The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

Styling Librarian: PYP Profile Books: Caring

profilesI recently attended a meeting and heard about how it would be useful to find out about a key book for each of the PYP, Primary Years Programme,  Profiles and Attitudes. I thought I’d post a two part blog with my favorite books and teaching ideas for them. I had previously collected all my school’s connected titles on my webpage for teachers but will share here as well. I decided to focus on PYP Profile connected books first since that is usually what schools initially focus on when introducing PYP to their students. One of my favorite PYP Profile book links is this one: I realized that I had way too many books on my list by the time I accumulated the initial list post. I decided to separate them into 10 posts for profile and attitude lists instead. This will be an ongoing series of posts. Hope it will be useful for my PYP educator friends and perhaps other friends who want to find a “perfect fit for social skills” book. Please note, I don’t necessarily believe that these books should be used in an isolated fashion. I’m looking at these lists as the first step of PYP introduction. My school promoted a month long focus for each learner profile last year and now is promoting a month long focus for each learner attitude this year. To compliment this, I’ve pulled and promoted books that connect with the profile and attitude each month in the library. I’ve found many of my favorite books are actually appropriate for numerous profiles and attitudes. My assistant and I have identified and placed past books and new books into the library catalogue under categories so that lists can be searched. Many of my teachers have favorite books they share and additionally borrow other books to have in their classroom library for students to independently read.


Featured Book:


Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge – Mem Fox – Touching book about a little boy visiting a retirement home and asking residents there what a memory is… beautiful answers can lead to a powerful discussion. Goodreads Summary: “A small boy tries to discover the meaning of “memory” so he can restore that of an elderly friend.” Teaching Ideas: Connection to ‘where we are in place and time’. Ask children to bring in their own object that they connect to a special memory. Ask children to talk with their parents and/or grandparents about an object that connects them with a memory. Lesson plan resource: Various ideas: Metaphor lesson:

Other quality books:
A Chair for My Mother – Vera B. Williams –  Goodreads Summary: “After their home is destroyed by a fire, Rosa, her mother and grandmother save their coins to buy a really comfortable chair for all to enjoy.”

A sick day for Amos McGee – Philip C. Stead –  Goodreads Summary: “Amos McGee, a friendly zookeeper, always made time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl. But one day – “Ah-choo!” – he woke up with the sniffles and the sneezes. Though he didn’t make it into the zoo that day, he did receive some unexpected guests.”


Abdullah’s butterfly – Janine Fraser –  Goodreads Summary: “Abdullah works in the weaving workshop, but wants to catch the beautiful jewel-winged butterfly to help his family.”

Beatrice’s Goat – Page McBrier –  Goodreads Summary: “More than anything, Beatrice longs to be a schoolgirl. But in her small African village, only children who can afford uniforms and books can go to school. Beatrice knows that with six children to care for, her family is much too poor. But then Beatrice receives a wonderful gift from some people far away — a goat! Fat and sleek as a ripe mango, Mugisa (which means “luck”) gives milk that Beatrice can sell. With Mugisa’s help, it looks as if Beatrice’s dream may come true after all”


Beyond the Mango Tree – Amy Browen Zemser –   Novel – Goodreads Summary: “It has been this way since Sarina’s family moved to Liberia from Boston eight months ago. Her mother ties her to the mango tree in their front yard, terrified of losing her. It’s never for long, and Sarina knows her mother doesn’t mean to hurt her. But things just seem to get harder the longer her family stays in this country so far from home.On good days, when Sarina’s mother is feeling better, she sets her daughter free. On bad days, Sarina dangles her feet in the puddles and mud until dusk, waiting for someone to rescue her, wishing for the one thing her mother fears most: a friend. Then one day Sarina meets Boima, a Liberian boy, and he becomes Sarina’s cherished secret. He takes her to places outside her dirty yard, and shows her the ocean, the trees, and the people of Liberia. Together they discover what friendship really means … and that there is a world of joy, hunger, and hope waiting just beyond the mango tree.”

