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The Polar Express

This book was received The Caldecott Medal in 1985.

Bibliographic: Allsburg, C. (1985). The Polar Express. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co..

Short Annotation: This is a story of a boy, who goes on a magical train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve.  

The Genre: Fiction, Picture book

Readers who will like this book: Readers of all ages will enjoy reading this book.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I loved how this story was heart warming and shows children and adults that you can never be to old to believe in Santa Claus. I also fell in love with the illustrations.

Question: Where would you go, if you had a magical train that could take you anywhere you wished to go?

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Olivia

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?

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Paul Bunyan

Bibliographic Information: Krensky, S., & Orback, C. (2007). Paul Bunyan. Minneapolis, Minn.: Millbrook Press.

Short annotation: This novel is the story of a fictional man named Paul Bunyan, who grew to be giant man, and whose life and activates with his blue ox named “Babe” became legendary.

The Genre: Fable, Picture Book

Grade level: First grade to Third grade

Readers who will like this book: A few readers who will enjoy this book are children and parents who enjoy reading fables, and educators wanting to expose students to different genres.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I liked how this book covered all of the fables of Paul Bunyan and that all of the pictures really brought  the story to life.

Question: What is the difference between folktales and fables?

Reading strategies connection: A reading strategy that would be great for the fable of Paul Bunyan is a graphic organizer activity (Yopp, R., & Yopp, H., 2010). A graphic organizer includes the teacher or students making some form of story map (Yopp, R., & Yopp, H., 2010). A story map includes the major events that took place within a story but more additional items can be added like the setting, characters, etc. (Yopp, R., & Yopp, H., 2010). This activity will help students to devlope their comprehension, sequencing of events and recalling of important details (Yopp, R., & Yopp, H., 2010).  This activity would be perfect for the fable of Paul Bunyan because in the story Paul there is a clear beginning, middle and end to the story. Also this novel would allow teachers the ability to differentiate for student because the teacher could have some students focus on the sequence of event, while other students look at setting, characters, problem and solution. These are just a few reasons, why this would be a great activity to do with the fable of Paul Bunyan.

 

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The Whole World’s Crazy: Amelia Rules

Bibliographic Information: Gownley, J. (2006). The whole world’s crazy: Amelia rules!. New York: Atheneum Books.

Short annotation: This is the story of Amelia, who is going through some big life changes. A few of these changes are her parents separating, her finding out about poverty, and what it means to be a good friend.

The Genre: Graphic

Grade level: Second grade to Fourth grade

Readers who will like this book:  Readers who will like this book are students who enjoy reading graphic novels, parents who want their children to learn about what it means to be a good friend, and educators wanting to expose students to different forms of literature.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 4.5; I loved the topic and issues that this book talked about and the details in the images that supported this storyline. The only thing that I didn’t like about this book was that at times it was to tell what you should be read.

Question: What is a graphic novel?

Reading strategies connection: A great place to look for reading strategies is Literture- Based Reading Activities by Ruth Yopp and Hallie Yopp (2010). In this book there is a character map activity (Yopp R., & Yopp, H., 2010). This activity involves a teacher or students pick two characters that were found in the reading and comparing them (Yopp R., & Yopp, H., 2010). The characters can be compared on feelings, personality or on their relationship (Yopp R., & Yopp, H., 2010).  To do this activity the students will need paper and a writing utensil. The student should make two boxes, one for each character (Yopp R., & Yopp, H., 2010).  The two boxes should be a part, so that the students can draw arrows between the two boxes (Yopp R., & Yopp, H., 2010). The arrow should as a few words or a short phrase to tell how one of the characters feels about the other (Yopp R., & Yopp, H., 2010). This activity will help students to developed their sense of a character, this is important because students need to be able to have a sense of character to be able to connect to literature (Yopp, R. & Yopp, H., 2010) This would be a wonderful activity to do with the graphic novel Amelia Rules. This is because in the novel there are many different characters that have a wide range of personality and feelings. For example Amelia and Rhonda are friends that don’t always get a long, but there is a major event that brings them closer. This is just one example of why a character map would be great for the novel Amelia Rules.   

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The Dark

Bibliographic Information: Snicket, L., & Klassen, J. (2013). The dark. New York: Little, Brown.

Short annotation:  This is the story of a boy named Laszlo who is afraid of the dark. One day when the light went out, the dark helps Laszlo to find the light again.

The Genre:  Fiction, Picture Book

Grade level: Preschool to First grade

Readers who will like this book: Readers who will enjoy this book are children who are afraid of the dark. It would also appeal to parents wanting to help their children get over the fear of the dark and educators wanting to talk to students about emotions and fears.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I enjoyed how the pictures really made the storyline come to life. I also loved that this book talked about a common fear that children have.

Question: Have you ever been afraid of something?

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The Eleventh Hour: A Curios Mystery

Bibliographic Information: Base, G. (1997). The eleventh hour: a curious mystery. New York: Puffin Books.

Short annotation: This is the story of Horace the elephant’s eleventh birthday party and the mystery that happened at his birthday party.

The Genre: Mystery, Picture book

Grade level: Third grade to Fourth grade

Readers who will like this book: A few readers who will enjoy reading this book are children who enjoy reading mystery books, and parents who are looking for a bedtime story.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 2; The story line was confusing and the mystery was hard to solve. I did enjoy all the details that were put into the images in the book.

Question: What does the word “mystery” mean?

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I Wished for You: An Adoption Story

Bibliographic Information: Richmond, M. R. (2008). I wished for you: an adoption story. Minneapolis, Minn.: Marianne Richmond Studios.

Short annotation: I Wished for You: An Adoption Story, is a story of a mother bear telling her cub about how she got him by wishing for him.

The Genre: Animal Fiction, Picture book

Grade level: Preschool to Second grade

Readers who will like this book: Children who were adopted, parents of adopted children or who were themselves adopted and educators

Personal response and rating:  I would give this book a 5; I loved this book because it answered and asked question that adopted children often have. I also liked that this mother was very open about the fact that her cub was adopted.

Question: What does the word adoption mean to you?

Reading strategies connection: In Literature-Based Reading Activates by Ruth Yopp and Hallie Yopp there is an activity in it called polar opposites. This activity involves the teacher making a scale on one end that has characters, feelings or personality traits and on the other end has the opposite feelings or personality traits (R. Yopp & H. Yopp, 2010). For young children the scale should only have three spaces so it doesn’t confuse the students (R. Yopp & H. Yopp, 2010). This activity will help students learn how to analyze characters. This activity would work well with I Wished for You: An Adoption Story, because this story has two characters that have very different personalities and feelings that they throughout during the story. Which makes this a great way to introduce this activity to students especially for the first time.