As an elementary school librarian, one perception I hope to change in the minds of my students and co-teachers is that picture books are automatically “easy books”. That is how they are labeled in our cataloging system, so I understand why they may have the misconception.
I love using picture books with our third and fourth graders, who are in the 9-11 age range. They are great for introducing a new historical or scientific subject, or for a fun, engaging read.
Here are some that have been favorites this year:
SCIENCE VERSE by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith
The fourth graders laughed themselves silly when I read this to them and nodded in recognition at many of the concepts discussed in the book.
BALLOONS OVER BROADWAY by Melissa Sweet
I read this the week of Thanksgiving and gave the students the assignment of watching the parade and reporting back which new balloons they’d seen on TV.
THANK YOU SARAH by Laurie Halse Anderson
Another one I read at Thanksgiving. By the end of it, the kids were chanting “LINCOLN SAID YES! LINCOLN SAID YES!”
MR. TIGER GOES WILD by Peter Brown
This is one they thought was very funny but thought-provoking. We had a good discussion about social norms after I read this one.
THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA by Mo Willems
Nobody ever sees this ending coming and it is fun to see their reactions once they realize what’s happened. I will ask them what some good alternate titles would be for this book and they came up with some very thoughtful answers.
Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Angela Frederick. Angela is currently a school librarian with Metro Nashville Public Schools; she has eight years experience working with teens in public libraries in Nashville and San Antonio. She is currently serving on YALSA’s Printz committee.