Feb 12, 2012

To-Be-Read Piles: Make Room for Picture Books!

I hope anyone who reads this is already aware of the incredible blog: Nerdy Book Club. 
If not, go check it out. I’ll wait here until you come back. *hums, taps toe patiently*

Their February 12 post offers a video Valentine to the “to-be-read” stacks of some followers. I wasn’t surprised at the predominance of middle grade, young adult, and adult books displayed, and I was pleased to see some old favorite titles alongside recent releases.  

It was disappointing, though, not to see more picture books in the stacks, although a few were included.  Once again I found myself wanting to parade up and down virtual streets like a newsboy of old, hawking PB titles that deserve everyone’s attention, especially established readers.

Donalyn Miller’s earlier post on the value of read-alouds pointed out many advantages of sharing text aloud. Including picture books in that mix offers an ideal opportunity to focus on the intended topic, theme, or skills in a concise way, building interest, curiosity, and motivation for further reading.

Reading aloud picture books and including them in collections provides fertile content for :
§  Searching for the author’s FULL MESSAGES
§  Confirming/validating/debating responses from the book
§  Empathizing and identifying with emotions, conflicts, and relationships
§  Recognizing subtext and subplot

So, instead of my intended post this week, let the PB hawking hereby begin.

Along with titles on my feature book tab, consider these to launch a theme about historic or current racial issues:
DAVE THE POTTER: ARTIST, POET, SLAVE. By Laban Carrick Hill, Illustrated by Bryan Collier.  
SKIN AGAIN. By Bell Hooks, Illustrated by Chris Raschka. 

 Follow with

IGGIE’S HOUSE. By Judy Blume 

ELIJAH OF BUXTON. By Christopher Paul Curtis.  

And how about these pairings:

 Use WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak to launch A MONSTER CALLS. (Inspired by an idea from Sioban Dowd) by Jim Kay, Illustrator Patrick Ness.

TEMPLE CAT. By Andrew Clements, Illustrated by Kate Kiesler.  
THE TABLE WHERE RICH PEOPLE SIT. By Byrd Baylor, Illustrated by Peter Parnall.
Pair these with ANY books about what it really means to be rich.

JELLYBEANS. By Sylvia van Ommen. (Caution- there are many "Jelly bean" titles- this is the one you want!) Pair with ANY books involving death, questions about afterlife.

HORNBOOKS AND INKWELLS. By Verla Kay, Illustrated by S. D. Schindler.  Pair with any books with a colonial setting.

I could go on and on,  but the  possibilities are endless and my virtual voice is getting hoarse, so that will do it for today.  I hope at least one or two are new titles for you and they might make it onto to your own to-be-read list. If anyone else wants to chime in with suggested pairings, give them a shout out here. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by with a word of support. To know them is to love them :)


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