Harry Oulton
Oulton talks about writing A PIG CALLED HEATHER.

Common Core State Standards
I Like to Read Books
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Classroom Picks . . . Informational Picture Books!

These enlightening and educational reads, all available in hardcover and e-book formats, are the perfect supplement to classroom learning.

This Month's Picks

A Bird is a Bird
by Lizzy Rockwell
Lizzy Rockwell, Illustrator


SL.1.1, 1a-c, 2-6
W.1.2, 3, 5-8
RF.1.1,1a, 2-4, 4a-c
L.1.1, 1b, 1g, 1j, 4, 4a, 5, 5b, 5c, 5d
RI.1.1-4, 6, 8-10

1. What characteristics make a bird a bird? Use evidence from the text. RI.K-1.1, 2, 8

2. Why are feathers important to a bird's survival? What do you need to survive? RI.K-1.1 / SL.K-1.1

3. How are birds alike and different? RI.K-1.1, 3

4. What is your favorite kind of bird? Use adjectives to describe the bird and draw a picture. W.K-1.1 / L.1.1f

Some birds are huge and some are tiny. Some birds are fantastically colorful and some are plain. What do all birds share?
Early nonfiction expert Lizzy Rockwell explains that birds have beaks, wings, and feathers, and hatch from eggs. Other animals might have some of these features in common, but only a bird has them all. Only a bird is a bird!
A clear text and graceful illustrations cover dozens of different birds and their shared characteristics, as well as the unique qualities of unusual birds, such as penguins and peacocks.

The Fruits We Eat
by Gail Gibbons
Gail Gibbons, Illustrator

Grades: SECOND

L.2.3, 4, 4a, 4c, 4e, 5, 5a, 5b, 6
RF.2.3, 3d, 3f, 4, 4a,4 c
SL.2.1, 1a-c, 4, 6
W.2.1-3, 5, 7, 8

1. How does author Gail Gibbons use text features in THE FRUITS WE EAT? Find an example of how text features from the book enhance your understanding of a concept or idea. RI.2-3.5

2. Plan a menu for a well-balanced meal using "MyPlate." Write about each food and tell why you chose it. Explain why your plate is well-balanced. W.2-3.5, 8

3. What are the names of large industrial fruit farms that grow strawberries, cranberries, grapes, apples and oranges? Research the climate for each farm. W.2-3.8 / RL.2-3.1

4. What is a perennial? Annual? Find fruits from the text and create a perennial/annual chart. L.2-3.5, 5a

Berries, apples, melons, and grapes; oranges, grapefruits, bananas—yum! This scrumptious picture book, a companion to The Vegetables We Eat, offers youngsters an inviting, information-packed cornucopia of favorite fruits.
Gail Gibbons combines a clear, simple text with her signature paneled illustrations to present fruit facts galore: the parts of fruits, where and how they grow, harvesting, processing, where to buy them, and how to enjoy them as part of a healthy diet. Once again, Gibbons proves "a master at creating factual books through which young readers can explore details of nature at an accessible and engaging depth."—Booklist

Simple Machines
Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys
by David A. Adler
Anna Raff, Illustrator

Grades: FIRST

RI.2.1-4, 6-10
L.2.3, 4, 4a-c, 4e, 5, 5a, 5b, 6
RF.2.3, 3d, 3f, 4, 4a, 4c
SL.2.1, 1a-c, 2-4, 6
W.2.2, 3, 5, 7 ,8

1. Find the bold new vocabulary words in SIMPLE MACHINES. (wedge, inclined plane, ramp, lever, friction, wheel and axel, shaft, gear) RI.2-3.5

2. Find examples in the book of how author David A. Adler explains the meaning of new words using pictures and words. RI.2-3.4,7

3. How do simple machines simplify your life? RI.2-3.1, 2, 3 / W.2-3.2

4. In small groups, find real-world examples of wedge, inclined plane, ramp, lever, friction, wheel and axel, shaft, and gear that are not mentioned in the book. Provide reasons and evidence. W.2-3.7, 8

This lively introduction to physics will get kids excited about how simple machines simplify our lives.
Kids use simple machines every day without realizing it. Teeth are wedges and so are knives, forks, and thumbtacks. Many toys such as slides, which are inclined planes, and seesaws, which are levers, are also simple machines. Two appealing kids and their comical cat introduce levers, wheels, pulleys, inclined plains, and more, and explain how they work.

When the Wind Blows
by Stacy Clark
Brad Sneed, Illustrator

Grades: FIRST

L.2.1, 3, 3a, 4, 4a, 4c, 4d, 5, 5a, 5a
RF.2.3, 3f, 4, 4a-c
SL.2.1, 1a-c, 2-6
W.2.2, 3, 6-8
RL.2.1, 4, 5, 7, 10
RI.2.1, 3, 4, 6-10

1. How do words and phrases in WHEN THE WIND BLOWS supply rhythm and meaning in the poem? Find the words that rhyme. RL.2-3.4 / L.2-3.2 / RF.2-3.3

2. Write a sentence and draw a picture about an experience you had on a windy day. When the wind blows . . . W.2-3.3

3. Discuss what happens when the wind blows. Why is wind energy an important natural resource? RI.2-3.3

4. Recognize that moving air can be used to power machinery to do work. Plan, build and test a windmill ( W.2-3.7, 8

While the blowing wind makes "porch doors sway" and "sea waves spray," it is responsible for much, much more. These same breezes send electron power traveling down windmills and circuits to ignite electricity. Electrons travel through power lines, and electricity charges the national grid so that lights may be turned on, cold homes may be warmed, and warm homes may be cooled. The gusts can help make "Factories hum / Harbors light up / Smart cars run."
With a poetic text and sweeping landscape paintings, this picture book explores the many facets of the wind and shows how blowing wind generates power as it introduces very young children to basic physics and engineering concepts.

