Reading, Teaching, Learning

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Picture Book 10 for 10 - Favorite Picture Books to Start Off the School Year

I'm excited to participate in Cathy Mere's and Mandy Robek's August 10 for 10 Picture Book Event!  I participated last year for the first time and am excited to participate in it again!  I'm in Nashville this weekend with my mom at a Debbie Macomber Fan Retreat, and I'm writing this on my iPad.  For some reason, it is NOT cooperating, so I'm going to add pictures later.
 



I chose my favorite picture books to start off the school year - books that start discussions on positive classroom culture, the power of reading and writing, and getting to know each other.  They all provide great opportunities to start writing about ourselves and sharing our writing.


Chrysanthemum

                                                    1. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Who doesn't love Chrysanthemum?!  I like to read this book to talk about names, identity, acceptance, and individuality.  Sometimes I will ask kids to do a quick-write about how they feel about their names and to have a discussion with their parents about how they got their names and what they mean.

2. When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant

When I Was Young in the Mountains


We talk and write about our hometowns when I share this.  It's a great way to talk about what home means and where we all came from.  Sometimes kids have known each other throughout elementary school, and they realize they have a lot in common and love their hometown for the same reasons,  but it also gives some of the new kids a chance to talk about where they lived before.

3. All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan

All the Places to Love

This book gives us a chance to talk about our families and places where we feel safe and happy.  We talk about the classroom and how it's going to become a place we love.

Each Kindness

4. Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

I want my classroom to be an inclusive place in which we respect and accept each other's differences.    When I get to the end of this book, there is usually a stunned silence.  It does not end happily, and I want my students to realize what impact bullying and exclusion can have.

The Junkyard Wonders

5. Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco

There are so many books by Polacco that are invaluable to the classroom!  This is one of my favorites and give us the opportunity to talk about unique talents and gifts.

That Book Woman

6. That Book Woman by Heather Henson

There are books all over my room, and I know I can find books for every student in my classroom.  This book provides an opportunity to talk about why reading is so exciting and how there is a book (or two or three...) for everyone!

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

7. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

I love sharing this book and the short film.  They give us a chance to discuss the power of reading and writing, symbolism, theme, and leaving a legacy.  The kids really enjoy both.

The Golden Rule

8. The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper

This is a gorgeous book.  There is no greater mantra about how to treat people than the Golden Rule.  Teaching kids about empathy is so important.  We need them to feel empathy toward characters in order to connect to stories while reading and writing, and we need them to feel empathy toward each other.

Bluebird

9. Bluebird by Bob Staake

When I first read this book, I wasn't sure if I liked it, to be honest.  I loved how the story started and loved the friendship between the boy and the bluebird, but I wasn't sure I liked the end!However, I read it to my students and they brought all kinds of insight to it. Now I think it would make a wonderful beginning-of-the-year book. We can talk about the impact of friendship and standing up to bullies.

City Dog, Country Frog

10. City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems

I think I try to put this on every favorite picture book list I ever create!  It's my all-time favorite.  We can learn so much from this book.  We can talk about how our differences make our friendships more interesting, how we can learn from each other, how friendships add meaning to our lives, and how friendships create legacies. Since I share it at the beginning of the year, it becomes a touchstone text all year.   I LOVE City Dog and Country Frog!


I look forward to reading all of your lists!  If you have any favorite books to start off your school year, I'd love to hear about them!  Thank you, Cathy and Mandy, for giving us the opportunity to share our love for picture books!

9 comments:

  1. Hi Holly!

    I absolutely love your list! So many favorites here that I also use at the beginning of the year. If you haven't read Wolf! by Becky Bloom, it's another one I love using the first week.

    I haven't seen The Golden Rule so I'm adding to my list!

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the recommendation - I haven't read Wolf! It's on my TBR pile now! :-)

      Delete
  2. Holly What a beautiful list. Many of my favourites - That Book Woman, Morris Lessmore - such wonderful titles that celebrate literacy and the magic of books. And I can see why City Dog Country Frog is such a favourite. Just a beautiful book Thanks for sharing these!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by! Picture books ARE beautiful, aren't they?! They're like works of art!

      Delete
  3. Holly - I am participating in the 10 for 10 for the first time and so enjoyed reading your list. Every single title you have on your list is a favorite of mine. City Dog, Country Frog is high on my list of all time favorites, along with All the Places to Love. I'm excited to read Patricia Maclachlan's new book called You Were the First, due out in September. Thanks for sharing your special collection.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Holly, thank you for sharing your list. I participated in the 10 for 10 for the first time this year and am enjoying reading through so many amazing collections. Your list is amongst my favorites so far as it includes so many of my favorites. City Dog, Country Frog is one of my all time favorite picture books for so many reasons, including Jon Muth's illustrations and the tenderness of the friendship told through so few words. All the Places to Love is another one of my very favorites and I often use it as an anchor book for writing about special places. I am looking forward to Patricia Maclachlan's new book called You Were the First, due out in September. Thanks again for sharing this wonderful collection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will have to visit your list! I'm glad you love City Dog, Country Frog, too!

      Delete
  5. Holly, thank you for sharing this amazing collection of picture books. I participated in the 10 for 10 for the first time and am now enjoying reading through so many great lists. Yours is amongst my favorite as it includes so many titles I cherish. City Dog, Country Frog is one of my all-time favorite books for so many reasons, including Jon Muth's tender illustrations. Cynthia Rylant is one of my favorite children's author - I love her Poppleton series. All the Places to Love is another favorite of mine that I use in my class as an anchor book for writing about special places. I'm looking forward to Patricia Maclachlan's new title You Were the First, due in September. Thanks again for sharing your treasures.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Holly,
    First of all, I am curious about a fan retreat. How does that work exactly? Sounds fun! I hope you and your mom enjoyed yourselves.

    I'm so glad you joined the event again. These are great titles for starting the school year. I'm going to have to read "That Book Woman" as I've seen it on a lot of lists.

    Cathy

    ReplyDelete