Read Across America

Happy Read Across America Day! In honor of today as well as World Read Aloud Day, which was just a couple weeks ago, I thought I’d share a couple recent Millbrook picture books I’ve been enjoying reading aloud with my kids–along with a few thoughts on different ways to read the books.

Porcupine’s Picnic, which is by Betsy R. Rosenthal and illustrated by Giusi Capizzi, has been a huge hit with 100% of the 3-year-olds I’ve shared it with. Well, okay, I’ve only read it to my own son. But don’t just take my word for it–Booklist said, “Cheerful artwork and a narrative with plenty of repetition make this a great pick for group story time.” And I do think book would be a blast to share with a group of preschoolers.

This book includes a surprise ending (I won’t tell you what it is, but let’s just say the picnic comes to a hasty yet not at all gruesome end when Tiger shows up), and I think it could be fun to pair with a fictional picture book like Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown or A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins at story time. Porcupine’s Picnic ends with some information about herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, so it would also be perfect to follow up with a snack at the end of the book!

If You Were the Moon by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Jaime Kim, is a book that is great to read both in the classroom and at bedtime. Kirkus Reviews says, “Orbiting between poetic lullaby and astro-powered essentials, Salas and Kim provide a great addition to a nighttime-window reading shelf and/or early-science classroom.” The book’s main text is in the form of a list poem, and each spread includes interesting additional facts about the moon. My 6-year-old son really loves the cool info he has learned thanks to the added facts. For my 3-year-old, I skip over the facts; he can grow into them in a couple more years.
This one would pair well with a more straightforward book with photos of the moon, or for a poetry unit, you could pair it with another recent release, Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro, and then prompt students to create their own poems. 
However you choose to spend today, I hope you have at least a few minutes to spare for a good book. Happy reading!

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