Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Three Picture Books for Your Classroom Library

I like threes.  There's just something magical about threes.  Maybe it's the way a reader can find patterns of three in a fairy tale.  Maybe it's that it takes three strikes before you're out (plenty of time to hit that ball).  Maybe it's that three tries before giving up has always been a good rule to live by.  Three seemed the perfect number for sharing picture books with all of you.

So...three.  Today I'm going to share three picture books I picked up for my library while at Literacy Connection.  Now, in the quest for transparency, I will tell you I might have purchased more than three books that day.  How can you resist when you spend time with Beth from Cover-to-Cover bookstore?  She always manages to get something into my hands I haven't yet discovered.  Saturday was no exception.

Three for Your Library

The Dreamer by Il Sung Na

We've all been there; staring at our dream, but not sure how to make it happen.  So it was for Pig who loved and admired birds.  Pig wanted nothing more than to fly with the birds so he set about to make his dream a reality.  Of course, building a dream is never easy.  This beautifully sweet story of pursuing our dreams, holding onto hope, and seeing a challenge through to the end is a delight.  Young readers will appreciate the variation of color, perspective, and mood created in Il Sung Na's painted illustrations.

Three Ways You Might Use It
Community Conversations:  This book is perfect for community conversations about courage, hope, and the willingness to hang with tough challenges.

Anchor Text:  This book provides readers an opportunity to think more about character and the way our actions help us work toward a solution.

Mentor Text:  As a mentor text, this book would allow young writers to look at the way an author moves a story across time, how to develop a character, and stories that end the way they begin.

The Only Way is Badger written by Stella J. Jones and illustrated by Carmen Saldaña

Oh, Badger.  Badger is quite sure that his way is the only way.  Without taking the time to appreciate his friends for who they are, he begins to push his ways on everyone.  If you can't live The Badger Way, you are out.  Pushing your way on others can be very lonely, and Badget discovers that friends matter more than having everything his way.

Three Ways You Might Use It
Community Conversations:  The Only Way is Badger perfectly illustrates the problem with thinking our way is the only way.

Anchor Text:  Yes, I have a habit of choosing books with interesting characters.  In this book, we learn a lot about the character through dialogue.  There is also an opportunity to think about what the character wants, what he does along the way, and what happens as result.  (Sometime we learn our lessons the hard way.)

Mentor Text:  The way the author uses dialogue to tell the story is worth a deeper look.  We learn a lot about Badger by the things he says.

Do You Believe in Unicorns by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Oh, the fun readers will have as they listen to clues trying to decide if this is a unicorn or a horse.  Hmmmm......

Three Ways You Might Use It
Community Conversations:  This book will be a fun read for communities.  It might work in a conversation about wonder.

Anchor Text:  Authors and illustrators give us clues to support their message.  This book provides an opportunity to think about clues as we solve they mystery.

Mentor Text:  The author's use of questions helps to tell the story for readers.  This question-answer format is one young writers can consider.

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