Picture books are a vehicle for learning for all of my children, from 2 to 13. While most consider books like Margaret Wise Brown’s, Home for a Bunny, when they think of picture books, there are many that are suitable and very enjoyable for older children. In addition, picture books are my favorite way of introducing an elementary science theme.
Let me take you on a tour of some of our favorites!
The Liturgical Year
There can be no doubt that Cay Gibson’s, A Catholic Mosaic has transformed my liturgical year offerings. Her ideas and recommendations have been such an assistance to me in allowing more picture books to help us experience the liturgical year. I enjoy adding in more picture books to our own Catholic Mosaic as I find them. A few of the books recommended in Cay’s book are listed below (indicated by *CM).
- Petook by Caryll Houselander, illustrations by Tomie de Paola (*CM)
- Margaret of Scotland by Sister Juliana of Maryknoll, Neumann Press
- Brother Bartholomew and the Apple Grove by Jan Cheripko (*CM)
- Jesus and Mary by Father Gales, Neumann Press
- The Little Flower of Jesus by Sister M. Julita, S.S.N.D.
- A Gift of Gracias by Julia Alvarez (*CM)
The Natural Year
I set out picture books throughout the year. Many reflect what is going on in the natural seasons. The above represent a few of our favorites.
- Spring – Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
- Spring (not pictured because it was currently in my 5 year old’s hands) Pussy Willow by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrations by Leonard Weisgard
- Summer – A Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
- Autumn – Sara Squirrel and the Lost Acorns by Julie Sykes
- Winter – Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrations by Susan Jeffers
Science for my elementary crowd has as its foundation exciting and inspiring picture books! When we’re pursuing and investigating a science theme, I take the time to set out a variety of picture books that invite a child to get to know a new friend. It’s spring, and for us that means it’s time to learn about butterflies!!! All of our butterfly books (and a few favorite spring flowering books) are here on our nature and science shelf.
- Flowers of a Woodland Spring by Carol Lerner (Carol Lerner is one of my favorite authors. She is a naturalist who has written and illustrated many lovely books that we enjoy!)
- Where Butterflies Grow by Joanne Ryder
- Butterflies in the Garden by Carol Lerner
- Creepy Crawly Caterpillars by Margery Facklam
- From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman
- The Travels of Monarch X by Ross E. Hutchins
- Enjoying Butterflies More by Jeffrey Glassberg (there is enough here for a middle schooler to complete a nice study of butterflies.)
Along with our butterfly picture books we’re waiting for our butterfly larvae to come in! We’ve had a butterfly pavilion for several years, and we enjoy watching and learning from butterflies with each child! There’s nothing like watching all that you’ve read about literally unfold right before your eyes!!
Here are a few *blast-from-the-past* pictures sure to thrill mom and dad!! This is Sweet Pea (she is 13 now, but was 6 at the time this was taken) and Sparkly (now 9, pictured below he is 3) enjoying our butterflies the year after we moved into this house.
Do be sure to include a few butterflies in your spring days if you haven’t ever done that!!
Picture books for older children
My older children still enjoy picture books! You’ll find them ease onto the couch any time Blueberries for Sal comes out. When thinking of picture books, don’t assume they’re only for the little people. There are many great picture books for your older learners!
- Leonardo da Vinci by Diane Stanley
- Theodoric’s Rainbow by Stephen Kramer
- Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre by Stewart Ross
The Picture Book Cart
I’ve shared before how valuable I find this rolling cart to be! It was an investment in our learning spaces, but we’ve just enjoyed it so much! No post extolling the virtues of picture books would be complete without a small mention of one of my favorite things! 🙂
A few favorite tools
I’ve been hunting for some time for a small stand to help me prop up picture books for my shelves. I hunted…and hunted! Was there nothing adequate that didn’t cost $30?? YES!!! I finally found them and I’m so excited to be able to share some with you. A warning: the shipping for this site (Demco library supplies) is extraordinary – do consider that!
Pictured above you see the Double Deck folding easel (H). Perfect especially for a light paperback up top!
Hope you enjoyed our little tour of picture book treasures and that you’ll find a joyful reason to dust off a few old treasures from your shelves! Happy reading together!!