With the help of our wonderful students, we have lots of plans and ideas for our blog. We’ll get started with a new weekly feature, Friday Favorites. Becca and Elexa are taking charge of these posts which will showcase favorite books and literature selections. Check out these five popular and award-winning titles:
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, by Dan Santat, is the 2015 Caldecott Award winner. Have you ever thought about where imaginary friends come from? Well, they are in their own world, waiting to be imagined. When the yet to be imagined friend Beekle gets tired of waiting, he sets off on an adventure to the real world to find his friend. The illustrations show a stark contrast in color between the real and imaginary world (a subtle nod to the loss of creativity in today’s fast-paced, standards driven world).
Nana in the City
Nana in the City, by Lauren Castillo, highlights the beauty and wonder of big city living. Its stunning watercolor illustrations won a 2015 Caldecott Honor as they so vividly capture the essence of New York City. Written in first person, the story is told by a young boy who is frightened by the sights, sounds, and smells of the intimidating city where his Nana lives. However, when Nana gives him a magic cape, he begins to see his surroundings in a different light and embrace this new place. Nana in the City lends itself to classroom use both in and outside of New York City.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, is an exciting new release from 2014. Awarded the 2015 Caldecott Honor for its illustrations, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole is a whimsical tale of two friends who dig a hole in their backyard. Written in classic postmodern style, the illustrations play an integral role in the development of the plot. Be sure to study the pictures at the end of the story very carefully, because this author/illustrator team leaves the reader with a few unanswered questions and a lot of room for prediction!
You Are (NOT) Small
You Are (NOT) Small, by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant, is the 2015 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner. Who is small and who is big? Can we be the same and different? It all depends on your reference point. Empty space and bold outlines add depth to the story. Telling illustrations and simple yet specific text allow for a tale of perspective to unfold.
The Farmer and The Clown
The Farmer and The Clown, by Marla Frazee, is a gorgeous wordless picture book released in the fall of 2014. Winner of a Charlotte Huck Honor Award and featured on many other ‘must read’ lists, this charming story of an unexpected friendship is both powerful and heartwarming. The wordless pages with detailed illustrations leave room for multiple interpretations and beg to be studied again and again. With an ending that will tug on your heartstrings and put a smile on your face, The Farmer and The Clown is a must read.