Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome


Before She Was Harriet, a poetic tribute to an American hero, written by Lesa Cline- Ransome. There is power in a name; Moses, General Tubman, Minty, Amaminta - each of these names represented each of her roles that she had: spy, liberator, suffragist, nurse, aunt, conductor, slave, and a young girl. Illustrations compliment the words and assist us toward the mood and sets the stage for the story. 

Each section of the book describes and pictures the roles that Harriet Tubman held prior to her having this name. Rather than go in chronological order from girl to old woman, this book shares her story from old woman to girl. Most students and adults know Harriet Tubman as the woman who assisted many toward freedom from slavery through her work in the Underground Railroad. This biographical picture book shares the many unknown roles she had in her lifetime. 

In reading, the role that struck my heart strings was the one as a young girl. I cannot recall a time that I have visualized the woman conductor, known as Harriet Tubman as a little girl. Students may not have had this thought either, as they have been taught about her during a unit on slavery or during Black History month. Lesa writes, "Araminta was her name who was taught by her father to read the woods and the stars at night readying for the day" (p. 21). I believe, bringing this understanding and awareness of Harriet Tubman as a little girl into the eyes of children can be an incredible experience. It is here in her lifetime they can relate to.

Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome discuss their lives, their careers, and their children's book, "Before She Was Harriet", at Politics and Prose in the following YouTube Video:


I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

Picture Day Perfection by Deborah Diesen


Ugh! Picture day. As a parent of a strong-willed child, picture days were stressful. Mostly because I wanted a good picture of my son. My pride and joy. Although, he often had a different idea of a good picture. I remember one year, writing on the photo card, please remind him to smile like your mom showed you this morning. And he did! Unfortunately, he "styled" his hair in the bathroom before pictures at school and took off his button shirt that I selected for him to wear, leaving his favorite pajama shirt underneath with a stain on his shirt and most of the collar worn out due to over-washing.

I thoroughly enjoyed the reading of Deborah Diesen's Picture Day Perfection, in which she provides a student's perspective of this yearly event. The story begins with an explanation that this boy has been planning the perfect school picture for months and then includes that some days not everything goes according to plan: bedhead, unclean shirt, syrup mishap, trouble on the bus, miscommunication on the photo form, and more. You start to feel sorry for this boy. When it comes time for the picture to be taken, he comes up with a new plan for the perfect school picture. 

After reading the story of this boy, I was curious of my son's perspective of his picture day. Was he doing these things on purpose to despise me or was this his perception of perfect? 

I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson


On the first day of school it is difficult to take the first step into a new classroom. Jacqueline Woodson sympathizes with students in her new picture book The Day You Begin. Inspired by a section in her book, Brown Girl Dreaming this poetic writing will inspire those of all ages to begin sharing their story.

I absolutely love the illustrations, that helps us visualize that EVERYONE can have a feeling of being different among others in a room. Diversity comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes; our skin, our hair, our experiences, our families, our clothes all make us different.


As educators, what an incredible opportunity we have within the first days of school to share this message to our students to help them share their differences with their classmates. When we have courage to introduce who we really are and are kind in accepting those who are different from us; we may find commonalities to make our classrooms a safe place that we look forward to returning to everyday.


I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey


Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein, is a biographical book written about the life of Mary Shelley for children by Linda Bailey. This summer, while studying for the Praxis English Middle School Examination, I first learned of how the story of Frankenstein came to be and how it tremendously differs from today's green faced monster with bolts in his neck!

I love how Bailey introduces this woman behind the creation of Frankenstein and how society was unaccepting of the horror story and was unbelieving of who the story was written by. This young girl, could not possibly have written such a thing; how did she even come about it? Although, the information shared about the writer and the story was true; which provides an example to our students that young people can do incredible things too. The stories that we dream about, create in class, and make up out on the playground could be the next timeless classic novel. Nobody really knows until they try. It has been 200 years since Mary Shelley published the book of Frankenstein and we are still discussing it!


Volume 1 First Edition, Gutenberg Files

From the publisher: How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of sixteen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. Two years later, they travel to Switzerland where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to life. A year and a half later, Mary Shelley's terrifying tale, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, is published -- a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever and one of the most popular legends of all time.

