Five Favorite Books

If I ever end up on the show Hoarders, the two red flags my family and friends will point to are my obsessive collecting of craft supplies and picture books. Luckily I'm managing to avoid the help of a professional organizer so far.  I can't tell you the number of calls I get during the school year from other teachers who need a particular book for a lesson. I think some of them call me before they check the library, because chances are if they need a book, I've got it.

There is a benefit to this madness. I have found quite a few books that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. So, today I'd like to share some of my finds that might be new to you. If you have any great books to add, please leave a comment. Books are just like Jell-o. There's always room for more!

What if Everybody Did That? 
by Ellen Javernick

This one should come standard with every primary classroom. The book goes through a day with a little one who does things without thinking, like feeding zoo animals despite the warning signs not to. He's got that same feeling that lots of kids do - that their actions won't make that big of a difference. But the community helpers in this book get him to think of what would happen if everybody did that. Love this one!

Do Unto Otters
by Laurie Keller

This book cracks me up. I happen to love otters and have a few stuffed ones in the room and some magnets on the board, so this book caught my attention immediately. In the story, Mr. Rabbit is very nervous about his new neighbors, a family of otters. He gets a great piece of advice to just "Do unto otters as you would have otters do unto you". So he goes through all of the ways he'd like to be treated, which cleverly teaches good manners. You can see an interesting(?)  reading of the book on You Tube here.

Limu  the Blue Turtle
by Kimo Armitage

For years I did a Hawaiian welcome back theme ~Aloha Second Grade! I gathered a ton of great resources for the theme, including my little friend Limu. Limu is a sea turtle, who - you guessed it - is blue instead of the usual sea turtley green. The lesson here is one that we can't teach kids enough, that what's on the inside is more important than what's on the outside. And seriously, how cute is that artwork? See the little scallop going for a ride?

Big Al
by Andrew Clements

Oh, I love me some Big Al!  It's similar to Limu, but again, the message is one that bears repeating. Big Al is a lonely fish. He's lumpy and bumpy and not so attractive. He does everything he can to fit in with the beautiful fish to no avail. He has a heart of gold and one day gets a chance to prove it, teaching all of the other fish the valuable lesson that beauty (or bumpy) is skin deep. 

Flip's Fantastic Journal
by Angelo DeCesare
I love to use this book when I introduce using a writer's notebook. Flip is beside himself because his teacher has told him to write in his journal every day and he has no idea what to write about. (sound familiar?). Flip finally realizes that his everyday life is pretty interesting and finds lots to write about. Another cool feature of the book are the illustrations. As Flip goes from reluctant writer to excited author the pictures transform from black and while line drawings to full color illustrations. I love to see which kid is the first to pick up on that!

Hope you enjoyed some of my faves. There are lots more where they come from. Just ask my poor hubs who recently helped me move them all across the hall into my new classroom. Love you honey!



  1. Loving the list. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love your cute. Thanks for the info:) I'm your newest follower:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  3. Thanks for sharing your recent finds. Books are great!

  4. I'm going to order a few of these right now! Thanks for sharing.
    Little Priorities

  5. Glad you guys like them! I can do some serious damage in a bookstore...but it's so worth it when you read them to the kids and they get as exited as you are :)

  6. Looks like I need to go book shopping! I definitely need to check out Flips Fantastic Journal for when I introduce the writers notebook. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Great stuff here! Thanks for your comment on my blog! I wish I knew someone that had that machine but I don't and the poster is huge! I am working on it! Stop by and join the giveaway!

  8. Hi Denise. What a fantastic idea of sharing books we probably haven't heard of. You were right, but looks like they are some treasures. Thanks for sharing!
    Mrs.Miner’s Monkey Business

  9. Kids Make It Better by Suzy Becker is also a fantastic journal-type book for emerging writers and problem solvers. And my kids LOVE Do Unto Otters, too!

  10. Those all look great! I really want to go get that first one :). I'm new to your blog - love it!!

  11. I love the book "What I f Everybody Did That?" I just got it a month ago and I can't wait to teach with it this year! Such a good lesson to teach the kids.
    Great Blog!!!

  12. I actually know the author of Flip's Fantastic Journal! He lives in NYC. Such a great book. I have all his books and I need to do a post on him soon.


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