Saturday, August 10, 2013

Picture Book 10 for 10

A Mix of Fiction and Nonfiction Picture Books That Fifth Graders Love

Today I am joining Picture Book 10 for 10 for the first time! I have read and enjoyed these posts the past couple of summers. I am excited to share books I love to read in my fifth grade classroom. Head on over to Cathy Mere's blog, Reflect & Refine, or Mandy Robek's blog, Enjoy and Embrace Learning to see what books other people are reading and loving right now!

Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran

This book is one of my favorite read alouds.  I read it each year when we talk about writing memoir.  It reminds me of playing with my sister when I was little.  We had a huge yard, with huge trees.  And, therefore, tons of leaves in the fall.  We would rake paths and create a town, complete with a jail if anyone would run too fast on the streets.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

I Want My Hat Back  This is Not My Hat
This is an obvious choice (along with its companion This Is Not My Hat).  But, it’s true, my fifth graders could listen to this one over and over again.  I personally love the second book even more than the first.  That little fish gets me every time.

Animals should definitely not wear clothing. by Judi Barrett

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
Laurel Snyder, author of Bigger than a Breadbox, read this book to my class when she Skyped with us for World Read Aloud Day. I had never heard of it, but my kids were screaming with laughter. And it truly is hilarious. Who doesn't want to see why animals should definitely NOT wear clothing???

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosell

Tikki Tikki Tembo
I mean, come on, who doesn’t love saying Tikki Tikki Tembo’s name! If you don't know, it is Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo!  My class always loves trying to say his name along with me.  It’s always a favorite for sharing with 1st grade buddies after we read it in class.

The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg

The Sweetest Fig
This is a book with a main character you love to hate.  Monsieur Bibot is selfish, rude, and cruel to his poor pup.  Kids are always confused for a moment, but then love the twist at the end.  And I do too!  

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

The Curious Garden
First off, anything Peter Brown does is AMAZING.  This is a quiet book about how one person can make a difference.  It leads to great discussion about doing your part to care for our environment.  But more than that, it’s just a great story with wonderful illustrations.  Love, love, love this one!

If You Lived Here:  Houses of the World by Giles Laroche

If You Lived Here: Houses of the World
A wonderful nonfiction book about how people live around the world. I love the collage illustrations of all of the different homes. Each page has a paragraph that starts with, "If you lived here, you..." It tells why this house worked well for the people who built it. Under the paragraph are fascinating facts about when and where these homes were built and what they would be made of. It is a great mentor text for hybrid (narrative/expository) nonfiction.

My Librarian Is A Camel by Margriet Ruurs

My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World
This book is a great companion to If You Lived Here.  Kids love to see how things work in other parts of the world.  This books shows how kids around the world get access to books. In the northern regions of Canada, kids can request books via email or phone and a library far away will mail them books to keep for 6 weeks. In Finland, a boat brings books from one island to the next. In Kenya, camels bring books to remote villages. Another great hybrid non-fiction mentor text. After reading the information about the books, there is a box or two with a map and more information about that country.

Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins

Can We Save the Tiger?
This is a quiet, but hugely powerful book.  I think you can hear a pin drop when I read it aloud.  This book shows kids a range of animals...those that are currently endangered, those that we will never see again, as well as those that we are slowly bringing back from extinction by raising awareness.  Amazing illustrations and another great mentor text for weaving narrative nonfiction with facts.

Balloons Over Broadway:  The True Story of the Puppeteer of the Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
I love sharing a book that shows creativity at work.  Kids have all seen the huge balloons in parades, but they don’t think about how the balloons came to be.  In addition to learning about Tony Sarg, the collage illustrations are fabulous.  Lots of kids pick this one up afterwards to examine the pictures up close...every time you look, you see something new. This book won the 2012 Mock Caldecott in my classroom.

Oh Rats!  The Story of Rats and People by Albert Marrin

Oh Rats! The Story of Rats and People: The Story of Rats and People
Confession:  I haven’t actually shared this book with fifth graders yet.  But I am adding it because I think it is going to be a huge hit with them!  I read this book this summer and reviewed it here.  Anyone who thought they knew a thing or two about rats (or anyone who never wanted to learn a thing or two about rats) will learn a ton in this slightly creepy book.

Whoops, I think I shared 11 books.  I’m sure no one will mind!


  1. Neat choices - and I know fifth grade students can be tough to please!

    I think I squeezed 11 books onto my list as well. Whoops!

  2. What a fantastic list! So many of these I have never heard of, but I want to read them - especially Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing and The Sweetest Fig!

  3. Love, love, love your list! The Sweetest Fig is on of my favourites as well and I also love Balloons over Broadway and anything by Martin Jenkins! Just looked up Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing and see that it also comes in board book format. Looks wonderful.

  4. I am also a huge Peter Brown fan!!!

    Looking forward to checking out If You Lived Here and My Librarian is a Camel. Can We Save the Tiger looks interesting too. So many new titles to read!