Wednesday, November 20, 2013

52 Toddler and PreK Books Inspired by Picture Book Month

Top Picks from Project 101: Weekly Library Challenge and the Virtual Book Club for Kids 

This week for Project 101: Weekly Library Challenge, where I share what we have been reading this week and loving from the library, I thought it would be fun to look back through the year (and a bit from 2012 too) at the library books we've shared that connect with Picture Book Month, a campaign to promote literacy and reading through the celebration of books. Each day in November is linked with an author and theme. I love how the calendar has reminded me of many of our favorite reading experiences from the past year and encouraged me to revisit some of these books and activities. In addition to drawing from past books we've read and shared, I've also included 3 new favorites we've gotten at the library recently. 

November 1 - Tomie dePaola: I discovered Tomie dePaola through the Virtual Book Club for Kids as the selected author in December last year. We loved reading: The Quilt Story, The Popcorn Book, and I Love You Sun I Love You Moon, which I found in a bilingual version.

I'm highlighting that book because we also created a fun Bilingual Literacy Game that I definitely want to revisit with Wild Thing now adding new words as his Spanish vocabulary has grown over the last year. Here's the bilingual literacy game we did with the book, as well the other activities we did with dePaola's book, including our fun game of Quilt Twister

November 2 - ABC/123: We love ABC books at our house. In my latest renewal of library books, I discovered that we were on our 6th renewal (in a row) of ABC Kids by Simon Basher. Wild Thing absolutely adores this book, which was featured in our Weekly Library Challenge at the end of September. I'm thinking it might be under the Christmas tree this year.  
November 3 - History: The two history picture books I want to share come from the first few weeks of Project 101 earlier this year. We read Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama, which focuses on so many historical figures and moments in U.S. History and Rosa's Bus, which tells the story of Rosa Parks. 
November 4 - Friendship. For this, another book discovered through the Virtual Book Club for Kids definitely came to mind: Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni. I love this sweet book about the friendship of little blue and little yellow and how their embrace, after a quest to find one another, creates green. Wild Thing and Caterpillar had lots of fun exploring this book through a fun sensory bin that we did as we decided to move, draw, eat and learn with this fabulous book

November 5 - Nature. One of Wild Thing's favorite things to explore and learn about in nature are flowers and bees. Much of his interest in bees grows out of a love for Winnie the Pooh and his honey. Recently, we featured The Honeybee Man by Leila Nargi as part of Project 101 and our Tot School/PreK Learning Activities for Letter H, another book we keep rechecking from the library. I also have to recommend What If There Were No Bees? a book about the grassland ecosystem by Suzanne Slade, a great book for learning about the importance of bees. We shared it last year along with a fun bee sensory bin. Both shed light on a very important part of nature -- bees!

November 6 - Mice. When it comes to books featuring mice, we always seem to end up reading books where mice are supporting characters -- minor, but important as is the case with a book from the library that we're reading and loving right now: Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham. Wild Thing adores this abc book about a moose who really, really wants to be in the zebra's ABC book. However, when Zebra gets to M he decides to go with Mouse! It is heartbreaking for Moose who initially gets angry before sobbing toward the end of the book. Zebra finds a way to make it right, in the end, cleverly deciding that Z is for Moose (okay, actually Z is for Zebra's Friend, Moose!) 
November 7 - Royalty: My boys love Things That Go! especially cars and trains. In fact, they love them so much that I did a series of posts about Things That Go on the blog. For cars books, Leo Timmers has many fun ones and his book Vroom! features a special royal car. We shared it in a round-up 100+ Children's Books about Things That Go as part of Project 101
November 8 - Bunnies: Through Project 101 this year, we discovered Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino, a lovely book featuring a rabbit and owl whose friendship is tested by competition and overgrowth before they finally learn the value of sharing their resources. The book prompted us to share more of our favorite bunny books
November 9 - World: For Earth Day, as part of Project 101 we shared one of our favorite books celebrating the world and encouraging kind treatment of all of the creatures and plants and animals in the world: One Tree, through this tree we see the cycle of life. 
November 10 - Writing: The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, who we discovered through This Moose Belongs to Me, is one of our new shares for this week's Project 101. Both Caterpillar (2) and Wild Thing (4) ask me to read it to them over and over. In fact, Caterpillar fell in love with the book first. It surprised me a bit that he did as the book is full of letters from Duncan's crayons who are all refusing to color for different reasons. It has more text than most books I read with Caterpillar, but he enjoys it so much. I do too -- it's quite clever. 

With Wild Thing, reading the letters and seeing the letters written by the crayons and the accompanying pictures excites him about writing and coloring, which I appreciate. He's been a bit of a reluctant writer at times. I shared a bit about our process and some successful and fun activities that have excited him about writing

November 11 - Seasons: This one is from our home library: Winnie-the-Pooh All Year Long shows Piglet and Pooh playing together through every season. Wild Thing and Caterpillar both adores this book we picked up at a yard sale for 25 cents!
November 12 - Bears: This was easy. My boys know this book by heart: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? written by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle. We also did 4 activities to go along with this book through the Virtual Book Club for Kids, including a food pantry donation grocery hunt
November 13 - Books: As much as we love books (clearly), I don't think we've really read a book about books! (If you have a suggestion for one we should check out, please share it). However, we recently read A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom which opens with the bear reading as duck comes along and insists on joining in and being bear's friend. Bear hesitates at first, but eventually realizes that duck is a splendid friend, indeed!
November 14 - Zoo: Last week, I shared one of our favorite zoo books, a vintage book entitled Where's Wallace?, which we shared as our Picture Book of the Day last Thursday. We love this engaging hide-and-seek book. 
November 15 - Cats and Dogs: We're going with a classic: Go Dog Go! by P.D. Eastman featured in our Things That Go! Dr. Seuss Edition post with 10 activities to go with Dr. Seuss books that go! 

