Footprints in the Snow

Footprints in the Snow

By Mei Matsuoka

9780805087925

Matsuoka, M. 2007. Footprints in the snow. NY: Henry Holt and Company.

 

Summary

Wolf was curled up in his house on this cold winter night looking through his shelves for a nice book on wolves. All the wolves in his books were nasty, scary, greedy and mean, so Wolf decided he would write a book about a nice wolf. He wrote about a wolf one winter morning who left his house for a nice walk. When he spotted footprints, he decided to follow them to find out who left them. None of the woodland creatures he encountered, however, would tell him who left the footprints; they all thought he wanted to eat the source of the prints. Finally the wolf found the source, a duck who was swimming in the pond. Despite his best intentions, wolf began to imagine how tasty that duck might be. Suddenly, Wolf awoke, and he was no longer writing a book; he was taking a bath! Thankfully his story didn’t end like all of those other stories with mean wolves. But when there was a knocking at the door, he was surprised to find a set of prints, leading into the woods, and he wondered whose they were.

Quantitative Summary:

ATOS Book Level:             2.8

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

Beautifully illustrated, this picture book illustrates how sometimes you can’t escape your own nature. Wolf certainly can’t – even when he tries to write a book about a nice wolf, he comes to find that nice wolf still wants to eat ducks. The chronology in this book can be a little complex, as the wolf goes from writing a story, to suddenly being in the bathtub, to being presented with the same scenario that began the book ending it as well. The language is simple and the font is big, often curving with  the action on the page. The narrative follows just the wolf, although it is a little bit unclear whether the wolf in the actual book and the wolf in his story are one in the same.

Curriculum Ties

Learning about animal nature, how the wolf is not necessarily “bad” for following his nature. Can also be used in conjunction with other books that feature wolves to talk about tropes of good and evil, how wolves are often featured as evil/conniving characters.

 

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in

both formal and informal situations

 

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Bow Wow Meow Meow: It’s Rhyming Cats and Dogs

bow wow meow meow

Bibliographic info

Florian, D. 2003.  Bow wow meow meow: It’s rhyming cats and dogs. NY: Harcourt Books.

Plot Description

These colorful poems introduce young readers to a wide variety of dog and cat breeds through rhyming poetry.

Quantitative Reading Level

Grade Level: 2.9

ATOS Book Level: 2.4

Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Reading Analysis

Content Area

  • English/Language Arts

Content Area Standard

RL4 CCR Anchor Standard
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone

RL5 CCR Anchor Standard
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

RL10 CCR Anchor Standard
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Curriculum Suggestions

Learning about poetic structure as well as animals through these poems. Learning onomatopoeia concepts through the poems in this book. Using these poems as a starting point for students to write their own poems about animals in their lives.

Links to Digital Content


Awards

  • Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award


Hanukkah at Valley Forge

Hanukkah at Valley Forge

Stephen Krensky, illustrated by Greg Harlin

9780525477381

Krensky, S. 2006. Hanukkah at Valley Forge. NY: Penguin.

Summary

On a cold winter night General Washington surveyed his troops, worrying about the state of his men in the war. As he wandered about the camp, he found a young soldier huddled over a flame in a hut, whispering words he didn’t understand. The soldier was startled by him, but explained what he was doing. In his homeland of Poland he would have to hide what he was doing, but he was celebrating the first day of Hanukkah.

The soldier told General Washington the story of Hanukkah, the battles that the Israelites won, and how they survived eight days on only enough oil for one day of light. Washington was touched by this story and the miracles that came to a people who needed it. The story of Hanukkah brightened Washington’s spirit that evening.

Quantitative Summary:

ATOS Book Level:             4.0

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

This picture book focuses on a story that is based on true historical events: George Washington did mention to a Jewish merchant who he had lunch with that he had learned the story of Hanukkah from a soldier at Valley Forge. This story imagines the dialogue of George Washington based on some of his writings, and it fictionalizes the scenario of his learning the story of Hanukkah to fit in with the narrative of the war and how it may have affected him.

