Children’s Books to Fuel the Imagination

Happy New Year! I want to share with you a list of picture books & elementary chapter books to fuel the imagination. My post today on is a post about imagination. It’s something that can be all too easy for us to stifle in the classroom. So, hop on over to the post to read more and keep on scrolling to see a list of some books to inspire the imagination of young readers.

Click on the book cover to go to the link on Amazon. Don’t forget to read the post on Classroom Tested Resources to hear more about bringing imagination into your lessons!

1. Journey by Aaron Becker
2. It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee
3. Tuesday by David Weisner


4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
5. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
6. Stella, Fairy of the Forest by Marie-Louise Gay


7. The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble
8. The Night I Followed the Dog by Nina Laden
9. The Secret Shortcut by Mark Teague


Click on the book cover to go to the link on Amazon. Don’t forget to read the post on Classroom Tested Resources to hear more about bringing imagination into your lessons!

1. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
2. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
3. No Flying in the House by Betty Brock

4. Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary
5. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
6. The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling


7. Wings of Fire by Tui Sutherland
8. Secret Agent Jack Stalwart by Elizabeth Singer Hunt
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Affiliate links: These book titles link to Amazon and I could potentially (hasn’t happened yet!) get a small return from Amazon for sending a customer their way! 🙂

Have a fantastic week!

The Daily Deal – Kindle Books!

I’m loving these deals today!  There are some good prices (some even free!) on children’s kindle books today.  Remember, these can be viewed on a kindle or a kindle app (PC, iPad, etc.).  ** Prices change quickly!  Click on the link to see if this price is still available.

It’s a linky party! Favorite Picture Books of 2012

It’s a linky party!  Share your favorite picture books that were published in 2012.  This is a great way to find new books.  I just discovered a fabulous new book that I can’t wait to share with my students next week!

Here’s the process: 1) Post a book review (as short or as long as you like!) on your blog  2) Add a link (see below the picture) to the linky party 3) Enter the linky party here by clicking on the add link at the bottom of this page 4) For name – please add the title of the book; for picture – choose the picture of the book; This will make it more appealing to viewers.  They will then click on the picture to go to your blog and read your review.

If you’re new to linky parties and need a bit more help, please review my google doc that has a longer description and pictures to help you with each step.

Next week’s theme: Favorite picture books about sports ~ Have you heard about a big game in a couple of weeks! 🙂  These could be books about a sport, sportsmanship, etc.  

Here’s the html code to put on your blog post for the link to the linky party:

Favorite Picture Books of 2012

Tomorrow starts my first linky party – Favorite Picture Books of 2012.  We’re linking up books that were published in 2012.  I’ve listed a few now to get ready to link them.  I’m looking forward to discovering other new books!  ~Melissa

Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon

I loved reading this one!  It’s writing time and Ralph doesn’t have a story.  He never does!  It seems that everyone else can think of great stories except for him.  He uses excuses to escape from the room (I’ve got to go to the bathroom, teacher!) and aimlessly wanders around the room “thinking”.  Finally a single thought pops into his head.  Just then, the teacher wants to know if he has a story and he blurts out his one thought.  The teacher is delighted and wants him to share his story.  But, it’s not a whole story…or is it?  This book is humorous and provides some examples of student writing (could help with generating story ideas).  Of course, since Ralph finally becomes a writer (yeah, Ralph!) he also shares his helpful and not-so-helpful writing tips!  I was going to share this for a writing themed linky, but it was too cute to not share it right away.

 My Heart Will Not Sit Down by Mara Rockliff

My heart will not sit down is a beautiful Bulu (Cameroon) expression that is used several times in this book.  Kedi’s teacher is from America.  He tells the class that in his country there is a Great Depression and many people do not have jobs or enough food to eat.  Kedi is troubled and her heart will not sit down.  But what can one child do to help this “village” that is across the great salt river.  This touching tale was inspired by a true event from 1931.  Read the back of the book first to get some history and pronunciation help.  This book brought tears to my eyes.  The generosity of people who may not have much themselves is always a beautiful thing.  This would be a great book to teach about character traits such as empathy and generosity.

But I’ve Used All of My Pocket Change (Charlie and Lola series)

I have to say that about 3/4 of the way through this book, I was really disliking Lola.  You’ll see what I mean when you read the book! LOL!  In a surprising turn-of-heart, she not only changes her  live-in-the-present ways but she also finds a way to help someone.  This book was cute and it had a few lessons about saving and planning.  And Charlie is such a sweet big brother!  Who knows, it might even inspire a little bit of sibling kindness!

100 Followers and Monday Linky Parties

Yesterday, my little bog reached 100 followers! Thanks so much for taking the time to follow.  I have lots of plans for future giveaways, linky parties, flash freebies, etc.  I’ll also continue to share with you any treasures I find – new technology, apps, sales (online & brick and mortar stores) and teaching ideas.  I told you about my monthly giveaway coming up that is exclusive to followers.  In order to make that work, I assigned each of you a # that is your forever number.  It probably is not the actual number of when you followed because Google doesn’t number the followers for us and they actually re-sort them into those with pictures (first ones listed) and those who don’t have a profile picture.  There are 2 numbers that I know for sure: my first follower and my 100th follower: Heather’s Heart was 1st and Tama Trotti was the 100th!  Heather & Tama, please go to my TPT store and pick out an item that you would like and I’ll email it to you!  Thanks!

