Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Picture Book Month: Book Talks #1

Each week during Picture Book Month, we'll highlight a favorite picture book for each day's theme (see calendar here). 

Each day's link below leads to the essay posted that day on the picture book month website. These essays remind us why picture books are SO important and are written by AMAZING picture book writers and illustrators. 

This year, Mondays are for nonfiction picture books. I love this idea!

Nov 1: Ocean
Amos and Boris, by William Stieg
This classic picture book details the friendship of Amos, the mouse, and Boris, the whale. Amos is sailing the great blue ocean when he falls overboard and is rescued by the giant friendly whale, Boris. During their journey back to Amos's home, they become good friends - finding much to admire and respect about each other. They part with Amos promising to help Boris someday, too. Will he be able to repay the favor?

Nov 2: Rabbits
Little Bunny Foo Foo, retold by Paul Brett Johnson
A picture book to go with the song of the naughty bunny "Foo Foo" who bops forest animals on the head and keeps misbehaving, despite warnings from the Good Fairy. In this version, Foo Foo is using mud pies to bop the heads of foxes, muskrats, and even bears! The Good Fairy interjects among verses of the song to show her disapproval. She even engages the audience by asking questions like "Do you think he listened?" A fun read aloud (and sing-along) for younger students and a good mentor text for older students to show point of view and voice.

Nov 3: Bugs
Butterfly House, by Eve Bunting
When a girl rescues a caterpillar from being eaten by a blue jay, she and her grandfather decide to make a butterfly house where it can safely turn into a butterfly. The tenderness between the girl and her grandfather and toward their special larvae, and the luminous paintings that accompany the text make this a beautiful book. Told in free verse.

Nov 4: Bedtime
Night Lights, by Susan Gal
This quiet book shows young children all the different types of lights that help us in the dark. From streetlights to porch lights outside, from flashlights to bike headlights, from reading lights and bedroom nightlights: there are lots of types of lights to help us through the evening hours. This is a peaceful calming look at night time.

Nov 5: Around the World (nonfiction Monday!)
Flags of the World, by Sylvie Bednar
This is one of the most popular books in our library. It's a smallish book - chunky and glossy-paged. Each country's flag is shown against a clean modern layout. Listed facts about the country keep the text from overpowering the visual appeal of the flag itself.

Nov 6: Farm
All the Places to Love, by Patricia MacLachlan
A young boy tells the story of his childhood on a farm and highlights how his grandparents' lives are central to his experiences. Realistic oils and rich language make this a picture book for many uses: for example, a mentor text for personal narrative, an example of "nostalgia", or to show setting as integral to story.

Nov 7: Bears
Old Bear, by Kevin Henkes
This is a sweet, simple story about a bear who falls asleep in the winter and dreams of all of the things he loves about each season. When he wakes up, it's like he was never asleep! The winning element is the fanciful and riotous colors he imagines while he's sleeping. Double-page, full bleed illustrations create a sense of dreams fully realized. I guess it's a bit poignant too, since he's an "old" bear. He's seen many seasons and maybe won't be seeing too many more.

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