Picture Book 10 for 10 in 2014: “Go to” titles

It is that time of year where picture book love is celebrated and shared! Yes, Picture book 10 for 10 is here! What are the picture books that you just can not live without?

This celebration of picture books is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning. Thanks to both of them for the work they do to promote this wonderful day of picture book sharing!

This is my third year participating in this event. In 2012, I shared ten beloved titles. In 2013, I went with a theme: Connections across the generations.

This year I changed it up a little. The books I have placed on my list this year are what I call “Go to” titles So often someone will ask, “Do you have a picture book about _____________?” These are the titles that I reach for – some I have been reading and sharing for years. Some, I have discovered more recently but I know they will also become favourites that I rely on.

Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

So if you are asked any of these questions, please, feel free to borrow from my list! I hope some of these favourites become your favourites.

Do you have a picture book about generosity?

Call it my generous spirit but for this theme I must highlight two titles. Both bring me to tears every time I read them. I couldn’t pick just one. Phew, cheating bending the rules is out of the way immediately. On to the books . . .

Melissa Parkington’s Beautiful, Beautiful Hair written by Pat Brisson and illustrated by Suzanne Bloom (2006)

Melissa Parkington is known for her beautiful hair – everyone notices it and comments on how special it is. But Melissa wants to be known for something special that she does, not simply for something that grows out of her head. She tries to do many things to make herself special – but what ends up happening time and time again, is that she is noticed for her kindness. Melissa realizes that performing acts of kindness is what is special about her. Cutting her hair so that it can be made into a wig is an act of generosity that makes ultimate sense to her. Amazing book! What a story of generosity and a recognition of true inner beauty.

 Melissa Parkington Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

The Teddy Bear by David McPhail (2005)

A little boy loses his beloved teddy bear. It is found by a homeless man who begins to care for it, also with love. When the little boy later comes across his bear and realizes that someone else needs the bear more than he does, he gives his bear up. Tender and sweet, this book captures a moment of true compassion and the generosity of a little boy to share something that has meant so much. I know children who will so willingly give to help others feel better. David McPhail captures this generous sentiment in a beautiful book.

 The Teddy Bear Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

Do you have a picture book about forgiveness?

Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams and illustrated by A.G. Ford (2012)

Gorgeously illustrated by A.G. Ford, this title handles forgiveness and its power in a totally accessible and meaningful way for children. An engaging story of negative interactions between boys where the negative tension is finally soothed through gestures of apology and forgiveness. A wise adult helps Desmond navigate feelings of vengeance, anger and upset. Set in South Africa and based on a true story in Desmond Tutu’s own childhood.

Student reactions here

 Desmond and the Very Mean Word Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

Do you have a picture book about self-expression?

Emily’s Art written and illustrated by Peter Catalanotto (2001)

Emily is an expressive and happy artist until her work is judged in an art contest. The judge’s reactions to her work are hurtful and heartbreaking. She needs to work through her feelings about someone judging her art and her feelings about making pictures she loves. Inspires amazing conversations about rejection, the negative power words can have and about finding your self despite what others might say.

Talked about in my classroom here and here 

 Emily's Art Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

Do you have a picture book about friendship?

Matthew and Tilly, written by Rebecca C. Jones and illustrated by Beth Peck (1991)

There are so many books about friendship but this one remains one of my favourites year after year. It explores the feelings of friendship and forgiveness in a totally believable way. A short but powerful story about best friends that argue, as friends do, but then find it easy to forgive each other when they realize that favourite activities are just not the same without a friend. When I read this aloud, I watch the rhythms of conflict, tension and reconciliation play out in the student’s faces. They feel each page deeply.

Matthew and Tilly Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

Do you have a picture book about courage?

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold (2011)

A black dog is spotted outside the window of the Hope family residence. As it is described and worried about, it “becomes” larger than life – the size of a tiger. . . no, an elephant . . . maybe a T-rex? These illustrations are beautifully odd. But in the best of ways. From the full page spreads with the huge menacing dog to the little sepia coloured boxes surrounding the text that reveal close ups and clues from the story. Small (the littlest Hope) finally braves the outdoors to confront this creature. What ensues is absolutely delightful – a visual treat to tickle our imaginations. Small becomes large and Large, small. Fear and courage intermix into teasing and challenge and joy. You don’t need to work hard to get a conversation about courage happening after you read this book.

