Birdsong: A Story in Pictures by James Sturm; illustrated by James Sturm. 2016. Drawn with pen and brush in India ink and colored digitally
Brief summary: Two bad children are cruel to a turtle and a red bird. As they are chasing the poor little bird up the mountain, a wizard turns them into monkeys. They are caught and put in a circus. The two are released and run into the forest to live where the little red bird talks to them. This is not a happily-ever-after ending.
Comments: Stories without words. Good for predictions unit of study. Great explanation of the Japanese way of telling wordless stories–e-toki and kamishibai. Story with a moral. I plan to read this at the beginning of the year to teach about gaito kamishibi in my stories without words unit. This would be a good book to use at the beginning of the school year when reviewing the procedures and rules of the school to teach students that there are consequences for bad choices.
A Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins; illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins. 2016. Brush marker, gouache, graphite, colored pencil and charcoal
Brief Summery: A child assumes the lion has been eating the creatures as they slowly disappear from the story, but all along, they all have been preparing to throw the beast a surprise party. The lights go out, and he does eat them. The lights come on, and there is a T-Rex standing there who eats the lion. The turtle survives it all by pretending to be a rock. The ending suggests another story with a little turtle eating a large cake.
Comment: I plan to use this book when I talk about about story predictions. There are several times in the book that I could stop and ask the students if they could predict what would happen next in the book.