Sunday, August 10, 2014

Picture Books 10-for-10: Fairness

Thank you to Cathy (@cathymere) at Reflect and Refine and Mandy (@mandyrobek) at Enjoy and Embrace Learning for inventing and now hosting the FIFTH annual Picture Book 10 for 10 event. It's always fun to see what books everyone chooses and how much we all spend!!

I've shared my beginning of the year favorite read-alouds for community building with so many teachers that it's time to find a new group of books to use! Thank you #pb10for10 for helping me find 10 titles that will get my students and me thinking about issues of fairness. I'm excited to have a mixture of contemporary fiction, historical fiction, folktales, music, and nonfiction. I'll supplement these books with poetry on the same theme.

I found this image without attribution on another blog. This will be our first "text" to "read" and discuss as we think about fairness and justice.

 by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

This book will continue our discussions about fairness and equality.

by Rukhsana Khan
illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Sometimes we don't want to share, or take more responsibility 
because we are older.
But it's important to remember that what comes around, goes around.

Each Kindness (Jane Addams Award Book (Awards))
 by Jacqueline Woodson
illustrated by E.B. Lewis

This book will help us to connect fairness and empathy.
Hopefully we will never miss the chance to be kind
to someone in our world.

The Little Hummingbird
 by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Is it fair that the hummingbird is doing all the work?

Is it okay to make a situation more fair by using trickery? 

The Red Hen
 by Rebecca Emberley
illustrated by Ed Emberley

If you've done all the work, is it fair to keep all the rewards for yourself?

illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

With this book, we'll begin to connect fairness and Civil Rights. I'm hoping to read aloud the Kindle edition of Wiles' Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy)

Through My Eyes
 by Ruby Bridges

Is it fair for children of all race, color, ethnicity and religion to go to American public schools?

I'm a new fan of Duncan Tonatiuh after hearing him speak at the CLA Monday Workshop last year.
This book will broaden students' understanding of desegregation
to include the struggles of Hispanic families.

We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song
 by Debbie Levy
illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The story of this classic Civil Rights song will give us the "So What Now?" in this picture book unit. What will we do to work towards more fairness in our classroom, our building, our community, and our world?


  1. Uh-oh! The first list I read and I see seven books I want to own! What a great list. I love that you start with a text that is not a book. Perfect for kicking off a unit. A couple of more that you might could add to this list, MEANIEHEAD by Bruce Eric Kaplan (Amazon says it's for kids 4-8, but I totally disagree) and THE CAN MAN by Laura Williams. And what about THE SNEETCHES?

  2. Enjoyed your collection. "Each Kindness" reminds me of "One Smile" by Cindy McKinley and Mary Gregg Byrne. The text at the top made me wonder whether "fairness" and "justice" are interchangeable. Are they? I would have said that picture was "This is Equality" and "This is Fairness."

    1. I think we'll be having lots of conversation around the words EQUAL, FAIR, and JUST.

  3. I haven't seen a book by the Emberleys in a while, will look for The Red Hen, Mary Lee. Still need to get Separate Is Not Equal. It's a good list Mary Lee. I shared a couple that will fit your idea, too. Thanks for sharing the button at the top.

  4. Really great collection, and I like the visualization of fairness and justice. Might use with our Jr Great Books discussion of "Ooka and the Honest Thief." Great list!

  5. Great choices for discussion about fairness and justice. I love the mix of the genres as well. "Fair is not always equal." That is something everyone still needs to learn!

  6. Several of these are new to me. The one I want to get my hands on first is from Tonatiuh.

    Super list!

  7. I've never considered using Tops and Bottoms as a springboard for a discussion on fairness. Thanks!

  8. I too get that same feeling of needing some new books after a while. It looks like this list also crosses over to your content area of social studies. I enjoyed reading how you will connect each book to fairness. I will have to borrow a few of these. Thanks for being a faithful participant each year!

  9. Mary Lee,
    You have so many great titles here. Freedom Summer and Each Kindness are among my favorites. I look forward to checking We Shall Overcome and Big Red Lollipop out from the library. I was glad you were "fair" by including a variety of genres.


    P.S. Yep, year 5!

  10. Really great selections on this theme. Big Red Lollipop certainly inspires a lot of discussion. I like how some books can make kids a little uncomfortable - they often result in the best conversations and thinking,

  11. You have shared so many great books! My TBR stack is growing by leaps and bounds!


We welcome your contribution to the conversation!