My Two Blankets

April 28, 2016

My Two Blankets

by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood

Diverse Children's Books: My Two Blankets There's a Book for That

This book comes highly recommended by our former ELL teacher, now professor at USF, Mrs. Riddle!

Blurb from the catalog: Cartwheel moves to a new country with her aunt, and although everything is strange, including the language, her old blanket of words and sounds comforts her. Then Cartwheel meets a friend who introduces her to new words and sounds, and eventually Cartwheel creates a new blanket of language.

Kobald uses descriptive metaphors to explain how Cartwheel feels in her new country:

  • “When I went out, it was like standing under a waterfall of strange sounds.”
  • “I wrapped myself in a blanket of my own words and sounds.”

Use this to teach:

  • Metaphors
  • Building friendships/relationships
  • Understanding other cultures and others’ differences
  • Building classroom community

Read this book in connection with:

  • One Green Apple by Eve Bunting
  • The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart
  • Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
  • The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman
  • Dear Whiskers (chapter book) by Ann Whitehead Nagda
  • Inside Out and Back (chapter book written in prose) Again by Thanhha Lai


December 21, 2015


by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

In a kid-friendly way, Amy Krouse Rosenthal shows how great friendship can be.  The illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld show a rectangle, a triangle, a square, and a circle (the friends) illustrating what author dictates.

If your class is having a hard time getting along, this book would be a great read aloud to get students thinking about what friends do.

There is one page that would be great for idioms: bent out of shape.  The illustration really hits it home!

Neighborhood Sharks

December 10, 2015

Neighborhood Sharks

by Katherine Roy

Book Blurb: Presents information on the great white sharks who live in the waters around the Farallon Islands near San Francisco, including information about their physical characteristics, behaviors, hunting activities, and habitat.


Here are some great resources on how to incorporate Neighborhood Sharks as a mentor text for your nonfiction writing unit:

This activity addresses Common Core Standards RI.2.3, RI.2.6 / RI.3.8 / RI.4.3
Farallon Island Food Chain Graphic Organizer:

This activity addresses Common Core Standards: RL.2.3, RI.2.1, RI.2.7, RL.3.4, RI.3.1, RI.3.7
From the same website, here’s an idea to use this nonfiction book as a starting point to write similes.



Whoosh, Crunch, Roar: Football Onomatopoeia

December 9, 2015

Teaching onomatopoeia?  Tired of the same-old lessons?  Looking for a great introductory text?  Whoosh, Crunch, Roar: Football Onomatopoeia is the book for you!

Whoosh, Crunch, Roar: Football Onomatopoeia

Using the high-interest topic of football with real photographs from Sports Illustrated for Kids, author Mark Weakland teaches about onomatopoeia in the context of a football game.  Each onomatopoeia is highlighted in a stand-out font for students to easily identify.  The last page even offers a “quiz” of sorts asking readers to find the onomatopoeias in the paragraph.  Answers are provided right below the paragraph.