Preschool and Picture Books

Theme: Personal Makeovers

A Bus Called Heaven - (ISBN: 978-0763658939)

by Bob Graham

When a decrepit school bus is abandoned on Stella’s street, she sees its charm instead of the garbage inside it. She has a vision of creating a community refuge there, and she mobilizes her neighborhood to clean and recreate its purpose. Despite its imperfections and used status, it becomes, indeed, a type of “Heaven” for those who worked to help restore it. Make a drawing of the garden the girl creates.

A Picture Book of Cesar Chavez - (ISBN: 978-0823423835)

by David A. Adler

Born into a poor ethnic family, Cesar went on to become a migrant worker himself before becoming a champion for American farm workers. He helped farmers develop unions so they could get better pay and reasonable working hours. After his death, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Freedom. What motivated Chavez to work so hard for the neglected people of America? What causes are you passionate about?

Albert - (ISBN: 978-0152052492)

by Donna Jo Napoli

Timid Albert comes to love the bird life he can view from his city window. He holds his hand out to experience the sounds and happenings of the birds’ lives. One day a branch falls into his hand. Soon, there is a bird nest enclosed in his palm! He is happy to sleep standing up and watch over the developing eggs. After the eggs hatch, he decides that he too, should venture out into the world. Take a walk in your neighborhood and try to spot a bird’s nest.

The Squeaky Door - (ISBN: 978-0060283735)

by Margaret Read MacDonald

A helpful grandmother tries everything to help her little grandson overcome his fear of changing to a big boy bed. With her creative approach to the problem, she soon finds what is really disturbing her beloved grandchild, and within one night, he is sleeping on his own! What helps you to sleep at night?

The Velveteen Rabbit - (ISBN: 978-0486486062)

by Margery Williams

The Boy’s new Christmas gift, a stuffed rabbit with a velvet coat, hopes for the boy to play with him. With the help and support of the other toys, the shy lapin learns that the boy’s love will change him into a real rabbit. As he gains confidence, his attractiveness increases, and he achieves his dream. What is your favorite toy? Can you imagine it coming to life?

Great Joy - (ISBN: 0763629200)

by Kate DiCamillo

Horton Hears a Who - (ISBN: 978-0394800783)

Sparrow Girl - (ISBN: 1423111877)

by Sara Pennypacker

Tacky the Penguin - (ISBN: 978-0618737543)

by Helen Lester

The Knight Who Was Afraid of the Dark - (ISBN: 978-0140545456)

by Barbara Shook Hazen

Activities for this Theme

Watch the animated story of The Velveteen Rabbit online:

Try to start a reading time before your children go to bed each night. It will calm them down and let them know it is time to sleep.

Draw an empty oval to represent a character’s head, and inside of it, draw words or images that are bouncing around in the mind of the character of one of the books. Use these ideas from Scholastic to get started.