||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.
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
- Bateman, Teresa. Leprechaun
Holiday House, 1998.
- Donald ODell 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
- 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
Sorcerers 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 Sorcerers
- 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
- 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
- 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 Mamas 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. Aesops
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 wouldnt see
- for I would see that on
- Hall, Zoe. The
Surprise Garden. Blue Sky/Scholastic, 1998. (Gr
- Were 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
_______. Its brand new. (Sing to
Im a Little Teapot.)
- Hindley, Judy. A
Song of Colors. Illus by Mike Bostock.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- ACTIVITY: Complete the
sentence: Having an older brother or
sister (is) (would be)__
- Levitin, Sonia. Boom
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.
- 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
donkeys 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
dont know why but he loved to peck.
I had a pig, her name was Boink........
- Martin, Rafe. The
Brave Little Parrot. Putnams, 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.
- 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
- 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
Putnams, 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
- Weeks, Sarah. Mrs.
McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash. HarperCollins, 1998. GR K-2
- You never know what you
will find on Mrs. McNoshs
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
- 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 isnt
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