Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and illustrated by Louse Ehlert is a classic story about the 26 letters of the alphabet all hanging out in a coconut tree. With rhyming, humor, and vibrant illustrations this book is not only a great read but it also helps teach the letters of the alphabet both lower and upper-case. Young children have a great time as you read with them and they can even start practicing some emergent reading skills as they are able to remember the story and read along with you. This book has also been recognized as Parent’s Choice Awards and Children’s Choices so it is a great story for all ages!

Resources:

Hubbards Cupboard Week Lesson Plan

Make Your Own Activities and Games 

Animated Read-Aloud

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles by Shari Green is a novel-in-verse about Bailey, and eleven-year-old girl who believes in miracles. Her parents are separating and Bailey wants nothing more for them to get back together. While her parents are in marriage counseling camp, Bailey and her brother stay with their grandmother. Here Bailey discovers all sorts of unbelievable things and creatures, and learns not only that miracles do exists, but she learns what she is made of.

This is a beautiful and whimsical story that takes you on a magical journey where Bailey finds herself. This is a great story for children ages 8 and up and can be especially appealing to children who’s parents are separating or have already separated. It is also a great story for those that believe in miracles and mermaids. Not to mention this book is written in free verse, showing how poetry can tell incredible stories.

Resources:

Author Website

All the Broken Pieces

All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg is about Matt Pin’s story during the Vietnam War. Written in verse, you learn about how Matt is still being haunted by the way even though it has been a few years since he was able to escape to America, after his mom ‘gave him up’. This story is about prejudice as Matt struggles being White and Asian and comes to terms with the real reason his mom made him leave.

This story is about grief, forgiveness, prejudice, love and overcoming tragedies. Recommended for children 11 and older, this is an excellent story combining the history of the Vietnam war and poetry. This is an excellent story for children struggling with their own grief as it highlights how powerful poetry can be and it is also a great story that teaches children about a part of history.

Resources:

Meet the Author, Book Readings, Book Guides, Lesson Plan and more

Author’s Website

The Pout-Pout Fish

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Disen and illustrated by Dan Hanna and Daniel X. Hanna is one of my favorite children’s story. Between the clever rhyming verses that are very catchy and easy for kids to catch on to, to the powerful underlying message of spreading joy and happiness to those who are sad. I enjoy this book because It shows how being nice to someone and cheering them up can really make their day.

Voted Bank Streets Best Children’s Book of the Year in 2009 I would recommend this story to children of ages but can be especially appealing to early childhood. This story does a beautiful job showing the struggles of depression and self-loathing and how magical and helpful being kind to someone can be.

Resources:

Pout Pout Fish Website with Activities and About the Author/Illustrator and More

Kindergarten Lesson Plan

My People

Coretta Scott King Award winner, My People by Langston Hughes and illustrated by Charles R. Smith Jr. is a beautiful and poetic story about being African American using poems from Langston Hughes and gorgeous sepia photographs. This story is incredible and really helps you appreciate how special and beautiful people are. This story includes photographs of African American with a message that applies to everyone. This happy story positively illustrates diversity and is exemplified by Langston Hughes captivating poems. This story is recommended to all ages and people but specifically children 5 and older.

Resources:

Charles R. Smith Jr. Website

Honey, I Love

Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield and illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist is a beautiful story written in verse and is about learning to find love everywhere. This story really helps put life into perspective and see just how beautiful the world around us is. This is a relatable tale that children around her age (7 and older) can relate to and is a great example of the beauty of poetry. This story really helps its readers see what love really is and helps children find love all around them, appreciating all the little joys in life.

Resources:

Meet the Author, Lesson Plan and More

Author’s Background Information for Parents and Teachers

More About The Author

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is an inspiring story told through verse. It illustrates Woodson’s childhood and what it was like to grow up as an African American in the south during the 1960s and 1970s. Awarded the Newbery Honor award, The Coretta Scott King Book Award, and The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, this is an incredible and eye-opening story. This remarkable story shows real life experiences with the Civil Rights Movement and Jim Crow in a beautiful own-voice narrative. This is a great story recommended to children 10-years-old and older but especially to those that appreciate the powers of poetry (or who want to understand how powerful poetry can be), and it is also a great example of a positive female role model and a captivating story of America’s history.

Resources:

Author’s Website

Meet the Author, Book readings, Book Guides, Lesson Plans and More

The Wonderful Things You Will Be

New York Times Bestseller, The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin is a beautiful story that celebrates the love parents have for their children and their hopes and dreams of what they will become. This is a sweet and heartwarming story about all the amazing things parents feel and see when they look at their children. With beautiful illustrations to match the remarkable rhyming poetry this is sure to be a favorite for all.

I recommend this story to children and parents of all ages and it can relates to almost anyone. It is gender neutral as well (so a great gift for baby showers) and combats gender stereotypes (such as a boy having a tea party).

Resources:

Author’s Website

Activities With The Book

Sold

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.

Resources:

Trafficking Lesson Plan

Meet the Author and Movie Trailer

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