Me and My Senses


Bibliographical Information: Sweeney, J. (2004). Me and My Senses. New York: Random House.

Brief Annotation: Introducing the five senses, this book provides great illustrations and plot to explain how the senses work.

Genre: Science

Grade Level: Pre-K-3

Readers who will like this: I think younger readers will enjoy this book because of the great illustrations as well as if they are just learning about their senses.  I can see them using this book to reference back to if they are still working on remembering their senses and what they do.

Rating/Response: 4 This book was very cute and a great way to show readers the senses and the way they work.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Can anyone list the senses we use from our bodies every day?

Reading Strategy: Science

Rationale for Strategy: I think this book is great for students learning their senses.  It is definitely a book I would use with the younger children and preparing them to understand how their senses work and helping the m become aware of them in their every day life.

Posted by: Brittany Billiet


Slippery, Slimy Baby Frogs

Slippery, Slimy Baby Frogs (Hardcover)

Bibliographical Information: Markle, S. (2006). Slippery, Slimy Baby Frogs. New York: Walker & Co.

Brief Annotation: This picture book is also a trade book and gives a brief summary and description of different frogs. The book provides information regarding the way they live, mate, survive, etc.  It also discusses how certain animals eat the frogs and their eggs.  At the end, there is a glossary of terms used in the book as well as a map of where the frogs are from.

Genre: Science

Grade Level: Kindergarten-5

Readers who will like this: This book would be great for anyone interested in frogs, young or old.  Children love learning facts about different animals and amphibians, and I think this book does a great job explaining multiple frog types. 

Rating/Response: 5 Not only are the images in this book vibrant and helpful in understanding different frog types, there is a lot of information for students to learn about when reading about frogs.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What do we already know about frogs?

Reading Strategy: Science

Rationale for Strategy: I chose this book because it would be great for a unit discussing frogs.  I think it uses simple enough language for students to comprehend as well as provides multiple frog types for children to learn about and get an idea for.

Posted by: Brittany Billiet

The Lorax

Bibliographic Information: Seuss. The Lorax. New York: Random House

Brief Annotation: The Once-ler comes to a beautiful forest of truffula tress which he promptly cuts down to create his thneeds.  The deforestation has devastating affects on the animals who live in the forest.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: 1-5

Readers who will like this: Students who enjoy Dr. Seuss and stories about the forest will enjoy this book.

Rating/Response: 4 – This book is beautifully written in rhyme, and the illustrations are classic Dr. Seuss.  This book allows students to learn about an issue from a text that is familiar.

One question you would ask before a read aloud:  What is pollution?

Reading Strategy: Science

Rationale for Strategy:  This book is a perfect way to introduce pollution and conservation in a unit on earth science.

Posted by: Olivia Cyr

Have You Seen My Duckling?

Bibliographic Information: Tafuri, Nancy, and Nancy Tafuri. Have You Seen My Duckling?New York: Greenwillow Books, 1984. Print.

Brief Annotation: This nearly-wordless tale shows us the journey of a mother duck taking her babies on a search for one missing duckling.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this: Children who like animals; children who like reading pictures; children who like guessing.

Rating/Response: 4 – This book is really simple and has very clear yet detailed illustrations. Fantastic for early readers just getting into comprehension strategies.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: How do you think mother ducks keep track of their ducklings? What do you think happens if one wanders off?

Reading Strategy: Inferences, Science

Rationale for Strategy: Since the book lacks a narrative and only has minimal text, it’s a great introduction to making inferences by “reading”  the illustrations. Students can guess what’s happening and what is about to happen based on what they see in the illustrations, and have a conversation about it. This would also be a good book to tie in with early science lessons about habitats – you could ask students to infer what kinds of other animals the mother duck would find based on the habitat they’re in (a pond).

Posted by: Caitlin Miller

Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails

Bibliographic Information: Franco, Betsy, and Steve Jenkins. Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails. New York: Margaret K. McElderry : Simon & Schuster, 2008. Print.

Brief Annotation: This is a wonderful book that discusses the hidden shapes and patterns in nature. It is very poetic. It introduces geometric terms, such as symmetry. The back of the book has additional information included about the animals talked about throughout.

Genre: Nonfiction/Poetry

Grade Level: K – 3

Reader who will like this: Readers who enjoy nature, science, math, and so on would thoroughly enjoy this playfully lyrical text. The illustrations included are magnificent as well, and would be sure to capture any child’s attention.

Rating/Response: 5 – For young children, this book would be a great introduction to a science lesson about animals or a math lesson concerning geometry. Furthermore, this book could also be used to discuss poetry in the classroom and the illustrations could surely be used for artistic purposes. It is eye-catching and playfully written.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What can we guess about what the story will be about based on the title and cover?

