If your students struggle to be kind to one another… have you tried reading them a picture book?
If you have a student having a hard time sharing… have you tried reading them a book?
A child in your classroom has a lot of anxiety around taking tests… but have you tried reading them a book?
Books are magical. Books are incredible. Books can teach our students more than we will ever fully comprehend. Authors and illustrators have a talent for speaking directly to children in a way they understand.
If you’re working on being a friend in the classroom, have you tried reading The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig?
If you want to teach your class about leadership, have you read Sophia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty?
If you have particularly worrisome kids, have you tried reading Ruby Finds a Worry? By Tom Percival?
When your students are struggling or need some extra love or help, can I offer some advice?
The only thing I love more than a good list is the Winter season. I know the cold weather isn’t everyone’s favorite, but the magic of the holidays and the peaceful falling snow makes me so happy! If winter isn’t for you, here are a few fun winter-themed books to make the snow and cold a tiny bit more enjoyable.
These books are sure to have you smiling and feeling excited about the snow right along with your students. When you’re having a hard time getting to school in the cold and ice, just pull out a fun wintery book and get reading, it’ll be sure to brighten your spirits and appreciate snow for the fun magic it can create.
As I was updating Goodreads with an old picture book list I’d made, I came across notes I had written about a couple fabulous author/illustrator videos that I wanted to remember to share with my students. And re-watching those just kind of…snowballed into this post.
I always love a good compilation; especially one that gives kids a glimpse into the processes & lives of their favorite authors & illustrators as people. I hope you enjoy these as much as my very small students and I did!
#1: Oliver Jeffers Picture Book Maker: As playful as all his books. We particularly enjoyed the sandwich hunt.
#2: Little Carmen Deedy Didn’t Like to Read: Loved her story on how she first found the right book. “And I’ve said for a long time that if the right book and the right child find each other, bam…fireworks!”
#3: Author & Illustrator Peter Brown on his Process: Great insight into the decision-making process. Especially his note, “Should I use the word ‘naked?'”
#4: What is Music? from ChristianRobinson: Ok, so this one isn’t directly about Christian Robinson, but it still provides insight on him as an illustrator. And it absolutely delighted both my kids and me (for more direct information about him, see this Meet the Illustrator article).
#5: La La La by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Jaime Kim. Great perspective to hear about book collaboration.
#6: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Jon Klassen & Mac Barnett: So I guess this isn’t directly about Jon & Mac’s lives either, but having met them at a library Author Link, I’d say there’s probably more accuracy than one might guess…
#7: An Interview with Beverly Clearly: So cool to hear about how she got started writing realistic fiction!
#8: bethany bARTon monster painting. No words. Just some great tunes & Bethany enjoying her art.
#9: The Truth About the Writing Process by Julie Falatko. As hilarious as her books and her tweets.
#10: Meet Tomie dePaola. I loved hearing about how folktales shaped him as an author.
#11: Snappsy Did Not Ask to Be in This Video About How to Draw Him from Tim Miller. Just a funny and highly-precise how-to (ie “medium-sized hot dog for the snout”)
#12: 2017 from Carter Higgins. So cool to watch her double-debut year unfold as she used the app, One Second Everyday.
#13: Tour Philip & Erin Stead’s Michigan Studio. Fun to see this pair in their home element.
#14: The Teacher Who Changed Everything with Patricia Polacco. If you’ve read “Thank You Mr. Falkner,” you know this story, but it’s incredible to watch Patricia share it herself!
#15: Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Thought Bubble: Kindness. It absolutely blew my mind to hear Amy’s conclusions on a life worth remembering years before hers was tragically claimed by cancer. Her legacy of kindness truly lives on in her books and videos.
#16: Matt de la Pena Author Video. I enjoyed hearing Matt’s “unlikely” story on how he became an author, and how that background helps him work to appeal to reluctant readers.
#17: Peter Reynolds discusses his books: Did you know he works with his twin brother, and has since they were tiny?
#18: Brendan Wenzel: Great to hear how “The Stinky Cheese Man” influenced him as an author/illustrator!
If there are any authors or illustrators on this list with whom you are not yet familiar, I encourage you to check out their stuff right away!