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Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch

Grace loves stories and she loves pretending like she is the characters in the stories. At school, they are having a play for Peter Pan and Grace wants to be Peter Pan. The kids in her class try to discourage her that she can not play the part for Peter Pan. Grace's mother and grandmother encourage Grace that she can be anything! She auditions for the part and Grace gets the part she wanted voted by her classmates. I would use this book in 2nd and 4th grade classes. I would have the students collaborate and write their own play and make their own costumes.

The Recess Queen - Alexis O'Neill, Laura Huliska-Beith

Mean Jean is this recess queen who does not allow anyone to play on the playground without her say. No one plays until Mean Jean tells them they can, but one day the new girl did. Mean Jean marches over to the new girl Katie Sue who was playing and told her she cannot play unless she says she can play. Katie Sue continues playing and Mean Jean was about to give her a piece of her mind again, until Katie Sue started jumping roping and asking Mean Jean to jump with her. Mean Jean was shocked, no one has ever asked her to play before! The two girls jump rope together and sing and Mean Jean was never mean again. This book is best used for 2nd and 3rd grade students. I would have students write stories about situations they have gone through similar to the story. 

Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day - Jamie Lee Curtis, Laura Cornell

This is a super cute book about a little girl who dresses silly and expresses different emotions each day. I would use this book in K-2nd grade and have them identify and express emotions. 

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything - Linda D. Williams, Megan Lloyd

In this silly book, a little old lady goes for a walk through the woods to collect herbs, nuts, seeds, and spices. As she journeys through the woods, she hears and sees parts of a scarecrow and tries to be brave. This book would be best used in K-1st grade. Students could sequence the events from the text.

Brave Irene (Sunburst Books) - William Steig

Irene's mother had just finished the last stitch on the dress she was making. Her mother needed to get the dress to the duchess for her ball that night, but her mother was not feeling well and was very tired. Irene told her mother she would take the dress to the duchess. Irene had to walk a good distance in the windy, thick snow. The dress blows out of the box she was carrying and she fell and hurt her foot. With much bravery, she continues her journey without the dress. She was lost and out of hope, until she thought about her mother. She then continues her journey and finds the duchess's house and the dress her mother had made was clinging to a tree. I would use this book for 1st-3rd grade and have them determine the main idea and supporting details.

Dear Juno - Soyung Pak

Juno receives a letter from his grandmother who lives far away. Juno cannot read yet because he is five years old. He opened up his letter and inside was the letter as well as a flower and a picture of his grandmother holding a cat. Before he had his mother read the letter to him, Juno predicts that the letter says that the flower is from his grandmother's garden and that she has a new cat. Juno was right! I would use this book in 1st and 2nd grade. I would have students write a letter to one of their classmates and have them put two items within the letter that would help predict what the letter is about.

The Hat - Jan Brett

Lisa was hanging up her winter clothes outside on a line and the wind blows one of her stockings away. A hedgehog finds the stocking and it gets stuck on his head. Animals see the hedgehog and make fun of him and the hedgehog tells them that it is his new hat. Lisa finds the hedgehog and retrieves her stocking. When she came back home, all her clothes that were hanging on the clothes line were gone. All of the animals that had made fun of the hedgehog had taken Lisa's clothes and put them on their heads. I would use this book in 1st and 2nd grade and have the students compare and contrast this story with "The Mitten".

The Mitten Board Book Edition - Jan Brett

Niki's grandmother makes him a white mitten which he looses outside in the snow. Many animals find his mitten and get inside of it to live in it. All the animals were inside the mitten and soon are all unable to fit. Niki finds his mitten when all the animals popped out of it. I would use this book in 1st grade and second grade. I would have students compare and contrast this story with "The Hat".

The Relatives Came - Cynthia Rylant

Relatives from Virginia come to visit their family. The relatives are much different than the family they are visiting. Where they live, they grow grapes and where the family lives they grow watermelon and strawberries. The relatives give lots and lots of hugs and they do not mind all piling up in a bed to sleep at night. I would use this book in a second grade class and have them write a personal narrative with family being the theme. 

By Patricia Polacco: Thunder Cake - -Philomel-

This is an amazing book! A little girl visits her grandmother during the summer in Michigan. Michigan has summer storms and the little girl is terrified of the thunder. The grandmother tells the little that they are going to make a Thunder Cake. In order to make the cake, they have to pay close attention to the storm. When they see lighting, they have to count real slow and stop counting when they hear the thunder. The number counted tells how many miles away the storm is. The grandmother tells her that they need to know how far away the storm is in order to make the cake before it gets to them. The grandmother has a clever way of helping her grand-daughter over come her fears of the thunder. I would use this book for grades 2nd-4th. I would use this book for vocabulary and have students determine the main idea and key supporting details within this text.

Recess at 20 Below - Cindy Aillaud

This is an all time favorite for students .To hear about the way other children live is interesting to students. In this book, we get to hear about how children live in Alaska and what their recess is like. I would use this book in 1st-5th grade. I would have students compare and contrast their life with the children in Alaska.

I Like Myself! - Karen Beaumont, David Catrow

This book is amazing for helping students with their self-esteem. I would use this book in a K-2nd grade class. The little girl in the book explains how she likes her self the way she is. Even if she had some crazy feature like a silly snout or warts, she still likes her self the way she is. I would have the students write about what they like about their self and some of their class mates. 

Paul Bunyan 20th Anniversary Edition (Reading rainbow book) - Steven Kellogg

This is a great folk tale for grades 2nd and 3rd graders. Paul Bunyan was born strong and grew very large. He tore down trees with his bare hands before he could even talk. The neighbors were not very happy about what Paul Bunyan was doing so his parents send him off in the ocean. This is where his crazy, fun, folk tale story really begins. I would have students distinguish between what is not true and what could be the truth. This would be a very fun activity for students.

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest - Lynne Cherry

This is a phenomenal book about the importance of the rain forest and its' trees. The boss man gives a man an ax and tells him to cut down the Kapok tree. After chopping a while, the man falls asleep on the ground by the tree. All kinds of animals whisper in his ear the importance of the tree and the rain forest and for him to not cut down the tree. This book would be best for 2nd-5th grade students. After reading this book to my class, I would have them write a letter to people who destroy the rain forest. This book has great vocabulary words as well.  

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf - Lois Ehlert

This is great informative book. The book describes the process of seeds blowing from a sugar maple tree and landing on the ground in the winter and growing in the Spring. Nursery workers come to the woods and dig up the tree sprouts and transplanted them and watch them grow until they sell them to a garden center. At the garden center, people can buy the trees and then they plant them. I would use this in a 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade classroom as an informative text to teach students how trees are started and how people are able to buy them. I would have the students sequence the main events. I would also do a project where I would grow a plant and transplant it.

What Is A Rainbow? - Chris Arvetis, Carole Palmer

A little mouse named Christopher asks a parrot what is a rainbow. The parrot did not know the exact answer so the parrot and the little mouse ask a beaver what a rainbow. The beaver tells them and other animals around them everything they need to know about a rainbow. This would be great for K-3rd grade students to learn about a rainbow.