Although most picture books are written for younger kids, my 13 year old happily listens to any picture book I read to him. Recently we’ve been reading a lot of picture books. We’re in the middle of Reading for Research Month and I’m reading at least 5 picture books a day. Since I’m homeschooling, I read the books to my 7th, 6th and 3rd graders and use them for learning.
Miranda Paul’s book, One Plastic Bag, generated an intriguing discussion about how one person can make a powerful impact for good. One Plastic Bag highlights the efforts of Isatou Ceesay in Gambia. She creatively cleans up her village, one plastic bag at a time. Reading this book generated a conversation about the good we can do for our community and how one person can make a difference.
The Day the Babies Crawled Away, by Peggy Rathmann is another of our favorites. Recently we used this book as a mentor text for poetry and illustration. The illustrations bring a depth and second story to the text that makes the book fun to study and reread.
Here is my 9 year old's poem inspired by this book:
Winter is out
The frogs jump about
My chickens are eating the flies
And I think that I hear
The screams of a Winter that dies
by Sydney Call
You Nest Here with Me, by Jane Yolen and Heidi EY Stemple is so lyrically written and beautifully illustrated that we’ve re-read it many times. Not only does it teach us about where different types of birds nests, but there are also mystery birds to find in the illustrations, and back matter with facts about specific birds in the text. What a wonderful way to learn about birds and love!
The more I read, the more I realize we can learn from each book. Just today, we read Mustache Baby Meets his Match, by Bridget Heos. Wrestling with competitiveness is something a family of seven can always stand to discuss!
What are you learning from the picture books you read?
Kirsti Call is a homeschooling mom of five. Her debut picture book, The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall, came out December 2013. Her family band, Calling Out, plays songs written by her children. She contributes to Writer's Rumpus, and Kids are Writers. If you visit her house, you’ll likely find her reading picture books. You can find out more about her at www.kirsticall.com.
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