Christmas is Here by Lauren Castillo. Simon & Schuster, 2010. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books (0-4, 4-8) Maturity Level: All The only text in this sweetly illustrated picture book comes from the KJV version of Luke 2, a familiar text even to many children. Wordless pictures show a young family (dad, mom, boy, babe-in-arms, […]
*Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp. Tyndale, 2014. 154 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4 and up Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up Imagine a priceless gift that was given when you didn’t deserve it, something you could never earn. What if it could never be taken away, couldn’t […]
Noah Webster and His Words by Jeri Chase Ferris and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch. Houghton Mifflin, 2012. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8, 8-12 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up Noah Webster was convinced that the fledgling American nation needed to distinguish itself with American schoolbooks. First he wrote the “blue-backed speller,” […]
Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torben Kuhlmann. NorthSouth, 2014. 96 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, Chapter Books, ages 4-10 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8), 3 (ages 8-10) An intrepid mouse, determined to escape the peril of mousetraps and predators by emigrating to America, devises a series of flying contraptions based on what he […]
Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. Simon and Schuster, 2014. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) It is hard for our modern sensibilities to understand the enormity of the social faux pas Queen Victoria would have committed had she allowed her subjects […]
The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sis. Farrar, Straux, and Giroux, 2014. 48 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8, 8-10, 10-12 Maturity Level: 2, 3, 4 (ages 4-12) Part picture book biography of the man who wrote The Little Prince and part history of early flight, this is […]
The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Suzy) by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by Edward Fotheringham
The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Suzy) by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by Edward Fotheringham. Scholastic, 2010. 48 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8, 8-10 Maturity Level: 2, 3 (ages 8-10) Like his famous Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain was a larger-than-life character. Famous during his own lifetime, Twain was the subject of much critical attention. […]
Picture Book Biographies Picture book biographies are excellent choices for introducing students of all ages to a particular author or historical figure. Many times they are also good examples of research, characters who persevere in the midst of adversity, interesting historical anecdotes, and just plain good stories—true stories. The Criteria Essentially, a good picture book […]
*The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014. 42 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8, 8-12 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up The use of language is not confined to its being the medium through which we communicate our ideas to one […]
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Eerdmans, 2008. 34 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8, 8-12 Maturity Level: 2, 3, 4 Although poetry anchored William Carlos Williams, he was much more than a poet; Bryant and Sweet work seamlessly together to tell […]
Gravity by Jason Chin. Roaring Brook Press, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, 0-4, 4-8 Maturity Level: Same Gravity is a complex concept to explain to young children. Chin has tackled this challenge with aplomb, producing a beautifully illustrated, deceptively simple picture book that succinctly and effectively explains gravity to very young children. Illustrations […]
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