Welcome to a Month of Love!

Good-bye January! Hello February! Why not celebrate this month with a little LOVE? Using the theme from my Powerful Understanding book – “Leaving a Heartprint” – and with a little help from some great anchor books, you and your students can “share the love” all month long!

Here’s the plan:

Week 1 – Love Myself

Week 2 – Love Others (friends and family)

Week 3 – Love the Land

NOTE: February begins and ends mid-week and is a short month with LOTS going on – Professional Development Days, Black History Month, Family Day, Pink Shirt Day, not to mention Valentine’s celebrations. So, I chose three weeks of Love, rather than four, as you will likely be busy!

Each week, I will post

  • A lesson idea based on a Month of Love theme
  • A list of anchor books connected to the theme of the week
  • A reproducible template (they can be combined to create a “Month of Love” booklet)

Let’s Get Started!

Month of Love – Week 1: Love Myself

Focus: Students can leave “Heartprints” for themselves by practicing self-love and learning to use positive affirmations.

  • Write the word “Heartprint” on the white board or screen. Ask the students what they think it is.
  • Explain that a heartprint is like a footprint or a handprint that we leave behind, except we can’t SEE a heartprint, we FEEL it. When we leave heartprints behind, it’s a way of leaving a little love for someone else. It makes them feel good and makes us feel good, too. (For more about Heartprints, see my book Powerful Understanding – page 101-103,121)
  • Tell the students that February is sometimes called “The Month of Love” – a time to focus on loving ourselves, each other, and the land. Explain that we are going to celebrate the Month of Love by leaving heartprints everywhere!
  • Show this video of a little girl giving herself positive affirmations in the mirror (you may want to discuss NOT climbing up on the bathroom sink!) Explain that the little girl in the video is practicing “self love”. Saying positive things to yourself is like leaving a “heartprint” on your own heart.
  • Ask the students if they ever look in the mirror and talked to themselves out loud? Tell the students that sometimes, it’s important to tell yourself how GREAT you are! It might feel silly at first, but if we can do it every day, it will help us start to feel good about ourselves!
  • Read one of the anchor books (see list below). I recommend reading several of these throughout the week. If you don’t have a hard copy – try searching the title on YouTube.
  • Discuss how the character(s) was practicing “self love” by naming things they like about themselves. Ask students to think about things they like about themselves. Model by saying your own affirmations about yourself.
  • If you happen to have a large mirror or class set of small mirrors, pass them out and invite students to practice saying positive affirmations in the mirror.
  • Invite the students to write their positive affirmations on the page. Use prompts such as : I like….. I like…. (ie I like my hair, I like my hands, I like my friends.…) or I am… I am… (I am smart, I am beautiful, I am funny, I am kind) I can… I can… (I can swim, I can jump, I can help dad)
  • Invite the students to share their affirmations out loud, if they are comfortable.

“Love Myself”Anchor Books

Early Primary

Rock What You Got – Samantha Berger

A delightful child reminds everyone to embrace their own special something in this joyful expression of self-love. Her words of advice: embrace what you have, love yourself, and “rock what ya got.”

I Like Me – Nancy Carlson

A peppy pig is full of good feelings about herself and her story will leave young readers feeling good about themselves, too! I often use this book as an anchor for writing “All About Me”!

I Like Myself – Karen Beaumont

This ode to self-esteem encourages young readers to appreciate everything about themselves–inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! This little girl knows what really matters!

Be Who You Are – Todd Parr

Classic Todd Parr reminds us to author Todd Parr encourages kids to be proud of who they are inside.

What I Like About Me! – Allia Zobel-Nolan

I love the diversity aspect of this book, as well as the message. Every character in the book takes a turn describing what they like about themselves. Bonus – at the end of the book the author has a mirror and ask the child to tell what they like about themselves.

Remarkably You – Pat Zietlow Miller

I love that this book inspires kids to not only see good in themselves, but to also DO GOOD for others and the world. LOVE it!

Late Primary and Intermediate

I am Every Good Thing – Derrick Barnes

If there is ONE book to recommend for positive affirmations for older students – it’s THIS ONE! The the confidence, pride, energy, empowerment, not to mention the similes and metaphors! A MUST for every classroom and library!

The Best Part of Me – Wendy Ewald

An award-winning photographer asks children “What is the best part of you?”, and presents their answers in sometimes funny, sometimes moving book that includes her bold black-and-white photographs. Another amazing anchor book I use for writing!

Eyes That Kiss in Corners – Joanna Ho

Gorgeous illustrations, amazing writing and a lovely story that will help so any Asian children overcome their differences in appearances and have a positive view of themselves. Perfect for emphasizing self-love. See also Eyes That Speak to the Stars.

The Proudest Blue – Ibtihaj Muhammad

This book is GORGEOUS! Empowering and celebratory of Muslim girls who are hijabis, and their families. A perfect book t0 help kids feel seen, and help other kids become more understanding.

Lookin’ Like Me – Walter Dean Myers

“I looked in the mirror and what did I see? / A real handsome dude looking just like me.” Such a perfect book to illustrate self love and positive affirmation. Love that it reads like slam poetry – great for reading aloud. I put out my fist and give this book a “bam”!

I Am Enough Grace Byers

I love this story about self-empowerment and doing your best, with the added message that we are here to help others.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hope you and your students enjoy this lesson!

Next week our Month of Love continues with…. LOVE OTHERS!

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Filed under Lesson Ideas, Month of Love, New Books, Positive Self Identity, Positive Self Identity, Powerful Understanding, Read-Aloud, Seasonal Celebrations, Seasonal Celebrations

Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Books to Celebrate Your Heritage

Family Literacy Day takes place every January 27th to raise awareness about the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.  This year’s theme is “Celebrate Your Heritage” and what better way to help your students celebrate theirs than by sharing picture books about heritage!

Below are my top ten (actually 13 but who’s counting?) books celebrating heritage!

Where Are You From? – Yamile Saied Mendez

Oh, what a beautiful book. A young girl of color gets asked by classmates and adults, “Where are you from?” Her responses don’t seem to satisfy, but with the help of her amazing grandfather, she learns of all the beautiful places her ancestors come from. A great book for introducing heritage.

Town Is By the Sea – Joanne Schwartz (Canada)

This is a simple story of how a Cape Breton boy spends his day in the village by the sea, contrasted with his own father’s day spent mining coal. Stunning artwork.

