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Book Critique:

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Awards: Caldecott Award

Illustrator: Molly Idle

Genres: Children's picture book
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Copyright date: 2013
Reading Level: Preschool to 1st Grade
Summary: Flora and the Flamingo is a wordless story that is about a little girl named
Flora that copies a Flamingos actions. Until the flamingo discovers that the little girl has
been imitating her, so the flamingo squawks angrily at Flora. Flora is sad that the
Flamingo doesnt want to play with her, but then the Flamingo notices how sad Flora is
so the Flamingo decides to play Flora. The story ends with Flora and the Flamingo
becoming friends.
Personnel: This is such an adorable story about a little girl kind of wanting to be like this
Flamingo and then the Flamingo and the girl begin a beautiful friendship. I would most
likely use this book if I ever became a preschool teacher, but I dont know if I would use
it for grade levels 1st and up.
o Science (1st Grade): On the San Diego Zoo website they have a web cam that
shows all of the different animals in the zoo, therefore they have live video of the
flamingos in the zoo. I will then teach my students basic facts about flamingos
and we will watch the flamingos interact and see what they eat.
o Language Arts (3nd Grade): I would have my students write in their writing
journals about a time when they made a new friend. Or I may also do this writing
prompt for 1st Grade as well.

Dont Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Awards: Caldecott Award

Illustrator: Mo Willems
Genres: Children's picture book
Publisher: Hyperion Press
Copyright date: 2003
Reading Level: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Summary: In this story a bus driver has to leave for a little bit to solve a problem, so he
has one request to readers while he is gone: Do not let the pigeon drive the bus! When
the bus driver leaves the pigeon tries his very hardest to convince readers to let him drive

the bus. To illustrate, the pigeon offers to give readers $5 to let him drive the bus. The bus
driver comes back and drives off with the bus, the pigeon is sad because he really wanted
to drive the bus. But then all of a sudden a huge tractor comes and now the pigeon has a
new dream.
Personnel: I absolutely love this book! My mom would read this book to me almost
every night when I was a kid. So because of that I will definitely be reading this book to
my future students. I absolutely love this book! My mom would read this book to me
almost every night when I was a kid. So because of that I will definitely be reading this
book to my future students.
o Language Arts (Kindergarten): I will have my students use Smartboard to decide
whether or not they would let the pigeon drive the bus. The answers of all of my
students will appear on Smartboard and after they decide we will have a group
discussion about why or why not they would let the pigeon drive the bus.
o Language Arts (1st Grade): The students will be doing readers theater with this
book. They will come up with other stories about pigeons and create new
characters. I will provide costumes for the students and just kind of let them
create their own stories.

Flotsam by David Wiesner

Awards: Caldecott Award

Illustrator: David Wiesner

Genres: Children's picture book
Publisher: Clarion Books
Copyright date: 2006
Reading Level: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Summary: A young boy one day goes to the beach to collect and gather flotsam. The boy
finds a camera, there are numerous different pictures, but the most interesting picture is
the last one. The reason being is because the picture is of a girl who is who is holding a
photo of a child, who is holding a photo of a child, who is holding a photo of a child, and
so on. The boy realizes that he one in a long line of photographers who have found this
camera. He takes a picture of himself holding this photo and tosses the camera back into
the ocean. The camera gets carried away by some fish to another shore, where another
little boy finds the camera.
Personnel: This is book is simply beautiful with all of the stunning illustrations that
David Wiesner drew. I personally believe that this book is great for all ages. The grade
level doesnt really matter for this book because I think everyone can learn something
from this story.

o Language Arts (1st Grade): I will show my students this website: For the
reason being is because this website is a 24/7 webcam of Panama City and if
there are students in my class that have never seen the beach before this will be a
good example of what the beach is. Then my students will write about the ocean
and will include the five senses that they will be experiencing if they went to the
o Science (1st Grade): My students will create their own imaginary undersea
creatures. Then they will draw and write about their creatures. They are going to
come up with a name for their creature and what type of habitat their creature
lives in.

Journey by Aaron Becker

Awards: Caldecott Award

Illustrator: Aaron Becker

Genres: Children's picture book
Publisher: Candlewick
Copyright date: 2013
Reading Level: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Summary: A lonely girl draws a door on a wall with a magical red marker that
transforms into her own little world. In this world that she created she also draws a boat,
a carpet (that flys), and a balloon that takes her around on several different journeys.
Personnel: The story is fun, but the awesome thing about this book is definitely the
illustrations. Younger children who are not sucked into stories and harder to hold the
attention of will be mesmerized by the paintings
o Language Arts (2nd Grade): My students will write a short about what they would
do if they had a magical red marker. After the story is written then they will go
on Smartboard and make their story come to life, then they will present the story
to the class.
o Art (2nd Grade): My students will be drawing a picture of what their dream world
would look like. Then I can also incorporate Geography into this lesson by
asking would their land be an island, jungle, desert, etc.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Awards: Caldecott Award

