Outside Over There is a Caldecott Honor (1982), a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Picture Book (1981) and is recommended for children in kindergarten...more Outside Over There is a Caldecott Honor (1982), a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Picture Book (1981) and is recommended for children in kindergarten through third grade. In this story, the main character is supposed to be watching her baby sister, but instead she is consumed with playing her horn. When Ida is not looking, goblins come and kidnap her baby sister, replacing her with an ice baby. Luckily, Ida is able to find the goblins hideout and she finds her baby sister.
This story has themes of responsibility, paying attention, fear, frustration, anger, and the reality of life. Even though this story had important themes, I think this story is too scary, gruesome, and inappropriate to be used in the classroom. Goblins and nudity are present throughout the book, and I personally think that the important themes as stated above were represented in a weird and inappropriate way. This book as been controversial as the issue of banning has also surfaced. This type of book would be best used when talking about values or during a character counts program. However, I would not use this book in my classroom because I think there are better books out there that address the themes of responsibility, fear, frustration, and anger in more appropriate ways. The illustrations are done in watercolor and are very detailed, but again are too inappropriate, gruesome, and scary for my taste or the intended age group. (less)
Robot Zot is recommended for children ages preschool-third grade. This book is about a robot who wants to conquer the world. Robot Zot crashes into an...moreRobot Zot is recommended for children ages preschool-third grade. This book is about a robot who wants to conquer the world. Robot Zot crashes into an alien environment of a suburban kitchen, battles with fearsome kitchen appliances and a TV, which he calls a challenging transmitter. He also rescues a toy cell phone, which is better known as the Queen of all Earth before zooming off to distant galaxies to save anything else he can.
This book has everything that interests young children including robots, heroes, silliness, action, destruction, and romance. The language used within the book is a bit confusing and a little hard to follow as it moves back and forth between prose and rhyme. At the same time, the short sentences make it reading material for early readers. The interesting wording of the book and the action-filled illustrations make the book appealing, interesting, and enjoyable for young readers. The action-filled illustrations can be a little confusing because there is so much going on, but at the same time has a lot of humor not represented in the text. The text and illustrations work together and complement one another well. The robot toy has very humanistic qualities and is reminiscent of the movie Toy Story. This is a great book to share with students who enjoy robots and futuristic objects. (less)
Pickles to Pittsburgh is a book intended for children in kindergarten through second grade. This book is the sequel to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatbal...morePickles to Pittsburgh is a book intended for children in kindergarten through second grade. This book is the sequel to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. In this story, grandpa goes on vacation, and his grandchildren dream that he went back to the town of Chewandswallow. In their dream, it snows popcorn and mash potatoes, and rains sandwiches and orange juice. This falling food in then shipped to hungry people and needy counties all over the world. When grandpa returns, he shows his grandchildren pictures and they wonder whether their dreams were really reality.
This book is filled with some imagination, but it is not as magical, interesting, and enjoyable as the first book. In addition, without reading the first book, the reader would be quite confused since it does a poor job of summarizing the first book and starting where the last book ended. However, the book does provide a nice solution to end world hunger. The illustrations, design, and layout of the book are wonderful, and have a comic book feel. This book can be used to jumpstart students’ imagination before writing and is a good example of fantasy as opposed to reality. This book sends a good message to students who want to give back, but is not as imaginative, magical, or exciting as the first book, which may leave students feeling disappointed. (less)
This wordless picture book has won the Caldecott Honor in 1989 and is intended for children in third-fifth grade. This story is about a boy who falls...moreThis wordless picture book has won the Caldecott Honor in 1989 and is intended for children in third-fifth grade. This story is about a boy who falls asleep with an atlas in his arms. He then has a dream where his bedspread turns into an aerial view of the earth. On his journey, he plays chess on an enormous chess board complete with mortal playing pieces. This medieval welcoming party leads the boy to a castle with dragons where he continues his search for an elusive map.
This story is imaginative, yet confusing at times as the reader is taken on a magical journey. With the help of the pictures, and the use of imagination, the reader experiences the story of a boy who experiences many adventures after entering a faraway land. The illustrations are beautiful and add to the action of the story as shades of green, blue, and yellow dominate the illustrations. Double-page watercolor spreads and architectural details really make the reader feel a part of the story. However, this book does not have enough sequence and logic to be understood by young children, which is why this book is best suited for imaginative and older elementary students. Again, this wordless picture book would be best used in writers’ workshop when having students write their own story in response to the illustrations. Wordless picture books like these require students to use a combination of their imagination and the pictures in order to understand the story. (less)
I watched the Tale of Despereaux movie, which I believe can be enjoyed by students from kindergarten to eighth grade. However, the humor, plot, and th...moreI watched the Tale of Despereaux movie, which I believe can be enjoyed by students from kindergarten to eighth grade. However, the humor, plot, and the weaving of the four characters may only be understood by older elementary students and above. This movie is a lot like the book, although the book is better because it is more descriptive. In the movie, we are introduced to a brave mouse with large hears who dreams of becoming a knight in the kingdom of Dor. Despereaux is banished from his home for not wanting to be “just a mouse.” He then sets off on an adventure with his friend Roscuro who leads him on a quest to rescue an endangered princess and save an entire kingdom from darkness. In the mist of all this adventure, a servant girl who works in the castle, finds her long lost father.
