Must. Have. Picture. Books.

The Teacher WifeLindsey over at The Teacher Wife aspires to build a neighborhood library, so I'm helping by linking up to her site with my top must-have picture books. The more, the merrier, so write a post like this one with pictures of your must-reads, a link to more info about them, and a link to where you can get a copy for yourself, then click her cute button to the right to go there and add your faves to her list, too!

My very first pick HAS to be this oldie but goodie, the one that I used to win storytelling competition at the State Forensics Meet as a senior in high school. Harry and the Terrible Whatzit by Dick Gackenbach has such GREAT voice and is SO much fun to bring to life. It's about a boy who is forced to face his fear of the basement. The last page is simply. the. BEST! Click {here} to hear it read aloud on You Tube and {here} to purchase a copy of your own.

My next very favorite read-aloud is Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose. I got myself one, too, when my son's first-grade teacher put it on her Scholastic Book Fair Wish List and I used it in my very first guidance lesson after leaving high school and going to a middle school. Check it out for a great point of view and Golden Rule lesson. Click {here} for more extension and enrichment activities than you'll know what to do with and {here} to buy it now.

Another book that I thoroughly enJOY reading aloud is One by Kathryn Otoshi. In this colorful tale, red is a hot head and that makes blue feel, well, a little blue! Their story will serve as an excellent springboard for a discussion about bullying behaviors, bystanders and upstanders. Click {here} to hear the author read while some students from Trace Elementary interpret the book and {here} to pick up One for yourself.

If you want a book that totally lends itself to meaningful movement with a follow-up Chicken Dance, check out The Band-Aid Chicken by counselor Becky Rengal Henton. In this black-and-white treasure, a brand new chicken enters the barnyard eager to make new friends, only to find that there's a pecking order. Ouch! I use this one to talk with my students about how it feels to be the new kid and to get "pecked" on (LOVE the play on words!). Then we reflect on the courage it took for the Band-Aid Chicken to stand up and say "NO!" when it was her turn to do the pecking. I got some Band-Aids donated so that each child could go home with a visual reminder to never pick on others. Click {here} to learn more and {here} to peck up your copy.

OK, my list of favorites is CRAZY long, so I'll pick one more, but not before I send you {here} to see my entire Books That Teach list. I love picture books and am of the belief that you can NOT have enough of them, so here's my final recommendation, for now. Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin is a blast to read! You see, this precious young fox adores teeny tiny things so when she finds a teeny tiny camera on the playground, it's only natural that she'd want finders keepers, losers weepers to be right, right? Well, I wish you could hear my students gasp when Ruthie claims it's hers! Students LOVE listening to what unfolds when the real owner of that teeny tiny treasure, her friend Martin, tries to take it back. You can find out more {here} and buy your own teeny tiny copy {here}.

Happy Reading!


  1. I CANNOT believe you put Ruthie! I was actually thinking that if I were to link up I'd put this book. My copy is all worn out from using it. I LOVE it! I use it all the time for so many different lessons.

    Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists

  2. I always enjoy seeing what your literature choices are.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  3. I love your book picks! I enjoy hearing your insight on great books to include in the classroom.

  4. I love Ruthie!! Just found your blog through the linky :)

    T.G.I.F. (Thank God it's First Grade!)

  5. I love Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens---great book about importance of hard work

  6. I love "Hey Little Ant" and "Ruthie..."! Good choices. I'm pinning your others 'cause I haven't heard of them.
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  7. You always have the best books. I'm gonna check out The Band-Aid Chicken! =D


  8. I love that your books all relate to character, and I'm a new follower!

    The Dalton Gang

  9. I love Hey, Little Ant! I always use it to teach persuasive writing. Great list!

    Make sure to stop by and enter my giveaway

  10. I've used One and Litle Ant - your other choices look very interesting!

  11. I love "One." It has been on several lists. A great book.
    Thanks for sharing!


  12. ALL your titles sound enticing and MUST READS!!! I am so thrilled I found your blog! Stop by anytime! SMILES!


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