If you were stranded on an island and had to teach, what 10 picture books would you hope to have in your bag?This is the question that Cathy at Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community asked via Twitter. What a great question to ponder for the beginning of the year! Here are my choices.
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. But times are tight, and Grandma says he needs winter boots and that is what they have money to buy. He so desperately wants "those shoes" that he is willing to use his own money to buy a pair that don't even fit properly. The lesson he learns touches the heart.
Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin
Pete the Cat goes walking down the street wearing his brand-new white shoes. Along the way, he steps in piles of strawberries, blueberries, and other big messes. Pete has a great attitude, though, and keeps movin' and groovin' and singing his song . . . because it's all good.
Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie WattScaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watts Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of everything! He spends his days in his cozy tree, armed with a plan for any type of emergency-- from killer bees to sharks. Good thing he has an emergency kit, because one day he falls out of his tree! The results are surprising! This book is great to read at the beginnning of school; it leads to a great conversation about fears. It is also good for teaching different types of organization in writing.
When Ramon's brother laughs at his pictures, he gets discouraged. His sister, however, looks at things differently. The picture of the vase looks "vase-ish." His picture of the tree looks "tree-ish." I love this book because it reminds us all that our creative attempts aren't always going to be perfect, but if we are "perfect-ish," then we are moving in the right direction.
Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom DeLuise
I have had this book for twenty years. It is perfect for the beginning of school. Nobody likes poor Charlie. The monkeys, the mice, and the rabbits leave him out of their games and tell him to "Giddadda here!" When Charlie becomes a beautiful butterfly, life changes for Charlie. This is a great book to teach the writing traits of voice and word choice.
Big Chickens byLeslie Helakoski
Big Chickens is the story of four cautious chickens who discover that they are not "chicken" chickens after all. Throughout the predictable book, they encounter several obstacles, to which they have the same reply. "I'm afraid to....", "What if......" They overcome each obstacle, somewhat by accident. In the end, they encounter the most dangerous obstacle of all, a wolf!
Dogku by Andrew Clements is an adorable story about a mischievous dog who finds a loving family. The best part of this book is that it is written entirely in haiku!