Chicken Sunday – Patricia Polacco –  Goodreads Summary: “After being initiated into a neighbor’s family by a solemn backyard ceremony, a young Russian American girl and her African American brothers’ determine to buy their gramma Eula a beautiful Easter hat. But their good intentions are misunderstood, until they discover just the right way to pay for the hat that Eula’s had her eye on. A loving family story woven from the author’s childhood.”


Deepsea whale rescue – Jan Ramage –  Publisher Summary: “Based on a true account, Deepsea whale rescue brings to life the story of a mother whale’s courageous defence of her calf against attack by a pod of killer whales. But once mother and calf are safe, divers watching from a nearby launch can see the adult whale has another problem, this one caused by human; life-threatening entaglement in nylon ropes.”


Do not forget Australia – Sally Murphy –  Publisher Summary: “Henri lives in the French village of Villers-Bretonneux. Billy lives in Melbourne, Australia. These two little boys, who live thousands of miles away from each other, share one story that unites Villers-Bretonneux and Melbourne in history. A moving and inspiring story of World War One.”

Dustbin Baby – Jacqueline Wilson – Novel –  Goodreads Summary: “April Showers (so called because of her birth date, April 1, and her tendency to burst into tears at the drop of a hat) was unceremoniously dumped in a rubbish bin when she was only a few hours old. Her young life has passed by in a blur of ever-changing foster homes but as she enters her teens she decides it is time to find out the truth about her real family.”

Elizabeti’s Doll – Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen –  Goodreads Summary: “When her new baby brother arrives, Elizabeti decides she needs a doll that she can care for the way her mother cares for the new baby. After looking around the village, Elizabeti finds the perfect doll to love. She names her Eva. When Mama changes the new baby’s diaper, Elizabeti changes Eva’s. When Mama sings to the baby, Elizabeti sings to Eva. And one day when Eva turns up lost, Elizabeti realizes just how much she loves her special doll.”


Erika’s Story – Roberto Innocenti –  Goodreads Summary: “A Jewish woman recounts how her mother was able to spare her from the horrors of the Holocaust as an infant.”

Frog and Toad are Friends – Arnold Lobel –  Goodreads Summary: “One summer day Toad was unhappy. He had lost the white, fourholed, big, round, thick button from his jacket. Who helped him look for it? His best friend, Frog. Another day, Frog was unhappy. He was sick in bed and looking green. Who gave him some tea and told him a story? His best friend, Toad.”

Hugless Douglas – David Melling –  Goodreads Summary: “Douglas is a big brown, huggable, lovable bear, and he wakes up one morning in need of a hug. He goes to try and find one — but none of them seem quite right. Join Douglas on his search for the perfect bear hug!”

Kensuke’s Kingdom – Michael Morpurgo – Novel –  Goodreads Summary: “When Michael is washed up on an island in the Pacific after falling from his parent’s yacht, the Peggy Sue, he struggles to survive on his own. But he soon realises there is someone close by, someone who is watching over him and helping him to stay alive. Following a close-run battle between life and death after being stung by a poisonous jelly fish, the mysterious someone–Kensuke–allows Michael into his world and they become friends, teaching and learning from each other, until the day of separation becomes inevitable.”


Koala Lou – Mem Fox –  Goodreads Summary: “When Koala Lou’s mother becomes so busy that she forgets to tell her firstborn how much she loves her, Koala Lou enters the Bush Olympics, intending to win an event and her mother’s love all at one time.”


Layla, queen of hearts – Glenda Millard –  Goodreads Summary: “When Layla’s school announces a Senior Citizens’ Day, Layla is at a loss. Who can she take? Her friend Griffin Silk offers to share his grandmother, Nell, but Layla desperately wants someone of her own. So Nell introduces Layla to Miss Amelie and a friendship begins. Layla soon learns that Miss Amelie has problems with her memory. Layla is determined to help—and a small but significant miracle occurs in this warm and loving novel about the healing power of friendship.”

Love You Forever – Robert Munsch –  Goodreads Summary: “An extraordinarily different story by Robert Munsch is a gentle affirmation of the love a parent feels for their child–forever. Sheila McGraw’s soft and colorful pastels perfectly complement the sentiment of the book–one that will be read repeatedly for years.”

