Author Archives: schliesman
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh. Abrams, 2011
My Papa Diego and Me: Memories of My Father and His Art by Guadalupe Rivera Marín. Children’s Book Press, 2009
1. What was important to Mexican artist Diego Rivera and how did it appear in his art?
2. How has your childhood been similar to Guadalupe’s? What picture would your Mom and Dad draw about you?
3. If you could paint a mural, what everyday activity would you recreate?
Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup by Jorge Argueta. Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng. Groundwood, 2009
1. Does your family have any favorite foods that you make?
2. What did the child need to make soup?
3. A simile is a comparison using the words “like” or “as”. (For example: an onion yellow as the dawn). Can you find more similes in this story?
Loon Baby by Molly Beth Griffin. Illustrated by Anne Hunter. Houghton Mifflin, 2010
1. How does Loon Baby feel when he thinks his mother isn’t coming back?
2. What does Loon Baby learn how to do?
3. Loon Baby and his mother have a “soft, warm nest.” What is soft and comfortable for you? What do you snuggle with?
Gracias / Thanks by Pat Mora. Illustrated by John Parra. Translated by Adriana Dominguez. Lee & Low, 2009
1. Who are some people who make you happy?
2. What are some things that you are thankful for?
3. Draw a picture of something that makes you happy or thankful.
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol. First Second, 2011
1. Anya’s family routine is shown several times (e.g. kitchen meals). Show your routine in words and pictures.
2. If you had Anya’s ghost, what would you have it do at home and at school? What harm or good would that cause?
3. Not just the ghost is manipulative. Describe instances of manipulation and what motivated it.
Mouse & Lion by Rand Burkert. Illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. Michael di Capua Books / Scholastic, 2011
1. What will the Lion always remember about the Mouse? What will the Mouse remember about the Lion?
2. Have you ever helped someone bigger than you? How?
3. Which illustration did you like the best and what did you like about it?
Job Site by Nathan Clement. Boyds Mills Press, 2011
1. What color is each machine?
2. What other colors can you find?
3. What sound do you think this machine might make? (Ask for each one)
Monday Is One Day by Arthur A. Levine. Illustrated by Julian Hector. Scholastic Press, 2011
1. Let’s recite (and/or count) the days of the week in the book. (Adult: You can also use a calendar after reading the book and find each day on it with children.)
2. Is there a special thing you/your family do on the same day every week?
3. Who are the people in your family? (or, Draw a picture of your family)
Hidden by Helen Frost. Frances Foster Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011
1. The title of the book is Hidden. What kinds of things are hidden in this story?
2. How does the weight of their shared secret affect Wren’s and Darra’s relationship?
3. How are Wren and Darra able to understand each other’s point of view?
Bluefish by Pat Schmatz. Candlewick Press, 2011
1. How do Travis (“Bluefish”) and Velveeta feel about the nicknames they’ve been given?
2. Travis is unable to read at the beginning of this story. Why do you think he keeps this a secret
instead of asking for help?
3. Why do you think Travis, Velveeta, and Bradley get along so well?
What Really Happened to Humpty? (from the Files of a Hard-Boiled Detective) by Jeanie Franz Ransom. Illustrated by Stephen Axelsen. Charlesbridge, 2009
1. What stories do these characters come from?
2. How would the story change if it was told from Muffy’s perspective?
3. If you wrote this story, who would you make the hero and who would be the villain?