Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang

Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang


Publishing: Greenwillow, New York, 1983

Awards: Caldecott Honor

Description: A countdown to bedtime, from 10 toes, 9 soft friends, 8 windowpanes, all the way down to one big girl all ready for bed. A big colored number dons each verso, with an illustration on the accompanying recto.

Programming: A book for nighttime, or nap time. Have students write about their night-time routines. Maybe have a show and tell with special bedtime objects: stuffed animals, blankets, etc. Or, good for a pajama day at school.

The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher by Molly Bang

The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher by Molly Bang


Publishing: Four Winds Press, New York, 1980

Awards: 1981 Caldecott Honor

Description: An older lady in all grey goes to the market to buy some strawberries. A blue lady? creature? tries to follow her and steal the strawberries. After several near-misses and failed attempts, the lady finally blends into some all-grey surrounding and manages to shake the blue person, who has discovered a different kind of berry growing wild to eat instead.

Programming: Have younger students narrate the story from the pictures, have older students analyze the fantastical elements, use of negative space as part of the lady’s character, and how the emotion is conveyed through the illustrations only.

When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang,

When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang,


Publishing: The Blue Sky Press, New York, 1999.

Awards: Caldecott Honor Book

Description: Sophie’s sister abruptly takes a turn with the gorilla that Sophie was playing with, causing her to fall over her toy truck. She gets angry-really, really angry-and after throwing a small tantrum, she runs as fast and as far away as she can. Then she cries, and eventually the sounds and sights of nature soothe her until she is not angry anymore.

Programming: I would start by discussing with students a time when they felt really, really angry. I might ask them to describe what they did or how it felt. After reading, I would discuss the imagery presented in the book (Sophie as a volcano, for instance), defining imagery and showing some other examples. The class might also discuss whether Sophie handled her anger well, and could brainstorm healthy ways of dealing with anger.