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Favorite KidLit Books!

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Henry Brooks Adams

Some of my favorite Children’s Books: Themes

Themes are a great way to connect to the interests of our students.  This list is shared with inspiration from Page Ahead, a Washington State organization whose Mission is “Guided by the fact that literacy is essential to lifelong success, Page Ahead provides new books and develops reading activities that empower at-risk children”  (I have been a volunteer with Page Ahead since 2010, providing interactive storytimes to Pre-K Head Start and Kindergarten children.  This organization ROCKS!  Feel free to make a donation to Page Ahead to help get even more books in the hands of at-risk children)


Theme: Being Me

all-the-colors-of-the-earth-theme-me-book-cover   i-accept-you-as-you-are-book-cover-theme-me   i-like-myself-book-cover-theme-me   wild-about-us-theme-me-book-coverchrysanthemum-theme-mei-love-monkey-theme-me-book-coverhere-are-my-hands-theme-me  its-ok-to-be-different-book-cover-theme-me  what-i-like-about-me-theme-me-jpg-pagespeed-ic-p_4b2u6oiq  stand-tall-molly-lou-melon-book-cover-theme-me  me-i-am-theme-me-book-cover  when-i-grow-up-i-want-to-me-me-book-cover-theme-me  bad-case-of-stripes-theme-me  colorful-world-theme-me  i-love-you-bc-youre-you-book-cover-theme-mewhoever-you-are-book-cover-theme-me

ruby-the-copycat-theme-me        odd-velvet-theme-me       free-to-be-you-and-me-theme-mejpg


Theme: Books and Reading

bats-at-the-library-theme-books-and-reading-book-cover   beveryly-billingsly-borrows-a-book-theme-books-and-reading-book-cover   have-i-got-a-book-for-you-by-melanie-watt   whos-afraid-of-the-big-bad-book-by-lauren-child

duncan-the-story-dragon-by-amanda-driscoll   i-dont-like-to-read-by-nancy-carlson   i-took-my-frog-to-the-library-by-eric-kimmelleo-the-late-bloomer-by-robert-kraus  library-mouse-by-daniel-kirk   lola-at-the-library-by-anna-mcquinn   maybe-a-bear-ate-it-by-robie-h-harris-michael-emberley   lola-loves-stories-by-anna-mcquinn   read-it-dont-eat-it-by-ian-schoenherr

the-best-place-to-read-by-debbie-bertram  the-book-with-no-pictures-by-b-j-novak   the-librarian-from-the-black-lagoon-by-mike-thaler   wolf-by-becky-bloomwe-are-in-a-book-by-mo-willems  my-librarian-is-a-camel-theme-reading that-book-woman-theme-readinglibrary-mouse-theme-reading

Theme: Silly

silly-theme-dogs-dont-wear-sneakers-by-laura-numeroff    silly-theme-baghead-by-jarett-krosoczka    silly-theme-april-foolishness-by-teresa-batemansilly-tilly-by-eileen-spinelli

to-market-to-market-by-anne-miranda  silly-sally-by-audrey-wood    silly-goose-by-marni-mcgee never-take-a-shark-to-the-dentist-by-judi-barrett    rhyming-dust-bunnies-by-jan-thomas    sally-and-the-purple-socks-by-lisze-bechtold    mrs-mcnosh-hangs-up-her-wash-by-sarah-weeks make-way-for-dumb-bunnies-by-sue-denim    38-dont-be-silly-mrs-millie-by-judy-cox    dont-let-the-pigeon-drive-the-bus-theme-silly   parts-theme-sillysome-dogs-do-silly-theme

Theme: Growth Mindset

Mary Cay Ricci (2013) defines a growth mindset as “a belief system that suggests that one’s intelligence can be grown or developed with persistence, effort, and a focus on learning.”

