Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by: Lewis Carroll
Since its publication in 1865, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has delighted the world with a wildly imaginative and unforgettable journey, inspiring children of all ages to suspend disbelief and follow Alice into her fantasy worlds. This new gift edition presents Carroll's tale fully unabridged with a unique visual interpretation by renowned artist Camille Rose Garcia.
Happy Endings: A story about suffixes by: Robin Pulver
Yikes! Mr. Wright announces that word endings will be tackled after lunch. The suffixes written on Mr. Wright's board are in a tizzy. How can they defend themselves and prove that suffixes are helpful? The creators of Punctuation Takes a Vacation, Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day, and Silent Letters Loud and Clear, have concocted another memorable language arts picture book.
Big Bad Wolf is Good by: Simon Puttock and Lynne Chapman
Poor Wolf—he’s so lonely! Nobody wants to be his friend. Not the ducklings, not the goslings, not the fuzzy yellow chicks. “Perhaps it’s because I’m big and scary,” he thinks. “Perhaps it’s because I’m bad, bad, bad.” Then he has a bright idea: What if he changes his ways and becomes good? What if he does a noble deed? But, none of the animals will listen when Wolf tries to tell them about his new plan. They just flee in terror, slamming the door right in his face. Then something really awful happens: one of the ducklings disappears and everybody thinks Wolf has eaten him all up. Can the Big Bad Wolf prove he didn’t have duck for dinner—and bring the lost little baby safely home? A charming and delightfully fractured fairy tale about friendship, and a wonderful example for children that a person can change, with sweet and funny
No, David! by: David Shannon
David's mom always said no! No,no,no. No,David! is Shannon's delightfully illustrated book of all the naughty things he used to get told off for as a child. Follow David as he jumps on his bed, walks mud through the house and breaks plant pots.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by: Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
The 26 characters in this rhythmic, rhyming baby book are a lowercase alphabet with attitude. "A told b, and b told c, 'I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree'"--which probably seemed like a good idea until the other 23 members of the gang decided to follow suit. Lois Ehlert's chunky block illustrations show the luxuriant green palm standing straight and tall on the first page, but it begins to groan and bend under its alphabetical burden. First the coconuts fall off, then ("Chicka chicka... BOOM! BOOM!") all the letters also end up in a big heap underneath. A very simple board-book version stops there, but this original text goes on to introduce the helping hands of the 26 uppercase "mamas and papas and uncles and aunts."
Cool Dog, School Dog by: Deborah Heiligman
Join Tinka, a dandy, sandy Golden Retriever, as she unexpectedly visits her owner at school and helps his class learn to read. Bright illustrations rendered in acrylic paint add to the excitement in this playful back-to-school story about a boy and his "loves-to-hear-a-book" dog.
The Napping House by: Audrey Wood
Delightful cumulative rhyme leads up to the consequences of piling too many sleepy people and animals in a cozy bed. Don Wood s paintings endow Audrey s familiar plot with beauty and newness, conveying atmosphere as well as illustrating the story.
Punctuation Takes a Vacation by: Robin Pulver
When all the punctuation marks in Mr. Wright's class decide to take a vacation, the students discover just how difficult life can be without them.
Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day by: Robin Pulver
It's Field Day in Mr. Wright's class and not just for the students. Nouns and verbs are inventing their own games in this companion to "Punctuation Takes A Vacation."
The Absolutely Awful Alphabet by: Mordicai Gernstein
The alphabet never looked this way before. These letters have drippy noses, scratchy hair, and green teeth. They belch and drool, and stick out their tongues. Zany art gives each letter a spectacular new personality, and the humorous, alliterative text is sure to stretch young readers’ vocabularies.
You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? by: Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
All over America, kids are losing their teeth. And who is there to gather them up, leaving coins in their places? The Tooth Fairy, of course! A self-described "action kind of gal" with plenty of attitude, she reveals her secrets at last. Learn about her amazing Tooth-o-Finder. Marvel at her ingenious flying machine. Watch her in action, dodging dogs and cats and gerbils. You Think It's Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? is the essential guide for every kid about to lose a tooth. And don't forget, February is National Children's Dental Health Month.
Yes Day by: Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
No matter how silly the requests, there is one day a year when kids always receive positive answers: Can I have pizza for breakfast? Yes! Can we have a food fight? Yes! Can I stay up really late? Yes! This day is simply called Yes Day and it's the best day of the year. Amy Krouse Rosenthal's simple text coupled with Tom Lichtenheld's delightful illustrations will send kids on a journey into their wildest wishes. With humor and appreciation for life's little pleasures, Yes Day! captures the excitement of being a kid.
