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

Actual Size: Steve Jenkins

Actual Size

Author/Illustrator: Steve Jenkins
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Year: 2004
Brief Summary: Children learn about animal sizes and units of measurement through life-size drawings of animals and animal parts.
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.:

  • Math: discuss units of measurement — length and weight.  Provide rulers and scales for students and have them measure various items.  Compare the measurements with some of the measurements in the book to get an idea of how big/small the animals or animal body parts are.
  • Science: discuss the animals in the book.  How do body parts or appearance/size of the animals help them?  For example, the atlas moth’s size protects it from prey, the giant anteater’s tongue is two-foot tongue helps it eat termites, etc.
  • Have students select one of the animals in the book and conduct further research.   Provide other non-fiction books for additional information.
  • Art: Jenkins uses a lot of cut/torn-paper art in this book.  Provide pieces of construction paper of various colors and let students create different animals.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  Additional facts for further research about the animals in the back of the book.

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary School

Electric Ben: Robert Byrd

Electric Ben: the Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

Author/Illustrator: Robert Byrd
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Year: 2012
Brief Summary: Byrd’s beautiful and colorful illustrations and detailed text take readers through the life and times of Benjamin Franklin.
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 some of the quotes found on the endpapers of the book.  Older students can pick one and write a short essay about it, or write a fable based on it.
  • Discuss the life of Benjamin Franklin and some of the important facts in the book.  Have students pick 10 events from the timeline that particularly stood out.
  • Pair with more traditional informational books on Ben Franklin.  Which appeals more to the students?
  • Good for older readers.

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

Accessed at: Capilano Library

How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?: Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

9780618966349

How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?

Author/Illustrator: Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Year: 2008
Brief Summary: Kids learn about different challenges animals face (finding food, building shelter, hatching eggs) and how they solve these problems.  More detailed facts about the animals are presented in the back of the book.
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.:

  • Science: what are some challenges animals face?  (Having to catch food, hatch an egg, build a shelter, etc.)  What are some creative ways animals solve these problems?
  • Can you think of some challenges that we face as humans that are similar to those faced by animals?  Do we have to worry about finding food, “hatching an egg”/taking care of a baby, building shelter, etc?  How do we solve these challenges?
  • Can you think of a challenge that you faced lately…how did you solve it?  Write about it and share with your classmates.

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

Accessed at: Capilano Library

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?: Steve Jenkins

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?

Author/Illustrator: Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Year: 2003
Brief Summary: Children learn about different animals, their body parts, and their unique functions.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Charlotte Zolotow Award, 2004′ ‘ Highly Commended’ ” ‘ United States’ ” ‘
Garden State Children”s Book Award, 2006′ ‘ Winner ‘ ‘ Non-Fiction’ ‘ United States’ ” ‘
Randolph Caldecott Medal, 2004′ ‘ Honor Book’ ” ‘ United States’ ”’
Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2004 ; Bank Street College of Education
Booklist Book Review Stars, Feb. 15, 2003 ; American Library Association
Capitol Choices, 2004 ; The Capitol Choices Committee
Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, Supplement, 2004 ; H.W. Wilson
Children’s Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006 ; H.W. Wilson
Children’s Literature Choice List, 2004 ; Children’s Literature
Choices, 2004 ; Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Kirkus Book Review Stars, January 15, 2003
Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts, 2004 ; NCTE Children’s Literature Assembly
Notable Children’s Books, 2004 ; ALSC American Library Association
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, March 2003 ; Cahners

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

  • Discuss different ways animals use their body parts.
  • Matching game — match body parts to animals (e.g. pictures of body parts to animal) or match functions to animals (this animal uses its tongue to eat ants).

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  Back of book contains extensive notes on animal body parts, their functions, and other facts.

  • Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

The Wall: Peter Sis

The Wall

Author/Illustrator: Peter Sis
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Year: 2007
Brief Summary: Part picture book, part graphic-novel, with journal entries, maps, and comic-strip style illustrations, this book shows readers what life was like growing up during the Cold War under communist rule.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:

  • Social studies: Cold War, Iron Curtain (physical & symbolical), Communist/socialist, Stalin, Prague Spring of 1968, etc.
  • What do you think life would be like in that era?  How would your life be different depending on which side of the “wall” you lived on?
  • What does freedom mean?  What does freedom mean to the narrator?  Write an essay about what it means to be free for you.

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Text-to-self connections
  • Text-to-world connections
  • Informational texts — inferences, drawing conclusions, making connections
  • Social studies: see above

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.
Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

Lincoln Tells a Joke: Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer

 

Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country)

Author: Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer
Illustrator: Stacy Innerst
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books/Houghton Mifflin
Publication Year: 2010
Brief Summary: A light-hearted biography of President Lincoln that looks at how he uses humor and wit in even the direst situations.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

 Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:
  • Discussion of President Lincoln; pair with another informational book on his life — maybe one that looks more formal, with charts, timelines, and other typical features of non-fiction book.  Which one do the children prefer?
  • How have you used laughter in your life?  Have you ever used jokes to help lighten the mood or help make a serious situation less stressful or upsetting?
  • Discuss some of President Lincoln’s jokes included in this book…what do they mean?
  • People teased the president about his height but he made light of it by making jokes about himself.  Is there something about you that people teased you about?  How does that make you feel?

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Social studies: presidents
  • informational books and features
  • Language arts — telling jokes, word play

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

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library