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Picture Book Thursday: Columbus and Co.

Animals Animals Christopher Columbus Saw
Written by Sandra Markle
Illustrated by Jamel Akib
Chronicle Books
Age Range 7-10 years

Bear A Visitor for Bear

Written by Bonny Becker
Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Candlewick Press
Age Range 2-7 years

Foot I Feel a Foot!

Written by Maranke Rinck
Illustrated by Martijn van der Linden
Age Range 2-7 years

Welcome to Picture Book Thursday folks.  You're probably wondering how I've connected a turtle and a bear with Christopher Columbus. It was a feat of engineering considering the fact that my students were convinced Columbus was either a pirate or a dentist. The common themes I came up with are exploration and meeting new people.  OK, so it's a stretch but it works people.  Stay with me here.

Animals Christopher Columbus Saw
This is a nice twist on your classic Columbus book.  Sandra Markle has mined Columbus' ship logs for accounts of the animals he encountered on his travels.  This focus on animals is sure to help children more easily connect to this explorer and it's especially relevant as we see the current loss of biodiversity.

A Visitor for Bear
The story and illustrations are simply a treat.  An increasingly grouchy bear is at the end of his rope as he tries to rid himself of a pesky but very cute mouse.  Children love to see mouse continue to pop up, much to bear's frustration.  By the end, children will be rooting for bear and mouse to remain good buddies. 

I Feel a Foot!
I love the colors in this book.  The animals in this retelling of The Blind Men and the Elephant are created in rich patterns and textures reminiscent of Klimt.  The black background helps to really set off the shapes and colors.  And who can resist the subtle humor of an elephant in a hammock?

Have a swatch of silk and some whole spices on-hand when reading Animals Christopher Columbus Saw.  Give students time to feel the silk and grind the spices as they read about them in the book.  For more activities, download the Teacher's Guide.

OK folks.  Go check these books out for yourself and I'll see you tomorrow for the Round-Up.  See you then.


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