And Here’s to You! by: David Elliott
Here’s to the birds and the bears and the bugs! Here’s to the weird and wacky, the cute and creepy! From toothy fish to get-you-when-you’re-sleeping cats to lick-lick-lick-lick-lick-lick dogs, every creature is unique and lovable . . . especially you! David Elliott’s infectiously joyful poem and Randy Cecil’s brilliant, amusing artwork invite us to celebrate the world’s vast diversity — and feel pretty happy with our place in it, too.
S is for Story by: Esther Hershenhorn
What is a first draft? What is a writer's notebook? Authur Esther Hershenhorn uses the alphabet to help explain, explore and examines the tools, techniques and strategies for those hoping to live the literary life. Budding writers of all ages will be inspired to put pen to paper (or fingers on keyboards)!
Chicka Chicka Boom BoomBy: Bill Martin Jr.
In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no -- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!
The well-known authors of Barn Dance and Knots on a Counting Rope have created a rhythmic alphabet chant that rolls along on waves of fun. Lois Elhert's rainbow of bright, bold, and cheerful colors makes the merry parade of letters unforgettable.
Take me out of the bathtubBy: Alan Katz
Get ready to burst into song as some of our most beloved childhood favorites have been given new silly-dilly lyrics guaranteed to make kids giggle. Catrow's zany, spirited, action-packed illustrations add to the hilarity of this kooky collection that is sure to tickle funny bones of both young and old.
Read to your BunnyBy: Rosemary Wells
Here is a gem of a book that celebrates reading through an intimate story and vibrant, bunny-filled pictures. Read to Your Bunny is an invitation to the world of reading -- a poem children will want to hear again and again.
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the BedBy: Eileen Christelow
Delight in this charming, rhyming read-aloud that shares what happens to five mischievous monkeys.
Clifford the Big Red DogBy: Norman Bridwell
What child wouldn't like to have a pet as special as Clifford the Big Red Dog! That's part of the secret of Norman Bridwell's successful series of children's books. Big, warm, red, and lovable, Clifford is "every child's idea of what a dog should really be.
“Buzz,” Said the BeeBy: Wendy Cheyette Lewison
The farm animals are all in a tizzy - a bee sits on the tail of a duck and won't scat! The duck then sits on a hen, who sits on a pig, who sits on a cow, who sits on a sleeping sheep...Eek! The piled up animals fall, one by one, uttering their quacks, clucks, oinks, moos, and baas. Last is the bee who says "Buzz!" and all the animals scat! The repetitive rhyme is paired with expressive illustrations - perfect for this silly barnyard romp.
Z is for ZeusBy:Helen L. Wilbur
Whose face launched a thousand ships? Who dropped an apple to win a race? What creature has the head of a woman, the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle, and always wakes up on the wrong side of the bed? The Oracle knows, and so will young readers after they encounter the strange creatures, exotic gods, and exciting stories in this mythmaker's guide to the alphabet.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference!By: Lynne Truss
Based on Lynne Truss's best-selling book for adults, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, this lively picture book offers kids a humorous look at how the placement of commas can completely change the meaning of a sentence. As Truss points out in the introduction, "Commas can create havoc when they are left out or are put in the wrong spot, and the results of misuse can be hilarious." Kids who are just learning how to punctuate their sentences will love seeing the laugh-out-loud results of misplacing a comma, and will learn from the illustrated mistakes.
Miles of SmilesBy: Bruce Lansky
Kids know what kids like. That's why Bruce Lansky recruited thousands of elementary-school kids to help choose poems for the most hysterical collection of children's poems ever. Each of these 72 illustrated poems is sure to put a smile on readers' faces. Funny subjects include sibling rivalry, school, food, tall tales, creatures, parents, and nonsense.
Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile StoryBy: Loreen Leedy
Rufus the fox is up to something. He runs across the meadow as fast as lightning, sneaks up to a sheep named Babette like a thief in the night, and roars like a lion. That makes Babette as mad as a hornet, and she chases Rufus all over town. But is Rufus running away from Babette, or is he actually leading her to a surprise destination? Told almost completely in similes, this irresistible picture book from favorite author/illustrator Loreen Leedy uses exuberant art and hilarious asides to take readers on a wild adventure in language arts. A clear explanation of similes is also included, and the author offers suggestions to help children with their own writing. As she says, "If you get as busy as a bee and work like a dog, it'll be as easy as pie to write your own simile story."
Flat StanleyBy: Jeff Brown
Stanley can fold himself into an envelope and send himself anywhere in the world—sometimes being 2-D has its advantages! And readers can hitch a ride with the flattest boy in the world on five of his most exotic adventures, complete with pyramids, bullfights, ninjas, and more! Getting flattened by his bulletin board was only the beginning for young Stanley Lambchop! Together with his resourceful brother, Arthur, and their unflappable parents, Stanley has adventures that delight the imagination, cause fits of giggles, and inspire readers' own creativity.
