We talked about great ideas and read
- On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky; and
- Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy.
We also talked about a couple of longer picture books that I hope some of the students will pick up on their own: The Boy Who Invented: The Story of Philo Farnsworth by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Greg Couch and The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors by Chris Barton, illustrated by Toni Persiani.
We read true stories about animals:
- Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox, illustrated by Brian Floca; and
- Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by G. Brian Karas.
Many of the students are either reading or have read Katherine Applegate's fiction story inspired by Ivan's life, The One and Only Ivan, (particularly because it is a selection for America's Battle of the Books this year). Reading Ivan's story gave us a chance to discuss elements of the story that are factual and elements that are imagined. The kids especially loved the photos of Ivan and the picture of one of his paintings.
In anticipation of Halloween, we read about two creepy gardens. We read
- Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown; and
- The Garden of Abdul Gasazi by Chris Van Allsburg.
We talked about achromatism and color choice. We discussed why an artist might want to create black-and-white illustrations, and the marvelous effect of having spots of orange color in Creepy Carrots.