Thursday, March 20, 2014

Learning from Picture Books: Willow Finds a Way

This week I'm taking a closer look at another one of the nominees for the 2014 Blue Spruce Award from the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading. Other nominees I've featured so far include Oddrey by Dave Whammond (OwlKids Books), I Dare You Not to Yawn by Helene Boudreau (Candlewick Press),  A Good Trade by Alma Fullerton (Pajama Press) and Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds (Candlewick Press).

Willow Finds A Way

written by Lana Button

illustrated by Tania Howells

published by Kids Can Press, 2013

From Amazon:

Willow is thrilled the whole class -- including her! -- is invited to classmate Kristabelle's fantastic birthday party, until the bossy birthday girl starts crossing guests off the list when they dare cross her. There are many books on bullying, but Willow's story offers a unique look at how to handle the situation as a bystander.

My Thoughts as a Writer:

I really liked the way this book captured situations that might happen to any child—and I loved Willow’s kid-friendly solution to the problem, showing one way of taking a stand. The cartoony style illustrations were cute and would appeal to children.  

My Thoughts as a Teacher:

I was pleased to find that this book addresses the issue of using a birthday invite to be unkind to others, because this often comes up in my classroom.  This book would be a great way to start discussions about feelings, what it means to exclude others, how you can feel pressured to go along with a kid who is bossy or mean and what you could do about it. It’s a good book to include in a classroom or a collection of books about character education.

Looking for other great picture books to use in your classroom or to read with your children? Check out these recommendations for Perfect Picture Books over at Susanna Leonard Hill's site.

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