Children’s Book Reading Extravaganza 2010: Picture Books #101-97

(Alternative Title: Holy Crap – Picture Books Are Like My Crack!)

The other day I blogged about #100 on the (booming voice here) Top 100 Children’s Novels of All Time.  As someone who always taught the little guys, I am secretly and oh-so-nerdily pumped at the idea of reading so many fabulous novels for children. HOWEVER, being the Picture Book Addict that I am, the opportunity to read and blog about (even boomier booming voice here) the Top 100 Picture Books of All Time makes me want to do some serious fist pumping and perhaps a small dance.  Cue the music!

Again, because logistics are oh-so-alluring to me, I plan on posting about these fabulous picture books five at a time, each weekend until we make it through.  So, run to your local library, grab your credit card, head out to Barnsey, click over to Amazon…whatever floats your boat…and join me!

Despite being a list of the Top 100 books, this particular list starts at #101.  I know, I don’t get it either, but I am willing to let it slide in all my excitement.

#101 is More More More Said The Baby by Vera B. Williams.  (Heart her!! Am expecting an appearance from A Chair for My Mother later on in the list but being the uber-dork that I am, did not let myself peek ahead.  For real.

"More More More," Said the Baby (A Caldecott Honor book)(Click on images for links…and don’t blame me if you develop a shopping problem.  When it comes to Picture Books, it’s dangerous territory.)

Oh my word, what a sweet book!!  Probably not something you should have a weepy pregnant woman read at the end of her third trimester. (Cut to me imagining Mr. Mimi with Mini Mimi and then waddling to get a tissue.)  This lovely book shows three adorable little ones as they play with dads, moms and grandmas.  With fairly simple and somewhat repetitive text (Which has a good number of first grade high frequency words by the by…do I smell a Shared Reading?), this story would make a great read aloud for kindergarten to maybe second grade friends studying family (according to the Book Wizard).  Although, honestly, I think my second grade friends would think it’s a bit babyish and I tried not to do that to them too often.  However, talk about GORGEOUS illustrations and text – I would totes use this as an example for making our Writer’s Workshop bits of brilliance even more beautiful during our illustration week. 

At #100 on our list, we have Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley. 
Go Away, Big Green Monster!

Okay.  My friends would have been drawn to this book in a heartbeat because of the cut out eyes and glitter.  I mean, as many times as we tell them not to judge a book by it’s cover, let’s be real…they do.  And so do we.  Glitter IS pretty hard to resist.  And holy moly is this book adorable!!  With fabulous cut outs, we see the Big Green Monster appear feature by feature.  With a shout of, “Go Away Big Green Monster!” the cutouts begin to take the monster away bit by bit until he’s gone.  (Not sure I did it justice, but believe me.  Cute.)  ANNNND I LOVE the descriptive simple language.  Words like “bluish-greenish” and  “scraggly”  make my pulse race with possibility as I imagine lessons about writing with beautiful language.  (No, I’m not afraid to get THAT NERDY.)  Again, great read aloud for kindergarten, maybe first grade.  Definitely useful for the language bit in first and second grades though.

Coming in at #99 is Little Pea by Amy Krause Rosenthal.  I’ve never read this one before, so clearly pumped.

Little Pea

NOTE: The freaking library closed before I was able to get my hands on this sucker.  And I wanted to hold true to my promise of getting this post up this weekend.  Please don’t hate me…promise I will update this post as soon as I get the book on Monday!  Apologies and hugs!

At #98 is Anatole by Eve Titus, another classic I evidently missed.  Originally published in 1956, this book was not easy to find at the public library.  Actually, I have noticed a trend that older books, although deemed classics, are difficult to locate.  Not sure how I feel about this…


Seriously, this list is like four for four in my book so far!  So Anatole is a mouse who lives in France and goes out each night with all the other little mice to take food from people’s homes to bring to his family.  One night he overhears a woman talking about what thieves mice are and is very upset.  He decides to go to a local cheese factory and leave critiques on all the cheeses, feeling that in this way he has earned a meal for his family.  The cheese factory follows his recommendations and business begins to boom!  The owner of the factory wants to meet Anatole, but he keeps his identity a secret.  Soon he is made a Vice President and given a “salary” of cheese, bread and sweets.  Anatole’s family is very proud and I’ve decided he is a rock star.  What a fabulous lesson about the importance of hard work and earning things in life.  The language is a little advanced (words like “disgrace,” “trifle,” and “scorned”), I think this could also be a great opportunity to use context to discover the meaning of new words.  Right?  Probably best for second (or even third) grade friends at the beginning of the year, I say this one is read aloud ready!