Thirty Days Has SeptemberBy: Chris Stevens
Everyone uses mnemonics—systems to help you remember things—all the time. For example, can you think of the alphabet without singing it to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"? This informative guide is full of all kinds of mnemonic devices—tips and tricks for remembering everything from math and spelling rules to science, history, and geography facts. It's the perfect learning companion to help any student who has ever struggled to remember multiplication tables, the spelling of the word Mississippi the names of the planets, punctuation rules, or important dates in history. The cool retro design will appeal to fans of the Best at Everything series. This is a great back-to-school gift!
Abe Lincoln: the boy who loved booksBy: Kay Winters
A picture book biography traces Lincoln's path from the wilderness to the White House. His love of reading and learning enabled him to move from his childhood in a one-room cabin to becoming a self-taught lawyer and politician who aimed his words at wrongs he'd like to right.
Idiom talesBy: Scholastic
Share Idioms Tales with kids and watch their comprehension skills soar! Each book introduces a dozen must-know idioms—such as green with envy or wet behind the ears—in the context of a funny tale along with fascinating information on the sayings' derivations. Includes a big teaching guide filled with lessons, reproducibles, and mini-book versions of each story. Great for everyone—especially ESL students!
I’m through! What else can I do?By: Linda Schwartz
The Perfect Solution to an Age-Old Problem. Every teacher faces the problem of 'fast" kids who finish their work before the others. This must-have resource provides dozens of creative thinking activities to keep those little minds challenged and on task. Activities include brainteasers, logic challenges, puzzles, and much more.
Math for All Seasons
By: Greg Tang
This is a book to promote the problem solving approach to teaching mathematics. The book is written for children ages 5-8 years old, and encourages children to try to work their way through math problems without providing them with formulas or memorized tricks. This book could be used in various ways in your classroom. Students could try to work through the problems on their own for independent practice or it could be set out at a math center for small groups to work on collaboratively.
Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem-Solving
By: Greg Tang
This book was also created to promote the problem solving approach to mathematics for students ages 5-10. The book focuses on developing two important skills: addition for younger students and combinations and permutations from probability theory for older students. The great thing about this book is that it tries to combine math and art by giving an introduction to art history though visually interesting problems with the help of famous paintings. This book provides a great way to promote creative thinking. It can be used for independent practice or small group work in centers.
Chicka Chicka 1-2-3
By: Bill Martin Jr., Michael Sampson,
and Lois Ehlert
This book provides a fun way for students to learn their numbers. It is very similiar to the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, but with a mathematics/coutning theme. The story counts through the numbers 1-20 by ones, and then 30-90 by tens. The numbers 0, 99, and 100 are also featured in the story. The story could be read to a class before introducing counting by tens or as a review of counting skills.
Suggested Books to Incorporate with
Math Trek: Adventures in the Math Zone Ivars Peterson and Nancy Henderson
Ages: 5 and up
There’s a new amusement park in town. Come on in and find out all the exciting ways you can have fun with math in everyday life. Wander through the fractal forest, take a ride on the M?obius-strip roller coaster, and get dizzy learning about how math makes the Tilt-A-Whirl possible. The more activities you try, the more you’ll learn how cool it can be to see the world through the eyes of a mathematician.
Math Trek 2: A mathematical Space Odyssey Ivars Peterson and Nancy Henderson
Ages: 10 and up
Take a wild and Wonderful Voyage Through the Universe of Mathematics!
Just imagine how much fun it would be to explore the fourth dimension! Play baseball on an asteroid! Ride an alien bike with square wheels! Let Math Trek 2 take you on an intergalactic excursion as you master dizzying mathematical concepts on your home planet of Earth!
While playing games and solving puzzles, you can explore mind-boggling mental mysteries and investigate hidden patterns in the universe. From strange number sequences and bizarre buckyballs to random walks, you’ll be amazed at the mathematical concepts you’ll soon comprehend. So let Math Trek 2 take you on a fantastic space odyssey where you can look for a pi in the sky, get stuck in galactic gridlock, and sail away to the planet of the shapes!
The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat Theoni Pappas
Penrose, a cat with a knack for math, takes children on an adventurous tour of mathematical concepts from fractals to infinity.
Sir Cumference: And the First Round Table (A Math Adventure) Cindy Neuschwander
Ages: 6 and up
When King Arthur and his knights get together, the table they have is so long that everyone has to shout to be heard. A rectangular table is too long and a triangular table is too pointy, but somehow they must sit down and discuss the shape of the future. Join a knight called Sir Cumference, his wife, Lady Di of Ameter, and their son Radius as they use different strategies to solve this quandary.
The Lemonade War Jaccqueline Davies
Fourth grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade-stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win—or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.
The Greedy Triangle Marilyn Burns
Bored and dissatisfied with his life, a triangle visits a local shapeshifter to add another angle to his shape. Poof! He becomes a quadrilateral. But then he gets greedy and keeps adding angles until he's completely transformed. Kids will enjoy this boldly colorful introduction to shapes and basic math concepts.
Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes: Three Dimensional Shapes Stuart J. Murphy
Captain Invincible and his intrepid space-dog, Comet, are on a perilous journey back to Earth!
Throughout their mission, the fearless captain and his canine sidekick encounter asteroids, poisonous gas, and alien beings. But will their knowledge of three-dimensional shapes, including cubes, cones, and pyramids, help our heroes navigate past these obstacles — and make it safely home?
365 Penguins Jean-Luc Fromental
On the first day of the new year, the mailman brings a surprise-a penguin! One by one, day by day, penguins fill the house. At first they are cute, but with every passing day, the penguins pile up-along with the family's problems. Feeding, cleaning, and housing the penguins becomes a monumental task! But who is sending these penguins, and why?
One Odd Day Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed
tells the humorous story of a young child who awakens to find everything around him is "odd." He has three sleeves on his shirt, and his dog has five legs. Things are no better at school either when he stares at a calendar with only odd days. Will his odd day end when he goes to bed that night? A great introduction to the concept of odd and even numbers that is supplemented by math teaching trivia, crafts and games.
Title: Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry Author: Cindy Neuschwander Grades: 1-4
Summary: When the Zillis family is summoned to Egypt to help find the hidden burial site of an ancient pharaoh, Matt and Bibi are locked into an adventure they did not expect. The twins must use their math knowledge to escape from the pyramid.
This book introduces eight common geometric solids: cone, cylinder, cube, sphere, pyramid, tetrahedron, rectangular prism, and triangular prism.
Students can identify and name the solids that they read about in the story. Collecting and sorting real solids is one good way to do this. Things such as soup cans, ice cream cones, and boxes can be a great start.
The different geometric solids can be compared and contract t using a Venn diagram.
Title: More Than One Author: Mirim Schiein Grades: Preschool-Grade 2
Summary: This is a perfect book for children to understand that the number one can have a greater meaning than just one.
Title: The Big Buck Adventure Author: Shelley Gill & Deborah Tobola Grades: K-2
Summary: In this rhyming story, a little girl has a difficult time in a large store deciding how to spend her one-dollar allowance. She also must make quite a few mental math calculations dealing with various coins.
Use the pattern of a dollar so that students can write about the different things that they would spend their buck on.
Using the rhymes in the book, make a worksheet that students can complete after reading the book.
Title: The Monster Who Did My Math Author: Danny Schnitzlein Grades: 2-5
Summary: This book tells a story of a young boy that opted to let the monster do his homework after signing a contract. He doesn’t realize the effects the contract has until it’s too late.
This book can be used as a beginning of the school year to address the fears that your students may have with math. You could read the book to the class and then discuss the fears that they may have with math; and also discuss ways that they can overcome those fears.
Title: A Dollar for Penny Author: Dr. Julie Glass Grades: K-2
Summary: With visual jokes, adorable illustrations, and a simple rhyming text, this story about a little girl and a lemonade stand is a great introduction to money and the value of coins.
This book can be used as introduction to money for your students. It is good to teach them about money combinations.
Title: Whole-y Cow! Fraction Are Fun Author: Taryn Sounders Grades: K-2
Summary: Fractions are easy to understand, as well as entertaining, in this unique math concept book. Prompted by a poem and a visual clue, students are asked to answer what fraction is illustrated in the cow's antics, starting with halves and progressing into thirds, fourths, eights, and tenths.
Summary: Miss Prime and her animal students explore fractions by finding many examples in the world around them.
Use to introduce fractions in the classroom as a read-aloud.
Title: What Time Is It, Mr. Crocodile? Author: Judy Sierra Grades: K-3
Summary: Mr. Crocodile has big plans for finally catching and eating five pesky monkeys. But as the hours pass, the monkeys dupe him again and again. In the end they teach persnickety Mr. Crocodile something about friendship . . . and about having fun.
* Most of these titles below are recommended for 4th or 5th grade
* Can be used for read alouds or recommended for independent reading
Wild West Historical Fiction
Harvey Girl by Sheila Wood Foard. American Girl
Changes for Rebecca by Jacqueline Dembar Greene ; illustrations, Robert Hunt ; vignettes, Susan McAliley.
Kathleen : the Celtic knot by Siobhán Parkinson ; [illustration by Troy Howell]. Meet Rebecca : an American girl by Jacqueline Dembar Greene ; illustrations, Robert Hunt ; vignettes, Susan McAliley.
Peril at King's Creek : a Felicity mystery by Elizabeth McDavid Jones ; [illustrations by Jean-Paul Tibbles]. Journals/Diaries Roman diary : the journal of Iliona of Mytilini, who was captured by pirates and sold as a slave in Rome, A.D. 107Richard Platt ; illustrated by David Parkins. Influential People Historical Fiction Al Capone does my shirts Gennifer Choldenko. Finding Lincoln Ann Malaspina ; paintings by Colin Bootman.
