Saturday, August 10, 2013


It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to pull off a Picture Book 10 for 10 post this year.  I have done it for the last few years though, and couldn't stand not to participate. I'm in Thatcher, Arizona this weekend trying to get my younger son settled in college, but between trips to banks, and buying things for his dorm room, and a rained out football scrimmage,  I've managed to throw together a list of  books I have loved using with intermediate and middle grade kids in the last year. Can't wait to read every one else's lists! (But first I have to hide my debit card).

1) Big Mean Mike- Michelle Knudson, illustrated by Scott Magoon
Just love this book about an alleged tough guy who is adopted by a group of fuzzy bunnies. Lots of fun but also lots of rich conversation and big truths about life.

2) Each Kindness- Jacqueline Woodson
Another book that leaves kids thinking about how people treat each other and about the power of our actions. 

3) Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books, Susan Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya
A powerful picture book about a group of ordinary citizens who banded together to protect the Library of Alexandria from protestors.  Susan Roth's collage illustrations (Dream Something Big and Listen to the Wind are two of her most recent) are just about perfect.
4) Snook Alone- Marilyn Nelson
Of course I have to have a dog book (or two) on my list of favorites. Snook is a terrier, the companion of a monk named Abba Jacob.  When Abba Jacob has to make a trip to an island,  Snook goes along. A storm comes up and Snook is left behind.  A beautiful story of loneliness and loyalty.

5) Black Dog- Levi Penfold
My dear friend, Kyle, introduced me to this book about an "enormous" black dog that takes up residence in a family's yard.  Great for discussions about theme or author's message.

6) Brick by Brick- Charles R. Smith
A beautiful and poetic picture book about the slaves that built the White House.

7) Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson
Kadir Nelson is one of my all time favorite picture book authors and illustrators. I love, love, love his work, and this biography is no exception. Also loved Nelson's I Have a Dream.

8) The Mystery of Darwin's Frog  by Marty Crump, illustrated by Steve Jenkins and Edel Rodriguez.
Another favorite author/illustrator. I on't think I could ever have a list of favorite picture books without at least one mention of Steve Jenkins. Crump, a Utah herpetologist,  invites readers into the world of scientists, tracing the evolution of the body of knowledge about a tiny frog with a pointed noise, who was discovered by Charles Darwin in Chile in 1834. Fascinating look at how scientists build on each other's work.

9) America the Beautiful- Together We Stand
A smorgasbord of some of the most talented artists illustrating books today, including Bryan Collier, Jon J Muth, Diane Goode, Mary GrandPre, Raul Colon, Sonia Lynn Sadler, Yuyi Morales, John Hendrix, LeUyen Pham, and Chris Soentpiet- present their interpretation of Katherine Lee Bates' famous song. Each illustration is accompanied by a presidential quote.

10) Edgar Allen Poe's Pies- J. Patrick Lewis
And finally, a book of silly, fun, and mathematical poems and riddles.

Be sure to head over to Cathy Mere's Reflect and Refine or Mandy Robek's Enjoy and Embrace Learning to see lots of other terrific lists.  And make sure to follow the hashtag on Twitter.


Linda B said...

You've just added to my list, Carol. I love the Nelson Mandela & the Hands Around The Library, & others, but don't know the one about Darwin's Frog or Snook Alone. Both look great! Thanks!

Cathy said...

I hope you've managed to get your son settled. I'm so glad you were able to still find time to join the conversation. I can't believe I haven't read Each Kindness yet. It's on so many posts this year! I need to fix that. You have several other titles I'm looking forward to checking out. They may be a little advanced for my first graders, but I actually think a few of them would be perfect for my husband's 8th graders. Many tie into the units he teaches.


Catherine said...

This is a terrific list, Carol. I agree, Each Kindness is an amazing book, and I had forgotten about Snook Alone.
Thanks for your recommendations!