books, Literacy, Passion, Reading, students

My New Favorite Picture Books Part 2

As promised, I have more great new (to me) picture books to share.  This collection of funny, moving, and stunningly beautiful books are a must add to any classroom, not just the middle school one.  And yes, I purchased almost all of these myself, and yes, it cost a lot of money, but the experience it will provide my students with is worth it in the end.  I only feel bad because I am not sharing them as much with my own kids.

The Day I Lost My Super Powers by Michael Escoffier is a book that tells a familiar tale of childhood imagination.  I hope to use this to bring my students back to when they thought anything was possible and to reignite their passion for thinking they have the ability to make a difference in the world.

I love how A Perfectly Messed Up Story by Patrick McDonnell reminds me of Battle Bunny in all the best ways.  I love the message of working through adversity and the book is just downright funny.  My 3 year olds laughed at it, so I cannot wait to see what my 7th graders will do.

Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett is stunning. The story about a boy who is afrid of the dark is sure to elicit conversations about our fears and what we can do to conquer them.  I cannot wait for my students to discover all the details of this book.

To the Sea by Cale Atkinson is a book about unlikely friendships and loneliness, a theme that is so important to discuss with students.  I love the illustrations as well as they tell the story even more.

In the last 24 hours, we have read Shh!  We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton 5 times.  I think I loved it more each time.  Again the amazing illustrations tell half of the story and the simple language means that my youngest can read it by herself as well while giggling out loud.  You know a book is good when the minute you close it, the kids yell “Again!”

Language surrounds us all but by middle school certain words seem to lose their off limit-ness.  That’s why I love Little Bird’s Bad Word by Jacob Grant.  This book will give us a way to discuss what our language says about us as people and how our casual conversations can harm others.

I remember seeing a preview for The Cat, The Dog, Little Red, The Exploding Eggs, The Wolf and Grandma by Diane and Christyan Fox a year ago and then promptly forgot all about it.  Rediscovering it on my wish list I took a chance and ordered it, and I am so thankful I did.  This book is laugh out loud funny, even after you have read it once.  It speaks aloud so many of the questions my students have when it comes to the original fairy tales and will be a perfect match with our gruesome fairy tale unit (even though this book is not gruesome at all).

An amazing wordless picture book by Jon Arne Lawson and Sydney Smith that tells the tale of Sidewalk Flowers and what happens when we are too busy to notice the world around us.  As we discuss purposes for our devices, this will be a book to facilitate that conversation.

I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA but originally from Denmark,  who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children.  The second edition of my first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students” is available for pre-order now.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press.  Join our Passionate Learners community on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

8 thoughts on “My New Favorite Picture Books Part 2”

  1. I was really going to try to not by so many books this year as I spend well into the thousands but all the ones you mentioned above sound great for my fifth grade classroom and four year old grandson. Thanks for sharing now off to compare prices at Amazon and Barnes and noble!

  2. I love your picture book lists, and I love that you use them with your middle-schoolers! Last year, my third graders especially liked Weasels. When I read it, I had to stop for several minutes on each page so they could inspect each picture to find all of the funny parts. Thanks for sharing your lists. 🙂

  3. Have you read “The Invisible Boy? Oh my gosh–my first graders and I went back to that one again and again–connections.

  4. I’m a retired high school English teacher who loves picture books and these are wonderful choices. I believe that the reason so many of my students stopped reading (back in the old days!) was because all of a sudden, they entered middle school and the pictures in their books had disappeared!

  5. I loved that article on reading stories to 7th graders. I tell everyone about it.

    Here’s a great story that 7th graders would get, Stephanie’s Ponytail, by Robert Munsch, It’s been around awhile, but it’s a classic. It emphasizes the importance of being yourself, not copying others. LOL!

    Susan Roberts
    Picture Book Reviewer

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