We enjoyed The Candymaker's Gift by David & Helen Haidle, for our story time, this afternoon. It's a legend (meaning not at all true, but still a nice story) about the origin of candy cane. In this particular account, the candy cane is made by a candy store owner, as a Christmas gift to his young granddaughter, and for all the children of the town, as a reminder of the the true Gift of Christmas.
He makes the candy hard, because Jesus is our Rock. He adds peppermint flavor, thinking of the wise men, and the spices they presented to the Child. It is white for Christ's purity, with red stripes to remind us of His love, and the blood he gave for us.
It's shape is reminiscent of a shepherds staff, both for the shepherds watching their flocks by night, and for the Good Shepherd, born that day. And when it's turned upside down, it forms a "J" for Jesus.
It's a nicely written story, a little on the sentimental side maybe, but the children seemed to enjoy it.
As a bonus there is a candy cane cookie recipe at the back, which we might try out tonight, as well as a number of activity suggestions, such as enjoying the story over hot chocolate, while using candy canes as stir sticks. Which, it just so happens, we were already doing.
The girls had used what was left of the melted chocolate, after we made our frozen banana snowmen, last night (before we picked up the book), to quickly dip a few candy canes in, and then roll them in sprinkles, for a story time treat, today. So, we laughed when we got to the end of the story, and saw it suggested there.
I do have to say though, it is an excellent suggestion. It only took minutes for the girls to dip, and sprinkle the candy canes, but they completely transformed our normal, afternoon story time, into a full scale, Christmas event.
It's great to be a homeschooler.