This movie was enjoyable for me as I assume it would be for younger and older children alike. The movie was a lot like the book and displayed a lot of the action and emotion as represented in the book. However, I enjoyed the book more because it was more detailed and let me further use my imagination. Like the book, the movie is full of clever plot twists and beautiful prose. Themes including love, hatred, danger, uncommon bravery, fear, and redemption were also represented in the movie and the book. However, the book and the movie had some differences. The movie did seem more lighthearted, less dark and serious and also introduced a new character whose name was “the talking vegetable man”. I think these changes took away from the story and may cause some readers who greatly enjoyed the book to be disappointed. The movie ended well as apologies were made, hurt feelings were mended, and everybody lived “happily ever after”. (less)
Diary of a Worm is a book for children in preschool through first grade. It is a humorous story in diary form of the everyday life of a worm. The worm...moreDiary of a Worm is a book for children in preschool through first grade. It is a humorous story in diary form of the everyday life of a worm. The worm’s humanistic qualities are shown as he chronicles the family’s vacation to Compost Island, his first day of school, his report card, information about his family, and his first tunnel, among others. In his diary, the worm also describes information that his mom tells him always to remember, why it is good to be a worm, why it is bad to be a worm, as well as times that he taught a spider how to dig, forgot his lunch, scared humans, got in a fight, and went to the school dance. Dairy of a Worm is a funny book that will teach children facts about worms in a very fun, unique, and enjoyable format.
The book format, illustrations, captions, and humanistic qualities of the worm are what make this book fun to read, unique, and different from any other animal or insect fact book. It is also fun because children get to see firsthand what it is like to be a worm when reading the worm’s diary from his perspective. This book can be used when teaching different perspectives or formats to use when writing. It could also be used to compare and contrast/categorize real and make believe facts of worms, when learning about worms in science, or as a read-aloud book during earth day. The illustrations are colorful and contain humor that younger students will appreciate and enjoy. Overall, this science-fantasy book contains information and humor in a unique format, all of which young children will love! (less)
Savvy is intended for students in grades six-eight and has been a Newberry Honor (2009). This story is about the Beaumont family, who have special pow...moreSavvy is intended for students in grades six-eight and has been a Newberry Honor (2009). This story is about the Beaumont family, who have special powers or “savvy’s”. Each family member gets their "savvy," when they turn 13. Mibs's older brother Fish, has control over the elements, and her mother can do everything perfectly. Mibs’s excitement of what her savvy will be is put to a halt her father is injured in a car accident. Convinced that her new powers will be able to save her father, she and some new friends climb aboard a bus toting pink bibles on her birthday, in the hopes of getting to the hospital. However, they soon find that they are headed in the wrong direction with the cops looking for them. Mibs's real savvy isn't what she expected, and neither are the new friendships she makes while traveling.
This book was very interesting and enjoyable. It had intriguing characters, an action-filled plot, and descriptive text, which all made the book feel very magical. The idea of having “savvy’s’” and the story behind them were all very unique, adding to the appealing nature of the book. This book also lends itself to the themes and emotions of magic, suspense, love, fear, and empathy, among others, all of which are very relatable and at the same time, make the book a very interesting read. This book is full of imagination and depth, and the unique descriptions and figurative language throughout the book make it hard to put down. It is a coming of age story that is sweet, charming, and has many parts that adolescents can relate to, which adds to the greatness of the book. (less)
Tuesday is a nearly wordless picture book that would be better understood by older elementary students in grades three through five. In this book, on...moreTuesday is a nearly wordless picture book that would be better understood by older elementary students in grades three through five. In this book, on a Tuesday night around eight o clock, frogs rise in the air on lily pads. Though the night they float through the air, exploring nearby houses, cruising past late night eaters, watching and changing the channel on the television of a sleeping elderly woman, and chasing dogs. As the sun rises, they return to the pond after a long night of adventures, as the rest of the town is in an uproar after finding abandoned lily pads everywhere. There is a humorous ending to the book as it predicts that pigs will fly around eight o clock next Tuesday night.
