Three Jovial Huntsmen

  • Title: Three Jovial Huntsmen
  • Author: Susan Jeffers
  • Illustrator: Susan Jeffers
  • Publisher: Bradbury Press
  • Publication year: 1973
  • Brief Summary: From Amazon-“Despite the many animals in the forest, three hunters see only a ship, a house, and a pincushion and find nothing to shoot.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – This picture book would be great for using in an English class as it humorously depicts one of the 3 types of irony in literature, dramatic irony. The reader amusingly gets to see the animals, embedded in the forest or in the grass, while the huntsmen unknowingly walk by confused.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it– Th illustrations in this book are stunning and deftly hide the animals within the very detailed lines of Jeffers’s nature. I also liked the use of color in this book, everything is done in a wash of blues, greens, and purples.

The Amazing Bone

  • Title: The Amazing Bone
  • Author: William Steig
  • Illustrator: William Steig
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication year: 1976
  • Brief Summary: From Scholastic-“A lonely pig named Pearl dawdles long enough in a field of dandelions to meet a bone who speaks to her.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I found this teacher guide from Novel Units that could be used in conjunction with this book. And I think this book could be used in multiple grades because the text is lyrical and involves higher vocabulary words.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – I will say there are some illustrations that I am not sure would go over as well with younger children. One page has two illustrations: one is of the robbers pointing guns at the cowering at Pearl the Pig and the other one is of one of the robbers pointing a gun at Pearl the Pig’s head. These illustrations are a little extreme for smaller children but maybe older children would be able to process these images.

The Kissing Hand

  • Title: The Kissing Hand
  • Author: Audrey Penn
  • Illustrator: Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
  • Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing
  • Publication year: 1993
  • Brief Summary: From Tanglewood-“To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called The Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – This is a particularly great book to use for kindergarteners. I found this website called Kindergarten Works that includes activities to do around this book.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it. –While I like this book, I have been making strides to stay away from too many animal books for this project. However, if I were to choose just a few animal books I think this one would make the top tier. Young children (and adults too) can sometimes be scared and lonely, and this is a great reminder to remember that there are those who love you. One of my favorite illustrations is at the end of the picture book where all the young animals are gathered on tree branches looking towards the owl, their teacher.

Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market

  • Title: Vamous! Let’s Go to the Market.
  • Author: Raul the Third
  • Illustrator: Raul the Third, colors by Elaine Bay
  • Publisher: Versify, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Brief Summary: From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt-“Bilingual in a new way, this paper over board book teaches readers simple words in Spanish as they experience the bustling life of a border town. Follow Little Lobo and his dog Bernabe as they deliver supplies to a variety of vendors, selling everything from sweets to sombreros, portraits to piñatas, carved masks to comic books!”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – Wow! This book would have plenty of issues in either a school library or a public library. Through the book, Raul the Third peppers in Spanish in easy to comprehend ways. Much like Where’s Waldo? there is a lot to see on every page. There are Spanish words for nearly everything present on the page, allowing a child to learn many words at once.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it. –Raul the Third’s artwork is reminiscent of 1930s cartoons. However, there is so much for color and vibrancy going on in each illustration than in any of those cartoons. I think children will want to come back to this picture book more than once to go back over pages they overlooked or even small details that didn’t see the first time reading.

Go, Dog. Go!

  • Title: Go, Dog. Go!
  • Author: P.D. Eastman
  • Illustrator: P.D. Eastman
  • Publisher: Beginner Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
  • Publication year: 1961
  • Brief Summary: From Barnes & Noble-“Whether by foot, boat, car, or unicycle, P. D. Eastman’s lovable dogs demonstrate the many ways one can travel…”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I think it is important to specify that P.D. Eastman’s books were only edited by Dr. Seuss and not done by him or in conjunction with P.D. Eastman. I think there is quite a bit that can be used in this book for young children. Firstly, children are learning basic colors and can identify colors in this book. Additionally, young children learn directions and this is a book that can help enforce that.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it. – Another sort of absurdist story but the colorful, full of action illustrations I think would keep a child’s interest. One illustration I found the most involved is of the two-page spread of all the dogs finally in bed for the night. There is a lot of detail in that one illustration.

Are You My Mother?