I’m so excited about a weekly linky party that I’ll be starting on Monday.  It is all about books!  There will be a different theme each week.  I already have the themes planned for the next few months.  The first one will be “favorite picture books of 2012”.  It will feature books published in 2012.  This one is actually going to be a challenge for me.  I tend to have books that were purchased at thrift stores or that I purchased at Scholastic.  So, they’re usually not the latest ones.  I searched my local library by just putting in a single letter (“a”) and sorting by date published and then choosing only books in the “primary” target audience.  So, my husband and kids are at the library right now and I asked them to pick up a big pile of books.  Hopefully there are at least a few in the stack that are “review worthy”!

The linky will include you linking back to your blog where you’ve featured a book that fits into the category.  It can be one book or multiple books.  The review that you post on your blog could be as simple as telling why you like the book or a full book review.  I’m planning on leaving it open indefinitely (I think 1 year is the max), but only promoting it during the first week (pinterest, google plus, etc.).  So, to get the most “traffic” to your blog posting, it will be best to join the party while it is current!  There will be simple, clear directions on Monday.  I just wanted to give you a chance to start looking for books to review.

If you don’t already have a book in mind, here are a few from 2012 that looked interesting:
*The Pirate Princess by Sudipta Bardhan Quallen
*Princess-in-Training by Tammi Sauer
*The Really, Really, Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne
*Snowzilla by Janet Lawler
*Sophie’s Fish by A.E. Cannon
*Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford
*Olivia and the Fairy Princess by Ian Falconer
*I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black
*In the Land of Milk and Honey by Joyce Carol Thomas
*King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson by Kenneth Kraegel
*Oh no! Not Again! by Mac Barnett
*Oliver by Judith Rossell
*Don’t Wake the Bear! by Steve Smallman
*Cindy Moo by Lori Mortensen
*Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
*Giant Peach Yodel! by Jan Peck
*Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack
*Will Princess Isabel Ever Say Please? by Steve Metzger
*Zero the Hero by Joan Holub
*Millie Fierce by Jane Manning
*The Great Fairy Tale Disaster by David Conway
*Horseplay by Karma Wilson
*The House at the End of Ladybug Lane by Elise Primavera
*I Know a Librarian Who Chewed on a Word by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton
*Maudie and Bear by Jan Ormerod

Enjoying the long weekend…~Melissa

Books for Boys

We just finished conferences (yeah!!!) and I was talking to one of the parents about good books for boys.  Specifically, books for accelerated first grade readers.  I told him a few of my favorites (Spy Guy, A-Z Mysteries, Nate the Great, Capital Mysteries, Bad Kitty, Stink, Magic Treehouse) and am compiling a list.  So, this linky party from Swimming into Second caught my eye:


My own boys have always been a good resource for me to find books that were interesting.  Now that they’re getting older, I’m going to have to do more looking on my own!   As I was browsing, I saw that there are a lot of book series out for boys that I want to preview (Frankie Pickle, Dragonbreath, Ninjago).

I’m going to submit Capital Mysteries by Ron Roy as a good series for boys.  I like that they have some
history and geography built in and they have plenty of action.

Capital Mysteries #1: Who Cloned the President? (A Stepping Stone Book(TM))
Amazon link

I also found this great blog post at Funky First Grade Fun.  She talks about the book Best Books for Boys by Pam Allyn and gave some pointers on adding materials to your classroom library that will appeal to boys.  I found lots of great ideas like using baseball cards!  I’m also thinking I need to bring in my boy’s subscription to the lego magazine.  It’s free and I know that they also have a classroom version, but I found that one not as interesting.  I’ll have to see if I can sign our class up for the regular version.  Anyway, click on the above link to read more of Kimberly’s suggestions!

On the subject of books, I wanted to share a fun technology tool with you!  Your Next Read is a website that generates book recommendations.  You just type in a book title and it will give you several book suggestions in a graphic organizer format!  I love the visual aspect of the site!  When you click on a book cover, it becomes the focus book and other similar titles are shown.  The focus book is also linked to amazon reviews for that title which are shown on the side.  It makes it super easy to see a few reviews and decide if it’s one you need to read.  It seems to do a better job at matching content than reading level.  A magic tree house book about pandas quickly linked me to some books for older readers that had a a similar panda theme.  Regardless, it’s a fun way to browse for books!


Happy reading!

Would you vote for my blog to get a makeover?

I just found a giveaway for a blog make-over.  I’ve just started and had to use some “freebies” to get this blog going.  I know there are some “quirks” in the layout because I’m still learning! 🙂  I would love to have someone who knows what they’re doing to help me get a better looking blog and one that is unique (lots of blogs are using this layout).  I’d really appreciate a vote!  All you have to do is a leave a comment that you are voting for me.  This contest is offered by Honey Bunch Blog Design.  Thanks so much!

Grandparent’s Day comes up so quickly in the school year.  I’m always looking for new books for special days like these.  I did a search on the internet and didn’t find much.  There are small lists with a few lists or huge lists with books that don’t apply at all and it gives you no info. about the book.  So, I created a list of my own!  It includes 75 books that are mostly in the K-3 range.  There are many that could be read to younger kids and even older kids would enjoy many of these books.  It includes the cover picture, title, author, illustrator and keywords.  The keywords are very useful.  You can search these terms to find books about grandparents that live far away, grandparent’s who’ve died, humorous books, multicultural and more!  You can check it out here at my Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s store.  Thanks for looking!  Enjoy your weekend!