A riveting and atmospheric picture book about the young woman who wrote one of the greatest horror novels ever written and one of the first works of science fiction, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein is an exploration of the process of artistic inspiration that will galvanize readers and writers of all ages.


I received an Advanced Digital Reader Copy of this book from Netgalley & Tundra Books in exchange for my honest review. This book will be released today, August 28, 2018. 

I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

If This Were a Story by Beth Turley


In the book, If This Were a Story Beth Turley shares about a ten year old girl named Hannah. Hannah is your typical fifth grade girl who attends school and keeps a reflective outlook on her day to day life. Written in short subject based chapters that could be easily read one at a time or several in one sitting based on the time the reader had. I believe these subjects are relevant to the fourth or fifth grade student: bullying, friendships, recess happenings, and family life at home. 

One of the repetitive subject chapters are notes from visits of Hannah and her classmates have with their counselor. I think these are realistic issues that could be discussed between a student and a counselor or other trusted adult. 

In addition, there is a story inside the story between the relationship of Hannah and her eighth grade pen pal Ashley. This consistent communication between the girls, assists with the main issues within the plot and assists Hannah with processing her thoughts. 

From the publisher: Tenacious. That means strong-willed. My mother calls me that. I wish I felt the same way. If this were a story, I would discover I was a direct descendent of a famous soldier who won countless battles and protected hundreds of people. This resilience running through my veins wouldn’t be damaged by the notes; it would fight off bullies and prevent my parents from yelling at each other. But this is not a story. This is real life. My life as ten-year-old Hannah Geller, who is the only girl in fifth grade to have little red bumps on her face, is unable to let the sad thoughts escape her mind, and leaves heads-up pennies wherever she can to spread good luck. And who also finds magic in the most unlikely of places.

Beth Turley is a graduate of the MFA in creative and professional writing program at Western Connecticut State University. She lives in southeastern Connecticut and teaches writing as an adjunct. If This Were a Story is her first novel. I received an Advanced Digital Reader Copy of this book from Netgalley and Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest review. Book release of If This Were a Story, tomorrow August 28, 2018.


I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings


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Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings. Juicy chicken breasts cook to tender perfection in the slow cooker in a rich creamy sauce. Shortcut dumplings make this delicious comforting meal effortless.

Source: spendwithpennies.com
Course: Dinner
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 5 hr 10 min
Total Time: 5 hr 20 min
Yield: 4 servings
Serves:
What you will need:
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of celery soup
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • black pepper to taste
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables or peas and carrots, defrosted
  • 1 can (8 pieces) refrigerated biscuits (Buttermilk Country or Homestyle)
What you will need to do:
Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat
  1. Add onion to 6 qt crock pot and top with chicken breasts.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cream of celery soup, cream of chicken soup, parsley, poultry seasoning and pepper.
  3. Spread over chicken breasts.
  4. Top with chicken broth and cook on high 5 hours.
  5. Approximately 1 hour (I allow 60 – 90 minutes) before serving (after 4 hours of cooking time), roll each biscuit thin and flat. Cut into 4 strips. Add vegetables to the slow cooker and stir. Add biscuit strips on top. Replace lid as quickly as possible.
  6. To Serve: Remove chicken breasts and slightly shred. Add back into slow cooker and stir (this will break up the dumplings somewhat which is ok). Let cook an additional 10 minutes and serve.
Amount Per Serving (4)
  • Calories: 506
Plan To Eat
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Channing O'Banning and the Rainforest Rescue by Angela Spady



Within the first pages of reading, Channing O'Banning and the Rainforest Rescue by Angela Spady I made a connection with the main character, with the following quote:
Luckily, I keep a pencil stashed in my ponytail, just in case I need to give an autograph or draw something cool.
For those that know me, I too keep a pencil in my ponytail so it is accessible to write when I am reading, running errands, or doing homework. So of course, I fell in love with Channing right away, she is my kind of girl.

Channing O'Banning and the Rainforest Rescue is the first book in the series of a fourth grade girl, her friends, and her classmates. I like how the characters are relatable of children of all ages and will bound to be books that provide personal lessons to be learned (friendships, trying new things, forgiveness). Students may even learn a few things about science, as I found that the information used about the Rainforest was accurate. The final pages of the book include information about the rainforest, a list of practical ways students can participate in saving the rainforest, and a website to find out more information.

