Additional Concept/ Numbers and Counting

Peek-A-Boo Penguin Numbers and Counting   by: Ruth Owen

The book follows Peek-a-boo the penguin through his day. Each page focuses on a different room in the penguin’s house. It is meant as an interactive book. Throughout the book the readers are asked to help spot things that match and count them. I enjoy how it does not just show random pictures for the children to count but rather objects being used, that they may see in their own homes. I thought the concept was presented very well and could keep the attention of a child. I would like to use this in the classroom.


The book is a collage which uses computer animation and photographic images. The penguin is computer animation and most of the items are the photos. Nothing else really stood out to me about this book.


Self Esteem/ Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum by: Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum is the story of a little mouse who grew up loving the name her parents had given her. Then she starts school and everything changes. Her classmates tease her relentlessly about how long it is and how strange it is to be named after a flower. She no longer loves her name even though every night her parents assure her it is perfect. She has bad dreams after every negative encounter at school. Chrysanthemum and her classmates are then introduced to their new music teacher. They learn that she is also named after a flower and is very proud of it. All the other students begin to pretend their names are flowers as well. The story teaches us to be proud of who we are and if we are, others will take notice of that in a positive way. This book also offers children a chance to broaden their vocabulary. It was a very uplifting story and encourage any child to read it. This would be a book I would include in a classroom setting.


The pictures look like they were created using pencil and water color. The characters are done in a cartoon style. What stood out to me about this book, other than the name, were the illustrations that resembled a comic strip. This graphic style intrigues me with how popular it is becoming and I enjoy finding it in children’s books.


Poetry/ Robert Lois Stevenson

Poetry For Young People  by: Robert Louis Stevenson

The poetry in this book is written for small children and relate to subject matter a child can understand or things they wonder about or see in their daily lives. There are poems about the sun shining, playing on a swing, watching birds in a nest, and studying ones own shadow. Other themes include playing make-believe and being curious about worlds beyond theirs. They are beautiful poems. I believe that this is a great choice of literature to expose young readers to poetry and could also be used to introduce other topics. There are a few words scattered throughout that may go over the children’s heads a bit. However, There is a word key at the bottom of the pages to help explain these words in terms children should understand. My favorite poems were the Story of the Nest Eggs and Foreign Lands. I would love to share this book with children in a classroom.


I am not sure as to what the medium was used for this book but the colors are extremely vibrant. Some of the images take up whole pages and some only small fraction of the paper. This depends on the length of the poem. I enjoyed the pictures which depicted young children exploring and questioning their world. They look full of wonder and curiosity.

Cultural/ chapter book Rickshaw Girl

Rickshaw Girl by: Mitali Perkins

The main character of this book is a young girl living in Bangladesh.  She stays at home helping her mother as girls in her culture do.  She has a talent for painting and has a knack for thinking up crazy ideas which is an example of creative thinking. This shows that she is quite bright even though she had to quit school after 3 years so that her younger sister could also attend. This was arranged because her parents were unable to pay for both of them to attend at once. Her father drives a rickshaw for a living. This is a transportation device which is a combination of a bicycle and a buggy. The Story revolves around her life in Bangladesh and her family and how much she would like to prove to them her self-worth as a girl. It’s a coming of age story presented in a very interesting way.


There are very few illustrations because it is a chapter book. The pictures that are included are drawn with charcoal. Among the drawings are traditional designs of the culture and depictions of the characters.

Award Winner/ Grandma’s Gift

Grandma’s Gift by: Eric Velasquez

Grandma’s gift is the story of a young boy and his Puerto Rican grandmother who does not speak English.  The boy is instructed by his teacher to visit a museum exhibit while on his christmas vacation.It is a sweet story in that the boy and his grandmother are so close.  It is written in both English and Spanish and some pages even have a line for line translation. It also includes some holiday traditions of Puerto Ricans. However, it bothers me that the boy has to translate everything for the grandma. It also bothers me that she and so many others like her in the story choose to close themselves off into their own community so that they do not have to associate with  non-Spanish speaking  persons. I was glad she did choose to take him to the museum. This was good for two reasons;1. that is was the boys required school assignment and 2. that is a great educational experience. I found it a little silly that the only picture they seemed to get excited about was one they related to. Art is about experiencing all kinds of things not just the familiar. The gift that the grandma gave was very thoughtful and did show that she had faith in the future of her grandson.


