Birds of a Feather

Written by Francesco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais

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Pittau and Gervais have created a wonderful interactive book all about birds. Have you ever wondered how fast an ostrich can run? They can run 70 kilometers an hour! You will discover what color flamingos are before they turn pink. How many penguin species are there? An emu egg is HUGE! You will get to see and compare the color and size of many different eggs as you lift each flap to see what bird laid them. Cardinals love to drink maple sap from the holes people have drilled into the trees to extract maple syrup. These are just a few of the amazing things you will learn about over forty birds in this magnificent book. All this information is hidden behind flaps with drawings or silhouettes of the birds. There are also pages that will allow the child to “create” his own bird by turning different flaps and exposing different shapes and feathers.
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Oopsy, Teacher

By Stephanie Calmenson

Illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa

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Even teachers have a bad day, according to Mr. Bungles. Sometimes the day starts wrong for everyone and just keeps getting worse.  It all started even before Mr. Bungles got out of bed, when the alarm went off and he bumped his head.  Things got progressively worse as he showered and got soap in his eye, and dripped jam on his tie.  His bad luck followed him to school when his students played a trick on him, followed by the class hamster escaping.
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Apple Cake: A Recipe for Love

Written and Illustrated by Julie Paschikis

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Alfonso captures bookworm Ida’s heart over an apple cake made with love, and the illustrations show just how far Alfonso is willing to go to demonstrate his deep love for Ida.  This simple book by Julie Paschikis weaves a love story through a recipe and whimsical illustrations. Apple Cake is an easy read aloud book, but the illustrations are truly what make this book a treat to read. If one simply hears the words, one hears a simple recipe and instructions for making a cake, but to truly appreciate the book, one must study the artwork. This would be an interesting book to have a second grade class read around Valentine’s day and respond through various writing and math assignments.
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What Does a Level Do?

Written by Robin Nelson

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This is such a simply written book. While second graders will read it for sure, first grade readers and kindergarteners will also enjoy the vivid photographs, and in the process learn what a level is and what it does.

A level is a tool. Through photos, the book shows us that a level can be used both across and up-and-down to make sure a surface is straight. We see a photo of a builder with a level, and are asked what we could use it for. That is a great jumping off point for a classroom discussion. Many fun activities can be built around a level — from putting up planks as shelves to measuring the classroom walls to make sure they are straight!
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The Little Prince Book 2: The Planet of the Firebird

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This book series is inspired by the beloved story by Antoine Saint-Exupéry. In this book, The Little Prince and his devoted friend, Fox, travel the world in search of the Snake who goes around destroying the world. The Little Prince and Fox visit a planet that is failing because the inhabitants have angered the Firebird. The Little Prince must work with the inhabitants and teach them not to be greedy and envious, so they can work together to revitalize their planet. Once the people learn the error of their ways, their planet is restored to its original beauty. With their work done, The Little Prince and Fox continue on their journey.

This is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel. While the story is not what you would expect if you are familiar with the original The Little Prince, it is well written and compelling. The level of writing is sophisticated and fits well with the style of illustration. 2nd grade students will enjoy this book for its fantastical story and their reading skills will be challenged and tested. The reading level of this book is appropriate for second grade comprehension. It can be used as a read aloud, independent or small group reading.

The content of the story allows for classroom discussion of important topics such as greed, jealousy and cooperation. Students will be challenged to think about these ideas and encouraged to share their thoughts.

http://www.glenatbd.com/auteurs/dorison-guillaume.htm is the author’s website. The website is entirely in French.

  • FirebirdTitle: The Little Prince Book 2: The Planet of the Firebird
  • Author: Guillaume Dorison
  • Illustrator: Elyeum Studios
  • Publisher: Graphic Universe
  • Reviewer: Alessandra Oliveira
  • Paperback: 56 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-8225-9423-9
  • Genre: Graphic Novel

From Cocoa Bean to Chocolate

Written by Robin Nelson

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Part of the Start to Finish Series, From Cocoa Bean to Chocolate gives kids an insider’s look into the production of chocolate. What kid doesn’t love chocolate? And by the time kids reach the 2nd grade, they are inquisitive enough to want to know more than just that chocolate is a yummy treat. Kids want to know how things are made and it’s no different with chocolate.
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The Tree That Bear Climbed

Written by Marianne Berkes
Illustrated by Kathleen Rietz

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This fun, cumulative poem follows in the tradition of “The House that Jack Built.” Yet it has an important theme: everything in nature is interconnected. The tree is anchored by roots that need rain and soil. It grows a sturdy trunk and long branches that sprout leaves and flowers. The flowers attract bees that use the nectar to make honey. That’s where the bear comes in, but neither the bear nor the bees are happy about it. The humorous tone emphasizes that everything in the cycle has come together to the perfect outcome: that there is honey in the beehive. Just as bear cannot resist climbing the tree for the honey, the bees cannot resist going after him for getting their honey.
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Mud Puddle

Written by Robert Munsch

Illustrated by Dusͮan Petricͮić

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In Mud Puddle, Robert Munsch and Dusͮan Petricͮić create a delightful story of Jule Ann, who fights dirty with an incredibly antagonistic mud puddle. The illustrations are simple, but effective in showing Jule Ann’s dilemma and emotions as she tries to outwit her nemesis. Second grade students will surely relate to the feeling of trying to avoid trouble to no avail. At times, all of us have felt like no matter what we do to stay clean, we just can’t keep from getting dirty! This book is a lovely read aloud, and provides a nice segue into discussing literal versus symbolic stories.
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The Little Prince: The Planet of Wind

Adapted by Guillaume Dorison

Artist Direction by Didier Poli

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In the tradition of the novel by Antoine Saint-Exupéry, the Little Prince returns to save many worlds. This graphic novel is the first of four planned volumes in a series. The exquisite artwork alone makes this a book worth having as a second grade read.

The Little Prince and Fox find themselves battling Snake on the Planet of Wind. Imaginative machines and creative landscape further comprehension for the reader. No need to say they’re floating to the ground. No need to note the encroaching ice. The characters are vivid and expressive. The reader knows when they’re troubled or happy or angry.
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Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox #4: Peace and Quiet

Written by Brigitte Luciani
Illustrated by Eve Thartlet

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Beautiful artwork and a touching story make this short graphic novel a winner for second graders. Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox, in their fourth book, prepare for winter. They gather dried branches to protect the burrow entrance and provide bedding. The badger children react like badgers, eating everything in sight to fatten up and sleeping longer and longer periods of time. The badgers explain that they don’t really hibernate, though. One badger, Grub, stays out too long and ends up sleeping for a three-day stretch. Ginger, the fox child, enjoys the colder weather and learning about hunting. She offers to give the badgers hunting lessons. With added humor, Ginger slides down a snow-covered hill. They also engage several human activities. They build a board game and play it together. Snowballs fly and the kids build snow-badgers later in the book. Because the fox is more active than the badgers, a bit of conflict ensues. They solve the problem by providing a closing bedroom door for Grub. The carving on the door reads “Do Not Disturb.”
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