Madlenka – Peter Sis –  One day, in a large city, a little girl named Madlenka discovers she has a loose tooth and must tell everyone. Everyone includes all her neighbors around her city block. The neighbor’s cultural connections lead her to imaginative adventures around the world.

Miss Rumphius – Barbara Cooney –  Goodreads Summary: “Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went.”

Mother to Tigers – George Ella Lyon –  Goodreads Summary: “”Based on a true story, this beautifully illustrated picture book introduces young readers to Helen Frances Theresa Delaney Martini, the first woman zookeeper at the Bronx Zoo and founder of the zoo’s animal nursery in 1944…Catalanotto’s remarkable illustrations are a wonderful combination of watercolor, charcoal and torn paper.”

Mrs. Katz and Tush – Patricia Polacco –  Goodreads Summary: “Larnel doesn’t know his neighbor, Mrs. Katz, very well, until he asks her to adopt an abandoned kitten. Mrs. Katz agrees on one condition: that Larnel help her take care of the kitten she names Tush. When Larnel starts spending more and more time with Mrs. Katz to help with Tush, Mrs. Katz tells him stories about coming to America from Poland and about the good times she spent with her late husband. As Larnel grows to love Mrs. Katz, he also learns about the suffering and triumph black history shares with the Jewish heritage.”

Number the Stars – Lois Lowry – Novel –  Goodreads Summary: “Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.”


Onion Tears – Diana Kidd –  Goodreads Summary: “Nam-Huong is miserable living in a new country without her beloved family. Then why can’t she cry? Vietnamese Nam-Huong wants to adjust to her new life in Australia, but she can’t. She misses her parents and her beloved grandfather too much, and she is haunted by her experiences as a refugee. When her clasmates try to make friends she rejects them, so they begin to tease and torment her. Soon, she doesn’t talk at all. But with the help of her foster mother and her teacher, Nam-Huong slowly begin to trust and love again.”

Pictures of Hollis Woods – Patricia Reilly Giff – Novel –  Goodreads Summary: “Hollis Woods has been in so many foster homes she can hardly remember them all. When Hollis is sent to Josie, she’ll do everything in her power to make sure they stay together.”

Rose Blanche – Roberto Innocenti –  Goodreads Summary: “A young German girl watches as the streets of her town fill with soldiers and tanks. Then, one day, she follows a truck into the woods and discovers a terrible secret.”

Ryan and Jimmy: and the well in Africa that brought them together – Herb Shoveller –  Goodreads Summary: “It costs a lot of money to build a well in Africa — a lot more than Ryan Hreljac had thought. Still, the six year old kept doing chores around his parents’ house, even after he learned it could take him years to earn enough money. Then a friend of the family wrote an article in the local newspaper about Ryan’s wish to build a well to supply people with safe, clean water. Before long, ripples of goodwill began spreading. People started sending money to help pay for Ryan’s well. Ryan was interviewed on television. His dream of a well became an international news story. In Agweo, Uganda, villagers were used to walking a long way every day in search of water. What they found was often brown and smelly and made a lot of people sick. But when Ryan’s well was built, life in the village changed for the better. A young orphan named Akana Jimmy longed for a chance to thank Ryan in person for this gift of life — clean water. When they finally meet, an unbreakable bond unites these boys from very different backgrounds, and a long and sometimes life-threatening journey begins.”

Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia MacLachlan – Novel –  Goodreads Summary: “The novel is set in the midwestern United States (Kansas) during the late 19th century. Jacob Witting, a widowed farmer who is still saddened by the death of his wife several years earlier, giving birth to Caleb, finds that the task of taking care of his farm and two children, Anna and Caleb, is too difficult to handle alone. He writes an ad in the newspaper for a mail-order bride. Sarah, from Maine, answers his ad and travels out to become his wife. But Sarah grows homesick – the prairie grass didn’t substitute for the Maine sea shore. When Sarah leaves for a trip into town, the kids wonder if she would come back. And she did. She had brought back colored pencils so she could show them the beautiful colors and views of Maine and gorgeous sea shore. She, Anna, Caleb, and Jacob have a lot of good times that lead to Caleb loving Sarah even more, but Anna thinks that she will replace her mother. In the end Sarah and Jacob get married.”


