Looking at the Sky with Picture Books

Look up.  What do you see in the sky? How do you see it?  Here are a few picture books to inspire young people to look up and use their imaginations to talk about what they see.

owlyandwormyHow do you see the sky?   – In Owly & Wormy: Bright Lights and Starry Nights by Andy Runton, the two friends want to see the stars.  There are too any obstacles in the forest, so they plan to camp out in a nearby meadow where the view will be clear.  Even pre-readers will be able to follow the story in this wordless adventure.  They’ll cheer when what at first seems scary turns out to be friendly and when Owly and Wormy finally get to see a whole sky full of stars.  It may open a discussion about the  basics of stargazing, but, at it’s heart, it is a simple, delightful story about overcoming fears.  Owly is a great addition to a classroom!

blueskyHow do you describe the sky? – Audrey Wood’s Blue Sky will inspire young readers to look up and wonder.  They may see stars or clouds or storms.  This picture book is a simple introduction to one day in the life of a family as they look at the sky and describe what they see.  There are only two words on each illustration, but the simplicity opens up an opportunity to talk about descriptive words, weather, or time with kids.  Audrey Wood writes about her inspiration for this book and of the importance of teaching children to observe the sky in their daily life on her web site.  She also has activity pages for your students to record what they see or create a dream sky.

Sky ColorHow do you paint the sky?  – Tracey included Sky Color by Peter Reynolds in her recent post about imagination, and I think it is a great choice. In this picture book, Marisol volunteers to paint the sky in the mural her class is creating, but soon she realizes that she doesn’t have the color blue.  She doesn’t give up, and eventually Marisol realizes that there is more to the sky than she thinks.  This is a wonderful book to remind readers to be open to possibilities as they observe nature.

Sky Color 2-1-1

I hope these picture books inspire kids to look closely and think creatively about the world around them, or in this case above them. 🙂

Extended Bibliography:

Blue Sky by Audrey Wood. March 2012. 9780545316101. Gr. Ps-K

Cloud Dance by Thomas Locker. 2003. 9780152045968. Gr. 1-4

It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Green Shaw. 1947. 9780060255657. Gr. Ps-2

Moon Dreams by Ruth Martin. 2010. 9780763650124. Gr. Ps-1

Once Upon a Starry Night: A Book of Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton. 2003. 9780792263326. Gr. K-3

Owly & Wormy: Bright Lights and Starry Nights by Andy Runton. November 2012. 9781416957751. Gr. Ps-2

Sky Color by Peter Reynolds.  August 2012. 9780763623456. Gr. K-2

Stars by Mary Lyn Ray. 2011. 9781442422490. Gr. Ps-1

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