Found Alphabet

Shindler, R., Graniczewski, W., Andrzejewska, A., & Ragno, A. (2005). Found alphabet. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

This book features different objects and animals made out of materials found in an old house.

Genre: Picturebook, Alphabet Book

Grades: K-4th

Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students

I would give this book a two. I didn’t really like the artwork in the book and each object was not very creative. An example of this is A is for Airplane. Not as creative as some other words I have seen.

Can anyone tell me what it means to recycle?


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.



Ashanti to Zulu

Musgrove, M., Dillon, L., & Dillon, D. (19801976). Ashanti to Zulu: African traditions. New York: Pied Piper.

This alphabet book dives into different African cultures and customs.

Genre: Picturebook, Informational Text, Alphabet Book

Grades: 4th-5th

Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students

I would give this book a three. Though I loved the illustrations, the concepts of the book were not explained all that well and had other words that were new embedded in each explanation

What do you know about Africa?.


Q is for Duck

Elting, M., & Folsom, M. (1980). Q is for duck: an alphabet guessing game. New York: Houghton Mifflin/Clarion Books.

This book is a fun alphabet book that uses letters and words to confuse and engage students. A is for Zoo because a zoo has animals.

Genre: Picturebook, Alphabet Book, Concept Book

Grades: K-4th

Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students

I would give this book a five. I loved the comedic illustrations and the whimsy of the book. Though it may confuse younger children, I believe that this book fosters critical thinking skills that are needed in learning and teaching.

Does the word “duck” actually start with the letter “Q”? Why do you think the author believes “duck” begins with “Q”?


A is for Abigail

Cheney, L. V., & Glasser, R. (2003). A is for Abigail: an almanac of amazing American women. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

This is an alphabet book that talks about the lives of many American women in great detail.

Genre: picturebook, alphabet book, informational text

Grades: 4th-6th

Audience: Parents, teachers, students, tour guides

I would give this book a three. I did like the realistic illustrations, however I believe the women chosen for the book could have been better chosen. The women who were chosen were strong influences on American culture.

Does anyone know who Abigail Adams is?


Leave Your Sleep

Merchant, N. (2012). Leave your sleep: a collection of classic children’s poetry. New York: Frances Foster Books.

This book is a collection of illustrated children’s poetry.

Genre: Picturebook, Poetry


Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students

I would give this book a three. I loved the illustrations and I enjoyed reading some of the poems. However, other poems were very technical and the subject was not always fun and whimsical.

Can you name some famous poets you have heard of?


Mirror Mirror

Singer, M., & Masse, J. (2010). Mirror mirror: a book of reversible verse. New York, N.Y.: Dutton Children’s Books.

This is a book of poems based on fairy tales.

Genre: Fairy tale, picturebook, poetry


Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students

I would give this book a five. I thought the illustrations were fun, but the best part of the book were the poems. They were written like so: Teddy is/ a girl/ not/ a bear- and the second one was written- A bear/ not/ a girl/ Teddy is.

Based on the cover illustrations, what is this book about?


Red Ribbon

Weeks, S., & Greene, J. (1995). Red ribbon. New York: Laura Geringer Book.

Jenny is eight and she has a neighbor who she knows is sick. Whenever she asks her mother about the neighbor her mother says Jenny needs to be caring- and wear a red ribbon. The red ribbon is the ribbon for AIDS.

Genre: Concept, Picturebook

Grades: K-6th

Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students

I would give this book a three. I had no idea it was about AIDS until reading the part at the back of the book explaining what the red ribbon stood for. However, I do like the message of the book and how Jenny knows almost nothing about her neighbor and his illness.

What other ribbons have you seen like this one and what are they for?


Little House on the Prairie

Wilder, L. E. (1963). Little House on the Prairie. New York: Little House Heritage Trust.

Laura’s Pa is sick of the big woods. There are too many people living there. He decides to move Ma, Mary, Laura, and Baby Carrie to the Kansas plains where he says no one lives yet and where there is elbow room.

Genre: Historical non-fiction

Grades: 3rd-6th

Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students

I would give this book a four. There is some very obvious racism against Native Americans in this book, but it is a good representation of the time period in which the Ingalls family lived and the troubles that could occur living in a pioneer situation.

Have you ever heard of Laura Ingalls Wilder?


Arnie the Doughnut: Bowling Alley Bandit

Keller, L. (2013). Bowling alley bandit. New York: Henry Holt and Co..

Now that Arnie has no worry of being eaten, he goes bowling with his friend, Mr. Bing. Mr. Bing is on a bowling team and is trying to win a bowling championship.

Genre: Fiction, Sports, Mystery

Grades: 2nd-4th

Audience: Parents, Students, Teachers

I would give this book a two. Though the story was okay, the premise of the entire series where doughnuts talk is completely idiotic to me. Though the message was a good one, I feel like it was just way too out there for me. I’m sure many students would like this book, especially young boys, however it was just not the book for me.

What is your favorite sport? Why?