Are you looking for picture books that compel learners to inquire about the world? I have five wonderful titles for you. Each of the books listed below inspire work with the Inquire Shared Foundation. You won’t just casually read these books and put them down. Instead, you’ll find yourself asking questions and wanting to know more. As you read the summaries below, think of how you can use these titles for an inquiry-based lesson. What ideas do you have? Please share them in the comment box at the end of the post. I included an idea for each book with a link to my blog; Library Lessons.
Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border
We hear reports about the situation at the border of the United States and Mexico. Fences separate families and keep them apart. But have you heard of a tradition that unites relatives at the border? It’s called La Posada Sin Fronteras. Between Us and Abuela by Mitali Perkins tells the story about this celebration. The narrator, a girl from California, takes us on a trip to see her grandmother who lives in Mexico. The journey ends at the border. Families reunite by touching hands through the links of a guarded fence. They are happy to be together to celebrate the religious holiday. This is a gentle story about a tough topic. The engaging text and illustrations invite young readers to inquire about the annual event. Information at the back of the book will answer the questions readers will have.
One Dark Bird
Did you know that the Next Generation Science Standards want learners to inquire about phenomena? One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon and Frann Preston-Gannon is the perfect book to explore the idea. This poetic story invites readers to learn about murmuration in a poetic way. Reading this book is like watching a mesmerizing ballet. You can almost imagine an orchestra playing while looking at the birds dance in the sky.
Lubna and Pebble
Have you ever found solace from an object? Maybe a book of poems or a moving song? A young girl, Lubna, finds comfort from a pebble in the story Lubna and Pebble. This pebble is with her when she arrives to a tent city. The author, Wendy Meddour, tells the story of a refugee without spelling it out for the reader. One might even think it is a story about moving; not escaping. The illustrations, by Daniel Egnéus, give us hints that there is more to this story. With the use of color, close-ups and images of fighter jets in the background, we understand that the circumstances are dire. This will leave readers wondering about what is happening in the story.
Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)
I bet you could recognize a silhouette of Charlie Chaplin with his bowler hat, baggy pants and cane. But I wonder if young learners could put a name to the shape of this entertaining man? The pages in Smile by Gary Golio and Ed Young are filled with silhouettes that compel readers to look closely and wonder. The cutouts give hints to a different time and place, leaving the reader wondering about what they are seeing.
Take a look at this Knowledge Quest blog post that describes how to use Smile for a visual literacy lesson.
Snails Are Just My Speed
Have you ever stopped and wondered about snails? If you are looking for answers to your questions, read Snails Are Just My Speed. Author Kevin McCloskey will answer your questions with facts and fun. This book is part of the Giggle and Learn series, and the content lives up to the title. Learners will enjoy exploring the illustrations that point out facts in interesting ways.
Do you have any lesson ideas based on these books? I know we would all love to hear them! Please post them in the comment box below.
Author: Maureen Schlosser
Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades and Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers published by ALA Editions
Skillshare Teacher: https://skl.sh/3a852D5