Title: Pink and Say

Bibliographic Information: Polacco, P. (1994). Pink and say. New York: Philomel Books.

Annotation: Say tries to escape his unit, but ends up getting wounded and is rescued by his good friend Pink. Pink carries him back to home in Georgia where he and his family were slaves. After Say is treated, Pink is very adamant on returning to the war. Both boys fight against slavery, unfortunately Pink does not survive but Say survives and shares the remarkable story about Pink.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Grade level: 4th – 6th Grade

Readers who will like this book: Readers who love true stories about heroes from our past will really enjoy this story. Also readers who have a passion for history will appreciate the story about Pink and Say.

Personal response/rating: I rate this book a 5, because it is based off of a true story and gives the reader a good insight of what life was like during the Civil War. This book is fairly lengthy, but is very entertaining, descriptive, and provides good illustrations throughout the book.

Question I would ask before the reading: What do you know about the Civil War?


Emma Kate

1. Emma Kate
2. Polocco, Patricia (2005). Emma Kate. New York: Philomel Book.
3. Emma Kate and her best friend are inseparable. They do everything together, such as walk to school, sit by each other at lunch, ride bikes, play at recess, do homework, sleep over, read and take walks.
4. Realistic Animal Fiction
5. Kindergarten- Grade 2
6. Readers who like friends or imaginary friends will like this book.
7. 4; This was a beautifully illustrated. I loved the story especially the surprise at the end. I think that would really make children very happy at the end.
8. Do you have a best friend?
Reading Strategy: I think that story retelling would a good strategy with this book. It would help to access whether they understood the ending or not.


Thunder Cake

Title: Thunder Cake

Bibliographic information: Polacco, P. (1990) Thunder Cake. New York: Philomel Books

Brief annotation: This book is about a little girl and her Babushka. When a storm roles in and the little girl gets scared, Babushka decides to make a thunder cake to help her through the storm.

Genre: Picture book

Grade level: Pre-k -1st grade

Readers who will like this: Children will like this book if they are afraid of thunder. It can help them get over their fear.

Rating: 4 – I really enjoyed this book because I have always been afraid of thunder and it gave me a new idea about thunder storms. I think that this is a great book for children to get passed their fear.

Question: Are you afraid of storms? What do you do when there is a storm that scares you?

Reading Strategy: I chose story retelling because I think it would be a very good strategy for this book. The book has a sequence to it so retelling the story will help children learn the steps that go into doing something.


Oh, Look!

Polacco, P. (2004). Oh, look! New York, NY: Philomel Books.

Oh, Look! tells the tale of three goats who, one day, find their pen unlocked and decide to go for an adventure. Although they encounter many fun things along the way, the end up coming across something sends them running all the way back home!

Genre: Children’s picturebook/Animal Fantasy

Grade: K-3rd

Readers who will like this book: Readers who enjoy animals as main characters, children who enjoy going on adventures, children who like to verbally interact with books.

Response and rating: 4; This book is simple, yet elegantly written and able to transform across several age levels. I liked that the text stuck with the same formatting on each page, and I think that this stylistic choice would help welcome kids to participate and interact by making the noises written out in the book.

Question: Have you even gone on an adventure? Where did you go and what happened?


Thank you, Mr. Falker

Bibliographic information: Polacco, P. (1998). Thank you, Mr. Falker. New York: Philomel Books.

Short annotation: Thank you, Mr. Falker is a story about a girl named Trisha, who at first loved school, but as time went on she started to dislike school because she became the victim of bullying due to the fact she had a hard time reading.

The genre: Realistic fiction, Picture book

Grade level:  Preschool to Second grade

Readers who will like this book: Children of all ages, parents trying to show their child that bullying is not okay and that teacher will help students when they are struggling, educators talking about learning differences and bullying.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I loved every aspect of this book because it talked about teachers going above and beyond to help students, students being able to struggle but still succeed and that bullies do get in trouble. I also really enjoyed looking at all the detail put into the images.

Question: Have you ever had a teacher who went above and beyond what was required to help you understand a subject that you were struggling with?


The Bee Tree

1. The Bee Tree

2. Polocco, P. (1998). The Bee Tree. New York, Ny: The Putnam and Grosset Group.

3.  this book is about a young girl Mary Ellen who is very bored with just reading. She tells her grandpa who decides to take her on a hunt for bees.

4. Fiction

5. 1-4

6. Readers who like nature and bees, and spending time with their grandpa

7. Rate: 3; The book was interesting showed the value of family and the artwork was very detailed.

8. Who likes bee’s? What do you like about them?


Oh, Look!

Bibliographic Information: Polacco, P. (2004). Oh, look! New York: Philomel Books.

Brief Annotation: Three goats escape from their farm and have an adventure as a growing number of people chase them in order to bring them home.

Genre: Contemporary realistic fiction.

Grade Level: PreK-3

Readers who will like this: Readers who like “Going on a Bear Hunt;” readers who like “The Gingerbread Man;” readers who like sound effects; readers who like farm animal stories.

Rating/Response: 4; This book is largely a mash-up of several other familiar stories, from “The Gingerbread Man” to “Three Billy Goats Gruff.” In combining elements of familiar stories into a new story, Polacco creates a book that children can instantly connect with and yet be surprised by. This book would be an excellent way to incorporate movement into literacy time. The only problem I had with this book is that it strays from prepositions in the goats’ activities (as opposed to “Going on a Bear Hunt”).

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Do you have any pets? Have they ever escaped? What did you do?


I Can Hear the Sun

Polacco, P. (1996). I can hear the sun: a modern myth. New York: Philomel Books.

Stephanie Michele works at a park in California with geese. One day she meets a boy named Fondo who she and the other regulars at the park fall in love with. He says the geese talk to him and that he can hear the sun. Stephanie Michele finds out Fondo lives in a home for unwanted children and tries to help him when something unbelievable happens.

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Fantasy, Picturebook

Grades: 3rd-5th

Audience: Teachers, Parents, Students

I would give this book a three. I loved the illistrations and I loved the story. However, I think this book would be really hard to explain to children and to read to children. I believe that it could be done, just that it would have some hard subjects to talk about.

What do you believe this book will be about based on the cover?


The Butterfly

Bibliographic information: Polacco, P. (2000). The Butterfly. New York: Philomel books.

Short annotation: This book takes place during the holocaust and talks about the capturing of Jews. Monique and her mom were holding Jews in the basement of their house. Monique did not know about this at first but soon found out about it as she seen the little girl in her room. Monique and her mom has to be able to protect the little girl and her family from being captured by the Nazi soldiers.

Genre: Historical fiction.

Grade level: Second through the fifth grade.

Audience: Students and teachers would enjoy this book because it explains what happened during the holocaust and how people felt during this time.

Response and Rating: I give this book a rating of nine because it explains what happened when the holocaust was happening. It explains how Jews had to hide from the Nazis for their own safety and to prevent from being captured. Most were able to succeed in hiding, but many Jews got captured.

Question: What do you know about the holocaust?


Emma Kate

Title: Emma Kate

Bibliography: Polacco, P. (2005). Emma Kate. New York: Puffin Books.

Short Annotation: Emma Kate has an imaginary best friend who she does everything with. They walk to school together, read books together, and even get their tonsils removed together! The friendship takes an unexpectedly hilarious turn towards the end.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this book: Children who have or have had an imaginary friend, children who are very imaginative, children who like “silly” stories.

Personal response and rating: I thought this book was a very sweet and easy read. It would be a good one to have in a younger classroom. I really admired the silliness and lighthearted storyline. Rating: 4

Question: Has anyone ever had an imaginary friend? What would you do together?