Fiction – Poetry and Rhyme
Ehlert, Lois. Oodles of Animals.
2008. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, Inc.
This book is full of quick, easy-to-read rhymes about animals. Each animal is then illustrated with colorful shapes of paper. Be sure to look for the rhymes about dragonflies, frog, and squirrels.
Yolen, Jane. Sing a Season Song.
2015. Illus., Lisel Jane Ashlock. Mankato, MN: Creative Editions.
Starting in winter, follow through the seasons with poetry. The illustrations in this book are a nice complement to Daniel Finds a Poem. The pages also read as if Daniel and his animal friends have written more poetry.
Nonfiction – Poetry
There are far too many wonderful poetry books to feature them all. Please peruse the poetry section at your library (or ask your librarian for help) to find more books.
Frost, Helen. Step Gently Out.
2012. Photos., Rick Lieder. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
Lyrical language and full page photographs invite readers to notice small insects in their world. This child-friendly full-book poem includes a cricket and a spider. A short paragraph about each featured insect is found in the back of the book.
Lewis, J. Patrick (ed.) National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs that Squeak, Soar, and Roar!
2012. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.
The title of this book says it all: large, full-color photographs of animals fill oversize pages. Each photo is accompanied by one or more poems by poets including Robert Frost, Robert Lewis Stevenson, and Jane Yolen. Look to these pages for poems about the animals that Daniel interacts with in the book: Spider – pg. 55 (Note: this poem refers to morning dew just like the spider in the book), Squirrel – pg. 51, Chipmunk – pg. 50, Frog – pgs. 52 and 126-127, Turtle – pgs. 95 and 162-163, Cricket – pgs. 130-131 (Note: all of the poems reference a cricket singing), Owl – pgs. 62-63 and a two-page photograph on pg. 147, and Dragonfly – pg. 42. The subject index will lead readers to poems about other favorite animals.
Prelutsky, Jack (sel.) Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young.
1986. Illus., Marc Brown. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
A collection of poems about waking up, animals, picnics, holidays, and so much more. The entire book is illustrated in Marc Brown’s classic style. This book is a great start for those that want to share poetry with young children.
Sidman, Joyce. Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night.
2010. lllus., Rick Allen. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.
Sidman’s poetry is complemented by intricate relief printing hand-colored with gouache. Each page also provides a short column of information about the subject for kids who want facts to go along with the delicious language. Look to the following pages to find poetry about the animals in the Daniel Finds a Poem: Owl – pgs. 12-13 (Dark Emperor – note that the poem is shaped like an owl), Spider – pgs. 16-17 (Night-Spider’s Advice – note that this spider is illustrated on a web much like the illustration in Daniel), and Cricket – pgs. 20-21 (Cricket Speaks).
Other books by Joyce Sidman that have poems about the animals in Daniel Finds a Poem include:
Sidman, Joyce. Song of the Water Boatman & Other Pond Poems.
2005. Illus., Beckie Prange. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Poems to accompany Daniel include: Frog – Listen for Me (about Spring Peepers), Dragonfly – Fly, Dragonfly!, and Turtle – Into the Mud.
Sidman, Joyce. Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow.
2006. Illus., Beth Krommes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Poems to accompany Daniel include: Dew – In the Almost-Light (note that the following page has a spider on a dewy web)
Singer, Marilyn. A Stick Is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play.
2012. Illus., LeUyen Pham. Boston: Clarion Books.
This book includes poems about things to do outside. Read a poem then experience it in real life. Read “First One Out” then go play catch, read “Bubbles” then blow some, or read “How Do You Like to Swing?” before visiting a playground.
Snyder, Betsy. Haiku Baby.
2008. New York: Random House.
Appropriate for very young children, this board book features poetry in haiku form about rain, a flower, the sun, a leaf, snow, and the moon. Read all six or share just one at a time.
Ten Little Fingers.
2003. Illus., Annie Kubler. Bridgemead, Swindon: Child’s Play (International) LTD.
Use this board book version of Ten Little Fingers to share a movement-filled rhyme. Be sure to act out the book as you read. This book is suitable for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Yolen, Jane. Shape Me a Rhyme: Nature’s Forms in Poetry.
