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Enjoy a Favorite Wisconsin Author with the May 2015 Primary Title!

May 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | May - (Comments Off on Enjoy a Favorite Wisconsin Author with the May 2015 Primary Title!)

year of billy  millerGRK-2

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 2013.

Seven-year-old Billy Miller starts second grade with a mix of anxiety and excitement. By the end of the first day anxiety wins out. There’s a bossy girl at his table who doesn’t like him. Even worse, he’s worried his teacher, Ms. Silver, thinks he was making fun of her (he wasn’t). Billy lives with his stay-at-home artist dad, his high-school English teacher mom, and his three-year-old sister, Sal. In a novel divided into sections titled Teacher, Father, Sister, Mother, Kevin Henkes’s story follows Billy over the course of his second-grade year by chronicling events that illuminate these four important relationships in his life, with each section following its own arc while fitting seamlessly into the novel as a whole. Henkes skillfully relates details and events of Billy’s life that will hit young readers right where they are at both socially and emotionally. Billy wants to fit in and stand out. He wonders. He worries. He is loved, but doesn’t always like what the people who love him—and whom he loves—do. Sometimes he falls short on patience as a big brother, and sometimes he excels at being wonderful. A novel substantial in every way is completely accessible to young children reading independently or listening to it read aloud. There’s plenty of white space, and occasional spot illustrations in storytelling defined by rich characterizations and fine plotting in a book that is often funny, but also thoughtful and touching and serious. Life is like that when you’re seven, after all. (MS) ©2013 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Encourage kids to examine the book and text more closely with these discussion questions:

1. Billy is nervous about starting second grade. What are some things that happen in the story to show us why he’s worried?Primary Icon of a White-Tailed Deer

2. What makes it the year of Billy Miller?

3. How do his relationships with his teacher, father, mother and sister change throughout the book?

Primary Titles for April: Take Me Out to the Yakyu

April 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | April - (Comments Off on Primary Titles for April: Take Me Out to the Yakyu)

take me out to the yakhuGRK-2

Take Me Out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon. Atheneum, 2013.

1. What are three things that are similar at a baseball game in the United States and Japan? What are three things that are different?

2. What do you like to do with your grandparents?

3. Can you think of something that you do in two or more different places? (for example, eating, reading, jobs) How is it the same? How is it different?

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No Monkeys, No Chocolate

March 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | March - (Comments Off on No Monkeys, No Chocolate)

no monkeys no chocolateGRK-2

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young. Illustrated by Nicole Wong.  Charlesbridge, 2013.

1. Why can’t chocolate grow without monkeys and other creatures? Why do you think the author chose the title, No Monkeys, No Chocolate, for this book?

2. What do you think are the important things the author wants us to know about chocolate?

3. In what other ways do plants, insects and animals depend on each other?

A Splash of Red / Kunu’s Basket

February 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | February - (Comments Off on A Splash of Red / Kunu’s Basket)

splash of red

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.

1. Why do you think the author wants us to learn about Horace Pippin? What did you learn by reading this book?

2. Why does Horace Pippin keep painting even when it is difficult?

3. Why do you think he included a splash of red in each painting?

 

kunu's basket

Kunu’s Basket: A Story from Indian Island by Lee DeCora Francis. Illustrated by Susan Drucker. Tilbury House, 2012.

1. Making a basket is hard work. Why does Kunu persevere in making the basket?

2. How are baskets used in the story?

3. Kunu’s grandfather helps him with his basket. Who helps you when something is difficult?

 

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Nora’s Chicks / This is the Rope

January 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 | January - (Comments Off on Nora’s Chicks / This is the Rope)

nora's chicks

Nora’s Chicks by Patricia MacLachlan. Illustrated by Kathryn Brown. Candlewick Press, 2013.

1. What are ways the author and illustrator let us know that Nora is lonely?

2. Who do we meet at the beginning of the story? What is happening then?  Who do we meet in the middle of the story?  What happens? At the end of the story, how have things changed for Nora?

3. How do Nora’s chicks help her?

 

this is the ropeGRK-2

This Is the Rope:  A Story from the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson. Illustrated by James Ransome. Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, 2013.

1. Who is telling the story of the rope? About whom is she telling the story?

2. In what different ways is the rope used in the story?

3. What object does your family own that tells a story?

 

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Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm

December 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | December | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm)

meetthedogsofbedlamfarm

Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm by John Katz. Henry Holt, 2011.