Black Dog Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

Do you have a picture book about grieving?

The Scar written by Charolette Moundlic and illustrated by Olivier Tallec (2009)

This book gets you on the first line, no easing in or warming up: Mom died this morning. We turn page after bright red page and experience, along with the little boy who has just lost his mother, a whole range of emotions: anger, frustration, disbelief, anxiety . . . So sad when just Dad and son try to navigate through their grief, being there for each other but both feeling so alone. Grandma soothes, consoles and explains, patting his chest.

“She’s there,” she says, “in your heart, and she’s not going anywhere.”

Watching the little boy run until it hurts to breathe so that his heart will beat very fast and he will feel connected to his Mom (beating in his chest) is both heartbreaking and comforting. He has found his connection to Mom and can begin to heal. This book needs kleenex, deep breaths and many hugs from those you love to get through it. But it might be the first book I would reach for when a child needs it most. Raw. Human. Real.

 The Scar Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

Do you have a picture book about standing up for yourself?

Willow Finds a Way written by Lana Button illustrated by Tania Howells (2013)

When I read this to my class, there was silence. A well done story, illustrations that convey emotion and a plot that is completely relatable make this title an absolute must for the primary classroom. It explores how we treat each other, standing up for what we know is right, honouring our feelings . . . Children can so often be bossy and controlling and it is often difficult for other children to stand up and be assertive. This book shows us how -through quiet Willow who surprises everyone, including herself.

willow Finds a Way Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

Do you have a picture book about the role of the bystander?

Bird Child written by Nan Forler and illustrated by François Thisdale (2009)

Eliza is a sensitive little girl who witnesses bullying. Lainey, the new girl is teased and excluded. It is terrible for Eliza to stand by and do nothing. She agonizes about it and finally talks to her Mom. The next time Lainey is bullied, Eliza acts. She “reached down inside herself and found her wings.” The power in standing up to say “No, this isn’t okay,” is dealt with carefully by Forler. We are pulled into the story and feel the emotional struggles of Eliza. This book is a must read if you are exploring the bully/bullied/bystander relationship. There are not enough picture books that so thoughtfully explore the active role of the bystander in changing the way a bully might act and the way a peer is treated.

Student reactions here.

Bird Child Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

Do you have a picture book about moving somewhere new?

Neville written by Norman Juster and illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2011)

Who wants to be the new kid? Sad about missing the “real” home far away and starting all over again is just not fun. One little boy has the “moving blues” and how! Mom sends him out for a walk to explore, as Moms do. He stands on the corner and begins to yell, “Neville!” It starts something. Soon everyone is calling for Neville. But he never turns up. A book that touches on moving anxiety, making new friends and realizing things might be a little better than they first seemed. If you haven’t read this book – prepare for the most interesting of twists at the end. One that children are delighted by!

Neville Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

Do you have a picture book about being yourself?

Suki’s Kimono written by Chieri Uegaki and illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch 2003)

This book has long been a favourite in my household. We love how Suki possesses a joyful inner spirit and how she lives in the moment not worrying about what the world might think.  Suki adores her blue cotton kimono – for the memories that it holds and the way it makes her feel. She vows to wear it on her first day of school despite the disapproval of her older sisters and manages to maintain the magical happy feeling of wearing this special kimono throughout her day even when questioned and taunted by classmates.

 suki's Kimono Do you have a picture book about . . . ?

For many of these themes, I could probably have added ten titles. But, knowing that my books might not be your books, I would love to hear from you. If you have a favourite “go to” title on any of these themes, please share in the comments section!

Follow the links above to see other favourite picture book lists and follow along on twitter using the #pb10for10 hashtag.


Happy picture book reading!  

Celebrating: Truths

Celebrating Truth There's a Book for That

Celebration honoured. This is the loveliest of reasons to share. Join Ruth Ayres who shares a Celebration Link up on her blog each week.

This week I am celebrating truth. Three pieces of the truth.

Truth that just needs to come out. Truth that speaks to our hearts. Truth that is uttered so beautifully by children.

Truth #1 In the last few years I have learned an important lesson a few times over. Sometimes we need to write to have our truths have weight. More than venting, more than organizing our thinking, writing is also about being read. It is about the response. It is about knowing that someone else might feel the same.