2007. Photos., Jason Stemple. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong.
Shapes are one of the first concepts that children learn. This book is full of poetry about a circle, coil, heart, and more.
Fiction – Collage Illustrations
Falwell, Cathryn. Scoot!
2008. New York: Greenwillow Books.
Six silent turtles sit still while the rest of the pond animals move around them. Look for animal friends from Daniel Finds a Poem including spider, squirrel, chipmunk, frog, and dragonfly. The author/illustrator used found objects and textured printing to create her collage illustrations.
Fleming, Denise. In the Small, Small Pond.
1993. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Starting in spring and ending in winter, the animals in the pond are seen through the point of view of a frog.
Fleming, Denise. In the Tall, Tall Grass.
1991. New York: Henty Holt and Company.
Starting at lunchtime and ending as nighttime falls, a young child observes all of the animals found in the grass.
Nonfiction – Chipmunks
Miller, Kathy M. Chippy Chipmunk: Parties in the Garden.
2009. New Ringgold, PA: Celtic Sunrise.
A fictionalized account of a day in the life of a chipmunk. Kids will love the full-page photographs of a real chipmunk and other animals. The final pages contain facts about chipmunks.
Phillips, Dee. Chipmunk’s Hole.
2012. New York: Bearport Publishing.
The chipmunk in Daniel Finds a Poem lives in a stone wall. Many chipmunks live in underground burrows or inside trees or logs. Learn more in this simple introduction to chipmunks.
Nonfiction – Crickets
Oldfield, Dawn Bluemel. Inside the Cricket’s Burrow.
2014. New York: Bearport Publishing.
Part of the Snug as a Bug Where Bugs Live series, this book has information about mole crickets which live in burrows in the ground. Page 7 has photographs of a field cricket, bush cricket, and mole cricket to compare and contrast.
Fiction – Crickets
Carle, Eric. The Very Quiet Cricket.
1990. New York: Philomel Books.
A newborn cricket wants to communicate with the animals around him but he isn’t able to make any sound. He grows up through the book and finally makes a sound when he sees a female cricket in the distance.
Nonfiction – Dragonflies
Glaser, Linda. Dazzling Dragonflies: A Life Cycle Story.
2008. Illus., Mia Posada. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press.
Vibrant illustrations portray the life cycle of a dragonfly from mama dragonfly, to egg, to nymph, to full grown dragonfly, and back to mama.
Rissman, Rebecca. Dragonflies.
2013. Chicago: Raintree.
Part of the Creepy Critters series, this book is simple and colorful enough to be read aloud to a group.
Stewart, Melissa. Zoom in on Dragonflies.
2014. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Elementary.
Learn about dragonflies with up close and personal photographs.
Nonfiction – Frogs
Delano, Marfé Ferguson. Frogs.
2014. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Kids.
Part of the Explore My World series, the photographs in this book will attract kids that wish to flip through it on their own. The text is spare enough to read a few pages at a time to a group. Pages 30-31 feature tips on how to sing like six different frog species.
Frisch, Aaron. Frogs.
2015. Mankato, MN: Creative Paperbacks.
Large photographs and minimal text allow this book to be read aloud like a storybook. While very simple, this title also features important nonfiction elements (table of contents, words to know (glossary), and index) for those trying to teach about nonfiction.
Hawes, Judy. Why Frogs Are Wet.
2000. Illus., Mary Ann Fraser. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Part of the Let’s Read and Find Out Science series, the whole of the book may be a lot for a preschool crowd to comprehend. However, pages 18-19 feature a really interesting illustration demonstrating the actual size of a Goliath Frog, Bullfrog, and Little Grass Frog. The Goliath Frog is larger than a human hand and kids will have fun comparing its size to their little hands.
Himmelman, John. Noisy Frog Sing-Along.
2013. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications.
The frogs are identified in each bright and colorful illustration. Words that mimic each frog’s song allow everyone to sing along with a variety of frogs. This nonfiction title is a fun readaloud.
Fiction – Frogs
Breen, Steve. Stick.
2007. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.
