Willems, M., Willems, C., Willems, T., Brien, S., Huff, S., & Reynolds, R. (2009).Knuffle Bunny too a case of mistaken identity. Norwalk, CT: Weston Woods.
Trixie takes her favorite toy to show all her friends at pre-school. However, when she finds out another girl in her class has a Knuffle Bunny, too, the situation gets more interesting.
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Picturebook
Grades: Pre-K- 3rd
Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students
I would give this book a five. The photography is wonderful and the drawings are interesting and funny. The message of the story is a great.
Do you have a favorite toy?
Bibliographic Information: Willems, M. (2006). Edwina, the dinosaur who didn’t know she was extinct. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.
Brief Annotation: Edwina is everyone in town’s favorite dinosaur- except for Reginald, who goes on a crusade to prove that dinosaurs (including Edwina) are extinct.
Grade Level: PreK-2
Readers who will like this: Readers who like stories about dinosaurs; readers who like funny stories; readers who get frustrated when things aren’t done the “right” way.
Rating/Response: 5; Willems’ books are always engaging. While Edwina is the title character of the story, Reginald is the driving force behind the plot. He begins as a caricature of a know-it-all, but as his frustration grows, so does his humanity and the reader’s ability to relate to him. The conclusion of the story is an excellent two-fold message. First, Willems acknowledges the legitimacy of people’s desire to be heard and validated; then, he encourages people to be happy and confident in themselves, even when other people point out their flaws. Finally, Willems conveys these messages through fun and funny storytelling and his signature illustrations that will engage and delight readers.
One question you would ask before a read aloud: When we say an animal is extinct, what do we mean? Can you think of any animals that are extinct?
Bibliographic information: Willems, M. (2007). There is a bird on your head!. New York: Hyperion.
Short annotation: In this book Gerald the elephant finds himself having a family of birds living on his head and the adventures he has trying to get them off.
The genre: Realistic fiction, Picture book
Grade level: Kindgraden to Second grade
Readers who will like this book: Some of the people that would enjoy this book would be students, educators and parents because this book teaches about the importance of asking nicely and the importance of being polite. It’s also just a fun book to read and enjoy.
Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I really enjoyed the characters Gerald the elephant and Piggy the pig in this book because of the personality that was brought to the book. I also like that this is a great book to hand to children that are first learning to read, knowing that they will most likely be able to understand the story.
Question: What does it mean to be polite, and why is being polite important?
Title: City Dog, Country Frog
Bibliographic information: Willems, M. (2010). City Dog, Country Frog. New York, New York: Hyperion Books for Children
Brief annotation: City Dog runs as far as he can and finds Country Frog. They become friends and teach each other new games. When winter comes, City dog can’t find Country frog. In the spring, he makes a new friend again.
Genre: Picture book
Grade level: K – 2
Readers who will like this: Children who are new and are trying to make new friends will like this book.
Rating: 4 – This book has great illustrations and a great story about friendship.
Question:What is your favorite game to play with your friends?
Title: The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!
Bibliographic Information: Willems, M. (2008). The pigeon wants a puppy! New York: Hyperion Books.
Annotation: This book is about two pigeons who can easily get annoyed with one another. One begs and begs for a puppy, until it hears a puppy bark. The pigeon changes its mind once it sees how large the puppy is, and then the other pigeon asks for a walrus.
Grade level: Preschool-1st grade
Readers who will like this book: Young readers who enjoy reading entertaining and funny stories.
Personal response/rating: I rate this book a five because it is such a good read for young readers. The pictures and the story line are excellent. It keeps the reader entertained, the pigeon’s comments are funny, and we all have those days where we really want something, but change our mind.
Question I would ask before the reading: Have you ever wanted something so badly until you saw it in real life?
Title: Elephants Cannot Dance!
Bibliography: Willems, Mo. (2009). Elephants Cannot Dance. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children.
Short Annotation: Gerald the elephant cannot learn dance moves no matter how hard he tries. Although he wants to be like everyone who can dance, he learns that others wanted to learn how to be more like him!
Grade Level: K-1
Readers who will like this book: Children who are not feeling confident about trying something new.
Personal response and rating: The book was an easy read yet still conveyed a good message. Rating: 3
Question: Has anyone ever gotten angry or sad when they couldn’t figure out how to do something?
Willems, M. (2012). The duckling gets a cookie!?. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children.
Pigeon is extremely frustrated with the fact that duckling gets a cookie just by asking for it politely when pigeon asks for things constantly and never gets them! In the end pigeon gets what he wants, but duckling gets something even better.
Genre: Children’s picturebook
Grade level: K-2nd
Readers who would like this book: Children who enjoy comics, children who enjoy books involving ethical dilemmas, children who like books with humor.
Response and Rating: 5; The Ducking Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems is a skillfully crafted, humorous book with a great message. I love that the text of this book is all conveyed through character speech, and that Willems emphasized character emotion through size of text and illustration. I think this is a great book to read to kids and can teach them a valuable lesson about patience, manners, and kindness.
Question: Why is it important to have good manners, especially when interacting with others?