For those that are truly dedicated to sharing the best picture books, the August Picture Book 10 for 10 was established in 2010. There's also a nonfiction picture book version in February. Picture Book 10 for 10 was the brainchild of Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek, teachers that love to talk about the best books for their classroom libraries. Through the years, the group has grown larger and larger and now includes over 300 teachers, librarians, parents and picture book lovers from around the world. To participate and view everyone's lists, please visit the Picture Book 10 for 10 Community.
For me, this is my third year participating in the August Picture Book 10 for 10. It's especially meaningful for me, because this is what motivated me to start the Jana The Teacher blog 2 years ago. This year, I decided to list ten picture books published this year that I believe would be awesome to share with young readers.
Wow! This book is absolutely beautiful! The simple, poetic text combines with the stunning artwork to create an experience. I was brought to tears because of the wonderful message that this book shares with ALL readers who come to it. In a world that seems to have gone crazy with anger, sadness, and despair, we need more of these types of reminders of how wonderful life is. I borrowed this copy from the library, but I'm definitely getting my own copy so I can enjoy it and share it with others!
Playing with clay has never looked more fun and inviting than it does in this awesome picture book! There are two new lumps of clay in the art studio, and they're not quite sure what's going to happen. When the artist is finished, the new figures are glad for the break. Young readers will have fun watching the two friends start playing around with their shapes and features. With all of the new fun shapes the friends become, how will they fix when they hear the artist returning? This would be a fun mentor text to use to help kids create their own clay art and stories!
I know that kids will love this awesome picture book that tells the origins of "Rock, Paper, Scissors." "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is used to decide so many important issues for them. Drew Daywalt does a terrific job creating the characters' back stories and personalities. The illustrations are hilarious, with nearly every object shown as a living being with eyes (i.e. gum under Mom's home office desk). This would be fun to use as a mentor text to help students create their own legends and origin stories.
Anyone that's ever faced the high dive (or similar fears) will certainly be able to relate to this awesome picture book. For me there was the high diving board on top of a raft in the middle of the lake at Springbrook Campground. But they had a rule, that if you climbed up the ladder, you had to jump off the diving board. Apparently they were more worried about folks slipping on the ladder trying to come down. I climbed up, lost my nerve, and then spent the entire afternoon up there. Finally I had to jump because my family was ready to leave. At any rate, I loved this book because we can all root for this young man that is trying to muster courage to take the leap. This would be a terrific mentor text for writing personal narratives about facing fears.
Bob, Not Bob!: *to be read as though you have the worst cold ever by Liz Garton Scanlon, Audrey Vernick, Matthew Cordell (illustrator)
This is such a fun picture book, and would be so much fun to read aloud. It would definitely be appreciated by anyone with a horrible, snotty cold! Poor Little Louie comes down with a terrible cold. All he wants is for his mom to take care of him. But every time he calls for her with his stuffy nose, Bob (the family dog) comes running. This book is one that all readers will be able to recognize themselves in, as we can all relate to those nasty colds that turn one into a mouth-breather and make it impossible to enunciate certain words. The illustrations are great, too!
The Case of the Stinky Stench (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast #2) by Josh Funk, Brendan Kearney (Illustrator)
This fun, rhyming picture book is a terrific follow up to Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast. Everyone's favorite breakfast duo are trying to relax on a much needed vacation, when Inspector Croissant summons them to help him figure out the source of a nasty smell in the fridge. With rollicking, rhyming text and hilarious artwork, readers are taken on another crazy odyssey through the refrigerator and run into some old and new friends in the process. Young readers will definitely enjoy hearing this again and again at story time.
This is a terrific follow up to First Grade Dropout and a great picture book to share with young readers (especially second graders) during the first few days of school. The little boy in the story is dreading the start of second grade. Things were just fine in first grade and he's not ready for the big changes that he's certain will come with the next grade level. This could be a great conversation starter about goals and expectations for the new school year. It could also be a great springboard for writing!
The sweet, simple text along with the warm, friendly drawings make this a picture book that I would love to climb inside again and again. The little girl doesn't let a rainy day get her down. She has a wonderful imagination so that she's able to put on her raincoat and head outside with her adorable little dog. She lets us in on her secrets: trees are great umbrellas, the umbrella can be turned upside down to become a boat, the seashells in the sandbox can be transformed into a tea party. She visits her friend next door and the imaginative play continues. This would be a terrific story time read to help young readers learn to make the best of their time by being creative and enjoying friends.
What a fun and clever picture book this is! Written in the style of an old-time detective story, the number 6 comes to the office of a private investigator to get help. 6 was sure that 7 was out to get him, since 7 ate 9, and he was always after 6. This sets off a whole mystery filled with number puns! The illustrations are also drawn with old-style city scenes. This will get lots of laughs and giggles from young readers!
In this nearly wordless picture book, the reader sees a lovely friendship develop through the construction of a treehouse. The book opens with a moving truck in front of a house. There are two shy neighbors peeking at each other. As the boy starts to build a treehouse from the boards in the fence, the girl comes and starts helping. I'm assuming the boy gets the proper permission before he starts ripping the fence apart... Anyway, I love the way the author tells this whole narrative with few words (they each say "hi") and illustrations with a limited palette (only a few of the tree leaves and the paint have color).