The first is The Monster's Monster by Patrick McDonnell. I found this one looking through all the Halloween books. I'm not really big into Halloween so I like the fact that it isn't a scary book even though it's about monsters. Basically there are three little creatures that are endlessly debating about which one of them is the scariest monster. Finally, they put their heads together to create the scariest monster ever. He comes out looking like Frankenstein but he happens to be a very grateful monster and that changes the atmosphere completely. One of my favorite aspects of the book is that the change in atmosphere is reflected in the illustrations which go from being dark and gloomy in the beginning to sunny and bright at the end. I think it would be a great book to use at the beginning of the year to talk about using good manners and being polite. I also think that it has lots of potential for use in my Writer's Workshop.
The next book is called Mousetronaut and it is written by the astronaut Mark Kelly. This is a partially true story about a mouse that embraces space and ends up saving the day in the space shuttle. What I love about this book is that Mark got the idea for his story on one of his missions where there was one little mouse out of eighteen that didn't cling to the mesh during the mission but instead floated effortlessly around the cage. This book would be great to use during a study of space. But it would also be a great mentor text in Writer's Workshop when talking about where authors get their ideas from.
These books make me anxious for a new little crop of writers!