Friday, August 10, 2012

Picture Book 10 for 10 Event

It's time for my TOP TEN PICTURE BOOKS post!  Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Learning along with Cathy at Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community are sponsoring August 10 for 10 Picture Books Event (#pb10for10).  This is the second year that I am participating and I am very excited because this year I have my own blog to post my picks on - last year I used google docs.

Some of these books are newer and others have been around awhile.  I am sure that given this task next week or next month my list would definitely change!  Either way, these ten books will definitely be read and reread in my second grade classroom during the upcoming school year.

Pete the Cat, Rocking in My School Shoes written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean.

I just LOVE books that I can sing!  In this book Pete the Cat visits different areas of his school - all while "rocking in his school shoes".  I read sang this book to my students at the beginning of the school year.  It never stayed on the shelf for the first 2 months of school.  You could always find a group of students sitting or laying on the carpet reading singing the story.  I can't wait to get a copy of Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons!

Enemy Pie written by Derek Munson and illustrated by Tara Calahan King

Want to know the perfect ingredient for getting rid of your number one enemy?  Then read Enemy Pie.  A great story about making friends, told with humor and even some suspense.  My students love guessing all the possible gross and horrible ingredients that might be in the pie.  My students love this book.  There is even a Reading Rainbow episode that features the book narrated by Ed Harris.
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse

So what is a reversible poem?  First, you read it forward.  Then you read it backwards and it's a new poem!  Awesome and clever!  These reverso poems are all related to familiar fairy tales which my second graders love.  When I first introduced the book, I chose 2 or 3 poems to read because I thought the rest of the poems might be too advanced.  Was I wrong!  This books was constantly off the shelf during partner or free choice reading and students often asked to read some of the poems aloud to the class.

Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes is an author that I use constantly in my classroom.  His books are well written and I use them as mentor texts in both reading and writing workshop.  But most of all my students love his characters and can relate to their problems.  I chose Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse because of the theme of forgiveness.  Lilly loves her teacher and when she gets in trouble for playing with her purse at school she gets so angry at her teacher she writes a mean note.  I think it is a great book to help talk about doing something that you regret and the act of forgiveness.

The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

Another author I just love!!  It was so hard to choose one of her books, but The Keeping Quilt has a special place in my heart because I was fortunate enough to hear Ms. Polacco tell the story herself (without the book) while holding the quilt.  By the end of the story I was crying.  She is a great storyteller - in person or through her books.  And her illustrations are so full of emotions.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Mr. Bear is looking for his hat.  Who took his hat?  How does he get it back?  What a fabulously funny, and delightful book.  The illustrations are very clever and definitely help tell the story.

Never Smile At A Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember by Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins illustrations are stunning - he uses cut and torn paper collage.  He has a collection of wonderful non-fiction books that I highly recommend.  This book describes a variety of animals and their unique way of protecting themselves or catching prey- which may be dangerous to humans.  Great way to introduce adaptation.

The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

What happens when a fuzzy tennis ball bounces down a prairie dog hole?  A great big fuzz frenzy!  This story is so hilarious and the little prairie dogs are so endearing. There is lots of clever dialogue and I love doing different voices as I read the story.  The best part is when my students start laughing so much they make me start laughing too.  A perfect read aloud full of descriptive language.  A great little story with a big message of sharing, teamwork and community.

Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Annabelle finds a box of yarn that appears to be magical.  She knits herself a sweater and then goes on to knit for her little town - the people, animals, buildings, etc.  But then an evil and greedy archduke steals the yarn for himself, only to find out the magic yarn doesn't work for him!  I haven't read this book to my students yet - I look forward to sharing it with them.

Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival written by Kirby Larson & Mary Nethery and illustrated by Jean Cassels

This is the true story of Bobbi the dog and Bob Cat - 2 pets that were abandoned during the Hurricane Katrina evacuation.  When the animals are finally rescued after roaming the streets of New Orleans rescuers soon realize that the dog is blind and has been relying on Bob Cat to survive.  Very touching story.  Great non-fiction read aloud - reads like a story.

So that's my top ten for this year.  I look forward to reading all the other blog post and their top tens!

Have you read these books?  How do you use them in your classroom?

What are your favorite picture books?


  1. Thanks for sharing your picks. Two Bobbies is also one of my favorites, although I didn't include it on my list. It was the winner of the Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award a few years back (Keystone State Reading Organization). Lilly is on my list also!

  2. Great list! You're the second blog to recommend Pete the Cat. I've somehow missed him but will rectify this soon.
    Apples with Many Seeds

    1. Thanks for stopping by Tammy. Did you know there are now 3 Pete the Cat books? You can download the songs here.

  3. Thank you for joining us today. I too love Pete the Cat Rockin in My School Shoes. It's my first read aloud with my new K students.

  4. A great list! "Enemy Pie" has been on several lists. I'll have to check out the new book by Steve Jenkins!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great choices! I'll have to check out the Mirror, Mirror book ... Sounds interesting! Love anything by Steve Jenkins!