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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: Anne Marie on April 02, 2012, 02:27 PM

Title: New picture book inservice
Post by: Anne Marie on April 02, 2012, 02:27 PM
So this isn't technically about writing picture books, but it's kinda close, so maybe the mods will forgive me.

I've just been asked to fill in last minute (Monday) to do an inservice for preschool teachers on new picture books.  The teachers use lots of literature-based units but they concentrate on classics like CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM, BROWN BEAR BROWN BEAR, Eric Carle, Ezra Jack Keats, etc.

I'm going to go in and book-talk a bunch of new books that I own, and I've been to the library to get even more.

But help me brainstorm--if you were a preschool teacher, what would you want to hear about?

Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: eecoburn on April 02, 2012, 03:03 PM
Shark vs. Train
I Want My Hat Back
Some favorites in our house:
The Curious Garden
Mirror, Mirror
Library Lion
When Dinosaurs Came with Everything
A Visitor for Bear
The Circus Ship
Fiona's Luck
Bubble Trouble
Duck! Rabbit!
An Egg is Quiet
Chickens to the Rescue
Red Sings from Treetops
Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: Mike Jung on April 02, 2012, 03:12 PM
All the World; the Sea Serpent and Me; Mad at Mommy; Mostly Monsterly; Flora's Very Windy Day; In a Blue Room; Monday is One Day; The Gentleman Bug; Stars.
Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: MysteryRobin on April 02, 2012, 03:22 PM
I'll second I Want My Hat Back and Shark Vs. Train.
Cowboy and Octopus is a huge favorite in our house, too, and lots of fun. :)
Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: Betsy on April 02, 2012, 03:51 PM
I don't know if this is what you had in mind, Anne Marie.  But I was a preschool teacher in a former life.  If you can think of different ways teachers can use and expand interest in books, I think they'd like that.  Or talk about how to make picture books more interactive, how to select books boys like, books that teach unusual concepts (not just shapes, colors, numbers), how to use books to start a discussion about a sensitive topic (such as your book).

For example, I wrote a book called BROWN COW, GREEN GRASS, YELLOW MELLOW SUN.  (It's out-of-print, but still one of my favorites.)  When I'd visit classrooms I'd read it and give the kids a jar filled with cream.  Each child would shake the jar and then pass it to another child.  At the end of the session, we'd open the jar and the cream has turned to butter--just like in the story.

When I read CINDER EDNA or SCATTERBRAIN SAM, I talk about all the ways the illustrator has added little details to make the story funnier.  For example, there's a place in S. SAM where I'm talking about horse shoes and Matt Faulkner put high heels on the horse.

I'm not plugging my books, just using these as examples of things you can do.   

Good luck!  Let us know how it goes.

Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: Dionna on April 03, 2012, 05:38 AM
Hi Anne Marie,

One thing I did when I worked with first-graders--and I think you could show preschool teachers how to do the same--I'd build an entire day based on a really fun book. After reading the book, I'd follow up with a hands-on project, a simple game, or a get-moving activity that not only tied in to the book but also linked directly to a math or reading skill as well as to the SOLs that they were learning for the week. (You can find the SOLs online at the VA ed. website.) I did this for Kathy May's book, Molasses Man, and the kids had a blast!

Hope that helps!

Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: Jaina on April 03, 2012, 05:52 AM
YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND is a total hoot to read, and you might be able to turn it into a great discussion about the best way to make friends.  In the book, Lucy the bear goes about friend-making (or trying to) in an ineffective way.  I'm willing to bet that little kids can really relate.  Our whole family giggled over the illustrations in this book.
Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: Jean Reidy on April 03, 2012, 01:28 PM
Hi Anne Marie - at the risk of this sounding like shameless self-promotion (which it sorta is) my PBs all have free downloadable curriculum guides that were created by an amazing teacher AND the activities are linked to learning standards. My books are geared to the Pre-K - 2nd grade set and the titles are as follows:
TOO PURPLEY! (Bloomsbury)
TOO PICKLEY! (Bloomsbury)
TOO PRINCESSY! (Bloomsbury)
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT (Disney Hyperion)

Links to the  PDF guides can be found on this page of my website: (

You may even find some ideas for your in-service within them.

Good luck!
Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: Anne Marie on April 03, 2012, 01:40 PM
Thanks so much everybody!

Jean, it may be "shameless self-promotion" but it's welcome! I would have forgotten about checking people's websites and that's a really good thing to do.
Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: taralazar on April 08, 2012, 02:04 PM
BOY + BOT releases on Tuesday by Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino. So great for the preschool set.

I also read Tammi Sauer and Bob Shea's ME WANT PET to my daughter's preschool and they were doubled over with laughter--I kid you not. The most-loved line was "ACHOO-GA" when the father is allergic to the woolly mammoth.
Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: writerdebm on April 08, 2012, 02:38 PM
Sick Day for Amos McGee
Grumpy Bird
Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes
Press Here

Have fun!
Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: Jodell Sadler on April 19, 2012, 07:28 AM
What a wonderful opportunity!

I'd love for you to talk about how they can choose quality picture books for their students. That the best picture books for kids are a performance that share a love of language, use beats and rhythm, incorporate threes, and invite readers in. The best picture books surface because they incorporate so many aurally-satisfying words, tools, and words string readers will crave and want to read over and over again.

Having studied picture books intensely for a few (albeit an understatement) years, I have even found the use of lists to be a great quality in a picture book. For a look at what can be seen in the Award-winning title, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, check out my article, written for the SCBWI-Illinois: "Exceptional Pacing Enhances Emotional Journey."

There is so much to get excited about when it comes to doing more to excite children about language, literature, and the power of words. We all know... their own words need to become ever more important to them as they discover all the gifts they bring to this world.
Title: Re: New picture book inservice
Post by: AnneB on April 19, 2012, 07:57 AM
Hot Rod Hamster, by Cynthia Lord.