Uploaded by Amy Greicius

phonics books

Annotated Bibliography
Amy M Greicius
Baldwin Wallace University
In this paper, I will explore ten different books and how each of them contribute to
teaching the application of certain phonics aspects. These aspects are, rhyming, alphabet,
predictable, high frequency words, and multisyllabic words. I will summarize each book for you
and then explain which phonics aspect it contains and for what grade levels.
The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock is about the famous artist Vasya Kandinsky who
created abstract art. As a young boy, Kandinsky was influenced by his family to study math and
history. It wasn’t until his aunt bought him a small box of paints that his true passion came out.
He heard music when he painted and this excited him and inspired his art work. When he
showed his family his first creation with his new paints they didn’t understand it and they told
Kandinsky to paint the usual things like other people. He tried painting houses and flowers like
the others but he found no joy in it. As he grew older, he studied law like he was expected but
he wasn’t quite satisfied. One night, he went to the opera and he could hear the colors and see
the music there. This experience brought him back to his passion for painting again and abstract
art was born. Society didn’t understand this type of art at first because they were not used to it.
They were used to seeing a piece of art and knowing what is was immediately. With abstract
art, Kandinsky wanted it to make you feel.
This story can be used as a predictable book because the plot is simple and easy to
follow. Students can make predictions based on the text and the illustrations in this book.
Based on the colors of pictures paired with the text, we can infer how Kandinsky is feeling. The
Noisy Paint Box can be used in second through fourth grade classrooms. For younger students,
the pictures are entertaining and most children will be able to relate to Kandinsky’s love for
painting. Older students will learn rich vocabulary words from this book and they will get to
practice making predictions and inferences based on clues from the text and pictures.
Regardless of age, this story teaches students that value of thinking creatively.
The School of Art by Teal Triggs is a book about how to make art with the basic steps.
This book poses a series of questions like “Why are ideas important in art and design?”(Triggs,
p. 9) and “What different things can we use to make art?” (Triggs, p. 14). There are many
illustrations and examples of steps in this book. The story portrays a real school of art and what
goes on there.
Students can make predictions in this book in a couple different ways. Since so many
questions are asked, predictions can be made based on the questions. Also, the illustrations
give students hints about what they might predict the answer to the question to be. The stepby-step instructions using pictures and text show students how to draw different objects. These
instructions can also be used to make predictions by asking, “what step do you think should
come next?”. This book is appropriate for fourth through seventh grade classrooms because the
text is complex and long.
Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein is a book of poems and drawings. These poems are
short and humorous with lots of rhyming. Silverstein’s poems are not too complex but they still
inspire young readers to think differently. The poem “Clock Man” on page 95 of this book is
about a young boy growing old and a clock. The clock asks the boy when he is young, “how
much will you pay for an extra day” (Silverstein, p. 95)? The boy responds that he wouldn’t pay
anything, but as he grows older and is dying, he would give anything for an extra day.
The phonics aspect in this book is rhyming. All of these poems have rhyming words in
them. For example, in “The Clock Man”, the last word in the second line of each stanza rhymes
with the last word in the last line of each stanza. “Child” and “smiles” rhyme. “Grown” and
“own” rhyme. Finally, “die” and “sky” rhyme (Silverstein, p. 95). This book of poems would be
appropriate for grades third through fifth. This is a great book to introduce poetry to younger
grades and make rhyming fun.
Falling Up by Shel Silverstein is another book of poems and pictures. Like Silverstein’s
book, Every Thing On It, this book tests the imaginations of all ages. These poems are short,
sweet, and silly. “Crazy Dream” on page 168 is one poem in this book about a child who dreamt
that he became the teacher and the teachers became the students. He assigned them lots of
impossible homework and enjoyed it.
The rhymes in these poems are mostly the last word of the second line and the last
word of the last line in each stanza. For example, “school” and “rules” rhyme in the first stanza.
In the third stanza “Mongolia” and “magnolia” rhyme (Silverstein, p. 168). This book would be
an entertaining way to introduce rhyming and poetry in third through fifth grade classrooms.
Students can look at the rhyming words and say them out loud to hear the rhyme and then
analyze the different and similar spellings between the two. This will get students interested
and excited about rhyming and poetry.
ABC Dentist by Harriet Ziefert is a book that labels everything you need to know about
the dentist from ‘A’ to ‘Z’. ‘A’ is for appointment, ‘B’ is for bib, and ‘C’ is for cavity. For each
alphabetized word, the author gives a brief description. Each word also has an illustration so
students can pair pictures with words.
This book reinforces the alphabet aspect of phonics for older students. The appropriate
grade levels are first through fourth. This ABC book is aimed toward older children because it
contains more difficult vocabulary words. For example, the letter ‘E’ in this book is for
“Examination”. Parts of the mouth are also named like, “gums”, “jaw”, and “lips”. A more
detailed definition for these parts are offered in this book, like what lips do to help our bodies.