Leonardo's shadow, or, My astonishing life as Leonardo da Vinci's servant Christopher Grey.
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
Zora and me Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon. Gold Rush Historical Fiction
Jason’s Gold by Will Hobbs War Related Historical Fiction Come Juneteenth Ann Rinaldi. Learn About the U.S. Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures #9: The US Capital Commotion
by Jeff Brown
Reading level: Ages 7 and up
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (December 27, 2011)
Medieval Times Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From a Medieval Village
by Laura Amy Schlitz
Winner of 2008 Newbery Medal!
Rosa Parks Nonfiction Rosa
Nikki Giovanni ; illustrated by Bryan Collier.
Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say: Japanese immigration
Thunder at Gettysburg by Patricia Gauch: Civil War
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson: Yellow fever epidemic
A Braid of Lives: Native American Childhood by Neil Phillips: Native American studies
All Kinds of Children by Norma Simon: describes children across the world
Mapping Penny’s World by Loreen Leedy: How to create maps
Africa is not a Country by Margy Burns Knight: Countries in Africa
The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal by Cheryle Harness: Erie Canal history and function
The Silk Route by John Major: Chinese culture, Tang dynasty
If I Were Queen of the World by Mem Fox: About authority and limits to power
So You Want to be President? by Judith St. George: comical poem about presidents and their responsibilities
Woodrow for President: A Tail of Voting, Campaigns, and Elections. by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes: explanation of the election process through the tale of a mouse running for president.
Scott O’Dell award for historical fiction winners:
· Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson Henry’s Freedom Box accurately depicts the life of a black slave and what his living and working conditions were like during that time period. Although the book portrays Henry’s white master as mean and inconsiderate, it also has white men in the story who thought that slavery was bad and helped Henry escape to freedom.
· How to use Henry’s Freedom Boxin the classroom Important characteristics: 3rd – 5th, social studies (American history), slavery freedom, African American history. I would use this picture book as a lesson on history as well as slavery and the Underground Railroad. I could have students write either what they would do if they were in Henry’s position or have them write a journal entry as a day in the life of a slave.
· Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney Goin’ Someplace Special accurately depicts the Jim Crow laws and discrimination that were in place during the 1950s. Although Tricia Ann becomes discouraged along the way to the library, she runs into a white woman who helps her see that the only thing that matters is how she feels about herself and not how others treat her.
· How to use Goin’ Someplace Special in the classroom
Important characteristics: 1st – 4th, social studies – American history (Jim Crow laws, segregation, precursor to Civil Rights movement), African American history, discrimination, prejudice. I would use this picture book for a social studies lesson as well, for discussion of the Jim Crow laws and the Civil Rights movement as well as segregation.
· Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport This picture book biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brings his life and the profound nature of his message to young children through his own words. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most influential and gifted speakers of all time. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a simple, direct way. Bryan Collier's stunning collage art combines remarkable watercolor paintings with vibrant patterns and textures. A timeline and a list of additional books and web sites help make this a standout biography of Dr. King. · How to use Martin’s Big Words in the classroom Important characteristics: 1st-4th, African American history, Civil Rights Movement, leadership and responsibility, prejudice and tolerance, politics, autobiography/biography
· Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him:
1. He has his own suitcase filled with his own important, secret things.
2. He's the author of Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.
3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers of Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!
Bud's got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road and find this mystery man, nothing can stop him--not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself. Bud, Not Buddy is full of laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful characters, hitting the high notes of jazz and sounding the deeper tones of the Great Depression. Once again Christopher Paul Curtis, author of the award-winning novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, takes readers on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey. · How to use Bud, Not Buddy in the classroom Important characteristics: 3rd-8th, African American history, Great Depression, jazz music, historical fiction, adoption and foster care, parents, runaways
· Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
In all Mildred D. Taylor's unforgettable novels she recounts "not only the joy of growing up in a large and supportive family, but also feelings of being faced with segregation and bigotry." Her Newbery
Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry tells the story of one African American family, fighting to
stay together and strong in the face of brutal racist attacks, illness, poverty, and betrayal in the Deep
South of the 1930s. Nine-year-old Cassie Logan, growing up protected by her loving family, has never
had reason to suspect that any white person could consider her inferior or wish her harm. But during
the course of one devastating year when her community begins to be ripped apart by angry night riders
threatening African Americans, she and her three brothers come to understand why the land they own
means so much to their Papa. "Look out there, Cassie girl. All that belongs to you. You ain't never had
to live on nobody's place but your own and long as I live and the family survives, you'll never have to.
That's important. You may not understand that now but one day you will. Then you'll see."
· Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott The trickster and folk hero, Kwaku Anansi, is a spider with six even wiser sons. In the course of the story, these six sons come to fulfill the promise of their respective colorful names as they work together to rescue their beloved father, when, one day, he wanders far from home and gets lost, seemingly forever...in the belly of a fish. · How to use Anansi the Spider in the classroom Important characteristics: K-2nd, folk tale, African.
· Doña Flor by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raul Colón Doña Flor depicts typical life in Mexico using characteristic Mexican food as well as specific Spanish words. The setting is accurate as well. The Spanish words used throughout the picture book are explained and defined so students will not be confused.
· How to use Doña Flor in the classroom Important characteristics: K – 2nd, tall tale, Spanish, social studies – Mexico, character and values, friends and friendship. This book would be a great introduction to tall tales. Students could find their favorite tall tale or even create their own. Students could also compare life in Mexico to their own life.
· Chato and the Party Animals by Gary Soto, illustrated by Susan Guevara Although this book is about animals, it reflects typical life in Mexico. Chato goes to el mercado for party supplies, and Spanish words are used throughout. The illustrations are also reminiscent of Mexican-style art.
· How to use Chato and the Party Animals in the classroom
Important characteristics: K – 2nd, Spanish, social studies – Mexico, birthdays, friends, communities, Latino culture. This book would be a good introduction to Latino culture and Mexico, including distinctive Spanish words used in Mexico. I would also use this book to talk about communities. I would ask students to discuss what kind of community they live in – what language they speak, how do they celebrate events such as birthdays, similarities and differences between communities, and how their community is unique.
· Ten Days and Nine Nights: An Adoption Story by Yumi Heo Ten Days and Nine Nights shows a Korean-American family living in America as they prepare for the adoption of a baby from Korea. Throughout the book, there are wordless pages that depict the mother going through the adoption process in Korea.
· How to use Ten Days and Nine Nights in the classroom Important characteristics: K – 3rd, Korea, counting 1-10, adoption, family. Ten Days and Nine Nights is a great opportunity to talk about families with younger students, and especially to explain the concept of adoption. Students could write and illustrate their own adoption story with a made-up brother or sister.
· Henry’s First-Moon Birthday by Lenore Look, illustrated by Yumi Heo This picture book is a great example that shows Chinese-American culture. In the beginning, the book has a glossary that explains the different Chinese words that are used throughout the book, and describes that a first-moon birthday party is a celebration at the end of a baby’s first month of life. Look does a wonderful job of incorporating the different Chinese traditions that families do for first-moon birthdays.
· How to use Henry’s First-Moon Birthday in the classroom
Important characteristics: K – 3rd, Chinese, traditions, family. This book is a great way to open up discussion and families and what students know about China and Chinese traditions. Before reading, students could be asked what they know about Chinese food/traditions/holidays and what they want to know.
· Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michelle Maria Surat
This book is a wonderful story about a Vietnamese child trying to adjust to life in the USA. Ut has trouble with children at school because she is different. Haven't we all been there? Angel Child, Dragon Child is very realistic. Many children are brought to the USA by their families looking for a better life for themselves and their children. Unfortunately, not all people are accepting of those that are different. Surat does a terrific job of showing how UT sees herself as both an angel child and a dragon child. This story is one that should be used in classrooms across the country. Children can learn from this book that just because people look or dress differently, does not mean they do not have the same feelings as everyone else.
· Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn
Everyone loves this book; mothers, teachers and of course, children. Many books about Chinese New Year are non-fiction books that describe the customs of the holiday. What makes this different is that this is a piece of fiction that gives you all the flavors of what it's like in an urban Chinatown during Chinese New Years while at the same time sending a wonderful message of giving.
Special Needs · My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete, pictures by Shane W. Evans This book not only explains autism in a way that children can understand, but it also includes diversity with an African American family. In this story, Peete depicts Callie and Charlie’s family as loving and understanding, even with the difficulties they experience through Charlie. I think this book is great for the classroom because many children do not understand people with disabilities and it helps explain autism.
· How to use My Brother Charlie in the classroom
Important characteristics: K – 2nd, prejudice, tolerance, autism, abilities, family, challenges, siblings. My Brother Charlie is a great way to introduce disabilities as well as differences in families to younger students. To incorporate art into an activity with this book, students could draw or paint their family members doing something that they are good at. Then students would pair up and explain their drawings to their partner and eventually present them to the class.
· The Heart’s Language by Lois-Ann Yamanaka, illustrations by Aaron Jasinski The Heart’s Language is about a boy with autism who cannot speak to his parents. His parents are sad during the story because the boy cannot speak to them and he cannot understand him. The story also depicts a Japanese-American family who lives in Hawaii.
· How to use The Heart’s Language in the classroom Important characteristics: K – 3rd, autism, social studies - Hawaii, Japanese-American. The Heart’s Language is also a great book to introduce disabilities in the classroom. The teacher and students could discuss autism and students with autism. They could come up with rules or guidelines of how to treat someone who is different and illustrate them to display in the classroom.
