It’s Okay to be Different
Parr, T. (2009). It’s Okay to be Different. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
In It’s Okay to be Different, Todd Parr addresses all the ways that make you different and how different individual and family dynamics are all needed for us to all thrive. The book is well-illustrated with pictures that align with the words of the text: It is colorful with hand-drawn (looking) images. The print is large and
in a comic sans-like font, which makes it accessible for younger children reading the book. This book would be a great read aloud book that connects to a larger story or lesson because it asks the reader to understand how everyone’s differences are okay and how
everyone is needed to appreciate the world.
The Book With No Pictures
Novak, B. (2014). The Book With No Pictures. Dial Books.
The Book With No Pictures is a book filled with nonsense words and sounds
throughout. The book is light and fun with its variant fonts and typeface sizes. This is a picture book with no pictures which seems kind of silly at first; alas,
the words are used as pictures in the sense of their sizes/fonts taking up whole pages and
going from small to large to emphasize sound increase. This book is for young children and
allows them a chance to hear series of words in different ways and recognize how words
themselves can draw a picture.
This book would be great to use in a reading class with young elementary students working on nonsense words. It would be a great companion piece to The Jabberwock because of the use of nonsense words.
The Tummy Mummy
Madrid-Branch, M. (2004). The Tummy Mummy. Adoption Tribe Pub.
This book documents the journey of two separate families (the tummy mummy and the adoptive family). It shows the process of considering adoption, the love both families have for the child being adopted, and the feelings both sides can have. The Tummy Mummy has depth through illustration that helps to guide the
reader’s feelings by showing care and understanding to the characters in the book. The text in the book is at the bottom of the page in a medium-large, serif font.
This book could be used in a number of ways; understanding adoption (for adoptees),
social workers, and anyone else trying to run a book group that touches on the non-traditional family.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
Traditional Literary Tale
Scieszka, J. (1996). The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. Puffin Books.
In The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, the wolf’s perspective is shared. This book is a fun play on Three Little Pigs, which is told from the perspective of the pigs. Graphics correlate to the story and allow the reader to understand the wolf’s side of the
story instead of just seeing the wolf as the villain. This book has a clear plot (order of events where the wolf is sharing his viewpoints on how the houses were blown down); there is character development (each of
the three pigs and the wolf have their own identities and characteristics). The illustrations in the book support the plot and character development and help the reader best understand the story being told. In addition to using this book to compare traditional stories; it can be used as a preview of a lesson about each story having three sides (each opposing side and the truth). It’s a great teaching text because it offers such a contradictory lesson to that of the Three Little Pigs.
Love That Dog
Creech, S. (2001). Love That Dog. Harper Collins Publishing.
Love that Dog is the story of Jack who decided only girls write poetry, and thus he did not want to… until he did. Jack wrote about school and things that didn’t make sense to him; he wrote about his yellow dog (in the shape of a dog no less); and he wrote about an
artist he so admired – Walter Dean Myers. All of Jack’s words are in verse. This book does not have a consistent rhyme scheme but does seem to have
meter on each page, which makes the book easy to read through. Apple is a poem shaped
like an apple, which is fun for readers to think about when writing their own poems. I think this book has several uses but I, personally, could see using it as part of a poetry unit to make poetry less intimidating to some students (kind of how Jack’s teacher used it to offer him space in writing).