The Hockey Sweater – Roch Carrier (Canada) 

A young Montreal boy must endure the indignity of wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey sweater in this classic story. This book is quintessential Canada to me. It doesn’t matter if you are from Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, or Calgary…everyone I know (my age) has read, loves, and has made connections to this book.

Hair Twins – Raakhee Mirchandani  (Sikh)

A Sikh father and daughter with a special hair bond proudly celebrate and share a family tradition in this charming, joyful story that explores culture, heritage, and the beauty of family traditions.

Suki’s Kimono – Chieri Uegaki  (Japan) 

First grader Suki has such a wonderful time with her obachan over the summer that she decides to wear her Japanese grandmother’s present, a komono, on her first day of school. Her sisters are embarrased by her outfit because it isn’t “new” or “cool” but Suki is determined. Charming story, great illustrations and a lovely introduction to Japanese culture and heritage.

My Dadima Wears a Sari – Kashmira Sheth  (Hindu) 

This is a sweet story about a Indian grandmother explaining to her granddaughter about the sari which they wear in their culture.

Island Born – Junot Diaz (Dominican Republic)

When Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, Lola can’t remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories and Lola’s imagination, she takes an extraordinary journey back to The Island. Lovely, lyrical rhythm and the illustrations are colorful and joyful!

Fry Bread – Kevin Noble Maillard (Indigenous)

A beautiful ode to fry bread and a celebration of food – food as family, food as community, food as culture, food as history. Back notes and recipe included.

Powwow Day – Traci Sorell (Indigenous) 

Eight year old River is recovering from a recent illness, but is not yet well enough to dance at the powwow. She is well enough to go, and so we see the powwow through her eyes. There is an informational page at the end explaining some of the terms and history of the powwow and its dances.

When Lola Visits – Michelle Sterling  (Phillipines) 

A young Filipino girl looks forward to her annual summertime visits from her grandmother Together they enjoy the Filipino traditions, food, and stories. The illustrations are gorgeous.

Watercress Andrea Wang (China)

A young girl is embarrassed when her parents jump out of the family car on the side of the road and start picking watercress. When her mother shares a bittersweet story of her family history in China, the girl learns to appreciate all that her parents went through to make a better life for her and her brother. SUCH a powerful story of how our heritage stays with us and shapes us. Deserved EVERY book award it received!

Dumplings for LiliMelissa Iwai  (China and multi-cultural)

Lili helps her Nai Nai make “baos” – her favorite Chinese dish! Readers follow Lili as she makes her way back and forth, up and down, in her apartment building, gathering the ingredients from a group of very diverse group of neighbours. I love how this book celebrates diversity, heritage and community!

I Dream of Popo – Livia Blackburne (Taiwan)

When a girl and her family emigrate from Taiwan to the USA, she leaves behind her beloved Popo. A beautiful, heartwarming story that celebrates a special connection that crosses oceans as Popo and her granddaughter hold each other in their hearts forever.

The Bagel King – Andrew Larsen (Yiddish)

Yiddish words and phrases follow Eli and his Grandpa as they enjoy the best thing about Sundays, the warm chewy bagels. When Grandpa falls and can no longer make a delivery, Eli works to help him.

Tia Fortuna’s New Home – A Jewish Cuban Journey – Ruth Behar

Estrella learns about her Cuban and Jewish heritage as she helps her aunt move from her Miami apartment to an assisted living community.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you find a few new books to help you celebrate Family Literacy Day with your class!

For more ideas and activities to help celebrate Family Literacy Day – visit ABC Life Literacy Canada.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books to help Celebrate Lunar New Year!

Lunar New Year is an important cultural holiday celebrated by many East and Southeast Asians and it’s coming up on January 22nd! What better way to help celebrate than by sharing some great new picture books! Remember – Lunar New Year is celebrated in MANY different countries, so it’s important we include a diverse range of books.

Here are my top ten Lunar New Year books for 2023!

Year of the Cat – Richard Ho

Did you know that the cat is one of the only animals NOT included in the Chinese zodiac? Why did cat get left out? This delightful book introduces young readers to both the Chinese zodiac and the importance of apologizing. 

Out Lunar New Year – Yobe Qui

From dragon dances in China to firecrackers in India, this book explores different lunar festivities around the world. Readers experience how children and their families from China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and India honor and celebrate Lunar New Year.

Goldy Luck And The Three Pandas – Nalasha Yim

A fun and festive retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Love the spunky heroine who takes responsibility for her actions and makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!), just in time for Chinese New Year! Super cute and great read-aloud!

Tomorrow Is New Years Day Seollal, A Korean Celebration of Lunar New Year – Aram Kim

Colorful, joyful and cute! In this story, a young girl proudly shares Korean New Year’s traditions, food, and clothing with her classmates. A glossary of Korean terms, with pronunciation guide, is included.

A Sweet New Year For Ren – Michelle Sterling

Such a sweet, warm story. I love the emphasis on family togetherness (across the generations) and how preparing beloved recipes helps honor tradition and celebrate each family member’s personal favorites! The Author’s Note at the beginning helps explain her personal connection to Lunar New Year and a recipe for pineapple cakes (which Ren is finally old enough to make!) is included in the back.

Alex’s Good Fortune – Benson Shum

A fun early reader that follows Alex celebrating Chinese New Year with her friend Ethan. Includes a glossary of Chinese phrases and their pronunciations as well as an introduction to the Chinese Zodiac.

This is Tet – A Rhyming Story about Lunar New Year in Vietnam – Tam Bui

Inspired by the author’s childhood memories, this book, translated from Vietnamese celebrates Vietnamese New Year through the curious eyes of a child and her family. Delightful illustrations.

Friends Are Forever – Dane Liu

More than just a story of Lunar New Year, this is a beautiful story of friendship, culture, traditions, and immigration. The writing is so lyrical and lovely and vivid detailed illustrations. Includes the author’s story and instructions on how to paper cutting.

Playing With Lanterns – Wang Yage

A look at the 15 day lantern festival that occurs each year during the Chinese New Year in the Shaanxi province of northeast China, told through the eyes of a young girl and her three friends. Colorful and joyful!

Grumpy New Year – Katrina Moore

A trip to see her Yeh-Yeh, a lot of New Year excitement, and not a lot of sleep = Grumpy Daisy! Funny and heartwarming!

Bringing in the New Year – Grace Lin

I love Grace Lin’s books! This is a simple story about a family getting ready for Chinese New Year. Love the personal connections readers can make to preparing for their own cultural celebrations. Simple and great for early readers.