Last but not least this week, we have Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox at #97.  I am a big Mem Fox fan.  Big.  I used to do a huge author study with her books when I taught first grade.  Bias be known.

Where Is the Green Sheep? (Horn Book Fanfare List (Awards))

Oh Mem Fox, how I continue to love you!!  This much simpler text (as compared to her other books I’m familiar with) is totally PERF for your brand new readers.  Talk about fabulous opportunities to practice using the picture and first sound to read new words!  Also, I love the ability to work on intonation with both periods and question marks.  Would make a great read aloud for kindergarten or early first grade and, with a little creative photo copying, would also make a great shared reading.  Two thumbs up!

Let me know if you’re going to join in the fun this summer!!


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  • Love your blog! Thanks for saying everything I think…and with such a funny twist. Also, love your idea for blogging about the top 100. I'm hopping on board by reading these books to my 4 (soon to be 5) year old. I'm always looking for great lit to share with him. My husband is reading him Trumpet of the Swan as I type this.

    🙂 JD

    May 9, 2010 at 11:24 pm
  • I would love to hear more about this Mem Fox author study you did as I just found out I will be teaching 1st again next year and am looking to expand my horizons. 🙂 We used Go Away Big Green Monster for "word choice" with our 6 traits this year. It was awesome! It's also good for discussing fears and bullies. 🙂 I am LOVING this extravaganza btw. It will help me add to my "want" list 🙂

    May 10, 2010 at 12:54 am
  • Having a hard time leaving comments, so I apologize if this posts twice…Great list so far! I have been teaching kinder for 7 years in CA and I have only heard of one of your titles!!

    May 10, 2010 at 11:23 am
  • My kids (my actual children) LOVE "Where is the Green Sheep?" and it's great for that just learning to read stage, because they can figure out what it says from the pictures. Pretty soon they're "reading" it to you.
    Keep 'em coming, please!

    May 10, 2010 at 2:14 pm
  • Stop it right now! I already spend too much on books for my grandsons. And the Scholastic warehouse sale is coming up. Check out their website for a reason to spend even more. Words of wisdom- take only the amount you are willing to spend and leave your checkbook and credit cards at home. And don't take any kids with you!

    May 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm
  • Mimi, I am SO GLAD that you are doing this series! I am returning to first grade after 6 years away (teaching 5th and administrating), and I NEED the latest info on picture books! Went to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale last week and stocked up on all kinds of new stuff, and am looking forward to going through boxes in the next few weeks to reunite with old friends. YAY, first grade and books!

    As always, Mimi, YOU ROCK and I heart you!

    May 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm
  • Just saw "I Love My Hair" on your list of multicultural books. It's one of my favorites. A few years ago my day care kids wrote the author a fan letter and got a lovely reply. By the way, do you know "Sister Ann's Hands"? It's one of those picture books for older kids and is one of the most beautiful I've seen.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm
  • On the older classic books not being available in libraries, oftentimes it's because they've gone out of print and our copies just wear out. It's always a disappointment when that happens and always particularly exciting when a publisher rescues one of those titles.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm
  • LOVE Little Pea, myself. The big punchline–that Little Pea has to eat candy to get his spinach dessert–is great for really young ones to open the topic of perspective. You've also got colors, the days of the week, parents being parents when it comes to food, and just some silliness. The ones I'm teaching this year (twos and threes) don't get the joke, but they hit older three and four and the book is a riot for them. I think I've read it 50 times or more to various groups of kids.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:32 pm

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