Can I Bring Woolly to the Library, Ms. Reeder?

Title:  Can I Bring Woolly to the Library, Ms. Reeder?

Author: Lois Grambling

Description: A little boy fantasizes about bringing a Woolly Mammoth named “Woolly” to the library. He provides many reasons why Wooly should be allowed, and predicts what would and could happen.



  • “Why” questions
  • Inferencing/prediction
  • Curriculum connections: extinct animals
  • Reading Body Language

Why I like this book: The illustrations are wonderful for kids and grownups alike. An entertaining story that can address many higher level language goals.

Ideas for this book:

  • The boy provides many predictions as to what might happen if Wooly comes to the library. Have students generate their own ideas. What could happen if a big animal comes to the library? How could he help? What problems might there be?
  • Lots of opportunity for both implicit and explicit “why” questions. For example,  Why does Woolly need slippers? (because he would make too much noise walking around the library; Why would Wooly be helpful at putting books away? (because he can reach the tall shelves), etc.
  • A great story to connect with expository text/media  around extinct animals. Here is a great example from Brainpop Jr
  • The illustrations are vivid and clear. Great examples of body language for children to interpret. How are characters feeling? Why? How can you tell? To assist with understanding pair with thinking and speaking bubbles
  • The story ends with the boy realizing that Wooly may be homesick if he came to live with the boy. Have students discuss/write about a time when they were homesick? How did they feel and why?
  • At the very end the boy suggests bringing another extinct animal (Saber Tooth Tiger) to the library. Have students create their own version of this story. Use a story generation app/software like the Story Patch App. Have then predict what could happen if that animal were to come to the library? Or to School?

Submitted by; Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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Being Frank

Title:  Being Frank

Author:  Donna W Earnhardt

Illustrator:  Andrea Castellani

Description:   Frank learns that “being honest” can be tricky business.  A wise grandpa suggests that “more sugar and less pepper” is often the best way to go…


    • Social skills, especially being honest yet kind
    • Emotions
    • Body Language
    • Perspective Taking
    • Inferencing/Predicting
    • Narrative Language

Why I Like This Book:   This book provides a fun and engaging way to discuss a nuanced topic.  I really appreciate the catch phrase, “more sugar less pepper” that is introduced in this book.  Also, the illustrations are fantastic!

Ideas for Use:   

  •  This is a great book to introduce the topic of being honest and kind to kids who may have difficulty with this concept.  There are several scenarios presented which offer opportunities to discuss how the other person might feel and to brainstorm another approach.  The introduction of the catch phrase, “more sugar less pepper” then provides a way for kids to apply this same approach to new situations.
  • In a group setting, this book is wonderful for acting out.  Kids can work on body language and facial expression to relate their emotions, both when their feelings are hurt and then later when they feel validated.
  • This is also a great book for discussing Social Behavior Mapping (Garcia-Winner).  Frank certainly feels much happier when his friends are happy with him because he treated them more kindly..
  • Once kids have the experience of acting out the book and they are familiar with “more sugar less pepper,” have two kids at a time act out a brief scenario.  Include the other kids by having them give a thumbs up if the child is honest and kind and if not, have the audience say, “more sugar less pepper.”
  • This book is also great to use to work on figurative language.  The idea of “more sugar less pepper” can be explored both literally and figuratively.  Then additional idioms can be explored by generating brief scenarios that would incorporate both the literal and figurative meanings.
  • The scenarios in this book are also good for inferencing and predicting.
  • The narrative structure and story retell can be made more fun by using the Story Grammar Marker App from MindwingConcepts.  This app gives kids the chance to be a newscaster and to tell the exciting story of Being Frank.  Kids can even record their “newscast” and share with others over email!

Submitted by:  Karen S Head, MS, CCC-SLP

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The Kitten Who Thought He Was a Mouse

Title:  The Kitten Who Thought He Was a Mouse

Author:  Miriam Norton

Illustrator:  Garth Williams

Age:  Early Elementary

Description:  An abandoned kitten is adopted by a  mouse family.  The kitten grows up believing he is a mouse until the children of the house get involved.


