Title: A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln
Bibliographic information: Adler, D. (1989). A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Holiday House
Brief annotation: This book is a biography of Abraham Lincoln. It follows his life from childhood, through his presidency, to his assassination.
Grade: Kindergarten – 3rd
Readers who will like this: Readers who are interested in the presidents will like this book. This series would also be good for a unit on the presidents.
Rating: 4 – I really enjoyed that this book. I loved that it had factual information in a concise, easy-to-understand way. Also, being that this is an audio book, students can start out by reading along with the recording and work up to reading alone. This is a good option for a developing reader.
Questions: Who was Abraham Lincoln?
Learning strategy: I chose the collaborative books activity. Students, in small groups, will choose a president and write their own book like this one.
Title: The Chocolate Touch
Bibliography: Skene, P. (2006). The Chocolate Touch. New York: HarperCollins.
Short Annotation: John Midas LOVES chocolate more than anything. His greed turns into him gaining a chocolate touch, meaning everything he touches turns to chocolate!! He soon learns that this is not something he wants after all.
Grade Level: 2-4
Readers who will like this book: Children who enjoy silly stories, children who are possibly too greedy
Personal response and rating: Listening to a book on tape was such a new thing for me and I think it was great, especially if as a teacher you are really wrapped up in getting a task done but need to keep students occupied. The story was very entertaining too. Rating: 4
Question: If you could wish for an endless amount of something, what would you wish for? Do you think there could be consequences to the wish?
D’Souza, N. (n.d.) Windswept. Retrieved from: http://lightupyourbrain.com/stories/audio-story-windswept/
This story is about a beautiful Copperpod tree who is envied by all. When the wind begins to blow, the Copperpod tree demands that it stop blowing its leaves off! It does, but in the end the Copperpod tree realizes he needs the wind after all!
Grade level: PreK-3rd
Readers who would like this: Children who enjoy audiobooks, children who enjoy stories with strong morals, children who enjoy stories with fantastical elements.
Rating and response: 3; I thought this audiobook was good, however the read was a bit boring to me. The storyline was quite simple and I feel like there are better children’s books that depict the selfish-turned-appreciative character. The thing that I did like about the book is that it had a pretty clear-cut moral for young students. Overall, it was a bit lackluster to me.
Question: What is the value of appearance?
Reading Strategy: Picture Carousels
For picture carousels, the teacher selects images that are related to the literature and posts them around the room for students to explore. The students try to figure out a common theme within the pictures. A modification of this activity for older children could be to make inferences about the pictures posted.
This strategy would work well for this book due to the lack of images present with the literature. Placing pictures around the classroom would give students concrete examples of the moral depicted in the story.
Bibliographic Information: Snicket, L., Ellis, C., & Stookey, N. (2009). The composer is dead. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Brief Annotation: The Composer is Dead is an introduction to the sections of an orchestra as told through a murder mystery. The Inspector attempts to solve the case by interviewing the various sections of the orchestra. The book ends with the inspector realizing that many composers are dead, but we keep them “alive” by playing their music. The paper copy of the book includes an audio cd that features the story being read aloud with an original score composed by Nathaniel Stookey to support the text.
Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Grade Level: K-12
Readers who will like this: Readers who enjoy mysteries; readers who enjoy classical music; readers who are curious about the orchestra.
Rating/Response: 4.5; I love this book, and I love that the author and composer collaborated to create this new take on introducing the orchestra through a story (as has previously been done with Peter and the Wolf, among others). As with much of Snicket’s collected bibliography, the story has a bit of a morbid twist, as well as clever wordplay (“This is called composing. […] This is called decomposing.”).
One question you would ask before a read aloud: There are many different kinds of music, like jazz and hip hop. What other kinds of music can you think of?
Title: The Whale who Ate Everything
Bibliographic Information: Devoe, D (2012) The whale who ate everything. Canada: EH Plus Publishing.
Annotation: A very hungry blue whales eats everything he can find in the sea. The more he eats, the bigger he gets, and then all of a sudden the whale attempts to eat a boat.
Genre: Children’s Fiction Picturebook
Grade level: Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
Readers who will like this book: Readers who like fun books about whales will enjoy this book.
Personal response/rating: I rate this book a 5, because it is a cute book with fun illustrations. The captions from the other animals were fun to read too.
Question I would ask before the reading: Do you know what whales eat?
The Whale Who Ate Everything
Devoe, D (2012) The Whale Who Ate Everything. Canada: EH Plus Publishing
A blue whale is really hungry so he begins to eat random things he finds in the sea. As he eats he gets bigger and bigger, until one day the whale tries to eat a boat.
Readers who like books about fish;Readers who like whales
Rate:4; The book was adorable to me the illustrations were cute and I really enjoyed the captions from the other animals.
Question: What do you think is going to happen to the whale after he ate everything?
Bibliographic Information: Greene, S. (2005). Moose Crossing. Grand Haven, Michigan: Brilliance Audio
Short Annotation: One day a sign was displayed outside of Mooses habitat, and it said Moose Crossing. He got really excited and kept a close eye on it. Then people started to recognize him more and he did not like that. He wanted to get rid of the tourists and back to his own lifestyle.
Grade Level: Kindergarten through first grade.
Audience: Students would like this book.
Personal rating and response: I give this book a rating of six. I liked how this book showed how moose was proud to have his own sign but once more and more people came around to watch him, he got tired of it. He was able to figure out a way to get rid of the tourists to get back to his lifestyle.
Question: Have you ever seen a moose before?