Award Winning Picture Books/Novels
Preschool · What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele (Multi-ethnic)
· One Afternoon by Yumi Heo (Asian Pacific American)
· Grandmother’s Nursery Rhymes/Las Nanas de Abuelita by Nelly Palacio Jaramilli (Latino)
· Margaret and Margarita/Maragarita y Margaret by Lynn Reiser (Latino)
· Baby Says by John Steptoe (African American)
· I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley (African American)
· Baby Rattlesnake by Te Ata (American Indian)
· You Are My Perfect Baby by Joyce Carol Thomas (African American)
· Round as a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Rosanne Thong (Asian Pacific American)
· Where Did You Get Your Moccasins? by Bernelda Wheeler (American Indian)
· More, More, More Said the Baby: Three Love Stories by Vera B. Williams (Multi-ethnic)
· Do You Know What I’ll Do? by Charlotte Zolotwo (African American)
Ages 5-7 · Drumbeat...Heartbeat: A Celebration of the PowWow by Suan Braine (American Indian)
· Grandfather Counts by Andrea Chang (Asian Pacific American)
· Halmoni and the Picnic by Sook Nyul Choi (Asian Pacific American)
· Hairs/Pelitos by Sandra Cisneros (Latino)
· Abuela by Arthur Dorros (Latino)
· Honey, I Love and Other Poems by Eloise Greenfield (African American)
· The Good Luck Cat by Joy Harjo (American Indian)
· Celebrating Families by Rosemarie Hausherr (multi-ethnic)
· Mirandy and Brother Wind by Patricia McKissack (African American)
· Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney (African American)
· Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Jake Swamp (American Indian)
· Morning on the Lake by Jean Bourdeau Waboose (American Indian)
Ages 7-9 · My Name is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada (Latino)
· From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems/Del Ombligo de la Luna y Otros Poemas de Verano by Francisco X. Alarcon (Latino)
· Golden Tales: Myths, Legends, and Folktales from Latin America by Lulu Delacre (Latino)
· The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales by Virginia Hamilton (African American)
· Maples in the Mist: Poems for Children form the Tang Dynasty by Minfong Ho (Asian Pacific)
· John Henry by Julius Lester (African American)
· Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki (Asian Pacific American)
· Wings by Christopher Myers (African American)
· The People Shall Continue by Simon Ortiz (American Indian)
· Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold (African American)
· What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? by Richard van Camp (American Indian)
· Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter (African American)
Ages 9-12 · Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges (African American)
· American Indian Animal Stories by Joseph Bruchac (American Indian)
· The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich (American Indian)
· The Journey: Japanese Americans, Racism, and Renewal by Sheila Hamanaka (Asian Pacific American)
· Oh Freedom! Kids Talk About the Civil Rights Movement with the People Who Made It Happen by Casey King and Linda Barrett Osborne (Multi-ethnic)
· Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia by Carmen Lomas Garza (Latino)
· Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom by Walter Dean Myers (African American)
· The Tree is Older Than You Are by Naomi Shihab Nye (Latino)
· Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan (Latino)
· Quilted Landscape: Conversations with Young Immigrants by Yale Strom (Multi-ethnic)
· Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (African American)
· The Rainbow People by Lawrence Yep (Asian Pacific American)
· The Friends by Kazumi Yumoto (Asian Pacific)
The following are great African American books for kids.
- A Lesson for Martin Luther King, Jr. - A Storm Called Katrina -A Sweet Smell of Roses - Barack Obama - United States President - Boundless Grace - Chocolate Me - Coretta Scott - Dancing in the Wings
Science Books Earth’s Science and Astronomy
WAIT TILL THE MOON IS FULL by Margaret Wise Brown: There was once a little raccoon who wanted to go out in the night -- to know an owl, to see if the moon is a rabbit, and to find out how dark is the dark. But his mother said, "Wait. Wait till the moon is full." So the little raccoon waited and wondered, while the moon got bigger and bigger and bigger. Until at last, on a very special evening, the moon was full. This book will help teach about the sun and moon.
I, COLUMBUS MY JOURNAL 1492-1493 Edited by Peter and Connie Roop: This book teaches about the north star and using scientific tools like a compass
FOLLOW THE DRINKING GOURD by Jeanette Winter: "Winter's story begins with a peg-leg sailor who aids slaves on their escape on the Underground Railroad. While working for plantation owners, Peg Leg Joe teaches the slaves a song about the drinking gourd (the Big Dipper). A couple, their son, and two others make their escape by following the song's directions. Rich paintings interpret the strong story in a clean, primitive style enhanced by bold colors. The rhythmic compositions have an energetic presence that's compelling. A fine rendering of history in picturebook format." This book helps teach about the Big Dipper.
