105 Ways to Give a Book

Thursday Three: Teacher Gift Books

For all of their elementary school years, I always gave books to my kids’ teachers for the holidays. My favorite book to give was Earth from Above for Young Readers. It’s out of print now, but it embodies my perfect gift for teachers as a book that the adult can enjoy and appreciate, and can also be used in the classroom. That particular title could be used for such a wide range of ages that it was absolutely perfect. Seriously, I bought six of them when they went to a discount price and gave them out for three years straight — and my kids are three years apart. But here are three other great gift suggestions and I’d love to hear about more perfect teacher titles in the comments. You know you have them.

How to Heal a Broken WingHow to Heal a Broken Wing
by Bob Graham

A pigeon is hurt on the sidewalk, and everyone walks by — except one boy and his mother. They take the bird home, take care of it, and let it fly away. I’m keeping the plot simple, so that I can leave room to say that I have not shown this book to one adult yet who hasn’t been deeply moved by it. Kids may see the simple story first, and then the kindness beneath. Adults can see the deeper levels of helping others, healing wounds, and letting go. Or even, as I told my seventh grader, “that sometimes we’re the bird.” Bob Graham’s illustrations are wonderful, and truly tell the story more than the simple text. It’s a beautiful book and would be great for preschool through second grade teachers.

One Voice, PleaseOne Voice, Please: Favorite Read-Aloud Stories
by Sam McBratney

Elementary school teachers have tight schedules with all the pressures of different tests and required curriculum. It can be hard to fit in reading as much as they might like. But this book is perfect to use in those extra five or ten minutes. Filled with familiar stories from around the world, it can be shared with a few minutes to spare while ensuring kids are hearing the stories that make up our common understanding.
Side by SideSide by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World
edited by Jan Greenberg

Poetry and art. Multiple languages and multicultural images. This comes pretty close to my new perfect book for teachers, only losing a mark for being too sophisticated for the early elementary kids. The art is amazing. The poems represent a wide range in style and subject. Each poem is written in the poet’s native language, as well as in English. Each page is perfectly illustrated by a related work of art from that area. This is an amazing book that will be enjoyed by the adult who receives it and as a classroom tool. (If you’re dying for a poetry book for a younger classroom, I can never mention Poetry Speaks to Children enough.)

For more ideas on giving books this holiday season, look to 150 Ways to Give a Book. With all the live links, you may not even need to leave the house to do your shopping.

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Rebecca Reid said...

I really liked BACK TO SCHOOL TORTOISE and think it would be a fun book for teachers...my mom is a teacher and I'm sure she'd appreciate it. :) It's not necessarily one to incorporate into the classroom, but it sure is a fun little joke for the teachers to enjoy.

I LOVE the poetry speaks books. I have the one for adults, but someday I hope to have the one for kids. We just check it out from the library for now. Thanks for the reminder that it's been a while. Must revisit.

MotherReader said...

Oh, Back to School Tortoise is a PERFECT teacher gift! It does work on two levels with the little joke at the end. Great idea!