This book would be a great way to introduce more sophisticated vocabulary paired with our
alphabet to older children.
First Children’s Dictionary is a dictionary organized in alphabetical order aimed toward
children. For example, there are multiple pages for each letter and the words that begin with
each letter are also in alphabetical order on the page. Big, colorful pictures are given on each
page to represent a few of the words.
At the very beginning of the book there are a couple pages dedicated to explaining what
alphabetical order means. On these pages, students can practice putting the pictured animal
names in alphabetical order. This will help give them a stronger sense of the alphabet and the
ways we can use it. Some of the words listed under ‘C’ are “challenge”, “centimeter”,
“cautious”, “cave”, and “cat”. There are a variety of words ranging from lower to upper level
grades. This is why the appropriate grade levels are third through fifth. Each word’s definition is
also given in simple terms with an example sentence using the word.
Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins is about a young boy and his sister trying to find a tiger cub
that escaped from a nearby nature reserve. They are up against a rich man who wants to find
the cub first and sell its body parts on the black market. Neel and his sister want to return the
cub to its home with its mother.
This story is filled with multisyllabic words. On pages 58 and 59, the words hun/gry,
big/ger, pow/er, and shoul/der are multisyllabic words. This book is appropriate for the upper
grade levels like fourth through sixth. There are enough multisyllabic words in this story to get
students in these grades prepared for more complex multisyllabic words.
In The Summer Experiment by Cathie Pelletier, Roberta and her friend want to win the
State Science Fair but they need to find the perfect project to present. When Roberta notices
strange lights appearing in her neighborhood sky, she decides their project will prove aliens
exist. This would be sure to win them first prize. As long as a strong competitor doesn’t steal
her spotlight.
Just in the title alone there are two multisyllabic words: sum/mer and ex/per/i/ment.
This book is also loaded with multisyllabic words because it is geared toward older students. On
page 159, we have air/planes, dick/ens, dair/y, tract/or, and si/los. This story is appropriate for
grades fourth through sixth. Not only are these more complex multisyllabic words but some are
not as well known by most students. For example, “dickens” and “silos” can be examined
further for meaning.
Feeling Better: A Kid’s Book About Therapy by Rachel Rashkin is about a young girl
named Maya who used to feel happy but lately she hasn’t felt like herself. She starts going to
therapy and this book serves as her journal. Many questions about therapy are answered for
children. Maya ends up feeling like her old happy self again.
This book is crowded with high frequency words. These words occur often and don’t
usually have much meaning behind them but they are critical to a sentence’s meaning. A few of
the high frequency words in this story are “I”, “in”, “and”, “my”, “said”, “to”, “they”, and “are”.
The appropriate grade levels for this book are third through fifth because the text is longer and
slightly complex. As a result of the text being longer, more high frequency words are needed.
Therefore, students will become more aware of these words and their importance in text.
Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter is about the artist Henri Matisse growing old and
how his art form developed. As a boy, Henri constantly drew and he grew up to be a famous
artist. When he became ill at an old age, he had to figure out a new way of creating art. He
discovered happiness in cutting large shapes from painted paper in different colors.
This story has many high frequency words in it. Some of these include, “a”, “in”, “to”,
“too”, “he”, and “was”. This book doesn’t have a lot of text in it so there are fewer high
frequency words. The appropriate grade levels for this book are second through fourth because
it is easy to follow and most of the vocabulary is simple. Using this book would be a great way
to introduce high frequency words to a classroom and their importance in all levels of texts.
In conclusion, there are so many books that can teach students how phonics skills apply
to everyday life in reading. There are even alphabet books appropriate of older students.
Everywhere we look and every book we look into, we will find phonics. This is why these
phonics skills are so important for young students to master and apply.
Greenwood, Marie. (2002). First Children’s Dictionary. New York, NY: DK Publishing.
Pelletier, Cathie. (2014). The Summer Experiment. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.
Perkins, Mitali. (2015). Tiger Boy. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
Rashkin, Rachel. (2005). Feeling Better: A Book About Therapy. Washington, D.C.: Magination
Rosenstock, Barb. (2014). The Noisy Paint Box. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
Silverstein, Shel. (2011). Every Thing On It. New York, NY: HarperCollinsPublishers.
Silverstein, Shel. (2015). Falling Up. New York, NY: HarperCollinsPublishers.
Triggs, Teal. (2015). The School Of Art. New York, NY: Wide Eyed Editions.
Winter, Jeanette. (2013). Henri’s Scissors. New York, NY: Beach Lane Books.
Ziefert, Harriet. (2008). ABC Dentist: Healthy Teeth From A To Z. Maplewood, N.J.: Blue Apple