New Year – Mei Zihan

A sweet, melancholy book written from a father’s point of view about missing his daughter during the New Year celebration. Beautifully written and illustrated, this is a picture book definitely for older readers and if you are looking for a gift for a father or grandfather – this is it!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found one or two new books to add to your Lunar New Year collection!

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Filed under Cultural Celebrations, Diverse Children's Books, Diversity, Family, Lunar New Year, New Books, Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Old and New Books About Snow!

Happy New Year everyone! I’m a little “off” this week – Tuesday felt like Monday… yesterday felt like Tuesday… in any event I’m a bit late for this post but better late than never, I say!

I don’t know about where you live, but here in Kelowna, we have had snow on the ground since the end of October!!! Winter is HERE and what better way to celebrate the snow than to share a few SNOW BOOKS??? There are SO many SNOW books to choose from by I have tried to narrow it down!

Here are my top 10 (okay – 19!) favorite books (some old, some new) about SNOW! I have grouped the books into a few categories: waiting for snow, celebrating snow, animals in snow, and visualizing snow. ENJOY!

GearTip – if you don’t have a hard copy of the book, check online for the YouTube read-alouds!


A Thing Called Snow – Yuval Zommer

With the support of each other and help from friends along the way, Fox and Hare embark on a wonder-filled journey to find snow. GORGEOUS illustrations! (I will be writing that comment a lot in this blog!!!)

Waiting for Snow – Marsha Diane Arnold

Adorable story time read-aloud about animals waiting for the first snowfall, some more impatiently than others. Giggle worthy in some parts but also gentle themes of being patient, waiting for the right time, as well as loving and supporting your friends while they wait.

Waiting for Winter – Sebastian Meschenmoser

Start off with the adorable fuzziness of a squirrel waiting for his first snowflake.. add a deer, a hedgehog, and a bear, mix in some humor, friendship, and wintry wonderfulness, and you get this magnificent picture book.

If Winter Comes, Tell It I’m Not Here– Simona Ciraolo

A summer-loving boy dreads the coming of winter but discovers that each season has specialness when you spend it with your family. Great anchor book for talking or writing about favorite seasons.

We Want Snow- A Wintery Chant – Jamie A. Swenson

Lively and fun rhyming text about kids who want the snow to fall so they can play in it. Readers will enjoy their snow chant and want to join in! Fun to see how the children change the chant at the end when they are tired of snow! I would use this book to inspire kids to write their own “Snow Chant”!

Only the Trees Know – Jane Whittingham

Another book about waiting for winter that was released this past fall. This is a beautifully illustrated book about the changes of the seasons and paying attention, seen from the viewpoint of an impatient young rabbit. The small rabbit spends his days pestering everyone he can, asking when winter will come. Finally his grandmother tells him to ask the trees. Lovely story.


Snow SongA.K. Riley

Lovely poetic celebration of snow told in a simple narrative as a young girl explores outdoors on a snow day. The book is full of descriptive words, metaphors and interesting verbs, making it a great anchor book for descriptive or poetic writing about snow. Playful illustrations.  

A Perfect Day – Carin Berger

A simple story but I’ve always loved the “feel” of this book! Its a celebration of winter as we join children making first tracks, gliding on skis, having snowball fights and building snowmen and forts. Gorgeous collage illustrations. A great book for talking about winter activities.

Perfect Snow – Barbara Reid

I have used this book SO many times for “making connections”. Barbara Reid PERFECTLY captures the excitement and anticipation of a snowfall on a school day! Signature plasticine illustrations are perfect, too!

A Sled for Gabo – Emma Otheguy

Snowy Day meets First Stop on Market Street! A young boy who is in a new town feels discouraged when he sees all the kids sledding in the snow and he doesn’t have a sled. But with the help of a loving community he discovers the joys of his first snowy day. Lovely story dealing with a tough topic.


Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story – Sean Taylor

In this gentle introduction to hibernation, we follow a child and his grandma through a winter landscape to explore how the Earth goes to sleep for winter. Along the way, we spot the sleeping animals through lovely cut-away illustrations. Info about hibernation habits is included at the back. Would be a great one to pair with Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner (next in this list!)

Over and Under the Snow – Kate Messner

This was the first book in Kate Messner’s “Over and Under” series and I remember how delighted my students and I were reading it for the first time and discovering the wonder and magic that lies beneath the wintery landscape.

Whose Tracks in the Snow? – Alexandra Milton

Really lovely illustrations, and the simple, rhyming text is perfect for Pre-K and K. I especially loved the actual-size tracks in the end papers.

Winter Dance – Marion Dane Bauer

All the animals fox knows do a variety of different activities to prepare for winter, from flying south to hibernating, but fox is unsure of what he should do. Beautiful, poetic text and GORGEOUS illustrations in this one! (See? I told you!)

Once Upon a Snowstorm – Richard Johnson

Absolutely gorgeous illustrations fill this heartfelt wordless picture book about a little boy who gets separated from his father during a snowstorm. With the help of the woodland animals, he finds his father again.


(and great anchor books for writing!)

After the Snowfall – Rich Lo

A quiet, gentle story that made me want to have a cup of hot chocolate!!! Beautiful illustration perfectly captures the wonder of nature and beauty of a forest after a snowstorm. Sparse text makes this a perfect book to practice visualizing! Don’t show the pictures right away – invite the students to sketch their “thinking pictures” that come to mind while they listen to the story.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow – Cathy Camper

Did you know that snow makes sounds? This is one of my FAVORITE books about snow (I feel like I’m saying that a LOT!!) with so many things to LOVE – it’s a counting book, an intergenerational story (grandmother and grandaughter), a diverse story (family is Lebanese), a great anchor book for teaching onomatopoeia (all the sound of snow when you step on it, throw it, shovel it. The quiet of snow is also a sound.) I developed one of my OLLI lessons connected to this book – you can download the free lesson HERE

Snow – Cynthia Rylant

Cynthia Rylant is up there in my top 10 (maybe even my top 5??) picture book authors. This book is an ode to the beauty and magic of the many different kinds of snow: soft, fat, light and heavy. Intergenerational, gorgeous illustrations, lyrical descriptions, personification, sensory details – this book has it all! LOVE!

Winter Eyes – Douglas Florian

Twenty-eight original, whimsical, humorous, descriptive, quirky poems about winter by my favorite children’s poet. Every poetry technique and structure you could ever want. Mic drop.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found one or two new titles that caught your eye!

Coming up next week….. my top 10 new books for celebrating Lunar New Year!

