This week I had to pick the very best of the best to share. Diving into Caldecott Medal and Honor books was a perfect place to start my #imwayr. Below are some of my favorite Caldecott books.
The Adventures of Beekle the Unimaginary Friend:
This book follows Beekle, an unimaginary friend, as he searches for his child that will imagine him.
When I saw this book, something about it made me fall in love—I knew I needed it for my eventual classroom library! The illustrations were gorgeous, and the story was short, simple, and feel good. I brought this into the childcare center I work at to read to the kids. They loved it as well! After the story, I had the kids do an art project where they created their own imaginary friend, named it, and told the class a story about it. I can see this book being a regular in my classroom, and will look for activities to expand upon it.
This Tommie dePaola classic brings us another episode of the great Strega Nona. Her helper Big Anthony becomes greedy of her magic pasta pot and gets himself in a lot of trouble.
I don’t even know why I like this book so much—I just do! I’ve always liked Tommie dePaola’s artwork. This is also a favorite at the childcare center I work at. dePaola’s writing make the characters come to life, which I think makes for a more exciting read aloud.
Mr Wuffles chronicles the adventures of a cat and some aliens using mainly pictures, and very few words.
I think that this wordless book provides some opportunities for excellent literacy activities. You could have the students make up their own stories, provide their own dialogue, ect. I had to resort to YouTube read alouds to be able to find all the books I needed, including this one. In the video, a four year old girl read this book, making up a crazy story to go along with the pictures and posed a lot of questions about what she saw. This would be a great story to excite those students who can’t quite read yet.
Martin’s Big Words:
This is a kid friendly recap of the civil rights movement. It focuses on the contributions made by Martin Luther King Jr.
This is a VERY well done book. I feel like this book deserves the three award stickers that my copy has. The rich illustrations make you want to keep reading just so you can see more. I think this book does a great job covering the parts of the civil rights movements that would really pertain to lower elementary students. The main take away points are written in a different color and text, which makes the message very clear. A great book.
This book chronicles the life of a little boy’s great-grandfather. It uses shrubbery that he tends to illustrate the great-grandfather’s triumphs.
I LOVED this book. Definitely one I would like to get a copy of. I feel like many, including myself, can relate to this book. The author describes the not so pretty concept of aging in a graceful way. There are also many extension activities you could do with this book. You could have the students make their own version using a different color. You could also do a science activity dealing with horticulture. You could also you this book in a color study, talking about what moods different colors convey, or about tones and value, given that the book is illustrated primarily in one color. Fantastic book!
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
This story is about a group of typewriting cows that go on strike after the farmer gets angry.
While there isn’t a whole lot of substance to this book, it is a fun little story. It would be a great read aloud book, and its silliness would grab students’ attention.
When Sophie Gets Angry
This book is what happens to young Sophie after she doesn’t get her way. We learn that throwing fits won’t get you what you want.
I think this book would be a good opener to lessons about feelings/emotions. Many young children can relate to Sophie’s tantrum, and you could talk about other ways to handle those emotions.
This is a tale of a curious boy and his journey to photograph a snowflake.
I liked this book a lot. I have though before that there aren’t a lot of picture books that I have seen for upper elementary (4th/5th). I feel like this book would fall into that category! You could use this book as an opener into a research project or history lesson. Great story!
Puss in Boots
This story chronicles the mighty adventures of the one and only Puss in Boots.
Another great picture book for upper elementary students. The story is rich with possibilities for vocabulary words. The illustrations are beautiful and flailed with great detail.
So You Want To Be President?
This book shares facts of the presidents of the United States.
I LOVED this book. I hardly realized it was nonfiction, and I think that students would feel the same. The colorful illustrations and larger text help disguise it. Would be a great book to start off a lesson on presidents.
The Three Pigs
David Weisner puts a new spin on the classic story of three little pigs.
Renderings of this story are a dime a dozen. However, I give this one two thumbs up! The more books I read, the more I realize David Weisner kind of knows what he’s doing. The illustrations were great as usual. The ending was different from the original story, but I liked it. It was different without being super corny like some are.
In this book, an innocent board game turns into the adventure of a lifetime for two children.
I wasn’t sure what to think about this book. I had seen the movie, but never realized that it was inspired by a picture book. I ended up really liking this book. It was very neat to have the illustrations done in black and white–gave the book a special quality. I think it would be fun as a class to look at the book and the movie.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
This book follows a pigeon that is very eager to drive the bus.
I was expecting to really like this book! However it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. After all of the nagging done by the pigeon, he was ultimately turned down when the bus driver returned. I was expecting something crazy to happen before the driver got back. Even in other repetitive books there is another element–rhyming, intricate drawings, ect. This one was missing something. Nonetheless, the pigeon is still just as cute!
One Cool Friend
Prim and proper Elliot spends the day at the aquarium and brings home an unexpected friend.
I still can’t put my finger on why I like this book…I just do! Elliot is adorable, and it’s so cute when we see him bring a penguin home with him. The illustrations are very well done, and the cover hints to a fun story to come. Great book.
Ella Sarah Gets Dressed
Ella Sarah has her own eclectic style and wears what she wants to, despite what others say.
This is a cute book. A typical event for many young children–when they begin to pick out their own clothes. Currently, I work with kindergartners, and I’m thinking this would be a good book for our theme next week, all about me. Definitely got me thinking on how to incorporate it!
A PREVIEW OF NEXT WEEK
While I currently work at a program with kinders and love it, I would like to teach 3rd/4th/5th grade after graduating. So, next week, my goal is to uncover the hype behind the Diary of A Wimpy Kid and Origami Yoda books. I have not read any of these books, but the school agers I have worked with talk about them all the time. I am excited to see what makes them so popular!