Issues Addressed: death of a friend, use of imagination to escape life problems,
Social Issues: family problems, gender roles (girl beating all the boys in a race, befriending members of the opposite sex)
Classroom Uses: independent reading, read aloud,
Summary: Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke meet at the beginning of the school year when Leslie beats Jess and all of the other boys in a school yard foot race. Unexpectantly, Jess and Leslie become friends. The friendship between the two grow strong as they work together to build the imaginary world of Terabithia, where they go to escape the school bullies and problems of everyday life in small, rural Virginia. One day, while Jess is visiting an art gallery with a teacher, Leslie attempts to swing across the creek to enter Terabithia, but the rope breaks and she ends up meeting an untimely death. Jess gains strength and courage through this tragic childhood experience.
Text and image: The text in this book is captivating for readers. Every chapter leaves you wanting more. There are a few simple black and white images in this book that seem to really push important ideas or events in the story.
Issues Addressed: the changing life of a caterpillar on his way to becoming a butterfly
Classroom Uses: guided reading, read aloud
Summary: A caterpillar is well on his way to becoming a butterfly. This book captures the story of the change that takes place during the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. No matter how much the caterpillar eats, he is still hungry. By the end of the week, the poor caterpillar is stricken with a bad tummy ache. Soon he has eaten so much, that he has become fat and decides to build a home (a cocoon). Two weeks later, he emerges from his cocoon as a beautiful butterfly.
Text and image: The illustrations in this book are amazing. They go hand in hand with the text to tell the story of the caterpillar. The illustrations are also interactive because there are actual holes in the pictures to show where the the caterpillar has eaten. This really gets the attention of readers.
Issues Addressed: addresses the greed of people who take the environment for granted and take as much as they need without stopping to think about wrecking their surroundings
Social Issues: impact of factories on the environment, dangers of "clear cutting" forests and pollution
Classroom Uses: independent reading
Summary: The Once-ler tells readers the story of the Truffula Trees and the Lorax he encounters upon first moving to the land. He tells of his plans for a factory that produces his invention, Thneeds. The Lorax warns the narrator over and over again not to destroy the forest and use all of the Truffula Trees to make his Thneeds, but the objections of the Lorax fall upon deaf ears. The Once-ler soon finds that he is chasing out the other characters that rely upon the trees he has taken. By the end of the story, the land is now polluted beyond belief and there is not a single Truffula Tree left. Even the Lorax leaves Once-ler in the end.
Text and image: The text in this book is alluring to readers because of the use of alliteration and rhyming poetry. It makes it fun for readers to discover the crazy made up language of Dr. Seuss. The images are overflowing with color and really help readers get into the story.
Summary: Chewandswallow is a very different town. Residents of this town never have to worry about going tot he grocery store or cooking meals. Their food falls straight from the sky. It rains soup, juice, and other drinks. It snows mashed potatoes. Storms of hamburgers blow in from all directions. Eventually the weather takes a turn for the worst, and the people of Chewandswallow are forced to leave town when the food falling from the sky becomes an unbearable burden.
Text and image: This book is formatted sort of like a comic book. The text is found in boxes and the illustrations match the text; the illustrations are also found in boxes. The detailed pictures really draw readers' attention to details that are left out of the text.
Publication Info: Carl R. Sa...moreAuthor: Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoic
Illustrator: Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoic
Genre: fiction, photographic fantasy
Publication Info: Carl R. Sams II Photography, Inc. (2000)
Reading Level: Ages 9-12; fluent
Topic/Theme: winter, wild life, woodlands
Issues Addressed: feeding animals in the wild, winter in the woods
Classroom Uses: independent reading, read aloud; I would use this book to discuss the outdoors during the winter or spark discussion on how children interact with wild life
Summary: Animals in the woods sense that a stranger has arrived. They cautiously discover a snowman that has been built by children overnight. They also discover that the snowman can be eaten. There are seeds left in the hat, a carrot nose, and acorns for eyes and mouth. The animals enjoy the stranger and the children refill the treats often.
Text and image: The text in this book is positioned differently on some pages, which may make it hard for children to read. The photographs used as illustrations in this book really enhance the story and draw readers in to look at this mysterious stranger through the eyes of the woodland animals.
Literary Devices: personification (animals are speaking)(less)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8; la...moreAuthor: Audrey Penn
Illustrator: Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
Publication Info: Tanglewood Press (1993)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8; late early, transitional
Topic/Theme: reassurance, separation anxiety, love, school
Issues Addressed: addresses ways of coping with separation anxiety children usually encounter when leaving parents for the first time for school
Classroom Uses: independent reading, read aloud, reading pairs; I would use this book to help a student who is going through the same thing as Chester. I have used this during my CI 295 experience to help a student who was experiencing the same problem. I sent the book home with the student to read with parents and this seemed to lessen the student's anxieties. Her mother came up with their own special way to get through the school day apart.
Summary: Chester Raccoon fears the start of school in the forest. He doesn't want to leave his mother and he is afraid he will not make any friends. To help Chester, and rid him of his fear, Mrs. Raccoon tells Chester the family secret of the Kissing Hand. She kisses his hand and reassures Chester that her love will help him through anything even though the world may seem a bit scary at times.
Text and image: The text brings to life the issue of separation anxiety that most children encounter when going to school. The vivid illustrations help students understand the text even though they do not specifically match the text word for word.
Summary: Max puts on his wolf suit and creates all kinds of mischief which gets him sent to bed without supper. When he gets to his room, he decides to create an imaginary world of his own. He goes where the wild things are and becomes king of all wild things. He gets into all sorts of mischief with the wild things and even partakes in a wild rumpus. Before long, he tires of his wild world and returns to his bedroom to find his supper waiting for him, and it's still hot
Text and image: The text is simple and the illustrations really take over the story. They captivate readers and pull them into a wild world of their own. The illustrations are actually more descriptive than the actual text.