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Filed under 2022 releases, New Books, Poetry, Seasons, Snow Books, Top 10 Tuesday, Winter Books

Counting Down My Favorite Picture Books of 2022!

As we get ready to welcome in the new year tomorrow, I welcome the opportunity to count down my favorite picture books of the past year. There are SO many amazing ones to choose from – it was hard to narrow it down to just ten (or 11 if you are counting!) Note – if you are a GearPicksPack subscriber, you will recognize many of these titles! I have included a few runner-up titles at the end.

Stand-out themes this year?   Intergenerational stories (grandparent and granchild) and books about supporting and supportive communities.    

Here we go….

10. Knight Owl – Christopher Denise

High on the cuteness scale, #10 on my list is the story of a small, brave, and totally adorable owl who dreams of becoming a knight. When knights begin disappearing and a call goes out to recruit more, his dream comes true.  Owl becomes a knight and is assigned to the “Knight Night Watch”. Heart-warming story, detailed illustrations and the bonus is the humorous wordplay!  This book was included in this year’s GearPicksPack Fall subscription box.

9.  Lizzy and the Cloud – Fan Brothers

A “best books of the year” list would not be complete without a contribution from the amazing Fan Brothers.  Coming in at #9 is Lizzy and the Cloud (also included in the fall GearPicksPack!) It tells the quirky, whimsical story of Lizzy and her pet cloud, Milo.  When Milo grows too big to manage, Lizzy has to make the difficult decision to let go.  This gorgeous book is perfect for inferring and could be used to talk about so many tough subjects.  Message is gentle, respectful, and positive.  Another gift from the extraordinarily gifted Fan Brothers. 

8. Big Truck Little Island – Chris Van Dusen

When a huge tractor trailer with a “wide load” fails to make a corner on a twisty island road, four kids come up with an ingenious solution.  Based on a true event, #8 on this year’s list is a clever story about problem-solving, community, and sharing. Kids come up with an ingenious solution. Rhyming wordplay, whimsical illustrations and plenty of cars and trucks for transportation-loving readers.

7. Witch Hazel – Molly Idle 

A gorgeous, quiet book, literally filled with love and magic takes the #7 spot. This book speaks to so many of the things in my heart that I love in a picture book.  It is a gentle story that celebrates the connection between grandparent and grandchild, the importance of passing on family stories, and the gift of making new memories together.  I would also recommend this gentle book for inferring – lots of room for interpretation. 

7. Luli and the Language of Tea – Andrea Wang

Luli’s teapot was empty, but her heart was full. Parents attending English as a Second Language classes drop their kids off in the childcare room next door. None of the children speak the same language so everyone plays by themselves until Luli has a wonderful idea: serve tea, a drink that everyone in the room recognizes. #7 on my list is such a wonderful story and a great anchor book for discussing cultural food (drink) and traditions. 

6. This is a School – Jon Schu 

One of my favorites from the fall GearPicksPack subscription, this book is a perfect “back to school” read-aloud in a classroom or opening assembly.  Number 6 on my list is a celebration of all that a school signifies – work, play, creativity, a supportive community.  A joyful book – for your eyes, ears, and heart! 

5. Gibberish –  Young Vo

From the Spring 2022 GearPicksPack, #5 depicts the experience many immigrant children feel when starting school, surrounded by a language they can’t understand.  Young Dat is in a new school where everyone around him speaks gibberish.  This leaves him feeling very alone, until Julie comes along.  The illustrations beautifully carry the parts of the story that are hard to communicate in words.  This is the perfect picture book to read at the beginning of a new school year, especially if you have new language speakers in your class. 

4. Walter Had a Best Friend – Deborah Underwood

Oh my… I discovered this book only recently and I LOVE it!  It is gentle, kind and beautiful…and SO important!  It tells the story of Walter who had a very best friend until, over time, they just stopped being best friends.  Such an important book that addresses the concept of gaining and losing friends in a way that is both hard and hopeful. Many connections will be made and the story and a perfect one for discussing friendships.  I will definitely be adding it to my Powerful Understanding booklist! 

3.  Can Sophie Change the World? – Nancy Wallace

This inspiring book in the #3 spot is about paying it forward and being kind from a Jewish perspective is a perfect anchor book for a class kindness project.  When Sophie asks her Grandfather what he would like for his birthday, he says he would like her to “change the world”.  He teaches her about “mitzvahs” – small, kind deeds and soon, Sophie is weaving kindness into her daily life.  LOVE! Click HERE for a free template you can use with this book.

2.  Love in the Library – Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Another pick from last spring’s GearPickPack, this moving story in the second spot is based on the true story of the author’s grandparents who fell in love while living in a Japanese-American internment camp during the second world war.  It is heartbreaking and hopeful and makes me teary just thinking about it.  There are very few books that focus on this subject and this one is a gem. 

And now…my favorite picture book of 2022 is…. DRUM ROLL please….

1. Berry Song – Michaela Goade

It wasn’t hard to decide which book took the Number 1 spot this year. This book is a gorgeous story about a girl and her grandmother (oh, how I love grandparent and grandchild stories!), who find all kinds of gifts from the land during the different seasons.  Who knew so many berries existed? Lush watercolors and lyrical text depict the respect and wealth of the land by the indigenous peoples.  Author note explains more of her native heritage.  This might be the most beautiful picture book I’ve ever read (and I’ve read A LOT!).

Runners Up

Farmhouse – Sophie Blackall

Opening this beautiful book is literally like walking back in time and stepping inside an old farmhouse – a farmhouse the author bought in upstate New York.  Blackall carefully catalogues everything she finds in the house and, through the objects, fictionally reconstructs the lives of the Swantak family and their 12 children who had lived there. There are actual pieces of the old farmhouse included in the illustrations!  I especially loved the last two-page spread with the farmhouse laid open like a dollhouse. I can understand why there is a lot of Caldecott buzz about this book. 

A Spoonful of Frogs – Casey Lyall

If you are looking for a laugh-out-loud read-aloud – look no further!  A witch with a cooking show is preparing her favorite frog soup. All the other ingredients are mixed and ready, so it’s time to add the key one. Just put the frog on the spoon and . . .oops!  This book will have you and your students in stiches as the chaos and frustration mounts!  So clever and SO FUNNY!

This Story Is Not about a Kitten – Randall de Sève

No, it’s not about a kitten – it is about a community who comes together to save a kitten.  So clever!  This would be a great book practice inferring theme:  “If this book isn’t about a kitten, what is it about? What is the author’s message? How did the author convey that message?”  Could also be used as a writing anchor to prompt students to write their own stories “not about a —-“ to convey a theme of their choice.

