Archive for Concept

Mouse Shapes

  • Author / Illustrator: Ellen Stoll Walsh
  • Concept
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: young reader (2-6 yrs.)

Summary: 3 mice are being chased by a cat. They escape into a pile of shapes. They start to play with the shapes and end up finding a way to scare the cat away.

Themes: imagination, problem solving, working together, shapes


  1. Why do you think the cat was scared away?
  2. What would you have done to save yourself from the cat if you were one of the mice?

Extension Activities:

  1. Make a mouse from shapes.  
  2. Make a flannel board set of shapes that can be used for retelling and expanding imagination for building other objects.

Comment: Fun, simple, so appropriate for preschoolers.

Personal /PB

Suggested reading:

Mouse Count and Mouse Paint both by Ellen Stoll Walsh


Published in: Concept on October 19, 2011 at2:30 pm Comments (0)
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The Shape of Things

  • Author / Illustrator: Dayle Ann Dodds / Julie Lacome
  • Concept
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: younger reader (3-5 yrs.)

Summary: An inviting introduction to shapes showing how circles, squares, rectangles, ovals, diamonds and triangles are found around them in common things.

Themes: shapes


  1. What shapes can you name?
  2. What is your favorite shape? Why?

Extension Activities:

  1. Make an art project of something common in your life using shapes.
  2. Play a shape game like dominos, lotto, memory, patterning.

Comment: children really enjoy finding shapes throughout the pages

Personal /PB

Published in: Concept, Picture Book on September 16, 2011 at8:56 pm Comments (0)

Applebet An ABC

  • Author / Illustrator: Clyde Watson / Wendy Watson
  • ABC, Concept, Rhyme
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: young reader (3-6 yrs.)

A Library of Congress Children’s Book of the Year

Summary: We are asked to follow the apple as Bet and her mother take their apples by cart to the fair and zigzag all the way home again.

Themes: ABC’s


  1. What does ominous mean? and Why was it used to describe a sound in this rhyme?
  2. Why do you think the author asked you to follow the apple wherever it goes?

Extension Activities:

  1. Play an ABC matching game with apple cards – Apple shape is cut in half and has letter on each half. Pile. Pull and match.
  2. Find and taste all the products made from apples. Discuss how similar and different.
  3. List out all the rythme word pairs.

Comment: We always like finding the apple that is hiding on each page. A change from many ABC books. Includes softC, CH, softG, QU, SH, TH, and WH

Personal /  PB

Suggested reading:

Published in: ABC's, Concept, Picture Book on September 2, 2011 at3:20 pm Comments (0)
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I Am an Apple

  • Author / Illustrator: Jean Marzello / Judith Moffatt
  • Concept, Informational
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: young reader (4-8 yrs.)

Summary: Shows the life cycle of an apple. Follows from bud to table. The focus however is on the apple’s growing cycle.

Themes: life cycle


  1. What is needed for an apple to grow from bud to fully ripe?
  2. Where do you find the “star” of an apple?

Extension Activities:

  1. Cut multiple apples to reveal the “star”. Count the seeds within the star and chart them. Then print with the apple sections ** Tissue Paper Apples.
  2. Label and color a sheet on the parts of an apple.

Comment: Easy Reader level 1 science. Collage illustrations really show depth.

Personal / PB

Suggested reading: Apples by Gail Gibbons

Published in: Concept, Informational on at2:26 pm Comments (0)
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The Apple Pie Tree

  • Author / Illustrator: Zoe Hall / Shari Halpern
  • Informational, Concept
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: young reader (3-8 yrs.)

Summary: Two sisters happily follow the cycle of an apple tree in their yard from winter til fall when the apples are ready to pick. Pollination and the role of weather are introduced. As the apples grow a pair of robins nurture their babies in the tree. The story ends with the sisters making an apple pie with the apples they have picked.

Themes: life cycle, seasons, things grow and change

Questions: Have you ever seen an apple pie tree?

  1. Why did the author title this The Apple Pie Tree?
  2. We watched the apples develop and growth in this story. What else grow during the story?

Extension Activities:

  1. Make an apple pie, apple sauce, muffins. Make something that comes from apples.
  2. Do project that shows an apple tree in different seasons. See details on how to make this   at Country Fun Lessons.

Comment: Large illustrations done in collage style clearly show the development of the apple from winter bud to fall red and ripe. Recipe for apple pie included at the end. Pollination explained at end also.

