Wonder-ful Picture Books by Denise Krebs

Wonder image by mrsdkrebs

On July 17, many of us enjoyed the wonder-filled book club chat about Wonder by R.J. Palacio. One of the questions asked by Colby Sharp was a great one. “What picture books do you think pair nicely with Wonder?”

I was interested because I will begin a Wonder read aloud starting on day 1, and I always like to throw in an occasional picture book for my junior highers. I could not keep up with the chatter of apropos picture books; many were coming quickly across the Twitter feed. (Did you realize #thewonderofwonder was trending on Twitter during that hour?)

Later I had to look up on the Wonder chat archive to see all the picture books that I missed.  You can read on the archive who recommended each book. (Mr. Schu has also written a great summary of #TheWonderofWonder book club discussion.)

I asked if I could share the Wonder-ful picture books here on the Nerdy Book Club blog so others could benefit from this list too. However, tweeters shared a full twenty titles. That’s TWO top ten lists!

It was hard for me to narrow it down to just ten, so I let the GoodReads star ratings (and a few of my own favorites) guide my choices. Here are my top ten picture books to accompany the book Wonder.

1.    Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester

Rodney Rat can’t pronounce his R’s. When the big mean bully Camilla Capybara comes to school, everyone is afraid. Rodney uses his speech “impediment” to trick Camilla, to the delight of his friends.

2.    Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum is a delightful story about a girl who is teased, especially about her name, until an inspiring teacher, Delphinium Twinkle, helps Chrysanthemum gain social standing among her peers.

3.    Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco and (others like Thank you, Mr. Falker and Bully, coming out in the fall.)

The “junkyard wonders” are geniuses in Mrs. Peterson’s “special” class. They have a variety of special needs and diverse abilities, which serve them well during a science fair project, where they retrieve a model plane from the junkyard and refurbish it.

4.    Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

I love this book! And I love the mantra “Think ishly!” Ish gives each of us permission to celebrate our own genius and creativity. (And don’t forget The Dot and others by Reynolds. Dot Day is coming up on September 15.)

5.    Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

“Each kindness makes the world a little better.” It sounds like this one will be a rich “Choose Kind” book. New girl Maya is rejected by the other girls and plays alone, but then she stops coming to school altogether. The message about choosing kind hits home to one of the girls, Chloe. (Available on October 2, 2012.)

6.    One by Kathryn Otoshi

Clever story where Blue is bullied by Red, and the other colors don’t stand up for Blue. One finally comes in and stirs things up. “One turned to the colors and said, ‘If someone is mean and picks on me, I, for One, stand up and say, No!’” Then Yellow finally stands up and says, “Me, TWO!” Then Green, “Me, Three!” And on and on, until even Red is included. One has received the E.B. White Read Aloud Honor book, Teacher’s Choice Award, and eight other awards.

7.    Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

A wise father shares his secret recipe for getting rid of enemies–enemy pie, which includes spending a whole day with the enemy. By the end of the day of play, Jeremy Ross, the only enemy on the boy’s list, the father and son share the enemy pie.

8.    Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Quirky Molly Lou Melon is encouraged to believe in herself. She takes on the quintessential bully, Ronald Durkin.

9.    We’ll Paint the Octopus Red by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

Emma is going to be a big sister. She dreams of all the things she’ll do with her little brother or sister. Later when he’s born, they have to acknowledge that Isaac has Down Syndrome and that maybe he’ll need more time to do all the things Emma wants to with him.

10.  Courage by Bernard Waber

A sweet book about all kinds of courage. Most in this book are examples of everyday courage. Some are even tongue-in-cheek courageous acts from a dog’s perspective.

The second ten shared picture books, for your perusal…

  1. The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
  2. The Yellow Star by Carmen Agra Deedy
  3. Say Something by Peggy Moss
  4. Agate: What Good is a Moose? by Joy Morgan Dey
  5. Circle of Friends by Giora Carmi
  6. Mean Jean the Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
  7. Be Good to Eddie Lee by Virginia Fleming
  8. The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon
  9. Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tomie DePaola
  10. Willow’s Whispers by Lana Button

A few related chapter books to include with your Wonder read:

  1. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
  2. The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake
  3. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

Thank you to all the participants in #thewonderofwonder book club discussion who shared these titles.

A note from R.J. Palacio after the chat:

Tweet archived by MrSchuReads

Denise Krebs teaches seventh and eighth grades in a rural Catholic school in Iowa. She teaches language arts, social studies, and science. She is really looking forward to reading Wonder to her students in August.  She blogs at Dare to Care (http://mrsdkrebs.edublogs.org/) and can be found on Twitter as@mrsdkrebs.