1. What are the different jobs of the dogs? How do the dogs help the farm by performing these different jobs?

2. What is your job in your family? How does this help your family?

3. What do you think the author wants us to learn from this book?

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Thanks a Million: Poems / The Big Wet Balloon

November 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | November | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Thanks a Million: Poems / The Big Wet Balloon)

thanks a million

Thanks a Million: Poems by Nikki Grimes. Illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera. Amistad, 2006.

1. What makes you thankful?

2. These poems are written in many different ways. Which one do you like best? What makes you like that poem? The illustrations?  The style?  The words? Something else?

3. Which of these poems feels like it could be talking about you? Why?

 

 

big wet balloon

The Big Wet Balloon by Liniers.  Toon Books/Candlewick Press, 2013.

1. How do the pictures and words work together to tell the story? Do you think you could understand the story without the words? without the pictures? How might the lack of words or picture change the story?

2.Why do you think the balloon is important to the story?

3. What do you think will happen at the end of the story? Why?

 

 

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Picture a Tree / Chavela and the Magic Bubble

October 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | October | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Picture a Tree / Chavela and the Magic Bubble)

picture a tree

Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid. U.S. edition: Albert Whitman, 2013.

1. According to the author, what are some of the uses of a tree? Can you think of new ways to use trees?

2. What changes do you see in the tree in the book? What changes are taking place with the trees outside? What other changes will occur?

3. How do the pictures help you understand the words?

 

chavela and the magic bubble

Chavela and the Magic Bubble by Monica Brown. Illustrated by Magaly Morales. Clarion, 2010.

1. Where does Chavela’s magic bubble take her?

2. What types of trees does Chavela visit? What do people make from these trees?

3. How does Chavela know that her magical trip takes her to her grandmother’s past?

 

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The Apple Orchard Riddle / Good News, Bad News

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in September | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on The Apple Orchard Riddle / Good News, Bad News)

apple orchard riddle

The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara. Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Schwartz & Wade, 2013.

1. How does Tara solve her teacher’s riddle?

2. What do the pictures tell us about Tara, her personality and her problem-solving methods?

3. Did you learn anything new about apples from this book? Did you learn anything new about solving riddles?

 

good news bad news

Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack.  Chronicle, 2012.

1. What is something from your own life that could be both good news and bad news?

2. How do the pictures help you decide if something is good news or bad news?

3. What words and pictures let you know that the rabbit and the rat are good friends?

 

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I Lost My Tooth in Africa / Jingle Dancer / The Rumor

June 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2013-2014 | Summer - (Comments Off on I Lost My Tooth in Africa / Jingle Dancer / The Rumor)

i lost my tooth in africa cover

I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakité. Illustrated by Baba Wagué Diakité. Scholastic Press, 2006

 

 

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Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. Morrow / HarperCollins, 2000

 

 

 

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The Rumor by Anushka Ravishankar. Illustrated by Kanyika Kini. U.S. edition: Tundra Books, 2012

 

 

 

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Happy Like Soccer

May 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2013-2014 | May - (Comments Off on Happy Like Soccer)

happy like soccer cover

Happy Like Soccer by Maribeth Boelts. Illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. Soccer makes Sierra both happy and sad. Why? Is there anything that makes you feel that way?

2. Why do you think it’s so hard for Sierra to call her coach and ask him to change the game? Why can asking for something we want or need sometimes be so hard?

3. What are some of the kind things people do to try to make Sierra’s experience playing soccer a good one? Are there other things you think people could have done?

 

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Step Gently Out / Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2013-2014 | April - (Comments Off on Step Gently Out / Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems)

step gently out cover

Step Gently Out by Helen Frost. Photographs by Rick Lieder. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. Do the photographs in this book make you think more about the words? Why or why not?

2. What do you think it means to “step gently out”?

3. How does reading this poem and looking at these photographs make you think differently about insects?

 

laughing tomatoes cover

Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems / jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primvera by Francisco X. Alarcón. Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Children’s Book Press, 1997

1. What makes these “spring” poems? Pick one or two of them—how do you think they connect to spring?

2. What are some ways poems are different than a story? Are there ways the two are similar?

3. Do any of the poems in this book feel like they are telling a story? Which one(s) and why?

 

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