books, Literacy, notice and note, picture books

Great Picture Books to Use For Memory Moments – Notice and Note

One of the main texts we use to guide our reading instruction is the amazing Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst, and I have loved gathering all of these picture books to be used with this amazing book. This is therefore the last installment of these posts,  Please keep sharing your ideas in the comments because I know many are looking for great picture books to use with these deeper reading strategies.

The first post was on Contrast & Contradictions, then followed Aha Moments,Tough Questions, Words of the Wiser,  Again and Again, and now, finally, the last one for Memory Moments.  Here I really tried to find picture books that have a true memory moment, which means a character stops the story to share a memory, these can be harder to find.  Happy reading!

Emma and the Whale by Julie Case and Lee White has two flashbacks in it that can be considered brief memory moments.

An incredible picture book, When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett have a memory moment every time the grandmother answers her grandchild’s questions. Powerful message that will capture curiosity.  This is the book I will use with my 7th graders.


Belle the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend by Calvin Alexander Ramsey & Betty Stroud, illustrated by John Holyfield tells the true tale of one of the mules that carried the coffin of MLK Jr.  Told through memory moments as a child asks about the mule, this is a great picture book to teach an untold story as well as memory moments.

Both The Day the Crayons Quit and its follow up The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers have great memory moments as the crayons tell Duncan how they were used and what they remember.  Considering these are must have picture books for any classroom, since there are so many things you can teach with them, I am thrilled that both can be used for this strategy as well.

The retelling of the story of King Christian X in The Yellow Star by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Henri Sørensen is an example of a memory moment in the lesson that we are all to glean from it.  The fact that the story is not true does not hinder its deeper meaning.

The books of Peter H. Reynolds has been featured in all of my signpost picture books, and it speaks to their incredible versatility.  You and Me written by Susan Verdi and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds is a memory moment from the start as the characters reminisce about what would have happened had their day not unfolded the way it did.  A beautiful story of friendship and serendipity.

A beautiful memory moment exists in the pages of A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams as we learn the story of the chair.

Memories abound as the Wolf shares the story of what really happened with the pigs in Tell the Truth B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Jotto Seirold.

As always, I turned to the awesome Notice and Note community on Facebook and asked them to share their favorites as well.  Here they are.

Storm in the Night by Mary Stolz and illustrated by Pat Cummings.

Tough Cookie by David Wiesniewski

Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco.

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas

When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Diane Goode.

Saturday and Teacakes by Lester Laminack

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ronald Himler

As always, please add your favorites for Memory Moments in the comments.  Also, did you see the new Notice and Note for Nonfiction?  I am so excited to read it.

6 thoughts on “Great Picture Books to Use For Memory Moments – Notice and Note”

  1. Andrea Beaty’s books Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer both have great memory moments that reveal significant moments that shaped the main characters. Also great examples of flashbacks as a writing tool.

  2. I teach 8th grade and although I love picture books, I hadn’t used them in class very much until this year. I’m finding, as you have noted and as I learned from Lester Laminack at Boothbay this summer, that there is a lot of “bang for the buck” in these short texts. I recently used When I Was Young in the Mountains after reading this great post Thanks for your great ideas.

  3. Thank you for sharing your lists. I’ve use them to gather books for teachers as we introduce the signposts. Some books suggested for Memory Moments are memories, but I’m not sure they have the “moment” where a character remembers something significant to the theme or conflict, or details for readers to make a prediction. Just wondering about how you used some of these.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your lists.

    An Angel for Solomon Singer has several signposts in it, including a wonderful memory moment. It also has the contrast and contradictions, and again and again signposts.

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