"Children's Picture Books with Purpose" begins an annotated list of books with storylines supporting positive character development, issues of faith and values as well as moral development. This list will be of interest to those who home school, those who teach in religious schools and programs, and to parents who are interested in addressing certain topics or issues. The focus is on books found easily in local school or public libary collections. Most can also be readily found for purchase, however, some may be harder to find and require the use of a local library. Many of these books are long standing classics and many have won awards for content, writing, or illustrations. Picture books, although designed for younger children, can be used up through middle school ages. The visual imagery and quality, coupled with excellent writing and story content can make them a good choice for short, impactful additions to lessons addressing the themes noted.
Title: The Rainbow Fish (1992)
Synopsis: A small fish is so proud of his unique looks he alienates the other fish and sets out to learn how to have friends. He discovers a valuable lesson. Many versions feature the addition of sparkling 'scales' to visually highlight how the fish stands out from his fellow fish.
Themes: Pride, Friendship, Sharing, Personal Sacrifice, Ego
Applications: discuss what might be the 'shiny scales' in life (nice clothes, electronic gadgets, trips, toys, food, house, cars, etc.). Explore the page where the fish shares his shining scales and how it brightens the entire page as a way to illustrate the influence of good deeds and kindness to others.
Links: Author page
Craft Idea: Make a fish (Paper plate)
Teaching Activity: Phonemic Awareness ; Count the scales/fish for mathematical activity
---(c) Marilyn A. Hudson, MLIS, 2013