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 2, 5 shelf bookshelves that are loaded with my picture books-I definitely have my favorites. This year, especially, I intend to display my two favorites (one fiction and one non-fiction) each week on a plate stand labeled "Teacher's Hot Reads". I heard about this idea last year at a middle school and decided to give it a go this year.
So, here are my top ten "start the year" books...all the way from 10 to 1-read on down for lots of fun...I have a new appreciation for the work authors do, so 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/getting along in Elementary School and 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 each child to know that their name is 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! It also reminds me as a teacher that I need to see the possibilities for every student. I also love Ish by Peter too!
#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...also wrote Purplicious and Goldilicious! I like the idea that there has to be cause effect thinking and relation to the color of things. It could get students to think 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 his 11th strawberry poptart...just an idea.
#6-Thank you Tom Rath and Donald Clifton for writing How Full is Your Bucket This book can really help to build community in the classroom. I intend to use it along with bucket filling slips that kids need to write about each other.
#5-Thank you Audrey Penn for writing The Kissing Hand I love how this book let's 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 that is a hand cut-out cookie and a Hershey kiss stuck to it. Audrey Penn's 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 have the students write about what they hope or what their goals may be.
#3-Thank you Eric Litwin for writing Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes. 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 song-you'll love it-Remember, it's all good! Eric also wrote Pete the Cat, I Love My School Shoes, and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons (great for teaching subtraction-take away).
#2-Thank you Daniel Kirk for writing Library Mouse. I want every child to see themselves as an author. I have my "Meet the Author Day" box ready for them to meet on the first day of school-because they all are authors, they just don't know it yet! Two others by him are Library Mouse A Friend's Tale and Library Mouse Worlds 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 even wrote with this structure about writing in the Slice of Life Challenge in March. I love the structure of The Important Book (Main idea, 3 details, Restate Main Idea).
So these are my top 10-10 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 below-Thanks!
Also, a special thank you to Ruth Ayers who inspired this post..."Hello" ideas!