Market Maze
by Roxie Munro
Roxie Munro, Illustrator

Grades: SECOND

K.CC.B.4, B.5
W.2.1-3, 5, 7, 8
SL.2.1, 1a-c, 4, 6
RF.2.3, 3c-f, 4, 4a
L.2.4, 4d, 4e, 5, 5a, 5b, 6

1. How does author Roxie Munro structure MARKET MAZE? How does the structure enhance your understanding of the information in the book? RI.2-3.5

2. What is the author's purpose for writing MARKET MAZE? What does Roxie Munro want to answer, explain or describe? RI.2-3.6, 8

3. From which habitats and environments does the food you eat come? Choose a section from the book that you personally connect with. Write a narrative explaining how it impacts your life. RI.2-3.2 / W.2-3.3

4. How do the illustrations in MARKET MAZE contribute to the meaning of the text? RI.2-3.7

Check out Roxie Munro's first book on the Holiday House list!

Eight trucks hit the highway in a colorful and mesmerizing maze book that helps kids understand where food comes from and how it gets to their tables.
In eleven intricately drawn mazes, eight vehicles, each carrying a different product, are on their way to the city. Fish, apples, dairy products, corn, vegetables, flowers, eggs, and baked goods all travel through colorful and minutely detailed landscape mazes to reach the city farmer's market.
Information on all of the products and their journeys is included, along with answers to all of the mazes. For additional fun, kids are challenged to look for objects hidden on each spread.


★ "A great way to introduce kids to their foods' origins and to prepare them for a greenmarket visit of their own."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“This book is AMAZING!!!!!! I loved how it made learning about where food comes from and how it GETS to the farmer’s market, NOT the supermarket! Plus, I loved how the mazes were incorporated into the learning and discovery process of food production on farms. A book like this was long overdue, yet it is so timely. I’m so glad it is available now!”—Janet Weber, Youth Services Librarian, Tigard Public Library

Amazing Plant Powers
How Plants Fly, Fight, Hide, Hunt, and Change the World
by Loreen Leedy and Andrew Schuerger
Loreen Leedy, Illustrator

Grades: FIRST

W.3.2, 2a-d, 5-8, 10
L.3.3, 3a, 3b, 4, 4a-d, 5, 5b
RI.3.1-5, 7-10
SL.3.1, 1a-d, 2-4, 6
RF.3.3, 3a-d, 4, 4a, 4b
RL.3.1, 4, 5, 7

1. What is the main idea of AMAZING PLANT POWERS? How do authors Loreen Leedy and Andrew Schuerger use key details to support the main idea? RI.2-3.2

2. Explain why it is important for animals and plants to have adaptive abilities. What are some amazing plant powers? Give an example of each from the book. (fly, fight, hide, hunt) RI.2-3.1, 3

3. Explain how the authors use fiction and nonfiction in the book. How does this affect the meaning and tone? RI.2-3.8, RL.2-3.5

4. How do plants change the world? Write an explanatory text. Draw a picture of the world with and without plants. RI.2-3.1, 3 / W.2-3.2, 8

This inventive introduction to the plant world combines facts about basic botany and fun with amusing characters and surprising information.
Imagine if plants had superhero qualities. According to Spike E. Prickles, a TV personality who happens to be a cactus, plants have plenty of awesome abilities, and his houseplant fans agree. From protecting themselves from forest fires and voracious leaf-eating insects to surviving in hostile environments that are numbingly cold or stiflingly hot, Spike highlights the impressive range of adaptations plants have developed.
Includes a glossary and plant projects to try at home and in school.


Read an exclusive Q&A with the creators, Loreen Leedy & Andrew Schuerger!

Prices! Prices! Prices!
Why They Go Up and Down
by David A. Adler
Edward Miller, Illustrator

Grades: THIRD

RI.3.1-5, 7-10
L.3.3, 3b, 4, 4a, 4d, 5, 5b, 6
RF.3.3, 3c, 3d, 4, 4a, 4c
SL.3.1, 1a-d, 2-4, 6
W.3.2-4, 7, 8, 10

1. What is the main idea of PRICES! PRICES! PRICES!? Explain how author David A. Adler uses details to support the main idea. RI.2-3.1, 2

2. Explain the cause-and-effect relationships of supply and demand in your own words. RI.2-3.3

3. Research advertisements using newspapers, the internet and flyers. Cut out one example for each of the four laws of supply and demand. Create a poster and present the information. RI.2-3.3 / W.2-3.7, 8 / SL.2-3.4

4. Explain how specific images contribute to clarifying information in the book. RI.2-3.7 / SL.2-3.1

This entertaining introduction to economics will promote financial literacy.
Sometimes prices go up and up and up. Then they suddenly crash. Why? In simple language and with colorful graphics and amusing characters, this picture book explains the basic laws of supply and demand, using examples kids will understand, such as dueling lemonade stands on the same block. Terms such as "fixed costs" and "variable costs" are clearly explained, and a glossary as well as a helpful graphic summary are included.