From the publisher: What Happens When Your Least Favorite Person Is Your Only Hope for Rescue? When Channing O’Banning’s BFF goes gaga over new boy Marco, Channing wishes she could send him back to where he came from. Her wish turns into her worst nightmare when Marco tags along on her family’s dream trip to Marco’s home country of Costa Rica.
With her secret sketchbook in tow and adorable pot-bellied pig, Teeny, by her side, Channing embarks on a high-flying adventure through the Costa Rican rainforest. But when the feisty fourth-grade artist makes a few wrong turns and gets lost in the jungle, she discovers that maybe Marco isn’t so bad after all. Through her wild escapades, Channing learns just how important it is to keep the earth—and friendships—healthy.

Angela Spady is an award-winning art educator and curriculum author. Her innovative teaching practices have been featured in Kentucky Teacher, on Kentucky Educational Television, and on PBS. She lives in Leburn, Kentucky. Tammie Lyon is the award-winning illustrator of numerous picture books, including the Eloise series and Let’s Hear It for Almigal. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I received a Digital Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson


A harbor is defined by Merriam-Webster's dictionary as a place of security and comfort or a part of a body of water protected and deep enough to furnish anchorage.

Image: Coffee-mate and I at Friday Harbor, Washington
In the story, Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, a teacher provides six, fifth grade students with an opportunity to meet unsupervised for the last hour of every school week. Throughout the book, the reader begins to understand the purpose behind the special meeting place for the students as each one shares a portion of their story. Each student has a weakness that is in need of a safe place yet, they each have a strength in which provides a comfort to another. 

I strongly believe in the power of storytelling. If I openly share my story with someone, without saying anything, without asking; I have given the other person permission to openly share their story. Maybe not right away and maybe not even to me; but at sometime that other person will often share. In this sharing, we find out we are not alone in this world and we are not the only one who has experienced something difficult in our lives.

In this timely published masterpiece, Jacqueline Woodson models how to create a harbor in our homes, in our classrooms, and in our community. She provides a recipe for creating a culture in which our children, students, and citizens so desperately need right now. 

Jacqueline Woodson introduces Harbor Me, her first middle-grade book since National Book: 


From the publisher: Jacqueline Woodson's first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories. It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat—by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them—everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's father's incarceration to Amari's fears of racial profiling and Ashton's adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives. 

I would like to thank, First to Read and Penguin Random House for the advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

ICB Golden Princess Sparkle Bible By Tommy Nelson


In our home, sparkles are awesome and the more something shines bright the better! When we are out and about if something sparkles, it grabs our attention and we say, "Sparkle!" This would be similar to the idea of saying "Squirrel!" when you are distracted mid-sentence in a conversation. 


So when given the opportunity to review, ICB Golden Princess Sparkle Bible: International Children’s Bible (ICB) I did not need to think twice and after receiving it, I was so very glad that I did! Not only does the cover present a glittery presence on the outside cover, the inside pages brightly shines God's word just for young readers. Anyone who has read the bible in church for spiritual growth and understanding or at school for its highly competent literature knows that the language used in a standard King James Version (KJV) can be difficult to decode. The ICB version takes this barrier away with the use of a lower level vocabulary (3rd grade reading level) as well as a simpler font making it easier for independent reading. This makes it possible for them to focus on the stories rather than the difficult text. 

Take Hebrews 11:1 for example,

Faith means being sure of the things we hope for. And faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.


It’s easy to understand yet not a bit of its meaning is lost through the simple words! The ICB® doesn’t water down the truth of God’s Word by simplifying it for kids. The best available Hebrew and Greek texts were used to assure a faithful translation of the original languages. The ICB is a dynamic equivalent (thought-for-thought) translation of the Bible.
In addition, the bible includes a dictionary and concordance to assist readers with words or concepts they do not understand. Not only will they be reading God's word and growing as Christians, they will be learning and becoming better readers!


The publisher says, "Every little girl is a princess in God’s eyes, and this glittery Bible packed with great features is truly fit for royalty!"

I found the following description of ICB, provided by Faith Gateway, to be valuable information:

4 reasons the ICB® translation is a game-changer for kids and God’s Word
  1. The name itself tells my children this Bible is for THEM, written specifically with their journey of faith in mind.
  2. The ICB® has more than 300 Key Bible Verses highlighted in the text so that children (and their parents) can read and learn some of the most important and foundational truths of God’s Word.
  3. Comprehension of the ICB® requires a  third-grade reading level making it the perfect full-text Bible for elementary age kids to read.
  4. Word for word, the ICB® is simple to understand and apply to our lives.



