It’s Okay To Be Different

Bibliography Information: Parr, T. (2001). It’s okay to be different. Boston: Little, Brown.

Short annotation: This book talks about all the things that make people different from one another.

The Genre: Fiction, Picture book

Grade level: Preschool to First grade

Readers who will like this book: Parents and teachers who want to address the concept that all people are different and that it is okay to be different.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I loved that this book talked about the common things that children are picked on for.

Question: What does it mean to be different?


Math Curse

Bibliography Information: Scieszka, J., & Smith, L. (1995). Math curse. New York, N.Y.: Viking.

Short annotation: Math Curse is about student who takes Mrs. Fibonacci’s saying of “you can think of almost everything as a math problem” a little too literally and all the fun and craziness that happens when he does.

The Genre: Picture book, Mathematics, Children’s literature

Grade level: Preschool to Third Grade

Readers who will like this book: A few readers who will enjoy reading this book are students who enjoy math; parents who want their children to read about different subjects; teachers wanting to teach students that books cover a variety of topics and also those wanting to introduce a math topic to their students.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I loved this book because it talks about a variety of different mathematical equations and topics. I also loved all the images and that the storyline was very clear.

Question: Has there even been a time that you have used math in your everyday life, when and how?


The Ballad of Wilbur and the Moose

Stadler, J. (1989). The ballad of Wilbur and the moose. New York: Warner Juvenile Books.

Wilbur wants to start a pig farm out West. On his journey he meets a big blue moose ex-boxer named Alvin and with Alvin’s help collects pigs for his pig farm.

Genre: Fable, Fantasy, Picture Book

Grades: 4th-6th

Audience: Students, Parents, Teachers

I would give this book a three. Even though I believe this book is written for older readers, I believe that it is still very violent. It also depicts a cross-dressing pig.

What other stories do you know that involve giant blue animals?


Rechenka’s Eggs

Title: Rechenka’s Eggs

Bibliographic information: Polacco, P. (1988). Rechenka’s Eggs. New York: Philomel Books

Brief annotation: This is a story of her babushka that would paint eggs and always win prizes for their beauty. Babushka takes in an injured goose. When it is strong enough to fly, it tries in the house and breaks the eggs. This is when babushka discovers that the goose lays beautifully colored eggs.

Genre: Realistic picture book

Grade level: 3rd or 4th grade

Who will like this: This book would be good for a class to read around Easter.

Rating: 3 – I liked this book. I thought it was a good story and children would really like it.

Question: Have you ever put a lot of work into something and someone broke it? How did the situation turn out?


Fall Mixed Up

Raczka, B. (2011). Fall mixed up. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.

The fall season is explored through various silly “mistakes” surrounding its characteristics, Children must attempt to figure out all of the misrepresentations of fall and change them to the truth!

Genre: Concept picturebook

Grade: 1st-4th

Readers who will like this book: Children whose favorite season is fall, children who enjoy silly stories, children who like solving problems.

Response and rating: 5, I think this book provides a great way to engage children in learning about the fall season! In comparing it to other concept books that I have read, I love that it presents an opportunity to actively engage students in the thinking process, rather than simply just presenting the material to them. The illustrations in the book are very whimsical and I love that each illustration spans across a two page spread. Although the book is meant to be silly, I think that the author did a great job of providing textual clues and prompts for students about the corrections to make for his silly mistakes.

Question: Picture a fall day in your head. What are some of the things that you see? What are some things that you think about when you think of the fall season?

Reading Strategy: Book Boxes (Tompkins pgs.12-14)

Creating book boxes with students is a great way to develop and further student comprehension around a content area. This strategy begins with allowing students to decorate some form of box with the book title and any drawings/pictures they choose. Next, students bring in or find objects to place in the book box that relate to the concepts in the story. In this case, students would bring in objects that represent fall to place in their boxes. Ideally, a copy of the book would be placed in the box as well.

This strategy is an appropriate approach for this book because it allows students to express the ideas in the book visually, which can help them further their comprehension of the ideas expressed in the book. It would also be a great part of a themed unit on fall because students could put other fall books, objects, poems, etc. in their box to create an entire collection of material!





Telgemeier, R. (2010). Smile. New York: Graphix.

A lot happens to Raina at once. She loses her two front teeth, and then there is middle school, dating and her friends. Growing up is hard enough, but putting oral surgery on top of that makes everything a lot harder.

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Graphic Novel

Grades: 5th-7th

Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students

I would give this book a five. I loved the illustrations and enjoyed the story. The characters make sarcastic quips and the story makes the main character’s life seem real.

Have you ever lost a tooth? What do you do with it? What do you think happens when a grown up loses their teeth?


If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War

Moore, K., & Matsick, A. (1994). –if you lived at the time of the Civil War. New York: Scholastic Inc..

This book teaches you history as well as letting you know where you would be during the civil war. You will learn about important battles and also if children still had to go to school.

Genre: Concept Book, Picturebook

Grades: 2nd- 6th grade

Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students, Other Caretakers

I would give this book a four. Though I wish it had more illustrations, the information relayed in this book is true and very thorough, still staying age appropriate.

What do you know about the Civil War?


Lemonade Club

Title: Lemonade club

Bibliographic information: Polacco, P. (2007). Lemonade Club. New York: The Penguin Group

Brief annotation: A young girl finds out she has cancer but with the help of her best friend and their teacher, she has faith that she will be fine.

Genre: Realistic picture book

Grade level: 5th grade

Who will like this: Readers that have cancer or family/friends with cancer. This would be a good book for a teacher who has cancer to use to address the topic to younger students.

Rating: 4 – I thought that this was a very good book. It was very sad but very well written. I know many people that had/have cancer and would have liked this book when I was younger but it also resonated with me today.

Question: Do you know anyone who has/had cancer? How did you/they feel when they found out about it?


Is Your Mama a Llama?

Guarino, D., & Madigan, A. (20061989).Is your mama a llama?. New York: Scholastic Audio.

Little Llama wants to know what animal each of his friends mothers are. He goes on an adventure to find out.

Genre: Informational Text, Audio book

Grades: Pre-K through 1st Grade

Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students, Other Caregivers

I would give this audio book a three.. Though I liked the story, I felt the pace at which it was read and the voice of the narrator irritated me.

Describe your mom. What is she like?


My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother

Title: My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother

Bibliographic information: Polacco, P. (1994). My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother. New York: Simon and Schuster books for young Children

Brief annotation: This is a story about her relationship with her brother, Rich. They don’t always get along but in the end they realize that they are family and will always love each other.

Genre: Realistic picture book

Grade level: 3rd or 4th grade

Who will like this: Readers who have older sibling will like this book (especially redheaded siblings)

Rating: 4 – I really enjoyed this book because I have an older redheaded brother and it reminded me a lot of our relationship. We don’t always get along but he will always be my older brother and he will  always protect me.

Question: Do you have an older sibling? How do you feel your relationship is with them? Do they ever do anything to make you really mad?