Publishing: Little, Brown, and Company, New York, 2009
Awards: Caldecott Medal Winner (2010)
Description: This wordless book retells Aesop’s fable of the Lion and the mouse, in which the lion sets his tiny prey go free and the mouse returns the favor by saving the lion from a poacher’s net. Despite the lack of words, this is a rich telling, with setting and background details conveyed in the illustrations.
Programming: It would probably be a good idea to read some of Aesop’s other fables for comparison and to discuss the lessons that each is supposed to teach. I have seen some very cute lion’s masks that can be made from paper plates and construction paper. Students might also write a time when someone helped them or when they helped someone.
Publishing: Greenwillow Books, New York, 1996
Description: Lilly is a mouse with a lot of personality. She loves school, and she especially loves her teacher, Mr. Slinger. However, when Lilly brings her new purple purse that plays music when you open it, three quarters, and shiny sunglasses to school, she simply cannot keep quiet about them. Mr. Slinger takes the items until the end of the day, and Lilly, in a fit of rage, draws an angry cartoon about Mr. Slinger. She feels very bad for this after she discovers the nice note Mr. Slinger put in her purse, and not only apologizes, but doesn’t bother anyone with her trinkets.
Programming: This is a great story about why we have rules and why adults enforce them. Students could discuss other rules that have to be followed, and why. It might also be a good story to discuss what to do with anger and frustration, because Lilly does not have the right idea. I also like the idea of giving kids a purple purse outline to cut out and then pasting/drawing in items that are important to them.
Or they could make their own plastic purses! I found this using Pinterest:
Publishing: Greenwillow Books, New York, 1993
Description: Owen has a yellow blanket that he loves. When nosy neighbor Mrs. Tweezers tries to give Owen’s parents several ways to get rid of the blanket, Owen thwarts them all. Owen’s mother comes up with an idea that will make everyone happy.
Illustrations are done in different sized panels and fairly bright colors. The text is sufficient to tell a detailed story without being overwhelming on any pages.
Programming: Have students talk about their favorite object and why it is important to them. I also like the idea of character mapping Owen, found here: http://pinterest.com/pin/55521007876286411/
I am very intrigued by Kevin Henkes books and may choose to do him for a group author project, so there may be more Kevin Henkes to come!
Publishing: Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1961
Awards: Caldecott Medal Winner
Description: This book tells the fable of a mouse who is transformed through the protection of a hermit from a mouse, to a cat, to a dog, and finally to a grand tiger. However, when the tiger’s pride is too much, the hermit changes him back to humble him.
Programming: Since this story deals with Indian culture, students might find India on the map and discuss characteristics of the culture of India. Discussion should also revolve around why the hermit changed the tiger back to a mouse.