Children and Young Adult Bibliography
1. Martina, the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale
Deedy, Carmen Agra. MARTINA; THE BEAUTIFUL COCKROACH: A CUBAN FOLKTALE.
Atlanta, Georgia: Peachtree Publishers, 2007.
ISBN 13: 978-1-56145-399-3 ISBN 10: 1-56145-399-4 (Book); 38 pp; picture book for
elementary; Cuban Folktale; Para Belpre’ Honor Book; ill created with acrylic in bright
Cuban colors by Michael Austin.
A humorous retelling a Cuban folktale about a cockroach who interviews suitors to see who
will become her husband. She listens to her Abuela as to how to choose the best candidate
with the “Coffee Test” as each suitor tries to “woo” her.
Vivid pictures which sets the mood and reminds me of New Orleans.
*Discuss and gain an understanding of the Spanish words.
*Colors are very vivid and have a Caribbean feel
*Great book to look at acceptance
*Good tie in book for social studies unit on cockroaches/beetles
*Great choice to look at different folklore from different cultures
*Read and discover different types of folklore from different cultures which speak Spanish
and compare and contrast
*Dramatize the book
*Create own story of Martina if one of the other suitors had passed the “coffee test” how
would the story changed
*Discover traditions of the students and create a poster
*Science Unit of cockroaches
2. Pirates Don’t Change Diapers
Long, Melinda. PIRATES DON’T CHANGE DIAPERS. New York, New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2008.
ISBN 13: 978-0-545-08106-1 ISBN 10: 0-545-08106-8; 38 pp; picture book for
elementary; humorous fiction; ill by David Shannon in acrylic using bright colors and
conveying a sense of movement and humor.
A very humorous tale of a little boy babysitting his little sister as his Mom goes to the store
to get milk. The little boy used to be a pirate and his pirates friends come back to claim
their treasure and find the little boy babysitting his sister. Instead of treasure they wake up
his little sister from her nap and have to suffer the consequences. With the help of the little
sister (she eats the map) they find the treasure that they are seeking. Moods and emotions
are shown with different sized texts and large, bold illustrations that are larger than life.
*Bright humorous illustrations
*Font is different size to convey tone and level of excitement
*Phrases that may have to be explained, such as “caterwalin’”
*Illustrations tell the story
*background knowledge of pirates
*create own pirate map
*write journal entries of a pirates life
*illustrate and list all the things pirates don’t do
*math activitiy with longitude and latitude/maps
*translate all the pirate phrases
*celebrate “International talk like a pirate day”
3. King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub
Wood, Audrey. KING BIDGOOD’S IN THE BATHTUB. New York, New York: Harcourt
Brace and Company, 1985.
ISBN 10: 0-15-242-730-9; 30 pp; picture book for elementary; humorous fiction;
Caldecott honor book; ill by Don Wood using oils in muted colors reminiscent of Italian
A funny tale of a King who wants to rule his kingdom from his bathtub. All of his court try
and remove him from the bathtub. Lots of repetition of phrases and the movement of time
are shown through dark and bright colors. Very vivid and detailed illustrations.
*passage of time is told through the changing colors of illustrations
*mood is dictated through golden undertones, rich, detail illustrations and muted red, golds,
blues and purples.
*illustrations are modeled after Renaissance paintings
*Caldecott Honor Book
*Social studies unit on the Renaissance
*Fun introductory book on fairy tales
*Compare and contrast other fairy tales about Kings
*Change ending of the book. The King never leaves the tub.
Giovanni, Nikki. ROSA. New York, New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2005.
ISBN 13:978-0-8050-7106-1 ISBN 10:0-8050-7106-7; 32 pp.; picture book for older
elementary; biography; Caldecott Honor book; ill. by Bryan Collier using watercolor and
collage; illustrations reminiscent of woodcuts
This retelling of one of the bravest women of recent history, Rosa Parks and the events that
occurred as she refused to give up her seat on that Alabama bus. How her arrest and
actions spurred on a nation and the city of Montgomery to take action against segregation.