I would like to thank: BookLook Bloggers and Tommy Nelson for the complimentary copy of ICB Golden Princess Sparkle Bible in return for my honest review. 
I reviewed this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle


All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, is a realistic fictional poem that takes the reader on a road trip through Cuba.  I just love all of the sound words which describes the the cars engine; a great way to teach the literary concept, onomatopoeia. 

These words made me think of my husband and his uncle. When my husband has an issue with one of our vehicles, he describes the noise in which the car is making and his uncle, an automotive genius, will already begin to think of what could be wrong. It is very impressive.

Here in the story, the Papa continuously strives to make this antique car run; which is common in the country of Cuba. The books final pages includes an author's note, that tells us pre-1959 cars are extremely popular in this country, as the people are succumbed to both hardship and poverty. In addition, they consistently maintain these older cars with a lot of perseverance and creativity. The young boy in the story, likes to assist his Papa with fixing Cara Cara in hopes that one day it will become his.

You may view the book trailer here:


I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

Magnolia Table “After School” Banana Bread



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Magnolia Table “After School” Banana Bread


Finding love around the table.We had a hard time picking a first recipe to try out of the new Magnolia Table cookbook, but this recipe for banana bread ended up being a great choice! It's simple and easy, but a little creativity takes this classic to new heights!

Source: catzinthekitchen.com
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Total Time: 1 hr
Yield: 8 servings
Serves:
What You Will Need:
  • 8 TBSP (or 1 stick) salted butter melted and cooled (I used unsalted)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 12 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4-5 very ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 12 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 12 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 cup chopped pecans or chocolate chips
  • 1-2 TBSP granulated sugar

What You Will Need To Do:
    Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with nonstick baking spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla with the paddle attachment until well blended. (You can also do this with an electric mixer.) Add the bananas until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat just until combined. Add the chocolate chips or pecans and mix until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the sugar over the top.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Let the bread cool slightly in the pan on a rack. Slice and serve warm with butter.
  6. When banana bread is completely cool, cover the pan with foil or if your dish comes with a lid and store at room temperature for up to two days...but it probably won't last that long.

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It's the First Day of School by Charles M. Schulz


My daughter, my husband, and I all return to school today! In honor of this special occasion, I share with you Charles Schulz's It's the First Day of School

The story begins four weeks from the first day of school and I think Sally is a little excited. The story continues at three weeks from the first day of school and she has her clothes laid out and her lunch made. Two weeks out, Sally and Charlie Brown go school shopping and one week away Sally begins to have some back to school jitters. The day before, Sally has some mixed feelings. Then the big day has arrived and Sally is feeling good about second grade.

I just love this story and its realistic views of how we all feel as school begins. The summer comes to an end and it's time to get back into the old routine. This forces us to succumb to a plethora of emotions: happy, sad, excited, anxious, and dred. Reading this book to your children at home helps them understand that all of these feelings are normal. 

Today, is the first day of my senior year in college! This semester, I will be finishing up my Social Studies emphasis classes and next semester, I will complete student teaching. I too am full of many emotions. As I become stricken with senioritis, I feel as though this is going to be an extremely long year. However, the light is nearly approaching at the end of the tunnel. I will be making my lifelong dream of becoming a teacher a reality! 

Hear we go! 


I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book everyday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

Pernille Ripp Suggests, Picture Books to Read the First Week of School


On August 1st, Pernille Ripp shared a blog post of her favorite picture books to kick off the school year. I immediately headed over to the public library to pick up two, three... okay, I borrowed all that they had available (and placed the others on hold)!


Without further ado, here are a few book recommendations to read on the first few days of school:

Drawn Together by Minh Le 

At first, it was difficult to share out loud the pictures that I saw as I "read" aloud the book. But then, as I began to see what was happening, I retraced my steps and explained the pictures and asked questions. The beginning would be an incredible way to complete a Think Aloud with your students, modeling the ability to make inferences on the images. Similarly, the young boy and the Grandfather were having a difficult time communicating with one another based on a language barrier. After several attempts, the young boy seems to have given up and begins to complete his own activity. Grandpa takes interest in his new task and surprises him by joining him in his own way. You will want to share this story with your students, to see how these two broke the barrier and found common ground. 

