Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 10 for 10: Picture Book Event is Here

Good Morning Everyone, it's going to be a great day!  It's August 10th, 2011 and that means Cathy at Reflect and Refine Learning Building a Learning Community and I are here to host our second annual 10 for 10 Picture Books blog sharing event.  I've been thinking a lot about top 10 list.  In the music industry it changes weekly.  I'm not that flexible or fickle.  I like routine, I like what feels good, I like what I know but I am willing to change and seek new ideas.  When I first looked at my list from last year a few days ago I gave a big UGH and closed the screen.  Last year it was interesting to follow other's thinking and read the personal spin they took to a top ten list.  I went shopping to IKEA with Cathy and she mentioned she had a focus for her 10 for 10 but never led on to what that was.  I instantly thought, I don't know if I'm ready for a focus.  To be honest, I don't know if I can change my 10 for 10.  Let's see what happens.

My list is not in a ranking order, I've just numbered them to make sure I stop at 10!

1.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Eric Carle changed my life in college and has to STAY!  I was sitting in my reading methods course at SUNY College at Buffalo when Dr. Phelps read this book in class.  I was introduced to a predictable pattern, shared reading, Eric Carle, collage hand made papers, turning the page slightly ahead of the text to encourage student participation and I'm sure much more.  I remember thinking this was much more fun and engaging than the basal readers and reading groups I grew up with.  I've never had a group of students who didn't fall in love with this book.  It has to stay because reading this book is one of my fondest memories to each of my three daughters who are now bigger and I'm sure took turns reading it to each other at some point in our journey together.

2.  Suddenly, is a book I found last fall and knew the minute I finished reading it with my students it would be a NEW additon to my list.  Suddenly! by Colin McNaughton is perfect for helping kindergarten students think about predicting.  The text is larger in size.  The illustrations are very supportive to the text and using our picture clues to understand the story is essential.  The text also has a pattern and would allow us as writers to think about the word suddenly and what happens following that word each time.  The rest of this post was written November 10, 2011.

3.  Me Hungry! by Jeremy Tankard is a complete delight to read and use with students and has to STAY.  I reviewed Me Hungry earlier last year and it was a hit in our room right away.  I instantly thought this book would be great for my boys and found out boys and girls would both enjoy it.  I find it's easy for me to pick books in general for the entire audience and easy for me to pick books for girls in mind.  My three daughters make that easy.  However, this is probably the first picture book that wasn't nonfiction I thought my boys would like.

4.  The Three Bears by Byron Barton has to STAY.  I just enjoy reading this book to students.  The text is simple and repetitive and for whatever reason my inflection  I think the simple collage technique is an easy one for students to see and replicate.  I love to help children figure out there's one color for each character that gets repeated in clothing and objects.  My two classes shared creating retelling murals this year using Byron Barton has a mentor and then we interactively wrote our text.   These were beautiful pieces of collaboration and fostered so much literacy learning. 

5.  I feel a bit risky putting a NEW book on my list I've  never read to students but I have that much faith in this book to say it's going to be a top 10.  I've been to New Hampshire five times and each time I hope, wish, and actively look to see a moose in the wild.  I've seen moose crossing signs and my hopes get higher.  Each time to be slightly disappointed when I realize another trip has gone by and I haven't spotted a moose.  So, imagine my excitement and overwhelming joy when I found this just right book I could highly connect with!

Looking for a MOOSE by Phyllis Root is hysterical to someone in my situation.  After reading the first two pages, I bought this book to share with my students and my family, without reading more.  You can read the rest of this original post from July 9, 2011.

6.  Cornelius P Mud, Are You Ready for School?  by Barney Saltzberg has to STAY.  As we reread this book together we really notice humor within the illustrations and have to infer.  We can do so much thinking within what appears a simple emerging reader text.  Cornelius is a great character for young students, they can connect with him.  He has three books, a little series for young readers. Which opens doors for more books for my readers.

7.  NEW!  Pigs to the Rescue by John Himmelman is funny and had my young readers laughing.  This laughter was a sign of comprehension and enjoyment.  What a great combination to achieve together.  Farmer Greenstalk and his family are having all kinds of problems on their farm.  Each day of the week presents a new problem for the farmer, his wife, and their son.  When each problem happens a group pigs come to the rescue with creative solutions.  For example, one day Mrs. Greenstalk found a leak in her garden hose.  When the reader turns the page they discover pigs in bathing suits carrying buckets of water and a swimming pool above their head filled with water.  My students loved the repetition on every other page, "Pigs to the rescue!"  The pigs continue to get funnier as the story progresses.  The Greenstalks run out of milk for their last problem and they freeze hoping the pigs don't come to the rescue.  The pigs don't come but someone else from the farm does.  I'm excited to share there is a Chickens to the Rescue and soon to be released, Cows to the Rescue

8.  Big Mama's by Donald Crews is one of my favorite mentor text for writing and gets to STAY.  He writes about things from his own life and turns it into a story for others.  Visiting Big Mama is a pretty normal thing to do and our children need to see writing about everyday things can be just right.  It's also a great book that easily fosters conversations for students.

