What a Scare, Jesse Bear

White Carlstrom, N. (1999). What a scare, Jesse Bear. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.

Jesse Bear has a fabulous time engaging in all things Halloween, including carving pumpkins, picking out his costume, and even trick-or-treating!

Genre: Fiction

Grade: PreK-2nd

Readers who will like this book: Children who celebrate Halloween, children who like to play dress up, children who like rhyming stories with lots of rhythm!

Response and rating: 2; Simply put, I thought this book was too boring for a classroom context. The storyline was very simple and while this may be good for younger children, I had a hard time picturing where this could fit into a diverse classroom context. The book is the epitome of a traditional Halloween book, but one thing that I did like is that the characters are bears rather than human children. I think that I might read this book to my students just for fun, but it is not something that I would structure a large plan around.

Question: What is your favorite thing about Halloween? Why?



The Paper Bag Princess

Bibliography Information: Munsch, R. N., and Michael Martchenko. The paper bag princess / Story, Robert N. Munsch ; art, Michael Martchenko. Toronto: Annick Press, 2009. Print.

Short annotation: This book is about a princess named Elizabeth, and her story of how she saves Prince Ronald from the dragon.

The Genre: Fantasy, Picture book

Grade level: Preschool to First grade

Readers who will like this book: Readers who will like this book are children, parents, and educators looking for a kind of twist on classic princess stories.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 2; I liked how in this story the princess saves the prince from the dragons and that the dragon is not killed. I didn’t like that by the princess being strong, determined and smart the prince didn’t want to be with her because of these qualities.

Question: Do you think that a Princess is still a Princess even without a fancy dress, castle or Prince?


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?


The Butter Battle Book

1. The Butter Battle Book
2. Seuss, Dr. (1984). The Butter Battle Book. New York: Random House.
3. This book is about the competition of butter side up or butter side down on bread. The yooks eat one way and the zooks eat the other way. There is a wall between them ad they both have guards at the wall. A grandfather tells his grandson about how he was a guard. The two guards from each side had a battle of modern slingshots. Then, since no one won, they both had a bomb, to see who dropped it first.
4. Dr. Seuss, Fiction
5. Kindergarten- Grade 2
6. Readers who like Dr. Seuss, silly books, machines, or battles will like this book.
7. 3; This book was very imaginative. I liked that the people in the back room came up with all these different machines to use in battle. Then the other side would have to same thing.
8. Have you ever not liked someone because they did something different from you?


Coming on Home Soon

Woodson, J. (2004). Coming on home soon.New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Ada Ruth’s mother leaves to Chicago seeking work during a time of war. Ada Ruth waits and waits for her mother to return home or to send a letter home to her and her grandmother. After a long period, Ada Ruth and her grandma receive a letter filled with money from Ada Ruth’s mom and a promise that she will soon return home.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Grade: K-3rd

Readers who will like this book: Children who enjoy history, children who are very connected with their mother, children who are waiting patiently for something.

Response and rating: 4; This book provides a look at the life of an African-American child during World War II. Although the story is set some time ago, I think that the text and its message of patience can apply to all students as well as teach them the importance of patience in general. The illustrations in the book are soft and gentle and compliment the book’s message extremely well.

Question: Have you ever had to wait for something that you really wanted? What did it feel like?


The Piggy in The Puddle

Bibliographic information: Pomerantz, C. (1974). The Piggy in The Puddle. Simon & Schuster Books for young readers.

Short Annotation: Piggy was sitting in the middle of the mud pile, refusing to move. Her family kept telling her to get out, but she said nope. What will her family do to get her out of the mud?

Genre: Animal Fantasy

Grade level: Kindergarten through second grade.

Audience: Students would like this book.

Response and Rating: I give this book a rating of 6 because the girl wasn’t listening to her family to get out of the mud. I did like how they incorporated rhyming into the book to help kids with their rhyming skills.

Question: Have you ever played in the mud before?

Reading Strategy: Tompkins book #40: Shared Reading

  • B. Shared reading is a strategy that involves both the students and the teacher. Teachers help students read the books aloud if the student is unable to read it by themselves. During this strategy, teachers encourage the students to make predictions on what they think will happen next. Shared reading is a good strategy because it helps kids with their comprehension skills and helps them focus on the strategy instead of trying to decode the text.
  • C. This is a good strategy for this book because it helps students learn how to rhyme. A lot of words repeat in this story as well and it will help kids learn to recognize the words, so whenever they run across it, they would know what the word is.

Plumply, Dumply, Pumpkin

Bibliographic Information: Serfozo, M. (2001). Plumply, Dumply, Pumpkin. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Singapore: Margaret k. McElderry Books.

Short Annotation: Peter is out to search for the perfect pumpkin. But what will he do with it once he finds it?

Genre: Animal Fantasy.

Grade level: Kindergarten through second grade.

Audience: Students would like this book because it will help them get into the spirit of Halloween and the kinds of things you can do with pumpkins, besides carving them.

Response and Rating: I give this book a rating of eight. This is a really cute book that provides rhyming words and gives examples of the things you can do with pumpkins.

Question: What do you think Peter will do with his pumpkin?


Duck for President

Bibliographic information: Cronin, D. (2004). Duck for President. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney: Simon and Schuster books for young readers.

Short Annotation: Duck is tired of doing chores on the farm and began to protest. He ended up running for different positions, like being in charge of the farm and even Governor. He even ran for President and won the election. Duck must face the decision of staying president or being a regular duck.

Genre: Animal Fantasy

Grade Level: First through third grade.

Audience: Students would enjoy this book because it shows that they can be anything they want to.

Rating and Response: I give this book a rating of eight because it showed children that they can be anything that they set their minds to.

Question: Do you think the Duck would become President?

Reading Strategy: Tompkins book # 13: Exclusion Brainstorming

  • B. Exclusion Brainstorming can help students discuss with their class and their teachers what they know about a specific topic and narrow it down, so students are able to understand it better.
  • C. This strategy will help kids understand what kind of career’s there are in the world. They will be able to understand what is involved in these career’s and what they would have to do.

Magical Tales from Many Lands

Title: Magical Tales from Many Lands

Bibliographic information: Mayo, M. (1993). Magical Tales from Many Lands. New York: Dutton Children’s Books

Brief annotation: This book contains folktales from all around the world. All of the stories involve magic, mystery, or mischief.

Genre: Folktale collection

Grade level: 3rd – 5th grade

Readers who will like this: Children who like folktales will really like this book. It is also good for children who like learning about other cultures. This book would also be helpful for a class learning about folktales or mythology.

Rating: 4 – I really enjoyed these stories and i thought that this book would be a great way to introduce folktales into a classroom.

Question: What is a Folktale? Can you share a folktale that you have heard?

Reading Strategy: For this i chose the strategy of reader’s theater because I think that if children can act out the stories they might get a better understanding and enjoy reading the folktales more.