Bryan Collier uses watercolor and collage in yellows and dark hues to create a feeling of
foreboding, “an uneasy quiet before the storm”
*2006 Caldecott Honor Book and the winner of the 2006 Coretta Scott King Illustrator
*Yellow dark hued illustrations so the read may “feel in that heaBaCt a foreshadowing, an
uneasy quiet before the storm” – Bryan Collier, illustrator’s note.
*Rosa Parks looks as though light eminates from her
*Historical background of the bus boycotts should be discussed
*Many references to historical events or news events of the time will need to be discussed.
Examples- NAACP, Emmitt Till, Dr King, etc.
*Some references to the horrific happenings of the time, such as lynchings. May need to
gauge age of audience.
*Wonderful introduction to civil rights unit.
*Unit on Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement.
*Journal write about standing up for something they felt was the right thing.
*Have everyone in the classroom write a tribute letter to Rosa Parks and create a classroom
*Unit on influencial women in history who stood for change
*Draw an illustration or write a persuasive letter to change the laws of the segregated
*Compare and contrast other books about Rosa Parks to Giovanni’s version.
Zelinsky, Paul O. RAPUNZEL. New York, New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 1997.
ISBN 978-0-14-230193-7; 48 pp; picture book for elementary; retelling of fairytale; The
Caldecott Medal Award; ill. by Zelinsky in watercolor, reminiscent of Renaissance painters.
This retelling of the Germanic fairytale Rapunzel of a beautiful girl locked in the tower by an
evil sorceress. Beautifully detailed illustrations, many full page illustrations in muted hues,
also included is a detailed history about Rapunzel.
*Beautiful detailed illustrations in the Renaissance style
*Readers maybe upset by prince falling out of window and his blindness
*Note from Zelinsky about history of “Rapunzel”
*Compare and contrast other version of Rapunzel
*Science project growing rampion herb
*Create own Renaissance Art
*Perform the play version of Rapunzel
*Create a poster/ad to encourage others to read Rapunzel
6. Mufuro’s Beautiful Daughter’s:
An African Tale
Steptoe, John. MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS: AN AFRICAN TALE. New York, New York:
Scholastic, INC, 1989.
ISBN 0-590-42058-5; 32 pp.; picture book for elementary; retelling of African folktale;
Caldecott honor book; ill. by Steptoe in oils; detail illustrations.
This retelling of the African folktale of two daughters of Mufaro. Both very beautiful;
however, one is kind and considerate while one is spiteful and selfish. Both are asked to
come to the capital city to appear before the King, so he may choose his new bride. Both
are tested by the king in different forms as they travel to the capital city. As they travel
their “true colors” show through and good triumphs evil. Cinderella story. Ill. Inspired by
the ancient ruins of Zimbabwe and the flora and fauna of this region. Very detailed ill. With
many full page plates.
*Inspired by a folktale by G>M> Theal
*Illustrations inspired by an ancient city in Zimbabwe
*Introduction to the African names and words from the Shona language
*Caldecott Honor book
*Activity using other Cinderella stories from different cultures
*Social studies unit on Africa
*Create a play about the book
*count the miles it took to get to the capital city
*Rewrite the end of the book if the spiteful and selfish sister where to marry
7. The Rough Faced Girl
Martin, Rafe. THE ROUGH-FACE GIRL. New York, New York: Scholastic, INC, 1992.
ISBN 0-590-46932-0; 32 pp.; picture book for elementary; Native American Algonquin
Cinderella story; ill by David Shannon.
This retelling of Cinderella in the Algonquin tradition is a wonderful story of good triumphing
over evil. The Rough Face girl has to suffer abuse by her two evil sisters and watches as
they try and marry the Invisible Being. Goodness prevails as the Rough face girl passes the
test given by the Invisible beings sister and achieves the coveted position of the wife of the
indivisible being. Beautifully ill by David Shannon.