Illustrator: Doreen Cronin

Genres: Children's picture book
Publisher: Little Simon
Copyright date: 2000
Reading Level: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Summary: A group of cows give a farmer a list of demands that they want the farmer to
change. For instance, the cows ask the farmer for electric blankets in the barn because its
cold inside the barn. Unfortunately, the farmer refuses to give the cows what they want,
so the cows decide to protest by not allowing the farmer have any of their milk. They
keep asking for demands and the farmer keeps denying them. One day the farmer finally
decides to give in.
Personnel: This was the one book as a child that I would demand my mom to read to me
every night before I went to bed. I would love to read this book to my students someday!
This is just a fun and hilarious book for all ages.
o Math (1st Grade): As class, my students and I will do research on how expensive
electric blankets are. Then we will figure out the cost of how much it would be
for the farmer to buy extra blankets for the cows and ducks. We will come to the
conclusion of whether or not it would be a real inconvenience for the farmer to
spend a little extra money to get blankets for the animals.
o Science (1st Grade): The cows get extremely cold at night, so we would
investigate how there are other ways that the cows could have kept themselves
o Geography (1st Grade): We would go on Google Maps and try to figure out the
local farmer that is around them.

Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola

Awards: Caldecott Award

Illustrator: Tomie de Paola

Genres: Folktale, Children's picture book
Publisher: Aladdin
Copyright date: 1975
Reading Level: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Summary: This story is about an older lady named Strega Nona, who lives in a small
cottage by herself in Calabria, Italy. Strega Nona is a witch, who cures the townspeoples
of their ailments, warts, and headaches. A man by the name of Big Anthony is hired on as
Strega Nona's servant. Strega gives him very strict instructions on what he is required to
do, and what he is forbidden to do. Strega Nona specifically tells Big Anthony, "The one
thing you must never do is touch the pasta pot. One day Strega Nona leaves on a trip,
Anthony speaks her spell and feeds everyone in the vicinity delicious piping hot pasta.
Unfortunately, Anthony didn't quite catch the way to make the pasta stop flowing. As the

villagers attempt to prevent the growing pasta from destroying their town, Strega Nona
arrives just in time to put everything right again. Anthony receives a just comeuppance
and all is well in the world.
Personnel: I would have my students write about a time that they were specifically told
not to do something or lied to someone that resulted in the getting in trouble, and how did
they resolve this problem. They would write this in their writing journals.

The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel

Awards: Caldecott Award

Illustrator: Blair Lent

Genres: Fiction, Children's picture book
Publisher: Puffin
Copyright date: 1972
Reading Level: Kindergarten to 2nd Grade
Summary: A funny little woman who lives all by herself in her own little hut. Her
passion is a making dumpling, until one day a dumpling escapes down a crack in her
floor. As she reaches for it, the floor gives way and the woman finds herself on an ancient
road surrounded by statues of gods. The statues warn the woman not to attract the
attention of the local Oni but the woman's giggles can't keep her hidden for long. Soon
she's cooking for all the Oni in their homes with the help of a magic paddle. By the end,
however, the woman wishes to return to her house and it is only when she is able to make
the Oni laugh at her that she is enabled to escape and prosper.
Personnel: I would have my students do research about the Japanese culture. I will be
doing this by going to the computer lab, passing out a worksheet to my students to fill
out, and then we will go back to the classroom and discuss their answers. They will then
go home and create a PowerPoint slide based on one of the facts that they researched.

Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs

Awards: Caldecott Award, A Time magazine Best Book of the Year, and

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year

Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky
Genres: Fiction, Children's picture book
Publisher: Puffin
Copyright date: 1994
Reading Level: Kindergarten to 3rd Grade

Summary: A young woman by the name of Angelica Longrider lassos a tornado before
the tornado destroys her town. Many people were skeptical that she wasnt going to be
able to stop the tornado, but she proved them all wrong.
Personnel: My students will be creating their own tall tales. Their tale will be about a
half of a page long, which will be about a main character (like Angelica Longrider) and
their main adventures. After they write their tale they will draw their characters on huge
pieces of paper, and then I will hang and laminate the characters and put them up around
the classroom.

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rommann

Awards: Caldecott Award

Illustrator: Eric Rommann

Genres: Fiction, Children's picture book
Publisher: Square Fish
Copyright date: 2002
Reading Level: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Summary: This book is about the friendship between a mouse and rabbit. One day the
mouse lets rabbit borrow his brand new toy airplane. Unfortunately, while the rabbit
losses the airplane while playing with it. So he begins to go on a long search for the
airplane, he looks high and low. He eventually finds it and gives it right back to the
Personnel: I would have my students create paper airplanes and we would discuss as a
class the different functions of an airplane and basic facts about airplanes.

The Little Island by Margaret Brown

Awards: Caldecott Award

Illustrator: Leonard Wizard

Genres: Fiction, Children's picture book
Publisher: Dragonfly Books
Copyright date: 1946
Reading Level: Preschool to 2nd Grade
Summary: There once was an island, where different seasons come and go. There are
many animals on the island. One day a kitten appears on the island, and the kitten reveals
a big secret on the island.
Personnel: This book talks about the different seasons that take place on the island, so I
would ask my students questions like: How is the island different in the summer time?
Then I will have a whole day dedicated to my students learning about the seasons. To

illustrate, when the children first enter the classroom they will see the classroom divided
into four sections. Within each section there will be an activity and simple decorations
that correlates with that season. For instance, in the section I will have a fan blowing
pieces of Styrofoam and encourage the kids to play with snow.