Reading Strategy: Science

Rationale for Strategy: Although this story could really be used across all content areas (language arts, math, art, etc.), it would be a wonderful addition to any science lesson/classroom bookshelf, as it discusses shapes and patterns within nature.

Posted by: Emma Henke

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature


Bibliographic Information: Sidman, Joyce, and Beth Krommes. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.

Brief Annotation: Swirl by Swirl explores the spirals that naturally occur in the environment. Some of the spirals the book includes are a snail’s shell, the web of a spider, and the trunk of an elephant.

Genre: Nature

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this: Students who enjoy learning about nature will enjoy Swirl by Swirl. The book offers realistic examples of spirals in the environment that students are able to recognize and make connections with.

Rating/Response: 4. I enjoyed Swirl by Swirl because it was beautifully illustrated and easy to make connections with. The book was also eye-opening. I never realized how many things in nature formed the shape of a spiral.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What is a spiral? What things in nature are in the shape of a spiral?

Reading Strategy: Science

Rationale for Strategy: Swirl by Swirl would be a great book to use when first introducing students to a unit on nature. The book will open the eyes of the students and make them more observant to the characteristics of nature that before they have may overlooked.

Posted by: Kelsey Peterson


Bibliographic Information: London, Jonathan, and G. Brian Karas. Puddles. New York: Viking, 1997.

Brief Annotation: Thunder pounded and rain poured during the middle of the night. Two children wake the next morning excited to jump in the puddles. The story is about the children exploring the environmental changes that occurred after the big rainstorm from the night before.

Genre: Adventure, Nature

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this: Students who enjoy learning about nature and the effects of weather will be interested in this book. 

Rating/Response: 4. I found Puddles to be a good lighthearted story about two children playing outside after a rainstorm. I liked how the author showed the effects of a storm both on the environment and animals living there. I felt I was able to relate to the story because I often jumped in puddles and explored worms after it rained!

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What happens after a rainstorm?

Reading Strategy: Science

Rationale for Strategy: Puddles would be a good selection when teaching about weather. Students can learn how rain can affect the environment and its impact on animals. 

Posted by: Kelsey Peterson

Snowflake Bentley

Snowflake Bentley

Bibliographic Information: Martin, J. B., & Azarian, M. (1998). Snowflake Bentley. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Brief Annotation: The story of an amazing scientist, who loved to take pictures of snowflakes and how he discovered that no snowflake is ever the same.

Genre: Biography

Grade Level: 2-5

Readers who will like this: Children who like non-fiction; children who like learning about people; children who enjoy science.

Rating/ Response: 5- This is a very well written book that explains the story of a self-taught scientist and his work. 

One question you would ask before a read aloud: If you were a scientist, what would you like to explore?

Reading strategy: Science

Rationale for strategy: This a great story to introduce the names of scientists and what kid of research they do.

Posted by: Yesenia Corral

The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks

The magic school bus at the waterworks

Bibliographic Information: Cole, J., & Degen, B. (1986). The magic school bus at the waterworks. New York: Scholastic Inc.

Brief Annotation: Ms. Frizzle and her class go another journey! This time that class goes on a trip to explore the water system!

Genre: Science Trade book

Grade Level: K-4

Readers who will like this: Readers who like adventure books; who like science; who enjoy diagrams and fun facts.

Rating/Response:4- This a fun book that is filled with fun facts and diagrams about how the water purification system works, which allows students to understand the process better.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What are some things you know about water?

Reading Strategy: Science

Rationale for Strategy: This is a science trade book, it used a variety of diagrams that help students understand the process of how the water cycle works.

Posted by: Yesenia Corral

If Not For the Cat

Bibliographic Information: Prelutsky, Jack, and Ted Rand. If Not for the Cat: Haiku. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2004. Print.

Brief Annotation: This book features 17 haiku (written by Jack Prelutsky!) about different animals, each with a beautiful illustration.

Genre: Poetry

Grade Level: 3-5 (the language is fairly advanced, so I would hesitate to give it to students under grade 3)

Readers who will like this: Children who love animals; children who love riddles/guessing; children who enjoy poetry.

Rating/ Response: 5 – A very fun book that’s not only pretty to look at, but fun to read. Prelutsky abandons his usually humorous voice here for illustrious descriptive language. Each haiku is told from the first person, which is compelling.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: I would ask the students an animal-related riddle, giving characteristics and asking “What am I?” (ex: I am small. I can be scary. I have eight legs. I spin a web. What am I?)

Reading strategy: Inferences, Science

Rationale for strategy: Each haiku gives clues as to the animal’s identity without directly stating its name, asking children to infer which animal is being described. Students even use personal knowledge to understand the concept beyond what is literally stated. This inviting book can launch a haiku project for animals of the region you are studying, or animals currently being studied in science, for a great cross-curricular experience. You could even incorporate a watercolor art component for students’ haiku if you wish.

Posted by: Caitlin Miller