My good friend Karie (and college roommate 20 years ago) was awarded a $250 grant to supply her 3rd-grade classroom with picture books. No surprise she received the grant, because she is a go-getter! She won district Teacher of the Year and is loved by everyone who meets her. When she asked for books to buy with the grant money, I couldn't wait to put together this list!
The books on this list are perfect for a classroom library to enrich curriculum, but they're also wonderful for home libraries. I own most of them, and have read them aloud many times.
Picture books are not just for young children! Older children very much enjoy them, and because they are often written in more rich language and complicated sentence structure, they increase vocabulary and model good writing. The great CS Lewis once said, “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.”
These nonfiction picture books by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long have the most lovely, captivating illustrations. Illustrations are accurately portrayed images of unique species, beautifully showing that God is the greatest artist. They contain rhythmic text for read-aloud and more detailed captions near individual pictures.
SOCIALIZATION & EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
This new series by Jory John is SO much fun and fantastic social commentary. Children will recognize themselves and others in these characters.
STEM & THE POWER OF DREAMS
The Questioneers by Andrea Beaty: these rhyming books show kids living their dreams through experimentation, learning, hard work, and perseverance in spite of discouraging voices around them. I adore all of them! These prices are incredible for hardback books! A few companion chapter books have recently been released, though I haven't read them yet.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Here are a variety of books celebrating uniqueness and diversity.
PICTURE BOOK FAVORITES
The next several books are tried-and-true picture books. They don't have a strong moral message, but are just delightful stories that both reader and listener will enjoy.
So, if you happen to have a $250 for picture books, here's the perfect list for you. And if you only happen to a little to spend, several of these titles are under $10 in hardcover!