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!

Monday July 28th, 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.

My favourite picture books of the week are all kinds of amazing! I figured since I didn’t share any last week, highlighting a number of them this week will be okay!

Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann

Lyla Browning is different and when you are having a bunch of girls to a birthday party, that doesn’t seem like a good thing. As Ginger’s party progresses, it turns out that in close proximity, true colours shine through. And some seem to be shining a little more brightly after all. Lovely story about choosing friends for how they make you feel.

Two Speckled Eggs #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Turtle Island by Kevin Sherry 

A cute little story about having friends and being part of a community. An ideal story time title for younger students.

 Turtle Island #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

TAP TAP BOOM BOOM written by Elizabeth Bluemle with illustrations by G. Brian Karas

I adore any illustrations from G.Brian Karas and this rainy journey through the city has many charming images. But the rhythm of the text makes this book a delightful read aloud! It would be a book you want to practice before reading aloud so that it can be delivered with all of the drama it deserves. Lots of fun!

Tap tap Boom Boom #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Knock Knock My Dad’s Dream for Me written by Daniel Beaty with illustrations by Bryan Collier

Made me cry. What a story of loss and hope, upset and deep love in 32 beautiful pages.

Knock Knock #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Captain Cat by Inga Moore

Gorgeous cover and illustrations. While I don’t necessarily love this story, I can see this being such a popular book for students to read and enjoy independently or with a buddy. A longer story perfect for upper primary students. And the rat chase is lots of fun!

Captain Cat #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

You are Stardust written by Elin Kelsey with illustrations by Soyeon Kim

Simply breathtaking illustrations. The message is a huge one – every living thing is connected – in perfect, child friendly text. Beautiful to read over and over – to savour the art and let the words swirl around.

 You Are StarDust #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Julia, Child written by Kyo Maclear with illustrations by Julie Morstad 

This is kind of a cheeky little book. Pay attention reader. The title is not Julia Child but Julia, Child. Yes, we see a little girl in an apron surrounded by cooking utensils, herbs and berries. Yes, this book is inspired by the idea of Julia Child and her passion for food and cooking. But this is hardly a biography. This is a playful book, full of joy and friends and butter. The message? Hang on to the best parts of being a child. For those adults who need some help with this, recipes are adjusted accordingly.

 Julia, Child #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Owl and the Pussy Cat written by Edward Lear with illustrations by Stéphane Jorisch  

This was a gift for my husband who loves this poem and used to recite it to our children often when they were little. He also loves illustrator Stéphane Jorisch so it was a must. Just a beautiful book to treasure.

 The Owl and the Pussycat #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Wow of the week:

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin written by Chieri Uegaki with illustrations by Qin Leng

This book was on my picture book wish list. I am not supposed to be book shopping. But I happened to find a little money tucked away in a bag I hadn’t used and found money should be for wishes, don’t you think? Anyway this title is now mine!

I absolutely adore it for so very many reasons. I have favourite pages, favourite series of illustrations and am completely enchanted by the green grass that we see one night at dusk. Wow. And then there is the story. A story of determination, perseverance and creativity. Absolutely about courage and dreaming. Connection to family – Ojiichan (Grandfather) in Japan who played Second Violin in front of the Imperial Family and his influence on little Hana who wants to play the violin too. Hana enters a talent contest. Little girl with medium sized violin walks out onto the huge stage. I dare you not to hold your breath! What happens when she begins to play is pure delight and probably not at all what you are thinking. Suki’s Kimono by Uegaki is a favourite picture book on our family bookshelf. This book will sit, also beloved, one space over.

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

I also read lots of great nonfiction that I will highlight on Wednesday’s #nfpb2014 post

I finished two novels:

Son by Lois Lowry

The fourth and final title in The Giver books. As I was reading it, I wasn’t loving it, yet I just couldn’t get the story out of my head. If you have read all of the other titles, yes, read it. I’m still deciding what I think. One thing bothered me and so . . .

SON #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrara

I was quite charmed by this story. And oh so happy that it was written. So many of my students  are impacted by poverty in so many ways. In our community, it is just the norm. So there isn’t a lot of judgement. But I remember once one of my students was going to move to a community where low income didn’t define the community in general. She was bright and spunky and didn’t miss a thing. I knew she was going to be okay but I worried about the getting there to that place of okay. In this book, Star Mackie moves to California and she is the girl from the trailer park. Standing out for something that doesn’t even seem to be about her. I love Star’s stubborn streak, her voice and her passion for the written word. I love how friendship and family dynamics are explored. A middle grade novel that is really going to resonate with readers.

Ironically, just as I finished this review, my eleven year old (I gave her this book to read this morning) came charging into my room.

“Mom! It’s not long enough! Is there a sequel? I can’t wait for it. My favourite characters are . .  ” Natter, natter, natter. Yep, the perfect book for middle grader readers!

 Hope is a Ferris Wheel #IMWAYR  July 28th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Next up? I have a huge, huge pile of books – holds that have all arrived at once. Top of the pile?  Winger by Andrew Smith

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 53/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 363/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 86/65 complete

 

A House in the Woods

Our BLG reader this week was Dan. He brought in A House in the Woods by Inga Moore to share with us! I was delighted as this book was on my “must have” list and now we have a copy for our library! Thank you BLG!

This is such a soothing, beautiful book to fall into. The lush woods. Industrious animals. A calm lake. A warm fire. A simple kitchen where you prepare and enjoy meals together. So lovely. The illustrations force you to read extra slowly to savour all the details. This is a book that should not be rushed. After reading this book to the class, Dan observed (talking about Inga Moore) “I think she wrote the book just so she could draw these pictures.” Indeed!

The story is one that initially surprises. It starts with two little pigs, one who had made a den and the other a hut. Clever readers expect to turn the page and discover a third little pig, another type of house and a wicked wolf lurking behind a tree. But, the next few pages instead reveal that a bear and a moose, both friendly instead of frightening, have attempted to move in and share the pigs’ homes. Unfortunately the sheer size of these creatures does irreparable damage to the den and the hut. The animals share a bench and some thinking time. This was a pickle. It really was.

Moose then has a brilliant idea! Why not build a large house for all of them to live in together? Yes! But they would need help with such an ambitious project. So, they enlist the assistance of the Beaver Builders! They fell timbers, erect walls, put on the roof, help the animals shop for furniture and curtains, etc. And all they want in return? Peanut butter sandwiches. The house gets finished and the animals rush to the store to shop for the needed bread and peanut butter.

After delivering the stacks of sandwiches to the beaver lodge on the lake, the friends settle into their first night in their new home. They enjoy a meal, tidy up, tell some stories around the fire and then climb the stairs to bed. A deep sleep in their new beds surrounded by a quiet night and occasional snores from Bear.

My students adored this book and pored over the pictures. Quite a few funny comments were made as Dan read aloud.

“Pigs don’t live in the woods!”

“Yes, some do.”

“Hey this could be the three little pigs in the woods!”

Much talk also about eating.

“I ate a moose.”

“Sorry but that’s kind of gross to me.”

“How come those beavers are eating the trees? They are going to get sandwiches!”

We were also a little suspicious that animals would actually build a house, shop in a store and sleep in beds.

“There are no grocery stores in the woods! And definitely not ones that are managed by donkeys!”

“Well, it is make believe,” Dan gently reminded.

Our student reviewer reports:

Khai: I liked the book because the illustrations were so nice. The book was funny too. One of the funny parts was the moose – it even made a sandwich!