The Lion and the Mouse

1. The Lion and the Mouse
2. Pinkney, Jerry (2009). The Lion and the Mouse. Singapore: Hachette Book Group, Inc.
3. This picture book is about a mouse who interrupts a lion sleeping. The lion let the mouse go. Then the lion gets caught in a rope and the mouse chews him free.
4. Picture book, Fable, Animal Fiction
5. Kindergarten- Grade 2
6. Readers who like helping, giving something and getting something in return, or characters with large heart will like this book.
7. 4; The illustrations were beautiful and I liked how it was told without words. This gives children a chance to interpret their own story and learn their own lesson.
8. Has anyone unexpected ever helped you out? Who?


A Ball for Daisy

Raschka, C. (2011). A ball for Daisy. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books.

Daisy has a red rubber ball that she loves. One day, her ball pops and she is very sad.

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Wordless, Picturebook

Grades: Pre-K- 2nd

Audience: Teachers, Parents, Students

I would give this book a three. I really liked the illustrations, however I felt the book lacked in story and character development.

What do you think this book will be about?


Henry’s Freedom Box

Levin, E. (2007). Henry’s freedom box: A true story from the Underground Railroad. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.

Henry, a slave for the majority of his life, endures the realistic yet heart wrenching hardships that come with his quest and fight for freedom.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Grade: K-4th

Readers who will like this book: Children who enjoy learning about U.S. history, children who enjoy stories with moral dilemmas, children learning about slavery.

Response and rating: 5; Although it is fictionalized, Henry’s story serves as a realistic account of a complex structure in history; one of which children need to understand. I loved the author’s note at the end that simply and directly explained the historical context behind the story, and thought the illustrations were important in representing this context.

Question: What is a slave? Did the U.S. ever have a period of slavery?


The House in the Night

Bibliographic information: Swanson, S., & Krommes, B.  (2008). The house in the night. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Short annotation: The novel The House in the Night (Swanson 2008), is about a child getting a key that unlocks the house, and the adventure she/he finds in this novel.

The genre: Fiction, Picture book

Grade Level: Preschool or younger

Readers who will like this book: Preschoolers will love to read this book because it’s a great learning to read book; educators who work with young children will enjoy reading this book out loud or having it in their classroom to help student learn to read; and parents will like this book because it a very calming bedtime story for young children.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 4; I really enjoyed reading this book because the words found in the story were put in color in the illustrations. The one down side to this book is that I found it to be a little jumpy when the author would change ideas or settings in the book because it sometimes made it hard to follow what was happening in the book.

Question: What can you see at nighttime that you can’t see in the daytime?


Knuffle Bunny

1. Knuffle Bunny

2.Willems, M. (2004). Knuffle Bunny. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.

3. This book is about a little girl named Trixie who is not able to talk yet. She goes to the laundry mat with her father and ends up losing her stuffed bunny ” Knuffle Bunny.” Until they finally find the stuffed bunny she acts out with her father trying to get his attention on that she lost her bunny.

4. Cautionary Tale, Picture Book.

5. k-1

6. Readers who have stuffed animals they love and who like photography.

7. Rate:4; the book was pretty funny. The facial expressions showed a lot of emotion and the storyline overall kept my attention throughout the whole book .

8. What is your favorite toy? how would you feel if you lost it?


The Hello, Goodbye Window

Title: The Hello, Goodbye Window

Bibliographic information: Juster, N. (2005). The Hello, Goodbye Window. New York, New York: Hyperion Books for Children

Brief annotation: Nanna and Poppy have a big house with a very special Hello, Goodbye Window.

Genre: Picture

Grade level: K – 2nd

Readers who will like this: Children who visit their grandparents a lot will really enjoy this book.

Rating: 4 – I loved this book. It had very cute illustrations and a great story. It reminded me of visiting my grandparents.

Question: What is your favorite thing to do with your grandparents? Is there anything special about their house?


Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad

Bibliographic Information: Levin, E. (2007). Henry’s freedom box: A true story from the Underground Railroad. New York: Scholastic Press.

