Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Picture books for really little kids

I'm always surprised when kids think that picture books are just for little kids.  Many of the picture books that are coming out have complicated story lines and big vocabulary, which may or may not be appropriate for really little kids.  The ones in this review are meant for really little kids.

The first one is by one of my favorite authors, Henry Cole.  We had an author's visit from Henry back in April and my students talked about it for weeks.  He is very engaging and so much fun.  His latest picture book is called "Spot, the cat".  It's a wordless picture book and tells the story of a day when boy leaves the window open and his cat goes out for walk.  The pictures are black and white pen and ink drawings and are so detailed that this book probably won't make a good read aloud, you need to be able to take your time and examine the pictures closely so you can see every little thing.  I suspect this one will want to be read several times, over and over again, so you don't miss any of the good stuff, because there's a lot of it.  This one will be great for talking about story structure (even with bigger kids) and helping with developing oral vocabulary.

Here's an example of some of Henry's amazing art work.

The second one is going to be perfect when we come back from summer vacation.  It's called "I hear a pickle" by Rachel Isadora.  My little kids start off the year with science observations, in other words, they talk about their senses.  This sweet little book has pages of examples of the five senses that are going to invite tons of conversation.  The pictures are lovely and soft drawings with watercolor overlay.  I think this one would also make a great mentor text for the kindergarteners in some of their first writing projects.  

The last one is also going to be a great one for working on oral vocabulary.  This one is called "My House" by Byron Barton.  It's about a little cat who shows the reader all the important parts of the house, including his owner.  The pictures are bright and colorful and simple.  This one will also have a lot of applications as a mentor text for some of those first stories when we're trying to get kids to write about things they know.   This will work well with a book like "A House is a house for me" by Mary Ann Hoberman.

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