Dr. Carol Dweck describes mindset as a simple idea:  In a fixed mindset, one believes their talents and abilities are “fixed” traits.  Belief: Talent alone creates success, without effort. Time is spent documenting instead of developing

In a growth mindset, one believes that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.  Brains and talent are just a starting point.  A growth mindset creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishments

The following is a selection of books for the Theme of Growth Mindset:



Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman  

Resistance and perseverance, success despite opposition





Making a Splash – GoBrain! Growth Mindset for Kids by Carol E. Reiley  Hard work and effort really can lead to success as two siblings find out





Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind by Kevin O’Malley   Finding the right book for every student





Mistakes That Worked by Charlotte Jones   Fascinating stories behind mistakes like popsicles and potato chips. Hilarious cartoons and weird facts!





Moondance by Frank Asch   Bear learns to challenge negative beliefs and follow his desire






Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss   The importance of staying determined




Regina’s Big Mistake by Marissa Moss   A young girl learns that making mistakes is okay





Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen by Cari Best   Determination is needed to learn to ride a bike




Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. Having the Courage to Be Who You Are by Maria Dismondy   Lucy is one of a kind and she learns to have the courage to make a good choice. Doing the right thing and being proud of yourself, even when you are faced with challenges, is empowering.





Thanks For the Feedback, I Think (Best me I can be!) by Julia Cook   RJ is doing well and also needs to work on some things. He learns how to respond appropriately to different kinds of feedback.




Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco   Persistence and determination in learning to read





The Empty Pot by Demi   Persistence and tenacity are recognized more than lack of production






The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein    Learning from your mistakes can be an enjoyable task!




The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle and other Extraordinary Stories Behind Everyday Things by Don L. Wulffson   114 everyday inventions and the fun stories behind them in anecdotal, fun-to-read text





The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires   The story of a little girl and her canine friend in a clever story about perspective and perseverance






The Name of the Tree by Celia Barker Lottridge   Bantu folktale – the animal that tries the hardest, not the one endowed with the greatest talents, helps solve a problem.



the-power-of-self-d-willie-bohanon-friends-learn-the-power-of-self-determination-by-kip-jonesThe Power of Self-D: Willie Bohanon & Friends Learn the Power of Self-Determination by Kip Jones   Graphic novel/comic book style about the power of self-determination as the key to success




the-short-tree-and-the-bird-that-could-not-singThe Short Tree and the Bird That Could Not Sing   Bouncing back from feeling inadequate






The Tortoise and the Hare by Various Authors  Slow and steady wins the race






The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle   Spider works very hard to create his web



Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull Perseverance





Would You Rather… by Various Authors  You can be both…Consequences of the choices we make…



fantastic-elastic-brain-stretch-shape-it-by-joann-deakYour Fantastic Elastic Brain Stretch It, Shape It by JoAnn Deak   Trying new things without giving up is like lifting weights for your muscles


 Theme: Favorite Short Story Collections

best-shorts-favorite-stories-for-sharing-edited-by-avi-c-shuteBest Shorts: Favorite Stories for Sharing Edited by Avi, & C Shute   Newbery Medal–winning author Avi selected short stories in a variety of genres, about loyal pets, rogue waves, ghosts who use cell phones, and more.




scholastic-read-aloud-anthology-grades-5-up-by-janet-allen-and-patrick-daley Scholastic Read-Aloud Anthology Grades 5 & Up by Janet Allen and Patrick Daley short, captivating read alouds to keep your kids on the edge of their seat.




woman-hollering-creek-and-other-stories-by-sandra-cisnerosWoman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros   Sandra Cisneros has the amazing ability to choose the most moving vocabulary. As a storyteller, she experiments with bold prose. Each story is written in a individual literary voice and style.



shelf-life-stories-by-the-book-by-gary-paulsenShelf Life: Stories by the Book by Gary Paulsen  Newbery Honor author Gary Paulsen asked prominent authors to write an original story; the only restriction was that each story was to include mention of a book. This is a collection of ten original stories, with proceeds of the sale of the book to benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide, an international network whose mission is to change lives through literacy.




Read All About It! by Jim Trelease   Great read-aloud stories, poems, & newspaper pieces for preteens and teens. Various genres represented



For more of My Favorite Children’s Picture and Chapter Books, Middle Grade and YA – Click on  Blog Posts Favorite Children’s Books, Favorite Middle Grade Books, and Favorite Teen Novels