My favorite May picture books does not have any type of theme. This list is more of a mish-mash of some of my favorite read alouds. Usually by this time in the school year my library is closed due to testing and I am going to classrooms for library. This is also the time for field trips. The books I end up using for read alouds go along with their field trips (usually the zoo) as well as high-interest books. These include books that are funny or silly as well as some engaging nonfiction. It’s tough to keep students on task as the end of the year approaches.
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HOW TO CATCH A UNICORN BY ADAM WALLACE
Try to catch one of the world’s most elusive mythical creatures―the unicorn! Filled with zany traps and lots of rainbow unicorn fun, this is the unicorn book of the year!
NEVER SMILE AT A MONKEY BY STEVE JENKINS
When it comes to wild animals, everyone knows that there are certain things you just don’t do. It’s clearly a bad idea to tease a tiger, pull a python’s tail, or bother a black widow spider. But do you know how dangerous it can be to pet a platypus, collect a cone shell, or touch a tang fish? Some creatures have developed unusual ways of protecting themselves or catching prey, and this can make them unexpectedly hazardous to your health.
ACTUAL SIZE BY STEVE JENKINS
How big is a crocodile? What about a tiger, or the world’s largest spider? Can you imagine a tongue that is two feet long or an eye that’s bigger than your head? Sometimes facts and figures don’t tell the whole story. Sometimes you need to see things for yourself—at their actual size.
FROGGY’S LEMONADE STAND BY JONATHAN LONDON
Froggy has great plans for all the money he’s going to make from his lemonade stand. But there’s a problem: he was so thirsty that he drank all the lemonade. Luckily lovable Froggy has lots of good friends to help him find a solution. Even if they don’t get rich, they all have a very good time!
STORM IS COMING! BY HEATHER TEKAVEC
When the old farmer warns that a storm is coming, Dog spreads the word and leads all of the animals to shelter. Huddled together, they wait anxiously for Storm to come. But who is this frightening creature named Storm, and what will happen when he arrives? When the rain starts pelting the roof and lightning fills the sky, the animals are relieved. The sky must be trying to protect them by scaring Storm away! But when everything stops and the sky is quiet, the animals hear the thump, thump of someone coming toward the barn. Could it be storm?
THERE WAS AN OLD MERMAID WHO SWALLOWED A SHARK! BY LUCILLE COLANDRO
In this new spin-off, the Old Lady turns into an Old Mermaid, travels down into the ocean, and swallows a shark . . . and a squid, and a fish, and an eel, and a crab, and a sea star, and a clam . . . Why? Well, it was fun to cram her mouth with a clam!
THERE WAS A COYOTE WHO SWALLOWED A FLEA BY JENNIFER WARD
There was a coyote who swallowed a flea, Plucked from his knee, that tickly flea. Yippee-o-Ki-Yee! Skinny ol’ Coyote delights readers of all ages as he swallows his way through this delicious southwestern-flavored retelling of a well-loved rhyme. As Coyote gets bigger, the story gets zanier as a bird, a bull, and even an entire cactus end up as dinner. It’s pure fun for everyone―even that little flea. Call him silly to swallow a chile! Yippee-o-Ki-Yee!
THERE WAS AN OLD MONKEY WHO SWALLOWED A FROG BY JENNIFER WARD
There was an old monkey who swallowed a frog, a bat, a mango, a toucan, an iguana, and more! What a hog! Zany illustrations rendered digitally by Steve Gray show monkey’s belly growing and growing as he eats a host of jungle creatures in this adaptation of the popular children’s song, inspired by the rain forest.
THERE WAS AN OLD PIRATE WHO SWALLOWED A FISH BY JENNIFER WARD
There was an old pirate . . . who swallowed a fish, a bird, a map, some gold, and even a whole pirate ship! Will the Old Pirate sink to the bottom of the deep, dark sea? Yo ho ho! Watch his belly grow!
TWAS THE DAY BEFORE ZOO DAY BY BY CATHERINE IPCIZADE
This delightful adaptation of the children’s classic, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, takes readers to the zoo, as preparations are under way for Zoo Day. But things aren’t going according to plan . . . The llamas won t quit spitting, the giraffes are drooling, and the zebras aren’t happy at all with their stripes. Meanwhile, the zookeepers are scurrying this way and that, cleaning up poop, ringing mealtime bells, and trying to get the animals bathed. But are the naughty elephants listening? Not a chance. And if that wasn’t bad enough, a poor alligator mistakes a bee for a fly, and instead of eating supper, he gets stung in the eye! Does it all work out? Will the zookeepers end up spending the night at the zoo? Will Zoo Day go off without a hitch, or will the dancing monkeys take over?
TIPPY-TIPPY-TIPPY, HIDE! BY CANDANCE FLEMING
Knocka-knocka-knocka! That’s the sound of three little bunnies on Mr. McGreely’s doorstep, begging to come inside for the winter. But while Mr. McGreely shared his carrots with the bunnies last summer, he has no intention of sharing his house! So…Hammer Bam! Smack Slam!
AMELIA BEDELIA’S FIRST FIELD TRIP BY HERMAN PARISH
In Amelia Bedelia’s First Field Trip, a picture book with exuberant, brightly colored illustrations, Amelia Bedelia is going on a field trip with her class. She expects to see, well, a field. To her delight, she and her classmates arrive at a working farm! Amelia has a great time, although mishaps and misunderstandings are unavoidable. Her confusion over a green thumb, runner beans, and ponytails will give readers the giggles.
SPLAT AND THE COOL SCHOOL TRIP BY ROB SCOTTON
Splat the Cat is so excited when Mrs. Wimpydimple announces that the class will be going to the zoo. While everyone calls out his or her favorite animal—Elephant! Giraffe! Monkey!—Splat only wants to see the penguins. After all, penguins are perfect; they are black and white, just like Splat!
THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE AT THE ZOO BY LAURA MURRAY
Is there anything more fun than a class trip to the zoo? The Gingerbread Man and his classmates don’t think so, and they get to solve riddles on a WILD scavenger hunt. They meet giraffes, monkeys, and even a fox (especially scary for a Gingerbread Man!). But a zoo full of critters is a tricky place for a tasty cookie—even a very fast one—and the Gingerbread Man ends up separated from his friends. He needs to solve all of the riddles to catch up with his class and help someone else who is lost.
DOES A KANGORAOO HAVE A MOTHER, TOO? BY ERIC CARLE
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? answers curious kids who wonder whether lions, bears, and monkeys have mothers, too. Bright collage illustrations and simple text reinforce the theme that everyone has a mother, and every mother loves her child.