Celebrating Picture Books

Why designate a month to picture books?

Don’t we all love picture books already? The answer is simple. With the birth of eBooks, iPads, Kindles, Nooks and other online reading devices, many feel traditional printed picture books may be on the way out.

This is the 2nd annual celebration of Picture Book Month. Founder Dianne de Las Casa decided it was time to celebrate picture books in their printed format so she created an initiative to designate November as “Picture Book Month”.

Every day in November, there has been a new post from a picture book author explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important. You can visit the website from the link here.

We always celebrate picture books in our library. However, we have also added some art to the mix in our  lessons. Here are the highlights of our week.

What says Thanksgiving Day more than turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie?

 The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

For more than eighty-years, children young and old, have been delighted by the bobbing and swaying gigantic balloons that float down the streets of New York City in the parade.

Melissa Sweet tells the true story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer who was the inventor of the Macy’s parade balloons. After we read this book, some of the classes also made Balloons Over Broadway mini-boxes and finger puppets. You can get this activity and more at the Houghton-Mifflin website here.

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and say thank you. While this book is not a traditional Thankgiving Day book talking about the Mayflower and pilgrims, it is a book about the importance of thanking friends for all the things they do for each of us.

 In first grade, we used the Splat the Cat Activity Kit and added a fall leaf. Students wrote what they are thankful for during this holiday season.

If you want to read a funny chapter book to entertain you during the Thanksgiving holiday week, pick up a copy of  Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff). Find out how cranberry sauce in a can, exploding biscuits and rainbow sprinkles relate to Thankgiving and first graders. I guarantee this book will have you laughing in minutes!

The last book I want to include this week is Hello, Hello by Matthew Cordell. I think every family needs to add this book to their collection. In fact, Matthew has a blogpost listing 26 reasons why every family needs to read this book. You can read that post here.

It’s a story of what we really need to remember as we move forward into a very connected, very digital age.

Using simple text, charming watercolor illustrations, and animals in unusual places (flying fish and whales in the sky?), Cordell tells the story of Lydia, who helps her family remember that there is a time and place for electronics.


For a few minutes in the upcoming days, I hope you will set your gadget aside, and go outside to jump in those leaves and have some silly, crazy, outside fun!


What is your favorite balloon in the Macy’s Day parade?

What friend would you by thankful for this month?

What gadget could you give up for a day?

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6 thoughts on “Celebrating Picture Books

  1. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    I just love your new post about celebrating picture books. For when I was a young child I truly loved picture books. My all time favourite picture books are Possum Magic by Mem Fox, Giraffes can’t Dance and Olga the Brolga . BB still has her very own copies of these picture books and every now and then we would re read them.

    My thank you friend for ever is you Mrs Hembree. I really feel I have a lot to be grateful because of our friendship. 🙂

    The one gadget that I don’t own and really have no plans of buying is a mobile phone. People are so shock when I mention that I don’t own a mobile phone.

    So nice to be back on board writing on your post.

    From your non mobile user down under,
    AA 🙂

    • Dear AA,

      I’m so glad to see you again! I hope you are feeling better now that they skies are blue and the spring is there!

      You can save a lot of money by not having gadgets, especially a mobile phone. I drive so far to work and back, that I feel much safer having one. of course, I use it for more than emergencies. One gadget I don’t need it a gaming console!

      From the too-plugged in librarian,
      Mrs. Hembree

  2. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    I just loved reading your interesting post.

    Interesting questions. Starting today I am going to give my I pod Touch up because I am constantly on it and lately I have been forgetting to do my chores. What gadget could you give up for a day Mrs Hembree?

    I have not heard of picture book month it sounds like a fun reading month :D.

    Hello Hello sounds like an interesting book I may ask mum to buy it for me or I will buy it with my pocket money.

    I am reading My Secret Unicorn it is an interesting book about a girl and her Horse, Twilight is a Unicorn and her pet Unicorn can talk and fly.

    From your pal,


    • Dear BB,

      You are asking a hard question – what would I give up for a day? I have an iPod, but rarely use it, because I have everything on my mobile phone. I could easily give up television for a day. I would rather read. I could probably give up my tablet for a day too. Everything else, would be too hard to be without. I am very attached to my gadgets!

      Your love for unicorns is much like the girls your age here. They like them too! How is Pete doing? I know you will take good care fo him while I am in Prague with my husband!

      From your friend,
      Mrs. Hembree

  3. @ Mrs Hembree,
    Thank you for your reply. I love to read but TV is not really that important to me sometimes when we go to my Nanna’s or to Musical Thearte I try to read as much as I can so when I have finished my book I can start a new series which will be so exciting. It sounds like you are going to have fun in Prague with your husband.

    Pete is going to Melbourne with us on Monday so Pete is very excited actually Pete said he wants to write his own comment now.

    Dear Mrs Hembree,
    I am having a marvelous with BB and her wacky family. I am so excited about going to Melbourne. BB says Melbourne is a big place with very tall buildings I can not wait. I miss you very much

    From Pete.

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