Two unlike objects compared similarly by substituting one for the other as, for example, when a beautiful cat is called “eye candy.”  Here are 15 titles I recommend for teaching this concept.

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Carolinda Clatter! Mordicai Gerstein.  Roaring Brook Press, 2005.
The town of Pupickton is very quiet because it is built on top of a sleeping giant.  Carolinda is born a very noisy child who inevitably awakens the giant.  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.


Dirty Laundry Pile : Poems in Different Voices. Paul Janeczko.  HarperCollins, 2001.
A fabulous collection of 27 “persona” poems from some of our best children’s poets.
Useful for teaching metaphor and imagery.



Hello, Harvest Moon. Ralph Fletcher.  Clarion, 2003.
The luminous full harvest moon has a magical effect on all it touches.  Impressionistic oil paintings help create the tone for this poetic prose.  Picture Book.

It Figures! : Fun Figures of Speech.  Marvin Terban.  Clarion, 1993.
Introduces simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration and hyperbole with definitions, great examples and unfinished sentences that students can complete.

Mama, I’ll Give You the World. Roni Schotter and S.Saelig Gallagher.  Schwartz & Wade Books, 2006.
Luisa plans a surprise birthday party for her hardworking single mother who is a stylist at Walter’s World of Beauty.  Rich language full of literary devices: alliteration, metaphor, inference, imagery, simile, symbolism.  The illustrations have the same depth and richness as the text.  A perfect, perfect picture book!

The Most Perfect Spot.  Diane Goode.  HarperCollins, 2006.
Jack invited his mom on a picnic.  It seemed like the most perfect day until “suddenly, who knows why?” everything started to go wrong.  At last they discover the perfect place right at home.  Picture Book.

The Other Side.  Jacqueline Woodson.  Putnam, 2001.
True friendship has no color.  Clover and Annie Rose come together on the fence that separates their yards.  Their parents say it isn’t safe to climb over, but one day Annie Rose crosses over to join Clover and her other black friends jump rope.  A lovely metaphor.  Picture Book.

Pop’s Bridge.  Eve Bunting.  Harcourt, 2006.
Robert’s father is a skywalker building the Golden Gate Bridge.  His friend Charlie’s father is a painter on the bridge.  Robert thinks his dad’s job is more important and dangerous that Charlie’s, until a fatal accident causes him to change his thinking.
Rich in metaphor, symbolism and foreshadowing.

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.

The Tale of Despereaux.  Kate DiCamillo.  Candlewick Press, 2003.
Despereaux is a small mouse with extra large ears who loves to read and listen to music.  The other mice in the castle punish him for falling in love with a human princess.

The Tiger Rising.  Kate DiCamillo.  Candlewick Press, 2001.
Rob, a 6th grader, has had a tragic life and tries not to think about things.  Enter Sistine, an emotional new girl.  They find a tiger in the woods near the motel where Rob lives.
Together they make a plan to free the Tiger.

Tigress.  Nick Dowson.  Candlewick Press, 2004.
A mother tigress nurtures and raises her two cubs so that they can make it on their own.
Dramatic illustrations.  Nonfiction Picture Book.

Word Builder.  Ann Whitford Paul.  Simon &  Schuster, 2009.
Using building construction as a metaphor for writing, simple text and dramatic illustrations, this picture book shows the literal and figurative craft of writing.  Letters, words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters create a whole book.
Read-aloud 2nd-5th grade

A Writing Kind of Day : Poems for Young Poets.  Ralph Fletcher.  Boyds Mills Press, 2005.
A collection of 27 free verse poems meant to inspire children to write.

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