Today is August 10th and my Twitter feed is full of #PB10for10 hashtags. Of course my eyes were drawn to the beautiful images of books, they always are! This summer, I brought home two bags of picture books that I had been meaning to read and I’m happy to announce that I’ve read every one to my kids. Many were titles I ordered last year, compiled from various blogs and social media posts. This summer, I’ve been thinking a lot about writing and bringing joy to the writing workshop. So this morning, I weeded through the book piles to create my own #PB10for10 post full of titles to inspire writers….and in the end I couldn’t choose just 10 and wrote about 11!
I Am a Story, by Dan Yaccarino, outlines the evolution of stories from those told by campfires and on cave walls to the present day. This book is a reminder that stories live all around us, an important message for the youngest and oldest writers.
Ideas Are All Around ,by Philip C. Stead, tells the story of an author who has to write a story, but he has no ideas. The story progresses as the author takes a walk and proceeds to describe what he sees, telling a story without even know it’s happening. The mix media illustrations will appeal to kids and again, this book helps us to realize that ideas really are “all around.”
All My Treasures, by Jo Witek, is another great book for generating ideas. In this story a little girl receives a special gift, a treasure chest. The story then takes the reader through her process of deciding what treasures to put inside. The young girl quickly realizes that tangible items will stick or scratch the precious box, so she includes ideas and special memories.
Sam and Jump, by Jennifer K. Mann, is one of my new favorites. I’ve already shared this title with another literacy teacher at our school and hope to buy it for several classrooms. It is a great mentor for personal narratives. Students could study and notice craft moves not only in the written words but also in the use of illustrations.
Mark Pett’s wordless book, The Girl and the Bicycle, is another good narrative mentor. The book tells the story of a girl who wants a bike, works hard to get one, and learns a powerful lesson in the end. This would be a great book to use to practice oral story telling, as a shared writing text, and also as a mentor for illustrations.
In Jack’s Worry, written by Sam Zuppardi, Jack’s worry is real and keeps growing and growing until he learns to face it…with a little help from his mom. This would be a great story to use to help kids generate ideas based on big feelings and also as a mentor for narrative writing.
More-igami, by Dori Kleber packs in a big lesson about the power of persistence and practice. This book could be a great mentor text for a narrative unit with it’s simple story structure and examples of craft moves such as transitional phrases and dialogue. It’s also just a great read aloud for discussing mindset and the need to practice and push through the hard parts…in writing or any other area!
Lisa Brown’s, The Airport Book, is a simple informational text that packs a lot in. You’ll want to take your time with this one. This is a text that would be great to study how an author and illustrator can work together to share a lot of information.
Dear Dragon, written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo, is a silly tale told through letter’s between pen pals. Again, this is a text where the illustrations are so important because the reader ends up knowing more than the characters.
Arthur Levine’s, What a Beautiful Morning, is a beautiful narrative about a little boy and his grandfather who is losing his memory. This one can be studied in bits and pieces to think about the significance of details and the meaning of the story.
I first read this book while in the midst of a literary essay unit with our third grade team. We had been studying Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelt’s when our librarian handed me this book to read. I read it without noticing the author and thought to myself, “this has such similar themes to, Those Shoes. It would be perfect or introducing kids to comparing and contrasting in their essays. Come to find out, Maribeth Boelt’s also wrote A Bike Like Sergio’s. Just like Those Shoes, A Bike Like Sergio’s is a story of young kids dealing with real life issues and learning big lessons in the process.