1998 Summer Picture Books & Poetry

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Nancy's picks for the best picture books & poetry of summer 1998 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 1998.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Bateman, Teresa. Leprechaun Gold. Holiday House, 1998.
Donald O’Dell rescues a half-drowned leprechaun from a stream but refuses gold in payment.
"I have enough for my needs," he tells the little fellow. But the leprechaun is determined to reward Donald and in the end sees that Donald receives a very different kind of gold.
Activity: Rank Order these rewards: $1000.00, a golden egg, a world where people are always kind to each other, diamonds, fresh fruit everyday.
 
Dewan, Ted. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Doubleday, 1998. GR 2-5
An inventor creates a robot to keep his shop neat. The robot uses the plans to create another robot to help him, which in turn creates another so that chaos ensues.
Activity: Compare this tale with Inga Moore's Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
 
Dunrea, Oliver. The Trow Wife's Treasure. Farrar, 1998. (Gr K-3)
A kind farmer helps a trow-wife find her lost baby. In return she gives him a treasure.
Can you guess what it will be?
Activity: In small groups have children rank order these treasures as to the one the group would most want and least want. Be ready to explain their rankings. $100.00, A Nintendo Game, Fresh fruit every day, A good friend.
 
Edwards, Pamela. Dinorella: A Prehistoric Fairy Tale. Hyperion Books, 1997. GR 2-6
Dinorella saves the Duke with her dazzling dinosaur jewels. An alliterative prehistoric Cinderella. Activity: Construct alliterative sentences about other fairy tale characters. Example::Snow White swiftly sought safety.
 
English, Karen. Just Right Stew. Boyds Mill Press. 1998 GR K-3
All the aunts think they know what will make the stew just right for Big Mama’s birthday:
dill, lemon pepper, cumin, garlic powder, but Victoria is the one who really knows.
Activity: Have children dictate a recipe for a favorite dish they have at home.
 
French, Vivian. Aesop’s Funky Fables. Viking, 1998 GR 2-5
Clever retellings of the familiar fables. Activity: Dream up new endings for several
familiar fables. Suppose the mouse had not freed the lion? Suppose the goat had not jumped in the well to help the fox. What might have happened?
 
Garland, Sherry. My Father's Boat. Scholastic, 1998. (Gr 2-4)
A tale of three generations of fishermen separated by time and sea.
Activity: Complete the pattern using information from the book. "If I went to sea in a small boat I would see ________ and __________ and ___________ but I wouldn’t see __________
for I would see that on land."
 
Hall, Zoe. The Surprise Garden. Blue Sky/Scholastic, 1998. (Gr Pre K-1)
We’re planting seeds and giving them lots of water. Soon the sun will help them grow and grow until SURPRISE! Vegetables and flowers appear.
Activity: Complete the pattern: Look at the _____ that grew from a seed. Slowly, slowly from a seed. In the _______ it grew and grew. Look at the _______. It’s brand new. (Sing to I’m a Little Teapot.)
 
Hindley, Judy. A Song of Colors. Illus by Mike Bostock. Candlewick, 1998.
To introduce this lyrical description of many colors, ask students to name all the things of one color they can. Then share the page about that colors.
 
Holden, Robert. The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Houghton Mifflin, 1998.
A wonderful retelling of a classic tale. Activity: Have a class town meeting with students taking the parts of the town council and the parents. The angry parents want their children back.
 
Kvasnosky, Laura. Zelda and Ivy. Candlewick, 1998.
Zelda, the older sister, thinks she is always to be the one in charge and usually is until Ivy makes a wish. Three charming tales of sibling rivalry.
ACTIVITY: Complete the sentence: Having an older brother or sister (is) (would be)__
 
Levitin, Sonia. Boom Town. Orchard, 1998. (Gr 2-4)
During the gold rush days Amanda and her family settle in a California boom town where even a pie pan is hard to find. But in spite of no pie pans Amanda goes into the pie baking business in a big way.
Activity: Rank order the things you feel are most needed in a new town: a bank, sidewalks, paved streets, a hotel, a library. Explain your rankings.
 
McBratney, Sam. Just You and Me. Illustrated by Ivan Bates. Candlewick, 1998.
Little Goosey wants to hide from the coming storm with Big Gander and no one else, but everywhere they look, other animals are hiding.
Activity: List forest animals. Classify and write three sentences. EX: A rabbit has fur. A bear has fur. An owl does not have fur.
 
MacDonald, Elizabeth. The Wolf Is Coming. Dutton, 1998.
Rabbits, chicks, pigs, cows, and other farm animals flee before the wolf and find safety in the donkey’s shack...or do they? Activity: List the animals in the story. Write about each using this pattern: I had a hen, His name was Beck, I don’t know why but he loved to peck. I had a pig, her name was Boink........
 
Martin, Rafe. The Brave Little Parrot. Putnam’s, 1998. (Gr K-3)
A brave parrot has a way to save a forest from a raging fire but will the other animals listen to her? Activity: It takes 75,000 trees to produce one Sunday issue of the New York Times. Brainstorm ways to save paper.
 
Peck, Jan. The Giant Carrot. Illus. by Barry Root. Dial, 1998. GR K-3
Each family member has plans for the carrot seed they plant, juice, carrot stew, carrot relish, carrot pudding and more. But getting the giant carrot out of the ground is more than they had bargained for.
Activity: Brainstorm: How many uses can you give for a carrot other than as a food?
 
Roddie, Two Close Friends. Illustrated by Sally Lambert. Dial, 1998.
Hippo and Pig are good friends until Hippo cuts the hedge between their houses.
Activity: Write Hippo jokes. List words that end in ip. Relate to hippos . Examples: skip, trip, clip etc. What do you call a hippo barber? A Clippotamus.
 
Rucki, Ani. When the Earth Wakes. Scholastic, 1998.
In spring when the earth wakes she throws off her blankets of snow and is soon dancing with the soft breezes. In summer she heats up and thunders with the storms.
Activity: An excellent introduction to personification. Select objects from nature and write sentences about them using personification, (The flowers WAVED at the visitors.)
 
Speed, Toby. Water Voices. Putnam’s, 1998. (Gr Pre K-2)
"What kind of water waits for sunrise? Morning mist." Seven water riddles told in verse.
Activity: Let children guess what kind of water is described in each riddle.
 
Weeks, Sarah. Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash. HarperCollins, 1998. GR K-2
You never know what you will find on Mrs. McNosh’s clothesline. Fun language play.
Activity: Make rhyming sentences about things to hang on the clothesline. Example: Mr. Wirt hung up his shirt. Mrs. Love hung up her glove etc.
 
Wisneiwski, David. The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups. Lothrop, 1998.
Here are the real reasons for rules imposed by grown-ups. Rule #1 Eat all your vegetables isn’t because they are good for you but because if the vegetable population is not checked, vegetables will grow to enormous sizes and eat people. Other silly explanation for familiar rules follow.
Activity: Creative writing: Students choose a rule ( like brush your teeth, drink mile, wash your hands etc. and write a REAL reason for the rule.