No, David!

No, David! by award winning artist and illustrator David Shannon is a hilarious and relatable story about a 5-year-old boy, David, who is somewhat of a trouble maker. Constantly breaking his mothers rules, David gets told no quite frequently but that doesn’t mean his mom doesn’t love him. This is a great story that can resonate with a lot of children. Even though parents and adults tell you no, that does’t mean they will ever stop loving you. This is a great story for children 2 and older and a great text for emerging readers with its simple and predictable text and creative illustrations that tell most of the story for you.


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Author Website


Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos is about Joey Pigza who has ADHD and has a very hard time following directions and sitting still. Joey means well but he can’t help but cause trouble. Between his own obstacles at home and his challenging behavior strongly impacting his time at school, life is not easy for Joey. Joey really is a good kid he just has a hard time getting others to see that, no matter how hard he tries trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes. When his teachers threaten to send him to a special education school away from all his friends Joey tires harder than ever to prove that he can be good, but will it be enough?

I would recommend this story to children 10 and older and especially to those like Joey or who know someone like him. It teaches you empathy and to understand that sometimes no matter how hard they try, some people really can’t control themselves and it isn’t their fault.


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Knuffle Bunny Too

A sequel to Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, which reached the number one spot on the New York Times Bestseller list for children’s book, Knuffle Bunny Too is by renowned author Mo Willems. This book is beautifully written in a creative way that is sure to catch children’s attention. With a mix of animations and real black-and-white photography, this story is about Trixie and her favorite stuffed animal who gets mixed up into the wrong hands. Another girl in her class has a very similar stuffed animal and their teacher accidentally gives the wrong ones back to the girls. What does this mean for her poor Knuffle Bunny? Will the girls find a common ground with their love for their stuffed animals?

This book is great for children of all ages but can be especially appealing to children around 4. I would also recommend this to children who also treasure a favorite teddy or doll as they will be able to relate to Trixie’s profound love for her Knuffle Bunny. This story about love is a captivating tale with incredible illustrations with such detail that the more you look at the pages, the more you fall in love with everything Knuffle Bunny.



Author Mo William’s Website

Lesson Plan and Teaching Resources

Guide to Reading Together

The Name Jar

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi is about a young girl named Unhei who moved form Korea and is just starting school in America. Unhei is afraid the kids won’t like her and will make fun of her name, especially since most can’t pronounce it. When she introduces herself to her new class she doesn’t tell them her name and instead tells them she will pick a name next week. The class then comes together to help Unhei pick a name. They all give suggestions and put it in a jar for her to pick. When one of her classmate finds out her real name he doesn’t want her to change it. When it is time for Unhei to pick a name the jar is missing, what will she tell them her name is?

This book teaches about tolerance, acceptance, and staying true to who you are. I would recommend this book to all children 4 and older.


Guide for Philosophical Discussion Questions

Discussion Guide and Activities

My Brother Charlie

My Brother Charlie is by bestselling author Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete. This is a heartwarming story about a girl who loves her brother who happens to have autism. This book shows autism in a positive and understandable way that is very helpful for young children to understand. This book focuses on all the amazing things Charlie can do, instead of what he can’t, it shows his abilities rather than his disability. I think this is a great story about inclusion, understanding, and love. I would recommend this story to all children 4 and older.


How To Use This Book To Teach Children About Autism



George by Alex Gino is about a girl who others see as a boy. George knows she was meant to be a girl but she is in a boys body. This story about a young transgender girl teaches children about acceptance, inclusion, and understanding what it means to be transgender. This book allows you to have an important conversation regardless of your personal or religious views. This book is about acceptance and about a human rights that don’t get discusses enough with children. I think this is a very important subject to discuss with children and this book does an excellent job at making it relatable to children, and it can also help children who feel like George know that they are not alone. I would recommend this story to children 9 and older.


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Author’s Website


Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson won the 2016 Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King, Coretta Scott King illustrator Honor, and is a New York Times #1 Bestseller. This book is about CJ and his grandma. CJ wonders why he can’t have a car like his friend, an iPod like the other boys on the bus, and why they have to get off on the dirtiest part of town. But CJ’s grandma helps him see and appreciate all the beauty that is around him. This is a wonderful and uplifting story about appreciating the beauty thats is all over. It opens up your eyes to seeing all the incredible things that this world has to offer and that what makes you different helps make you beautiful. This is a great story that positively highlights diversity, including race, social class, and abilities and all through a child’s perspective. I would recommend this story to all ages, specifically 3 and older.


Author’s Website

Book Review and Teaching Ideas

Teachers Guide and Things to Think About and Notice


Sold, by Patricia McCormick was published by Hyperion in 2006. This book, written in verse, tells the story of Lakshmi, a teenage girl from Nepal who was sold into sexual slavery. This heartbreaking and eye-opening story shows the devastating realities that too many young girls face across the world. Lakshmi’s will to survive even though she endures unimaginable pain is truly inspiring and leaves you with a feeling of hope.

I would recommend this story to those 14 and older as it is very graphic. I think this story is very eye-opening and important for people to realize that Lakshmi’s story is unfortunately a reality for too many young girls, something that I believe is important to be aware of. Even though this story was hard to read I felt it was a very important message and something that more people should be made aware if something is every going to be done to help save young girls like Lakshmi from enduring such tragedies.


Trafficking Lesson Plan

Meet the Author and Movie Trailer

Each Kindness

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson (2012) and illustrated by E.B. Lewis is a heartwarming and inspiring story that shows how even small acts of kindness can make a big impact. The story follows Chloe and her friends who won’t play with the new girl Maya because she is different than them. The friends make fun of Maya for wearing hand-me-downs, even though Maya was always nice to the girls and just wanted to be there friend. This story is unique because it highlights a different perspective than most stories with similar themes, it shows the perspective of the bully and how she came to realize her actions were wrong. During a class activities the students were asked to think of something they had done recently that was kind and Chloe reflected on how she treated Maya, and decided that she wanted to do something nice for her, but is it too late?

This book has won many awards such as the Jane Addams Peace Award, the Best Book of 2012 by the School Library Journal, and the Coretta Scott King Honor award.I would recommend this story to children of all ages but it especially resonates to those in preschool and older. This book really provides a great way to talk about being kind and how your actions good and bad, even if you don’t intend them to, can really affect others. This book is truly inspiring and should be read to all children as it really reminds us of the power of being kind.

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books


The New York Times article on if a picture book can help teach children about being kind

Each Kindness Lesson Plan Ideas

More from the Author, Jacqueline Woodson

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