being a teacher, Literacy, picture books, Reading

My New Favorite Picture Books, September 2016

Oh September, with back to school excitement here in Wisconsin and seemingly so many new books to explore.  This has been a great month for picture books in our classroom as we started to build our reading community and discover how meaningful reading can really be.  Yesterday as I decided which new picture books to put on display, I realized that surely I must highlight a few of them to others, because I cannot be the only one obsessing over all of these picture books.

If you would like to see what else I am reading, follow me on Instagram, I highlight the best books that I read on my account.  Now is also the time I start to think about our Mock Caldecott unit, and some of these highlighted here are definitely on that list.


Maybe Something Beautiful written by F. Isabell Campoy and Theresa Howeel and illustrated by Rafael Lopez is well, beautiful.  The story of how a neighborhood was changed from adding art to the gray buildings is also one that is inspirational.  I love how this can inspire conversations about the small changes we can make that will have a great impact.


I love informational picture books because of our epic non-fiction picture book project.  Gilbert Ford’s The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring is not just a great story, the illustrations are fantastic in it with their mixed media form.  This is a book I will use as an example of how you can write great informational text that reads like a story.


I am always on the look out for small moment picture books because they are such great teaching tools, in fact, soon an entire post will be dedicated to these picture books.  So Pond by Jim LaMarche is a welcome addition to our classroom as it follows Matt and his friends’ dedication to bringing the pond back to life.


Another fascinating picture book for how to write great informational text is Octopuses One to Ten By Ellen Jackson and Robin Page.  You do not have to love octopuses to be in love with this book and how they weave fact upon fact into a counting book.


I know I am lucky that I have already received this book.  This is one of those books that we eagerly await and I am so excited to share it with my class.  Jon Klassen’s hat books are on numerous other lists on this blog and he does not disappoint with the final book in the trilogy We Found a Hat.  



I have loved Ruth Bader Ginsberg and her take on the Constitution for a few years but it was an absolute delight to find out more about her in the new picture book about her life.  In I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley we really get to understand why RBG is such an important part of our judicial and political history as a nation.


Oh what can I say about this stunningly beautiful book?  The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles written by Michelle Cuevas and illustrated by Erin E. Stead is everything that I love about picture books; a moving story, beautiful illustrations, and a message that stays with you long after you have read it.


What happens when the Snurtch keeps ruining your day?  How many kids can relate to the picture book The Snurtch by Sean Ferrell and illustrated by Charles Santoso.  This is a great picture book to talk about figurative meaning as well.


A Bike Like Sergio’s written by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones was a hit at our house.  So much so that we read it once and then my oldest asked me to read t again.  It is a book with a great message that can inspire conversation about how to do the right thing even when it seems like it would be better to not do the right thing.

Just a few new favorites.  I will also be updating my lists for Picture Books that Celebrate Books and Libraries, as well as the post Great Picture Books to Spark Imagination.

9 thoughts on “My New Favorite Picture Books, September 2016”

  1. Good morning, Ms. Ripp. I enjoy the information you share with others. 🙂 I’m a school counselor, former teacher, and part time author. I would love to share the picture book I wrote while working as a middle school counselor. I originally was not going to share it in my own school district because I was concerned about any perceived conflict of interest. When I transferred to an elementary school, I was surprised when my principal specifically asked me to share it with our 800+ students. It was recommended to him by our director of Human Resources who had been my former middle school principal. I used I Don’t Want to Go to Kindergarten…I’ll Miss You Toooo Much in every PreK – 5th grade classroom as a way to teach a fun “super power” to develop social emotional learning. “Power-Up” became common language throughout the school and was included in all future school wide presentations by my principal. Our staff wanted to remind students to instantly change brain/body chemistry by changing their thoughts. We taught all children to regularly shift out of “fight or flight” and back into “rest, digest, and learn”. Upon returning to middle school counseling, I offered to go into 6th grade classrooms and use my book as a tool for reducing stress during spring test taking last year. I have started out the new year by using it in all 6th grade classrooms as a tool for helping with transition to middle school, general stress management, increased overall mental health (Yellow Ribbon Week), and to increase learning and test taking ability. As word is spreading through the staff, I am now receiving requests to teach it in some 7th and 8th grade classrooms including RSP, SDC, and regular ed. Language Arts. The book is available in both hardcover (my favorite!) and Kindle versions. I’d be happy to pay for your Kindle Version if you would like to read it. Thank you for your consideration, Maureen King [ ]( )

  2. Thanks for posting. I have added a few to my tbr list. Can you tell me more about your “epic non-fiction picture book project” please. I am planning to do something non-fiction with one class during 2nd quarter. This sounds intriguing. Thank you.

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