Posts Tagged ‘rich language’

Exclamation Mark an Outstanding 2013 Picture Book

Posted on December 31st, 2013 by Carolyn Hart


Exclamation Mark outstanding 2013 picture bookExclamation Mark written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Outstanding 2013 Picture Book published by Scholastic Press

Exclamation Mark is just not like anyone else. As much as he’d like to look the same, he’s always a standout in a crowd.

He was confused, flummoxed, and deflated.
He even thought about running away.

Clever wordplay and fun, expressive illustrations will captivate children old enough to understand punctuation and the important role it plays in our language. Older readers will enjoy the double entendre and will celebrate Exclamation Mark’s voyage of self discovery.Storytime Standouts looks at Exclamation Mark written by Amy Krouse and illustrated by Ton Lichtenheld

Why oh why is he different? He wants nothing more than to look just like the periods around him. It is only when Question Mark arrives on the scene that Exclamation Mark discovers something deep within – he discovers why and how he has an important role to play – despite his rather unique upright appearance.

An outstanding 2013 picture book, Exclamation Mark is highly recommended for readers aged five years and up.

Exclamation Mark at

Exclamation Mark at

Link to Make Your [Book]mark on Tom Lichtenheld’s website

Parent’s Choice Silver Honor Spring 2013
Kirkus Starred Review
Booklist Starred Review

Exclamation Mark has been nominated for a 2013 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Award.

Bully 101 – Asking Some Tough Questions

Posted on July 11th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart


image of cover art for Bully 101Bully 101 written and illustrated by Doretta Groenendyk
Anti bullying picture book published by Acorn Press

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children.

Want to ensure you get your way?
Just mess up another kid’s day.
Push them and shove them and give them a scare.
Our bullies love fear and thrive on a dare.

Students who attend a class called Bully 101 learn that the best solution to feeling poorly about themselves is to make another child feel terrible. Bullies steal notebooks on the school bus, damage clothing, ostracize good students, spread rumors and make jokes. Sometimes they even resort to physical violence. For those who feel badly about their ‘course selection,’ there is an alternative class: Kindness 202.

Suited to primary and middle grade students, Bully 101 includes rich language: demoralize, humiliate, thrive and striking collage illustrations that will appeal to older readers.

Best at identifying bullying behaviors, Bully 101 implies that Kindness 202 is a happier, more inclusive choice. It does not problem-solve suggestions for victims or bystanders. Essentially the story suggests that choosing kindness will have a happier outcome for all – including those who are currently making poor choices.

Bully 101 takes a simplistic approach to the terrible problem of bullying that will not be appropriate in every circumstance but there are good reasons to use it as a discussion-starter in a primary or middle grade classroom. As well, Ms. Groenendyk’s fascinating illustrations could be used as a jumping off point for exploring this timely theme with young artists.

Bully 101 at

Bully 101 at

Lion’s Lunch? A yummy anti bullying picture book

Posted on January 5th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart


image of cover art for Lion's Lunch?Lion’s Lunch? written by Fiona Tierney and illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain
Anti bullying picture book published by Chicken House, an imprint of Scholastic

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

When Sarah goes for a walk in the jungle, she sings a happy song. Before long, a ferocious lion jumps from behind a bush and demands to know why she is in his jungle. When Sarah explains that she is walking, the lion asserts that jungle creatures “Run, sprint, prowl, creep, swing, lumber, slither, swoop, gallop and scuttle.”

When Sarah says that she was singing, the lion states that jungle creatures “Roar, yowl, grunt, chatter, buzz, trumpet, hiss, growl, pant, and harrumph.”

Lion decides that Sarah would make a tasty lunch especially since she can’t stalk like Tiger or leap like Gazelle.

Sarah suggests that she can do something that no jungle creature can do. She can draw. When, at last, she shows Lion her picture, he is not impressed with the angry lion face he sees and, when the other animals agree that he is a bully, Lion decides to change his ways.

Wonderful descriptive language and bright, bold drawn and computer-generated illustrations enhance this examination of bullying behavior and leave readers with a sense of optimism about one’s ability to speak up, enlist help and ultimately encourage a bully to change for the better.

Lion’s Lunch is best suited to children aged four and up.

Add this anti bullying picture book to your bookshelf –

Lion’s Lunch? at

Lion’s Lunch? at

Long Night Moon – A Graceful Picture Book Look at the Full Moon

Posted on February 20th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Storytime Standouts looks at Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant and Mark Siegel
Long Night Moon written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Mark Siegel
Picture book about the moon published by Simon and Schuster

Simply told and beautifully illustrated, Long Night Moon encourages us to carefully consider the beauty of the moon when it is full and how the world around it changes during a calendar year. Did you know, ‘In June the Strawberry Moon shimmers on succulent buds, on crisp new shoots, on quiet, grateful rabbits’? Both evocative and magical, once read, the full moon will never seem quite the same.

A lovely bedtime story, it would be great to connect this picture book with a nighttime walk out of doors.

Recommended for children aged 3 – 6.

Note: for older children, Rylant’s use of personification could be examined.

Scholastic’s lesson plan for this picture book

Home School Share for this picture book

Long Night Moon at

Long Night Moon at

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