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 seventh year of participating in this event! (you can read my 2018 here, 2017 post here, 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 community building, 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!)
Keeping with tradition, I have organized my #pb10fo10 post to feature new releases that support Reading Power strategies. I have included two books for each: Connecting, Questioning, Visualizing, Inferring, and Transform (synthesizing). For those who are already using RP, these would be my recommendations for adding or replenishing your collection this year!
Where Are You From? – Yamile Saied Mendez
When looking for Connect books, I am now drawn to books that can also double for anchors for my Powerful Understanding lessons. This is a beautiful book for making connections and exploring identity. We journey with a little girl, Abuelo, as she explores the important question, “Where are you from?” Gorgeous illustrations, this book is heartwarming, uplifting, and important. A perfect anchor book to launch an exploration of family, culture and identity. LOVE!
Remarkably You – Pat Zieltow Miller
I was so excited to share this new book by the author of Be Kind, one of my favorite books from last year. I would definitely use this book for making connections with early primary students, as well as it being a great anchor for exploring self identity and making a difference. I love how the author encourages children to use their talents to do good things in the world. Whatever their personalities, whatever their interests: “Don’t sit on the sidelines. / Be part of the fray. / Go after your passions a little each day. / Find what needs fixing. / Repair what you can. / Then choose a new problem and do it again.”
Run Wild – David Covell
This book celebrates the freedom and fun of running wild and free in the great outdoors. With rhyming text, we run with two children through a variety of “wilds” – from cool forests to hot sandy beaches. I love the energy and spirit of this book and the playful language is perfect for reading aloud and practicing visualizing.
My Forest is Green – Darren Lebeuf
This book follows a nature-loving boy as he keenly observes and explores “his forest” and uses different artistic techniques to record them. I love how this book combines excellent information about woodlands with an appreciation of nature, art, and imagination. This book is filled with descriptive language and would be an excellent anchor book for sensory writing and using descriptive adjectives.
Why? – Laura Vaccaro Seeger
I like books centered around curious characters to promote the power of asking questions. In this new book by a favorite author of mine, two friends spend time together through spring, summer, and into fall. Rabbit persistently and simply asks Bear, “Why?” Bear patiently answers over and over until there’s a question he has no answer for. I so love the simplicity of the story but the emotional impact it left was surprising. Perhaps it was the hugely expressive characters, curious rabbit and patient bear, interacting so beautifully together. I also loved how there is room for the reader to infer what question the rabbit is exactly asking.
Lubna and Pebble – Wendy Medour
Wow. This beautiful and heartbreaking story of refugees brought tears to my eyes many times. Lubna and her father have come to a refugee camp. As they arrive, Lubna finds a smooth pebble that becomes her closest friend (think Tom Hank’s “Wilson” in Cast Away). This is a such an important story and a perfect book to open up a discussion with younger students as to why immigration is so important and why so many people “choose” to leave their homes. There were lots of unknowns that leave the reader wondering –Where is the rest of Lubna’s family? Why doesn’t Lubna have a real doll? “What happened in the war?” “Where is Lubna’s home?” “What will happen to Amir? The illustrations are gorgeous and fill the pages with emotion. This is a MUST HAVE book for your school library.
Camp Tiger – Susan Choi
Okay, I cheated a little here and added a third QUESTION book, but I just couldn’t leave this wild and wondrous book off my list! I love books that don’t tell the reader everything – and this one leaves us wondering all the way through. With just a perfect blend of realism and fantasy, this coming of age story focuses on a little boy who goes camping with his family one summer. Out of nowhere, a tiger walks out of the woods, starts talking, and ends up joining them on their camping trip. Weird? Yes, a little. Did I completely understand why the tiger was there? No. Did it matter? NO! It left me with so many unanswered questions and I was completely hooked. Absolutely stunning illustrations! I can’t wait to do a Question lesson with this book!
A Stone Sat Still – Brendan Wenzel
Like many other readers, I adored Brendan Wenzal’s previous picture books They All Saw a Cat and Hello Hello. In this new book, he explores perspective again, this time focusing on a stone and how it means different things to different creatures, depending on their perspective. For some of it, it’s quite large, but for others, they are overwhelmed by it’s size. Stunning mix of cut paper, pencil, collage, and paint illustrations and a gentle, meditative rhythm in the text. While seemingly simple, it invites readers to infer their own ideas about perspective, home, and the environment.
Carl and the Meaning of Life – Deborah Freedman
I fell in love with Carl when I first read this book. He asks deep-thinking questions about the meaning of life and sets out on a search to find his true purpose. And what he discovers is that he, like all living things, is connected to an ecosystem and, while small, plays an integral part. Can you say adorable illustrations? Can you say science lessons? Can you say making a difference? I was debating whether to list this for Transform, but decided it fit well with Inferring because the message is subtle and invites readers to question and infer – How are we all connected? What is our job here on Earth? Why do we do the things we do? Who do we do them for?
Say Something! – Peter H. Reynolds
I LOVE this book by the great Peter H. Reynolds and have shared it many times since it was released last spring. This simple book packs a lot of power, encouraging readers to use their voice to make a difference. What I liked is how Reynolds shows different ways of “saying” something – with words, with kindness, with creativity. This book is a great anchor to launch a unit on global stewardship.
All the Ways to be Smart – Denise Bell
One word activity – “Smart”! This book will help transform young readers thinking about what it means to be smart, celebrating different forms of “smartness” and talents children bring to the world. “Smart is not just ticks and crosses, smart is building boats from boxes. Painting patterns, wheeling wagons, being mermaids, riding dragons.” This book is as important as it is delightful.
My Heart – Corinna Luyken
Yes, I know, I cheated again and added a third book for Transform but this book is a must share book for teachers. An ode to the strength of our hearts, this book transforms our thinking about love and self-acceptance. Focusing on the “one word” activity using the word “heart”, I believe we would see many “transformed thoughts” about our hearts after reading this book. Simple text and a soft pallet of illustrations. I like how the author uses light and dark to show the different feelings of the heart. There are also hidden hearts found within the illustrations. I would recommend this book for older students as well as younger ones.
And there you have it! My #pb10for10 selections for 2019! Thanks for stopping by and hope a title or two have caught your eye! Happy reading and thinking, everyone!