  • Theory of Mind – both cognitive and emotional
  • Narrative development
  • “s” sounds
  • Body language and emotional inferencing
Why I like this book:  This book is wonderfully illustrated and the story lends itself to lots of discussion of Theory of Mind and perspective taking.
Ideas for use:
  • While reading this book aloud, talk with the kids about what the kitten “thinks” and what the other animals “know.”  Once you reach the part of the story where the kitten is held up to the mirror, discuss how seeing himself changed what the kitten thought.
  • For kids who don’t yet understand that the kitten “thinks” he is a mouse, try acting out the story and focus upon all of the actions that the kitten does that are “mouse” actions and how those would be different from “cat” actions.
  • For kids who may understand the cognitive Theory of Mind (i.e., thinking vs knowing), this story is also great for discussion emotional Theory of Mind (i.e., how the kitten feels during the different parts of the story).
  • For an even higher level challenge, this story can lead to a discussion of deception and the motives for that deception as well as how all of the characters feel as a result.
  • On a lighter note, for kids who simply need some articulation practice, this book is filled to the brim with “s” words.
  • This story is also wonderful for use with the Story Grammar Marker from Mindwings for story retell and narrative development.

Submitted by:  Karen S Head, MS, CCC-SLP

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What REALLY Happened to Humpty?

Title:  What Really Happened to Humpty? (Nursery-Rhyme Mysteries)

Author: Jeanie Franz Ransom

Description: Humpty’s brother, Joe a detective is convinced that Humpty didn’t just fall…he was pushed. He is given one day to use the clues, and figure out who did it.


  • Inferencing
  • Perspective Taking
  • Figurative Language
  • “why” questions/higher-level language/problem solving
  • curriculum connections: fairy tales/nursery rhymes
  • Story generation/narrative skills

Why I like this book: A great story for elementary to upper elementary students to address higher level language skills. The book is funny….kids are entertained while addressing lots of language goals.

Ideas for this book:

  • There are endless opportunities for students to practice inferencing skills. I like to use Mindwingconcepts approach to inferencing with the “Remember”(clues from text/pics) + Know (background knowledge)= Guess (inference) to break down this process. An example from the story. Detective Dumpty runs into Little Red Riding Hood who is feeling upset. She states that Muffin Man is scrambling to fill  a big order. She can’t even buy a muffin for her grandmother. “Why is she angry?” “Why can’t she buy a muffin?” “How do we know that she is angry,” etc.
  • Additionally, Detective Dumpty has lots of “clues” to put together to make a guess as to who may have wanted to harm his brother. Have students keep track of the “clues.” They can write them down on a white board, or even use an app to track: Popplet could be a good choice to track all the clues. A different popplet for each clue/character could be used
  • There are lots of perspectives in this story. Little Miss Muffet, a spider, even Goldilocks. To help students understand, pair with “Braidy” from Mindwingconcepts. Have students tell the story from each character’s point of view using story grammar elements. What was the initiating event/kickoff for Little Miss Muffet?
  • Use thinking and speaking bubbles to help kids understand character motivations. Why would Miss Muffet lie? What was she thinking about (want)?
  • There are lots of examples of figurative language: hard-boiled detective, shooting the breeze, hit the streets, bare/bear, etc. Have students use context clues to guess what these sayings could mean.
  • The book is filled with opportunities for students to answer higher level “why” questions.
  • The story references several other fairy tales/nursery rhymes. Have students look up these other fairy tales. Discuss their purpose/moral or resolution, and how it connects to the story. For example, what happened in the story of the 3 Little Pigs? Have students “retell” the story to you, explaining the “salient” parts. This could be paired with the Story Grammar Marker (“Braidy”) through Mindwingconcepts as stated above. Have students verbally explain the connection to this story.Encourage cohesive ties (i.e. because, so, etc.)
  • At the end of the story, Detective Dumpty discussed other future cases. Have students write the next story based on one of his cases (i.e. Dish ran away with the spoon, Little Bo Peep Lost her Sheep, etc.).
  • Available through Charles Bridge Publishing with a link to Detective Dumpty’s own website

Submitted by; Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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hershel and the goblins

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

Title:   Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

Author:  Eric Kimmel

Description:  An adorable story about a how one clever villager saves Hanukkah.


  • early elementary comprehension
  • perspective taking
  • problem-solving
  • reading body language
  • inferencing

Why I like this book:  During the holiday season, I always enjoy introducing a book from the Jewish culture.  While it is a story about Hanukkah, the themes are universal.

Ideas for this book:

  • While this story does not focus upon the religious components of Hanukkah, it does introduce some of the associated traditions; such as, lighting menorah candles and playing with a dreidel.  This provides a great opportunity for exposing children who don’t celebrate Hanukkah to this holiday to other holiday traditions.
  • As a follow up activity, have the kids play the dreidel game with some chocolate coins.  It is a fun group game that includes turn-taking and flexibility since it is more a game of chance than of skill.
  • Make your own dreidels using this template or download this Hanukkah Dreidel app.
  • This story is perfect for acting out.  The characters are well defined and who doesn’t like to play the role of a villain (goblin) once in a while…
  • The text in this book is on the longer side for a picture book, so just reading it can provide a great opportunity for sustained attention.
  • Each night, Hershel outwits another goblin.  While reading, ask kids if they can predict what the goblin will do.  This provides an opportunity to take the perspective of the goblin.  Why was Hershel able to trick them?
  • This is another great book to use with the Story Grammar Marker from MindWing Concepts.

