Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Teacher Tidbit Tuesday: My Top 10 Favorite Picture Books

 There are so many amazing picture books available to us, and I think picture books are an incredible resource for teachers at all grade levels! Picture books are short enough to share in a single seating, and can be used to teach all different types of reading skills and strategies. Choosing my top 10 favorite picture books is an impossible task; however, here are 10 of my favorites.

Piggie Pie! by Margie Palatini

1. Piggie Pie! by Margie Palatini is one of my favorite picture books of all time. In the story, Gritch the Witch is looking to make herself a piggie pie, but she must first find all the piggies she needs for the recipe. She has a little trouble in her search, since all the piggies on Old MacDonald's farm found themselves disguises before she arrived. The story is full of allusions, which I teach each year during our Figurative Language unit. 

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast by Josh Funk
2. Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast by Josh Funk is an adorable picture book told in quatrain poems. The characters are at odds with one another when they find out the fridge is almost out of syrup. They race through Broccoli Forest and Potato Mash Mountain to try and get to the last tasty bit, but discover in the end it is best to be friends (and share.) The clever characters, use of vivid verbs, and juicy adjectives make this book a must for any writing unit.

George vs. George by Rosalyn Schanzer

3. George vs. George by Rosalyn Schanzer tells the story of the American Revolution from both sides. I love using picture books to integrate in our social studies curriculum, and this book is perfect during our study of the Revolutionary War. The book has lots of good factual information about the lives of King George III and George Washington before, during, and after the war. The book is excellent for focusing on looking at multiple perspectives of an event in history. 

Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting

4. Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting is another historical fiction picture book. This book gives us a small glimpse into life of a young girl that traveled on an Orphan Train. During the late 1800's and early 1900's thousands of children were sent from New York City to the Midwest to small towns and farms. I like to share this book with my students to expose them to this part of our American history that isn't often talked about in our history books.

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
5. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon is another one of my absolute favorite picture books. This is story of a bat that is separated from her mother at a very young age and is "adopted" by a family of birds. She learns that not all friends look and act the same all the time. It is a sweet story with a wonderful message. 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
6. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt is such a clever picture book! The story is told from the perspective of the crayons. Each crayon writes a letter to Duncan (the owner of the crayons) to share his/her feelings. It is a great story to teach perspective. I've read it before, and then had the students write from the perspective of other objects (school supplies) of their choice. 

The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco
7. The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Palacco is such a special book. This book tells the story of a young girl that moves to a new school and joins a class that is like no other. The students come together after losing one of their classmates to work on special project. This heart-warming story helps to show that everyone is a wonder in their own way. This book is great for discussing theme with students. 

Bad Boys by Margie Palatini
8. Bad Boys by Margie Palatini is a fun story to share with students of all ages. These big, bad wolves are always up to no good. They need to find a place to lay low for a while after causing some trouble. The boys decide to hide out for a while as a couple of wolves in sheep's clothing, but don't worry these bad boys will still get what they deserve! Margie Palatini's story telling is so clever, she's one of my favorite picture book authors. 

Peanut Butter & Cupcake by Terry Border
9. Peanut Butter & Cupcake by Terry Border has adorable photographs to go along with the sweet story. Peanut Butter has trouble going out to make a new friend. He tries out several different combinations before finding his best fit in Jelly. My students loved this story. I used it in one of my book baskets while we were working on identifying theme. Several of them read it more than once. 

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka
10. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka has been a long-time favorite of mine in the classroom. In this story, the wolf is given a chance to tell his side of the story. I use this book to begin our Fairy Tale Unit on comparing/contrasting stories told in multiple perspectives. We read this book together (I have a class set of this book thanks to Scholastic!) and carefully look at the similarities and differences in how the story unfolds as it is told from each of the different perspectives. We discuss point of view vs. perspective, character development, and write a compare/contrast essay.  After we have done this together, I have the students read other fractured fairy tale to analyze as well on their own or with a partner. 

I'm always on the lookout for new children's literature that I can use in my classroom. I think picture books are one of the best ways that we can teach students new skills & strategies. 

Don't forget to join us again next week for Teacher Tidbit Tuesday! Join us by adding the hashtag #teachertidbittuesday so we can find your posts! 


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