Category Archives: Picture Books

Mock Caldecott 2014 Part 2

This is our second post about the books we are reviewing for our Mock Caldecott.  Click here to read Part 1.



Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

This book is about  a goat and a unicorn.  The goat is jealous of the unicorn because he gets more attention.  We think the illustrator did good work because he put in lots of bright colors.  It is very colorful and looks like a cartoon. (written by Ashley and Maeve)


little red writing

Little Red Writing by Joan Holub and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

This story is about a little pencil called Little Red.  She is writing a story and pretends she is in the story.  I like how Little Red is a pencil and all the characters are pencils.  The erasers are the heads of the pencil people.  I thought the illustrator did a good job with the Wolf 3000 pencil sharpener.  It looked like a wolf.  I also thought the illustrations were awesome because I like how the Granny pencil was so small and there were pencils shavings on the floor!  It was so funny. (written by Carson and Julian)

fish and snail

The Story of Fish & Snail by Deborah Freedman

This is why we think the book should win the Mock Caldecott.  The story is about 2 best friends named Fish and Snail. Our favorite page is when Snail splashes down into the next book.  We like how the author uses blue for the ocean.  We like how the author makes a book inside a book.  We also like how they jump out of one book and into another.  This book stands out because the illustrations really show the characters feelings. (written by Sarah and Ryan C.)


Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

This story is about a little girl named Flora and a flamingo.  The flamingo is dancing and the little girl is copying.  We liked the illustrations because they used the colors pink, black, gray and white.  This book is special because it has no words and it is a flap book. (written by Xiomara and Cheyenne)

Come back tomorrow because we plan on posting more about our Mock Caldecott books!

Have you read these books?

If not go to your library and check them out!


Mock Caldecott Nominations 2014 Part 1

The second graders at our school are participating in a Mock Caldecott this month.  The Caldecott Medal is awarded each year to the illustrator of a picture book.  We will try to highlight each of the 20 picture books that have been selected for our Mock Caldecott.  Here’s the first three.


Journey by Aaron Becker

This story is about a girl that has a very good imagination.  We like how Aaron Becker tells the story in pictures only.  He also uses details in the book.  We like how Aaron uses dull colors like browns, blacks and grays.  And then one important color which was red and he only uses a touch on each page.  Journey stands out because sometimes it’s simple and sometimes it’s really cool because he uses lots of details in his drawings.  The ones with the castle and the ships must have taken a long time.  (written by Sarah, Ryan C. and Peter)

on a beam of light

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

This book is a real story about Albert Einstein. We think it should win because the illustrations are good.  The illustator used pencil sketches that we like.  It also looks like they used paint.  The illustrations are a little old fashioned and we like that.  We liked the page where the illustrator showed us what atoms looked like.  We noticed that all the pages had yellow and we think its because the author wanted us to think of a beam of light.  ( written by Nava and Donnie and the class)

day the crayons quit

The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

This story is about the crayons writing notes to the boy.  We liked that the illustrator used a lot of colors.  Our favorite pictures were when the peach crayon was naked and when the blue crayon was very short.  We liked how the illustrator used all of the colors on the last page and the boy got an A plus for coloring. (written by Daniel and Ryan B.)

Have you read these books?

If not, be sure to visit your local library and check out these great books!

And come back tomorrow for our next post on our Mock Caldecott.


Pumpkin Experiment

Hi. We are Peter, Carson and Donnie. We are going to tell you about our pumpkin experiment. First, we scraped out the pulp. Then we scraped the seeds out of the pumpkin. After that we got a 100 chart. We glued the seeds on the chart. Finally, we counted them by tens and hundreds.

Read for the Record with Otis

Today we joined millions of children and adults and celebrated Read for the Record by reading the book, Otis by Loren Long.  Afterwards we watched videos of Loren discussing Otis, his books and artwork.  We used watercolors to try and paint in the same style as Loren Long.  We painted our own versions of Otis, the tractor.

Books can teach us important life lessons.  Here’s some life lessons that we think Otis taught us;

  • the importance of friendship
  • old people, animals and other things are still valuable
  • heroism – anyone can be a hero (Mrs. Rosenquist is very proud that a second grader used the word, heroism!)


Have you read any of the Otis books?

Did you participate in Read for the Record?

International Dot Day – 2013

This week we celebrated International Dot Day!  We read the book, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.  The book celebrates courage and creativity.

We made our own dots on fabric.  We used colored sharpie  markers.  Then we dropped rubbing alcohol on them.   It spread the color all over the fabric.

We Skyped with Mrs. Morgan’s class. They live in Ft. Worth, Texas. We read the book together.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
A slideshow by Smilebox

So, make your mark…and see where it takes you!

Have you read this book?

How did you celebrate Dot Day?

Peter Brown Visits Our School!


