Picture Books

I Can Help by Reem Faruzi, 2021

K-3 Lex AD490L

Subjects: peer pressure, kindness, schools

When Ms. Underwood asks if anyone wants to help Kyle, Zahra always volunteers.  She loves spending time with Kyle – he’s creative, generous, and he makes the funniest jokes at lunch.  But when Zahara’s other classmates start teasing her for helping him, she starts making choices she regrets.

Discussion Questions Teachers Pay Teachers
Author/Illustrator Interviews
Teaching Books Resources

The Library and Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies, 2022
Georgia Writers Association Finalist, 2022
Bank Street College of Education, Best Books List, 2021
Center for Study of Multicultural Children's Literature Best Books List, 2021
Amazon Editors' Picks Best Books, 2021

I'm a Baked Potato! by Elise Primavera, 2019

PreK-K Lex AD490L
Subject: dogs, identity, names, animals

When a baked potato–loving lady adopts a dog, she adores him unconditionally and given the pup's small, round frame and warm, brown coat she can't help but call him "Baked Potato"! But what happens when a dog who thinks he's a baked potato gets lost? Will he find his lady? And more importantly, will he find himself?


Author Website
Teaching Books Resources

Similar Books:
The Name Jar by Yanksook Choi
Thunder Boy by Sherman Alexie

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld, 2021

K-3 Reading Level 3.4

Subjects: brothers and sisters, robots

When a wooden robot prince forgets to say the magic words that turn his sister from a log into a princess she is thrown away, so he goes on an epic journey to find her and bring her back.

Coloring Page
Activities by Erin Quarterman
Educator's Guide from Publisher
Curriculum Guide from Weston Woods
Activity from Teachers Pay Teachers ($)
Activities from Book Page (scroll down the page)


An ALSC Notable Children’s Book
A Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Title
A People Magazine Best Kids Book of the Year
A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of the Year
A Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of the Year
A Financial Times Best Book of the Year
An NPR ‘Book We Love!’
A Booklist Editors’ Choice
A Shelf Awareness Best Children’s Book of the Year
A Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Book!
A Publishers Lunch Best Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
An Evanston Public Library Great Books for Kids pick!
A CCBC Choice
A Mighty Girl Best Book of the Year

Lou by Breanna Carzoo, 2022

K-3 Reading Level 1.4
Subjects: hydrants, fire extinction, heroes


Meet Lou. Lou has an important job . . . as the neighborhood toilet for dogs on their walks.  Useful as he may be, he gets the feeling that deep down inside, there might be more to him than that. He just doesn’t seem to know exactly what yet.

Author visit information

Activity pages from author
Interview with Illustrator
Teaching Books resources
Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award Activities
Craft and Retell by Teachers Pay Teachers ($)


Barnes and Noble Children’s Book Awards Shortlist pick
Kirkus Best Picture Book, 2022
2024 Colorado Children’s Book Award nominee
North Central Michigan College Children’s Book of the Year, 2023
Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominee
Chosen for 2022 Society of Illustrators Original Art Show
2024 Donna Norvell Oklahoma Book Award nominee

My School Stinks! by Becky Scharnhorst, 2021

K-3 Lex GN550L

Subjects: schools, animals, diaries, friendship

Dear Diary:  today is the first day at my new school and I think there’s been a mistake…I told my mom my classmates are WILD ANIMALS but she said all little kids are wild animals.  But my classmates are real animals.

Activity Guide from Author
Animal Corner Bookmarks (YouTube)
Blog Post about book
Teaching Books Resources

Similar Books:

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates – Ryan T. Higgins
If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t – Elise Parsley

Rescuing Mrs. Birdley by Aaron Reynolds, 2020

K-3 Lex AD710L

Subjects: helpfulness, teachers

Self-proclaimed animal expert Miranda Montgomery sees her teacher at the grocery store and decides to return her to her natural habitat, the classroom.

Activity Guide from Publisher
Teaching Books Resources


Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Primary Title
Volunteer State Book Award nominee

The Runaway Pea Washed Away by Kjartan Poskitt, 2020

K-3 Reading Level 2.2

Subjects:  peas, food, friendship

Rolling himself off the plate, a rebellious pea embarks on a perilous quest around the kitchen in search of fun.


Collaborative Learning Activities

Coloring Pages and Other Activities

Similar Books:

The Runaway Pea – Kjartan Poskitt
The Runaway Pea Left Behind – Kjartan Poskitt

Someone Builds the Dream by Lisa Wheeler, 2021

K-3 Reading Level 2.9

Subjects: building, construction workers

 Celebrates the skilled women and men who work to see the plans of architects, engineers, and designers brought to life.

Discussion Guide and Activities from Publisher
NEA Discussion Questions and writing guide
Extension Activities - Teachers Pay Teachers ($)
Judy Bradbury Ideas
Book Connections Resources
Activities from Washington Library Association


Horn Book Fanfare
Charlotte Huck Award Recommended Title
NPR Best of the Year
Chicago Public Library Best of the Year
AV Club Best Picture Books
Amazon Best Books of the Month
Kids Indie Next List Pick
Texas 2x2 selection
ALSC Notable Children’s Books, 1995-2023
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2015-2022

Similar Books:

Dreaming Up – Christy Hale

Sylvie by Jean Reidy, 2022

K-3 Lex AD660L

Subjects:  spiders, neighbors, friendship, apartment houses

A surreptitious spider gathers the courage to help the neighbors she has watched over from afar--a promising painter, a proper little lady, a mindful young man, a brave girl and her exceptionally brave tortoise.

Activities from Author
Teaching Books Resources


CBC Favorites Award for 2023
Colorado Book Award finalist

Travel Guide for Monsters by Lori Degman, 2020

K-3 Reading Level 3.8

Subjects:  vacations, tourism, monsters

Wherever you and your monster are traveling, Travel Guide for Monsters is full of essential tips to help you both enjoy the sights from coast to coast--and avoid monster-related mishaps.

Authors Reads Book (YouTube)
Book Connections Resources