||Nancy's picks for the best picture books of fall
1999 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled
by Nancy Polette © 1999.
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
- 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
- Kay, Verla
& McCurdy, Michael. IRON
HORSES. Putnam, 1999.
- 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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.