Brief Annotation: A fictionalization of the true story of Henry “Box” Brown, an American who mailed himself away from slavery and into freedom.

Genre: Historical fiction

Grade Level: PreK-3

Readers who will like this: Children who like stories about history; children who like stories with brave characters; children with a strong sense of ethics and/or morals.

Rating/Response: 5; It is obvious why this book was a Caldecott Honor Book; the art is beautiful. Henry’s story is inspirational and amazing. The harsh truths of slavery are shown in a way that is both brutally realistic and gentle enough not to overwhelm younger readers. This book would be an excellent introduction to a discussion about slavery. Some children may be upset by the fact that Henry was never reunited with his wife and children, so teachers/readers should be prepared for some difficult questions.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: For this book, I am not sure I would ask an introductory question. I would instead give a brief lesson on our country’s history with slavery, and ask questions after: Do you think Henry was scared? Do you think Henry’s friends got in trouble for helping him to escape? Was it the right thing to do anyway?

Reading Strategy: Strategy Cards (Yopp & Yopp, p. 60-61)

Students are divided into small groups by handing out colored cards. Each color represents a comprehension strategy- making connections, summarizing, visual imaging, etc. The students are read a selected text, and then given an opportunity to discuss in their small groups the ways in which they were able to utilize their reading strategy. Each group then chooses a representative to speak about the strategy to the entire class. The groups stay together for several sessions to give them the opportunity to expand their understanding and use of the comprehension strategy. I think this would be a good choice for Henry’s Freedom Box, as it would give student the opportunity to process some of the more complicated events in the story.


How Full is Your Bucket?

Title: How Full is Your Bucket?

Bibliographic Information: Rath, T. & Reckmeyer, M. (2009). How full is your bucket? New York: Gallup Press.

Annotation: Felix easily gets upset with his younger sister, Anna, when she knocks down all of his blocks. After this incident, their grandpa teaches Felix about everyone’s invisible bucket, Felix works hard to fill his and his peers’ buckets up with water.

Genre: Picturebook/fiction

Grade level: Preschool – 2nd grade

Readers who will like this book: Readers looking for a good message on how treat others equally. It’s a good lesson/book for all readers; this book shows us how to be kind to one another and what the damage can be if we aren’t respectful.

Personal response/rating: I rate this book a 5, because it is such a good lesson on how everyone has feelings and how we don’t want to hurt them. We want to fill our “invisible bucket” up with water (water represents happy feelings), we don’t want to lose water nor do we want anyone else. It is a good reminder for readers to be kind and include everyone.

Question I would ask before the reading: What are some nice things we can do to our friends to help make them feel happy? What makes our friends sad?

Reading Strategy – Grand Conversations: I would use this strategy because it is an important book to reflect back on and discuss with your students. The class would first talk about their reaction to the book and then together discuss how we can fill our buckets up. This is an appropriate strategy for this book, because the students will stay engaged and will help them open up to their classmates.


My Friend Rabbit

Bibliographic information: Rohmann, E. (2002). My Friend Rabbit. Brookfield Connecticut: Roaring book press.

Short Annotation: Rabbit had launched his friend mouse up in an airplane. His friend fell out and the plane got stuck in the tree. Rabbit then took responsibility and gathered all of his friends to get the plane out of the tree for his friend mouse.

Genre: Fantasy.

Grade level: Pre-k through first grade.

Audience: Young children would like this book because it provides a little adventure and a little mystery to see what’s going to happen next.

Response and rating: I would give this book a rating of six because it shows lots of creativity. Some of the pages don’t have words on them, so it can get the readers to think about what the animals are actually thinking. It would be interesting to know what the animals are thinking when rabbit is stacking everyone on top of each other. As a reader, we are able to see the animals expressions, and they don’t look happy but they decide to help out rabbit anyway. The book teaches the lesson of being careful of other people’s possessions and to know what you are doing before you do it.

Question: Have you ever been in a plane before?