Panda Pants

November 18, 2016

by Jacqueline Davies
Illustrated by Sydney Hanson

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Panda wants to wear pants.  Father Panda doesn’t agree.  Read to find out how this little Panda tries to persuade his father.

Use this to teach:

  • Dialogue (no speech bubbles or quotation punctuation, though)
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Using illustrations to help tell the story

Really—this one is a just a great read aloud!


We Are Growing AND The Cookie Fiasco

November 16, 2016

We Are Growing by Laurie Keller
The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat

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These books are for you Mo Willems fans!  Mo Willems is not adding any more books to his 25 Elephant and Piggie books, but he is working in collaboration with other authors to make similar funny books.  These new books are in the “Elephant and Piggie Like Reading” series.  Each book starts with a brief intro from Elephant and Piggie and then goes into the hilarious tale written by the author.  They still feature dialogue completely in speech bubbles, but each book does offer more than one character.  They are written with the same humor that will get kids laughing.

We Are Growing is a great book to teach comparative (adding -er) and superlative (adding -est) adjectives. (i.e. tall – taller – tallest).  Each blade of grass has a special trait claiming “I am tall! I am the tallest!”  “I am curly! I am the curliest!”  But the last piece of grass cannot figure out what makes him special, what makes him unique.  Well along comes a loud buzzing noise…you know what this is!  And suddenly everyone is back to being the same, but the last blade of grass does determine what his special trait is.

The Cookie Fiasco: How do you share three cookies with four friends?  GREAT FRACTIONS LESSON introduced in such a funny way.  Hippo has a nervous tick of snapping things when he is feeling overwhelmed.  Eventually Hippo has snapped the cookies into enough parts for everyone to share equally.  So funny, and such a great intro to any fractions unit!

Use these books to teach:

  • Adjectives
  • Character Traits
  • Being Unique
  • FRACTIONS!
  • Sharing

We Are Growing might be a good choice when setting goals for the school year — but that may be a bit of a stretch.


Last Stop on Market Street

May 4, 2016

Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt de la Peña
pictures by Christian Robinson

Book Blurb: A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

Award Alert–This book got THREE!

  • 2016 Newbery Medal (for the words)
  • 2016 Caldecott Honor (for the pictures pictures)
  • 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor (given to an African American illustrator)

Needing to teach the life skill of helping others?  This is the book for you.

Needing to get students thinking about being selfless?  This is the book for you.

Just need a book that will get kids thinking?  This is the book for you!


Finding Winnie

March 14, 2016

by Lindsey Mattick
Winner of the 2016 Caldecott Medal

Finding Winnie is the true story of how Winnie the Pooh came to be.

Book Blurb from the catalog: A woman tells her young son the true story of how his great-great-grandfather, Captain Harry Colebourn, rescued and learned to love a bear cub in 1914 as he was on his way to take care of soldiers’ horses during World War I, and the bear became the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.

This story would be great to:

  • Teach suspenseful endings (Cole is not happy with how his mother leaves the story of Winnie.  Cole’s mother then starts another story to further explain Winnie in a different way.)
  • Family Trees
  • Sequencing
  • Beginning, Middle, End (though there are two stories in this one book, so be careful)
  • Dialogue
  • Caldecott (excellent illustrations)