Picture Books that model perseverance

It’s Picture Book Month and I have picture books on my mind. I am beginning to think in lists. Often. It may be a syndrome. Picturebooklistitis? Something like that.

On Friday, I had some parent meetings in the a.m. It was lovely to talk about students who have demonstrated improvement in goal areas due to persistence, determination and creative approaches to problems. Heading home, after school, I started thinking about picture books on this theme of persistence.

What exactly was I thinking about? All of the synonyms for perseverance: persistence, tenacity, determination . . . But also being able to solve problems with creativity or a different/unique approach. A lot of it has to do with being able to focus but also being able to think outside of the box. Sometimes it is just about, simple but tough, hard work and diligence.

I think all of these picture books highlight a particular aspect of this theme and in their own way, model perseverance.

Twenty favourite titles:

These ten beauties:

Picture Books that model perseverance

And ten more:

Picture Books that model perseverance There's a Book for That

Twenty picture book titles that model perseverance:

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Rosie Revere, Engineer written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Prudence Wants a Pet written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Stephen Michael King

Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

Papa’s Mechanical Fish written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Boris Kulikov

If You Want to See a Whale written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Rosyln Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth by Marie-Louise Gay

Ice by Arthur Geisert

Flight School by Lita Judge

A House in the Woods by Inga Moore

The Mighty Lalouche written by Matthew Olshan and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds 

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires 

A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead

Oscar and Hoo written by Theo and illustrated by Michael Dudok De Wit

Queen of the Falls by Chris VanAllsburg 

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Ten Birds by Cybèle Young

In case you’ve missed them, I have been making more lists:

Picture Books that celebrate courage

Picture Books to make you giggle

Happy Picture Book Month!

pb month logoAs always, please share your favourite titles on this theme!

Picture books to help you giggle

To celebrate picture book month, I am sharing peeks into the wonderful conversations I get to have with children about particular picture books. When I thought about writing a picture book post today, no conversations leaped out at me to share. I have no students here at home on a Sunday morning and I have been reading my own children the amazing novel Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. But . . . just yesterday evening, I was talking to Vancouver kindergarten teacher Sharon Hales about how great Elephant & Piggie titles are. She is a huge fan! (Great taste!) And, of course, I asked a few times – “Have you read . . . ?” “Do you know author . . . ?” 

Hmmm, this was a conversation about picture books . . .

So I started thinking, if I were a kindergarten teacher, what would be must own picture books for my classroom library? Books guaranteed to inspire giggles and choruses of “Read it again”? Quickly, I started a list on a scrap piece of paper. I ran out of room! This post is the result. 🙂

Grab one of these, grab a child or a kindergarten/early primary class and prepare for smiles and giggles!

Picture books to help you giggle There's a Book for That

And because once you start laughing, you need to laugh some more:

Picture books to help you giggle There's a Book for That

Picture Books to help you giggle:

Count the Monkeys written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Z is for Moose written by Kelly Bingham and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky 

I’m Bored  written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Prudence Wants a Pet written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Stephen Michael King

Brief Thief written by Michael Escoffier and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo

Warning: Do not Open this Book! written by Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld 

Don’t Play with Your Food by Bob Shea

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

Interrrupting Chickenby David Ezra Stein

Chester by Mélanie Watt

You’re Finally Here by Mélanie Watt

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won

Such a joy to share these favourite titles – perfect for the younger set but appealing to happy readers of all ages!

Are you in the picture book mood? Share some favourites! It’s Picture Book Month!

pb month logo

Monday July 7th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

imwayr

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. You are guaranteed to find something new to add to your list.

I noticed about a week ago that I was behind on my Goodreads goal by 16 books. I had a few picture book reading blitz days and am almost caught up So . . . catching up on my reading means that I have many picture books I could share here. I narrowed it to my ten favourites of the week. Sometimes, it really is about a week where picture books have a hugely starring role!

Emily’s Blue Period written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Lisa Brown

Cathleen Daly just kind of knocks me over. Her book Prudence wants a Pet is a “I want a pet book” done that much differently that it feels unique even though the story premise seems to have been told over and over. Here is a picture book that touches on the emotions and confusion of a family separated by divorce. Such a common lived experience for so many children – the unanswered questions, the frustration, the living between two homes – yet captured in a picture book? Not so often. More often these themes are tackled in novels for middle grade readers. Here, nothing feels off limits and we truly are privy to the raw and the difficult that is divorce through the eyes of young children. Throw in some cool references to Picasso and his Blue period and wow, what a picture book.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison

Sometimes, it is not a talent or exceptional skill that makes us special. Sometimes it is just enough, and even quite extraordinary, to be that one that offers connection and affection. A tribute to special pets but also to the virtues of kindness and companionship.

Extraordinary jane  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

The Day I Lost my Superpowers written by Michael Escoffier and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo

I found this book particularly charming. It is absolutely representative of the naturally egocentric nature of a preschool age child – who feels magical and mighty and all powerful. When the limits of their own power confront them, they are able to honour the power of those around them – like the super powers of Mom!