The narrative structure of the book is of Middle low complexity; it features a significant flashback, telling the story of the Maccabees and interspersing Washington and the soldier’s dialogue. The book distinguishes between these narratives by background colors of the pages, blue for the current time, and orange for the time of the Maccabees. The pages have a few paragraphs of text each, and may be best as a adult-guided reading book.

Curriculum Ties

This is a great way to tie holidays into history curriculum. It’s also a good look at the history of Judaism in the scheme of world religions.

Standards

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

 

 

Author website: http://www.stephenkrensky.com/

ABC Animals

ABC Animals

American Museum of Natural History

9781454903864

American Museum of Natural History. 2013. ABC animals. CA: Sterling Publishing

Summary

This book will help you learn the alphabet with fun facts about an animal for every letter. From the long, sticky tongued Armadillo to the plant-eating Zebras, this book is an informative and brightly colored reference on many of your favorite animals.

Quantitative Summary:

Readability Formula        Grade

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level          5

Gunning-Fog Score         5.8

Coleman-Liau Index        12.3

SMOG Index      6

Automated Readability Index     5.6

Average Grade Level      6.9

Qualitative Summary:

This is a board book picture book that features 26 animals, one for each letter of the alphabet. The readability score ranks the animal facts at being on a 6th grade level, therefore it may be an adult-guided book for younger students. Each page features three different animals, with brightly colored backgrounds and colorful photographs of the animals. While there are many generally known animals such as the lion and the giraffe, there are also more obscure animals featured such as the Hoopoe bird and the Okapi, a close relative to the giraffe.

Curriculum Ties

This is a preschool to early-elementary level science book in that it can help acquaint children with animals. Children can use this book to connect pictures to names, letters to sounds and animals, as well as simple facts about each animal.

Standards

MD CCSS

Kindergarten

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

INDICATOR
1. Develop and apply comprehension skills by reading and analyzing a variety of self-selected and assigned literary texts including print and non-print

INDICATOR
2. Analyze text features to facilitate understanding of literary texts

INDICATOR
3. Analyze elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding and interpretation

Science

TOPIC
D.
INDICATOR
1. Recognize that living things are found almost everywhere in the world and that there are somewhat different kinds of living things in different places.

OBJECTIVES
Observe, describe, and give examples and describe the many kinds of living things found in different places in Maryland.

Using pictures, films and illustrated texts identify, describe and compare living things found in other states such as Texas and Alaska to those found in Maryland.

Explain that the external features of plants and animals affect how well they thrive in different kinds of places.

Author website: http://www.amnh.comm

Ten, Nine, Eight

Ten, Nine, Eight

Molly Bang

9780688009069

Bang, M. 1983. Ten, nine, eight. NY: Greenwillow Books.

Summary

This is a beautifully illustrated lullaby that counts down from ten washed toes, all the way down to one girl who is ready to be put to bed by her family.

Quantitative Summary:

Readability Formula        Grade

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level          0.8

Gunning-Fog Score         3.2

Coleman-Liau Index        5.5

SMOG Index      1.8

Automated Readability Index     -0.4

Average Grade Level      2.2

(http://www.readability-score.com/)

Qualitative Summary:

This is a very simple read that promotes basic counting skills, which are the foundation of young math skills. Each page deals with a descending number as a young girl is prepared for bed. The numbers discussed can be found in the illustrations, allowing for children to count aloud and make connections. One sentence per page makes it a simple read, and it is written as though it would be a read-aloud book. It has a simple chronology and its language is low complexity.

Curriculum Ties

This book would be a great count-along book, and a great pre-cursor book to nap-time. It also features a family, and could be used in units on family and family “rituals.”

