Hello and happy 2015! I am excited to be back at the university for my sixth semester (which includes my 3 week block for pre-internship!).
To ease my disappointment that the holiday season, once again, flew past, I decided to use the bookstore gift cards I got for Christmas to buy some new treasures for my growing classroom library collection.
I highly recommend these gems to any teacher or parent. They all have great messages behind them.
1. “One” by Kathryn Otoshi
One of my classmates (@Cass_Hanley) showed me this wonderful book during a Health Education class, as it focuses on bullying. Written in very simple language, with vivid splashes of colour, this book is a great way to introduce students to a touchy and relevant topic.
2. “Zoom” by Robert Munsch
Robert Munsch is a classic author to include in any book collection for young kids. His comical characters and situations delight readers and make his books easy to listen to over and over. I particularly like this book because the main character is a fun-loving young girl (who just happens to use a wheelchair). She goes to the store to buy a new wheelchair and cannot find one that is fast enough for her liking. This book is a fun ride!
3. “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds
I found this book last semester while searching for children’s books about self esteem. This cute little story really emphasizes the fact that we are all artists. The main character, Vashti, cannot draw anything in art class until her teacher encourages her to just “make a mark and see where it takes you.” I think that this book is a great reminder for teachers to truly value their student’s artwork.
4. “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
My instructor (@jmachnaik) showed me this awesome book in ECS 210 last year. I instantly fell in love with it. #1 because it is about penguins. #2 because it is a true story from the Central Park Zoo in New York. And #3 because it introduces kids to families with same sex parents. Roy and Silo are a penguin couple and do all the same things that other penguin couples do, but they have no egg to care for. Another penguin couple ends up having two eggs and cannot care for both, so the penguin caretaker gives one of the eggs to Roy and Silo to raise as their own. Such a heartwarming tale! Your insides will feel as fuzzy as little baby Tango looks.
5. “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss
I fell in love with this book while taking a class on Environmental Studies, and included it in the unit I created for the class. Dr. Seuss packs in his usual whimsical language and fantastical characters, along with a powerful message of preserving the natural beauty and resources that Mother Earth has given us. A must have for a classroom!
6. “The Book with no Pictures” by B. J. Novak
I learned of this quirky and unique book during my ERDG class. I have not tried it out on students myself, but I have a feeling that it will always result in non-stop laughter. The premise of the book is that it has no pictures, but that does not mean it is boring. Quite the opposite actually, as the reader ends up saying a multitude of silly things (because the reader MUST read all of the words that are written in a book). A very clever way to show students the power of the written word and to interest them in books without illustrations. A fairly new book, but I hope it becomes a classic.
Children’s literature holds a special place in my heart because of the wonder and lightheartedness that it sparks within us. It is so nice to see today’s authors including important social justice issues within their books’ pages.
What is your favourite piece of children’s literature?
Until next time,