November 16 - Sea: Wild Thing loves whales, yet I would have to say that the book connected with the sea that he seemed to enjoy the most was The Circus Ship, which we discovered through Project 101. A ship carrying circus animals crashes off the coast of Maine and the animals end up finding a new home among the small seaside town. 

November 17 - Sue Fleiss or Robots: So this is one for our library list: Robots, Robots Everywhere! by Sue Fleiss. I think Wild Thing would love it, especially if we kept our milk jugs and other recycled materials and made a robot similar to one he saw at an Earth Day event last year and loved! 

November 18 - Steve Jenkins: I See A Kookaburra! Discovering Animal Habitats Around the World was another book from the library that ended up in heavy re-check rotation. Wild Thing became quite obsessed with the book and with animal habitats. He actually made his own animal habitat book. We probably had a stretch where we read the kookaburra book several times a day for weeks! It's a must read. 
November 19 - Dinosaurs: For dinosaurs, we're sharing a Project 101 Pick for this week. Right now, we're reading Dinosaur World by Claire Llewellyn and Thea Feldman and Wild Thing loves learning new dinosaur facts. Since it's not really a picture book, though, I also have to share All Abroad the Dinotrain by Deb Lund, which is by far our favorite dinosaur picture book. We shared it along with a fun dino-inspired activity last May
November 20 - Librarians: We have to share Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile by Gloria Houston because our main library is a bookmobile. We have lots of fun playing pretend bookmobile outside with our tricycles and push cars too
November 21 - School: We've shared lots of books about school through Project 101. Our top 2 are Miss Mingo and the First Day of School and Maisy Goes to Preschool

November 22 - Rebecca Emberley or Bugs: This was a tough choice because we really love Emberley's books, but I had to go with a classic bug book instead: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle not only because one of my son's blog nicknames is caterpillar, but also because one of our favorite service projects was inspired by the book and is a service project that has inspired others: our Very Hungry Caterpillar Virtual Food Drive

November 23 - Elephants: No contest with this one: Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems definitely shoot straight to the top. We especially love Can I Play Too?, Listen To My Trumpet (we also featured a few other elephant books in our post about Listen To My Trumpet which connected with our activities for learning the Letter E), and Let's Go For A Drive, a Project 101 feature in August.  
Elephant + Piggie illustration from Mo Willems  Doodles!
November 24 - Birds: January's Virtual Book Club for Kids' author was David McPhail and his book Boy, Bird and Dog became a fast favorite. We made a storytelling bucket to go with it and took our bucket to the park where we found the perfect treehouse
November 25 - Frogs: - We discovered both of these frog picture books during a library scavenger hunt inspired by Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? in which the boys hunted through the library to find books featuring the animals in their Brown Bear book. We loved Swimmy for its lovely illustrations, in particular, and Jump, Frog, Jump had the boys leaping around for days. I also really loved Frog by Susan Cooper in which a frog accidentally jumps into a backyard swimming pool and needs to be saved. (Confession: I remembered this last frog book after I made the collage and was too tired to go back and make a new one -- my apologies). 

November 26 - Clothing: Our clothing book is another we discovered through the Virtual Book Club for Kids. Trouble with Trolls is a lovely adventure book in which Treva encounters trolls and gives up articles of winter clothing (hat, mittens, sweater, boots) to keep the trolls from taking her dog. WIld Thing loved dressing up and acting out the story, and it provided wonderful literacy learning as we explored the blended sound that comes from combining the letters t and r. 

November 27 - Reptiles: I'm realizing this is our third Leo Lionni book. Mo Willems is the only other author whose had as many books shared in our Picture Book Month-inspired round up. A Color of His Own, though, might be my favorite of the Lionni books. It's a tight race between it and Little Blue and LIttle Yellow and both are lovely stories of friendship. I also love that A Color of His Own celebrates the uniqueness of the chameleon, and the chameleon's journey to learning to value that uniqueness. We featured this book during Project 101 in May, along with 5 library finds for me that I truly loved. 

November 28 - Holidays: With Christmas on its way, I decided to share some Christmas Books That Go!, including some classic Christmas picture books like How The Grinch Stole Christmas and The Polar Express. I highly recommend Snow Sounds from the list, a Winter book that is one of the library books that I just had to buy because the boys liked it so much. They both know it by heart. 

November 29 - Monsters: Another simple choice for us since we adore Where the Wild Things Are. Yes, it is where my oldest son's blog nickname came from, and we had a simple Where the Wild Things Are 1st birthday celebration for him.  

November 30 - Jungle: We loved discovering Where's My Mom? by Julia Donaldson through the Virtual Book Club for Kids, particularly its message that mommies and kids do not have to look alike! It's also fun to journey through the jungle with the baby monkey looking for his mommy. (P.S. Julia Donaldson was also the featured author for Nov. 10 during Picture Book Month). 

Now, I'd love it if you would share. What are your favorite picture books? Which book is a must for our Library List? Is there one on our list that your family loves? We'd love to know! Sharing this at: Saturday Book Club

You might also like:
The Magic Poof Book Review
Bilingual Picture Books
Project 101: There Was A Tree


  1. We also like 'Where's my Mum?" by Julia Donaldson. In the UK it is called Monkey Puzzle :)

  2. What a wonderful post (and blog)! Such a celebration of stories! You've got a fan in me! So many of these are books I have read with my own children and my students time and again, and you've given me more to look forward to trying out. Gratitude.