Last week I wrote a post, that for me, needed to be written. In fact, it had been brewing for quite some time: The Part That is True This post talks about Harry, a student who needs flexibility, compassion and respect, not judgement and rejection. The amazing response – via twitter, blog comments and sharing gave me strength and hope. There are many Harrys who need us all.

Thank you to everyone for honouring Harry and how much he matters.

Truth #2 Mid week, I came across this brilliant piece by author and parent Anne Ursu. I love Anne’s novels. Her words are magical. But her voice extends far beyond the world of fiction and speaks to how we treat each other and how we raise our children to understand their peers. Thank you Anne for this: On Autism, Birthday Cards and Empathy It is an absolute must read.

Truth #3 Listen to children talk about big issues and it can be kind of amazing. Especially because they have no idea they are talking about something big. They are just talking about their world – what they wonder, what they notice, what they think. So they talk in terms stripped of jargon, careful word choice and apologies. They just call it. This is part of why I love my job. Children’s voices.

Here’s the story I want to share: My Teacher Librarian and I met with our Gr 2/3 book club today to discuss our book Charlotte’s Web. One child talked about how even though it was fiction, it was kind of cool that we were learning about animals. Then we started talking about how many books have animal characters. We actually looked through a stack of picture books recently read by guest readers. Many of them featured animals. The conversation turned to why. Are animals easier to draw? Do authors/illustrators think we don’t want to see human characters in books? This brought us to what had been some of the most powerful books in our class this year. We realized many of these stories had human characters.

This is a long story to get here: One girl shared,

“But why do the illustrators not draw enough mixed/ different skin? Why don’t they show people from different places? It kind of makes me mad because there are lots of different colours of skin in our class. Lots of books don’t look like they have very real classrooms.”

Then these girls (five girls, all from a different ethnic background, it just so happens) put their arms next to each other and smiled about how all of their skin had different colours.

In this discussion about the big topic of diversity or lack of it in our picture books, not one child mentioned race, ethnicity or culture. They just talked about the colour of their skin: celebrated all of the different hues and lamented that they didn’t see this in lots of picture books. Simply, their truth.

I told this to my husband later and he noted how wonderful it is that these children didn’t see colour in a way that leads to judgement. Instead they boasted about how wonderful it is that we have lots of colours of skin in our room.

*Just before our session ended, one girl grabbed a recent read aloud, Emily’s Art by Peter Catalanotto and we all looked at the first few pages of the children sitting at the carpet.

“Oh he did a good job. Look there are lots of skin colours with these kids. This classroom looks real.”

 From Emily's Art Celebrating Truth There's a Book for That

Picture Books on a Theme

Teachers often search for picture books on a particular topic and it is wonderful to be able to come to a blog and “nonstop shop” so to speak. In other words, find more than a few books on the same theme in one place.

Now that this blog is almost 18 months old, there are a few themes that reoccur – enough to make up a list of sorts (through a tag search) or an actual list exists under the Book Recommendations page. Favourite picture books make more than one list. Often I have included responses from my students if I have shared the books in class.

Books about Kindness – For a list, read here

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones was one of our favoutite books that explored this theme.

Books about Courage – For a list, read here

A favourite book on this theme was Sheila Rae the Brave by Kevin Henkes

Books about Death and Bereavement – For a list, read here.

One of the most powerful books on this theme is The Scar written by Charlotte Moundlic and illustrated by Olivier Tallec.

Picture Books that Tackle the Big Issues – For a list,  read here Books on this list have been hugely powerful in my primary classroom – many of them can also be found under Social Responsibility Books (here) with themes on the bully/bullied/bystander dynamic, friendship, sibling relationships, self-esteem,  etc

Emily’s Art by Peter Catalanotto provoked huge discussion in my class last year. Themes of self esteem, judgement and the negative power of words.

Celebrating students, celebrating books

Having time off from the day to day of teaching gives us space to reflect back on all that we treasure. Highlights of the last calendar year for me and picture books that exemplified these important themes:

1. Lots of laughter.

This was one of the favourite non-fiction read alouds I read with a class.

