A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon is such an inspiring children's book to teach children about identity, and self-perception. The main character, Camilla, loves lima beans, but she is afraid to eat them in front of her friends because of what they will think or say about her. Throughout the book, Camilla stops eating lima beans because no one else eats them. The day after, she goes to school and her classmates realize that whatever they say to her, she becomes a pattern on her skin. Toward the end of the book, an older women comes to "cure" Camilla by giving her lima beans. I would read this book to my students to allow them understand that it is okay to be different. I would teach this to kindergarten through second grade. This would help teach students about character education and being true to yourself.
Lexile Level: AD540L
Bully Beans by Julia Cook is a great children's book that teaches students about becoming proactive when it comes to bullying. The main character, Bobbette, is a bully who threatens other children at her school. One day, a student goes home to tell her mother about Bobbette. In return, the mother gives her "bully beans" that she and her classmates can eat, so they will have the confidence to stand up against Bobbette. This book helps children understand the concept of helping others when being bullied and helps develop character education in students. I would use this book for the first week of school with first or second grade students.
ATOS reading level: 3.60
The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson is a great children's book based on the topic of bullying and the ability to empower children to stand up for others. Pete is the main character and he is starting to attend a new school. His classmates are very friendly and welcoming towards him, but he responds by being mean and putting others down. The children in his class tell him that bullying is not tolerated and they all made a class promise, which stated: " We promised that in this class, no one would stand by and accept bad behavior. When someone acts hurtfully, we all speak up." Later on in the book, the reader recognizes why Pete acts the way he does. At the end, Pete decided to give the promise a try.
I would read this book starting with kindergarten through the third grade. I would read this at the beginning of the year to my students to help develop character education. By sharing this book, I would be modeling to my students how I want them to treat each other.
ATOS reading level: 4.09
Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems is a children's book that talks about the importance of sharing. The main characters are Gerald and Piggie, and they are best friends. Willems challenges the readers to "do the right thing" in an every day situation. Throughout this story, Gerald is excited about his ice cream he had on a very hot day. All day, Gerald was deciding if he should or should not share his ice cream with Piggie. As he is thinking about this predicament, his ice cream is melting. At the end of the book, Gerald's ice cream melted and Piggie brought some ice cream to Gerald, and shared it with him.
This book would be great to teach for grades kindergarten through second grade. I would teach this the first day of school to talk about the importance of sharing and how to be a great friend toward others.
Lexile Level: 180L
Big Al by Andrew Clements is a great book about not judging people by their "cover". This is a children's picture book about a big, scary-looking fish named AL who just wants to find a friend. Even though Al appears to be mean, he is actually the nicest fish in the entire ocean. Later on in the book, Al tries to do all these things to "fit in" with the other fish, but nothing ever works. At the end of the book, he finally was able to make bonds with friends because Al saved the other fish from being captured in a net. Overall, this book is a great story for reminding the readers that actions speak louder than words and looks can be deceiving.
I would use this book in kindergarten through the third grade. I would use this book to implement character education, and how I expect my students to be with their "friends" throughout the school year.
Lexile Level: 880L