Always Room for One More

Title: Always Room for One More

Bibliographic information: Leodhas, s. (1965). Always Room for One More. New York: Henry Holt and Company

Brief annotation: This is a Scottish folktale about Lachie MacLachlan, a man who, despite having a family of twelve, always has room for one more weary traveler to stay the night.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Grade: 1st – 3rd

Readers who will like this: Readers who enjoy folktales and enjoy reading books from other cultures will enjoy this book.

Rating: 4 – I really enjoyed this story. I think it shows that no matter how little you have, you always have enough to help someone. And not necessarily with tangible things.

Questions: What are some things you would do to make a guest feel welcome in your home?

Caldecott Award: The Medal is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published by an American publisher in the United States in English during the preceding year. There are no limitations as to the character of the picture book except that the illustrations be original work. Honor books may be named. These shall be books that are also truly distinguished.The award is restricted to artists who are citizens or residents of the United States.  Books published in a U.S. territory or U.S. commonwealth are eligible.The committee in its deliberations is to consider only books eligible for the award, as specified in the terms.


When Marian Sang

Ryan, P. M., & Selznick, B. (2002). When Marian sang: the true recital of Marian Anderson : the voice of a century. New York: Scholastic Press.

Marian had loved to sing her entire life. Unfortunately, she never had the same privileges as some because of the color of her skin. Marian became a world-class singer, however she still couldn’t sing at many theaters in the United States because of her color. Finally, she sang in Washington D.C. and she sang and sang.

Genre: Picturebook, Biography

Grades: 5th-6th

Audience: Students, Teachers, Parents

I would give this book a three. Though the pictures were magical and the story true, something about this book bothered me. I think it was the fact that Marian seemed to be martyred, which I tend to dislike.



Martin de Porres: A Rose in the Desert

Schmidt, G. (2012). Martin de porres: A rose in the desert. New York, NY: Clarion Books.

This story tells the upcoming of a hispanic-african poor boy who begins doing amazing things as part of the church, and eventually reaches sainthood!

Genre: Historical Fiction

Grade level: 2nd-4th

Readers who would like this book: Children who have some religious background, children who enjoy historical fiction based on true stories, children who enjoy vibrant illustrations.

Rating and response: 4; I really enjoyed this book. I had never heard the story of Saint Martin de Porres (the first African saint in the Americas) before, and I realized how important a story it is to tell. The illustrations in this text match very well with the story and overall, it provides a clear, easily understandable story for children! I think the illustration in this text was also very successful in helping with this, and conveyed a clear picture of “mood” for children.

Question: What is a saint?

Award Winner: Pura Belpre Award for Illustration

This book was awarded the Pura Belpre Award for an outstanding Latino illustrator who celebrates the authentic Latino culture through illustration in a piece. Specific criteria for “outstanding illustration” are listed below.

  • Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed
  • Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept
  • Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept
  • Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting mood or information through the pictures
  • Positive and authentic portrayal of Latino culture
  • Excellence of presentation for a child audience


First the Egg

Vaccaro Seger, L. (2007). First the egg. New York, NY: Roaring Brook Press.

Genre:  Concept Book

Grade level:PreK-2nd

Reader’s who would like this: Children who enjoy science, children who enjoy vibrant yet simple illustration, children who enjoy nontraditional concept books

Rating and Response: 5; I love this book! At first when I read it, I had a hard time classifying the genre because it is so unique. Upon realizing that it was a concept book, I fell in love with it even more. The simple die cut illustrations in this book pair perfectly with the concept of “transformation,” and the clever ending will sure to be one that makes children want to reread this text! I love it and this will definitely be going on my shelves shortly!

Question: What does it mean to transform? To change?

Award Winner:Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

Named after the infamous Dr. Seuss, this award is given yearly to the most distinguished American book for beginning readers. This status is based on a demonstration of creativity, imagination, and excellence in literary and artistic achievements.



If I Built a Car

Bibliographic Information: Van, D. C. (2007). If I built a car. New York, NY: Puffin Books.

Brief Annotation: While on a car ride with his father, a boy describes the fantastic care, with some extraordinary features, that he plans to design. Winner of the 2008 E. B. White Read Aloud Award.

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Grade Level: PreK-4th

Readers who will like this: Readers who like cars; readers who enjoy humorous rhymes and stories; readers who enjoy design.

Rating/Response: 4; Overall, this was a strong book. I had the opportunity to read this book aloud to my fieldwork classroom of 2nd graders, and it was a hit. The students particularly enjoyed the description of the snack bar that the narrator plans to have installed in his car. The book held the class’ attention, and was easy to read aloud. It contains some nonsense words, which is sometimes of concern for early readers who are still learning to decode actual words. However, the some students (including many of those in my fieldwork classroom) enjoy hearing the imaginary words in the text. The largest objection I have to the book is the lack of female characters. Even the dog belonging to the narrator and his father appears to be male. The women in the illustrations are relegated to stereotypically feminine roles, which I find unacceptable for a book written in 2007.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: In this story, the narrator imagines all of the things he would put in a car of his own design. If you were going to design a car, what are some things you might like to put in it?



This book was given a Caldecott Honor in 2000.

Bibliographic Information:  Falconer, I. (2000). Olivia. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Short Annotation: This is the story of a pig named Olivia, who can do a lot of amazing things.

The Genre:  Talking animal fiction, Picture book

Readers who will like this book: A few readers who would enjoy reading this book are children, parents and educators.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a rating of 5; I loved all of the illustrations and the story line.  I also fell in love with the character Olivia.

Questions: What is something that you are good at?




Seeger, L. (2012) Green. New York, New York: Roaring Brook Press.

Book full of wonderful illustrations and rhymes describing the different shades of green.


2013 Caldecott Honor Book


Children who’s favorite color is green; Children learning their colors.

Rate: 4; Very good beginning book for children learning their colors or for someone just wanting to know the different shades of green.

Question: What are some shades of green you already know?