Category Archives: Poetry

Subway Story by Julia Sarcone-Roach


Schema: subways, barrier reefs

Text-to-Self Connections: being afraid

Personification: The subway is personified and shares her feelings of fear about being discarded, but when she realizes she has a new purpose with all the fishes she is happy.

Compare and Contrast: The ocean floor is dark like the subway tunnels, but different because the subway tunnel is not under water.
What an interesting story told from the point of view of an historical subway car and man made barrier reefs. After being repaired as much as possible, the subway is deconstructed and transported to the ocean floor. The author includes a note about other man made reefs and how they help the ocean and people who fish nearby. The author includes a note about man made barrier reefs.

Peepers by Eve Bunting and illustrated by James Ransome

Schema: fall colors

Author’s POV: third person

Text-to-Self connections: brothers, helping parents with work

Metaphor and similes: bus crawling as slowly as a caterpillar, leaves  compared to boats, bus sleeping through the winter like a bear after tourist season is over, tree limbs like brooms sweeping the clouds away

Cause and Effect: Because the seasons change, the effect is that the tourist season ends.

Drawing Conclusions: Can you draw the conclusion that the boys have changed the way they view the “peepers” at the end of the season as they view the sky? Yes, they are embarrassed that they are in awe of the stars and the sky the way the tourist are in awe of the beautiful fall colors.

Math: The boys are standing by the water and the illustration is showing their reflection in the water.


Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson

Schema: Underground railroad, slaves escaping from the southern U.S.

Metaphor: The quilt as a cover of darkness is compared to the night sky throughout the story as the slaves must hide during the day time and move at night.

Author’s POV: 1st person

Author’s Purpose: to share the history of African American slaves and the people who helped them

Voice: the story is told from an unnamed girls point of view in first person

Mental Images: imagine hiding under a bush in the hot summer and not being able to move much

The story is about a family running to the north for freedom.



Carnival of Children’s Literature – September 28, 2011

Welcome to the September 28, 2011 Edition of Carnival of  Children’s literature.  Thank you for sending your wonderful contributions to Texas Librarian. This is my first time to host, and it was a challenging experience which I enjoyed! My blog focuses on research which indicates that children can comprehend and become better readers by making connections with their prior knowledge.  All of your contributions support this idea in creative and intelligent ways.

Book Projects

Susan Stephenson, the Book Chook presents Children’s Book Review, For All Creatures posted at The Book Chook, with a review of  For All Creatures  – “the great and the small, the winged and the walking, the singing and the silent – we are thankful,” a book about “a poem, a prayer, a paean of praise.”  This book would fit in nicely with a social studies unit about early America in November.

Zoe Toft presents A book loving reading session at school posted at Playing by the book, saying, “Picture books about books and making pocket libraries.” Zoe shows how kindergarten and first grade children can make pocket sized books from small match boxes and the covers of books cut from colorful book catalogs showing a creative and thoughtful way to recycle publishing catalogs.  The connections the children make with the books they have read will never be forgotten.

Kate Coombs presents Ribbit, Ribbit: A Trio of Frog Books posted at Book Aunt.  Text-to-text connections will be hopping with a frog theme.

 width=Jackie Castle presents  “brainstorming” some fun to go along with the book Cloudette by Tom Lichtenburg at The Castle Library.

Wendie Old presents Invasion of art in Scotland about how a school is using parts of old books to create art at Wendie’s Wanderings, saying, “Secret book lover leaves treasures for others to find and admire. ”

Early Literacy

Elaine Sloan presents Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake by Michael B. Kaplan  posted at Texas Librarian . “Provide students with lots of examples to show them how you think when you read by talking about reading strategies as you read with them. When teachers are able to show students how a proficient reader is always thinking and making text-to-text and text-to-self connections to their own schema while reading, students who are not doing these types of thinking will see how good readers automatically do this and start practicing these strategies as they read.

Jake Moses presents The Monster at the End of This Book review | Best Kid iPad Apps posted at Best Kid Ipad Apps, saying, “A review of one of the best children’s books ever made, made better. The iPad version of Sesame Workshop’s The Monster at the End of This Book is simply incredible. Show “what you are thinking about while you are reading,  and students begin to understand what good readers do and can strive to share what they are thinking when they read.”


Kathy Stinson presents A Star for Starfall, the story of a clown who must  believe, be brave, and shine in order to bring the stars back to the sky at Turning the Pages: Kathy Stinson’s Blog.