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alamagna

Begin reading this book and be instantly surprised. It is wide and extra big and it opens bottom to top so you are flipping up instead of turning pages. Gorgeous illustrations in this tale set in Paris of a lion trying to find his “place” in this beautiful European city. Eventually, he finds a spot where he is meant to be. Unique. Much of the appeal of this book is the format and the Parisian vibe.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

Wow. This story is told through minimal text, beautiful illustrations, pauses and space. Sometimes what is held in the silence and few precious seconds of a blank page turned or a page that holds just one simple image has huge impact on the overall story. Just so very well done. Themes of friendship, kindness, hope and the passing of time. Did I say wow?

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman 

Please go read this book – there are so many reasons – a wonderful story about siblings and mistakes and owning up and doing what’s right. Some forgiveness thrown in. Can’t go wrong. But let me tell you about the right – just page through again and again and travel through illustrations that will knock you over, make your heart sing, force you to have too many favourite pictures so you just have to love and savour each page. Oh please, Mr. David Soman be working on a new book right now I just can’t wait!

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Starring Me and You by Genevieve Cote

A sweet little title for younger readers learning how to navigate the world socially and with friends through compromise, patience and acceptance.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Little Mouse by Alison Murray 

I can imagine that if this book had existed when my children were very small that we would have read it endlessly. Sometimes, an endearing name doesn’t seem to fit. Other times, it is perfect. Through a parade of animals, we learn about all the aspects of one little girl’s personality – she is brave like a lion, can stomp like a bear and be hungry like a horse. And of course, she can be quiet and cozy like a little mouse. Adorable.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

One is a Snail Ten is a Crab: A Counting Feet Book written by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Saryre and illustrated by Randy Cecil 

This counting book is hugely entertaining. It allows children to think about numbers in a variety of ways. After learning about how many feet many different creatures possess, the reader is ready to think about larger numbers like – 60 – 60 is six crabs (6 groups of 10 feet) or 10 insects (10 groups of 6 feet). Playful, creative and wonderfully amusing.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors written by Helen Khan and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

Stunning illustrations introduce young readers to the culture and beauty of Islam through descriptive pages about a variety of things representative of Muslim culture and religion. A glossary in the back helps for those not familiar with all of the things described in the book.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014

Thank you to everyone who has shared their #MustReadin2014 July updates. Many are linked here or shared through the #MustReadin2014 hashtag via twitter. So interesting to see what everyone has been reading and enjoying.

This week I finished one novel:

Cress by Marissa Meyer which was my 18th #mustreadin2014 title!

I am fully captivated by these Lunar Chronicles stories even though I never thought I was going to be. I read Cinder on a whim and was hooked. I particularly love how all of the characters from previous books still play starring roles in the ongoing storylines. Dramatic, suspenseful, interesting characters. Great YA fantasy!

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That July 7th 2014Next up? I am halfway through The Riverman by Aaron Starmer. What a book! Early in the week, I plan to read The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner, which is another #MustReadin2014 title for me.

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 46/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 327/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 18/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 79/65 complete

 

Prudence Wants a Pet

Picture Book Love #2: Celebrating picture books that are just too good not to gush over.

Okay start counting how many books you have read about a child who really wants a pet and the parents say no. No, it’s too much work. No, you won’t look after it. No, we don’t have time, space, energy . . . I can think of many. So how can another book on this theme really seem fresh, new, inspired?  Prudence Wants a Pet written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Stephen Michael King will sweep you off your feet. This book is simply about the determination and charisma of Prudence. And yes, her extreme and unrelenting desire for a pet!  I dare you not to adore her!

Prudence wants a pet

Prudence really wants a pet but her parents roll out those typical parent excuses. So she is left to her own devices. She gets a pet and names it Branch. Because, well, it is a branch. It lives on the front porch and after tripping up Dad eight times, Branch ended up in little pieces on top of the wood pile. Prudence gets a new pet named Twig (because yes, you guessed it Twig is a twig). Twig is too small and gets lost. So Prudence moves on. She attaches a leash to an old shoe, which just so happens to be her new pet named Formal Footwear. Really! Then Prudence tries making her little brother Milo a pet but things don’t go over very well with her parents when she feeds him seeds and grass. So on to bigger and better things! A car tire. Just try to keep a straight face! Finally following an extremely disappointing attempt to raise sea buddies after which Prudence retires to her closet, her parents consider an actual pet for her.

At this point, this book is poised to deliver an expected, typical, wrap it up happy ending. But no, this is where Prudence hooked me. Where I swooned. Completely done for. Prudence was so excited when she heard a “Mew” coming from the box her parents gave her that . . .

Her eyes got hot and tingly. She’s so happy it leaks out of her eyes a little. She didn’t know about those kinds of tears.

Seriously? Wow. Tell me you don’t need this book. It is so much more than a “Girl wants Pet. She begs and begs. Girl gets pet,” kind of story. It is Prudence.