1999 Fall Picture Books

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Nancy's picks for the best picture books of fall 1999 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 1999.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Bader, Barbara. AESOP & COMPANY. Pictured by Arthur Geisert. Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Gr 2-5
Illustrated fables with scenes from the life of Aesop. Challenge older students to re-write a fable placing it in the 21st century.
Donnaldson, Julia. THE GRUFFALO. Illus by Axel Scheffler. Dial, 1999. Gr K-2
To outsmart his foe a quick-witted mouse invents a gruffalo. Activity: Cut apart pictures of animals. Let children put parts together to create a new animal.
Havill, Juanita. JAMAICA AND THE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER. Illus. by Anne S. O'Brien. Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Gr K-3
The new teacher thought Jamaica was an excellent student, and she was until the spelling test when she didn't know how to spell calf and copied from another student.
Activity: This is an excellent book for a class discussion on honesty.
Kay, Verla & McCurdy, Michael. IRON HORSES. Putnam, 1999. Gr 2-5
A rhyming account of the building of the transcontinental railroad, lively and clever.Challenge older students to use this as a model for reporting on another historical event.
Lester, Helen. HOOWY FOR WODNEY WAT, Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Gr K-3
Rodney Rat can't pronounce his Rs and is afraid of the mean new girl in the class. But using the abilities that he has, "Wodney" is able to rid the class of this pest
Activity: Sing the phonics song: (Tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)
If you change the R in rat to a B, If you change the R in rat to a B, If you change the R to B, Then a rat becomes a bat, If you change the R in rat to a B. Sing more verses by changing R to C,F,H,M,P,S.
Prigger, Mary S. AUNT MINNIE MCGRANAHAN. Illus by Betsy Lewin. Clarion, 1999. Gr K-3
Aunt Minnie had a system for everything that became a challenge to keep in place when she inherited nine orphaned nieces and nephews. Activity: Discuss: When is "having a system" a good thing? When do you not need to "have a system?"
Say, Allen. TEA WITH MILK. Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Gr 2-4
When May's family moves from the United States to Japan she feels homesick.When a matchmaker is hired to find her a husband she sets out to find her own way.Activity: Find five facts about Japan and include in an acrostic with each of the five lines beginning with J A P A N
Schnur, Steven. SPRING, AN ALPHABET ACROSTIC. Illus by Leslie Evans. Gr K-3
The sights and smells of spring are depicted in acrostic poems. Activity: Follow the pattern in this book to write about another season.
Sewall, Marcia. THE GREEN MIST. Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Gr 2-4
In the ancient past in Great Britain, one small girl's fate is tied to the magical Green Mist that wakes the dormant land each spring. An excellent read-aloud..
Tompert, Ann. THE HUNGRY BLACK BAG. Illus by Jacqueline Chwast. Houghton Mifflin, 1999 Gr K-3
On market days old goat wants everything that everyone else has even though his bag is full! Activity: Play "What's In the Bag?" Place an object in a paper bag. Children ask questions to discover what it is. Questions can only be answered yes or no.
Turner, Ann. RED FLOWER GOES WEST. Illus by Dennis Nolan. Hyperion, 1999 Gr 1-3
When a family of settlers follows the gold rush to California one thing accompanies them...a single red flower which they will replant as a symbol of hope when they begin their new life in the west. Activity: Place children in small groups. Each child in the group lists two things he or she would want to take along if going to a new home.The group rank orders the list from the most to the least desired item.