mentor texts · picture book

Picture Book-Palooza

On Thursday afternoon my students counted the photocopies of the book covers that I have hanging on clotheslines all around our classroom. Nearly every book I’ve read (save a few whose covers I never hung) to my students has it’s cover posted around the room (laminated on mounted construction paper). They counted, with the ones I knew are missing, 73 books. “But last year we read 100 books!” they declared to me. (We’ve read quite a few chapter books this year. Not that 73 books is anything to sneeze at, but I felt like I had to justify why we read so little this year.)

So, with that, I gave them the option:
a) Do one more chapter book
b) Read a lot more picture books before the end of the school year, which, at the time, was 10 days away.

The class unanimously chose option b.

So, here I am, two days later. A lover of picture books, trying to figure out what to read to get us up to 100. (We’re going to have to have a Picture Book Read-a-Thon on the last day of the school year to get up there.) Somehow, I squeaked out two more picture books in the past two days: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers and Oh, No! Where Are My Pants? and Other Disasters.

Scheduled for next week, so far, are the following titles:

  • Cherish Today: A Celebration of Life’s Moments
  • Saturdays and Teacakes
  • This Jazz Man
  • Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky
  • Perhaps we won’t have the richest book talks that we’ve ever had in the next two weeks. And, perhaps, the kids won’t locate the craft moves each author uses. But, as someone who believes in reading aloud to kids at least once a day, I must say that I’m not troubled by that. You see, when you have a roomful of kids demanding to read 100 books together with you by the end of the year, and you see that the proverbial gates are closing, then how can you say no to that?!??

    Honestly, I cannot think of a better way to end the school year than with our class’s “Picture Book-Palooza.”

    One thought on “Picture Book-Palooza

    1. I see that you are reading Saturdays and Teacakes next week. That is one of our class’ favorite books. Have you looked at Lester Laminack’s “Cracking Open the Author’s Craft”? In it, he discusses a whole host of craft-moves he has made in writing this book. There is even a DVD where he discusses each individually. I shared portions of it with my kids to support what we were discussing in writer’s workshop mini-lessons and book chats. In the book, he also lists three or four other picture books that demonstrate each of the craft-moves he has used. It’s a nice book to compliment the work of the writer’s workshop. We often bring in the words of authors to support our teaching but this allows you to bring in the actual author as well through video.


    Comments are closed.