A Single Shard

This Is Not My Hat


Jon Klassen is the author of This is Not my Hat, the Caldecott Medal Winner of 2012.

A little fish takes a hat from a whale, he knows it doesn’t belong to him but he still keeps it. He knows it’s wrong but he likes it. He swims away and tries to hide from the whale in a seaweed garden. But, he isn’t hidden for long. Whale comes to claim his hat back and that is that.

Every child needs to read this story as it deals with a topic they can all relate to, stealing. This is also a great book for educators to use in your language arts six traits lesson planning on ideas.

Just Us Women


Just us Women, written in 1982 is about Aunt Martha and her niece. They take a long road trip to North Carolina and they don’t worry about driving fast to not waste time, or not taking detours. But they do everything to make the trip long and interesting. They don’t pass up a good sale or farmers market.

They just have a good time together and don’t worry about anything.

This is a fun book to read aloud for a break time, or help children understand how to write in sequences with first, middle and last.

Sky High


Sky high was written in 2009 by Marissa Moss and illustrated by Carl Angel is a true story of Maggie Gee.

As a child she admired Amelia Earhart and also knew she was going to fly.

Maggie Gee loved to tell stores and listen to them, so it was not taken too serious by her family when she also told them she wanted to be a pilot.

When maggie was a young lady a very bad war broke out, it was WWII and they needed help. Maggie soon found out about WASP -Women Airforce Service Pilots. She knew she had to join and was soon on her way to training with her friends.

She served her many years and she earned her wings.

Maggie Gee tells her stories to her children and grandchildren and they cannot even imagine their their grandma was the only 1 of 2 Chinese American Pilots.

This is a great story to use for Social Studies.

The Book With No Pictures


B.J. Novak, star of “The Office” (American version), writes this hilarious children’s book with no pictures. That’s right, no pictures! The reader must read all of the words on each page, that’s how books work. So no matter what, the grown-up must read all of the silly words that are there. The children love to see and hear adult act silly while reading and as you can imagine, it’s a great read aloud.

Use this book to teach specifically about onomatopoeia’s and using voice in writing to convey a message and show the audience who the author is.

There’s an Alligator Under My Bed


This suspenseful story tells about a boy and an alligator. He knows there’s one under his bed, but he doesn’t know how to get him to leave. He calls his parents in to check but they don’t see anything. He is very nervous and he can’t sleep. He then gets and idea to get some food from the kitchen and trail it to the garage so the alligator will follow it and leave his room. Well, it works! He now has trapped it in the garage.
But,. . . Now his dad won’t be able to get to his car in the morning for work!!

See what happens in Mercer Meyers, “There’s and Alligator under my bed”.

Use this to teach children about using their imaginations to come up with a unique story for free writing, and use this as a prompt for younger children to tell the class how they found ________ under their bed!

Nerdy Birdy


Nerdy Birdy does not fit in. He has big glasses and compared to the other birds, he has small wings. He is also lonely and wants some birds to be friends with. Except for the cool birds don’t want to be friends with him because his interests are video games, and reading about video games. He then finds a group of other nerdy birds just like him and before he knows it he has a whole host of friends.

Nerdy Birdy meets a “gothic” vulture and while the other nerdy birds are apprehensive about befriending this vulture, nerdy Birdy takes a new step towards accepting others, even if they are different from him.

Use this to teach about diversity in your classroom and in your community. Have children write letters to those whom they wouldn’t usually think to write to, have them ask questions to get to know the person.