Like many book lovers I adore the public library for many reasons one of which is it gives me the chance to preview books! I can fill my library bag up with all kinds of picture books from the new shelves, read them slowly at home, and then put my favorites on my order for our school library. If I could figure out how to make a button I would make a button flair for the public library.
Yes, I love buying books with the school's money but with dwindling budgets every dollar is precious and I'm wary about ordering books at expensive prices before I've thumbed through them. There are many authors that I trust to give me a good product but I've had my share of bad order mistakes.
Groovy Girl, with her keen eye, has become a big help in this process. She weeds out the top few for me to focus on. I always page through to make sure she hasn't overlooked something but she is generally right on about what students will like.
Here are our top four picks from last week's library bag:
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea and Tom Slaughter. (2011)
Love this book. Bright, beautiful paintings created by Slaughter showcase comparisons like if a duckling grows into a duck then does a car grow into a truck? The illustrations are big with pages that open and I can see a use for this on many different levels. As I lesson planned this past weekend I considered "borrowing" this book and using it as part of a lesson. I decided to wait until our own copy comes in as I will get excited about it all over again when it does and then students will actually be able to check it out.
Jane Brocket's Clever Concepts; Spotty, Stripy, Swirly (What are patterns?). (2012)
Another brilliantly cool book and this one sits on the nonfiction shelf. The bold photographs make this stand out as the author explains the difference between chaos and order. When things are set in a specific order or repeated they form a pattern. We-and by we-I mean, kids like patterns and repetition and this book shares a huge variety of unique patterns; from knitted stocking caps to garden lettuce, everything can be put in order. Even the title, according to Groovy Girl, has a rhythmic funky pattern to it! As I browsed the author's website I was intrigued by several of her other concept books like Ruby, Violet, Lime; a book about colors. I can see pre-k, kinder and 1st grade teachers using her books frequently.
ABC Dentist; healthy teeth from A to Z by Harriet Ziefert and Liz Murphy. (2008)
This book makes the dentist seem fun instead of the pain center it really is. This would make an excellent tool to talk about the visiting dentist that spends a day or two at our school. Alphabet books are wildly popular especially when we create them on the computer. We do a lot of comparing and contrasting of ABC texts. And who knows there might even be a kid or two, like Hermie, who want to be a dentist! I see on good reads this duo have another catchy title-ABC Doctor.
Take it from Groovy Girl and I these three titles are worth the bucks you would shell out to add them to your home or school library.