Submitted by: Karen S Head, MS, CCC-SLP

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Grin and Bear it

Grin and Bear It

Title:  Grin and Bear It

Author:  Leo Landry

Description:  Bear wants to be a comedian but suffers from stage fright.  He and his friends come up with a creative solution to his dilemma.


  • understanding humor
  • reading non-verbal communication through body language and facial expressions
  • gaining comfort in learning that many people get nervous
  • problem solving
  • inferencing and predicting
  • handling discouragement and failure
  • valuing friendship from giver and receiver perspectives
  • understanding theory of mind

Why I liked this book:  The bear with stage fright is relatable to kids and adults of all ages.  When Bear is embarrassed, his friends help him problem solve rather than laugh at him.  The first four chapters are titled:  A Dream, A Plan, Ready, and Showtime depicting steps we want our kids to follow for any challenging assignment or task.  The illustrations make me want to hug this book!

Ideas for this book: 

  • Read the 7 short chapters over a period of several days to allow time to explore all this book has to offer.  Discuss the steps to accomplishing something that the kids want.  Have them create the idea, make a plan, and prepare before diving in.
  • Discuss words and terms like “stage fright”, “embarrassed”, “rehearse”, and “nervous”.  This is a great opportunity to also discuss physiological responses to anxiety and ways to help decrease it through deep breathing, yoga, visualization, and other ideas.
  • When Bear falls apart, ask the kids to offer suggestions on how to solve his problem.  What should he do?  Give up?  Try again?  How could he be more successful the next time?
  • Discuss what good friends would do if they saw someone struggling like Bear.
  • Have kids practice and tell jokes to one another.  It’s a great way to help them understand humor both through spoken words and body language.  What makes a joke funny?
  • As always, I love having kids act out stories and this is a great one for that.

Submitted by:  Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L

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Haunted Party

Haunted Party

Title:  Haunted Party

Author: Iza Trapani

Description: A rhyming story about a Halloween party with lots of spooky guests. They get a surprise when 10 children show up to “trick or treat.”


  • Phonological Awareness (rhyming)
  • Vocabulary (Halloween)
  • Verbs (present and past)
  • Inferencing

Why I like this book: The pictures are awesome, which elicits lots of language from students. There are goblins with pointy, dirty ears,  who eat worms and eyeballs. Perfect for kids to comment on and laugh.

Ideas for this book:

  • The entire book is in rhyme. Have children fill in the “blank” at the ends of phrases. Provide the initial phoneme, can they predict the rhyming word? (i.e.what a night, the bats take flllllll______(flight)). Use google images, board maker, etc. to make visuals of these rhyming pairs for additional practice, rhyme generation of the pattern (i.e. flight, sight, might, etc.), or home programming. Pair with Rhyming apps such as What Rhymes? or Pocket Phonics App for additional practice
  • This is a great book to expose kids to Halloween vocabulary: skeletons, goblins, vampires, ghosts, witches, bats , monsters, ghouls and more. Pair with any of these great apps recommended by The Speech Guy here
  • The characters partake in many different activities- great for children working on present progressive verbs (i.e. carving pumpkins, eating worms, bobbing for apples, etc.) or have students retell and focus on the past tense. The great detailed pictures are great to elicit
  • If students are going to Halloween parties and need support as to what to expect- a great story to model activities they may experience. Pair with a social story app like  Stories2learnPictello, or Story Patch
  • There is one clear inference at the end of the story that children can make using picture clues and knowledge. Can pair with the Mindwingconcepts approach to inferencing “remember, know and guess” to help students put the pieces together.
  • Charlesbridge Publishers (local to Boston;) provides a “plan your own Halloween party” worksheet here
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Submitted by; Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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treasure kai

Treasure Kai

Title: Treasure Kai

Author: Karin Guinn Robertson

Description: An interactive book app OR available as a traditional book at but with interactive properties. A young boy, Kai, embarks on a adventure to find lost treasure.


  • Reading Comprehension
  • Inferencing/Prediction
  • Phonological Awareness-rhyming
  • Narrative

Reasons I like this book:
It reminds me of the “choose your own adventure” chapter book concept from my childhood. You get to choose how Kai finds the treasure.

