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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Tag Archives | gratitude

The Gift of Books:
Terrific Titles for the Classroom Library

As teachers across the country take to the streets to push for adequate compensation and work conditions, it’s a wonder we still have young people entering this noble profession. And yet, at college and university graduation ceremonies everywhere, new teachers will be receiving their credentials as they embark on what will likely be one of the most challenging and rewarding career choices possible. Thank goodness we still have people who are brave enough, smart enough, strong enough, and kind enough to become teachers. Where would we be without the next generation of educators (aka heroes)?

If you know of someone who is just joining the ranks, the titles on this list of treasured books in my personal library might be just what he/she needs to start things off in the classroom. Or maybe you know of a teacher who is finishing up their first or second year in the classroom, what a lovely “you survived so far” gift one of these books would be. Or perhaps you should treat yourself to your own “Teacher Appreciation Day” gift? Regardless of the reason, I am convinced any or all of these books would be a delightful addition to anyone’s collection. Be sure to check out the links provided for terrific resources related to each title.

Be Who You Are!  

Be Who You Are!
written and illustrated by Todd Parr
Little, Brown, 2016

With colorful, charming illustrations, Parr reminds us that celebrating and embracing our unique selves is the ticket to a happy life. Share this book on the very first day of school to create a climate of acceptance and community.


Duck! Rabbit!  

Duck! Rabbit!
written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

An abstract concept made simple for kids of all ages to grasp … the witty visuals clearly support the notion that accepting and honoring multiple perspectives is an important and wise idea. Share this book to help kids see things from another person’s point of view, promoting empathy and understanding. 


Let Me Finish!  

Let Me Finish!
written by Minh Lê
illustrated by Isabel Roxas
Disney Hyperion, 2016

Who would have thought that a simple desire to read without interruptions could turn into such an adventure? This sweet story not only tells the tale of an avid reader, it also offers up illustrations that will generate plenty of predictions, oohs and ahs! Share this story early on in the school year to establish successful expectations and shared agreements for independent reading time.   



The Word Collector


The Word Collector
written and illustrated by Peter Reynolds
Orchard Books, 2018

A perfect pick for fostering a love of words. Share this book to celebrate the joy of discovering new words and expanding one’s vocabulary. Jerome will delight readers with his penchant for collecting words. Chances are he will also inspire at least a few logophiles along the way. 



written by Stacy McAnulty
illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Running Press Kids, 2016

A playful book about girls, however it’s definitely not just for girls. In addition to some fun, it presents plenty of wise words to consider. Share this book to reinforce the beautiful message to all children that girls can be and do anything. Also a great choice for teaching the comprehension strategy of visualizing. The mental imagery that is generated from a text-only read-aloud will likely be different from the illustrations when revealed.


Elephant & Piggie Biggie!  

An Elephant and Piggie Biggie
written and illustrated by Mo Willems
Disney Hyperion, 2017

A collection of five favorite titles featuring the endearing duo created by Mo. Two lovable best friends help kids learn a lot about life and important themes including facing fears, perseverance, sharing, adventure and so much more. Share this book to encourage fluency practice with partner reading or perhaps some readers theater performances.



Shaking Things Up  

Shaking Things Up:
14 Young Women Who Changed the World
written by Susan Hood
illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Emily Winfield Martin, Shadra Strickland, Melissa Sweet, LeUyen Pham, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Lisa Brown, Selina Alko, Hadley Hooper, Isabel Roxas, Erin Robinson, and Sara Palacios
HarperCollins, 2018

A wonderful collection of poems and stunning illustrations, featuring diverse trailblazers who will inspire a new generation of girls to change the world for the better. Share this book to teach biographies and connect to a variety of social studies, math, art and science topics including prehistoric animals, WWI and WWII, school integration, medical discoveries, and space exploration.


The Important Book  

The Important Book
written by Margaret Wise Brown
illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
HarperCollins, 1949

An exceptional mentor text for inspiring young writers. Following a simple pattern and featuring everyday objects, this classic title demonstrates how to create a poem or paragraph focused on what matters most to the writer. Share this book in a lesson to launch writer’s workshop, teach determining importance or as a clever way for new classmates to introduce themselves with a class book entitled “The Important Book about Our Class.”



