Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Year-Round Read Aloud Book Box

My daughter's preschool had their annual auction in early December. For the auction, I put together a read-aloud book box to give away. I had a lot of fun gathering some of my favorites and aligning books to certain seasons/months. These books are appropriate for kids 4-8, some more appropriate for the lower/upper of that age range. Here's what I ended up with--

January: Frog and Toad All Year, by Arnold Lobel
Arnold Lobel is an excellent author. many beginning readers fall in love with the Frog and Toad series. And what a better way to get your kids hooked on reading than to get them interested in a lovable series-- they'll keep coming back for more!

February: The Year at Maple Hill Farm, by Alice and Martin Provensen
Take your child on a journey through a year on a farm. She will get a sense of the changing seasons and how farmers care for the animals on the farm.

March: Planting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert
beloved author and illustrator, Lois Ehlert writes about a child and mother planting a rainbow of flowers. This book brings us into spring (at least for us in the Bay Area!), but also reminds us that flowers need tending throughout all seasons. Ehlert illustrated Chicka Chicka Boom Boom- a favorite.

April: An Extraordinary Egg, by Leo Lionni
Leo Lionni, another favorite author- tells a spring tale of friendship and mistaken identity. Lionni's writing is beautiful, filled with poignant moments and rich vocabulary.

May: Hair Pelitos, by Sandra Cisneros
I taught The House on Mango Street to my middle school students. Sandra Cisneros is an excellent author and has a magical way with language which has the ability to capture both adults and children. "Hairs" is a vignette from House of Mango Street- I love this one!

June: Freedom Summer, by Deborah Wiles and illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue
This book tells of a beautiful friendship between two boys. Joe is white and John Henry is black- the year, 1964. Despite challenges they face together, they decide to remain friends. best suited for kids 4+, so that you can discuss some of the historical background of this book more meaningfully.

July: Koala Lou, by Mem Fox
No children's book list is complete without a title from Australian author, Mem Fox. She is one of my favorite authors for her sweet characters and dynamic writing that improves early literacy skills in young kids. I also love the Australian animals in this book.

September: The Name Jar, by Yangsook Choi
It's time to go to school for the first time in America, but Unhei, a recent immigrant, has a name that baffles her classmates. A story of inclusion and diversity and an excellent addition to a child's home library.

October: BATS, by Gail Gibbons
Gail Gibbons is a prominent non-fiction children's book author. All of her books are simple enough for young kids to enjoy, but also provide interesting factual information on many subjects. This book is especially spooky for Halloween.

November: In November, by Cynthia Rylant
Rylant does it again in this beautiful book about the month of November. Her writing is beautiful and paints an elegant picture of this season of warmth and love.

December: The Trees of the Dancing Goats, by Patricia Polacco
Polacco, my absolute favorite children's author, is also an Oakland native. two families from different religious traditions come together to show love to each other at the holidays. I love Polacco's vocabulary choice and her meaningful stories.

What book would you add to this list? What literary-themed items would make good auction items for an elementary school or preschool?


  1. Great list. I'll keep a note of these for my grandchildren.

    1. Thanks, Cozy in Texas! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. You asked for good literacy based auction items for elementary schools. We had a Harvest Festival and each class decorated a pumpkin based on a book character. All looked great and a few were truly gorgeous and over the top. The pumpkins were put on display and auctioned. The students really wanted to win their class pumpkin and the bidding was pretty competitive. Our school raised a lot of money from these pumpkins. I think we were able to get the pumpkins donated from a group.

  3. I love the book "Caps for Sale." Even though it's old, kids love it and laugh out loud. I have read it with kindergartners and 1st graders many times, and it is hit every time!
    Thanks for the great list!

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    1. Vocabulary Development and Instruction: A Prerequisite for School Learning
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    Cunningham AE, Stanovich KE.

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    Donald J. Hernandez, Hunter College and the Graduate Center,


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