Thursday, August 9, 2012

Picture Book Picks # 3 ~ Be You!

One of the most important things we can teach our students is to be themselves.  To worry less about what others think about them and do what they feel is right.  A related lesson we must teach every year is to embrace others' differences.  I found a whole slew of books to help us do just that through Lindsey's linky party.  I know it's hard to believe, but I had never read any of these until they were recommended by Lindsey's readers!

Crysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  I know you all have read it a million times.  I have to admit as a 5th grade teacher I thought it was too babyish and never even gave it a chance. But when I saw that Hilary at Fifth Grade Fancy recommended it, I knew I should give it a chance.  I'm so glad I did!  I now love and relate to Chrysanthemum and look forward to sharing her story with my kids.  Even if they've already heard it, as they grow up and have new experiences, they will understand it on a different level than maybe they did earlier.

Also recommended by Hilary was Giraffes Can't Dance.  I cannot believe I never read this book before!  I have a ginormous collection of giraffes and giraffe-like things; everyone knows of my love of obsession with giraffes.  Yet no one has ever shown me this book?  It is so cute and teaches the lesson (be yourself) so clearly.

One of my favorite new bloggers of the summer is Heather whose blog is cleverly titled The Meek Moose.  Heather had a super list of books, some of which I haven't been able to find yet.  But one that I did find and love is Tough Boris by the incomparable Mem Fox.  Boris is a pirate who is tough and mean and strong, but when he loses his parrot, he isn't so tough or mean anymore.  I love the lesson that even tough guys cry!  It's okay not to be a stereotype.  Great story for the boys!

The next book I found that I fell in love with is The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco.  Many, many bloggers included Ms. Polacco's books, and I've read most of them, but this one I wasn't aware of until I saw it in April's post (The Idea Backpack).  The teacher in this book is who want to be when I grow up!  Mrs. Peterson is one of those teachers who sees more in her students than their classmates, or even they!, do.  As with most of her books, Ms. Polacco draws from her own experiences to tell a story of a group of children known as the Junkyard.  Beautifully written with an afterword that will touch your heart, this book is not to be missed!
Finally, I want to mention a new book I found at the library that was not mentioned during the linky party.  Willow is the story of a  young student who does not follow the directions of her art teacher.  Willow draws pink trees and blue apples much to the consternation of her strict art teacher.  Miss Hawthorne is a very neat, very precise sort of art teacher who doesn't like Willow's free-mindedness.   The tension between the two grows all semester until winter break. 

Willow reminds me (text-to-text!) of one of the first books I ever reviewed on this blog, Odd Violet.  Click here to read my review of this equally delightful story.

Click the book covers to go to Barnes & Noble and purchase these great stories.


Post a Comment