Poop – A Natural History of the Unmentionable written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Neal Layton. This was the discussion. Theories of why some animal poop seems to have hair on it and why do we fart anyway. Hard to keep a straight face.

2. Moments of awe

Sometimes in sharing a powerful piece of literature, the learning in the room just surrounds us. The book or the important conversations are not soon forgotten.

Nan Forler‘s Bird Child was one of the most beautiful books I have ever shared with a class.

We learned about the power in all of us to stand up for each other. Recounting our conversations in this post was important. As a group, we shared something big.

3. Experiencing vulnerability

Some books produce such strong reactions. In our responses, we are vulnerable and need discussion and support to make sense of our feelings.

This book reduced some of us to tears: The Day Leo Said I Hate you! written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Molly Bang

What happens when our feelings explode and we say something hurtful? How do we navigate our way back? We talked about this book here.

4. Honouring the power of books

We were inspired by the beautiful Book written by George Ella Lyon and illustrated byPeter Catalanotto. to talk about what reading means to us.

This post details the beautiful art and writing we did in response. Students talked about how reading transported them into the book and about how much they love to be read to.

5. Celebrating wonder

I love to use information storybooks to inspire student questions. This book The Last Polar Bear written by Jean Craighead George motivated students not only to ask questions but to explore answers.

In this post we talked about how climate change is affecting the habitat of the polar bears. We found we were left with more questions than when we started.

Looking forward to what books will bring to us in 2012!

Sunday Musings

Sunday afternoons, for teachers, are often a bit of a place of limbo. It is still the weekend and there is time for relaxation and family but a little place in the back of our brains starts asking “What about Monday morning. . . ?” For me, part of the Sunday routine is often filling up my school bag with recent treasures from the library that I am excited to share with my students. Often there are more books than my schedule will allow but it is always a priority to find a place for books.


I believe that the two most powerful things I can do in my classroom each day are reading aloud to my students and providing time for them to read independently. Nothing else exposes them to new vocabulary, new ideas or new perspectives as quickly, as easily and as powerfully as a book. Reading aloud to a class pulls all of us into a magical place, an intimate learning community where words and visual images help us make meaning of our world. We discover something new. We think differently about something. We question ideas. We find support for a perspective. We are changed, often dramatically, by a few pages. Our interactions with these books shape us, constantly. How lovely that I can have this experience be part of my life daily just by reading to children?

Sometimes, it is hard to remember that not everyone shares this philosophy. In educational climates that measure student learning in test scores vs. engagement, reading aloud has no place in the everyday of classroom life. I came across this article on read aloud champion, Jim Trelease’s site. Seems impossible to imagine! More fuel to support the argument that an educational system characterized by high stake’s testing has no place in B.C.’s schools.

Read Aloud Handbook

My copy of The Read Aloud Handbook, discovered in a used book store is probably the book, of all the books I own, that I have read and reread most often. I quote sections of it to anyone sitting near me. I shake my head as study after study and story after story is described that makes the book’s main point again and again:

Reading aloud to a child is the single most important factor in raising a reader.

And it doesn’t stop when they can read by themselves!

Why doesn’t everyone know this!??

An ode to books, to libraries, to reading. A must read for every parent and every teacher. Jim Trelease‘s website contains a lot of interesting information. But owning his book for constant reference is a must.

But back to Sunday. And my pile of books. Because it is always all about the books . . .

Books that might make their way to school with me this week:

The Purple Kangaroo is written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Peter Brown. This book is narrated by a clever monkey that asserts he can read minds – your mind, dear reader, in fact. And he is pretty sure that you are thinking about a purple kangaroo. If you weren’t thinking about a purple kangaroo, you certainly will be by the time this book is finished. One that blows rainbow bubble gum out of his nose. A delightful journey with a book that you can’t help but interact with.

I imagine some very noisy listening to this story. Possibly some shouting! A lot of giggles.

The first line of this book says so much: The skin I’m in is just a covering. It cannot tell my story.

But with this book, every line is a line to read, savour and repeat. How about this one:

Be with me inside the me of me, all made up of stories present, past, future . . .

Skin Again by Bell Hooks is brilliant. And Chris Raschka illustrates! Perfection.