Personal / PB

Suggested reading: I Am an Apple by Jean Marzollo, any version of Johnny Appleseed, The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

Published in: Concept, Informational on at2:15 pm Comments (0)
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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

  • Author / Illustrator: Bill Martin, Jr./ Eric Carle
  • Concept / Predictable
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: young reader (2-6 yrs.)

Summary: Brown Bear see a colorful animal, which sees another animal, and so on until someone sees the children. The children see all the animals.

Themes: colors and animals


  1. Who other animal might the Brown Bear have seen?
  2. What colors do not fit with what animals?

Extension Activities:

  1. See this **Country Fun lessons posting for an activity we have done multiple times – making a book in this predictable style around another theme.
  2. Make a lapbook of Brown Bear activities. Good place to start is **Brown Bear, Brown Bear…
  3. Sponge paint pictures of the animals from the story using other colors.
  4. Move around the room as the animals in the story would move.

Comment: A great book the children love to read over and over. They pick up the predictability almost immediately.

Personal / PB

Suggested reading: (same style by same author/illustrator team)

  • Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
  • Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You See?
  • Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?
Published in: Concept, Picture Book on July 16, 2011 at8:24 pm Comments (0)
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Finger Rhymes

  • Author / Illustrator: Marc Brown
  • Concept
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: young reader (3-8 yrs.)

Summary: A collection of 14 finger plays from the familiar to new. These easy finger rhymes are accompanied with boxes before each line that show the appropriate movement.

Themes: finger play rhymes


  1. What was your favorite finger rhyme?
  2. How do you feel doing the finger rhymes?

Extension Activities:

  1. Take a movie of group doing finger rhyme to share with families. Such as this one – apple tree
  2. Take a favorite finger rhyme and practice until can do without teacher guidance.

Comment: No color to double-page illustrations. Like the black/gray on white pages with lots of detail. Truly show the rhyme, without removing focus on the finger play part. The boxes can be a little small, so good idea to preview before sharing with a child.

Personal / PB

Published in: Concept, Picture Book on at6:17 pm Comments (0)
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The Jacket I Wear In The Snow

  • Author / Illustrator:
  • Concept/ Cumulative
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: young reader (2-6 yrs.)

Summary:  A young girl gets her zipper stuck in her jacket. We find out about all the clothes she wears when she goes outside to play in the snow.

Themes: labeling of clothes appropriate for playing outside in the cold


  1. Why do you think the little girl in the story was crying?
  2. What would you do if the zipper of your jacket got stuck?

Extension Activities:

  1. Flannel board play and retelling
  2. Mobile of clothes each child wears in the snow or cold. Change up and do special items for special weather conditions.

Comment: Pictured images make it easy for the youngest to help read this story right from the start. Fun rhymes to read especially in this cumulative style.

author’s site-

Personal / PB

Suggested readings:

Other cumulative books in this style by same author:

  • I’m Taking a Trip on My Train
  • The Dress I’ll Wear to the Party
  • The Bag I’m Taking to Grandma’s
  • We’re Making Breakfast for Mother
Published in: Concept, Picture Book on at9:55 am Comments (0)
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My First Riddles

  • Author / Illustrator: Judith Hoffman Corwin
  • Concept
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: young reader (2-6 yrs.)

Summary: Riddles about 9 everyday or common items. The riddles are on one page with solution on following page.

Themes: problem solving riddles


  1. Which was your favorite riddle?
  2. Which riddles was hardest to solve?

Extension Activities:

  1. Make up a riddle.
  2. Copy the riddle and draw the solution on the back side.

Comment: Love the illustrations that are fabric that is quilted and appliqued. Riddles use descriptive, but understandable language for early learners.

Personal / PB

Published in: Concept on at9:30 am Comments (0)
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Freight Train

  • Author / Illustrator: Donald Crews
  • Concept / Realism
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: young reader (2-6 yrs.)

Caldecott Honor Book

Summary:  A train of colored cars travels through day and night, and through country and city.

Themes: concept of color with each train car a separate color, basic train cars named and depicted realistically


  1. How did we know the train was going fast and faster?
  2. What colors were the train cars?

Extension Activities:

  1. make a colored train good template at The Bestest Mom or Mel’s Desk
  2. pretend to be a train going different speeds, over, under and through things

Comment: So few words, almost a wordless book. Great way to teach colors, especially to train lovers. Clean realistic illustrations.

Personal / PB

Published in: Concept, Informational, Picture Book, Realism on July 13, 2011 at9:02 pm Comments (0)
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