I Hope / nipakosêyimon – Monique Gray Smith

Touching message about loving, nurturing and wishing the best for our children. It showcases multicultural groups of children from different parts of the world and includes stunning illustrations by Gabrielle Grimard.  This dual-language book (English and Plains Cree) would make a lovely grad gift and will no doubt resonate with all parents, grandparents and caregivers.

Every Dog in the Neighborhood – Philip C. Stead

I love Philip C. Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee)  I love dogs.  I love this book.  When a boy wonders how many dogs live in the neighborhood, his grandmother encourages him to find out. This leads him to knock on doors and meet all of the neighborhood dogs. Adorable! While Louis is doing this, his grandmother is also up to something but it might take re-reading to find out what that is!  (HINT:  making a difference in your community!)

And there you have it! My favorite picture books of 2022.

What books are on your list? What books will you be adding?

Can’t wait to start sharing some of the great new titles we can all look forward to reading and sharing in 2023.

Happy New Year and happy reading, everyone!

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Filed under 2022 releases, Community, Indigenous Stories, Inter-generational Book, New Books

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten New Christmas Picture Books for Sharing and Gifting 2022

Every year at this time, I like to post the new holiday picture books for sharing and gifting. This year, there are some exceptional ones! I hope you find one or two titles that bring that holiday spirit into your classroom, home, and heart.

Green Is for Christmas – Drew Daywalt

From the NYT best selling author comes the latest “crayon” book! After Green crayon insists he is the only color for Christmas, the other crayons let him know that there would be no Christmas without them either! Humourous and great fun – and the best thing is the book is small – just the right size for a stocking!

The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets – Jory John

Another NYT best-selling “good group” series, this latest story keeps in the spirit of the others. Cool Bean can’t afford to buy a cool gift for the holiday gift exchange so he ends up making something instead. Even though he was embarrassed, his gift ends up being the hit of the party!

The Christmas Book Flood Emily Kilgore

Gorgeous new holiday picture book tells the tale of the Icelandic tradition of buying books for loved ones at Christmas and then cozying up by the fire on Christmas Eve to read all the new books and eat chocolates! Could there be anything more delightful than family, books, chocolates and Christmas? Magical!

The Perfect Tree – Corinne Demas

Bunny looks for the perfect Christmas tree. Each of her forest friends suggest different “must have” features – perfect pointy top, greenest green features, smells like Christmas… But sometimes, the best tree is not always “perfect” when it’s surrounded by friends. Would be a great writing anchor book for teaching “descriptive features”.

The Real Santa – Nancy Redd

A young Black boy who LOVES Christmas wonders just what the REAL Santa looks like? Does he match the figurines on the mantel, or the faces on our favorite holiday sweaters? Does he look like you or like me? I loved how this story celebrates family, diversity, and the holiday spirit. Perfect for any child looking to see some of themselves in Santa Claus.

The BIG Christmas Bake – Fiona Barker

Such a delightful twist to the classic “Twelve Days of Christmas” where each of the animals from the song help to create a “Twelfth Night” cake (traditional British fruit cake intended to be eaten on the 12th night of Christmas, or Epiphany. (Think three french hens bringing baking powder; six geese bringing eggs, etc,) Lots of fun and includes recipe at the end!

Coming Home – Michael Morpurgo

Beautiful migration story that follows a robins journey as he returns home. Not fully a “Christmas” in theme until the end when the two robins reunite. Gorgeous illustrations and I really liked the language – lots of triple scoop words!

This is Christmas – Tom Booth

A glimpse at nature in winter during the holiday season. A young chipmunk asks his mother what Christmas is. Her response is a celebration of simple things: the company of others, the beauty that surrounds us, the sounds, sights, tastes and smells and the act of giving. I loved the nostalgic feel of the vintage style illustrations!

Last Stop on the Reindeer Express – Maudie Powell-Tuck

Mia is sad that she won’t be spending Christmas with her Grandpa. At a Christmas market, she discovers an unusual mailbox, which turns out to be a portal to the Reindeer Express. Soon she is on a magical adventure, brought to life by peep-through pages, lift-the-flaps and breath-taking illustrations. This book is a wonderful way to help children who may be spending Christmas away from a parent, grandparent or sibling.

I Saw Santa’s Underpants – Bobbie Hinman

For those looking for a giggle, this one was unexpectedly fun! When Santa accidentally leaves home without his suspenders, it’s up to a clever little boy to devise a solution to save Santa from certain embarrassment. The rhyming text is well done, and I could almost hear Burl Ives reading this one aloud!

Not new for 2022 – but worth a mention, just the same!

Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever – Matt Tavares

One of my favorites, this gorgeous picture book tells how Santa gained his reindeers after young Dasher had escaped from a travelling circus to help fly his sleigh. The writing is so beautiful and a perfect read-aloud or snuggle book on Christmas Eve!

Red and Lulu Matt Tavares

I get teary every time I read this one! By the same author as Dasher (above), this story tells the tale of two red cardinals, Red and Lulu, who make their home in the branches of a large evergreen. One day, the tree is cut down and carried off in a truck, with Lulu still trapped in the nest. Red follows frantically in search of his friend. I don’t want to give too much away, but will tell you the story has a very happy ending! Have your Kleenex handy.

Little Red Sleigh Erin Guendelsberger

I just LOVE this heartwarming story of a small sled who dreams to one day become Santa’s sleigh. But she is young, small and can’t fly. Until one Christmas….Full of winter joy and Christmas magic, this story reminds us that no dream is out of reach if you believe. One of my favorites for getting into the spirit of the season!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope one or two books have caught your eye!

Happy reading and happy holidays to all!

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Filed under 2022 releases, Christmas, New Books, Picture Book, Read-Aloud, Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Christmas Gift Books for Middle Graders (Gr. 5-8) 2022

Welcome back to my Christmas Book Gifting blogs! Last week, I featured books to gift the younger readers in your life. You can check that list out HERE. This week, I’m excited to share some of my favorite middle grade novels and graphic novels perfect for gift giving to readers in grades 5-8! From the animal lover, to the Sci-Fi enthusiast, to the writers and actors in your life – there is a book on this list for everyone!

I have divided the list – the first section are books recommended for Grades 4-6, followed by recommendations for Gr. 6-8. And yes, I had trouble counting to ten – AGAIN!


