Today is the big 10 for 10 picture book event. You can also find it here. How exciting to start the year with many teachers' ideas for great books! I use and share many picture books from my collection, but the ones I've used with different levels and for multiple reasons are ones that are on this list.
Ten Books I couldn’t teach without:
Home - A Journey Through America – illus. by Thomas Locker, edited by Thomas Locker and Candace Christensen – poems about home (and place) from various writers, like Eloise Greenfield and Jane Yolen, also Abraham Lincoln. I love to use this to motivate students to write about place and their own home or even earliest memories of a childhood home they have left.
The Important Book – by Margaret Wise Brown, ill. by Leonard Weisgard – It’s pure poetry, or is it? It’s also a book that can help students summarize, get to the core of ‘what’s important’. I use this for both ideas.
Storm in the Night – by Mary Stolz, ill. by Pat Cummings – A beautiful book about a relationship and sharing of memories between a grandfather and a grandson, and about sharing fears, always a good topic to help start writing about.
Galimoto – by Karen Lynn Williams, illus. by Catherine Stock – about persistence and ingenuity, to make something out of what’s available – also shows village life in a positive way
The Table Where Rich People Sit – by Byrd Baylor, illus. by Peter Parnall - about the lesson learned that money does not buy those things in life that are important. It can start so many conversations and memories of family life.
Antler, Bear, Canoe – A Northwoods alphabet year – written & illus. by Betsy Bowen – There are many alphabet books, but this one is a lovely example that takes the place and gives concrete examples of what is found there, in beautiful woodblock prints
Emily – by Michael Bedard, illus. by Barbara Cooney – recently out, a sweet story of a relationship between a little neighbor girl & her famous neighbor, Emily Dickinson.
Crow Call – by Lois Lowry, illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline – in our lives now, military fathers and mothers are coming home to children who don’t know them very well. This book shows what can happen to renew that relationship.
The Relatives Came – by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Stephen Gammell – Can be used for such a lot of things, writing ideas of beginnings and endings, and memories of visits students have in their own homes.
Owl Moon – by Jane Yolen, illus. by John Schoenherr - Just beautiful writing, and another good story that’s a sweet childhood memory.