These picture books are perfect for teaching imagery to your students.
There is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me. Alice Walker. HarperCollins,
Walker uses the five sense as inspiration for this series of short verses celebrating our connection with the natural world. Picture Book.
The Barn Owls. Tony Johnston. Charlesbridge, 2000.
Generations of barn owls have lived in this old barn for at least a hundred years. The watercolor illustrations are as lyrical as the text. Picture Book.
Butterfly House. Eve Bunting. Scholastic. 1999.
A girl and her grandfather rescue a caterpillar from a hungry bird. They care for it and eventually it becomes a Painted Lady butterfly. Narrated by the child who has grown old. Beautiful! Picture Book.
The Gift. Kristine L. Franklin. Chronicle Books, 1999.
Wise Fish Woman takes young Jimmy Joe fishing so he can catch his first giant Chinook salmon. The Great Wolves of the Sea (whales) are also hunting for salmon.
Jimmy decides to return his fish to the sea for the whales. Picture Book.
The Gingerbread Cowboy. Janet Squires. HarperCollins, 2006.
This southwest version is lively with desert and canyon animals and landscapes.
Heroes of the Surf: A Rescue Story Based on True Events. Elisa Carbone. Viking, 2012.
Told in first person narrative by one of the boy passengers, this is a dramatic story of what happened when the steamship Pliny ran aground and nearly sank in a storm off the coast of New Jersey in 1882. Great imagery, characterization and details. Picture Book.
Keeper of Soles. Teresa Bateman. Holiday House, 2006.
Colin is an outstanding cobbler. When death comes to his door, Colin notices he isn’t wearing shoes, so he makes him sandals and tells him to come back for them in a month. Over many years, Colin keeps the Grim Reaper at bay by making him shoes for every occasion. Picture Book.
My Life With the Wave. Catherine Cowan. HarperCollins, 1997.
A boy brings home a wave after a trip to the beach. After a while the wave’s erratic behavior becomes too much to handle. Picture Book.
My Many Colored Days. Dr. Seuss. Knopf, 1996.
Each day of the week has a color which is associated with a specific emotion. Picture Book.
Night Boat to Freedom. Margot Theis Raven. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.
This story is based on slave narratives from the 1930’s. Christmas John risks his life to take runaways across the river to Ohio. Rich with imagery. Picture Book.
One Leaf Rides the Wind : Counting in a Japanese Garden. Celeste Davidson Mannis. Puffin Books, 2005.
Ten simple haiku poems are told through the eyes of a young girl delighting in her discoveries in a Japanese garden. Picture Book.
The Secret-Keeper. Kate Coombs. Simon & Schuster, 2006.
Kalli keeps the unpleasant secrets of the villagers in drawers that line her cottage. Their secrets transform into objects once they have told them to Kalli. Eventually, the secrets become too much for Kalli to bear. The villagers help her regain her health by sharing happy secrets. Picture Book.
Snowflake Bentley. Jacqueline Briggs Martin. Houghton Mifflin, 1998.
Wilson Bentley had loved snow since he was a little boy. He spent 50 years developing a microphotography technique that captured images of ice crystals. Remarkable!
A Story for Bear. Dennie Haseley. Harcourt, 2002.
A young bear discovers a cabin in the woods where a woman absorbed in reading. He comes back day after day to listen to her read aloud, though he doesn’t understand the words. At the end of summer, she leaves her books behind. Picture Book.
Who Took My Hairy Toe?Shutta Crum. Albert Whitman, 2001.
A greedy old man steals some tar from a neighbor on Halloween and puts it in his pocket. Next, he digs up a hairy toe in his neighbor’s garden and puts that in his pocket. When a creature comes looking for his hairy toe, the man can’t get his hand out of his pocket! Picture Book.
Wind Flyers. Angela Johnson. Simon & Schuster, 2007.
A young boy who dreams of flying in the wind becomes a Tuskagee Airman in World WarII. Picture Book.