This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen. Copyright 2012. Published by Candelwick Press. Picture book. Recommended for Kindergarten – 5th grade.
A little fish steals a blue hat from a very large sleeping fish. He knows it is wrong but tries to justify stealing the hat and shares his plan to not get caught. The large fish wakes up, notices his hat is gone and begins to chase the little fish. A crab witnesses the little fish wearing the hat and points out which way he went to the large fish. The little fish swims to the area were the plants grow tall and thick. The leaves on the plants are shaped like fish. The last thing we see is the big fish coming out of the weeds wearing his blue hat. This is Not My Hat opens up the opportunity for discussion of stealing and consequences for our behavior. Use Jon Klassen’s 2011 book, I Want My Hat Back, to teach a lesson on comparative literature. There are many similarities and difference in the two stories.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao. Copyright 2012. Published by Harper, An Imprint of Harper Collins. 304 pages. Recommended for 3rd to 8th graders.
The One and Only Ivan is based on the true story of Ivan, a Silverback Gorilla. Ivan was taken from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1960’s and raised in a family home. When he became too hard for the family to keep, he was given to a circus-themed mall as an attraction. National Geographic ran a special featuring Ivan, The Urban Gorilla. This increased awareness led to letter writing and finally to Ivan’s move to the Zoo Atlanta, after living 27 years alone in a cage. The One and Only Ivan is written short passages similar to the format of a diary and includes a glossary. Ivan loved to paint and would sign his work with a thumbprint. Ivan narrates his life story of friendship and art. He becomes attached to his caretakers and uses art to communicate. Sadly, Ivan died August 20, 2012. He was 50 years old.