This section includes descriptions and links to recommended picture books that make excellent feature books in different themes or are special favorites that can extend and enrich the study of a particular subject.
Featured Book Activity
Raccoons and Ripe Corn
written and illustrated by Jim Arnosky
Watching a butterfly flitting from flower to flower, listening to the infectious laugh of a baby, or tasting wild black raspberries from the just-picked bucket; many special times we remember and cherish are just moments, not grand adventures but tiny experiences of everyday living. Capturing one of these times in a narrative writing piece is what I call a Slice-of-Life Story.
Raccoons are plentiful in Indiana and most rural families have had experiences with these garden thieves and garbage bandits. Devising barricades or contraptions to discourage raccoons from raiding the sweet corn patch or pet food containers, finding a den of baby raccoons in the woods, or watching a family group out for a leisurely walk are examples of experiences that would lend themselves to a slice-of-life writing piece.
Students without personal experiences with raccoons could take inspiration from other books with raccoon characters or factual information from books or reputable online sources. Pictures or photographs of raccoons engaged in various activities could also serve as writing prompts.
Encourage writers to bring the experience to life by using colorful language and vocabulary that involves all of the senses.
Make a connection
written and illustrated by Dick Gackenbach
written and illustrated by Mercer Mayer
In Harry and the Terrible Whatzit the young boy must face his fears of a dank, dark basement in order to protect his mother. In You're the Scaredy-Cat the older brother must face the fears generated by his nightmare in order to find his younger brother. Neither mother or younger brother is aware of the problem and both situations are comfortably resolved. Although they each work well in their own story neither monster is likely to produce serious nightmares for readers.