Megan D. Neal presents Thick & Thin Things: Not a book about BOYS!!! Or, a case for reading aloud posted at Thick & Thin Things.

 Kerry Aradhya presents Tessa’s Tip-Tapping Toes Make Me Smile! posted at Picture Books & Pirouettes, saying, “I discovered Tessa’s Tip- Tapping Toes at the library and just had to write about it because the book was so full of life. It’s an adorable and passionate story about a mouse who loves to dance and a cat who just can’t help but sing.”

Camille presents King Jack and the Dragon posted at A Window to the World.  It tells the story of three boys -“King” Jack, Zack and Caspar – who build a castle to prepare for battle against an army of dragons.

Mary Ann Scheuer presents Evaluating Book Apps for Children: a mini-series (part 1) posted at Great Kid Books: ” What makes a Book App for children successful? It follows my presentation at KidLitCon on this topic and is the first in a mini-series.”


Read Aloud … Dad presents Fancy Nancy: Phenomenal Picture Books posted at Read Aloud Dad.


Amy Broadmoore presents Read Around the World: Highlights posted at Delightful Children’s Books, saying, “In this Read Around the World wrap-up post, I highlight the very best resources I have discovered for teaching kids about countries around the world. Here are our favorite picture books and authors as well as links to fantastic international recipes, activities, and book reviews. I hope that this post will inspire teachers and parents to read around the world with their kids.”

Amy @ Hope Is the Word presents Read Aloud Thursday: Pets, Veggies, & an Egotistical King posted at Hope Is the Word.

Jen Robinson presents Wonderstruck: Brian Selznick posted at Jen Robinson’s Book Page, saying, “This is a book that left me “wonderstruck”.”

Pat Zietlow Miller presents A GLEE-ful read: The book Id give to Brittany Pierce posted at Read, Write, Repeat., saying, “This is part of an ongoing series I’m doing recommending books to the characters on the TV show, GLEE.”

Tory Quinton presents Children’s literature is about hunger posted at Candlewycke’s Blog.

Katie presents Review: The Meaning of Life… And Other Stuff by Jimmy Gownley (ARC) posted at Secrets & Sharing Soda.


Sally Apokedak presents Young Adult Books | Sally Apokedak posted at Whispers of Dawn, saying,”Superheroes appeal to our desire for significance. When I was young, I often fantasized about doing great things and winning the admiration of the world.”

Storied Cities (Erica) presents Tourist City: Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdales posted at Storied Cities, saying, “My post is a review of a little known picture book by the author famous for her Newbery book, The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler.”

Myra from GatheringBooks presents Round up for September and Carnival of Children?s Literature posted at GatheringBooks.

Nichole presents A Balloon for Isabel review posted at Just Children’s Books.  What if the one thing you wanted most of all would be destroyed if you touched it?


Margo Tanenbaum presents Book Review: Lights on the Nile, by Donna Jo Napoli (Harper Collins, 2011) posted at The Fourth Musketeer:  “A new historical fiction title about ancient Egypt.”

Kelly Butcher presents Blogiversary Round Up! posted at The Lemme Library:  “September 14 marked my 1 Year Blogiversary. I was lucky enough to have a great line up of guest bloggers help me celebrate! This is a recap of the fabulous posts for you to enjoy!”


Jeff Barger presents Magic Trash: A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art posted at NC Teacher Stuff, saying, “Magic Trash is the story of Detroit artist Tyree Guyton. The illustrations for this book are wonderful.”

Sandie Mourão presents Old MacDonald with a twist posted at Picturebooks in ELT, saying, “I post four times a month, and September’s posts looked at adaptations of traditional stories in picture books. It’s been a fun month, with titles for smaller and older children.”


Z-Dad presents Interview with illustrator Kelly Murphy posted at Bookie Woogie, saying, “A bunch of kids interview family favorite illustrator Kelly Murphy, review her book “Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters,” and create some Fan Art!”


Shirley Duke presents The Kingfisher SCIENCE ENCYCLOPEDIA posted at SimplyScience Blog, saying, “This comprehensive encyclopedia has the science needed for the middle school age.”

Roberta Gibson presents Wrapped in Foil · Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature posted at Wrapped in Foil, saying, “Swirl by Swirl is a new picture book that is already receiving starred reviews.”

Catherine Nichols presents The Book with a Hole posted at The Cath in the Hat.


Danette M. Schott presents If My Dog Could Talk  posted at Help! S-O-S for Parents.