Stick is an independent frog that literally gets carried away by a dragonfly that is too big for him to catch. His adventure continues as he travels via balloon, motorcycle, and seagull. At last, when he is all alone, he realizes that he wants to be back with his mom and gets a little help.
Kalan, Robert. Jump, Frog, Jump!
1981. Illus., Byron Barton. New York: Greenwillow Books.
A cumulative tale about a frog that escapes from many predators by jumping away. Be sure to jump along with the frog as you read.
Nonfiction – Owls
Bodden, Valerie. Owls.
2013. Mankato, MN: Creative Paperbacks.
Part of the Amazing Animals series, the larger trim size of this title allows the photographs to be visible to a larger group. It is text heavy so mark one or two sentences per page if you want to read it to a group.
Leaf, Christina. Great Horned Owls.
2015. Minneapolis, MN: Bellwether Media.
Part of the Blastoff! Readers series, this beginning reader book includes photographs and information about an owl species that is found throughout a majority of North America. This particular title is considered Level 3: Early Fluent by the publisher.
Marsh, Laura. Owls.
2014. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.
This beginning to read title features photographs and information about owls in general. Each photograph has a label naming the specific kind of owl in that photograph. The book also includes four child-friendly jokes about owls. This particular title is considered Level 1: Starting to Read by the publisher.
Fiction – Owls
Allen. Jonathan. I’m Not Sleepy.
2010. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.
Baby Owl has been up all night and it is his bedtime. Like many children, he insists that he is not sleepy and does not want to go to bed. Adults will enjoy the subtle humor while kids enjoy the story.
Kousky, Vern. Otto the Owl who Loved Poetry.
2015. New York: Nancy Paulsen Books.
Otto would rather read books and recite poetry than roost in a tree and hunt at night. The other owls make fun of him until they learn to appreciate the poems. This book includes excerpts from famous poems.
Srinivasan, Divya. Little Owl’s Day.
2014. New York: Viking.
Little Owl always sleeps during the day, until one day squirrel’s chittering wakes him up. He explores the world as he has never seen it before. Look closely at the illustrations, readers will find some friends from Daniel Finds a Poem including squirrel, chipmunk, dragonflies, frog, and turtle.
Waddell, Martin. Owl Babies.
1992. Illus., Patrick Benson. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
When Owl Mother goes off hunting, Sarah, Percy, and Bill comfort each other until she returns.
Nonfiction – Spiders
Barton, Bethany. I’m Trying to Love Spiders.
2015. New York: Viking.
A strong dose of humor adds a lighthearted touch to this book that is “chock-full of amazing arachnid facts!”
Wadsworth, Ginger. Up, Up, and Away.
2009. Illus., Patricia J. Wynne. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
What happens when hundreds of spiderlings hatch from their egg sac? Follow one female spider as she escapes from predators and then floats off to find a place to build a web of her own. This nonfiction title looks and reads like a story book.
Fiction – Spiders
Carle, Eric. The Very Busy Spider.
1984. New York: Philomel Books.
Many farm animals invite spider to do something with them but she is too busy spinning her web. As soon as the web is done, she catches a spider and finally rests. The web is raised on the pages giving a tactile experience to the book.
Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Spider.
2005. Illus., Harry Bliss. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Spider facts are interspersed throughout this humorous look at the world through a spider’s eyes.
Czajak, Paul. Seaver the Weaver.
2015. Illus., The Brothers Hilts. Minneapolis, MN: Mighty Media Kids.
Seaver creates unique webs with triangles, squares, and hexagons. His brothers and sisters think he should make round webs like theirs but soon discover that his webs are most effective.
Krumwiede, Lana. Just Itsy.
2015. Illus., Greg Pizzoli. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
Children that are familiar with the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Little Miss Muffet, and I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly will love this combination of the three stories.
Nonfiction – Squirrels
Diemer, Lauren. Squirrels.
2008. New York: Weigl Publishers Inc.
Part of the Backyard Animals series, this book has too much text to be read aloud to a group. However, the photographs can be shared along with one or two sentences per page.
Sayre, April Pulley. Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep.
