2001 Summer/Fall Picture Books

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Nancy's picks for the best picture books of Summer/Fall 2001 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 2001.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Arnosky, Jim. RACCOON ON HIS OWN. Putnam's, 2001. 
Raccoon find that the canoe in which he is adrift offers security from scary creatures like snakes and alligators.
 
Artell, Mike. PETITE ROUGE. Dial, 2001 
A Cajun Red Riding hood with an alligator instead of a wolf to outwit.
 
Bartoletti, Susan. THE CHRISTMAS PROMISE. Illus. by David Christiana.. Blue Sky Press, 2001. 
A homeless girl and her father ride the rails looking for a place to call home. When she asks if hoboes have Christmas, the father replies that " they figure out a way," and he does just that.
 
Bosca, Francesca. THE APPLE KING. Illus. by Giuliano Ferri. North South Books, 2001Gr. 1-3
A selfish king values his apples above all else and shares them with no one. Then one day the unthinkable happens. Worms invade all the apples on the tree and refuse to leave. The king is beside himself but learns a valuable lesson from the worms.
 
Bunting, Eve. RIDING THE TIGER. Illus. by David Frampton. Clarion, 2001 Gr 5-8 
A sophisticated allegory about losing control of one's life whether from drugs or any other obsession. At first the ride is fun and exciting until the rider discovers that he cannot get off the tiger's back. Great for discussion in middle school or junior high.
 
Hayes, Joe. JUAN VERDADES THE MAN WHO COULDN'T TELL A LIE. Illus. by Joseph Fiedler. Orchard, 2001. Gr 2-4 
When his employer bets his entire ranch on Juan's inability to lie, a young woman does all she can to make him fail.
 
Janowitz, Tama. HEAR THAT? Illus. by Tracy Dockray. Seastar, 2001. Gr K-2 
A strange noise in the night has a mother and child looking for its source. They imagine all kinds of thing the noise could be and are pleasantly surprised when they discover what it is.
 
Kirk, David. LITTLE BIRD, BIDDLE BIRD. Scholastic, 2001. Gr K-2 
A Biddle Bird left on his own seeks something to eat and visits the many creatures found in the forest. He soon discovers that their food is not for him. A nice introduction to wildlife told in verse.
 
Kleven, Elisa. SUN BREAD. Dutton, 2001. Gr K-3 
Everyone misses the sun until the baker shapes dough into sun bread and the grumbling ceases. Told in lilting verse.
 
L'Engle, Madeleine. THE OTHER DOG. Illus. by Christine Davenier. Sea Star, 2001. Gr K-2 
What happens with a beloved pet when a new baby in the house requires all the attention? The pet in this house who thinks the new baby is another kind of dog is not at all pleased! 
 
Mayhew, James. KATIE AND THE SUNFLOWERS. Orchard, 2001. Gr 1-3 
Madcap fun mixed with art history when Katie is so taken with Van Gogh's Sunflowers that she reaches into the painting to try to take some seeds. She gets more than seeds in this delightful introduction to the world of art.
 
McCully, Emily Arnold. THE ORPHAN SINGER. Scholastic, 2001. Gr 2-4
The Dolcis give up their child so that she can be trained as a singer. She is lively and often in trouble but cherishes the visits of the Dolcis even thought she does not know who they are.
 
McNaughton, Colin. DON'T STEP ON THE CRACK. Dial, 2001. Gr 1-4 
Many imaginative reasons why one should not step on a crack!
 
McKelvey, Douglas. LOCUST POCUS. Illus. by Richard Egielski. Philomel, 2001. 
A creepy, crawly collection of bug poetry.
 
Musgrove, Margaret. THE SPIDER WEAVER . Illus. by Julia Cairns. Blue Sky Press, 2001.Gr 3-6 
The Ghana legend of a master spider weaver and the resulting kente cloth she gave to people everywhere.
 
Nobisso, Josephine. THE MOON'S LULLABY. Illus. by Glo Coalson. Orchard, 2001. Gr K-3 
The moon reflects the yawns of people all over the world in many different cultures.
 
Palatini, Margie. MOOSELTOE. Illus. by Henry Cole. Hyperion, 2001. Gr K-3 
Mooseltoe thinks he is ready for the holidays until he discovers one major part of the celebration is missing. He has forgotten the tree! The solution is obvious. Mooseltoe will become the tree. Told in lively, lilting language with hilarious illustrations, this is sure to be a winner with young children.
 
Paolilli, Paul. SILVER SEEDS. Illus by Steven Johnson. Viking 2001 Gr 3-6 
An introduction to metaphor using nature themes: "Hills are huge elephants in a row." Students can be challenged to write their own metaphors about everyday objects.
 
Pin, Isabel. THE SEED. North South Books, 2001. Gr 3-6 
When a seed lands on a border between two territories, both sides claim it and are willing to go to war to have it. But the seed , in the midst of all the preparations for war, quietly provides a simple solution that the tribes, in their haste, have overlooked. An excellent introduction to conflict resolution.
 
Schnur, Steven, SUMMER, AN ALPHABET ACROSTIC. Clarion, 2001. Gr 3-6 
Acrostic poems from A to Z describe summer. A is for awnings and each letter in the word describes summer awnings. B is for beach and the word beach is described in an acrostic. An excellent pattern for writing about the other seasons.
 
Testa, Fulvio. TOO MUCH GARBAGE. North South Books, 2001. Gr K-3
Two boys who take out the trash discover garbage everywhere and are determined to do something about it. A plea for a cleaner environment that might stimulate thinking in young children about their part in keeping the world clean.
 
Van Leeuwen, Jean. SORRY. Illus by Brad Sneed. Phyllis Fogelman Books, 2001. Gr K-3 
Brothers have a falling out and the family feud lasts until their great-grandsons find a peaceful way to settle a dispute...simply by saying the word, sorry.
 
Walton, Rick. THE BEAR CAME OVER TO MY HOUSE. Illus by James Warhola. Putnam, 2001
A sure winner for the K-2 crowd with rhyming antics of a lovable bear. The action is fast and the rhymes are simple, yet allow the children to guess what comes next. "A bear came over to my house to see what he could see. And what do you think he saw? ME!"