*Author’s note about the different versions of Cinderella
*Algonquin version of Cinderella
*Includes Algonquin Indian traditions/lifestyles
*Beautifully detailed full page illustrations using pastels
*Some vocabulary may have to be discussed
*Discuss and read other versions of Cinderella
*Reader’s Theatre - http://www.bedford.k12.mi.us/~mre/Book%20of%20the%20Month
*Native American unit on the Algonquin tribe
*Introduce other Trickster tales
*Create own Cinderella story
8.Pig Boy: A Trickster Tale From Hawaii
*McDermott, Gerald. PIG BOY: A TRICKSTER TALE FROM HAWAII. New York, New York:
Harcourt Children’s Books, 2009.
ISBN 978-0-15-216590-1; 32 pp.; picture book for elementary; Hawaiian trickster tale.
This trickster tale from Hawaii is about a pig boy that always manages to get out of trouble
just as his grandmother told him too. Ill done in bright colors primarily using green, yellow
purple and red. Drawn from stories of the trickster Hawaiian hero, Kamapua’a, who is a
shape-shifter. “human form he is a warrior..in pig form, he is a trickster who provokes the
*Author gives background information about Pig Boy
*illustrations give the book a magical feel
*Bold bright colors in purples green and golds
*Hawaiian elements that students may not be familiar with such as pronounciation of
Hawaiian language, gods and goddess, and shape-shifters, etc
*great example of an obsure trickster tale/folktale.
*Compare this tale with numerous other trickster tales and discuss the importance of
trickster tales in native traditions
*Unit about native Hawaiian culture
*Create their own trickster tales and create class book
*Discover other Hawaiian trickster/folktales
Wiesner, David. FLOTSAM. New York, New York: Clarion Books, 2006.
ISBN: 0618194576; pp. 40, almost wordless picture book, age 4 – 8, written and ill. By David
Wiesner;Caldecott Winner 2007; watercolor media; fantasy
This wonderful wordless book from David Wiesner which tells the story of a curious boy at the beach. He
finds a treasure washed upon the shore, an old barnacled covered Melville underwater camera. He takes
the camara and gets the film inside developed. He discovers a wonderous underground world filled with
unexplainable events-mechanical fish, magical worlds, puffer fish hot air ballons, and magical pictures of
others that have found the camara. Excited about his discoveries, he takes a picture of himself and
returns the camara to the ocean.
*beautifully rendered realistic watercolor illustrations
*even through it is wordless illustrations tell a detailed story
* colors set the light and airy mood of a day at the ocean
*images jump of the page
*Students create their own fantasy world under the ocean
*Have students collect pieces of flotsam from Flathead Lake
*Science project where students bring in an item from nature and observe and record
pertanant information about it
*Compare to other wordless book by David Wiesner
*Write captions about each pictures
10. How Rocket Learned to Read
Hills, Tad. HOW ROCKET LEARNED TO READ. New York, New York: Schwartz & Wade
ISBN: 978-0-375-85899-4 (Hardcover), picturebook for elementary school, pp. 40; ages 3 –
7; parents choice silver honor
A cute little yellow bird teaches Rocket the dog to read. The reluctant Rocket just wants to
take a nap. The little yellow bird is persistant. She begins her teaching with the
“wonderous,mighty, gorgeous alphabet” Finally as she reads a book aloud she finally gets
Rocket’s attention. He arrives the next day to class and he and the little bird have a great
time spelling and learning about all the things in Rocket’s world. The little bird goes south
for the winter, but Rocket continues to practice his spelling and as Spring arrives so does
the little bird to an eager ready to learn Rocket.