Ideas for use:

  • Story is great for comprehension. The story allows you to be read to, or read yourself. Use the story for prediction questions (what might happen next?), “wh” questions, etc.
  • When a riddle (clue) is provided, see if students can make guesses/infer what it could be? Why do they think that? Where might Kai go? What will he need to do?
  • Play “I spy” with description questions when Kai is in the antique shop, his “secret hideaway.” Lots of objects. Focus on saliency- can they give you a clue with 2 important details about the object?
  • The clues to finding the treasure are in riddle form. Have students predict which rhyming word is coming. For an activity after the book, have them generate their own treasure story and write their own riddles that rhyme to give a clue.
  • Another good book to tie with “Braidy” through Mindwingconcepts. The “actions” that happen change order based on the route you choose. Have students retell.
  • Kai demonstrates great body language. Have students imitate/interpret.
  • There are some examples of figurative language in this story “shaking in his boots,” wearing his “birthday suit”- can lead to discussion or activity around figurative language
  • The website found here  ( has “fun fact videos” that would be great for further comprehension and more expository in nature. There are videos around the shipwreck that inspired the author, the concept of quicksand and more. Great to use as a follow up activity…and can likely tie to curriculum concepts in science, and social studies/history
  • The author also provides “reading strategies” tab on her site. The author was inspired by her children who were reluctant readers. She has tips and research here.

Disclaimer: reviewer was provided a promotion code for this app

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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Picture 6

Little Blue Jackal

Title:  Little Blue Jackal

Author:  Niyaa educational apps

Description: A simple book in the form of an app. An Indian folk tale about a Jackal who gets into some trouble, and learns a valuable lesson.


  • Why Questions
  • Perspective taking
  • Narrative/Retelling
  • Auditory Comprehension
  • Reading Body language

Why I like this book: Cute story with some interactive properties that keeps engagement, but not too many that take away from the story or experience itself.

Ideas for use:

  • Lots of inferential based and explicitly stated “why” questions to ask students (e.g. Why is the jackal running away? Why do the animals think the blue Jackal should be the king?
  • For home programming- have parents read the story (or have the story read to the student- both are options) and answer the provided comprehension questions under “parent-child activity.”
  • Tie to science/animal/jungle curriculum- There is a page of “7 hidden facts about animals.” Rich with vocabulary (e.g. migrate, pride, stag, etc.).
  • Use “thinking bubbles” (actually make, use a white board). The Jackal has unintentionally tricked the other jungle animals. A great example of “trickery” and with one animal thinking one thing, and the other animals thinking something different. The story even has 2 bird characters throughout the story that give their own ideas/perspective. Would be great to model (the birds talk) or have them think about the story from the birds’ perspective.
  • A good story to pair with Mindwingconcepts for students to retell. A story with multiple initiating events.
  • Have students read body language of the characters. Imitate, have them attempt! Why are they feeling that way? How can you tell?
  • The author provides a “moral” at the end of the fable. For older students see if they can come up with a “moral” of the story. The author suggests “how we look does not change who we really are,” however, there are a number of other lessons that can be learned from this story (i.e. the negative effect of lying).
  • Have older students generate their own fable based on a moral
  • Find this app on iTunes

Disclaimer: all4mychild was provided with a promotional code for this app

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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Picture 3

City Dog Country Frog

Title: City Dog, Country Frog

Author:  Mo Willems

Description: A story of friendship between a dog and a frog.


  • friendship
  • social skills
  • vocabulary (seasons)
  • descriptive language
  • prediction
  • past tense verbs

Why I like this book: Beautiful pictures and message about friendship.

Ideas for use:

    • great for discussion about friendship in general. What made their friendship work? They do each others interests (not just their own), they took care of each other, they check in with each other, they make plans, etc.
    • Good for discussion about “change” as the frog doesn’t return at a point in the story, and the dog must adjust. You can predict/infer what could have happened to the frog as the author doesn’t explicitly state (i.e. Did the frog hibernate? Move to a new location? Did he die?)
    • could use for descriptive language (oral or written) and tie to the Linda Mood Bell Visualizing and Verbalizing program. What does the dog see, hear, feel, smell, how does he move, etc.
    • discuss the seasons. Brainstorm ideas for activities and events within each season
    • Can tie to science curriculum if appropriate (frog life cycle, hibernation, seasonal changes, etc.)
    • great modeling of present vs. past tense throughout the story
    • have students write the “next” chapter of this story. What happens with dog’s new friendship? What do they do next? Have them write and illustrate….

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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