Unless you've been under a rock the past few days (and with the temperatures nearing Hades levels in most of the U.S. under a rock might be the coolest place to be), you've certainly heard about Border's Bookstores closing. A pang in my heart at hearing the news would be an understatement. Sure, I buy most of my books on Amazon, but there is nothing like entering a giant bookstore and perusing the goods… perhaps this is why they’re going out of business.
Being a male kindergarten teacher, I’m usually lucky enough to avoid the tchotchke overload most primary school teachers are inundated with during the holidays. When kids ask me, “What do you want, Mr. _______?” I usually reply, “I wouldn’t love anything more than a nice picture from you.”
I get the picture and a Border’s gift card.
With the Border’s near me closing soon, I dug out all my old gift cards. I’m not a candidate for the Hoarders television show (Sorry, Elise), but I do collect these cards and forget about them. I set off to Border’s with a bevy cards to stock up on some picture books. Hey, I had to use them before they were no good and what better silver lining could I find than picture books?
Here are some of my finds:
Cloudette by Tom Lichetenheld - Speaking of silver linings, this sweet book about a little cloud named Cloudette warmed my heart the moment I picked it up. Smaller than the other clouds, Cloudette finds the advantages in being littler. Plus, I don't have any fiction books for our Water Cycle study and this fills that bill perfectly.
Scardey Squirrel by Melanie Watt - If you've never read Scardey Squirrel (it's a series), you are truly missing out. Scaredy is, well afraid of almost everything. In each book, he learns to be a little braver and finds there is much the world has to offer. Of course, this is only after he panics and plays dead. The illustrations and simple text are hilarious and you're kids will adore Scardey's many warnings and adventures.
Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates - Well, I love books, so this title grabbed me immediately. Dog loves books so much he decides to open a book store. Things don't go quite as he planned, but that's fine with dog, as long as he has books, he'll be just fine. I can't wait to share this book with my sprouts to help foster their love of books.
Mitchell's License by Hallie Durand and illustrated by Tony Fucile - The cover of this book demanded I pick it up. Mitchell, a small boy (Three years, nine months, and five days old to be exact) never wants to go to bed. One night, his dad decides maybe if Mitchell could drive to bed, he'd actually go to sleep. Dad is the car and Mitchell takes an amazing ride on his way to slumberland. Children will relate to this story about not wanting to go to bed and be delighted by the retro drawings that seem to leap off the page.
Perfect Square by Michael Hall - I've read a few reviews of this book and was happy to see it smiling at me on the shelf (really, the cover smiles at you). This book about all the different things you can make with a square of paper is a perfect beginning of a lesson on shapes and the craft creates itself from the story. For the crafty, but especially the uncrafty (me!), this book is a no-brainer.
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean - This is quite simply my new favorite book. Pete's a cat with new white shoes. If you've ever seen the joy on a sprout's face when they get new kicks, you will adore this book. Unfortunately for Pete, he steps in a few items that change the color of his shoes. No problem. Pete loves his shoes so much he sings about them - no matter what color they are. My students are going to love predicting the changing colors of Pete's shoes (he stepped in blueberries, what color are his shoes now?) and singing along with Pete and me... 'I love my white shoes! I love my white shoes! I love my white shoes!'
So, 'Good-Bye' Border's. I'll miss you, but I'll think of you often when I'm reading some of my favorite stories.