Saturday, August 10, 2013

Picture Book 10 for 10 is Here Again

Picture Book 10 for 10 is a picture book event hosted by Cathy Mere at Reflect and Refine and Mandy Robeck at Enjoy and Embrace Learning. They encourage everyone to share 10 picture books that are special to them. They may be from a certain theme or just favorites. I have participated in the past with their events and it is a ton of fun to see all of the books people highlight. 

My previous lists are here:

Here are some of the picture books that touch my heart and/or make me think. They are in no particular order.

When I was in school, I never knew about the Indian boarding schools or that children were taken from their families sometimes forcibly. I was not taught about that time in our history. I believe that if we hide or ignore the negative times in our past though, we are likely to repeat them so I appreciate the books that help open discussion with students about it. Shin-chi's Canoe is a beautifully written book that shares about the boarding school experience through a young child's eyes.

This memoir shows a modern Choctaw family and tells stories of difficulties that the family faced over a span of 50 years. The story includes the grandmother's experience at an Indian boarding school and other hardships. Tingle presents the family as survivors rather than victims - he shows their resilience and the love they share for each other. 

Each Kindness shows how we have opportunities to be kind. Every time I read it, I realize that sometimes I let those opportunities slip by. There is a lot in this book that leads to reflection and possibly tears, but mostly a desire to be kind.

In Boy + Bot, friendship is the focus. Friendship and laughter. It makes me smile as does Ame Dyckman the fabulous author.

The Snowy Day is a book from my childhood. We moved from rural Ohio to Dallas, TX in the 70s when I was five. We thought we wouldn't see snow again for a long time, but one morning my father woke me up and told me to go to the window. It was a winter wonderland. This book was one that always reminded me of that fantastic morning. Also, before moving to Dallas, I had never met a black person and a majority of my kindergarten and first grade classmates were black. I thought it was cool to have a book that in some way reflected my new world.

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match is a fun story that explores what it is like to be bi-racial. Marisol is a Peruvian-Scottish American and she revels in putting things together that other people may not expect or applaud. The illustrations are bright and full of movement matching Marisol's enthusiasm for life.  

I am partial to poetry and this story-in-verse really grabbed my heart. Never Forgotten is the story of a boy and his father in West Africa who are separated when the son is kidnapped, sold as a slave, and taken to America. This is a powerful book and one that may also require tissues.

When I first read I'm Here, I could not help but picture several students I have taught over the years. This is another wonderful story of friendship. It shows readers that there are different ways of interacting with each other and of experiencing the world.

Lane Smith is one of my favorite picture book authors. He usually makes me belly laugh, but this time he makes me think and remember. Grandpa Green is a book about aging, family history, and love. This one also got some tears out of me.

I am not sure how to create a picture book list without including Mo Willems.  We are in a Book is one of my all time favorites because it celebrates books. Elephant and Piggie make my heart smile and I want to share the joy. 

Keeping a list at 10 is almost impossible. There are so many picture books that speak to me and ask me to share them with others. I have to cheat and add a bonus book:

I love One World, One Day. The photos are beautiful and it is cool to see how children live all around the world and see that there are differences, but there are also many more similarities.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you check out some of these fantastic picture books!

*Cover images via Goodreads


  1. What a beautiful list! Books really do touch our hearts AND our brains!

  2. As I'm reading through these lists, I'm noticing books I wish I would have added to mine. I loved the discussion I had with my class after I read them Each Kindness. Now I wish I had added that to my list.

  3. Great list, Crystal! Boy + Bot is one of my new favorites, too & who doesn't love Mo Willems? Many of the other books you've included are new to me. My list grows ever longer! Thanks For sharing.

  4. Crystal,
    I enjoyed your list full of so many great tittles. I REALLY enjoyed your stories about why you had chosen particular titles. I must admit I was a little partial to the snow story. Since I live in Ohio, snow is just part of our winter. I can't really imagine a winter season without cold and snow. (OK, I'd like to have one without cold.)

    One World, One Day has been on several lists and I can't wait to check it out. I'm also looking forward to reading Shin-Chi's Canoe and Saltypie. These are all new to me.

    Loved your focus --- books that speak to your heart. That's what I love about picture books; they have a way of doing just that.

    Thanks for sharing your favorites again this year.

    1. I hope you enjoy reading some of these titles and I am so glad that you all have this event each year. I am hoping we have a non-fiction round again early next year. I loved that one too. Thanks!

  5. Crystal, what a fun theme for your list-books that touch your heart. I love Each Kindness and Grandpa Green. And now I'm off to request I'm Here, Shin-Chi's Canoe and Saltypie from the library. When I was in high school, I worked at Jones Academy (an Indian boarding school in Hartshorne, OK) in the YCC (Youth Conservation Corps) summer program.

    1. I'm glad you found some titles to explore. :)

      The Indian boarding schools had such a mix of positives and negatives. There were staff members that were great and staff that were not, but the hardest part about it was the lost time with families and their culture regardless of what happened at the schools. People seem to have very mixed emotions about those times.