Silver Packages – Cynthia Rylant –  Goodreads Summary: “In Appalachia each Christmas, a boy named Frankie waits beside the tracks for the Christmas Train, which will bring presents to the children who live in coal towns and hollows. Year after year, Frankie hopes that one particular gift a very special gift will be tossed to him from that train. It is this enduring hope that will guide him to the true meaning of the season.”

Somewhere today: a book of peace – Shelley Thomas –  Goodreads Summary: “Somewhere in the world each day, people just like you are acting in kind, peaceful, loving ways. Perhaps they are visiting someone who is old, teaching a little sister to ride a bike, or sharing an experience with a friend from a different culture.”

Square cat – Elizabeth Schoonmaker –  Goodreads Summary: “Eula is the only square cat in town—and she doesn’t think there’s anything hip about it. Everything that normal cats do is hard for her: She can’t get her square paw into mouse holes, she can’t wear her favorite circle skirt, and all of her friends are round! Eula is sad until her two best friends show her just how well a square cat can fit into a round world.”

Thank You Mr. Falker – Patricia Polacco –  Goodreads Summary: “Patricia Polacco is now one of America’s most loved children’s book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha’s dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. Patricia Polacco will never forget him, and neither will we.”


The colour of home – Mary Hoffman and Karin Littlewood –  Goodreads Summary: “This remarkably moving picture book follows first-grader Hassan through his first few days at school. Hassan has only recently arrived in the United States after he and his family were forced to flee Somalia, and he deeply misses the colorful landscape of his former home in Africa. But with the help of his parents, an understanding teacher, and a school art project, Hassan finds that by painting a picture of his old home and sharing his story, his homesickness and the trauma of leaving a war-torn country are lessened. And he finds that there are many things to like about his new home in America.”

The day of Ahmed’s secret – Ted Lewin, Florence Parry Heide, Judith Heide Gilliland –  Goodreads Summary: “As Ahmed delivers bottles of propane gas, he treasures a special secret he can’t wait to share with his family.”

The Kissing Hand – Audrey Penn –  Goodreads Summary: “School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.”

The legend of the Golden Snail – Graeme Base –  Goodreads Summary: “A young boy’s favorite storybook tells of a Golden Snail that lived long ago in the mythical Spiral Isles. When it journeyed through its magical realm, it took on the shape of a fantastical golden sailing ship. One day the ship was captured by a Great Enchanter and put under his spell. After he became bored with the Snail, the Enchanter banished it to the Ends of the Earth so no one else could ever sail in it. There it remains until a new master comes to claim it. Could a young boy named Wilbur be the next master?”

The watcher: Jane Goodall’s life with the chimps – Jeanette Winter –  Goodreads Summary: “Acclaimed picture book biographer Jeanette Winter has found her perfect subject: Jane Goodall, the great observer of chimpanzees. Follow Jane from her childhood in London watching a robin on her windowsill, to her years in the African forests of Gombe, Tanzania, invited by brilliant scientist Louis Leakey to observe chimps, to her worldwide crusade to save these primates who are now in danger of extinction, and their habitat. Young animal lovers and Winter’s many fans will welcome this fascinating and moving portrait of an extraordinary person and the animals to whom she has dedicated her life.”

The Wednesday Surprise – Eve Bunting –  Goodreads Summary: “Anna and Grandma are planning a surprise for Dad’s birthday. Dad thinks he has received all his presents, but Grandma stands up and gives him the best one of all: she reads aloud the stories that Anna has taught her.”

The Wump World – Bill Peet –  Goodreads Summary: “The Pollutians invade the Wump World and turn the green meadows into a concrete jungle.”

  Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader!  Please visit me at Goodreads: Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post). I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.
FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). © 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.

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