I LOVE picture books! Words and pictures working together to educate and entertain—what’s not to love?
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, sometimes that’s exactly what happens. We are drawn to a book based upon how it looks and potentially how it can make us feel. We smile, we laugh, we cry, we learn to view things from a different perspective, we make connections to our lives and the world around us, and we are ultimately better for it. We are free to become one with a story and travel as far as our imaginations will allow. For a moment, time stands still.
We are also drawn to books by the recommendations of others. Interest in a given book can spread like wildfire within a classroom when one student expresses a positive opinion about a specific book or series. Words have power when teachers read books to their students and share with them about their own favorite books or authors. This goes the same for grandparents, parents, siblings or any important person in our life. Children love to learn more about others’ interests and preferences which in turn can make lasting imprints on their young minds.
The students at Darlington School LOVE their teachers and that affection is undoubtedly reciprocated. Caring for and inspiring young hearts and minds is a passion, and our teachers certainly enjoy sharing their experiences, thoughts and ideas.
Below you will find a list of our ELA-5 teachers’ favorite picture books and the “why” behind their selection. If you are looking for a great book to share with your child, please give the books below a try! There is just something special about having an opportunity to discuss and enjoy a shared reading experience together with someone we care about and admire.
Mrs. Deaton (Kindergarten)
"'The Mitten,' but really any book by Jan Brett. I love how she tells a story and how she weaves little clues and details into her illustrations. She is so talented!"
Mrs. Alexander (1st grade)
"I LOVE 'The Great Dog Bottom Swap' by Peter Bently because it is HILARIOUS, it rhymes, and it is an original story that shows children they can be creative and imaginative. I think it really brings a picture to your head of those dogs."
Mrs. Guth (1st grade)
"'Mouse Paint' by Ellen Stoll Walsh. The book has fond memories for me because I used it in my art classes for the younger students to introduce mixing colors. Young children love to paint and the cover draws them into wondering why mice are painting on the cover of this book."
Mrs. Horah (1st grade)
"My favorite picture book is 'I Like Myself' by Karen Beaumont, starring a very spunky and unique little girl. I love the fact that she is quirky, clumsy, and has a wild imagination. She teaches us that being different is lovely and fun! I like how she embraces her unique qualities and makes them special."
Mrs. Waters (2nd grade)
"'Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus' by Mo Willems. I love it because it has so much personality, is uber-funny (like most of Willems' books) and is my favorite book to read aloud. I have owned and worn out many copies!"
Mrs. Hutchins (ELA-2)
"'The Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstein is a wonderful book about friendship and sacrificial love."
Mrs. Mann (ELA-2)
"Anything by Eric Carle because he is just so artistic. Even as a kid I was always captivated by his books."
Mrs. Perkins (ELA-2)
'My favorite book is 'Lucky Day' by Keiko Kasza because I love how the clever pig outsmarts the fox. The facial expressions in the illustrations are entertaining and the story reminds us that things are not always as they appear."
Mr. McConnell (3rd grade)
"'Library Lion' by Michelle Knudsen because it is such a great story about communication, enjoying books and how rules sometimes need to be adjusted to benefit people for the good, or 'Catching the Moon' by Crystal Hubbard because it is a book about baseball and I want more little girls to play the game. Great story!"
Mrs. Cline (5th grade)
"'The Lady with the Alligator Purse' by Nadine Bernard Westcott. My favorite book relates back to sweet memories of reading to my girls. This whimsical story was so loved by both my girls at a very early age. When they were given the opportunity to select their bedtime book, this was always in the top 10. It was also the first book they both wanted to read aloud to me."
Mrs. Fine (5th grade)
"I love 'The Lady with the Alligator Purse.' This is one of the first books my daughter, Adelyn, really enjoyed and memorized. It's a great book with a catchy rhyme and a fun, silly story. I love reading this book aloud with her before bed each night.
Mrs. Hicks (Grades 3-5)
"'Love You Forever' by Robert Munsch is one of my favorite picture books. I have read the book to my sons Sawyer and Gibson so many times! It's a beautiful story that tells of a relationship between a mother and her son."