Story Kit Titles and Descriptions Illinois State Library

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Phillip Stead

In this heartwarming book, a kindly zookeeper, Amos McGee, befriends the animals he cares for, the value of friendship and caring is demonstrated. This book also features beautiful illustrations using woodblock printing techniques. Families will explore this art form in the experiential extension activity. This Story Kit contains copies of the book in both English and Spanish. [Interest Level: Ages 5-7]

All My Stripes by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer

This is the story of Zane, a zebra with autism, who does things differently than the other zebras at school. When Zane begins to feel down about his differences, his mother explains that autism is just one of Zane’s many stripes. He also has a caring stripe, an honesty stripe, a curiosity stripe, and many more stripes that make him special. Zane learns to love and feel proud of all his stripes. This Story Kit contains an autism friendly activity. [Interest Level: Ages 4-8]

Amanda and the Mysterious Carpet by Fernando Krahn

This wordless book shows the imaginative adventures of a little girl on a magic carpet. Parents and children will search for pictorial clues such as expressions in the illustrations to identify the character's feelings. After reading this book, families will complete a survey about feelings from both the parents' and the children's perspectives. Materials in the facilitator's guide are in English and Spanish. [Interest Level: Ages 3-8]

Bein' With You This Way by W. Nikola-Lisa

This is a lilting, rhythmic book about the many ways that people are alike and different. Parents and children will recognize the words and phrases that are repeated. Parents will encourage their children to anticipate the chorus and join in. After reading the book, parents and children will make their own face puppets showing the diversity of physical attributes inside and among families. [Interest Level: Ages 4-9]

Changes, Changes by Pat Hutchins

What else can happen to this wooden toy couple? First, they build a house, then, when the house burns down what happens next? The activity accompanying this wordless book introduces the reading strategy of prediction. Parents develop questions to help their children guess what the characters will do next. After reading the book, parents and children will make paper cutouts of the colorful blocks, allowing them to add a tactile and kinesthetic experience to the visual. [Interest Level: Ages 3-8]

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

In the town described in this humorous book, food falls from the sky. This discussion activity will help parents and children recognize the elements of a tall tale. Parents and children will identify the benefits and problems of having your food delivered like the weather. [Interest Level: Ages 5-9]

The Clown by Quentin Blake

In this wordless book, the Clown is a discarded toy on a mission. In the activity, parents and children will work together to recognize the role that cause and effect play in the story. Each character's actions result in the next event, so that after reading this book, families will map the story sequentially. [Interest Level: Ages 5-8]

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash / El dia que la boa de Jimmy se como le ropa by Trinka Hakes Noble

Parents will relate to this humorous story of a girl's adventures while on a class trip to a farm. Somehow, when asked what happened, the girl tells only a piece of the story. In the family activity, parents read the book and discover the true sequence of the events. With their parent's guidance, children create a storyboard arranging the story's pictures chronologicallly. The parents and children explore how cause and effect shaped the tale. The Story Kit has 15 books in English and 15 in Spanish. [Interest Level: Ages 4-8]

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill

This book provides an account of a slave named Dave who lived in South Carolina in the 1800's. As a slave, Dave miraculously learned many skills often forbidden by slave owners. Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, provides families with an opportunity to discuss slavery, African American history, art and poetry. Parents and children will experience making pinch pot and coil construction pottery, just like Dave did in the book. This Story Kit is best suited for families with children over the age of 7. [Interest Level: Ages 7-10]

The First Tortilla by Rudalfo Anaya

This bi-lingual book focuses on legends and folklore. This is the story of a young girl, Jade, who saves her Mexican village from a drought because of her courage. The book contains a glossary of terms used in the book with which families may not be familiar. Activities to accompany this book range from play dough tortillas for families with young children to origami blue birds for families with older children. [Interest Level: Ages 5-10]

Grandfather Tang's Story: A Tale Told in Tangrams by Ann Tompert

Grandfather Tang tells his granddaughter a traditional Chinese folktale using tangrams. In the family activity, parents will learn about tangrams and how to use them to tell the story as they read the book. Parents will help their children arrange the tangram pieces into the different animal shapes that the fox fairies assume. In addition, the parents will encourage their children to guess which animal the fox fairy will turn into next. The families will use tangrams to make more shapes after reading the story. [Interest Level: Ages 8-12]

How Are You Peeling? by Feymann Saxon and Elffers Joost

In this family activity, parents and children will actively engage one another in reading How Are You Peeling? Entertained by the pictures of fruits and vegetables displaying their feelings (e.g., embarrassed, scared, angry) in various situations, parents and children will explore their own moods by sharing their answers to the many rhyming questions in the book. Discussion of emotions will continue while families draw faces (reflecting different feelings) to superimpose on food pictures as they make their FACES book. [Interest Level: Ages 3-8]