This is a fun, imaginative, humorous, and lighthearted book where children get to experience an adventure in the air from the perspective of frogs. The frogs’ faces and the actions represented by the drawings are particularly humorous, and help tell and bring emotion to the story. The author uses rich blues, greens, and purples, as well as various perspectives and angles in the drawings to make readers feel like they are floating along with the frogs. This book would be particularly useful in the classroom during writers’ workshop. Students could write their own imaginative story with the use of one picture or a series of pictures from the book. This book is humorous and allows children to use their own imagination to aide in telling the story. (less)
This wordless picture book is intended for children kindergarten through fourth grade. It has won the following literary awards: Caldecott Medal (2007...moreThis wordless picture book is intended for children kindergarten through fourth grade. It has won the following literary awards: Caldecott Medal (2007), Vermont's Picture Book Awards: Red Clover (2008), and New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (2006) This story is about a boy who goes to the beach looking for flotsam, any material that floats. While he does find some shells, crabs, he also finds something he never expected…an underwater camera. When developing the film, he finds out several secrets, some that he will share with the next person lucky enough to find the camera, and others that he will keep.
This wordless picture book has very colorful, vivid, and detailed watercolor paintings. While looking at these paintings, readers are able to use a combination of picture clues and imagination to figure out the fantasy-like story line. Readers are also able to feel like they are inside the story and moving just like the water on the beach as the author uses various perspectives including close-ups, landscape views, boxed sequences, and full-page spreads, much like a photographer. This book is unique, enjoyable, innovative, and extremely creative. The pictures are detailed, emotional, and captivating, and with the turn of each page, another twist is added to the story. When using this book in my classroom, I might have students pick an event and tell a story using only pictures, much like a comic book strip. (less)
Charlotte's Web is a charming and innocent story. It is told through a third-person narrator, without bias, making it easy to follow. The story also t...more Charlotte's Web is a charming and innocent story. It is told through a third-person narrator, without bias, making it easy to follow. The story also takes a look at the inner thought processes of Wilbur, creating a child-like view for readers of all ages. However, it is a book that deals with several surprisingly deep issues including love, friendship, loyalty, heroism, consistency, death, and the realities of life indirectly. Characters explore their relationships with each other throughout the book and the themes mentioned above grow from these interactions. This book is definitely original since the author gives barnyard animals human-like voices and personalities, but uses human characters like Fern, Avery, and the Alable and Zuckerman families as well.
Charlotte's web has written with a certain simplicity and delight, but ironically deals with the subject of death throughout the book. For example, Wilbur escapes murder throughout the book with the help of Fern and Charlotte, but in the end, when Charlotte dies, the reality of death hits hard. It is here that the author also sends a strong message about selflessness as Charlotte expends her last ounce of strength writing a final web message, the one that assures Wilbur that he will live. Through these turn of events, the author makes the point that love is selfless and produces wonders just like the saving of Wilbur by both Fern and Charlotte, as well as the wonder of how he was saved later in the book with the messages written in Charlotte's web.
Charlotte's Web is a fine example of outstanding Children's Literature because it expands awareness of what is was like to live in the 1950’s, spiders in general, the meaning of words like loneliness, terrific, radiant, and humble, and also explores the themes of friendship, love, loneliness, loyalty, heroism, and death. It is also a book that tells the truth about spiders, death, friendship, feelings, and life, embodies quality, shows integrity when exploring issues like friendship, loyalty, compassion, heroism, and love, and definitely shows originality. In my opinion it is a piece of literature that is simple, innocent, enjoyable, deep, and exciting to read.
The Giver is recommended for ages 12-14, and adults alike. It has won the Newbery Medal (1994), Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (1994), Garden State Book...moreThe Giver is recommended for ages 12-14, and adults alike. It has won the Newbery Medal (1994), Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (1994), Garden State Book Award for Teen Fiction Grades 6-8 (1996), An ALA Best Book for Young Adults (1994), and the Grand Canyon Reader Award for Teen Book (1995). This book is about an ideal world, a world in which there is no poverty, no crime, sickness, or unemployment. It is a world where every family is happy and has agreed to marry only well-matched individuals, and raise two offspring which includes one boy and one girl. Drugs are taken to get rid of sexual impulses, and careers are given out like assignments. Elders live in group homes and are released (die) in time, as are infants who do not develop properly. Jonas, a boy who lives in this society, is the receiver of memories, and is responsible for discovering the truth about his “perfect world.” The author paints a picture of a very ordered and pain free society.
This book was very interesting, intriguing, and appealing to older readers and adults alike describing how a “perfect world” was created. Everything was chosen and given to them and they acted more like robots than humans. Gradually throughout the book, Jonas and the readers learn just how costly and boring and pain-free society can be. This book lends itself to many what if questions about the world, and would make a great book for discussion concerning the meaning of happiness and individuality, among others. This is definitely a book that can be read over and over again and each time new questions can be raised and new insights can be gained. There were several parts in the book that gave me chills and as I continued to reread some parts, they gained more and more meanings and even various meanings. This book is definitely a must read for everyone and I would read it again in a heartbeat because of the cleverness and the many thought-provoking questions it raised. (less)