Back to the alphabet! Typically when I create this post, I select books from the “new books” section of the children’s library, but like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I decided to give them some buying time. Instead I am scanning their selection of picture books, letter by letter, alphabetized by author. For today, I have a portion of the “B” authors, since this section is quite large. Here are some that I came across…
Max’s Castle by Kate Banks. Illustrations by Boris Kulikov: Clever! Clever! I selected this book, because I hoped it would be about building, designing, and engineering, but it was so much more. Max creates word worlds with his alphabet blocks. Heavier on the building and rebuilding, Max creates a castle out of blocks, rooms, animals and dangers. Through his use of word knowledge, he is able to help him and his brothers escape danger by turning adder into ladder (with the help of the “l” in “bugle”), and the monkey lets them borrow the “key” to open the trunk, among others. I not only love the combination of creating and language, I love the theme of creating and recreating by using what you have.
A Garden for a Groundhog by Lorna Balian: This is a great addition to any unit on seasons, plants and harvest, Groundhog’s Day (perhaps a great way to gain student perceptions about the day), and interactions among living things. On that last note, one of my favorite parts of this was the writing within the parentheses. The (just as he was supposed to) helps to communicate the nature of living things, and if you take that teachable moment, how to show respect through understanding.
Sleepy River by Hanna Bandes. Illustrated by Jeannette Winter: Take in the sights and sounds of a forest river at night, as you follow a mother and child back home. Inspired by the Charles River, this author and preschool teacher, uses the senses to bring you to the beauty of this habitat.
Circle by Jeannie Baker: Beautifully illustrated book! It was so powerful! So moving! Literally–there was great flow and movement to the bird’s journey that you felt part of it. What an incredible journey the godwits complete. As noted in the book, in their lifetime, they will often fly farther than the distance from the earth to the moon. I appreciate the learning and the awareness that this book provides, because we are part of securing their path.