They All Saw a Cat

This month we are learning about the different children’s book awards  This past week we talked about the Caldecott Award (award given to the illustrator of the best picture book) and read one of this year’s honor award winners They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel. After reading the book, we talked about how the cat looked different from each animals point of view .  We used prior knowledge about the animals to explain why they perceived the cat as shown by the illustrator.

Extension Activities

Featured Books – Caldecott Award

Printable – Draw a cat /Color a Cat

Computer – They All Saw a Cat Song – Emily Arrow

Additional Resources – They All Saw a Cat


Waiting – Award Winning Books

This week we read one of the new award winning books Waiting by Kevin Henkes.


This book won both the Caldecott Honor and the Geisel Honor. We talked about these awards and other books which have won these awards.  They also talked about other books by Kevin Henkes.

Additional Activities:

Memory Cards

Video – Meet Kevin Henkes

Featured Books – Caldecott Award, Geisel Award, Kevin Henkes

Library Catalog – Author and Illustrator Search

This week we read this year’s Caldecott Honor Winning Book Sam & Dave Dig a Hole  written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen.  Sam & Dave miss out on finding anything spectacular and end up …. where they started?  The students loved the  story and the ending of this award winning book.

After reading the story, we talked about how to find other books by the author and the illustrator using the library catalog.

Additional  Resources – Check out the book trailer and other resources at Sam & Dave Dig a Hole.

Selecting Books – Fiction Awards

We are continuing our series of  How to Select Books.

This past week we talked about Fiction Award winning books. The children’s fiction book awards which we talked about were the Caldecott,  Geisel  and  Newbery Awards.  We talked about what each of these are, showed examples for each award, and demonstrated how to find them in our library.  In our library, the award winning books have stickers on their spines.  We have posters showing the medal (first place) award winners. They can also be found by searching the catalog by the award name.  Currently they are on display in the library as well.

We then read an award winning book.  The first graders heard Josh Schneider’s Tales of a Picky Eaters (Geisel Award 2012) and second graders listened to Grandpa Green (Caldecott  Honor Award 2012).


Additional Resources:

Tales for Very Picky Eaters

Grandpa Green

One Cool Friend


This week I decided to read One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by David Small.  Since the book won a Caldecott Honor Award last year, it connected with our topic last week which was award winning books.  In addition, our character education word this month at our school is manners and the character in this book is a very polite young man named Elliot.  We talked about magic words (please and thank you), but that actions were even more important.  David Small won another Caldecott award for his book “So You Want to be President” which just so happens to connect with President’s Day coming up next Monday.

While reading the story, I pointed out  several times, the magic words that Elliott used .  When we were introduced to Ferdinand Magellan and Captain Cook, I talked about how they were famous explorers.  Later in the story, Elliott’s father was reading an atlas and we stopped and talked about what an atlas was and how you could use it like a maze to figure out different ways to get somewhere.  After finishing the story, I talked about biographies and showed them some biographies about explorers and presidents and where to find them in the library.  I, of course, had several on display in the library near where they are located.

Extension Activities – Read online Starfall’s nonfiction book  Penguin, Penguin and watch Brainpop’s video about Penguins (subscription required)

Children’s Book Awards


Children’s Book Awards

Last week the American Library Association (ALA) announced their children’s book awards, so I decided to share some of the award winning books during the 1st and 2nd grade library programs. I decided to read them Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli, which won the Geisel award for best beginning reader.  I also shared with them Locomotive by Brian Flocca, which won the Caldecott Medal Winner for best picture book and Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner , which was one of the books that won the Caldecott Honor Award.  I talked about what each of the awards were and how you can find them in the library.  I put stickers on the side of the books so they can see them when they are on the book shelves.  This week I pulled many of them and put them in a special display to make it easy for them to find.  I also put up a display of the Newbery Award winning books for the older grades.  The award winning books can also be found by searching the library catalog by the award name.

To see all the award winning books, go to ALA Award Books