This summer I made it a goal to read more widely in the picture book area. Previously, the book I shared with students on the first day of school was THE NAME JAR by Yangsook Choi. The power of that book for me was that I could share a personal story about the importance of names, that it is every child's right to be called by their name (in whatever variation that may be) and have it pronounced correctly as a part of their identity, it's written by an author who has personal stories about adapting to a new culture, it's a beautiful book and story, and it is a great segue into introductions and my making sure I have the correct name and pronunciation for each of my students.
This year I will start with:
THE STORY OF FISH & SNAIL by Deborah Freedman
BOY + BOT by Ame Dyckman
ART & MAX by David Wiesner
I especially love that when I tweeted this list out, Deborah and Ame expressed their excitement that I was reading aloud picture books to 8th graders...and even more so this:
If you haven't read any of these, I highly recommend that you do. Happy reading!