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The Ugly Duckling

Title: The Ugly Duckling

 

Bibliography: Pinkney, J. (1999). The Ugly Duckling. New York: Morrow Junior Books.

 

Annotation: Jerry Pinkney retells the classic tale of the ugly duckling in an eloquent manner and filling the pages with majestic color. The mother duck notices that one of her eggs is a bit larger and oddly shaped compared to the rest of her eggs but she paid no mind to it until it hatched, the duckling was not yellow and brown like its siblings but rather white and much larger. Despite the encouragement the duckling received from its mother, it could not help but droop its head in sorrow until he is eagerly accepted by those just like him, the ugly duckling transformed into a beautiful swan and was accepted by all.

 

Genre: Folklore

 

Grade Level: 2-4

 

Readers who will like this book: readers who enjoy stories that include determination, triumph and ultimately a happy ending will thoroughly enjoy this account of the ugly duckling’s journey into a beautiful swan.

 

Personal Response and rating: 5; an instant favorite of mine from my childhood, this version proves to evoke the same such feelings. The detailed illustrations accompany the text perfectly.

 

Question: Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in?

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Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Title: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

 

Bibliography: Willems, M. (2003). Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.

 

Annotation: The bus driver leaves us in charge of the bus, he gives us one instruction: don’t let the pigeon drive the bus! Who would have thought a pigeon would be persistent about driving a bus?

 

Genre: Fiction

 

Grade Level: K-2

 

Readers who will like this book: Young readers who enjoy interactive books will find this conversation with a pigeon fascinating and fun!

 

Personal Response and rating: 3; Although Mo Willems puts a hilarious spin on learning to hold your ground, keep promises and be responsible through an interactive dialogue with a desperate bird it did not appeal to my interests.

 

Question: What do you do when someone asks you to do something you know you’re not supposed to do?

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Junkyard Wonders

Patricia Polacco

 

Title: Junkyard Wonders

 

Bibliography: Polacco, P. (2010). Junkyard Wonders. New York: Philomel Books.

 

Annotation: Trisha is excited to start the school year at a new school with new classmates, classmates that did not know she used to struggle in school; she wanted a fresh start! Unfortunately, Trisha is placed in a special class, yet again. She is devastated. Her new teacher, Mrs. Peterson, inspires what the rest of the school refers to as ‘junkyard kids’ into confident students who embrace their odd brilliances.

 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

 

Grade Level: 2-4

 

Readers who will like this book: Anyone who has been labeled a misfit, and let’s face it, who hasn’t, will enjoy Trisha’s story of self-discovery. It focuses on ideals that are easily relatable to elementary students

 

Personal Response and rating: 4; the message behind this story is very strong as well as relatable, making it impossible not to like. The illustrations evoke the emotions that Trisha feels as she transforms from a junkyard kid to a junkyard wonder.

 

Question: Have you ever been ‘the new kid at school’? Have you ever been misjudged? If so, what did you do about it?

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Mother Goose Remembers

Title: Mother Goose Remembers

Bibliographic information: Beaton, C. (2000). Mother Goose Remembers. New York, New York: Barefoot Books

Brief annotation: This book is a compilation of all the classic Mother Goose nursery rhymes.

Genre: Picture book, poetry

Grade level: K – 3rd

Readers who will like this: Children who like rhymes will enjoy this book.

Rating: 4 – This is a great book for an introduction to poetry. It is very easy for children to read because they are very short rhymes.

Question: What is a rhyme? Do you know any Mother Goose nursery rhymes?

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The Snowy Day

Title: The Snowy Day

 

Bibliography: Keats, Ezra. (1962). The Snowy Day. New York: Viking Press.

 

Annotation: Peter wakes up to a winter wonderland outside of his bedroom window, he bundles up in a red snowsuit and heads outside. It is though he is experiencing snow for the first time, footprints, snowball fights, and snow angels. Before going home to take a bath and eat supper, he stores a snowball in his pocket that to his surprise is not there when he wakes up but luckily, the winter wonderland outside remained.

 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

 

Grade Level: K-2

 

Readers who will like this book: This book, although intended for a developing reader, can appeal to people of all ages as it tugs at memories of a first snowfall experience.

 

Personal Response and rating: 5; As a Minnesotan, I always appreciate books that focus on the positive aspects of winter and therefore loved Peter’s exploration of his winter wonderland. It brought me back to my childhood, discovering different ways to make designs in the snow. The colorful

 

Question: What kinds of activities do you like to do in the snow? Have you ever had a snowball fight?

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My Friend Rabbit

Title: My Friend Rabbit

 

Bibliography: Rohmann, E. (2002). My Friend Rabbit. New York: Roaring Books Press.

 

Annotation: Mouse has a dear friend rabbit who means well but his brilliant ideas seem to always get them into trouble. Regardless, the two are inseparable.

 

Genre: Fiction

 

Grade Level: K-2

 

Readers who will like this book: Young readers interested in the ideas of friendship, who also enjoy a good laugh will surely find pleasure in the tale of the mouse and the rabbit.

 

Personal Response and rating: 5; this simple yet moving story of two friends exemplifies the truest form of friendship and unconditional love with a side of comic relief, making it an instant favorite.

 

Question: What does friendship mean to you?

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City 1 2 3

Title: City 1 2 3

 

Bibliography: Milich, Z. (2005). City 1 2 3. China: Kids Can Press.

 

Annotation: This counting book focuses on counting objects, addressing the process of counting up to the number 10, that can be found in a city. Accompanying the city images are the number written in letters as well as identified among a list of the numbers 1-10.

 

Genre: Counting

 

Grade Level: Preprimary

 

Readers who will like this book: As a fun alternative to traditional counting books I have encountered, young learners have a variety of ways to identify a number in a fun and interactive way.

 

Personal Response and rating: 5; as this book combines counting objects and identifying numbers that are represented in multiple forms I think this is a fabulous and effective way for students to learn the process of counting.

 

Question: Where do you see numbers everyday?