Genre- Picture Books

Title: A Sweet Smell of Rosessmell-of-roses

Author: Angela Johnson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books

Age Level: Elementary (3-4)

Date: 2005

Summary: Two youg African American girls sneak out of their house to march for the Civil Rights movement with Dr. King.

Strengths: I love the repetition of “the sweet smell of rose.” When the girls leave the house, march in the streets, and return home they smell the roses. The illustrations are fabulous. They are in black and white, but are detailed in a way that makes you feel for the characters in the book. The only color in the book is the red on the flag, the red roses,  and the bow on the bear. The text contrasts with the color it is written on. If the background is white, the text is black and vice versa. This adds a lot to the text as your reading. Also, the books ends like it begins which is neat. At the beginning the girls run out of the house, past the milkman, over the bridge, through the market to Charolette Street and at they repeat the same pattern till their safely at home. 

Concerns: I have no major concerns about this book.

Classroom Use: This book would be great for a lesson on the Civil Rights Movement and the march. I enjoy how the book comes from the childs point of view. The author leaves a great note in the front of the book talking about all the important adults during this time. She talks about how this book is a dedication to all the children that risked their lives to be a part of the movement. I think the illustrator using red as the only color in the whole book could be a great discussion. The class could talk about symbolism and why they think the illustrator did that.

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Published in: on February 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Genre- Picture Books

Title: Frog and Toad Are Friendsfrog-and-toad

Author: Arnold Lobel

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers

Date: 1970

Age Level: Primary (K-2) or Elementary (3-4)

Summary: Frog and Toad are great friends. In this book you can read through four short stories of Frog and Toad. They are always having exciting adventures that capture the minds of beginning readers.

Strengths: I always loved Frog and Toad books when I was growing up. The author uses simple text that is easy for beginning readers. I like how he divided the books into short stories. I feel this is nice for beginning readers. They can finish a story and then start a new one or stop and continue later. The story line is great for kids and there are even a few pictures to look at. Frog and Toad books are always fun!

Concerns: I have a concern about the amount of text on a page. Some pages in this book are filled with text, which can be intimidating to some young readers. This might be a better reading book for students who are not new to reading but need some extra help.

Classroom Use: Frog and Toad books are great for sturggling readers. This book could be used for reading practice or just for fun. It is great that teachers can assign one of the short stories in the book for students to read instead of the whole thing. Students could read a section of the book and then have a book discussion on the short story they read. F

Published in: on February 11, 2009 at 2:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Genre- Picture Books

Author: Peggy Rathmanofficer-buckle

Title: Officer Buckle and Gloria

Publisher: G.P. Putman’s Sons

Age Level: Elementary (3-4)                                    

Date: 1995

Summary: “The children at Napville Elementary School always ignore Officer Buckle’s safety tips, until a police dog named Gloria accompanies him when he gives safety speeches.”

Strengths: The illustrations and story line of this book are great. The book adds some humor to a great story. I like at the end of the book there is a safety tip that kind of teaches students a lesson, “Always stick with your buddy.” It is just overall a great book and a fun read even as an adult.

Concerns: The book shows students being rude to Officer Buckle. The only reason they begin to pay attention to his important safety tips is because of Gloria. Students might get the wrong idea of how to behave when some one is giving a speech or presentation.

Classroom Use: Officer Buckle and Gloria is a fun book to read to students. It might be a great book to open a lesson on about safety. It also may be a good book to read if the classroom is having social problems. The book explains that even Officer Buckle learns a new safety tip, “Always stick with your buddy!” This can show students emotion and how they can hurt each others feelings. The book might be helpful and fun in explaining to students to be kind to their classmates.

Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Genre- Picture Books

i-am-invited-to-a-partyAuthor: Mo Willems

Title: I Am Invited to a Party!

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children

Age Level: PreK or Primary (K-2)                             

Date: 2007

Summary: Piggie is invited to her first party, but she does not know what to wear. Gerald is a party expert and knows just how to help her.

Strengths: I love the simplicity of this book. The text in text bubbles are great for children. The size of the text and expression of Piggie and Gerald are awesome. The text bubbles are color coated to match either Piggie or Gerald. This helps students follow along with who is speaking. The use of white space in the book is great for focusing on the story and the characters. The illustrations are simple but fun. I feel like I can really hear these two chaaracters having a conversation when reading along.

Concerns: I have no pressing concerns about this book.

Classroom Use: This book could add some fun to any classroom. Beginning readers could really enjoy this book. It is not like your average beginner reading book, it uses repetition but also still tells a story. This will keep reading exciting for young readers and encourage them to continue reading. While the readers are enjoying the story, they are also developing reading skills.

Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Genre- Picture Book

Author:  Crockett Johnsonharold-and-the-purple-crayon

Title:  Harold and the Purple Crayon

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers

Age Level: Primary (K-2)                                   

Date:  1955

Summary: Harold and the Purple Crayon is about a boy named Harold that wants to go for a walk in the moonlight. There is no moon so he brings along his purple crayon and draws a moon. This begins Harold’s adventure as he draws with his purple crayon where he wants to go and what he wants to do.

Strengths: I like how the book is an easy read. It is a good book for younger children to be read to, but also fun for students beginning school. The book has an interesting adventure that captures the students attention and it is very imaginative.  All Harold has is his purpule crayon, so I like that the illustrations are only in purple.

Concerns: The book might lead students to be a little creative with their crayon and confused as to why they cannot draw a boat and sail away. Although, the book has a great adventure story, it might not keep childrens attention because of the lack of pictures and color.

Classroom Use: Harold and the Purple Crayon could be used in the classroom as an activity book. The teacher could read the book to preschoolers of kinderdarteners and then give them a chance to draw their own story. They could choose their own color crayon. The teacher could use adding machine paper to give the students so they could draw their adventure. It might be a good lesson for story telling, having a beginning, middle, and end.

Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment