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A Picture Book A Day Challenge Week 4 Recap

A Picture Book A Day Challenge Week 4

I’m a little over an eighth of my way through my picture book a day challenge with these next 7 book, and another week closer to being a dad.  Here I’ll recap the picture books I read this week.  Honestly, though, depending on your questioning and support, any picture book could work for any grade level.  Most of these books are also great bilingual read alouds or Spanish read alouds for dual language bilingual classrooms!  The books available in Spanish are noted.  With it being Thanksgiving this week as of this writing, I read two Thanksgiving books to find a good one for my students.

There are affiliate links in many of the posts on this site. This means your purchase supports myself, my business, and my family when you click through to buy – at no additional cost to you.

Let’s get to the books!

Leo A Ghost Story

Book 22: Leo – A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson

(Leo: un cuento de fantasmas in Spanish)

If you are ever writing of authors to help teach your students how to write a great lead, Mac Barnett needs to be at the top of the list.  Every time this guy’s books draw you in with just one sentence.  His writing style is so subtle and simple.  This may be slightly hyperbolic to say, but I would say that he reminds of Hemingway a bit in terms of his way of using simple situations and words to convey strong emotions and deep thought.

Leo was a ghost who lived alone in his house until a family moved in.  He was so excited that he would have friends.  The family was afraid, though, and they hired people to make him leave. He felt unwanted, so he left.  Then he found a girl who was playing with her imaginary friends and she thought that he was just another imaginary friend.  He didn’t want to tell her that he was a ghost for fear that she might also be afraid of him.  He eventually told her and she didn’t care.  I love the message for students that true friends won’t care about your flaws.

Check out the full lesson plan and activities HERE

The Three Questions

Book 23: The Three Questions by Jon Muth (Las tres preguntas in Spanish)

This book illustrates perfectly what I love most about picture books: It started with a deep questions and brought it down to a level that kids can understand and connect to.  Actually, the book had 3 questions, as the title alludes to.  The book is actually based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy.  Jon Muth took the short story and turned it into a fable, and since it’s such a great example of a fable, I use it to teach the fable genre and we analyze the elements of a fable.

Check out the full lesson plan and activities HERE

The Heart and the Bottle

Book 24: The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers

(El corazon y la botella in Spanish)

I’m probably going to be really sad when I have no more new Oliver Jeffers books to read.  This one was one that hit right in the heartstrings.  It tells the story of a girl who is your stereotypical child: curious and excited about EVERYTHING.  Her grandfather is her constant companion and answerer of questions.  One day, her grandfather was no longer there for her.  It hurt her so much that she took her heart out and put it in a bottle.  She was no longer curious or excited, but her life didn’t hurt anymore.  One day, though, she meets a girl who was much like her when she was younger.  She reminded her of what it was like to be curious and excited.  The girl helped her take her heart out of the bottle.

This book is perfect for helping kids deal with a loss in their family.

Check out the full lesson plan and activities HERE

Sarah Gives Thanks

Book 25: Sarah Gives Thanks by Mike Allegra

Before I read this book, I had no idea that Thanksgiving wasn’t always a national holiday.  I had also never heard of Sarah Hale.  Your kids are going to love this book.  This book teaches them about how Thanksgiving came to be recognized as a national holiday (it was during the Civil War!), and that you need to persevere and work hard to get what you want.  A great nonfiction read aloud for Thanksgiving.

Check out the full lesson plan and activities HERE

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

Book 26: Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

(Las bellas hijas de Mufaro in Spanish)

This book is one that sticks with you.  One of the members of the community said that they still remember their school librarian reading this book to them when they were in school.  If that’s not the goal of picture books, I don’t know what is.  If you ask me, picture books are one of the purest forms of human storytelling dating all the way back to the oral tradition just as the story of this book was.  It is an African Cinderella fractured fairytale.  With this book I go over the elements of the Cinderella fairytale and we analyze the text for the connections and comparisons we can draw to this story.

Check out the full lesson plan and activities HERE

The Rough Face Girl

Book 27: The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin and David Shannon

This was my surprise book for the week.  Each week a book has surprised me in some way.  This book surprised me because it was illustrated by David Shannon.  I wrote about the book Encounter back in Week 1 of the challenge, and that was also illustrated by David Shannon.  His illustrations are so provocative. The illustration on the cover of this book is only a hint of the other great illustrations inside.  This book, like Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, is another Cinderella tale.  It’s perfect for reading the two books together.

Check out the full lesson plan and activities HERE

A Turkey For Thanksgiving

Book 28: A Turkey For Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

I couldn’t finish off the week without reading this classic.  The perfect Thanksgiving story for teaching predicting.  Mrs. Moose wants nothing more than a turkey for Thanksgiving, and Mr. Moose wants nothing more than to make Mrs. Moose happy.  He goes out and finds Turkey and brings him back to his home where his friends are ready for Thanksgiving dinner.  Turkey thinks that it’s the end until Mrs. Moose invites him to sit next to her.  Eve Bunting’s descriptive language is also great for analyzing the words and writing about mental images.

Check out the full lesson plan and activities HERE

Great Books From Facebook and Instagram

If you haven’t checked out the Facebook Page or Instagram @joshteacheseverything, you’re missing out!  The community of readers and picture book experts with both teachers and librarians in the JTE community is AMAZING.  Here are some of the books that some of the members were reading this week:

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima (Plans and Activities here)

Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler

Turkey Time by Melanie Matthews

A Grand Old Tree by Mary Newell DePalma

Henry’s Heart by Charise Mericle Harper

What picture book are you reading?

P.S. Look for more freebies next week and every week in my Sunday email! Check out my Facebook and Instagram for hints as to what book the freebie may be from next week!

If you haven’t signed up for my Sunday emails, you’re missing out!  I’m sending weekly freebies during my Picture Book a Day Challenge.  This week’s freebie are the day one lesson plans for each of my three Thanksgiving books: Balloons Over Broadway, Sarah Gives Thanks, and A Turkey For Thanksgiving.  Sign up below to get yours!

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Hey there! I’m Josh from Picture Book Brain here to share only the best literature for you to use with your students. If you are looking for a specific book, use the search bar below to check my archives. Glad you’re here, and glad to help you!

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