Monday, August 10, 2015

Celebrating #pb10for10 in 2015!

Each year when I start thinking of Cathy and Mandy's spectacular summer event, I try to come up with a list of picture books that I just can't live without. And then I start plotting ways to include more than only 10 books in my post. Add to my confusion a simply wonderful trip to Nerd Camp. This year was no different. I went through the same process and then went to Nerd Camp. And then went on a picture book book-buying frenzy. As I begin writing this post, we are barely scratching the surface of the month of August. Sigh. I'm in trouble.

After much deliberation, I've decided I just have to go back to picture books that are new to me that I just can't wait to share with my fourth graders. My decision is attributed largely to sessions I attended at #nErDcampMI with the inspiring Jillian Heise. She is a 7th and 8th grade Language Arts teacher from Wisconsin who committed to reading a picture book to her students each and every day of the 2014-2015 school year. Not only did she focus on sharing the joy of picture books with her students, but she also was very intentional and purposeful in why she was doing it. Her presentation (shared here) moved me and revitalized my love of picture books. I especially loved slide #7 and all of the feedback from her kids. I'm thrilled to be joining the #classroombookaday challenge with my learners this year!

Part of Jillian's presentation(s) included passing around picture books for us to read. While doing so, I found so many of the titles I'm about to share with you! A handful of them also came from my summer travels and the independent book shops I visited.

Inspired by my time and my friends at #nErDcampmi...

I giggled out loud as I began reading this book! What a character! Bernice reminded me of a pouty, self-centered little toddler who is having one heck of a bad day. She definitely redeems herself and reminds readers of how our attitude can change everything.

Another giggle-out-loud read that makes us realize how much the way we talk to others and our attitude influences what happens to us. Don't want to drop too many spoilers here, but I'll just say that I can definitely see readers debating this one much in the same way we debate what happens in another favorite picture book, I Want My Hat Back

Hilarity ensues when these nocturnal creatures realize they are afraid of night animals! I also adored the illustrations in this one.

Younger students will appreciate this silly story while older students will tune in more to the grammar humor in this funny book.

What a sweet story! This will definitely be one of the first books I read to my fourth graders this year. It will bring about conversations about how we take care of each other and make sure everyone feels included in our learning community.

Inspired by my summer travels and trips to some wonderful indie book shops...

As soon as I spotted this one, I knew it belonged in our classroom library. My fourth graders have been obsessed with Liesl Shurtliff's Rump and Jack in the past two years, and this amusing rendition of the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale will fit in perfectly.

I'm a huge fan of Wendell Minor's work and his focus on nature, so this was a must-have for me. Beautiful language accompanied by gorgeous illustrations depicting a scene both during the day and at night. I'll enjoy sharing this one alongside another find, Northwest Animal Babies, which will make a great mentor text for writing informational texts.

This book has been on my radar for quite some time, and I took it as a sign that I should finally buy it when I saw it while traveling to some of our nation's beautiful national parks this summer. Like many nature lovers, I am thankful to both of these men for working to preserve areas in our gorgeous country.


After visiting the majestic Redwoods this summer, this is a book I can't wait to share with my 4th grade readers. It's based on the true story of Julia Hill and the two years she spent living in one of the ancient Redwood trees to help save it from destruction. 

While I didn't get to visit the Sequoias, this gorgeous book (illustrated by Wendell Minor!) helped me understand the difference between California's two kinds of giant trees (Redwoods and Sequoias.) 

Recap and Final Thoughts...
There are just so many more I could've added (and I admit, I snuck in a few extras...) I'm thrilled to have connected with others who will be embarking on a #classroombookaday journey through Twitter, as I'm sure that will bring many more magnificent picture books into my life! Speaking of which... now I'm looking forward to reading which books appear on everyone else's #pb10for10 lists! Happy reading!