Thursday, September 6, 2012

TUAR Picture Book Challenge: September 2012

“'What is the use of a book', thought Alice, 'without pictures or conversations?'” -- Lewis Carroll

My youngest, Paddy, has been a reader for a long time.   Though now the Kindle and chapter books have mostly replaced picture books in his quiet hours, when he was younger he was often to be found pulling stacks of picture books down from their shelves and poring over them.

And of course, most of the picture books were ones I had read to him many, many times before he could read on his own.   So  I don't have dozens of picture books around the house that Paddy and I haven't read.

“Child! Do not throw this book about; refrain from the unholy pleasure of cutting all the pictures out.” -- Hilaire Belloc

Aidan is a different matter.  He is 13 and thinks of himself as one of the big kids, though he still likes Pixar movies and some of the board books he loved to pieces as a preschooler.  He moved from the rhythmic books of early childhood straight to the realistic non-fiction books about ambulances, fire trucks and construction engines.   He loves creative language and loves researching on his own unique areas of interest, but he has never been much interested in Story per se.  I suppose he may be a little like an autistic child in that regard.

So I am in with the picture book challenge, for these reasons.    I believe that good picture books are excellent reading for any age.   They are great kick-offs for unit studies; at their best, they combine fine art and fine writing; and their compactness means that they pack a lot of punch for the time it takes to read them.

There are all kinds of ways to teach using picture books.  

Just look! 

My challenge is to bring in my independent-reader 9 year old and my active practical 13 year old. 

Now for what to pick for the September Challenge:

Since we are studying the Middle Ages this year, when looking for favorite picture books in our shelves I was not surprised to find myself picking out folk tales and medieval legends.

Here are my September choices: inn picture form.

I will let you know more about them when we've gone through them all. 

Here are the spines just to make it easier.  It is hard to photograph picture books! 

Note: I just picked books we have around the house that we have either read and loved, or want to read, but I thought I would add  a few  lists from other sources to help out if you are looking for Medieval-themed Picture Books:

 If you have a favorite picture book connected with the MEdieval period of history, please share in the comments!



  1. Some of our favorite books!!!

    Malachy is lovin' this already!

    This IS a good idea!

    (think I will go pick out the next ten I will be ready for next month :) )

    1. I love the books on your list, too.... I am trying to decide what to do for October -- pumpkin and ghost type books, or more from the middle ages.

  2. You've made my day! My youngest is long past the picture book stage, but I still squeeze some in. We're studying the Middle Ages (along with your plans) so I'm taking your list of picture books to the library with me on Monday. Thanks, Willa.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Andrea! I think picture books are fun for older kids, too!

  3. Oh I need to get copies of the Brother Joseph book and the Giotto book. And St Francis and the Crow. WE own and love Chanticleer and the Fox and St George and St Patrick and have checked Dick Whittington out from the library. Tell me about Miss Suzy I see Lobel on the spine.

    1. Hi Melanie,

      Miss Suzy is a really cute story about a squirrel whose cozy little home is taken over by a bunch of hooligan red squirrels. She finds refuge in a Victorian dollhouse and becomes a foster mother to a set of tin soldiers. I won't go further into the outcome for fear of spoilers! Even though the setting is more Victorian than medieval, its theme of gallantry and chivalry seems to tie it to medieval times... plus, I just love the story and have happy memories of reading it to my kids.

    2. Oh that one sounds like we'd love it. Squirrels are favorites round here. Thanks, Willa. My book list grows ever longer. :)

    3. We love squirrels here too, Melanie!

      And brave tin soldiers can't help but find a place in our heart as well. : )


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