I Spy / Veo: Un libro deo adivinanzaz ilustradas by Jean Marzollo

These books are photographic treasure hunts with rhyming clues. Parents and children will learn that reading can be active, by working together to solve the picture riddles. Parents and children will take turns describing a particular object on a page and challenging their partner to find it. The activity encourages both active participation and active listening. The Story Kit includes different books of the I Spy series in one kit. Some of these Story Kits contain both English and Spanish versions of I Spy which are not direct translations of the accompanying book. Materials in the facilitator's guide are in English and Spanish. [Interest Level: Ages 4-12]

Laura Charlotte by Kathryn Galbraith

This is the tale of a mother sharing her precious childhood toy with her daughter. In the experiential activity, families will learn the different ways in which we share family stories. For one, families will read Laura Charlotte. In addition, families will listen to the audiotape of the song The Marvelous Toy by Peter, Paul and Mary. Both the tape and the book tell stories of parents sharing childhood memories with their children. Parents and children will make a toy together and build their own memory. [Interest Level: Ages 4-10]

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

A fun tale of a feisty little mouse named Lilly who learns the valuable lesson of forgiveness. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse provides families with an opportunity to discuss careers, emotions, behaviors, palindromes and math/money. Families can make their own purple plastic purse and dress up like Lilly for an extension activity. This Story Kit contains copies of the book in both English and Spanish. [Interest Level: Ages 4-8]

Look, Look, Look by Tana Hoban

Working with this photographic, wordless book takes some guesswork. Using this book, composed of pages masking a larger picture, parents and children must solve the problem of what is shown after viewing only the small portion. Each page reveals more of the masked picture and adds perspective. After reading and guessing their way through this book, families will make their own Look book. [Interest Level: Ages 4-10]

My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete

Twin siblings Callie and Charlie have a lot in common. Callie and Charlie are also different. Charlie has autism and Callie does not. This heartwarming story is told from Callie’s point of view, as she shares the joys, and sometimes challenges, of having a brother with autism. Although Charlie doesn’t like to say the words "I love you," Charlie shows his love in many other ways. Callie feels blessed to be Charlie’s sister and for the special bond they share. This Story Kit contains an autism friendly activity. [Interest Level: Ages 7-10]

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

The Napping House is a beautifully illustrated, repetitive book for beginning readers that tells the story of a grandmother and grandchild napping on a rainy afternoon. Families will discuss sequencing and prediction in this book and create their own Story Stick to take home and retell the story again and again. [Interest Level: Ages 4-8]

Picnic by Emily McCully

This wordless book shows us a carefree family of mice going to the country on a summer's day. In this family activity, parents will use prediction and discussion to help the children guess what is going to happen next to the mouse family. Questioning techniques will start the children talking and keep them engaged in the story. Families will also create an oral and/or written story about the pictures in the book. After the book is read, families will make and eat edible butterflies. Materials in the facilitator's guide are in English and Spanish. [Interest Level: Ages 4-8]

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban

This photographic book shows us that shapes are everywhere. The activity will help parents learn to pick out the shapes in the world around us. Children, with their parents guidance, will make shape folders to introduce the names of the shapes. Using the shape folders they created, the parents will read the book with their children, identifying shapes together. Finally, the families will make their own Shapes book. Materials in the facilitator's guide are in English and Spanish. [Interest Level: Ages 3-6]

The Snowman / El muneco de nieve by Raymond Briggs

This classic tale is a wordless fantasy about the life of a snowman. In the activity, parents will encourage their children to tell the story by using the clues of the pictures. After reading the story, parents and children will play HOUSE, a bingo-type game and win prizes, learning the English and Spanish for household items in the process. This Story Kit has 15 books in English and 15 in Spanish. [Interest Level: Ages 3-8]

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

The Snowy Day is a winter classic in which a young boy wakes to the sight of the city covered in snow and tells of his ensuing adventures. This Story Kit contains a DVD, The Snowy Day & More Ezra Jack Keats Stories. These "moving storybooks" feature Keats' main character, Peter. Family extension activities for The Snowy Day include making a snowy day window scene. This Story Kit contains English and Spanish versions of the book. [Interest Level: Ages 4-8]

Tuesday by David Weisner

The lush illustrations allow parents and children an opportunity to enjoy an excursion into the world of make-believe. The pictures delve into the character's emotions in detail, expressing in another medium the humor of the story's events. In the family activity, parents will guide their children in creating a story from the pictures. Materials in the facilitator's guide are in English and Spanish. [Interest Level: Ages 5-9]

The Very Hungry Caterpillar / La Oruga Muy Hambrienta by Eric Carle

In this sequencing book, parents will introduce their children to the sequence of a caterpillar’s life cycle. Parents will also help their children identify the sequencing as the caterpillar begins eating on Monday and as the week continues, eats more and more. Parents and children will use the caterpillar puppets and food cards they make to explore various ways to sequence the eating scenes. This Story Kit has copies of the book in English and Spanish. [Interest Level: Ages 3-7]

The Wheels on The Bus by Maryann Kovalski

In this family activity, parents learn that some children’s books have been adapted from songs. Parents and children will recognize that although there are differences between the song and the book, the storyline is essentially the same in both. Making their own feltboard and feltboard story of a bus ride, parents and children will be able to compare the different versions of The Wheels on the Bus. [Interest Level: Ages 3-7]