Abby In Between: Ready or Not – Megan Ebryant

Perfect for your grade 4 reader, this new middle-grade series features nine-year-old Abby as she navigates all the chaos that can come from growing up. I loved Judy Blume books when I was growing up and this one certainly had a modern Judy Blume vibe! It’s a great book to introduce the topic of puberty as I feel it offers a realistic portrayal of the emotions, experiences, and feelings of a young girl. I appreciated the understanding doctor and the un-embarrassed mother.

Odder – Katherine Applegate

How can you NOT fall in love with this adorable sea otter? You can never go wrong with a book written by beloved author Katherine Applegate. I love how she manages to weave important issues into her books with such respect and grace wrapped up in gorgeous writing and endearing characters. Told in verse, this book tells the tender tale of an injured sea otter who is rescued by humans. Inspired by the true story of a Monterey Bay Aquarium program that pairs orphaned otter pups with surrogate mothers. A PERFECT gift for the animal lover in your life!!!

Growing Pangs Kathryn Ormsbee

Great coming of age theme in this cute graphic novel that includes topics like homeschooling, theater, friendship, summer camp, OCD, and anxiety. They say “books are mirrors” and I really like that there are so many authors books for middle graders who are trying to find their place in the world and be proud of who they are.

The Ice Cream Machine – Adam Rubin

Such a clever and original idea! This book is a collection of six short stories in a variety of genres and settings, all featuring ice cream! A great introduction to different genres and a very relatable storyline. Don’t forget to read th author’s notes at the beginning and end of the book!

The First Cat in Space Ate PizzaMac Barnett

Likely your kids will recognize this title from the massively popular The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza live cartoon. Now the cartoon has been turned into an action-packed and hysterical graphic novel series–perfect for fans of Dav Pilkey, Raina Telgemeier, and Jeff Kinney. Perfect for kids who like wacky, zany, LOL books! This series is targeted for 7-9 year olds.

A Rover’s Story – Jasmine Warga

For fans of Sci Fi space exploration – this is a MUST READ story about the journey of a fictional Mars rover. But don’t let the premise fool you – this book is unique and deeply moving and took me completely by surprise! (Think “The Wild Robot” meets “The One and Only Ivan”) This one will tug at the heartstrings, no question! This would be a great read for ANY age!


Swim Team – Johnnie Christmas

This graphic novel follows Bree, a Math wiz, who moves with her dad to a new state and has to begin at a new school. She ends up having to take swimming class because all the other electives are full. Despite knowing nothing about swimming, Bree ends up competing in the state swim meet. A powerful coming of age story that explores sports, the meaning of friendship, family struggles, bullying, and stereotyping.

The Tryout – Christina Soontornvat

What could be more horrible than trying out to be a cheerleader in front of the your entire grade seven class? Not to mention, having your best friend say she doesn’t want to be your partner for the tryouts! This graphic novel, based on the author’s childhood, captures the many cringe-worthy moments of middle school life.

J.R. Silver Writes Her World – Melissa Dassori

This book will be a HUGE hit for the writer in your life! It has just about everything you could want in a book – mystery, art, history, friendship, and a pinch of magic! During a writing assignment at school, J.R. discovers she has a peculiar power – stories she writes come true! Soon J.R. is getting a cell phone, scoring game-winning goals, and triggering school cancellations. But she soon realizes that each new story she writes creates as many conflicts as it does solutions. This book is heartfelt and SO GOOD!

Operation Do-Over – Gordon Korman

The latest by Canadian great Gordon Korman weaves themes of friendship, first crushes, loyalty, promises, consequences, and regret mixed in with a little magic and time travel! WOW! The story follows seventh-grader Mason and and his best friend Ty, who in order to save their friendship, make a pact to avoid their mutual crush on classmate Ava. But when a freak storm brings Mason and Ava together, Mason breaks the pact and loses his best friend. Five years later, Mason is lonely and friendless — until he gets the magical chance to change the past with a “do-over”.

Marvellerverse #1 The Marvellers Dhonielle Clayton

For the Fantasy fans in your life – this brand new adventure series set in a global magic school in the sky is getting a lot of “book buzz”! A little Harry Potter mixed with The Lightening Thief and you get this latest story of a trio of friends attending a magical school. Non-stop action, magical creatures, marvelous abilities – this is the first in what I believe will become a very popular series.

Looking for a spooky ghost story? You have come to the right place! Ghostlight is the latest fast-paced, spooky fantasy by the great Canadian author Kenneth Oppel. Set in Toronto, the story follows Gabe who lands a summer job giving a ghost tour of a lighthouse. While telling ghost stories to tourists, he accidentally connects with Rebecca, the ghostly daughter of the former lighthouse guardian, who asks Gabe for help to kill the evil ghost-eater Viker before he starts killing again. Oooooooo – SCARY!!!

WARNING: This book includes some frightening descriptions and themes and I would recommend for 13 years and older.

TwelfthJanet Key

For all budding actors and theater fans! This book centers around a theater summer camp preparing to perform the play Twelfth Night. Strong protagonist and fun cast of characters (including some great LGBTQ+, anxiety, and depression representation), throw in an interesting mystery, duel timelines (2015 and 1940-50’s), and a pretty good twist and you get this great coming-of-age novel!

Two Degrees Alan Gratz

I LOVED the book Refugee so was excited to see Alan Gratz’s new book Two Degrees. In this book, he focuses on climate change and does so in the same action-packed, page-turning adventure of his other books.  It follows three separate story lines and individual characters – a wildfire in California, a Polar Bear attack in Canada, and a hurricane in Florida to illustrate the immense damage being done to the planet through global warming. Each individual story is very compelling, as the teens figure out how to survive in extremely dangerous situations. A great book for your middle grade reader!

Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone – Tae Keller

Jennifer Chan is the new quirky girl obsessed with aliens, making her the subject of ridicule. At school, she is rejected by the cool clique and even the nerds. And then she goes missing. WOW! This book takes a deep dive into the mentality of bullying, belonging, and popularity. It is so, so thought provoking, real, and powerful. A gripping magical-realism plot that flips between “Then” and “Now” chapters. Every middle schooler needs to read this book! Based on the author’s own experience with bullying – HIGHLY recommend this one!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found one or two books to gift the middle grade readers in your life this holiday season!

Next week, I will be featuring some favorite new Christmas picture books for sharing and gifting! See you then!