Carmela Martino presents Revision! A LINGO poem! Poetry Friday! and a Play Doh exercise! posted at Teaching Authors, saying, “April Halprin Wayland shares an original LINGO poem and a great exercise in revision.”


Lisa presents Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers: The Life of Marc Chagall in Verse – a review posted at Shelf-employed, saying, “Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers pairs the art of Marc Chagall with the talent of writers, Jane Yolen and Patrick L. Lewis, for a result that is illuminating in every sense of the word.”

Anastasia Suen presents Poetry Friday: Road Work Ahead posted at Picture Book of the Day, saying, “Road Work Ahead is my new picture book, a picture book poem that was 25 years in the making (and it’s only 120 words long)!”


That concludes this edition of the Carnival of Children’s Literature. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Children’s Literature using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. (Yes, we have been around since 2006!) For an email reminder of the location of the next carnival and announcement when it is posted, subscribe to the Carnival of Children’s Literature reminder blog.



Double Trouble in Walla Walla by Andrew Clements

Schema: school stories, funny spells from old movies such as Freaky Friday

Word Choice: This is a great book to share with students who are practicing creative writing skills.  The word choice in this book sets the tone and adds to the humor.  Check out this great reader’s theater script.  This book is an experience that must be read aloud.

Cause and Effect: Because a weird spell of some kind is cast over Lulu, the effect is that everyone starts talking in doubles.

Thunder-Boomer! by Shutta Crum

Schema: thunderstormSetting: outside on a farm

POV: The narrator is the young girl in the story who tells the story in first person.  The day is hot, and everyone on the farm is hot and lazy except for Dad, then a big thunderstorm begins.

Text-to-Self Connections: Being outside when a storm blows in, feeling the air get cooler; hearing the whole house shake when it thunders; having a dog that gets scared when it thunders

Character Analysis: Dad returns to the rain to rescue their chicken showing his caring nature.  Dad also agrees that they can keep the kitten showing his loving nature.

Mom tells the kids to let the clothes on the line go and get in out of the rain showing that she is caring toward her children.

Cause and Effect:  Because of the storm, the effect is that everyone has to run inside.

Drawing Conclusions: Students will conclude that Maizey is worried about something because she pecks Dad when he is bringing her in and fusses about being in the house.  We might conclude that she is worried about her eggs or a baby chick, but a twist in the story reveals that she was worried about a kitten which they name “Thunder-boomer.”

Sequencing: The family is outside and hot, the wind starts to blow, they run to put up the tractor, get the chickens in the coop, get the clothes off the line, something white blows away, Dad gets Maizey in, Maizey acts unusually fussy, Scooter is scared, they see the underwear outside, it hails,  the rain stops, they let Maizey out and she reveals that she was worried about a kitten.

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino

Schema: flippers on the cover connect with swimming, title mentions sea

Author’s purpose: to share real information about sea scientist, Jacques Cousteau.

Metaphor: Cousteau’s quote on the first page makes a mental image of the sea a casting spell over him and holding him with “its net of wonder.”   The sea is like a net in that it can capture you.

Cause and Effect: Because doctors told Jacques Cousteau to swim to build up his strength, the effect was that he started swimming and found that he loved the ocean.

Text-to-Self Connections:

Have you ever taken something apart to see how it works?  I had lots of response about this from my second graders such as helping parents repair things such as cars and motorcycles or taking electronic toys apart.

Car Accidents-many kids have been in one

Things that Change your life forever: Jacques had the goggles that changed his life.  Students shared things such as art, being baptized, having surgery, losing a loved one, having a new sibling, going to a certain school, pets dying, learning to play soccer, reading a book from a dog’s point of view, and technology.

Sometimes something changes our lives forever and we don’t realize it until later, but Jacques says he knew that very day when he used the goggles for the first time.

Characterization:  Use the Describing Wheel to list the traits of  Jacques Cousteau: inventor, scientist, explorer, humanitarian, writer, and film maker.

Drawing Conclusions: Jacques Cousteau was curious.  What text evidence supports this conclusion?  tinkering with gadgets, trying ways to make a snorkel tube, inventing the aqua lung, taking the camera apart, testing his hypothesis about living under the sea, inventing the saucer and sea flea

See the Jacques-Yves Cousteau website.