I really like how the book expresses communication in a different form. Sometimes a barrier comes between two people and they are not able to express themselves with each other. But if we seek out new creative ways, we can still come together and communicate.


My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown

Robert believes his teacher is a monster; yelling at him, stomping around, and keeping him from attending recess. One day, he saw his monster  teacher outside of school and was given a different perspective. 

This book is a beautiful explanation of what happens between a student and a teacher when a relationship is formed. My only wish is that this happened for Robert at school rather than at the park. I know the message for students is that we should not judge a book by its cover and its what is written in the pages that matters. But, my teacher voice in my head questions how many students still see her as a monster at the end of the story? Of course, this book is all about perspective.. right?


After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back up Again by Dan Santat 

Are you afraid of doing something? Is something holding your students back from succeeding? Humpty Dumpty can relate; he fell off the wall and became afraid of heights. Falling was such a dramatic event that it began to keep him from enjoying life (make sure to point the details in the pictures while you are reading, it will add to the story). Can he face his fears and live his life again?

Inspiring and uplifting story for those who have a fear that could be overcome, if given the right opportunity. I like how the story focuses on the fear as an individual and how he handled it. Sure, it is great to have cheerleaders in your life to help you get there; however, at the end of the day it is up to you. 




Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall 

Sometimes we prepare for something and then get to the moment of action only to find that we are afraid to take the next step. The fear of the unknown begins to settle in. It's a new adventure, you have never done it before and that can be scary. 

Jabari learned how to swim and has been checked off for the diving board. Read this motivating story of building up courage to do what you have worked so hard to accomplish.

What I love the most about this book is that once he meets his goal, he quickly creates a new goal for himself. That is an impressive attribute that is learned in life and keeps us growing!





School's First Day of School by Adam Rex 

The new school year is about to begin and the brand new school building is having anxiety about the first day. There are many stories of those that focus on the feelings of students and teachers. But this one, focuses on how the new school is handling it's back to school jitters. 

As a student of history, I love books that provide us with different perspectives. This book will make us all laugh because of its fictional quality of a building human like qualities. Yet at the same time students (and teachers) can relate to being the new kid or experiencing a variety of emotions with a new teacher and new classmates.


Elwood Bigfoot: Wanted: Birdie Friends! by Jill Esbaum

Making friends is difficult to do, just ask Elwood Bigfoot. He is the only bigfoot in the forest and is trying to make a friend or two with the birdies. Unfortunately, he is big and scary to the cute little birds. He tries everything to get them to like him. Does he give up? Is he able to gain a friend? 

This well illustrated picture book is relatable to all children who have found themselves alone; whether they are the new kid in the neighborhood, the new kid in school, or someone who has a difficult time finding people to play with. 

I like how Esabum shows us that it is not how we look or what flashy thing we make that will gain us friendships but it is when we are true to ourselves and allow nature to take its course we are able to settle into our community, just as it should be.



Pete & Pickles by Berkeley Breathed

Berkeley Breathed teaches us an important lesson about our lives; how it is, what we think it is, and how it should be. Pete is a practical pig who has it all figured out. A perfect life on his own. He thinks his life is quite grand and goes day by day being practically perfect. Until, he meets Pickles. Pete does not think he needs Pickles in his life. Pickles adds a bit of sparkle and spunk to Pete's mundane and routine day to day. This causes Pete to become quite furious when he notices how much chaos Pickles is really creating in his schedule. But what happens next will come as a surprise to both Pete and the readers of the book. 

This picture book inspires us to let go and let live. Sometimes, we think we know what is best for ourselves.. but maybe we just do not know any better. I think we all need a little sparkle in our lives, don't we?

In addition, the picture books All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal was on this list; however, I have already read and shared. For more picture book lists by Pernille Ripp, visit her blog page: Our Favorite Books. (I think I may need another trip to the library).

Believing wholeheartedly in the practice of student choice, I would give a little 20 second commercial on the books available and have the students choose which one they would like to have read. This could be done by survey or by a democratic vote. This is not to say that others will not be read; however, they will be given an opportunity to choose the book of the day. How do you choose the picture books you are reading to your class? Please share in the comments below!


I read these books as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...