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Filed under 2022 releases, graphic novel, Middle Grade Novels, New Books, Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday –  Top Ten Christmas Gift Books for Beginning Readers (2022)

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner! Giving books for gifts is a MUST for me! My motto? Open a book and you open the world! So it’s time to post my annual blogs with suggestions for new books to give the keen (and reluctant!) readers in your life.

This week, I am featuring great books for your beginning readers – readers who are transitioning into reading beginning chapter books and early reading series.

Here are my top NEW picks for beginning readers and series for 2022.

Shark Princess – Nidhi Chanani

Adorable beginning graphic novel series sprinkled with sharks, princesses, new vocabulary, nautical puns, shark facts, and the importance of being who you are and telling your own story. Perfect for fans of Narwhal and Jelly!

The Under Dogs: Catch a Cat Burglar – Kate and Joel Temple

A one-eyed cat named Fang is welcomed into the Underdog Detective Agency. Fun, fast-paced action and soooo funny! Highly engaging illustrations. Perfect for fans of the Dogman series!

Planet Omar: Epic Hero Flop- Zanib Mian 

This series is so funny and easy to follow, broken up by doodles and a variety of text fonts (perfect for fans of the Wimpy Kid books!) Written from Omar’s perspective, this series explores such topic as school, friendships, bullies, religion and cultural festivals. In this 4th book in the series, Omar’s best friend Daniel messes up at school so Omar decides to take the blame to save him from getting in trouble – which makes him feel like a hero!

The Best of Iggy – Annie Barrows 

If you’re looking for a fun read-aloud, look no further than this cute chapter book for younger readers by the NYT award winning author of Ivy and Bean! Readers will laugh at Iggy’s adventures and the trouble that seems to follow him at home and at school. I love how Iggy has an explanation for EVERYTHING! Clever writing and illustrations!

Jada Jones – Rock Star – Kelly Starling Lyons

Jada is exactly the kind of character you want to find in early chapter books for beginning readers. She’s passionate, relatable, smart, and sends a positive message that never feel forced. This first book in the series (now up to 4, I believe) is a short and engaging story that weaves in some facts about earth science, and great messages about patience, loss, kindness and friendship.

Miles Lewis – King of the Ice – Kelly Starling Lyons

This new “spin-off” from the Jada series (see above) is a super fast-paced story featuring Miles (from the Jada series) who tries ice-skating for the first time during a class field trip. Great story about moving out of your comfort zone and trying something for the first time. I like how the book includes some great background information on Willie O’Ree, the first Black hockey player in the NHL. 

Tally Tuttle Turns into a Turtle (Class Critters #1) – Kathryn Holmes

I LOVE the idea behind this new humorous and heartfelt new chapter book series! Mrs. Norrell’s second grade classroom has magic that allows kids to transform into an animal for a day to learn important life lessons. Each book follows a different child and their animal transformation, and includes fun natural science facts about the featured animal in the back matter. Now why didn’t I think of this??? LOVE IT!

Sir Ladybug – Corey R. Tabor

Highly recommend this new series as a bridge book for young readers breaking into chapter books for the first time. Sir Ladybug is a fantastic new hero for young readers because while he may appear tough, he wins his battles with knowledge and logic! Love his fantastic sidekicks – Pell, the roly-poly and Sterling, the squire snail. This was a super cute story of friendship and bravery.

Let’s Make Cake (Bobo and Pup Pup Series) – Vikram Madan

A hilarious new series about best friends Bobo and Pup-Pup–a monkey and a dog with very different personalities. This graphic chapter book series is perfect for fans of Elephant & Piggie. SO funny and so relatable!

Real Pigeons Fight Crime – Ben Wood

Super fun book easy reader about a crazy gang of pigeons who get up to all kinds of adventures. Part mystery, part adventure, totally hilarious stories. This hilarious illustrated series is perfect for fans of BAD GUYS and DOG MAN.

Cornbread & Poppy – Matthew Cordell

Delightful sweet little story about two mice who are best friends, but completely different: Cornbread is always prepared; Poppy is a procrastinator. For fans of Frog and Toad, this is an excellent choice short chapter book is well- illustrated and would make a great read-aloud for a parent reading to their child, or a child who’s just learning to read on their own.

The Daily Bark: The Puppy Problem – Laura James 

The first book in a charming new chapter book series about enterprising young pups who start a neighborhood newspaper. Perfect for any dog lovers – I so enjoyed all the different dog characters with their different interests and personalities (Gizmo, the dachshund is adorable!)

Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us – Lauren Castillo

I adore everything Lauren Castillo writes and this adorable early chapter book about friendship and teamwork is close to perfection. All the feels, unforgettable characters, and delightful illustrations in this one. Many connections to Winnie the Pooh!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found one or two “gift books” for the beginning readers in your world! Next Tuesday, I will be featuring Christmas gift books for middle grade readers!

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Top Ten Tuesday – New Books to Make you Giggle! 

Sometimes, you just want to share a silly, funny book to bring out the giggles and enjoy a laugh with your class! NOT for connecting, writing, or deep thinking…. – just for some good old-fashioned FUN! And I can’t think of a better motivator to learn to read than laughter!

Here are my favorite new books sure to bring out the giggles!

Does a Bulldozer Have a Butt?Derick Wilde

Hilarious, rhyming book about BUTTS! A little boy asks his dad if different animals and objects have butts and the father’s answers are quite hilarious! This will be a sure hit with kids – and pay close attention to the illustrations to see many cleverly hidden butts throughout the pages!

Not All Sheep Are Boring!Bobby Moynihan

Since people usually fall asleep by counting sheep – they must be pretty boring – Right? WRONG! This book proves sheep are anything but snoozeworthy and introduces readers to some of the weirdest, wackiest, funniest sheep you’ve ever seen! Want to know what’s definitely not boring? This book!

I’m Terrified of Bath TimeSimon Rich

A hilarious twist on bath time, told from the perspective of a bathtub as the tub gives tips to a child on how to make bath time more pleasant for him. I laughed out loud several times – especially at the poop jokes! Whether you are a fan of bath time or not, this is such a silly, clever book and I guarantee kids will love it!

Pineapple Princess –  Sabina Hah

A little girl is convinced she is a princess. She simply needs a crown – which she makes out of a ripe pineapple from the fruit bowl! I literally laughed out loud when her rotting crown attracts flies who become her “royal subjects.” Hilarious!

Norman Didn’t Do It! (Yes, He Did!)Ryan T. Higgins

Norman has a best friend named Mildred. She’s a tree. Mildred and Norman get along famously until one day, another tree shows up. Poor Norman! Will Mildred want to stay friends with him, now she has a tree friend? This book is so cute and funny and teaches a great little lesson about “owning” a wrong and fixing it to the best of your ability!