Pirates by David L. Harrison

Schema: Pirates or sailors on ships, missing a hand or a foot, we can infer that they take risks if they are missing a limb, they wear funny hats, have parrots for pets, brave, hunt buried treasure, modern pirates steal and harm

Text to self connections: Pirates of the Caribbean’s Jack Sparrow, Peter Pan’s Captain Hook

Compare and Contrast the pirates in the book with the pirates in the movies using a T-chart.  Read the “Here’s How it Was” information at the end of the book.

The pirates in the book lead many boring days at sea, eat hard bread, receiving no pay: “Another Day at Sea”

Eating hard bread and soup that make them feel sick: “Table Talk”

Being whipped for fighting: “Cat-O’-Nine-Tails” vs. in the movies the fighting is viewed as fun

Point of View: “Through the Glass” from the POV of an official government ship captain

“Coming for Your Gold” from the POV of the Pirate

“Fog Attack” from the pirates POV

“What’ll the King Say, Cap’n? from the pirates POV

“Trouble” from one of the pirates POV about getting his share of the loot, the “plunder”

“Marooned” from the POV of a pirate that has been left on a deserted island

“On the Run” from the pirates POV

Characterization: “Blackbeard” characterized the pirate, Blackbeard.

Author’s purpose: to make a mental images and feel emotions of what it was like for real pirates

Characterization: Use the Cluster Word Web to list the traits of the pirates in the poems as you read.

Reader’s Theater of “The Pirate’s Code” could be performed after reading the book.

Cause and Effect: “Ship Rules” talks about the effect of breaking the rules.  Because you have joined the Pirates, the effect is that you will regret it.

Because you steal, the effect is being beaten with a whip.

Because you commit mutiny, the effect is being shot and thrown to sharks alive.

Because you lose an arm in battle, the effect is you will be paid well.

Drawing Conclusions: What evidence or clues can you find in the poems that supports the conclusion that people who chose to become pirates made a bad choice in careers? they were beaten, not fed well, lost body parts in fights, died young

“Captured” and “Farewell” support the conclusion as the pirates are realizing their lives are over.

Sky by Ariane Dewey and Twister by Darleen Bailey Beard

Schema:  clouds, things that we see in the sky, different types of precipitation

Text-to-Text Connections: Both books are about weather and the sky.

The rhymes in Sky will make a connections from nursery rhymes.

Text-to-Self Connections: Some kids will have seen a double rainbow, snow, fireworks, and tornadoes.

Sequencing: Notice in Sky that there is a sequence that leads to the storm, then following the storm the birds come back out again.  Use a Sequencing Chart as you read that begins with the empty sky and continues on the storm and then the birds and butterflies.  Sequence the changes in the sky in Twister and see if there are similarities in how each storm begins.

Compare and Contrast: What is real and what is imaginary on the pages that show things in the sky.  The first double page shows things like kites, airplanes, and balloons, and in contrast, the second set shows dragons, flying saucers, and UFO’s.  There may have to be a third category for Santa Claus and angels since some of us will have knowledge that they do exist.

In Twister, compare and contrast the yard scene before and after the twister hits.

Cause and Effect: Because humans burn chemicals that create carbon residue in the air, the effect is that the air has smog and smoke in it.

POV: In Twister, we hear the story from the POV of  Lucille, the girl.

Inference: Why do you infer that that Lucille starts asking Natt about his scars while they are waiting out the storm in the cellar?

Drawing Conclusions: What text evidence can you find that supports the conclusion that the kids and their mother were very compassionate toward Mr. Lyle?

Alliteration: the sound the porch swing makes and the sound of the thunder crashing.

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

Schema: civil wars, traveling alone, the title which is a phrase from the U. S. National Anthem

Before beginning, read the guide produced by the publisher which provides a background for understanding:

Author’s purpose: The author takes us into the world of a refugee and helps refugee’s to see that they are not alone.

POV: The story is told from Kek’s point of view.

Voice: We hear Kek’s voice throughout the story as we experience his situations from his POV.

Text-to-Text Connections: 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy

Drawing Conclusions: We quickly draw the conclusion that Kek is new to the United States.  What text evidence leads you to this conclusion?

Mental Images: The reader is forced to make a mental image of Kek’s description in order to follow his thoughts.

He describes common things in unique ways without using the common name for it such as the flying boat for the airplane.

Characterization: Use the Describing Wheel to list Kek’s traits: Eleven years old, maybe an orphan, afraid, sad, brave

Symbolism: How is the title a symbol for the way Kek thinks of America?

Note about an African custom from Alan Cohen’s “Eyes on Africa” page on Facebook