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Tag Archives: Picture Books

The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System

The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System by Joanna Cole

Published February 1st 1992 by Scholastic Press (first published October 1st 1990)

Plot Description: Thanks to the planetarium being closed, Ms Frizzle decides to take her class on a whole different type of class trip, to outer space.  In this book we get to explore all the planets, including the sun and the moon. Throughout the story we are given scientific facts that are presented not only in an interesting but humorous way.  Ms Frizzle ends up being separated from the students for a time, leaving them to explore on their own, but are finally reunited at the end where they summarize their adventures using a chart and mobile.

Quantitative Reading Level: 3.7

Qualitative Reading Analysis: I believe this is a Moderately Complex text.  The information is given in a way that is interesting to the students, however there is still a lot of information that may be new to them given in such a short amount of time that they may be unable to absorb all of it at once.

Content Area: Earth Science, Mathematics (Number Sense)

CC Content Area Standard: ES 3.4, ES 5.5

Curriculum Lesson Plans:

(Also has plans for other Solar System books)

Other Fun Resources:


Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone

Published February 19th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Plot Description: Previous to the 1830s, women were not allowed to be doctors.  They were expected to be daughters, wives, maybe teachers or seamstresses, but never doctors.  That is, until one woman chose to challenge that idea.  Elizabeth Blackwell, originally of Bristol, England, at the bequest of her friend, decided that she would become a doctor.  Accepted into Geneva Medical School in upstate New York, Elizabeth graduated at the top of her class and later, along with her sister who also became a doctor, opened their own hospital for women, paving the way for all female doctors of the future.

Quantitative Reading Level: 4.1

Qualitative Reading Analysis: Slightly Complex.  The story is pretty straightforward and uses a linear progression to explain how Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female doctor. Used a few larger, more complex words, but these would be easy to decipher using context clues.

Content Area: History/Social Science, Health

CC Content Area Standard: HSS 2.1, HSS 2.5, H K-3.1.P

Curriculum Lesson Plans:

Other Fun Resources:

  • Awards
    • BooklistTop 10 Books for Youth 2013
    • Biographies; NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12: 2014
    • Booklist2013 Top 10 Books for Youth, Science & Health
    • 2014 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Recommended Book
    • 2014 Amelia Bloomer Project List, Early Readers Nonfiction

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander

Published February 1st 1999 by Charlesbridge

Plot Description: Sir Cumference’s son, Radius, is sent on a quest to help find a cure for his father who has been turned into a dragon. Radius must go on a mathematical quest to solve a riddle and find the correct dosage of a medicine that can turn his father from a dragon back into a man by measuring the diameter and circumference of a circle and coming up with the number Pi.  Mathematical terms and concepts are used to tell the story. This would be a great story to read in observation of Pi Day (March 14th).

Quantitative Reading Level: 3.8

Qualitative Reading Analysis: Moderately Complex for the grade level.  Although the story line is simple, there are introductions to new mathematical terms (pi, circumference, diameter, etc.) as well as the double meaning of the word pie/pi that is discussed at the end of the book.

Content Area: Measurement & Geometry

CC Content Area Standard: Math 6.RP. 1-3, Math 6.G. 1-6, Math 7.RP. 1-3, Math 7.G. 1-7

Curriculum Lesson Plans:

Other Fun Resources:

  • Characters – Sir Cumference, Radius, Lady Di of Ameter, Geo & Sym of Metry, Lady Fingers (Pinky)

The Lorax

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

First published August 12, 1971

Plot Description: The Lorax is a magical creature that speaks for the trees.  He appears one day to beg the Once-ler to cease his business of chopping down trees, for they are important.  The Once-ler does not listen to the Lorax, but instead continues to grow his business and chopping down Truffula Trees until they and all the wildlife are gone.  This is a great book to introduce children to the importance against pollution and keeping our earth healthy.

Quantitative Reading Level: 3.1

Qualitative Reading Analysis: Moderately to Very Complex due to the time jumping between the Once-ler telling the story and the story itself, as well as complex/original language create by Dr. Seuss that is not readily known and the underlying hidden concept of protecting the Earth that develops throughout the story.

Content Area: History/Social Science, Science

CC Content Area Standard: HSS 10.3, HSS 10.11, LS 3.3, LS 4.3, LS 6.5, ES 6.6

Curriculum Lesson Plans:

Other Fun Resources: