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 […]