Selected by kindergarten teacher and book lover Nellie Edge
Confession: I love children’s books! I love reading aloud! I love finding and giving children only the “rarest kind of best in anything.” (Walter de la Mare)
Like any kindergarten teacher and storyteller, I assess each new picture book for its “read aloud” potential. Then I love to take the books into real classrooms and make sure that the sounds of language and the images that I delight in also appeal to the heart of kindergarten children. These books meet the standard. I promise!
Quality children’s books filled with delightful imagery, rich new vocabulary, and imaginative language turn children into “book lovers” and motivate them to read favorite books again and again. All young children will find something in this collection to treasure: some repeated refrain to memorize, information to ponder, and design features to inspire their own bookmaking. It is the songs we sing and books we share that provide shared experiences that build community! Happy reading!
by Brendan Wenzel. Chronicle Books, 2016.
Just when you thought you had enough great cat books, here comes They All Saw a Cat. What an ingenious idea: looking at the world through different perspectives. The language is simple, and “cat” is one of our high-frequency sight words; with a little help, the children will be able to read the book to each other during “buddy reading” time! A Caldecott Honor Book.
by Salina Yoon. Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2016.
This stunning book is about a shy little boy who speaks in mime. He meets a girl named Joy who speaks his language. Here is a quiet celebration of imagination and friendship. Before introducing this book, give the children experiences in miming familiar objects and in mirroring each other’s movements; the story becomes more real.
by Mo Willems, Disney-Hyperion, 2016.
How we LOVE Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie Books! It was with great sadness that we realized The Thank You Book was the last of the perfect collection of 16 heartwarming, hilarious books. In this final salute to friendship, Piggie wants to thank everyone. Our favorite page is “It will be a Thank-O-Rama!” This is a perfect complement to our “Thank You” song: “t-h-a-n-k, t-h-a-n-k…” and focuses on gratitude all year long. Learn about our Family Elephant and Piggie Book Club.
by Lane Smith. Roaring Brook Press, 2016.
I love this book! So did our Tribe of Kindergartners. Kindergarten children are fascinated with the natural world, and many delight in knowing the names for collected groups of animals (e.g. colonies of penguins and pods of whales). This “must have” book is witty, humorous, and totally enchanting as it follows a child through his journeys in nature.
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood
by F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell, and Rafael López. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2016.
This heart-warming book is based on a true story about how people, color, and art can bring a community together. Our heroine, Mira, is a young artist who learns from a master. The uplifting message is enhanced throughout with beautiful illustrations.
by Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016.
Sherman Alexie is a national award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker who is Native American: his wit and sensitivity show. Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he doesn’t want to be called Little Thunder. He wants his very own name. For a playful and heartwarming look at an Indian father and son relationship, this book has a perfect ending
by David Litchfield. Clarion Books, 2016.
One day a bear cub discovers a piano deep in the forest. After years of practice, he delights his animal friends with beautiful music. He takes his music to the city and returns to his friends. This visual feast is emotionally satisfying, and it touches the heart of all music and bear lovers. (I confess to being both!)
by Martin Jenkins. Candlewick, 2016.
There are many fabulous frogs—huge frogs, tiny frogs, flying frogs—that all hop across this delightful and informative nonfiction book that may encourage kindergartners to become curious biologists themselves. Great for science lessons, vocabulary development, and motivation to study the fascinating life of frogs. (Just try finding a child who isn’t hooked on frogs!)
Ocean Animals from Head to Tail
by David Litchfield. Clarion Books, 2016.
Children LOVE this guessing book with large print and large pictures. Illustrations are vibrant, and animal facts are simply fascinating. We are so glad the ELA Common Core Standards remind us to read 50% nonfiction books to our students.
by Jon Klassen. Candlewick, 2016.
Here is the gentle conclusion of the celebrated hat trilogy by Caldecott winner Jon Klassen. It is a perfect look at a conflict resolved through friendship and empathy. This masterpiece of honest feelings is both poetic and satisfying. Children relate to the dilemma and the surprising resolution achieved by these endearing turtles.
by Denise Fleming. Beach Lane Books, 2016.
I am always on the lookout for a delightful children’s song in picture book form. 5 Little Ducks is so exquisitely illustrated and cleverly adapted that it meets my criteria for another great song picture book to add to your collection! This adapted rhyme features adorable ducks frolicking in the woods. You may want to practice singing with the right rhythm to get the language just right. Then invite kindergartners to sing along—or at least to join in the “Quack, quack, quack!”
Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color
by Julia Denos. Balzer & Bray, 2016.
Oh my do we love swirls and swatches of vibrant color in this stunning book! The figurative language draws you as the colors and wonderful girl run wild. For a girl called Swatch, color is her passion. The gorgeous illustrations and sweet message make this another “must read.”
by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow Books, 2016./span>
Award winning, bestselling husband and wife team of Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek collaborate on this simply perfect picture book. It is a satisfying celebration of spring and complements our Nellie Edge sciencing song “Spring is Coming” as we sing and observe through the seasons.
by Carson Ellis. Candlewick, 2016.
“A diverse community of anthropomorphic bugs is intrigued by an unfurling sprout. Carson Ellis deftly depicts the mysteries of life in an imaginary, natural world. Through intricate details and the witty humor of a made-up language, Du Iz Tak? is a treasure trove of visual and linguistic literacy.”
A Caldecott Honor Book. (Description by publisher.)
by Vera Brosgol. Roaring Book Press, 2016.
“At the end of her rope, Granny is desperate for time alone to finish knitting sweaters for a house filled with dozens of rambunctious children. Brosgol’s expressive watercolor and cartoon art presents a genre-breaking journey taking Granny from the traditional forest setting to the mountains to the moon and beyond.” A Caldecott Honor Book. (Description by publisher.)
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