The end papers look like large red presents wrapped in a bow. One side is red or green. It is done in what looks like oil paint. The characters look very realistic. The expressions on the faces of some of the figures seemed to be making a point. Those from the city who were not from the Puerto Rican community had scowling faces while all those in the community wore smiles.

Cultural #1 / The Twins Blanket

The Twins Blanket  by: Hyewon Yum

This is the story of a set of female Asian twins. They begin by talking about how they have always shared everything especially their blanket. However, they become aware that their blanket is now to small for the both of them and so is their bed. The mother of the twins decides that they will both get their own beds and has them pick out fabric for their own blankets.  One of the girls chooses a pink fabric and the other chooses a yellow fabric. The girls help to wash the fabric and then watch their mother sew the fabrics into blankets. It is a very sweet story. The two girls fought about a lot of small things but in the end they still love each other and use each other for comfort when they are scared. This book teaches about the idea of sharing but also how to resolve conflicts in a way that everyone is happy in the end.


The end papers are the colors of the fabrics the girls chose for their blankets. One of them pink and one of them yellow. The medium used looks to be a mixture of color pencil and water-color. There are more to the illustrations than the text. The pictures take up the entire pages while there are only, at most, 3 lines of text per page.

Award Winner/ We Are In a Book

We Are In a Book   by: Mo Willems

Piggie and Gereld are an animated elephant and pig. Along with the other books in this series, the text is presented in word bubbles which are to be read back and forth as a conversation between the animals. In this installment the pair come to realize that they are in a book and being read. At first they are confused. Then after a few pages, they are amused by the idea. The character figure out that their word bubbles are being read. It is humorous and very easy, for those new to reading, to enjoy alone or with a friend. This would be great to have in a classroom.


The illustrations are a huge part of the book. This could actually be considered a graphic format book because of the talk bubbles. The drawings looked as if they could have been drawn with pencil but the coloring suggests that it could have been computer animated.

Illistrations only book/ Alligator’s Toothache

Alligator’s Toothache  by: Diane De Groat

In this story a young alligator eats too many sweets and ends up with a mighty toothache right before his big party. He tries very hard to avoid going to the dentist. All of his friends try very hard to encourage him to go so that they can all have fun at his party together. In the end they end up tricking him into having the dentist look at his teeth. The dentist helps him and he feels much better afterwards. This book hits on the social emotional end of the subject of going to the dentist. It is all about how the alligator felt and why it is so important that he go. It is also about friends recognizing others feelings and helping them through their anxiety. It was a very sweet story and I think it would be a good addition to the classroom.


The entire book is done without text. it is done in what appears to be pen and color pencil. It has a very old style look to it. It actually reminded me of Amos Mcgee slightly. The colors are all very pale yellows and greens and some reds and navy blues. The animals are detailed cartoons but do not look extremely realistic.

alphabet book ABC Dentist

ABC Dentist: Healthy Teeth From A to Z   by: Harriet Ziefert

Every letter of the alphabet is associated with something to do with going to the dentist. The book is designed to show kids that the dentist is not scary, especially when you understand more about them and what they do. Some of the instruments they use are also mentioned. It also discusses healthy habits for dental care. The book shows diagrams of our different kind of teeth and also explains what happens when they are not properly taken care of. I believe this is an awesome book for a unit on dental health and would definitely use it in the classroom.


This book uses a collage technique. We see drawn images, pattered paper designs, photographs and even various word prints. The way they incorporate all these designs and textures into every picture, even the diagrams, is what drew me. The end pages also follow this collage technique and give a preview to everything the you will learn about by reading this book.





problem solving book- Swimmy

Swimmy by: Leo Lionni

This is a sweet little book about a little fish named Swimmy. Swimmy lost his family of fish to a big bad fish. He swims through the ocean by himself for a while, coming across other ocean creatures as he goes. He then comes across a new school of small fish. They are afraid of all the other big bad fish that are waiting to eat them up. Swimmy helps them to think up a plan so they can swim through the ocean without fear. This is a great book to encourage problem solving skills and also could be used to bring up topic of bullies. I would love to use this book in my class. 


Water color is the medium used in this book. It actually has the appearance of it being drawn by children. It has a sloppy look to it but it adds to the story in my opinion.