A Splash of Red

PPBF Special: For all the teachers who are in the midst of testing season, I’ve included a literature unit for this amazing book. Title: A Splash of Red, the Life and Art of Horace Pippin Written by: Jen Bryant Illustrated by: Melissa Sweet Random House/Knopf, 2015, biography Suitable for ages: 5-8 (easily Gr 1-5) Lexile: 610 … More A Splash of Red

Book

Title: Book Written by: David Miles Illustrated by: Natalie Hoopes Familius, LLC, 2015 Suitable for ages: 4-8 Themes/topics: books, reading Opening: This is a book. Black words. On white paper. No buttons. No bonus levels. Not a single sound, in fact. It’s the most quiet, ordinary thing that could be, until you learn to look … More Book

How Many Days to America?

Today I’m sharing my all time favorite Thanksgiving story. Title: How Many Days to America, A Thanksgiving Story Written by: Eve Bunting Illustrated by: Beth Peck Clarion Books, 1988, fiction Suitable for ages: 6-9 Lexile: 460L Themes/topics: refugees, immigrants, Thanksgiving, family Opening:  It was nice in our village. Till the night in October when the soldiers … More How Many Days to America?

Yard Sale

My PPBF choice for this week is the first book I’ve seen that features a child dealing with foreclosure.
Title: Yard Sale
Written by: Eve Bunting
Illustrated by: Lauren Castillo
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2015 – fiction
Suitable for ages: 3-7
Themes/topics: moving, family, social issues … More Yard Sale

Actual Size

Title: Actual Size
Written and Illustrated by: Steve Jenkins
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/topics: animals, nature, size

Opening: Did you ever look a giant squid in the eye? Have you shaken hands with a gorilla or been face to face with a tiger? All of the animals in this book are shown at actual size, so you can see how you measure up to creatures both large and small.

Brief synopsis: (from barnesandnoble.com) How big is a crocodile? What about a tiger, or the world’s largest spider? Can you imagine a tongue that is two feet long or an eye that’s bigger than your head?
Sometimes facts and figures don’t tell the whole story.
Sometimes you need to see things for yourself—at their actual size.

Links to resources:
Activity page with math and science ideas on Parent/Teacher Resource page. … More Actual Size

Dare the Wind

Title: Dare the Wind: The Record-Breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud
Written by: Tracey Fern
Illustrated by: Emily Arnold McCully
Margaret Ferguson Books, Farrar Straus Giroux, 2014
Biography
Suitable for ages: 5-8, (independent 8-12)
Lexile: AD880 (AD=Adult Directed)
Themes/topics: history, women, courage

Opening: Ellen Prentiss had always felt the sea tug at her heart, strong as a full-moon tide. Her papa said that was because she was born with saltwater in her veins. While other girls spent their days stitching samplers and sweeping floors, Ellen spent her days at the shore in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She chased the waves. She raced the wind. She watched great sailing ships skim over wide endless water. And she dreamed of living her life at sea and catching her share of adventure.

Brief synopsis: (from my library catalog) Ellen Prentiss’s papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate. As soon as she met a man who loved sailing like she did, she married him. When her husband was given command of a clipper ship custom-made to travel quickly, she knew that they would need every bit of its speed for their maiden voyage: out of New York City, down around the tip of Cape Horn, and into San Francisco, where the Gold Rush was well under way. In a time when few women even accompanied their husbands onboard, Ellen Prentiss navigated their ship to set the world record for speed along that route.

Links to resources:
Activity Page posted on Teacher/Parent Resource Page.
Several resources for further reading are listed in the Author’s Note.

Why I like this book: The illustrations set the scene beautifully, and the text flows with rich figurative language. The reader feels Ellen’s internal conflict when she must balance the drive to win and the safety of the crew. She is a risk-taker whose studies pay off in the battle with the roiling sea. There’s nothing like a hearty sea adventure, eh-matey? … More Dare the Wind