3 Award Winning Picture Books

kittens_first_full_moon

Image Credit: http://www.kevinhenkes.com/book/kittens-first-full-moon/

Category/Genre: Award Winner Picture Book, Fiction

Published: 2004

Awards: Caldecott Medal; ALA Notable Children’s Book; Charlotte Zolotow Award; Booklist Editors’ Choice; Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon; Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice; Publishers Weekly Best Book
School Library Journal
Best Book; New York Times Best Illustrated Book; Book Sense Top Ten Pick

Pages: 40 pages

Themes: First Time Experiences, Trial and Error

Rating: 5 Stars

Intended Age/Interest Range: PreK – 2nd Grade

Kitten sees her first full moon and believes it is a bowl of milk in the sky. After reaching for it, chasing it, climbing toward it, leaping toward it, she finally returns home to a bowl of milk just waiting for her. Simple, yet defined, charcoal (black, white, gray) illustrations.

Overall Literacy Merit: HIGH

Classroom Possibilities: For use in a high school classroom, I thought this picture book would pair nicely with Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Although both are illustrated colorlessly, Satrapi intentionally uses no gray, while Henkes intentionally does. A discussion of “positive” and “negative” space could help students appreciate Satrapi’s illustrative motives. Many critical analysis of this title can be easily found online, however I found this one most useful: http://lindsayreviewsbooks.blogspot.com/2010/09/kittens-first-full-moon-by-kevin-henkes.html


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Image Credit: http://www.amazon.com/The-Spider-Fly-Mary-Howitt/dp/0689852894

Category/Genre: Award Winning, Poetry

Published: 2002

Awards: 2003 Caldecott Honor Book

Pages: 40 pages

Themes: Cautionary Tale, Vanity

Rating: 5 stars

Intended Age/Interest Range: 1st – 5th Grade

Originally written by Mary Howitt in 1829, this poem follows a manipulative spider attempting to entice a fly into his home (web).

Overall Literary Merit: HIGH

Classroom Possibilities: Like with Kitten’s First Full Moon, this book is illustrated with black/white/gray illustrations, however Tony Diterlizzi’s intention was for a particular, different purpose. Also, like with KFFM, this title could be used in comparison to Satrapi’s intended choice for no gray in her illustrations for Persepolis. Other ways this title could be used in a high school class room is alongside Mary Howitt’s other writing/poems from the 1800s/England, or as an intro to Gothic Literature. Here is another poem by Howitt for possibly further classroom discussion: http://literaryfictions.com/poems/will-you-walk-into-my-parlor-by-mary-howitt/


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Image Credit: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/dan-santat/the-adventures-of-beekle-the-unimaginary-friend/9780316199988/

Category/Genre: Award Winner/Fiction

Published: 2014

Awards: 2015 Caldecott Medal Winner; New York Times Bestseller; #1 Indiebound Bestseller; Huffington Post Best Overall Picture Book of 2014; PBS Parents Best Picture Book of the Year; NPR “Great Read”; ALSC Notable Book for Children; A Chicago Public Library Best Picture Book of the Year

Pages: 40

Themes: Friendship, Courage

Rating: 5 Stars

Intended Age/Interest Range: PreK and Up

Instead of waiting to be imagined, Beekle sails off to find his own friend in “the real world.”

Overall Literary Merit: HIGH

Classroom Possibilities: Due to it’s recent award-winning of the Caldecott, there are endless online lessons for this title. Here are a few I recommend: http://classroombookshelf.blogspot.com/2015/02/2015-caldecott-medal-winner-adventures.html;  http://reederama.blogspot.com/2014/09/learning-about-courage-from-beekle.htmlhttp://www.teachmentortexts.com/2014/07/the-adventures-of-beekle-unimaginary.html#axzz3so9jevIP

Additionally, this book could be used with the adult (easily reaches over into YA) novel The Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.

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