During my latest trip to the library, I came across these picture books, in the “new books” section:
Thirsty, Thirsty, Elephants by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Fabricio VandenBroeck: I loved this book! My heart was aching for the elephant family as they search the area for enough water for them all. Would they find it? How often does this occur? I was grateful for the author’s end note about the story and the real world events that took place during the drought that struck Tanzania, and the elephant research that it inspired. The book was a great call for awareness and activism, that would be an excellent addition to a unit on water, on drought, on animals, on animal behaviors, or on real world connections, but it is so much more than that. It stretches beyond those first glance confines. I encourage you to check it out and think beyond the traditional, especially grade-level, for the connections.
Bonaparte Falls Apart by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Will Terry: I love that this book has Halloween characters, but I worry that it might lock it into being just an October read. This is a great story year-round. The science connections are about the skeletal system, but not in a way that would be truly supportive of the grade levels that typically teach it in detail–unless you use it as a creative writing example for after your skeletal system unit, with some discussion of what could be enhanced. However, if you are teaching the skeletal system to the PreK-2 grades, this would be a good way to intro the unit and follow-it up with some discussion questions to gain background knowledge and interests. But, wait…there’s more! While reading, my mind kept going back to the growth mindset, and trial-and-error, examples displayed in the story. This along with teamwork and friendship, make it a win for me! 🙂