Extra Yarn: Mac Barnett

 

Extra Yarn

Author: Mac Barnett
Illustrator: Jon Klassen
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Year: 2011
Brief Summary: When Annabelle finds a box filled with yarn of every color, she starts knitting for herself, her dog, and everyone and everything in town.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children”s Literature, 2012′ ‘ Winner’ ‘ Picture Book’ ‘ United States’ ” ‘
Randolph Caldecott Medal, 2013′ ‘ Honor Book’ ” ‘ United States’ ”
Amazon Editors’ Picks: Best Books of the Year, 2012
Booklist Book Review Stars , Dec. 15, 2011 ; American Library Association
Booklist Editors’ Choice: Top of the List, 2012 ; American Library Association
Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2012 ; American Library Association
Booklist Top 10 Craft and Gardening Books for Youth, 2012 ; American Library Association
Choices, 2013 ; Cooperative Children’s Book Center
First and Best, 2012 ; Toronto Public Library
Horn Book Fanfare, 2012 ; Horn Book
Kirkus Best Children’s Books, 2012
Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars, October 31, 2011 ; Cahners
School Library Journal Best Books, 2012
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, December 2011 ; Cahners

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Why did Annabelle’s friends tease her when she showed them her work?  Talk about bullying and how this might have made her feel.
  • Art: find easy yarn projects for students to make/what other beautiful things can we make with yarn?  e.g. yarn “paintings” (draw design with white glue, then paste the yarn on it), etc.
  • Annabelle uses her creations to help others feel good and beautify her neighborhood.  What are some ways we can do the same?

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.   

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

Frog and Toad Are Friends: Arnold Lobel

Frog and Toad Are Friends

Author/Illustrator: Arnold Lobel
Publisher: Harper and Row
Publication Year: 1970
Brief Summary: Best friends Frog and Toad go through many adventures together, including going swimming, finding lost buttons, and writing letters.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Discuss Frog and Toad’s friendship — what makes it work?  What makes a good friend?  What are some examples of Frog and Toad being good friends to each other?
  • Have you ever tried making up a story, like Toad?  Is it easy or hard for you?  Did you like Toad’s story?
  • Practice letter writing and assign students pen pals from another class or another grade or another school.  What are the key elements in a letter?  Discuss different types of letters — informal ones to friends/family, formal ones to teacher/boss, short memos, etc. — and the appropriate use of each.  How is letter writing different from texting, essay-writing, creative stories, etc.?
  • How did Frog trick Toad into waking up early for Spring?
  • Discuss the different buttons Frog and Toad saw in the Lost Button chapter.  Have kids each bring in a button from home and glue it onto a “coat” (make it out of felt).  Discuss different shapes, colors, and sizes with young children.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  

Accessed at: Capilano Library

Monkey, A Trickster Tale from India: Gerald McDermott

Monkey: A Trickster Tale from India

Author/Illustrator: Gerald McDermott
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Year: 2011
Brief Summary: The clever monkey tricks the crocodile into giving him rides to the mango trees.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Discuss trickster tales.  What are their characteristics?  Read other trickster tales by Gerald McDermott.
  • Is there a moral to this story?  What did the monkey say to the crocodile at the end?  What did he mean?
  • If you were the monkey, how would you cross the river?  Play a game with the students where they have to cooperate with each other to solve the problem.  For example, give teams of students the same objects like a rope, a scooter, a beach towel, etc., and challenge them to get their entire team across the river (the playground or the classroom) without touching the ground or the “water” (unless they want to be eaten by the crock!).  Teams who touch the ground by accident must start over. What does this game teach us?  Creative problem-solving, teamwork, etc.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  

Accessed at: Capilano Library

Zen Shorts: Jon J. Muth

Zen Shorts

Author/Illustrator: Jon J. Muth
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Year: 2005
Brief Summary: Three siblings visit their new neighbor Stillwater, a giant panda, and each learns a lesson about generosity, the randomness of luck, and forgiveness.  This is a good introduction to the Zen approach to the world.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • What lessons do the children learn from Stillwater?  What do these lessons tell us about the Zen way of thinking?
  • Introduction to Zen and other Asian philosphies (Tao, Confusionism, etc.).  Compare them to other major philosophies of the West…how are they similar/different?
  • Scholastic teaching guide: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/zen-shorts-storia-teaching-guide
  • Read Muth’s The Three Questions and Zen Ties.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  Additional information about Zen is included in the back of the book.

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

Stranger in the Mirror: Allen Say

 

Stranger in the Mirror

Author/Illustrator: Allen Say
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Year: 1995
Brief Summary: A young boy wakes up to find that his face has transformed into that of an old man.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Why did the boy dream that he’s turned into an old man?  How do you think he feels about being old in the beginning of the book?
  • How did the teasing from his friends at school make him feel?
  • What finally made him feel okay about the way he looked?  What lessons did he learn about aging?

Accessed at: Vancouver Public Library

Moses — When Harriet Tubman Led Her People To Freedom: Carole Boston Weatherford

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People To Freedom

Author: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Year: 2006
Brief Summary: The story of Harriet Tubman as she escapes the life of slavery and eventually comes to guide others to freedom.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Discuss Harriet and what she thinks is her calling in life.  Why did people call her Moses?  Why does Harriet’s husband not want to escape?
  • Social studies: discuss this period of time in history; discuss the Civil War and why it broke out.
  • Discuss slavery and the types of hardships slaves endured.
  • On a map, trace the route Harriet possibly took.
  • Read a biography of Tubman’s life at  http://www.nyhistory.com/harriettubman/life.htm; create a timeline of major events of her life during this period.
  • Read about the Underground Railroad.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  

Accessed at: Capilano Library

Lightship: Brian Floca

Lightship 

Author/Illustrator: Brian Floca
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Year: 2007
Brief Summary: Learn about lightships, which serve as lighthouses where they cannot be built, guiding sailors safely through bad weather.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Discuss lightships — what are they and what purpose do they serve?  How are they similar/different from other ships?
  • Discuss various roles different sailors play on the ship.  Is anyone more important than another?  Talk about how even the seemingly insignificant roles are important…relate to how even though everyone’s different, we all play an important part in our community.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  Author’s notes in the back with more information about lightships.  A picture of lightship with labelled parts on the end-papers.

Accessed at: Capilano Library