My Favourite Thing (According to Alberta) is written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by AnnaLaura Cantone. This book is all about Alberta, a little girl of particular tastes. She has some very specific opinions. Her favourite ice-cream? Peppermint. Favourite vegetable? Potato chip. 🙂 And you must read to the end to find out exactly what her actual favourite thing is. This book goes on my must use as a springboard for writing list. I have big plans for this book.

I picked this book off the library shelves because it is illustrated by one of my new very favourite illustrators Peter Catalanotto. He doesn’t illustrate books, he paints amazing scenes which accompany text. Then I saw that it was written by Cynthia Rylant. This book just had to be great. An Angel for Solomon Singer did not disappoint.

A book about dreams. About yearning. About finding comfort in a big bustling city. Finding happiness when things are not really the way they ought to be.

A small treasure to inspire big discussion.

So as I move from Sunday, into Monday I take the cozy comfort of reading and books with me and keep it all through the week. It’s all about the books . . .

It’s all about the Book

Recently we read Emily’s Art written and illustrated by Peter Catalanotto and he invited the students to send him some art. Well . . . Emily’s Art was such a special book that we wanted to “gift” Peter with something special in return. His paintings are truly majestic and we wanted to make something that might make him have a bit of that “glowy” feeling that he inspires in us as we look at his illustrations.

At the library, I found a copy of Book written by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Peter Catalanotto. Sadly, this gorgeous book is out of print so we were lucky the VPL had a copy! Book is an ode to the magic and power of books. Lyon’s words and Catalanotto’s pictures invite us to escape to the magical place books transport us to simply by opening up the cover and stepping in . . .


We read this book a few times, marvelling at the images and savouring the words. We were delighted by the whirling words interacting with the images.  Students then wrote about what reading means to them.

P1020560The next day, inspired by this image (left) in particular, we started creating images.

While the students worked, I called each child up and we looked at their personal writing – selecting a line or a few lines that really captured their relationship to reading.

I typed up the text and then students added their text to their art in a variety of ways – inviting our viewers to celebrate reading, language and learning with us! Framed pieces are on display in the main office and in the library. Enjoy!

Lisa shared her feelings about books: I like books because each book has a different story in it.

Lisa's work

Many students wrote about the way reading makes them feel. Gary wrote: Reading is fun and calm. When I read, I visualize the pictures.

Kevin shared: “If you get really into the book, you might even dream about it. When my Mom and my teachers read to me, I feel relaxed and happy.”

Alyson is passionate on the subject! “Books change the world and books change us.”

Catriona writes: “I like reading because if you read a book, it feels like you travel into the book and you become your favourite character and you feel like you’re doing something you would love to do but it’s impossible.”

Catriona's piece

Sigh 🙂 Is that not beautiful? And if you look closely at Catriona’s picture, you might notice that she has a book heart.

Josiah shared: “I like reading because I learn new words. I get all emotional when it’s exciting.”

Eddy‘s picture is beautiful and bright and features a tree house up in a tree. He writes: “I’m happy when I read because I feel good and like I’m learning.”

Eddy's words

Learning while we read was a big theme! Jenifer says, “Books are telling things that we can learn.”

Jeremiah shares:” I like reading because it makes you learn stuff you need to learn. When I read, it feels like I’m in it.”

Sergio lays it out like only he can! “You know why I like reading? Because I will be smarter. And you know why I like being read to? Because the people that read to me, they will be smart like me.”

Ricky states: “When I read it’s like I’m watching a movie but I have to flip pages. When someone reads a good book, I can look at the pictures and visualize.”

Ricky's work

Many children wrote about how they love being read to. Always, read aloud times throughout the day are a time to connect, learn and discuss themes and concepts from the books we read.

Hajhare shares: “I like getting read to because the teacher always uses expressions and they talk kinda funny.”

Scott agrees. “I like when someone is reading to me because I could learn more stuff. It feels exciting.”

Truman drew himself happily celebrating reading.

“When someone reads to me, I feel like in the book.”

Truman's piece

This was a common theme.

Annie writes: “Books make you feel like you’re actually inside the book. I like books because they teach you things that you want to learn.”

Jenny’s thoughts are lovely. “Books are my friends and books are like alive to me. Looking at the illustrations gets me ideas.”

This was such an enjoyable way for our reading group to celebrate our relationship to books and reading.

Inspired by Book!