*Bright bold illustrations
*Enthusiastic positive characters, especially the little yellow bird
*Humorous illustrations in oil and pastels that show all the emotions that Rocket is feeling
*Great book to introduce reading
*Introduce the alphabet and how to spell words that Rocket spells throughout the book
*Use the Random House app for Ipad to read the story interactively
*Mud paint the words that Rocket did onto a large piece of butcher paper and display in the
*Use shaving cream to practice spelling words on the students desks
* For children who already can read, have them write to a student that is just learning to
read. They can write how they learned to read and give other students tips on how to learn
11. *How I Learned Geography
Shulevitz, Uri. HOW I LEARNED GEOGRAPHY. New York, New York: Farrar, Starus and
ISBN: 0-374-33499-4; watercolor and ink; Caldecott honor book; ages 4-12; refugees,
maps, WWII.; historical fiction account of authors experience of early life.
In war torn land a boy and his family must flee to a new country. As they survive as
refugee’s in an unknown country, the boy’s father brings home a map instead of a loaf of
bread to eat. The map allows the young boy to escape the bleakness and misery of refugee
life as he creates his own maps and discovers new worlds. Based on the author’s life during
*illustration in folk style of Russian artists – Babuska dolls
*Based on Uri Shulevitz early childhood experiences during WWII
*Notes by author about his personal experience of WWII and how he fled Poland
*Moving story about family dealing with war, refugee experience
*Create a map of your town
*Write about and create a map of your favorite place
*Follow the travel of the authors family as they moved from country to country and discuss
positives and negatives.
*Calculate how much food one person consumes in one week
*Discuss the topic of hunger
12. The Gingerbread Girl
Ernst, Lisa Campbell. THE GINGERBREAD GIRL. New York, New York: Dutton’s Childrens
Books, 2006. Print.
ISBN: 0-525-47667-9; treasure state award (2009); preschool – 2nd
; pp. 32; twist on the
folktale the gingerbread boy; vibrant, fun illustrations; repetitive phrases.
After the first gingerbread boy was eaten by the fox, the older couple decides that they
want to try again. They decide that they will create a girl, because she will be too sweet to
leave home. Wrong again. She runs away and gathers a crowd of animals and people that
follow her along the way. She outfoxes the fox and leads the fox and the crowd back to the
little old man and women’s home where they are never lonely again.
*colorful whimsical illustrations
*funny twist on the original
*use of the word dumber and airhead in a derogatory way
*activity using the rhyming pairs found in the book
*Compare and contrast to The Gingerbread Boy
*Look at many different versions of the Gingerbread Boy/Girl
*make gingerbread cookies
*change the main character in the book to be a gingerbread animal and rewrite the story.
13. The Sea Chest
Buzzeo, Toni. THE SEA CHEST. New York, New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.
ISBN 0-8037-2703-8; historical fictional account of a lighthouse keeper’s daughter; pp.
32; illustrations in oil; preschool – 4th
This beautiful book is a story within a story. It begins as Auntie Maita and her great niece
wait for a special delivery of a new brother or sister. Aunite Maita passes the time and tells
the story to her great niece of her childhood as a lonely lighthouse keeper’s daughter off the
coast of Maine. She tells her the story of a special sea chest that was washed ashore that
changed her life forever. For in the chest was found a baby girl that would be raised by the
lighthouse keeper and his wife and become her sister. Wonderful, poingent story.
*Fabulous oil illustrations that show characters moods
*Poetic ,moving, lyrical text
*Aurthor’s note about the legend of the sea chest
*Muted colors in gold warm hues that represent safety and peacefulness.
*May have to give background information on how isolated a lighthouse and it’s keeper
were from the mainland.
*Compare and contrast other legends or myths of the sea
*Research if a true account of a baby being found by a lighthouse has occurred in history.
*history project on lighthouses in Maine
*Have students write about a time that they yearned for something important
*Discuss aspects of being kind and compassionate to your fellow man
14. Hattie Big Sky
Kirby, Larson. HATTIE BIG SKY. New York, New York: Yearling, 2008. Print.
