From Unit Plan: Celebrate Our Favorite Authors
The best way to study an author's style is to read a variety of their books. This list shares some of the books we read during our author study. They were written by our favorite authors: David Shannon, Donald Crews, Eric Carle, Angela Johnson, and Gail Gibbons. I recommend offering multiple copies in the classroom library.
The Amazing Christmas Extravaganza by David Shannon
The Merriweather family celebrates Christmas with simple decorations each year, but this year they are really going to decorate lavishly.
Classroom Tip: Have the students draw a house that is decorated for another holiday or occasion.
A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
A little girl is so concerned with everyone's opinion of her that she becomes whatever anyone calls her.
Classroom Tip: Discuss how name-calling hurts and how we need to accept people as they are.
David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon
David keeps doing the wrong thing, but it is not his fault; he always has a good explanation.
Classroom Tip: Make a list of ways the students get in trouble at home and have them draw and write about a particular incident to compile in a class book.
David Goes to School by David Shannon
David's teacher is very busy with the antics of the loveable David.
Classroom Tip: Make a list of ways the students get in trouble at school and have them draw and write about a particular incident to compile in a class book.
Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
A duck tries riding a bike and loves it! The other animals on the farm begin to ride bikes, too.
Classroom Tip: Make a chart to compare fantasy vs. reality as it relates to how animals are personified in fiction and what they can do in real life.
No, David! by David Shannon
A little boy hears the calls of his mother throughout the day as he always seems to do what he is not supposed to be doing.
Classroom Tip: Have the children discuss ways in which David could do things differently to avoid getting into trouble.
The Rain Came Down by David Shannon
People react to the rain and when the sun comes out.
Classroom Tip: Compare and contrast how people are in the rain and when it is sunny.
Bigmama's by Donald Crews
A young boy remembers the train ride to his grandma's farm where he went barefoot in the summer and spent hours talking around the table.
Classroom Tip: Have students tell and write about a time when they visited a grandparent.
Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
Count to ten and see how the author creates a picture with dots.
Classroom Tip: Give dot stickers to students to make their own pictures.
Truck by Donald Crews
A wordless book follows a red truck carrying tricycles as it travels through fog, truck stops, and crowded highways.
Classroom Tip: Students draw a picture of a truck and what it might carry besides tricycles.
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
These pictures invite children to wiggle, stomp, bend, and thump in the same way animals do.
Classroom Tip: I make cards with animal pictures for the dramatic play center and encourage children to move the way the animal does.
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
A mean ladybug meets her match.
Classroom Tip: Use this book to help reinforce the concept of time.
Little Cloud by Eric Carle
A little cloud takes the shape of things he sees around him until he joins with other clouds to make rain.
Classroom Tip: Have students use cotton balls to make their own cloud formations.
Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
Sea-life fathers and their roles as caregivers are depicted in this story.
Classroom Tip: This is a great way to have children talk, write, and draw about how their father cares for them.
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
The story of the life-cycle of a plant is told from seed to flower.
Classroom Tip: Have the students draw the life-cycle of the plant.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A caterpillar eats through the days of the week and shows the life-cycle of a butterfly.
Classroom Tip: Make a graph of the things the caterpillar eats each day.
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
A young cricket thinks his wings are too quiet to be heard by the friend he meets.
Classroom Tip: Buy crickets at a pet store and allow students to observe them.
Do Like Kyla by Angela Johnson; illustrated by James E. Ransome
Two young sisters spend the day together.
Classroom Tip: Have students write about and share the things they do with a sister or brother.
Tell Me a Story, Mama by Angela Johnson; illustrated by David Soman
A mother and daughter talk as the little girl is getting ready for bed.
Classroom Tip: Discuss the ritual the students have as they prepare for bed.
When I Am Old with You by Angela Johnson; illustrated by David Soman
A small boy imagines when he will be old like his granddaddy.
Classroom Tip: Have students draw a picture of what they will look like when they are the age of their grandpa or grandma.
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
This book explores the relationship between seeds and the plants which they produce.
Classroom Tip: Collect seeds from various fruits and vegetables and have students label each set.
The Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons
This book shows the machines that make milk.
Classroom Tip: Make milkshakes in a blender.
The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
The story of the moon and its changes is told through story and text.
Classroom Tip: Observe and draw the moon over a two week period.
The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons
The changes in the season are shown through the changes in an apple tree.
Classroom Tip: Sample different kinds of apples.