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Picture Book Thursday: The Classics

Magi The Gift of the Magi
Written by O. Henry
Illustrated by P.J. Lynch
Candlewick Press
Age Range 8-13 years

Greater Greater Estimations
Written and Illustrated by Bruce Goldstone
Henry Holt
Age Range 7-12 years

Tale_of The Tale of Two Mice
Written and Illustrated by Ruth Brown
Candlewick Press
Age Range 4-8 years

Hi folks.  I thought you might be in the mood for a little Dickens or O. Henry.  With these new books on the shelves, you’re in luck!

Magi_spread The Gift of the Magi
This story is so wonderful and chock full of vocabulary words that I’m listing at as appropriate for age 8 and up.  A classic tale of a couple selling their dearest possessions to buy gifts for one another, it’s a super book to use all the way up through high school.  The illustrations are suffused with a winter light that brings the city to life and brings to mind scenes from It’s a Wonderful Life. For more about the illustrations, take a look at the Scamp Illustration Blog where you can see Lynch's step-by-step process for creating the cover.

Greater Estimations
So you won’t find Pip making an appearance in this one, but you will find plenty of ducks as part of the fun examples to help introduce students to the math concept of estimating.  This companion to Goldstone's previous title Great Estimations is filled with photos reminiscent of I-Spy and is sure to hook kids' interest with photos of everything from 10,000 rubber ducks to hundreds of quilt squares.  The facts themselves are fascinating.  Did you know that “on average, cats have about 60,000 hairs per square inch.”

Spread_2 The Tale of Two Mice
This title reminded me of the Snuffleupagus Syndrome, a condition in which only one person sees a creature, leaving others to assume it’s an imaginary being.  In The Tale of Two Mice, mouse brothers Billy and Bo go in search of supplies with a cat in hot pursuit.  Students will get a kick out of the fact that only one mouse brother sees the cat lurking in the background.  The pop-up and lift-the-flap format only adds to the charm of Ruth Brown’s illustrations.

So “guvna,” I’ll leave you to go order these books and I’ll see you at the Round-Up tomorrow. 

Based on Greater Estimations, have students bring in collections or groups of objects.  Take and post photos of the collections and have students estimate the number of objects they see.  To share the project at home, bind the photos into a class book and send copies home with students.


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