at New York Times "Best Of" list for 2020. It's entertaining and informative.

What a year this has been, and what a year 2021 is looking to be. But we definitely are stronger together! Wishing you a healthy holiday season.

- Karlyn Strand, Librarian