By Amy Rudd, Verizon Education Blogger
I am a kid lit junkie. I love picture books for so many reasons...they're great stories; they know how to pique kids interests; and they really are a lot of fun! Some of my favorites are even books that I like to sing. I have three, 5-shelf bookshelves that are loaded with my picture books, and I definitely have my favorites. This year I intend to display my weekly favorites (one fiction and one informational) on a plate stand labeled "Teacher's Hot Reads."
So, here are my Top Ten "Start the Year" books...from 10 to 1--read on down for lots of fun. I have such an appreciation for the work authors do that I wanted to thank my top 10. "Cheers" to you!
#10 - Thank you Derek Munson, for writing Enemy Pie. I love Enemy Pie because this book is all about the on again off again theme of friendship and getting along in elementary school. It teaches kids that the best way to get a friend is to get to know someone better and be a friend. Everyone needs friends. And here you'll find the link to a lesson idea for making Enemy Pie.
#9 - Thank you Kevin Henkes for writing Chrysanthemum. I love Chrysanthemum because it shows the value in a name. I want children to know that their names are special, and we will do a name finding activity with this story during the first few days of school. I also love Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Julius the Baby of the World by Kevin as well.
#8 - Thank you Peter Reynolds for writing The Dot. It reminds us that something simple can turn into something bigger. We must try and believe in ourselves, be brave, and make our mark in the world! It also reminds me, as a teacher, that I need to see the possibilities for every student. I also love Ish by Peter too! Be sure to join in the fun of International Dot Day if you are interested.
#7 - Thank you Victoria Kann for writing Pinkalicious. I love the story and the idea that eating too much of one thing can turn you into that color--too many pink cupcakes turn the girl pink. Victoria also wrote Purplicious and Goldilicious! I like the idea that there is cause and effect thinking in relation to the color of things. It gets students thinking about colors of foods they like to eat and could be a mentor text for more color cause/effect exploration. For example, my son loves strawberries and strawberry milkshakes, so maybe he could write about Redilicious--the boy who turned red after he ate his 33rd strawberry waffle, drank his 22nd strawberry shake, and ate his 11th strawberry pop-tart...just an idea.
#6 - Thank you Tom Rath and Donald Clifton for writing How Full is Your Bucket For Kids. This book can really help to build community in the classroom. I intend to use it along with bucket filling slips that kids can write for each other.
#5 - Thank you Audrey Penn for writing The Kissing Hand. I love how this book lets children know that when they feel a little scared, all they have to do to find love is hold their hand up to their cheek for reassurance. I plan to use this book and give children a special treat on the first day...a hand, cut-out cookie with a Hershey kiss stuck to it. Audrey Penn has written other books in the series too - check them out.
#4 - Thank you Kay Winters for writing This School Year Will Be The Best! It is so inspirational for the children to see possibilities, hopes, and dreams. I intend to read this story and to have the students write what they hope for or what their goals may be for this year.
#3 - Thank you Eric Litwin for writing the Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes. More Pete the Cat books include, Rocking in My School Shoes, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, and The Wheels on the Bus. I am so glad that for Pete, everything is all good. No matter how bad things might seem for Pete, he keeps his "good" state of mind through it all. This is one of the stories I also love to sing. Get the free song, "I Love My White Shoes." You'll love to sing it with your students. Remember, it's all good! Eric is also writing Pete the Cat Easy Readers now. Pete's such a lovable character that your students can't help falling in love with him.
#2 - Thank you Daniel Kirk for writing Library Mouse. I want every child to see himself as an author. I have my "Meet the Author Day" box ready for kids the first week of school--because they are all authors; they just don't know it yet! Two other books by Daniel Kirk are Library Mouse A Friend's Tale and Library Mouse A World to Explore.
and drumroll please....................................
#1 - Thank you Margaret Wise Brown for writing The Important Book. I love this book because the structure is easy to follow. It can be a great mentor text that can go into other content areas. I have used it for introducing students, teaching about Ohio content, and sharing stories about famous people. I love the structure of The Important Book (main idea, 3 details, restate the main idea).
So, these are my top ten books I could not do without to start the school year! Are some of your favorites posted here? What others could you recommend that I have not mentioned? Please leave a comment and thanks for stopping by to check out my Top Ten "Start the Year" books.