Pandamonium, Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge, Why Do You Cry, Roawr, Diogenes: Picture Book Party Recap

March 18 Reads

Panda-monium!Panda-monium! by Cynthia Platt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The four pandas on the cover are quite cuddly. Three are sneaking after the first with what looks like a lot of laughter. Little Beckett was in serious need of some crunchy, munchy bamboo so he set off up the hill. Little Beckett sings of bamboo as he travels, summoning a crowd of other hungry little pandas that he doesn’t notice. The story comes full circle with the words of the last page echoing those of the first.

Many different adjectives are used for bamboo. Kids could come up with more or they could collect adjectives to describe the foods they eat. I’d never seen the word shimmy used to describe a tree before. Counting or graphing all the pandas could be an early math extension.

Some of the words are emphasized with different fun fonts, weights, styles and shapes. I wish there had been more of this. The pictures in this simple story are very sweet.

The Magic School Bus And The Climate ChallengeThe Magic School Bus And The Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved reading Ms. Frizzle’s adventures when I was in elementary school. As usual, this entry in the series has children’s reports filling the margins. They add additional facts and information for kids.

I love Arnold’s expression when Ms. Frizzle says they’re going to go get really up to date information. Something tells me it will be more than the Internet. The book does a good job of briefly describing the consequences of global arming. Information is included on why a natural greenhouse effect is important. Many different sources for greenhouse gases are shown in the book. Some will make kids laugh; others will make them think. The book then moves into alternative power sources and energy plants. Information on ways kids can help save energy is included as well as some ways to be active citizens.

I’d love a set of microscope goggles like the Friz has for the kids. I would want an on and off switch though. Favorite quote: “Mrs. Frizzle, do you notice that the bus is a giant pool toy?” A lifeguard had a solar briefcase for a portable power source, which is an interesting concept.

The then and now pictures, all the picture labels, etc. would be great tools to teach comparison and information literacy.

Why Do You Cry?: Not a Sob StoryWhy Do You Cry?: Not a Sob Story by Kate Klise
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At 5, Little Rabbit thinks he’s so grown up that he can’t have anyone who cries at his birthday party. Little Rabbit has a huge problem with invitations. When he tells his friends the no crying rule, they all say they cannot come because they all admit to crying. Little Rabbit asks all of them why they cry and gets a mix of answers – from being left out, to fears, to the dark.

This could be a great book for elementary guidance lessons as kids target those who cry or get defensive about their crying. The book also shows that there are multiple emotions that result in crying.

Roawr!Roawr! by Barbara Joosse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Starting a story with ‘a dark and stormy night’ has been discussed many times in many mediums. Roawr uses a dark and snarly night. Young Liam tries to think of a way to protect himself though he’s small – with a fort, string and double-cake. Mama won’t let him use those things inside.

When Liam heads to bed, he starts to dream of a night in the woods. I love seeing the woods take over this boy’s house. Convinced a hungry bear is after his mom, Liam creates an ingenious bear trap. With the bear trapped, Liam has a new problem–feeding it enough to placate it.

A pair for this book might be Where the Wild Things Are. Students could design a bear trap using supplies found in their room or library.

DiogenesDiogenes by M.D. Usher
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

pageintraining Sarah W.
I am a little concerned how to handle the picture in the afterword in an elementary setting #picturebookparty #diogenes

The dog standing on a Greek column is a lot of the reason why I selected this book. I love things that tie in history. Unlike the other dogs around him, Diogenes wanted to be his own master. The observant dog notices a mouse that doesn’t seem to worry about anything. He wishes he was such a creature.

Diogenes ran off ot the city with only his dish and his walking stick. On the way he passes a sign that points the way to all sorts of different places. Somehow I don’t think he found a sign that actually said Hades like this one (or that was in English).

Trying to live simply, Diogenes adopted all sorts of tricks to get him used to the experience. He starts to create quite a stir where he lives with his behavior. When he encounters Alexander the Great, all Diogenes asks for is for the man to get out of his sunlight. Not even a trip to the pound can get this furry guy down.

At the back of the book, there is a description of who Diogenes really was. He was the founder of the Cynic school of philosophy. Cynic means dog-like in ancient Greek.

I am a little concerned how to handle the picture in the afterword in an elementary setting.

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