Ideas Are All Around
written and illustrated by Phillip Stead
Roaring Brook Press, 2016

A perfect choice for helping children reflect on the wonders and ideas that fill each day. Overflowing with possibilities for extending the story, this first-person narrative from the author, reminds us that small moments can truly become big inspirations. Share this book and its mixed media illustrations to offer an engaging art and writing lesson.


Jabari Jumps  

Jabari Jumps
written and illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
Candlewick Press, 2017

Everyone needs a bit of encouragement now and then. Kids will easily relate to Jabari, brave on the outside, a bit nervous on the inside, as he prepares to jump off the diving board for the first time. With support from his patient dad, Jabari shows readers how to be a risk taker and achieve success. Share this book to introduce or reinforce what it means to have a growth mindset and overcome one’s fears.



Skinny Dip with Caroline Starr Rose

Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop?

L.M. MontgomeryAuthor L.M. Montgomery, of Anne of Green Gables fame. I’ve read all of her books several times over, including the journals she kept from fourteen until the time of her death. In fact, I’ve committed to revisiting Maud’s journals every ten years. So far, I’ve read all five volumes twice.

Though I have a feeling Maud wouldn’t approve of me (she was not fond of free verse), she has always felt like a kindred spirit. Like me, she was a teacher, a Presbyterian pastor’s wife, a mother to two boys, and an author. I’d like to think we’d have a lot to talk about!

Later this year my best friend and I are heading to Maud’s home, Prince Edward Island—a trip six years in the making and dream come true.

Which book do you find yourself recommending passionately?

The Phantom TollboothI adore Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth. I’ve probably read it thirty times, first as a student, then as a student teacher, then with my students, and finally with my own children. It’s witty, it’s clever, it’s fun, and oh so quotable. It’s also great for teaching elements of story. There’s a reluctant hero on a classic quest, and even the climax takes place at the highest physical point in the story—the Castle in the Air.

Most cherished childhood memory?

Ernest HemingwayI’m going to change this one slightly to my most starry-eyed literary childhood memory. My family hosted a Spanish exchange student named Paula when I was in fourth grade. Since then, Paula’s family and my family have continued to remain close. The Maciciors own a home that is hundreds of years old, a grand thirty-four room structure in the Spanish countryside, near the city of Pamplona. In the 1920s Ernest Hemingway rented a room there while working on The Sun Also Rises.

I visited this house as a pre-teen and a teen. Though I hadn’t yet read anything by Hemingway, I knew his name and was thrilled to learn I’d get to stay in the room where a real-live author had temporarily lived. There are two beds in the room, and you better believe I slept in both, to cover my claim-to-fame bases.

Caroline Starr RoseBrother and sisters or an only child? How did that shape your life?

I have a half sister and half brother who are ten and twelve years older than I am.  I often describe myself as a semi-only child, as much of my childhood was spent as the only kid at home. This taught me to entertain myself, certainly, and meant I had plenty of time for reading and imagining and just making do.

Best tip for living a contented life?

This is one I’m still learning (and probably will be till I die). But so far I’ve learned contentment comes from gratitude, from realizing how many simple, wonderful, often-overlooked gifts we experience everyday. Like breathing. Have you ever considered how amazing it is that there’s air to fill your lungs every single moment? Contentment comes from loving and being loved. And it comes from acknowledging what you can control and letting go of what you can’t. Easier said than done, I know.

Quiltmaker's Gift

The Quest for the Perfect Thanksgiving Book

Each November I begin the search anew. I know what I’m looking for, and I really don’t think it’s too much to ask of a picture book: It must delve into the themes of generosity, abundance, gratitude. It should be beautiful. Compelling in its beauty, in fact. Ideally, I’d like it to celebrate our better […]


Gifted: Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs for Thanksgiving edited and with reflections by Katherine Paterson illustrations by Pamela Dalton Handprint Books / Chronicle Books, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-4521-1339-5 The season when we focus on giving thanks will quickly be here. If you are looking for a gift to take to your hosts, to give to […]