Heymans, Annemie.(1993). The Princess in the Kitchen Garden. Farrar Straus & Giroux.
This is a picture book written for 1st-3rd graders.
IV. The main issue raised in the book is grief, and dealing with death. Two young kids just lost their mother, and this death has caused their father to withdraw emotionally and physically. Throughout the book you see how the kids are dealing with this grief, and how not having a parental figure present in their lives affects them.
The one thing that stood out as being very unique in this book is it’s style. The story is told primarily through the two children’s monologues. This made sense to me, but I could see how it would be confusing for a young child. After reading many reviews of the book people seem to think that the fragmented way that the book is written is supposed to coincide with the fragmented and broken way the kids are feeling after their mother’s death. This makes a lot of sense after reading the reviews, but I do not think a young child would think of that.
Objective: Students will be able to share their feelings in a group setting, and listen as their fellow classmates share their feelings.
- What are feelings?
- Does everyone have feelings?
- What kind of feelings did the characters have in this book?
Activity: Individually students will write down how they are feeling on a piece of paper, then if they feel comfortable they will share in front of the class.
CCS.Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
CCS.Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
Good, Merle. (1993). Amos and Susie an Amish Story. Pennsylvania: Good Books.
Genre: Multicultural Suggested Age: 1st-3rd grade.
iv. thoughts about particular issues raised in the book: The book is about what a brother and sister who are Amish do every day, such as help plow the fields and can fruit for preservatives. But it does not explain what being Amish is, which I think is important for kids to know before reading this book so that it will make sense. I understood the book clearly because I have previous knowledge about the Amish, but I think it would be confusing for children, they may think that being Amish is like being a farmer or owning a farm.
The illustrations are the only thing that show that the book is about a pair of Amish siblings. But for children that do not recognize the caps the women wear on their heads or the clothes that they are wearing may just think that the book is about normal people, but that they dress a little funny.
Lesson Sketch: Students will be able to discuss how Amos and Susie are alike and different from themselves.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
1. Do you do any of those things at home that Amos and Susie do with their families?
2. What did you notice that was different about how Amos and Susie live from how you live?
3. Do you think you could do all of those things to help your parents like they do in the book?
In groups students will discuss the book that was just read to the class, then they will decide was is different from how they live and what part of the book is like their lives.
Rohmann, Eric. (2002). My Friend Rabbit. Connecticut: Roaring Book Press/Millbrook Press.
This is a picture book intended for 4-8 year olds.
I knew from looking at the cover of the book, that it was going to be a fun and colorful book, but I was definitely surprised by the lack of writing within it. I really enjoyed how the majority of the book was told through pictures, I think that is a great way for kids to be able to use their imagination. It also causes kids to have to pay more attention to the book, because they cannot just read or listen to what is being read to them, they have to really look at it and figure out what is going on.
I really enjoyed the style of the book, as discussed above, I think that it is a great way to keep kids engaged.
But, I was not a huge fan of the plot of the book, I feel like the story line of a friend that is a trouble maker is over done. So many children’s books have this plot, but the Caldecott is based of off illustration, so I completely understand why it received the award that it did.
Objective: Students will be able to create their own picture book where they are the illustrator.
With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
- Do any of you know what an illustrator is? What do they do when making a book?
- Are the authors and illustrators important when it comes to making a book?
- Do you think you could be an illustrator one day?
Freeman, Don (1968). Corduroy. New York: Puffin Books.
This is a fictional children’s book, suggested for children from age 3-6.
This book has a very personal connection to me because now that I have read it as an adult, I can definitely remember reading it as a child. It felt very familiar to me. Even though I think the book is very well written, I think the illustrations are what make the book stand out.
My only critique of the book is at the end the little girl talks to the bear, and he talks back like they are having a conversation, but it is not clear if she can actually hear him speak or not.
Objective: Students will be able to understand the different emotions that the bear experiences throughout the story by the end of the lesson.
- When the book begins how do you think Corduroy the bear is feeling?
- Do you think Corduroy was scared when the security guard found him upstairs?
- If you were Corduroy how would you feel at the end of the story?
Individually, the students will color in a blank picture of the bear and use colors to describe how they think Corduroy feels throughout the story.