Clever Beatrice

November 30, 2012

by Margaret Willey
illustrated by Heather Solomon

Cover image for Clever Beatrice : an Upper Pen...

Tall tale from Michigan’s upper peninsula

From the publisher: Can a very little girl beat a very large giant in feats of strength?  That’s what clever Beatrice bets on when she marches through the north woods to the home of the giant, hoping to win some of his gold to help her mother buy porridge.  The giant heartily agrees to a contest, never imagining the wisp of a girl could out-muscle him.  But what he hasn’t counted on is how clever Beatrice is…and that brains beat brawn every time.

Comprehension Strategies: text to text connections, predicting (How is Beatrice going to trick the giant?)

Other Lesson Ideas: compare/contrast to other giant stories (like Jack and the Beanstalk), theme



Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed

November 29, 2012

by Emily Pearson
illustrated by Fumi Kosaka

Cover image for Ordinary Mary's extraordinary ...

Ordinary Mary does one nice thing for a neighbor.  Then the neighbor does one nice thing for 5 other people.  Then those people do something nice for five more people, each.  This kindness spreads until all 6 billion+ people in the world have received a bit of kindness, all because of Mary’s kind gesture.

Reading Comprehension Strategies: Compare/Contrast, Determining Importance, Connections

Other Lesson Ideas: Multiplication and how quickly numbers can grow, Compare/Contrast to Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong


The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog

November 29, 2012

by Gloria Estefan
illustrated by Michael Garland

Cover image for The magically mysterious adven...

Noelle the Bulldog can’t figure out her special talent.  She can’t run fast like other dogs, swim like fish, glow like fireflies, or have shimmery colors like the birds.  Then one day, the dogs can’t get their ball from underneath a car.  Noelle saves the day.  A fish jumps out of the pond, Noelle is able to pick him up and put him back in the pond.  The birds needed seed, and Noelle knew just where to go in the house.  Noelle’s special talent was found on the inside!

From the publisher: It captures all the worry of an outsider trying to fit in and all the joy of discovering that everyone has a talent that matters, and that true beauty comes from inside

Reading Comprehension: Metacognition, Schema, Connections, Questioning,

Other lesson ideas: Tolerance and acceptance, Everyone’s unique, rhyming and rhythm

Writing: Personal narrative about one of your special talents in action, sentence fluency (due to the rhyming and rhythm the sentence beginnings vary a lot)