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December 2015

cats are reading a book (c) Catunes/Flickr

cats are reading a book (c) Catunes/Flickr

#sweetread

Join in the December Read Watch Play discussion as we think about #sweetread. This month we will be focused on reading and ideas to satisfy our sweet tooth, and those with charming perspectives or subjects.

December is the time of Christmas, Hanukkah (Chanukkah), Hogmanay and summer/winter holidays all around the world.  All of these festivals include food as part of the tradition. Your #sweetread could be recipes you are planning on making, or ones you would like someone else to make for you, whether they are local recipes or ones from around the world.

Maybe you like your Christmas pudding with a hint of mystery. Both Agatha Christie and Joanna Fluke have tasty thrillers for you to enjoy. It could be the time of year for other gentle reads and cosy mysteries as part of the #sweetread celebration, or you could add Nos4r2 by Joe Hill to the mix to keep the sweet reading from going too far.

Crafting for the December festivities, or at any other time of the year, can produce sweet decorative results. There are lots of other cute crafts you can try out and children can also get involved in the fun craft activities. Maybe one day you’ll be able to create something as charming as Diana Beltran Herrera’s paper bird sculptures.

If you’re looking for sweet sounds try Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, ABBA’s Honey Honey or Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The name Disney is often linked to sweet and happy-ever-after fairytale animations. Why not watch Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast for example. Disney’s own Enchanted film takes a humourous look at this idea and shows us what would happen if one of those animated fairytale princesses was magically transported into modern day New York. Disney’s Pixar are also fond of delivering sweet storylines – the relationship between the toys and Andy in Toy Story, Wall-E’s story, and the life of Carl and Ellie in Up. If you are looking for even more cute animated characters you could try Studio Ghibli films, which have their fair share of them.

If you associate the word sweet with cute are you fond of small furry animals? Or do you prefer teddy bears? The world of the fairy is often portrayed as sweet and charming and both Cicely Mary Barker and Daisy Meadow’s fairies would sit well with these sentiments. That said, fairies don’t always conform and their mischievous side is highlighted when we look deeper into traditional faerie folklore as well as Terry Pratchett’s tooth-fairy franchise.

When a sweet word appears in the title of something we are reading, watching or playing it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are in for a gentle story – take the Candyman horror films for example. Even Roald Dahl’s chocolate factory promises something sweet, but do the children feel that way at the end of their visit? Roald Dahl’s imagination has also inspired modern day chef Heston Blumenthal to turn Willy Wonka’s fantasy into reality on television.

Still focusing on our sweet-tooth, you might be curious to find out how much impact sugar has had on the history of the western world, Africa, the Caribbean, and slavery – it was regarded as so valuable at one point that it was referred to as white gold. In the production of food Bill Turnbull also reminds us that we mustn’t forget the role the honey bee has in satisfying our sweet cravings.

Thinking about play, does the board game Candyland or the video game Candy Crush Saga satisfy your #sweetread needs? Or you might want to play Sugar Rush featured in the Wreck-it-Ralph film. You could also play games like Chinese Checkers or Snakes and Ladders/Chutes and Ladders with the whole family.

As well as play you can also enjoy a #sweetread with the family or share a cute story with children – try Lauren Child’s Charlie & Lola; the Rainbow Fish; the works of E. Nesbit; or Eleanor Porter’s Pollyanna.

Maybe teenage fiction is more your style – there’s always the 150 plus books featuring the adventures of the Sweet Valley High kids for you to try.

These are just a few #sweetread ideas and suggestions and you may have different ideas about the theme – we would really like to hear about them. Don’t forget that while you are reading, playing or watching your #sweetread, you can tweet about it using #sweetread #rwpchat, so that other people can have a conversation with you about it.  You can also add to the discussion on Pinterest, or post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #sweetread #rwpchat so that others can share in your reading, watching and playing.

There will be a #sweetread Twitter discussion on 15 December starting at 11am and 7.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Time, 8am – 10.30am, 2pm – 4pm, 6pm – 8pm GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.

You might like to share your #sweetread on facebook, or instagram.

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