I Am A Baby Bob Shea

Oh my gosh! This book is HILARIOUS! Bob Shea takes a deadpan look at new parenthood—from a baby’s point of view. New parents will make LOTS of connections! THE BEST GIFT EVER FOR NEW PARENTS! (but maybe not as funny for your class?) Absolutely delightful and don’t forget to check out the endpapers!

My Pet Feet Josh Funk

Oh my – I LOVE this book. Hilarious story about what happens when the letter R goes missing from the alphabet. Suddenly a little girl’s pet ferret becomes “pet feet”! Not to mention a galloping hose instead of a horse, a flock of cows instead of crows, and a babbling book instead of brook! So funny and clever! I’m already hoping there is a sequel!

How to Draw a Happy Cat – Ethan T. Berlin  

A “How To” drawing lesson goes hilariously sideways when the subject won’t stay happy! Love the narrator engaging the reader to try to help cheer up the cat! So fun to read aloud!

Never Brush a Bear Sam Hearn

In this adorable book we meet an ambitious, determined pet stylist named Herschel, whose greatest wish is to to style an animal he has never worked with before – A BEAR! Rhyming text and delightful illustrations – this one is pushing the cute meter over the top!

Tiny Spoon Vs. Little Fork – Constance Lomardo

When it’s time to feed baby, Tiny Spoon is primed and ready! But wait a minute – who’s this? It’s Little Fork, who insists that baby is growing up and is old enough to use a fork! Let the battle begin! Such a fun story presented in comic book style with bright, vivid picture panels and speech bubbles. I love the personalities of the utensils.

How to Teach your Cat a Trick in Five Easy Steps Nicole Winstanley

In this hilarious and clever follow-up to How to Give Your Cat a Bath, a boy, a dog and a know-it-all narrator are at the mercy of a cat who refuses to learn a trick. A perfect anchor book for your “How To” writing collection and a great gift for cat lovers!

Thanks for stopping by!

Hope you found a few titles to add to your collection. Happy reading and giggling along with your students!

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Celebrating World Science Day for Peace and Development with Some Favorite Science Books!

There is nothing like a great picture book to get kids interested in the world around them! To celebrate World Science Day, here is a list of some of my favorite science books for sharing and supporting your science units. There are SO many great books – it was hard to pick just a few!

The Secret Life of Boogers: All the Amazing Facts That Make Your Snot Spectacular – Mariona Tolosa Sistere

Nothing like a book about boogers to get things started! As the mother of two boys, I know how much they would have loved reading this rather disgusting and clever book when they were young! It’s educational and funny and the art work is cute (and almost made me gag!) Lol!

What Do They Do With All That Poo? Jane Kurtz

Who knew you could learn so much about poo? This book explores zoo poo, from cube-shaped wombat poo to white hyena scat. Readers will also discover all the places the poo ends up, including in science labs and elephant-poo paper. There are several books about poo but this one is my favourite!

Tiny Creatures – The World of Microbes – Nicola Davies

I am a huge fan of Nicola Davies. She has a way of making topics sound so fascinating and writing them in a way that begs to be read aloud. In this book, she explores microbes using kid-friendly, approachable language to compare the size of these creatures to known objects in the world and discusses how they reproduce to grow their numbers very quickly. Beautiful illustrations by Emily Sutton

Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World Christy Hale

One of the very best books for teaching students about different land forms. Amazing cut out illustrations show one land form merging into another.

The Rat: The Disgusting Critters – Elise Gravel

I love everything Elise Gravel writes! This series is SO fun to read aloud! Silly and off the wall but filled with fascinating facts. Great anchor book for teaching informational writing with voice!

Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember – Steve Jenkins

No Science list would be complete without a book by the late, great Steve Jenkins whose books are always filled with WOW facts and so good for reading aloud. While I could have included any one of his extraordinary books, this one is one of my favorites. This book offers unique trivia about eighteen different animals, with tips about what not to do around them. The tips are fascinating, but also helpful safety precautions, in case a person ever comes across these creatures.

Kay’s Anatomy Henry Paker

Get ready for a hilarious (and sometimes disgusting!) frolic through the many systems of the human body! Engaging book that will have some kids laughing out loud one minute and squirming at the next. Such fun!

Maker Lab Outdoors: 28 Super Cool Projects – Jack Challoner

Twenty-eight science projects and experiments to be done outside will spark kids’ creativity and help them develop science skills through hands-on learning. Projects focus on Earth and the environment, plants and animals, rocks and minerals, and space. All experiments use simple material can be done in your backyard (or school ground) so great for curious kids and teachers looking for experiment ideas!

What’s the Weather?: Clouds, Climate, and Global Warming – Fraser Ralston & Judith Ralston

From heatwaves and big freezes to tornadoes and fog, this book has everything you need to know about the changing weather – from weather basics, to water cycle, clouds, storms, and various kinds of extreme weather. Great layout and illustrations.

I’m Trying to Love Garbage – Bethany Barton

I LOVE all the books in this series. They are a little wacky and whimsical with an engaging and humourous format filled with great voice and lots of information. This one would be great if you are teaching food chains and includes tons of information about all things garbage: consumers, waste, scavengers, detritivores, decomposers, landfills, reduce/reuse/recycle, and compost.

The Last Straw – Kids Vs. Plastics – Susan Hood

An excellent introduction to environmental issues related to plastic, particularly the use of straws. Beautiful illustrations and scientific information through poetry, text boxes, and inspiring stories about young activists who have raised awareness about plastic and made a difference in their communities. Very inspiring!

Drop – An Adventure through the Water Cycle – Emily Kate Moon

In this book, we follow a drop of water as he changes from water to gas to liquid and as he travels through time and all over the earth!  An easy, fun, and engaging book that teaches young readers about the water cycle.

What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky – Kelsey Oseid

If you love astronomy – this is the book for you! Not only is the book stunning to look at, the information is fascinating and includes tips on how to find the constellations in the night sky, as well as tidbits of history and mythology. LOVE!

Fourteen Wolves A ReWilding Story – Catherine Barr

The fascinating, true story of the wolves who restored the ecosystem at Yellowstone National Park. Beautiful illustrations and informative text help readers understand how wolves play an important part in our environment. Excellent book for teaching ecosystems.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you found one or two new titles to add to your Science collection! What are your favorites?

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Filed under environment, New Books, Nonfiction Picture Books, Science