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
Kami and the Yaks
written by Andrea Stenn Stryer, illustrated by Bert Dodson
Beginning readers frequently see a yak as representing the letter “Y” in work with the alphabet but few know much about this versatile animal. I use natural curiosity to interest readers in developing and executing a plan for finding out more about yaks.
It is important to help beginning researchers organize their thinking. I start by working with the child or group to develop a list of questions they want to answer through their research. Where does it live? What does it eat? How does it take care of its babies? More advanced questions might want to know how it got its name or products and services the animal provides.
Then we discuss where information to answer these questions might be found. I usually start with a dictionary and encyclopedia appropriate to the level of the researcher. Special animal encyclopedias, nature series books and publications, other books and magazines, quality videos, and carefully screened sites on the internet may all be considered. For information about yaks you might also want to consider zoo publications and books about Tibet/Nepal.
I often develop a worksheet with the questions and spaces for notes. This helps focus writing a report and keeps track of the sources used so they can list accurate credits/bibliography. Reports may be published/displayed along with pictures of yaks found or drawn and colored by the students.
Make a connection
written by Byrd Baylor, illustrated by Peter Parnall
written and illustrated by P. K. Hallinan
I'm Thankful . . .
While both books look at appreciating the blessings one has I'm Thankful Each Day is simple, colorful, and easier for younger children to understand. The Table Where Rich People Sit is more abstract, both in its approach and the illustrations. Together they can provide a stimulating starting point for discussion of needs and wants.