2016. Illus., Steve Jenkins. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Brief lyrical text introduces readers to information about squirrels. The book reads and looks like a storybook. Further information can be found in the back matter.
Fiction – Squirrels
Barnard, Lucy. Squirrel’s Busy Day.
2013. Irvine, CA: QEB Publishing, Inc.
Squirrel is busy gathering acorns for the winter and turns down all of the friends that want to play. When disaster strikes, his friends step in and help, leaving time for play.
Emmett, Jonathan. Leaf Trouble.
2009. Illus., Caroline Jayne Church. New York: Scholastic, Inc.
Pip is distraught when his tree home starts losing its leaves. He collects them and puts them back on the branches without much success. Finally, his mother explains that “taking care of the leaves was hard work for the tree” and that it deserves a rest.
Rubin, Adam. Those Darn Squirrels!
2008. Illus., Daniel Salmieri. New York: Clarion Books.
Old Man Fookwire loves birds. He paints pictures of them and puts out food for them. Old Man Fookwire does not like squirrels. They take the food from the birdfeeders. But when the birds fly south for the winter, the squirrels find a way to gain Old Man Fookwire’s heart.
Watt, Mélanie. Scaredy Squirrel.
2006. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press, Ltd.
Every day is the same for Scaredy Squirrel but he likes it that way. It keeps him safe. Until one day the unexpected happens and Scaredy Squirrel finds that the unknown can be fun too.
Nonfiction – Turtles
Berger, Melvin. Look Out for Turtles!
1992. Illus., Megan Lloyd. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
This Let’s Read and Find Out Science series book is a little older but it contains a lot of information about turtles. The turtles in each illustration are labeled to help kids identify each type.
Fiction – Turtles
George, William T. Box Turtle at Long Pond.
1989. Illus., Lindsay Barrett George. New York: Greenwillow Books.
Follow a turtle as he searches for food and escapes from a raccoon. Be sure to look for the dragonfly and the chipmunk in the realistic-looking illustrations.
Books Recommended by the Carnegie Science Center to Go with Science and Engineering Activities
Banks, Kate. The Night Worker.
2000. Illus., Georg Hallensleben. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux.
Father works each night at a construction site. One night, he takes his young son with him to see the work that they do.
Boyd, Lizi. Flashlight.
2014. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
Explore the night world through the light of a flashlight. There are visible outlines everywhere on the page, but the flashlight’s reach is the focus. This book is wordless yet opens up many opportunities for discussion.
Ehlert, Lois. Leaf Man.
2005. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, Inc.
What can you see in a pile of leaves? Ehlert uses real leaves to create illustrations of a man, birds in flight, butterflies, and more. The endpapers include helpful leaf identification pages.
Garcia, Emma. Tip Tip Dig Dig.
2007. New York: Boxer Books.
Colorful construction vehicles clean up a huge mess to create an adventure playground. Filled with repetition and personality, this book is suitable for toddlers and preschoolers.
Hort, Lenny. How Many Stars in the Sky?
1991. Illus., James E. Ransome. New York: Tambourine Books.
A young boy wonders how many stars are in the sky. He tries to count them from his yard but there are trees and houses in the way. Finally, his father drives him way out into the country where they can truly admire the night sky.
Kerley, Barbara. A Cool Drink of Water.
2002. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.
Using simple yet lyrical text, alongside photographs from around the world, the author shows how important water is to everyone. Further information about each photograph’s location and subject is included in the back of the book.
Rocco, John. Blackout.
2011. New York: Disney*Hyperion Books.
It’s a typical night in the city until the power goes out. Then everyone plays in the lights from flashlights and candles. Look for the shadows illustrated throughout the book.
Sayre, April Pulley. Raindrops Roll.
2015. New York: Beach Lane Books.
A photo-illustrated nonfiction book about the magic of rain. Watch animals take cover, see water filled leaves, imagine drops slipping down a blade of grade. The lyrical language is an added bonus to this beautiful book.
Swanson, Susan Marie. The House in the Night.
2008. Illus., Beth Krommes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Intricate scratchboard illustrations highlighted with gold illuminate a book about the magic of nighttime light in a home and from the moon.