Thursday, August 10, 2017

August Picture Book 10 for 10: Books to Help Us STRETCH

Today is August's annual picture book event:  Picture Book 10 for 10 (#pb10for10).  Stop by our Google Community to share your favorites --- or just lurk.  You won't want to miss it!  

Well, here we are.  It's finally August 10th.  Today picture book lovers around the world will be sharing their 10 must-have picture book titles.  When all of this began in 2010, we were sharing the ten titles we'd have to have in our classroom libraries --- or if stranded on a desert island.  It was just a matter of grabbing my favorites.  Now it has become much more challenging for me.  The years have come and gone, and the group has gotten crafty.  Now lists have themes and common threads.  Participants have learned to do a little math magic and make ten in a variety of ways.  

For me, this is the day that always gets me in back to school mode.  This is the day that I disable my Amazon button and pull out my library card.  This is the day I make a list for the next time I visit my local bookstore.  Of course, reading all of the posts takes more than a day.  

Making my own list is an entirely different challenge.  What can I share that I haven't shared before???  Here are my past lists....

My Past 10 Collections

This year I wrestled for weeks over the possibilities.  I finally decided to share ten books that encourage readers to STRETCH.  Stretch is my One Little World for 2017, and it has served me well.  Stretch has given me permission to tackle things that are hard, to reach for new goals, and to be comfortable with all the discomfort that comes from new challenges.  Here are ten picture books that encourage readers to STRETCH.

What Do You Do with An Idea?  by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom

What do you do with an idea?  You live with it for awhile and see where it takes you.  "I liked being with my idea.  It made me feel more alive, like I could do anything."  Yep, an idea can do that.  Follow that idea.  Stretch.  

What Do You Do with a Problem?  by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom

Let's be honest.  Sometimes it isn't an idea that pushes you to stretch, it is a problem.  There's only one thing to do with a problem:  tackle it.  "When I got face-to-face with it, I discovered something.  My problem wasn't what I thought it was.  I discovered it had something beautiful inside.  My problem held an opportunity!"  Tackle that problem.  Stretch. 

A Small Thing...but Big by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Hadley Hooper.

Often ideas (and problems) seem bigger than we can handle.  In these cases, there is nothing to do but take the first step.  "A small thing, but big."  You can do it.  Stretch.   

Water Princess by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Our experiences in our lives will often push us to solve tough problems.  "Dream.  Someday you will find a way."  Don't give up.  Stretch.  

What To Do with a Box by Jane Yolen and Chris Sheban

Sometimes to solve a tough problem, or develop a challenging idea, you have to be able to look for other possibilities.  You have to be able to see things in a way that is different from the way they are.  A box doesn't have to be a box.  "A box is a wonder indeed.  The only such magic that you'll ever need."  Envision new possibilities.  Stretch.  

If You Hold a Seed by Elly MacKay

If you start with a seed, amazing things can happen.  Just plant the seed, and slowly watch it grow.  "If you plant a day,  your wish will come true."  Plant a seed.  Nurture it.  Be patient.  Stretch.  

Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead

When we can't figure something out, ideas are all around, but we have to be willing to look for them.  "There were lots of seeds, but only one grew.  Planting a seed is always a risk."  Some of your attempts will not work, but be willing to go back rethink and try again.  Stretch.  

She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

It's hard not to love this one.  Like the women in this book, we can't give up on the things we know to be important.  "So, if anyone ever tells you no, if anyone ever says your voice isn't important or your dreams are too big, remember these women."  Persist.  Stretch.  
The Almost Impossible Thing by Basak Agaoglu

A dream may seem impossible, but given time we can find our way.  A dream can't be contained.  "The dream knew only that it was too big for its home."  Don't hide your dream.  Stretch.  

Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds

Don't be afraid to reach for what seems unattainable.  "Dreamers have a way of bouncing back...and moving forward."  Dream that dream.  Reach.  Stretch.  

You can do it!  


  1. Great theme and great list of books. I just love Kobi Yamada's books!

  2. What a great idea to choose books around your OLW!! I wish I had thought about year! ;-) In a way, maybe I did. My OLW is mindfulness, and I chose the theme THINKING. Anyway, love the titles on this list. The Kobi Yamada books are favorites of mine. I need to get A Small Thing...But Big - that looks great! And I still haven't read And She Persisted. The list of "To Read" begins!!

  3. A few new to me, and I love your theme, Cathy. Ideas Are All Around is a big favorite, just beautiful. I gave Happy Dreamer to one granddaughter who is just that! Thanks for The Almost Impossible Dream and If You Hold A Seed, new titles to look for!

  4. A Small Thing but Big is new to me - need to find this one. Really a thoughtful list Cathy! Thank you for putting it together and for hosting this wonderful day to celebrate picture book reading!

  5. Love the word STRETCH and love this collection- STRETCH has such a positive tone. She Persisted is one of our new favorite picture books

  6. Thanks for hosting this wonderful event. I'm always able to come away with many, many, many new titles to order for the Doucette Library of Teaching Resources. You're list is terrific and I look forward to reading The Almost Impossible Thing and A Small Thing...but Big. Thanks again.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  7. I'm requesting If You Hold a Seed and What to Do with a Box. Love the way you used your OLW as the theme this year. Love The Water Princess and Happy Dreamer.

  8. Cathy, I agree with Holly. Very clever thing you did there with your word and your theme. Snuck a little reflection about the word in your hook. Nice.
    I think I want all of these books, but the Kobi Yamada books tie in really well with other books I have like The Three Questions. Am I on track?
    Have a terrific year!

  9. The Water Princess is on my list, too. Ahh, great list.

  10. Oh Cathy, your list is fabulous!

  11. Hi Cathy - Love this 10 for 10 idea! May I use your "It's not what we know..." quote (with your name cited, of course)? I do some of the staff development in my district and it's a great quote to use.

  12. This is a terrific list, Cathy, and such an important theme. I love Happy Dreamer and Ideas are All Around, and I'm looking forward to reading the others. Thank you for sharing, and for creating PB10for10!