Standards

MD CCSS

TOPIC
E.
Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

INDICATOR

1. Demonstrate an understanding of concepts of print to determine how print is organized and read

OBJECTIVES
Understand that speech can be written and read

Read a minimum of 15 books, both literary and informational

Identify title, cover page, front and back of book, table of contents, page numbers, and describe what information is presented on the title and cover pages

Track print from left to right and top to bottom

Make return sweep to next line of text

Match oral words to printed words

Differentiate numerals, letters and words

Recognize that printed words are separated by spaces

Recognize that letters build words and words build sentences

 

Standard 1.0 Knowledge of Algebra, Patterns, and Functions
TOPIC
A.
INDICATOR
1. Identify and copy numeric patterns

Author website: http://www.mollybang.com/Pages/biodetail.html

Awards:

  • Caldecott Honor Book

Tea Party Rules

Tea Party Rules
By Ame Dyckman, ill. K.G. Campbell
9780670785018
Dyckman, A. 2013. Tea party rules. NY: Penguin.

Summary:
Cub was playing in the woods when he smelled something delicious, and he came upon a tea party. When he asked the bear seated at the tea party for a cookie, it just stared straight ahead. And when he discovered the bear couldn’t eat cookies, he decided to eat the cookies for him. Just as he was about to eat the cookies, the little girl hosting the tea party returned, so Cub pretended to be that bear. But he soon found out that there were many rules to the tea party, rules he didn’t understand, but he would put up with them for cookies. There was one rule he couldn’t put up with though and that was to eat daintily. This surprised the girl. But it also inspired her to try out a new game, one that he knew the rules to: bear!

Quantitative Summary:
Readability Formula Grade
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 3.4
Gunning-Fog Score 4.6
Coleman-Liau Index 11.5
SMOG Index 3.8
Automated Readability Index 3.6
Average Grade Level 5.4
(http://www.readability-score.com/)

Qualitative Summary:
This book covers the concepts of playing by the rules in order to receive rewards, and encourages sharing. It also enforces the concepts of formal vs. informal play (fancy vs. bear). There are two characters, the bear and the girl, and the narrative is straight-forward and follows a linear chronology. Readability website (with the lack of lexile/AR scores) gives it an average 5th grade rating, which could be read to younger/Pre-K classes aloud.

Curriculum Tie Ins:

Great for discussions about rules, and about different types of play (formal vs. informal.)

Standards:

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Author’s website:
http://www.amedyckman.com/Ame_Dyckman/home.html

Ah ha!

Ah Ha!
Jeff Mack
9781452112657
Mack, J. 2013. Ah ha! San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.
Summary:
Those four letters can mean so many things. This book is about a frog who is escaping dangers, first being a little boy who wants to catch him. He thinks he’s safe on a rock, but it turns out to be a hungry turtle. What he thinks to be a log is in fact a hungry alligator. And when he escapes that, climbing what he thinks to be reeds, he’s actually found a hungry flamingo. Just when he thinks he’s escaped being eaten, he finds himself right back where he started: in the little boy’s jar. Ah ha! says the little boy, and Ha Ha! the frog says to the hungry animals, as they watch him being carted off. As the boy carries him along, the frog gets the last laugh, Ah ha! he says as the lid to the jar slips off, allowing him his freedom.
Quantitative Summary:
The only words used are Ah ha, ha ha, and aaah. There are not scores for this book, but I think it is easily a Pre-K-3 picture book.
Qualitative Summary:
A lot happens in this book with just the manipulation of those four letters: Ah ha! Ha ha! Aahh! The illustrations are what give those words context, where Aahh can be both an expression of fear and of contentment. The complexity of this book is very low: the story follows one character in a chronological order, and the language is limited to one or two straight forward words. The complexity comes in interpreting the illustrations and how they add to the context of the words.

Curriculum Tie Ins:
Could be good for basic spelling and phonetics, how letters put in different positions make different sounds, and how those words mean different things in different contexts. Also to a lesser extent teaches about animals, and that humans should leave them alone (the frog is unhappy in the jar, and contented when he is left alone in the pond).
Standards

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Author’s website: http://www.jeffmack.com/