Last Wednesday our school had the honor of hosting Peter Brown, author and illustrator of many books, including the Caldecott Honor book, Creepy Carrots, written by Aaron Reynolds.  It was an exciting and memorable event for the entire school!  Here are some comments students from our class made the morning after his visit;

  • My favorite part was when he signed my book because I never got any autographs in a book before. -Genavieve
  • I like the sound effects he used on his computer when he read Creepy Carrots. – Danielle and Colin
  • I like when he shared the story, The Adventures of my dog Buffy, the story he wrote when he was a little boy. – Marina
  • I liked when he showed us how to draw a creepy carrot. – Ray
  • I liked when he told us about the time when he was on a date and a bird pooped on his head, which was an inspiration for his book, Flight of the Dodo. – Patrick and Chris M.
  • I liked when Peter showed us the picture that his grandfather drew. – Kedar
  • I liked when he showed us the picture of his mommy.  It was funny because he gave her 6 fingers! – Chris A.
  • I couldn’t believe I was meeting an author and getting my book signed!  It was very exciting! – Jason
  • He wrote on my book, “Don’t be creepy!” – Kevin
  • I asked Peter Brown, “How come you want to be an author and illustrator?”  He told me, “”His grandfather was an artist and he looked at his painting all the time.  His grandfather told him maybe some day you can be an artist.”  That was his inspiration. – Gabriella B.
  • My favorite part was when he previewed his new book Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.  He told us it would be released in September. – Riley H. and Gabby C. and William
  • I liked when Peter told us about going into the woods and finding animals and then asking his mommy if he could keep them as pets.  That was his inspiration for Children Make Terrible Pets. – Riley N. and Cambria
  • He told us he drew pictures his whole life and got better and better. – Claire L.
  • When I got my book signed by Peter Brown he wrote, “To Gabby, Read Write Draw, Love, Peter Brown” Gabriella B.

After reading The Curious Garden our second grade was inspired to create our own “urban setting” which cooperated with nature just like in Peter’s book.  Second graders also wrote about their imagined urban areas and described how citizens could ensure nature survived and also how nature benefits us citizens.

Here’s our urban skylines before we cooperate with nature.

Here’s our urban skyline after citizens have decided to cooperate and ensure nature survives.  Please notice vines and grass, and parks on top of buildings.  Trees have been planted and citizens are recycling.  We even have solar panels and windmills as alternative energy sources.

What was your favorite part of our author visit?

Which Peter Brown book do you like best?

World Read Aloud Day

Today is World Read Aloud Day and along with hundreds of thousands of people we enjoyed a day full of books and reading.  We did this to honor those individuals across the world that cannot read and cannot even attend school.  So read aloud every day.  Read with friends and family.  Read at home, in the car, on vacation, at school – you can read anywhere and with anyone!  Thank you to all the parents and grown-ups who visited our class today to share a great book.  Thank you to Ms. Donohue’s class for letting us come in and read aloud to our first grade friends.

Where do you like to read at?  Who do you like to read with?

Do you have a favorite book or read aloud memory?


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a free slideshow

It’s Snowing!

Today was so exciting because early this morning our principal announced that school would dismiss 2 hours early due to the weather!  After that it was so hard to concentrate on school work.  We read 2 books today about winter and they got us wondering about what animals do in winter.  Yesterday we watched a video on Wonderopolis called, What do bees do in winter?  And that got us wondering and thinking too!  We hope to do some research over the next weeks to find answers to our questions.


What did you learn from yesterday’s Wonderopolis lesson?

What was your favorite part of today’s read alouds?

What are you wondering about?

What will you be doing over the snowy weekend?


Mock Caldecott Medal 2013 – Norwood Style – Part 2

We are finally ready to announce the Norwood Elementary Mock Caldecott Awards for 2013.  The second graders would like to thank all the wonderful and creative authors and illustrators who have brought us these picture books.  We have enjoyed reading them all and it has been an extremely difficult job to select the winners.


One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo; illustrated by David Small

Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham; illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Adam Rex

Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman; illustrated by Dan Yaccarino



A Home for Bird by Philip Stead


Here is a list of all the books that we considered for our Mock Caldecott Awards.

  • And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Erin Stead
  • Oh, No! by Candace Fleming; illustrated by Eric Rohmann
  • Unspoken by Henry Cole
  • Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta; illustrated by Ed Young
  • One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo; illustrated by David Small
  • Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; Illustrated by Jon Klassen
  • A Leaf Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas; illustrated by Violeta Dabija
  • More by I.C. Springman; illustrated by Brian Lies
  • A Home for Bird by Philip Stead
  • Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson; illustrated by E.B. Lewis
  • hello! hello! by Matthew Cordell
  • Homer by Elisha Cooper
  • Step Gently Out by Helen Frost; photographs by Rick Leidle
  • Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip Stead; illustrated by Erin Stead

Please be sure to run, not walk to your local library to check out these books!

Mock Caldecott Medal Award – Norwood Style – Part 1

On January 28th the Caldecott Medal will be awarded to the “most distinguished picture book for children”.  The Norwood second grade classes are doing our own Mock Caldecott Award for our favorite picture book published in 2012.  Mrs. Rosenquist selected 18 books for our school to rate from a long list of her favorites from the year.  So far, we have had some great conversations about each book’s story and illustrations.  There are definitely some strong opinions!  Here’s the books we have rated so far.  You can watch a video of students in our class explain why they like each book.  Be sure to come back for Part 2 next week.  (Thank you Mr. Schu, Mr. Sharp and Mr. Jonker for their inspiration for this project.)



  • Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; Illustrated by Jon Klassen


  • More by I.C. Springman; illustrated by Brian Lies


  • A Leaf Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas; illustrated by Violeta Dabija





 Have you read any of these wonderful picture books?

Which picture books do you think might win the Caldecott Medal?