HOW MANY STARS IN THE SKY? by Lenny Hort: Mama's away one night, and her son can't sleep. He tries to relax by counting stars, but the more of them he sees, the more determined he is to count every single one. Then the boy finds that Daddy can't sleep either. Together, the two of them set off on an unforgettable all-night journey of discovery. This book helps teach about stars.
JAMES AND THE RAIN by Karla Kushkin: An expanded text and new illustrations bring back a long-out-of-print 1957 counting book in which James sets off in a downpour to learn rainy day games from the animals. Perfect book to teach about weather.
Life Science and Ecology
THE BIGGEST PUMPKIN EVER by Steven Kroll: Once there were two mice who fell in love with the same pumpkin....
Desmond the field mouse wants to carve the biggest jack-o'-lantern in the neighborhood with his pumpkin. Clayton the house mouse wants to win the Biggest Pumpkin contest with his. But when they discover that their choice pumpkins are actually the same one, Desmond and Clayton decide to work together to grow the biggest pumpkin ever! Perfect for teaching about plants and how they grow.
STELLALUNA by Janell Cannon: Knocked from her mother’s safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird’s nest. This adorable baby fruit bat’s world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits. Two pages of notes at the end of the story provide factual information about bats. Great book to teach about night animals and how they survive.
THE OLD LADIES WHO LIKED CATS by Carol Greene: Once there was a town in the middle of an island with an ecological chain made up of cows, clover, bees, mice, cats, and the old ladies who liked them. When the mayor trips over a cat one night, he orders that all cats must be locked up, and it's up to the old ladies to set things right. Good to teach about food chains.
THE RIVER RAN WILD by Lynne Cherry: A River Ran Wildtells a story of restoration and renewal. Learn how the modern-day descendants of the Nashua Indians and European settlers were able to combat pollution and restore the beauty of the Nashua River in Massachusetts. Great book to each about the water cycle.
A DROP OF WATER by Walter Wick: Filled with stop-action and close-up photography, an early scientific book features such images as a single snowflake and a falling drop of water, accompanied by introductions to such concepts as evaporation and condensation.This book can teach all about water.
A COLOR OF HIS OWN by Leo Lionni: Elephants are gray. Pigs are pink. Only the chameleon has no color of his own. He is purple like the heather, yellow like a lemon, even black and orange striped like a tiger! Then one day a chameleon has an idea to remain one color forever by staying on the greenest leaf he can find. But in the autumn, the leaf changes from green to yellow to red . . . and so does the chameleon. When another chameleon suggests they travel together, he learns that companionship is more important than having a color of his own. No matter where he goes with his new friend, they will always be alike.This book can teach about animals and their skin color and how they use camouflage.
JOHNNY APPLESEED by Reeve Lindbergh: Rhymed text and illustrations relate the life of John Chapman, whose distribution of apple seeds and trees across the Midwest made him a legend and left a legacy still enjoyed today.Learn all about apples in this book!
HOW GROUNDHOG’S GARDEN GREW by Lynne Cherry: Little Groundhog, in trouble for stealing from his friends' gardens, is taught by Squirrel to grow his very own. From seed-gathering to planting, harvesting, and eating home-grown fruits and vegetables, children join Little Groundhog in learning about the gardening process. At the end, Little Groundhog invites his animal friends to a Thanksgiving harvest feast.
Beautiful illustrations and thorough research on plants and insects make this sweet story an engrossing read, as well as a great picture-book introduction to how plants grow. Children and schools can follow Groundhog's lessons.This book teaches all about how to grow a garden.
STREGA NONA’ S MAGIC LESSONS by Tomie de Paola: Through this simple experiment, your students will see the life process of fermentation. They will observe a living one-celled organism, yeast, obtain the energy it needs by turning the sugar in grape juice into alcohol and the gas, carbon dioxide. They will understand that time is necessary for the yeast to make the bread rise.
WHY CAN’T I FLY? by Ken Brown: Perfect to teach the concept of flight.
ALBERT’S ALPHABET by Leslie Tryon: Perfect to teach the process of problem solving and an introduction to the scientific method.
STREGA NONA by Tomie de Paola: Perfect to teach the process of boiling water, mixing oil and water, and the “magic” that happens when you cook!
RECHENKA’S EGGS By Patricia Polacco: Great book to teach about eggs, what happens when you cook them, and dye them!
LOOK AGAIN by Tana Hoban: Great to teach about science skills such as observation and inference.
Extra Must Have’s
From Caterpillar to Butterfly
A caterpillar comes to school in a jar. The class watches the caterpillar each day as it grows and changes. Soon, it disappears into a hard shell called a chrysalis. Then the chrysalis breaks, and a beautiful butterfly flies out of the jar! This is a perfect beginner's guide to the mystery of metamorphosis.