King and Kayla and the Case of the Mysterious Mouse

October 31, 2017

written by Dori Hillestad Butler
illustrated by Nancy Meyers

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King’s ball is tossed over the fence.  A “not-my-ball” comes back.  The case is one: Find King’s missing ball.  The Cat with No Name is no help, except giving the clue that Mouse took it.  So where is this mouse?  Read the book to find out if King and his pals can find his  missing ball!

This book is part of a series that is sure to entertain budding chapter book readers.

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A Piece of Home

September 26, 2017

by Jeri Watts
Illustrated by Hyewon Yum

From the book jacket: Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia.  He struggles to adjust to his new home, where none of his classmates look like him and he can’t understand anything the teacher says — even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly to him.  Little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English and make friends.  One day, when he is invited to a friend’s house for the first time, he sees a flower he recognizes from his grandmother’s garden in Korea: mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him it’s called in America.  He brings a shoot to his grandmother, who plants the “piece of home” in their new garden.

This picture book is a perfect read aloud for any teacher who has an ELL student in his/her classroom.  The words and pictures describe the struggles the students (Hee Jun and his sister Se Ra) have at school while adjusting to America.

It opens the readers’ eyes to the fact that just because someone doesn’t know English does not mean that they were not well respected in their home country.   In this book, grandmother, is a well-respected teacher, regarded as a “wise and wonderful teacher” and she stands proud with her “shoulders erect.” But when she is in America she knows no English, has no job, and “she does not hold her shoulders erect and her eyes don’t gleam — not at all.” The illustrations perfectly depict these stark differences in emotions.

Use this book in a compare/contrast lesson with Eve Bunting’s One Green Apple.

Other ideas:

–learn vocabulary through context clues and illustrations

–metacognition–How does your thinking change as the book progresses?

 


The Princess and the Warrior

November 21, 2016

by Duncan Tonatiuh

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Looking for a great folktale?

This picture book explains the creation of two volcanoes found 40 miles southeast of Mexico City. Expand your teaching to show where Mexico City is on a map, and show photographs of the two volcanoes.  Itza is known as “la mujer dormida” and is an inactive volcano.  Popo sits next to Itza and has errupted as recently as 2013.

Catalog blurb:  Daughter of the emperor, Izta has no desire to marry a wealthy, powerful man like she’s supposed to. Instead, she has her eye on Popoca, a warrior. Izta’s father agrees to allow the marriage if Popoca can defeat Jaguar Claw, the ultimate enemy.

This book would be great to teach

  • Folktales
  • Problem and Solution
  • Beginning, Middle, and End
  • Context Clues (there are a lot of Spanish words in this book that are not directly defined)

 


Baa Baa Smart Sheep AND I Love Lemonade!

November 16, 2016

by Mark and Rowan Sommerset

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FUNNY!

Sheep is bored.  Sheep comes across something that looks suspiciously brown, but looks delicious. Sheep tries to convince Turkey to eat this substance.  Spoiler alert: Poor Turkey!

But Turkey doesn’t learn.  In the sequel book (I Love Lemonade) Turkey is convinced he will NOT be tricked again and tries to trick Sheep.  But, somehow, Sheep turns it back around on poor Turkey! How clever!

YOU HAVE TO READ THESE BOOKS!  They are even better when read aloud!

Great for:

  • Context clues
  • Teaching dialogue with speech bubbles
  • Persuasive writing
  • Character Traits