  • Title: Are You My Mother?
  • Author: P.D. Eastman
  • Illustrator: P.D. Eastman
  • Publisher: Beginner Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
  • Publication year: 1960
  • Brief Summary: From Penguin Random House-“When a mother bird’s egg starts to jump, she hurries off to make sure she has something for her little one to eat. But as soon as she’s gone, out pops the baby bird. He immediately sets off to find his mother, but not knowing what she looks like makes it a challenge. The little hatchling is determined to find his mother, even after meeting a kitten, a hen, a dog, and a Snort.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I did find a teacher activity blog post on Autism Adventures for this book. Additionally, I found this article from Paths to Literacy that talks about activities to use in conjunction with this book for children with multiple disabilities.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it. – One thing that makes this book unique is the way that the baby bird reiterates which animals are not his mother and every time he moves on to another animal that he asks he repeats which ones were not his mother. I feel like this would be helpful for building memory and recall for young children.

Good Night Gorilla

  • Title: Good Night Gorilla
  • Author: Peggy Rathmann
  • Illustrator: Peggy Rathmann
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication year: 1994
  • Brief Summary: From Scholastic-“In this practically wordless bedtime story, a weary zoo keeper bids good night to his charges and then goes home to bed. He doesn’t notice, however, that clever Gorilla has pickpocketed his keys and is letting the animals out of their cages, one by one. In single file, they follow the zoo keeper home and settle into comfy spots all around the bedroom he shares with his wife. Finally, a chorus chiming “good night” alerts the zoo keeper’s wife, whose eyes pop open in surprise in the darkness. As the zoo keeper sleeps, she walks the animals home, and her final “Good night, zoo” means business. But watch out: Gorilla has done it again, however this time only Mouse gets to come along.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –I found this article from a website called Kid Activities with Alexa where she includes some activities that can be done with toddlers in companion with this book,
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it. – Much like I Want My Hat Back and My Lucky Day I really enjoy these absurd and ironic picture books. The soft lines of the characters done by Rathmann make them (the lion, the gorilla, the elephant, the giraffe) all seem less threatening and also less “real.”

Corduroy

  • Title: Corduroy
  • Author: Don Freeman
  • Illustrator: Don Freeman
  • Publisher: Puffin Books
  • Publication year: 1968
  • Brief Summary: From Amazon-“This story of a small teddy bear waiting on a department store shelf for a child’s friendship has appealed to young readers generation after generation.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I found this very informative article from The Prindle Institute for Ethics on how educators can use Corduroy as a discussion point to talk about materialism, friendship and belonging.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it. –I vividly remember reading this book as a child and it brought back a lot of memories re-reading it now as an adult. Much like Lisa, the little girl who purchases Corduroy, I had a stuffed animal that meant the world to me. I think most children can identify with that. Freeman’s images in calming blues and greens really envelope the reader in comfort.

Harry The Dirty Dog

  • Title: Harry The Dirty Dog
  • Author: Gene Zion
  • Illustrator: Margaret Bloy Graham
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication year: 1956
  • Brief Summary: From Barnes & Noble-“This funny picture book about the strong-willed dog who really doesn’t want a bath stands the test of time.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –Not sure that there is really any way to use this book for a curriculum need. In fact, I would wonder if this book would be weeded because of the year of publication. However, if not it another animal/pet book that would appeal to young children but I would recommend this one for pre-school.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it. –This book falls in line with a lot of other animal centered books, however I would rather go with My Lucky Day than this book. The illustrations, while classically well-done, all feature white only characters. It is not until Zion and Graham’s 1965 team up, Harry By The Sea that there are African American families present (even though they are only in the background).

Milo’s Hat Trick

  • Title: Milo’s Hat Trick
  • Author: Jon Agee
  • Illustrator: Jon Agee
  • Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House
  • Publication year: 2017
  • Brief Summary: From Penguin Random House-“Milo the Magnificent is the world’s least magnificent magician. He can’t even pull a rabbit out of his hat! When Mr. Popovich gives him one more chance, Milo knows he has no choice: he has to go out and catch a rabbit for his act. Instead, he catches a bear. And the bear promises to help! Into the hat he dives. Milo rides the train home, sure his act will go off perfectly tonight. But when he arrives in his dressing room, he discovers that he left his hat—and the bear!—on the train. Meanwhile, across town, a man in a restaurant has a very familiar hat . . . Can Milo get his hat back in time for his act?”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – How about a book about friendship? Even if your friend is a bear. I think this is another great book for kindergarteners and they will get a kick out of the absurd in this book. This one I think is particularly suited for a read-aloud in a public or school library.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it. –The banter between Bear and Milo is worth it. There is an easy flowing dialogue between the two which really makes this picture book unique. Not only does this absurdist story feature the wacky looking Milo but the illustrations where Milo and Bear are speaking while Bear stays in the hat truly had me laughing (and I think children would find these scenes hilarious too).