Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

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Publishing: Greenwillow Books, 2004

Awards: Caldecott Medal, ALA Notable Children’s Book, School Library Journal Best Book, Publisher’s Weekly Best Book

Description: This beautiful black and white book follows a curious little kitten as she tries to get a drink from what she thinks is a big bowl of milk in the sky. The black and white highlights the night-time setting. The illustrations are varied in size and have enough detail to be interesting, but are simplistic enough to be elegant.

Programming: This sounds like a good time to talk about the phases of the moon. It might to too complex to explain why the moon changes shape, depending on your audience, but I think the fact that at different times it looks different ways could be said. Then, I like this idea of using oreos to show the different phases. Plus, I’m always a fan of eating. 🙂

 

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The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, Ill. Beth Krommes

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, Ill. Beth Krommes

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Publishing: Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2008.

Awards: Caldecott Medal Winner

Description: This night-time routine book works from outside the house (“this is the key to the house”) to inside a story book, back out again, and finally back in through the same series of steps. The black and white cross-hatched drawings are lightened with a soft yellow that mimics the glow of a lamp or the moon. This is a great bedtime story in the same vein as Goodnight Moon.

Programming: Kids could discuss/write about their own night-time routines. Because this book is inspired by the rhyme “This is the Key of the Kingdom,”  it might be interesting to discuss the original rhyme and where/how the two differ. The words to one version of the rhyme can be found here:

http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=hes&p=1916

 

Bluebird by Bob Staake

Bluebird by Bob Staake

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Publishing: Schwartz & Wade Books, New York, 2013

Description: The illustrations in this wordless book tell the story of a little boy who makes friends with a bluebird. In the midst of their bonding and adventures, however, trouble arises. The illustrations seem very modern: the characters are geometric with round heads and eyes, rectangular bodies, and pointy noses. The book is mostly black and white, with only the blue of the sky and the bluebird, which serve to highlight the importance of the bird and lend a sense of cohesiveness to the story. Illustrations are drawn in panels similar to a graphic novel. They are separated by a thick black border.

Programming: Though I am always fascinated with how wordless texts portray a story, it is hard for me to picture programming activities without first reading a text out loud. However, because there is no concrete text, it might be interesting to see how children would write the text from the pictures. I would also love to start a discussion about what they think happened to the bluebird at the end.