Never Forgotten: Patricia C. McKissack

Never Forgotten

Author: Patricia C. McKissack
Illustrator: Leo & Diane Dillon
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Publication Year: 2011
Brief Summary: Using lyrical, free verse, this book tells the story of a young boy who is kidnapped in West African and sold into slavery.

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.:

  • Language arts: discuss poetry and different kinds of poems.  This book is made up of a compilation of lyrical, free-verse poems.  What are some characteristics of these types of poems?
  • Social studies: discuss slavery and how it affected the people in Africa and the families.  How did the father and mother in the story feel when their son was taken away?  How did they try to get their son back?
  • Art: study the artistic style used in the book.  What do the illustrations tell you about how people felt?
  • Discuss blacksmithing and why this trade is honored and respected?

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  Author’s notes about slavery and blacksmithing, legends about hurricanes, etc.

Accessed at: Capilano Library

Hansel and Gretel: Rika Lesser



Hansel and Gretel

Author: retold by Rika Lesser
Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky
Publisher: Putnam
Publication Year: 1984
Brief Summary:  A retelling of the classic folktale, Hansel and Gretel, where a brother and sister are abandoned and have to find their way home.
Awards, Honors and Prizes: 

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

  • Unit on folktales…how does this version compare to other versions?
  • Parts of the story: beginning, middle, end — younger kids can try to summarize the story; older kids can talk about how the author builds the suspense of the story to the climax.
  • How do the illustrations lend to the mood/tone for the story? How do these illustrations differ from those found in other versions?  How did the illustrator show fear, anguish, anger, etc?
  • If reading this story close to Christmas time, can set aside time for students to build gingerbread houses.

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

Accessed at: Capilano Library

The Story of the Milky Way: Joseph Bruchac & Gayle Ross

The Story of the Milky Way: a Cherokee Tale 

Author: Joseph Bruchac & Gayle Ross
Illustrator: Virginia A. Stroud
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publication Year: 1995
Brief Summary:  This traditional Cherokee legend explains how the Milky Way came to be.
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 folktales, legends, and pourquoi tales…what does this legend explain?  Read alongside with other stories that explain stars, constellations, or other aspects of nature.
  • Why was corn so important for the people in the story?
  • Read other books about Cherokee culture and customs.

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

Accessed at: Capilano Library

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: James Marshall

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Author/Illustrator: James Marshall
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publication Year: 1988
Brief Summary: Retelling of the classic folktale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
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 folktales and its characteristics.  Compare and contrast with other versions, for example, the one by Jan Brett.  Notice how the illustrations set the tone for the book.  Read Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems or Yours Truly, Goldilocks by Alma Flor Ada.
  • Pay special attentions to the illustrations.  I love that they are obvious readers!!!

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

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

Red Riding Hood: James Marshall

Red Riding Hood

Author/Illustrator: James Marshall
Publisher: Puffin Pied Piper
Publication Year: 1987
Brief Summary: Retelling of the classic folktale, Little Red Riding Hood.
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 folktales and read other versions.  Are there any similarities/differences between the different versions?  For example, compare this one with Lon Po Po by Ed Young.  What is the difference in tone/mood based on the illustrations?
  • Older students can write their own scripts and act out the scenes; good for introduction to reader theater.

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

Accessed at: Capilano Library

The Treasure: Uri Shulevitz

The Treasure

Author/Illustrator: Uri Shulevitz
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Publication Year: 1978
Brief Summary: A retelling of an English tale where a man goes far and wide to seek a treasure, only to find out that it’s right at home this whole time.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:

New York Times Best Illustrated Children”s Books of the Year, 1979′ ‘ Winner’ ” ‘ United States’ ” ‘
Randolph Caldecott Medal, 1980′ ‘ Honor Book’ ” ‘ United States’ ” ‘
Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001 ; H.W. Wilson
Children’s Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006 ; H.W. Wilson

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

  • What does the saying at the end of the book mean: “Sometimes one must travel far to discover what is near?”
  • What is a treasure in your life?  (Friends, family, a teacher?)  Write about it.

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

  • Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

The Contest: Nonny Hogrogian

 The Contest: An Armenian Folktale

Author/Illustrator: Nonny Hogrogian
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Year: 1976
Brief Summary: In this Armenian folktale, two thieves try to outwit each other in order to win the heart of Ehleeza.
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 folktales and its characteristics.  Read other folktales and see if students can pick out similar characteristics.
  • From the text, what can you tell about the main characters?  What are they like?

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

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library