9.  Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox is about older people, it's about spending time with them, it's about memories.  I want it to STAY.  Memories give us ideas for writing.  As in this story, memories help us remember.   I think we need to work harder and bridge the gap between our young and old.   I think we need to work harder as a profession helping students make writing easier by writing about memories and what is known. 

10.  Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin was on my list last year and has been slightly moved over by this NEW Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes!  (Both titles link you to my original posts for these books.)   I honestly had a dream two nights ago I went to school and the room was filled with parents and students.  The room was set up but I had no handouts, no sign up sheets and really no introduction to kindergarten speech planned.  It bordered a nightmare and as I conclude this list I know just like Pete the Cat says, "because it's all good." the next couple of weeks will all work out, it always does. 

I'm so glad you stopped by.  If you are joining us this year please let us know.  You can let us know by leaving a comment on our blogs.  You can let us know via twitter @cathymere or @mandyrobek.  We will then connect all of our list via a Jog.  Make sure you settle in with a large class of water to stay dehydrated, I think the Jog will be a long one with lots of interesting things to view. 


  1. Thanks for sharing such a fabulous idea! I read everyone else's lists last year and have decided this year to write my own. I'm sure I'll spend a lot of money again this year with all these must haves!!

  2. Love your picks, friend. Hoping my Pete the Cat will be in the mail today :)

  3. Mandy,
    I love your list! Pete the Cat is a favorite of mine too. Waiting for the new one to arrive on my doorstep anyday. I haven't seen Looking for a Moose but since I live in Maine that one is a must add to my collection! Keeping my fingers crossed that one day a moose does cross your path...well not literally...but in your general vacinity! :) Here's the link to my list! Thanks so much for hosting again this year. I'm off to shop from...I mean read...other's lists! :)


  4. Love your picks! Thank you for hosting! I love Wilfrid!

  5. I almost put Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partidge on my list! Thanks for hosting this. It's a great idea!

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  6. Your commentary on Pete the Cat makes me laugh. I should be in my classroom today working, and instead I'm enjoying the PB Party you and Cathy are hosting. Fun!

    I've added some to my list--Big Mama's, Suddenly, and Me Hungry.

    Thanks, Mandy!

  7. Great list. And I love that you kept many titles from your last list. I'll be checking out Pete the Cat books, too.

    My own top 10 list is posted on Apples with Many Seeds.

    Thanks for hosting this year's event.

  8. This is a great list. I enjoy that you kept some of the same ones on here from last year. As my own kids grow up, they enjoy different books so it's good to see a book like "Suddenly" that my son is really into now as well as books about school that he'll probably be in to next year when he's getting ready for school. Thanks for hosting this! I love it!

  9. Love your picks and love the project!

  10. I am loving Pete the Cat though I just recently found out about him. You have a lot of great choices and I am so glad you all had the idea to do this. Thanks!

  11. Thanks so much for hosting this great event! I love your list... can't wait to see the new Pete the Cat.

  12. Great pics, Mandy! I also cannot live without Brown Bear, Brown Bear. My children were big fans when they were younger.


  13. I forgot to say that my top 10 list is on my (new) blog: Thanks!

  14. Thank you so much for hosting this and I loved your list- will help me bulk up on my picture book knowledge. Mine (and Jen's) list can be found at

  15. Thanks for organizing this great event! Looking for Moose is new to me! If you say you bought it after two pages...I'm hooked. I must read it!

  16. Thanks so much for spearheading this event with Mandy! What a wonderful community of educators you've brought together. Thank you.

  17. Mandy,
    How could you take ISH off your list? Kidding. I had to go back to see how many of your book stayed from last year. I enjoyed your list. I had to open up my library account so I could start dropping books in to read.

    Thanks for co-hosting this event once again. It's always such fun!


  18. Thanks Mandy for hosting this event and I am so sorry for posting too soon accidentally. I really can't get my days straight right now. Loved looking at your list and love Byron Barton and Jeremy Tankard. Also excited to check out Looking for a Moose!

  19. I was a little bit late to post my #PB10for10 - but they're up. This is a great idea, ladies. I'll look forward to working through all the lists.

    Mine is here;

  20. We are new to the blogging scene. Though I have been reading in the background for years, I didn't start blogging untila former student asked me if I would join him in a book review endeavor. We began three months ago. He is going into sixth grade and is (obviously) an avid reader. He posted his 10 top picture books on our blog yesterday - I am not sure how to link it, but I know he would be very pleased to be read. Our blog is
    Can you help us out?

  21. Mandy,

    Once again, thank you so much for organizing this event. What a great resource to have at the start of the school year.

    Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is one of my favorite books to use when introducing writing about our memories during writing workshop. It was a runner up on my 10 list.

    Thank you for sharing your books and ideas.


  22. Thanks for hosting, Mandy!! I love this holiday! ;)

    Looking for a Moose is a fantastic book!


  23. Mandy~
    I can always count on you for GREAT picks! When i saw Suddenly on your list I let out a scream! How could I not have included this one in my top ten! The kids just LOVED that one! (and yes, there is a VT on that one too!)

  24. Thank you so much for hosting such a fabulous virtual event. I have gathered such wonderful ideas for my students and my own kids.

    I feel like once I get my hands on it, Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes will be on my list too.

  25. We have been away and I am so happy to be back and catching up on all the fabulous 10 for 10 posts! My wish list is growing and growing!!