Thursday, November 3, 2011

Three Perfect Picture Books for Picture Book Month

Kate Messner and Linda Urban are visiting my school library to celebrate reading, writing, and their friendship. When I found out about Picture Book Month, I started advertising their visit as a special Picture Book Month event. Kate and Linda have both written top-notch picture books.

One of the stops on my literary road trip was Chronicle Books Corporate Headquarters. It's a magical place bursting with creative energy. Melissa Manlove, Kate Messner's editor, shared the F&G of Over and Under the Snow. I read it standing next to Lara Starr's desk. The words gentle and soothing kept running through my mind.

Over and Under the Snow takes the reader into a secret world under the snow. "Under the snow is a whole secret kingdom, where the smallest forest animals stay safe and warm. You're skiing over them now." It is perfect for a primary animal unit, a winter display, and a must-have for your book-loving friends.

Alyson Beecher and I co-hosted a #Titletalk session on back-to-school books. Sea Monster's First Day was one of our top recommendations for grades K-2. We thought it would help a nervous kindergartener feel better about starting school. Add it to your back-to-school collection.

I picked up Mouse Was Mad because of its attractive cover. Those bright red letters caught my eye, and the smug mouse convinced me to take a peek inside. Mouse is HOPPING MAD when you first meet him. Hare informs Mouse that he looks ridiculous. Hare, the hopping whiz, shows Mouse how to hop. This only makes Mouse STOMPING MAD. Bear criticizes Mouse's stomping skills, which makes him SCREAMING MAD. The story continues in this way until Mouse discovers what makes him unique. Mouse Was Mad is a great resource to teach kindergarten through second grade about anger management and individuality.

Kate Messner discusses The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.

"Using successful strategies from her own classroom, Kate teaches how authors use research, brainstorming, and planning as revision tools; how they revise to add detail and make characters stronger; and how students can use those same techniques for all kinds of writing in the classroom. Real Revision features dozens of reproducible "mentor author" pages, with quotes from the authors about their revision processes, and includes related classroom-ready activities." -Real Revision

Sharon Creech's blurb for Linda Urban's A Crooked Kind of Perfect is perfect: "I love Zoe's parents and her friend Wheeler, but most especially I love Zoe. She's perfect, in the most deliciously crooked kind of way."

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