Monday, March 4, 2013

Needs vs. Wants

Those Shoes By Maribeth Boelts
Grades 2-5

An urban boy wants the same sneakers he sees his classmates wearing, but his grandmother can't afford to buy them. He ends up finding a pair in the thrift shop and even though they're too small he buys them anyway. They squeeze his feet and cause him pain and eventually he does a such a big-hearted thing with those shoes. The end of this book makes your heart swell.

 Something Beautiful By Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Grades 3-6

A little girl lives in the inner city and is hard-pressed to find much beauty around her. As she speaks to her neighbors and friends they point out that which is beautiful to them. She begins to see beauty in the small every day things and starts to make some changes in her neighborhood to erase the ugly. Touching and so real.

 Owen By Kevin Henkes
Grades K-2

A funny book about security and family and growing up. Owen wants to bring his security blanket everywhere, he needs the comfort that it provides. His parents worry that maybe he is getting too old for such nonsense and with the nosy neighbor's input start trying some methods to part Owen from his blankie. The twist at the end shown only in the picture clue reminds us that we all need comforting.

 Joseph Had a Little Overcoat By Simms Taback
Grades K-2

When Joseph has an overcoat that gets old and worn he doesn't throw it out. He turns it into something else again and again. A good book to teach about reusing and not being wasteful. Beautiful illustrations in this die-cut Caldecott winning book.


 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble By William Steig
Grades 2-5

When Sylvester finds a magic pebble and realizes it grants wishes he is overjoyed. Before he can bring it home to show his parents however a lion creeps up on him and afraid of being attacked Sylvester wishes to be a rock. Unable to wish himself back to being himself Sylvester is stuck being a rock for a very long time. His parents search and search for their beloved son, but are unable to find him. One spring day they decide that in order to cheer themselves up they will go on a picnic. While they are eating on the rock (that also just happens to be Sylvester) they notice the magic red pebble on the ground nearby and after picking it up they wish that Sylvester could be there with them. Instantly the rock turns back into Sylvester and the family is reunited. They tuck the magic pebble away in a safe place and realize they have nothing else to wish for because they have all they could really need, each other.

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