Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Year and New Picture Books

Hello from Ontario and sub-freezing temperatures! From what I can tell being home by the fire on maternity leave is a pretty good place to be today. Snow days! Ice storms! Polar vortex!

It looks like Old Man Winter means business this year. 

I've always purchased a tonne of picture books for my classroom, even when I taught Grade 7 and 8, but now that I have 2 daughters of my own buying picture books has become even more easily justified! 


Here are some great ones that I received from Thomas Allen & Son to review. I can't wait to get back in the classroom and use them with my students as part of our vocabulary studies. 

Petey, Pru and the Hullabaloo by Ammi-Joan Paquette

The pictures in this book are fabulous and the vocabulary is out of this world! If you are a fan of the Fancy Nancy books and teaching students to use "fancy" words then you will love this book as well. There are some great words like "tranquil", "cacophony", and "peeved". The end papers are even used as a dictionary with the definitions of the words in the book. Genius!

Your students will love this story as well. Pru is feeling "tricksy" and ruins Petey's lovely day in the garden with all sorts of tricks and shenanigans. It would be a great book for  teaching about problem solving among friends. 

Another great book for both vocabulary and problem-solving/ inclusivity is Xander's Panda Party by Linda Sue Park. 

Xander wants to host a panda party...but he's the only panda at the zoo! So then he invites all the bears, but a koala isn't a bear so he invites the mammals and so on and so on. This book is super cute! And what a great way to introduce classification on animals to young children. I also really enjoy the rhyme scheme that runs throughout the book and the challenging vocabulary that will help to stretch your student's abilities. 

Just for Fun!

Have you ever read a Barney Saltzberg book? If not, you are totally missing out. I bought Beautiful Oops a few years ago and love reading it with my daughter (it makes a great introductory picture book for a visual art class) so I was very excited when I saw A Little Bit of Oomph in my box from Thomas Allen & Son.

This book is super cute. I love how it uses phrases and amazing pop-up illustrations to deliver it's message of hope, positivity and forward thinking. This is a great book for any collection-home or school. Do yourself a big favour and look into more Barney Saltzberg. 

Wouldn't it be great to have students make their own pages for this type of book? Researching pop-up books? Quotes and favourite sayings? I see a class book in the making. 

Last but not least...

Frog Trouble by Sandra Boynton

As a big fan of country music I was super happy to see this book emerge from the box. A picture book with a CD of kids songs sung by some of my all-time favourite artists. Yes, please!

I am by no means a musical person myself...other than singing along badly to the radio so I don't really have too many ideas for lessons or classroom involvement for this one. But I can say that you won't be disappointed when you check it out. Maybe one of the songs would be good for any upcoming Spring concerts? 

You know, when old man winter let's us out of his icy clutches. Hope you are staying warm!

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