Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My Favorite Friends

Oh my, I know I say this every week, but this week it was REALLY hard to choose my favorite characters.  I think most of them speak for themselves but here we go!

Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain

These books are amazing to teach a myriad of character lessons.  I think there is a book for every topic you can ever think of with these fun-loving bears.  If an issue comes about in your class, go grab a corresponding title and show them how others deal with these problems.  Kids have a very easy time finding where others are making mistakes as I read these stories.  If a child is dealing with a specific problem, you can send home a book for them to discuss with their parent as well. Berenstain Bears books teach basic life skills that are becoming a lost art.

Clifford by Norman Bridwell

I'm so excited to see one of our favorite friends has made his way to Kohl's! If you're not familiar, Kohl's features a different author and places their books and stuffed animals  on sale for $5 each. The proceeds go to a good cause and you can't beat the price!  I was able to snag Emily Elizabeth and hope my friend can grab a Clifford for me at a different store.  Stay tuned to see how I will be using books and their buddies this year in my room!
Clifford is timeless. I remember watching a filmstrip in preschool that was a Clifford book.  (For those of you who are too young to know what a filmstrip is it was kind of like Netflix for books...without the internet ;).  Clifford is an excellent example of a good friend.  However, his large size tends to lead him into some troubling situations.  Kids love this gigantic dog!

Little Critter by Mercer Mayer

Oh Little Critter! This spunky little monster sometimes has a little attitude as he learns tough lessons in life.  Similar to the Berenstain Bears, Little Critter offers a wide range of situations that children find helpful and entertaining.  There are also hidden friends for them to find on each page.  Love the illustrations and detail that Mercer Mayer provides.  Stop part way though the story and allow the students to discuss with each other how Little Critter should solve his dilemma or how they think the story will end. 

Curious George by H.A. and Margaret Rey

I learned an interesting fact about the authors of Curious George. They were Jews that fled Europe during WWII and escaped to New York.  They were published by Houghton Mifflin in 1941 and later asked to write more about this curious little monkey and his friend the Man with the Yellow Hat.* This makes me love George even more!  What a beautiful part of history to come out of such a tragic situation.  I think we can often relate George with a little boy or girl in our rooms.  This past year I had several! They make me smile, they get into trouble but boy, they have a good time doing it!  I also notice they learn leaps and bounds because of their curiosity.  George learns a lot about the world around him, gets into trouble and tries to make it right in the end.  Students also have a modern day movies that have brought him back into view.  I love Curious George!

Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems

Sometimes I think I live under a rock.  Where have Elephant and Piggie been all my life?! (I admit this ashamedly) I just discovered their books this year...I know, I know... But the good news is I'm hooked!  I was looking for books to help me teach speech bubbles and there they were (along with their friend Pigeon)!  These two adorable friends go through the ups, downs and sillies of life together.  The kids will love the funny ride they will go on with Elephant and Piggie.  I don't think I've seen a Mo Willems book I didn't like!

Carl by Alexandra Day

What child do you know that doesn't love dogs?!  Sure there are cat lovers out there, but most of them love a great dog story.  Well, Carl books are perfect! Carl goes about his day often caring for a little baby and keeping it out of trouble.  Alexandra Day illustrates these books beautifully with great detail, words?! Yes!  These books are amazing for students who are non-readers or just beginning to read.  They foster storytelling.  For those who are great readers, these books are excellent for teaching how to write a narrative that matches the picture.  You could have the whole class write about one page, or they could each write about different pages and then put the book together and see if it makes sense.  The possibilities for wordless books are endless!
As promised, I have TWO booklists for you this week.  The first is a HUGE list of seasonal books from Beginning of the Year all the way to the end!

The second booklist is a BEAUTIFUL collection of amazing non-fiction titles!
Hop on over to my friend Julie at Big Ideas for Little Hands. She always has amazing pictures!

An InLinkz Link-up

*Information found at


  1. I love the Carl books! Thanks for two great book lists!

  2. My students absolutely love Curious George and Clifford! Love the books lists! Printing up a copy to keep with my lesson planning materials! Thanks for hosting!
    Kay @ Sommer’s Lion Pride

  3. Glad someone added Little Critter and Clifford. Great titles! Thanks for sharing and for hosting another great link-up. :) Karen

  4. Clifford is at Kohl's?! I'll have to go see if I can find him! Thanks for hosting :)
    Over the 1st Grade Rainbow

  5. We are so in love with Elephant and Piggie books too!!! I am so sad that there will not be any more :( Great list of books!!! Thanks for another amazing link up!!!