We will be reading one of these great books each day during our Themed Literature Unit!

  • Barnett, M. (2012). Chloe and the Lion. New York: Disney-Hyperion.
Mac the author and Adam the illustrator have different ideas as to where to the story of Chloe and the Lion is headed. Mac tries to finish the story without Adam, he hires a replacement, he tries to draw his own pictures, but none of it feels right. Chloe saves the day as Mac and Adam learn to compromise and work together.

  • Darbyshire, K. (2009). Put It On the List. New York: Dutton Children's Books
One desperate evening a mother runs out of groceries and the family is forced to eat "peanut butter and pickled grub on macaroni casserole" for dinner. This pushes them over the edge, and they realize if they want a normal dinner somebody will have to help mom with the shopping.

  • DiSalvo, D. (1994). City Green. New York: Morrow Junior Books.
Marcy with the help of her neighbor Miss Rosa decide to turn a vacant lot on their block into a community garden. All of the neighbors are happy, except one, Old Man Hammer. As the neighbors work together, each contributing a plant of their own, the garden grows, and in the end even Old Man Hammer plants his own seeds.

  • Eve, B. (1994). Smoky Night. San Diego: Harcourt Brace.
This story of neighbors coming together is set during the LA riots. Set in a neighborhood of diverse families, who typically do not get along, the story shows that impactful events can bring us together when we least expect it.

  • McKee, D. (2010). Elmer and the Hippos. Minneapolis: Andersen Press USA.
The elephants are not happy, the hippos have started moving in on their river. Elmer goes to investigate why the hippos have left their own river. Elmer discovers that the hippos river has been blocked by a landslide of large rocks. Elmer knows if all the hippos and elephants work together they could move all the blocks and get the river flowing again. While it takes some convincing from Elmer, the elephants finally decide to help the hippos, and everyone has water and a few new friends in the end.

  • Schubert, L (2005). Here Comes Darrell. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Darrell is the neighbor everyone wants. He helps chop wood and dig basements for his neighbors, but ignores his wife’s request to fix the roof on their barn. When a fall storm wrecks the barn roof Darrell’s neighbors repay his kindness, and together they are able to fix the roof.

  • Schubert, L. (2011). The Princess of Borscht. New York: Roaring Brook Press.
When Ruthie’s grandmother is hospitalized all she wants is a bowl of her secret recipe borscht. Ruthie wants to make her grandmother happy, but has no idea how to make her favorite soup. With help from her grandmother’s neighbors, and a little hard work, Ruthie is able to discover the secret, and her grandmother happily eats borscht for dinner.

  • Taulbert, C. (1999). Little Cliff and the Porch People. New York: Dial Books for Young Reader.
Little Cliff is sent to the store by his great-grandmother Mama Pearl to get butter, so she can make her special sweet potatoes for dinner. On the way to the store Little Cliff stops and talks to his neighbors on their porches. Each neighbor contributes an ingredient for Mama Pearl’s sweet potatoes, and Mama Pearl creates a delicious treat for the entire neighborhood.

  • Wilson, K. (2012). Bear Says Thanks. New York: Margaret K McElderry Books.
Bear is bored, and wants to throw a party for all of his forest friends. There is only one problem, bear has no food. Bear’s friends bring many delicious dishes to share, but Bear feels terrible that he has nothing to add. His friends assure him that he needs to add nothing more than his stories and friendship.