Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Week 21: National Geographic Kids:Great Migrations

I love this book! The Great Migrations book by National Geographic is filled with all sorts of information. The layout is fantastic and I read it cover to cover and kept sharing the facts that I learned. One of the things I love about it, besides the fascinating photographs, is the maps showing the migration patterns. I am always looking for real opportunities to teach students to read charts, diagrams, and graphs. The migration maps are all different for each animal. Since the photographs will easily engage students because they are so amazing, using the maps to then track the migration of the animals is a natural next step. It is important for students to see a real-world need to be able to read maps, charts, and graphs. This book provides those opportunities.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week 20: Fred Stays With Me!

I often pass by books without stopping to read them. With so many great books, how do you stop to read them all? Fred Stays With Me! by Nancy Coffelt is a book I have seen many times but for some reason I hadn't stopped to read. Fortunately at our book fair, a friend pointed this book out. It deals with a difficult topic (divorce) so wonderfully. Sometimes the young girl has to stay at her dad's house, sometimes at her mom's house, but Fred the dog always stays with her. When both households are tired of Fred's antics and want to get rid of him, the girl is adamant that Fred has to stay with her.
This would go along great with Charlie Anderson by Barbara Abercrombie. Both of these books are a great catalyst to start discussions about children who have to move between houses when their parents live in different homes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week 19: Duck

I'm not really sure how I have not yet talked about this fantastic book. I bought it over a year ago at an independent bookstore and it is probably one of my all time favorites. Duck by Randy Cecil is the story of a carousel duck who wants to fly. When a real little duck ends up near the carousel, the big duck is worried that the little duck won't be able to join everyone and fly. As I think I've pointed out before, I am a total sucker for fabulous illustrations and this one just takes the cake. 
This book is great for talking about sacrifice and giving up your happiness to help others. The author has a great story without shoving a lesson down the reader's throat. 
While you are picking up this book, you can also grab Gator another book by Randy Cecil which is also fantastic.