Favorite Titles Summer 2019

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It’s summer and I have not written a post in a year! Oh my! I spent a glorious year working with several school districts extensively. It was wonderful, but it kept me very busy. Also, I was writing two, yes two, books and I cannot wait for those to come out to help you with your teaching. Anyway, I was a liitle busy…

My garage needed an overhaul, so yesterday I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I organized and unboxed and moved all my teaching materials around and found some great picture books that I bought some time ago that I am still in love with. They aren’t new books, just old favorites. I want to share them with you.

First up is Sally Goes to the Vet by Stephen Huneck. This is one of the books in the Sally series by Huneck. He was a gifted artist who began creating wood carvings about his dog Sally after a near-death experience.

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Huneck’s art in the book is whimsical and heart warming. Any of the Sally books are great for reading at the start of the school year, but I like Sally Goes to the Vet because of the message throughout the book and restated at the end: “Just close your eyes and think a happy thought.”

Huneck created many woodcut prints about his dogs, Daisy, Sally and Molly. His woodcut prints are displayed in the White House Collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Here is a glimpse at one of my favorites from the Stephen Huneck website.


Another favorite book of mine that I found in my garage at the bottom of a big box is Charming Opal by Holly Hobbie. Charming Opal is part of the Toot and Puddle series.

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Charming Opal is a sweet book to use at the beginning of the school year with K-2 students when you are establishing relationships. The story is about Opal visiting her cousins and she is hoping she loses her tooth during the visit. The story has themes of caring, helpfulness and responsibility woven into its pages. Since most children in K-2 are losing teeth, or about to lose teeth, the book is a nice ice breaker.

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The last book I want to share with you today is I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch and Taste It, Too!) by Rachel Isadora. This book is about the five senses and how children experience them in the world.

The narrative begins with the sense hear, and then goes on to smell, see, touch and taste. The children in the book are experiencing many different things in the world than just pickles!

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For kindergarten and first grade the book is a wonderful foray into the five senses. You could even just read one section at a time and make a word bank based on each sense that the book explores, writing down what your students hear, smell, see, touch or taste.

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For second and third grade students I have used the book as a springboard to get students showing and not telling when it comes to using their five senses in a story they are writing. What did the girl hear when she heard the waves? She heard a “crash”. This book can be a mentor text for students as they develop their skills in adding sensory details to their texts.

Happy Reading and Writing!

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THIS IS Balanced Literacy!

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