ISBN: 0385735952; 304 pp., 8 and up; historical fiction; homesteading in Montana; life in
early 1900’s; WWI, Newberry Honor Book; novel.
Sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks moves from Iowa to Vida Montana to prove up her Uncles
homestead claim. She has been shuttled between many relatives after both her parents
died. She is tired of it all and wants to prove herself in Montana. She braves many
hardships and tragedies and learns about life along the way. She has the help of many, but
becomes very close to her neighbors, the Muellers. However, the Muellers where German
and anyone of German descent was seen as un-American, Hattie had to face this obsticle to
understand the meaning of family and true friendship.
15. A Breath of Eyre
Mont, Eva Marie. A BREATH OF EYRE. New York, New York: Kensington Books, 2012.
ISBN-10: 9780758269485; 352 pp.; YA Historical Fiction novel; time-travel; Jane Eyre.
13yrs and up.
Emma Townsend is a teenager who has everyday struggles as she tries to find her niche at
a prep school. She attends on a scholarship and is seen as part of the out crowd. She
chooses Jane Eyre as her subject for her English essay and as she read strange things begin
to happen. She is an avid reader and reading is her escape from a lonely life at the prep
school. Soon through a freak electrical storm she is stuck in the world of Jane Eyre. Lives
Jane’s life, and comes to love the life of Jane. As she travels between both worlds, she
must discover and decide which life hold’s her fate. Told in the 1st
person by Emma.
Anderson, Laurie Halse. WINTERGIRLS. New York, New York: Viking, 2009. Print.
ISBN-10: 014241557X; pp. 300; contempary realistic fiction about eating disorders and self
multilation; grades 9-12; best friends, parental relationship; death, eating disorders, self-
Lia and Cassie are best friends and have a pact on who can become the thinniest. Cassie
loses her battle and dies – alone. Racked with guilt, Lia struggles with her recovery while
she fights her demons as she tries to understand her friends death, and her guilty
conscience at not trying to save her friend.
*Very emotional and adult topic
*Text is written in the 1st
person with different sized text, italics and crossed out words,
blank pages and repitition relate to the reader the often very dysfunctional irrational
thoughts of the main character Lia and her inner turmoil. For example filling two pages with
the mantra - Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.
*Very poetic and lyrical text
*Very realistic descriptions may be too real and make some reader uneasy
*Critics say it may be a catalyst for those with eating disorders
*Explore the website http://www.bradley.edu/thebodyproject/
*Students will write a positive poem about themselves
*Students will create a positive self image letter about a peer
*Create a poster using both good and bad self images in magazines and compare and contrast
*Discuss and research why a “skinny” image has been the norm. Has the trend become
“healthy” instead of an unattainable skinny image in the last 10 years
Spinelli, Jerry. STARGIRL. New York, New York :, Knopf :, Distributed by Random House,,
ISBN: 0679886370 ; realistic contempory fiction; age 10 & up; pp. 186; popularity,
nonconformity, bullying, being eccentric.
This is the sweet story of a girl named Stargirl who changed Mica High School
forever. Narrated by Leo Borlock who is a junior at the school. Leo is both
enamored by Stargirl and repulsed by her. She is so wonderfully strange that Leo
can’t not help but fall in love with her quirky ways; however, he also wants to fit
in with the “right” crowd. Which Stargirl definitely does not. Stargirls extreme
popularity is extinguished and Leo must decide between being true to himself or
going with the crowd.
*Wonderful book to look at being true to yourself
*Excellent book to discuss acceptance
*Easy to understand concepts that relay feelings and depth of the characters
*At times both funny and humorous
* A great way to show there are still good people in the world like Stargirl
*Discuss different stereo types in the school
*Write a paper using the perspective of a friend you are close too.
*Create a character sketch of Stargirl
*Compare and contrast the personalities of Stargirl and Leo
*Unit on bullying and changing perspective
18. After Tupac and D Foster