I’m excited to be, once again, participating in this summer’s 10 for 10 Picture Book celebration! #pb10for10 This annual celebration of picture books is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning. Hard to believe this is my fifth year of participating in this event! (you can read my 2016 post here, 2015 post here, 2014 post here and 2013 here. ) Each year, the blogging community chooses 10 picture books on a range of themes – from diversity, to bullying, to writing, to conservation. It is an amazing opportunity to explore new picture books related to a wide range of themes. (It can also be a little hard on your bank account, if you are anything like me!)
This year, as with my previous 10 for 10 posts, I have organized my post to feature new releases that support Reading Power strategies. I have included two books for each: Connecting, Questioning, Visualizing, Inferring, and Transform (synthesizing). The response has been positive each year, so I am continuing the tradition! For those who are already using RP, these would be my recommendations for adding or replenishing your collection this year!
(Please note that I have received advanced copies of a few of these titles so some might only be available for pre-order.)
Now – Antoinette Portis
This is a beautiful new book from Canadian writer/illustrator Antoinette Portis. Such a sweet story about a girl whose favorite things are whatever she’s currently experiencing. I would definitely use this with for connecting to favorite things (personal preferences), but could also be used for inferring a deeper meaning about living in the moment. Great for mindfulness and gratitude.
There Might Be Lobsters – Carolyn Crimi
This is a wonderful story about dealing with fears and anxiety. Sukie is a very small dog with a really big fear of almost everything, especially lobster. Spending a day at the beach with her favorite person is a nightmare for Sukie as she thinks about all the dangers that might be there. When her favorite toy, “Chunka Munka” (love the name!) starts to drift into the tide, Sukie must face her fears! I love that this book is told from the dog’s perspective and also you need to read it out loud just so you can say “Chunka Munka” lots of times! Great illustrations!
Questions Asked– Jostein Gaarder
Well, you can’t get a better book for introducing deep-thinking questions to your class than a book filled with them! This book introduces readers to rather complex philosophical questions in a simple format. Gorgeous, soft-pallet paintings that capture the emotions of this little boy wandering and pondering through an open landscape. This would be more suited for older students and would stimulate deep-thinking conversations.
Mr. Benjamin’s Suitcase of Secrets– Pei-Yu Chang
What could be in his suitcase? This is the question readers wonder as they read this historical picture book based on the life and persecution Walter Benjamin – a Jewish philosopher forced to flee the Nazi occupied Germany during WWII. When asked why he couldn’t just leave the suitcase behind, he responds: “The contents of this case can change everything.” But in the end, we never know what was inside – the perfect starting point for discussing possibilities. Such an important story depicting a world where ideas and opposition are seen as dangerous by those in power. This is a book I would definitely recommend for units on WWII with intermediate or middle school. Incredible paper cut and mixed media illustrations.
A River – Marc Martin
Oooooo… this book is stunning! Gorgeous illustrations, detailed poetic text.. this book is a magical journey of a young girl in a silver boat following a river through jungles, farmland and eventually the sea. But I think it could also be a wonderful introduction to the geography of rivers and their tributaries and habitats. A marvelous, gentle journey to visualize!
Things to Do – Elaine Magliaro
This is a delightful book, perfect for visualizing but could also be used for making connections and an anchor book for “How To” writing. Reads like a collection of “How To” poems centered around a child’s day, capturing little things in life as well as different weather and seasons. Lovely vocabulary (great triple scoops!) and gorgeous illustrations. This book is pure joy! LOVE this one!
Draw the Line – Kathryn Otoshi
The amazing Katheryn Otoshi (author of One, Two, and Zero) has, once again, given us a book filled with rich discussion points. Draw the Line is so much more than a book about lines. It is a beautiful wordless picture book about friendship, creativity, community, conflict, resolution – and a “line” connecting us all. A must have book for inferring, connecting, transform…. Brilliant!
Town is By the Sea – Joanne Schwartz
A simple, poetic story set in the early 1900’s in Cape Bretton, Nova Scotia tells of the challenging life of a mining family. A young boy goes about his daily activities in the sunshine by the sea while, in contrast, his father works underground in the mines. The writing is so beautifully descriptive and would be a great anchor book for descriptive, sensory writing or Visualizing, but also Inferring. The words are lulling and almost haunting and the illustrations are gorgeous.
Life – Cynthia Rylant
Cynthia Rylant is definitely one of my top favorite children’s writers. I find her books to be so life-affirming, full of wonder and hope. Her new book “Life” is simply stunning. “What do you love about life?” is the question asked to many different animals. Through their responses, we are gifted with a wonderful message about life: how it constantly changes, the beauty of it, the darkness, and the wonders all around it. Simple, lyrical text and beautiful illustrations by Brendan Wenzel – it is a calm and reassuring book. I would use the “one word” activity for this book with the word “Life”. Give the word to the students before and after reading and see how their thinking changes. Love.
Why Am I Me? – Paige Britt
This gorgeous book celebrates diversity and identity in the most respectful and thoughtful while exploring the deep question – Why am I me? Would be great for both young children but would stimulate great discussions and writing responses from an older class. A great “Me to We” book as readers are invited to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we.
La La La: A Story of Hope – Kate DiCamillo
Just had to include this almost wordless picture book by the great Kate DiCamillo that tells the story of a lonely young girl who is longing to be heard. The illustrations are endearing, gentle and filled with emotion. This book invites inferences because of the sparse text, connections to being lonely and the desire to belong, and transforming because of the hopefulness that you feel. As I always say – I know when a book is good when I don’t know where to put it! And here is a perfect example of that!
There you have it! My 2017 Picture Book 10 for 10! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found one or two books to add to your Reading Power collection!