Theme

I have found ten great books to recommend for teaching your kids about theme in literature.

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Doug-Dennis and the Flyaway Fib.  Darren Farrell.  Dial Books, 2010.Doug-Dennis the sheep goes to the circus with his elephant friend, Ben-Bobby.
When DD tells a lie about eating BB’s popcorn, he ends up faraway where everyone is a liar.  While there, he discovers what it takes to return home.  Picture Book.

The Can Man.  Laura E. Williams.  Lee and Low Books, 2010.
Tim’s parents can’t afford to buy him a skateboard for his birthday.  After watching the homeless, neighborhood “can man”, Tim decides to collect cans to earn money for the skateboard.  When he sees how cold the Can Man is, he has a change of heart and gives him the money.  Picture Book.

The Everything Machine.  Matt Novak.  Roaring Brook Press, 2009.
The folks on Planet Quirk do nothing for themselves because  machine does everything for them.  When the machine breaks down, they have to learn to do things for themselves.  Picture Book.

The Falling Raindrop.  Neil Johnson & Joel Chin.  Tricycle Press, 2010.
A raindrop falls happily from the sky until he worries about what will happen when he reaches earth.  He lands in a campfire, becomes steam and happily rises once again.
Picture Book.

One Green Apple.  Eve Bunting.  Clarion, 2006.
Farah, an Arab immigrant who does not speak English, goes on a field trip to an apple orchard her second day in class.  Text and Ted Lewin’s beautiful paintings show her discomfort and also her pleasure as class members begin to include her.  A timely, empathic story.  Also great for exploring metaphor and inference.  Picture Book.

Pop’s Bridge.  Eve Bunting.  Harcourt, 2006.
Charlie and Robert’s fathers both work on the construction of The Golden Gate Bridge in 1937.  An accident claiming 10 lives, helps Robert realize that both dad’s jobs are equally important.  Picture Book.

Remembering Crystal.  Sebastian Loth.  North South, 2010.
Zelda the goose and Crystal the turtle are best friends.  One day when Zelda goes to the garden, Crystal is not there to meet her.  The other geese try to explain aging and death.  Zelda doesn’t believe them and searches far and wide for Crystal and learns that her treasured memories will always be with her.  Picture Book.

So Few of Me.  Peter H. Reynolds.  Candlewick, 2006.
Leo is so busy that he wishes there could be two of him.  One by one, more “Leos”
appear, each creating more work.  Leo learns that the real problem is the length of his “to do” list.  Picture Book.

Todd’s TV.  James Proimos.  Roaring Brook, 2010.
When Todd’s parents are too busy for him, they plunk him in front of the TV.  Though he loved his parent, he became even more attached to his TV.  Picture Book.

Too Many Frogs. Sandy Asher, Philomel, 2005.
Rabbit loves to cozy up by the fire with a good book every evening.  Froggy arrives, invites himself in and asks to hear the story.  He comes back uninvited every night, helping himself to snacks for story time.  Finally, Froggie shows up with his entire family!
Picture Book.

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