Thursday, November 10, 2011

Picture Book Month: Week 2

As we finish up our second week of celebrating Picture Book Month, our school has logged over 300 titles on the PB Challenge google doc, and many more titles have been recorded on the paper forms. We're LOVING all of the increased circulation the collection is getting!

Here are some favorite picture books for each theme on the Picture Book month calendar. I have linked up to Page in Training for more book ideas for each theme.

Nov 8: Monsters
Monsters Eat Whiny Children, by Bruce Eric Caplan 

Not for the little ones, but great fun for grade 2 and up, this is the story of a monster who takes whiny children and tries to decide how to eat them. 

A hilarious cautionary tale. Line drawings in ink on mainly white backgrounds with watercolor highlights.

Nov 9: Gardens
Westlandia, by Paul Fleischman 

In an effort to create a new civilization, a boy who's bullied at school grows a crop of a fantastic new fruit. He discovers it has many purposes beyond just being delicious, and soon his classmates become part of his new community, Westlandia, and part of his new life as a social outcast-no-longer.

Nov 10: Mice
Dr. DeSoto, by William Steig 

The dentist, Dr. deSoto, and his wife agree to help a fox with an aching tooth. They suspect he will try to eat them as soon as he feels better, however. They whisper together, forming a plan, and keep the reader in suspense and the fox a drooling mess.

Nov 11: Chickens
One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, by Kate Smith Milway 

This is the true story of a boy from Ghana who turned a few coins into a successful business and brought prosperity to his family and community. The large format and bright watercolors make it an engaging read-aloud despite its length. This is a great way to show how small fundraisers can have a big impact.

Nov 12: The Sea
Wave, by Suzy Lee

This panoramic wordless book captures the expanse of the ocean and the thrill of playing in the waves at the shore using a palette of charcoal, light blue water color, and salt.

Nov 13: Pirates
Tough Boris, by Mem Fox 

Pirates are tough and mean and greedy, and Tough Boris is no exception. But when his pet parrot dies, even this pirate cries and cries. Finally a pirate we can relate to! Animated watercolor and pencil illustrations show us the action of life on a pirate ship.

Nov 14: Dragons
Pet Dragon: A Story about Adventure, Friendship, and Chinese Characters, by Christoph Neimann 

This story is designed to introduce readers to how Chinese characters build on each other to create words and how their shapes are tied in to their meanings. For example, when Lin and her pet dragon play hide-and-seek, we learn the character for "tree" and see how that multiplies to create "woods" and then "forest." A beautifully crafted book, this opens up the world of Chinese calligraphy for young readers.

Nov 15: Pets
Children Make Terrible Pets, by Peter Reynolds 

A hilarious twist on the usual "I want a  pet" story. Bear sees an adorable creature in the woods, takes it home, and discovers that what his mother said was true: Children make terrible pets! This is just plain fun for young children, but older ones could use this to spark a discussion of point of view and perspective. Cartoony illustrations in muted tones with the text in speech bubbles.


  1. So happy to hear about all these extra picture books being read this month! I love your choices here but am pretty sure we only have the last one in our school library (Int School Monaco). Am at the CIS conference this week but will check when I am back next week.

  2. Ooh, Monsters Eat Whiny Children sounds very appropriate for many (perhaps most?) families. I may have to check that one out. The title alone made me chuckle...

  3. Thanks for your comments, Kerry and Joanna! Joanna, I missed seeing you at the conference. Would have been fun to meet up!