Book List with some Brief Annotation: Engaging Their Brains! Training, Jan 2013, Head Start

As part of our Professional Development offerings, I got to spend 2 hours with Head Start educators from Kent County one snowy morning at the start of 2013. Thank you to the 140 early educators who came out while other schools were still on Winter Break to delve more into various topics, including Engaging Their Brains! with Multisensory Reading.

Below is a briefly annotated list of the storybooks I brought with me to support the topics in our presentation. I’ve also tried to link a cover photo for each to provide a visual. We weren’t able to get to the full props or possibilities for each one, but feel free to add your 2cents in the comments of you think of something we didn’t talk about!

– Amy

from Author Eric Carle


  • Press Here by Henre Tullet 
    • use with yellow dot stickers or circles
    • counting to 5
    • dark/light
    • movement
    • colors
  • Shirley Barber’s Count with Me!  

    (used copies starting at $.01)

    • Numbers from 1-10
    • Each two page spread includes one rhyme about the number as an invitation to find that same of other objects (i.e. Can you see 3 of anything else?)
    • vocabulary


Picture Walking

  • Snow Bear by Jean Craighead George  
    • also authored Julie of the Wolves which is read in upper el or middle school
    • multicultural
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Keats
    • winter
    • Caldecott Winner

      audio and video available at KDL

Alphabet Action  

KDL has sound recording

  • Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC by June Sobel
  • The Z was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg

    video available at KDL

    • vocabulary
    • verbs
    • local (GR based) author
    • author of The Polar Express

Comprehension and Making Connections

Feeling, Thinking; Asking Why (problem solving; making predictions)  

  • Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood
    • also available as a Big Book
    • adjectives
    • emotion
    • similes
  • I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont  
    • self-esteem


Books are Listed to reflect moving from Simple to Complex concepts all with a base in color recognition and naming.

  • Paddington’s Colors by Michael Bond
    • prop friendly (stuffed Paddington; color swatches)
  • Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne

    also available as a big book

    • Not for reading independently
    • very conducive to a stop and point at the colors mentioned as read through the story
  • White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker
    • color combinations
    • making predictions

Reading for Special Days (one way to add repetition for older children)  

  • The Secret Birthday Message by Eric Carle
    • have the birthday boy/girl lead the actions
    • could have a stuffed dog that is the “Birthday Friend” of the day
  • Happy Birthday to You by Dr. Seuss
    • is a full Dr. Seuss, so can be long for read aloud, depending on attention spans

Pattern Recognition and Classification

Supports story parts as well as flexible thinking.

  • Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland
    • recognition of story characters
    • visual images
    • making predictions
    • imagination

KDL also offers sound recording and vide

  • Gray Rabbit’s Odd One Out by Alan Baker
    • related to White Rabbit by same author
    • making predictions
    • finding what does not belong

Story Patterns 

The Little Red Hen

    • The Little Red Hen by Alan Garner & Norman Messenger
    • The Little Red Hen ill. by Barry Downard
    • multiple versions of same tales assist with flexible thinking and generalizations; recognizing story patterns; making predictions….


  • The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo
    • multicultural
  • Cinderella as told by Russell Shorto/The Untold Story of Cinderella by Russell Shorto
    • First half of the book is the traditional tale and compeletes half way through.
    • Flip the book and start from the back and it’s tells a different perspective of Cinderella and the prince.

used copies start at $0.95 at B&N

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