Copies of these gorgeous pieces are on their way to Peter Catalanotto as thanks for the inspiration!

Jena’s words are very special and capture the feeling of the cover image of Book.

“I like reading because I get to think of mystical things. When I finish the book and I like it so much I hold on to it and if it’s really emotional my eyes start to water.”

Emily’s Art

What a powerful book to read to children! I first read Emily’s Art written and illustrated by Peter Catalanotto with my daughter and she burst into tears part way through. We talked for a long time about the story events and how different characters acted and felt. I knew this was an important book to share in the classroom and the resulting discussion confirmed this and then some.

This book begins with a sneak peak into Emily’s classroom. Ms. Fair is explaining to the students about an upcoming art contest where a judge will decide the winner. Catalanotto does a fantastic job of portraying the open, honest and sometimes impulsive comments made by students in a class discussion. Students ask questions about the judge, winning and losing and how exactly things are decided. From Emily: “Does the judge know which is better?”

The story then skips ahead to the days leading up to the contest. Everyday students get painting time. We watch Emily painting and fielding questions about her pictures. Looking at her picture of her family having breakfast (where we see a mother cooking, eating, packing lunches and changing a lightbulb), Stephen asks, “Why do you have four mothers?” Emily explains that there is only one, “She’s just very busy.” Everyday Emily paints a different picture. Her best friend Kelly paints a butterfly day after day.

The night before the contest, Emily cannot settle. She has questions for her mother about which is best and all night she worries about what might be better. Winter or summer? Pink or purple? The sun or the moon? My students were reminded of other stories with characters being unable to sleep because of worries. “That’s like Wemberly Worried!” “Howard B. Wigglebottom!” “Seymour Slug Starts School!” We sure connect to those sleepless worrying nights!

At the contest, the judge is overwhelmed by Emily’s art: “What a gorgeous painting. What a beautiful rabbit!” When Ms. Fair explains that the picture is actually of a dog, everything changes. “A DOG??!!” screeched the Judge.”I was attacked by a dog once! I hate dogs.” She turns and awards the blue ribbon to Kelly’s butterfly.

“I love butterflies,” she announced.

Emily’s heart twisted. My class was irate! And deeply impacted.

Jena: “That judge is judging her painting by what she thinks about dogs.”

Alyson: “Maybe she shouldn’t be a judge! What does she know?”

Emily took her painting down and vowed to never paint again. Miami, now in Grade 3 shared a memory from kindergarten: “At my old school, my teacher was mean to me. She said “What is that?” when she looked at my picture. “You can draw better than that. I know you can.” I always felt sad when I was at home.”

Emily ends up going to the nurse’s room, needing to mend her broken heart. She falls asleep and when she wakes, Kelly is on the cot beside her.

I ask the students why Kelly might be there?

Scott: “She is so sad for Emily.”

Alyson: “She feels sad that Emily didn’t win. She would have won if the teacher hadn’t said it was a dog.”

Hajhare: “Kelly’s heart feels sad because she thinks that Emily must hate her.”

“Wow” Kelly whispered. “You’re a good artist.”

The girls begin talking and Kelly shares that she doesn’t know how to draw anything but butterflies. Because she won, everyone expects more of her. Can Emily show her how to draw a dinosaur? The girls feel better and head back to the classroom where they are having an art party to celebrate all of the wonderful work!

Kevin: “It’s a happy ending. But the middle was the sad part.”

Miami: “I’m connecting. Lots of movies have sad middles but then, happy endings.” The class agreed.

More reactions:

  • “She should know her own opinion of her drawing so she won’t be sad. Like positive thinking.” (Lisa)
  • “Don’t always agree with other opinions.” (Annie)
  • “It is emotional, because if you think of a time like that – like getting rejected, you connect to the sadness of it.” (Alyson)

We talked about how strong words can be.

  • “What the judge said was mean.” (Kevin)
  • “People should think before they speak” (Alyson)
  • “Words can be really strong- something mean said can make you feel like a punch in the stomach.” (Jena)
  • “Punches can hurt outside, but words hurt inside.” (Kevin)
  • “That’s clever Kevin.” (Hajhare)

For more ideas of how this book might be used in the classroom, check out these questions from Philosophy for Children. I just discovered this website and will certainly be revisiting it!