One Day on Our Blue Planet series

November 18, 2016

by Ella Bailey

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These books would make great read alouds when studying biomes or ecosystems.

…In the Antarctic follows an Adelie penguin through a typical day, including interactions with other penguins and penguin lifestyle, as well as other animals and things in the Antarctic. This book includes awesome endpapers that show labeled illustrations of things found above the ice and below the ice.

…In the Savannah follows a lion cub experiencing life, under the protection of his mother, in the African savannah. This book includes awesome endpapers that show labeled illustrations of animals in the daytime and animals in the nighttime on the African savannah.

These are great jumping off points when talking about either of these biomes or continents!


George Ferris’ Grand Idea: The Ferris Wheel

May 10, 2016

by Jenna Glatzer

Talk about grit and determination!  George Ferris has them both! Mr. Ferris had an idea (the Ferris Wheel), and he did not let any obstacles (and there were many!) get in the way of making his dream come true.

For teachers who want to emphasize the concept of grit and perseverance, read this book!


The Typewriter

April 28, 2016

The Typewriter

by Bill Thomson

Wordless picture book author/illustrator Bill Thompson (author of Chalk and Fossil) is at it again.  This time the kids in the story come across an old typewriter.  When they put paper in it and write, the words come to life.

Add this to your must-use wordless picture books!

This book is also great to teach:

  • Cause and Effect
  • Beginning, Middle, and End
  • Compare/Contrast
  • Description through illustrations
  • Sequencing (using illustrations only)


Pom and Pim — A Beginning Reader to Show Cause and Effect

March 16, 2016

Pom and Pim
by Lena and Olof Landstrom

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Blurb from the catalog: A child named Pom has a stuffed toy named Pim. Together they go outside on a nice sunny day, and a series of good luck and bad luck events lead them home again.

This text is a great beginning-reader text perfect for K-2 when teaching cause and effect.  The author uses the terms “good luck” and “bad luck” to show the effects of different occurrences.

This book also is also great for students to infer what happened from the illustrations.

Pair this book with the book Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack!


How to Swallow a Pig

March 15, 2016

How to Swallow a Pig
by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Step-By-Step Advice from the Animal Kingdom

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Want a fun way to spice up your how-to unit?  Want to incorporate research into that writing unit?  Use How to Swallow a Pig as a mentor text next time!

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page write simple how-to instructions, then add details under their topic sentence.

  • For example the first page is “How to Trap Fish Like a Humpback Whale”.
  • Step 1: Find some fish (written in bold).
  • The subtext then reads: The first step is locating a school of fish.  Some of these schools include millions of herring or sardines.
  • Step 2: Tell your friends.
  • The subtext then reads: Call any humpbacks in the area and let them know you’ve located dinner.
  • Step 3: Slap the surface.
  • The subtext then reads: Whacking the water with your tail frightens the fish and makes them swim closer together.  If you don’t have a tail, ask one of the whales for help.

Each situation will definitely intrigue the animal lover!

Use this book to teach:

  • How to units
  • Enhance your animal research units (think about how students can research their animal to create their own how-to page)
  • Topic sentences and supporting details
  • Sequencing


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)


Fire Engine No. 9

December 9, 2015

Fire Engine No. 9

by Mike Austin

Looking for a book where the illustrations tell most of the story?  Fire Engine No. 9 is an emergent-level book with few words and vivid, descriptive illustrations.  The story, told through the illustrations, tells the step-by-step process of firefighters fighting a fire.  Riddled with onomatopoeias, students hear the sounds and commands of firefighters.

This book is great for sequencing and for showing how illustrations really help enhance the story. A perfect read for fire prevention week in October.