October Children’s Literature Reviews

Here are my children’s literature reviews for books to use during the month of October. The first two books are ideal for addressing listening comprehension and vocabulary skills with children who are learning everyday Tier I words. 

A is for Autumn, by Robert Mass is a colorful book with great photographs that display nouns and adjectives of the season. The language in the book is simple enough for students in preschool and grades K-2. SLPs and teachers may lead students in an auditory memory activity to recall facts from the book or practice naming vocabulary associated with fall. The targeted vocabulary are: apples, birds, colors, daylight, exercise, frost, games, Halloween, ice cream (great for any season!), jacket, kayak, leaves, Monarch butterfly, neighborhood, owl, pumpkins, quilt, rake, scarecrow, Thanksgiving, umbrella, vegetables (gourds/squash), X (train crossing), yellow, and zipper. 

 Here’s a snapshot from one of my favorite pages:

Word Bird’s Fall Words, by Jane Belk Moncure is a book that introduces themed vocabulary to early learners. This is a simple text that teaches kids words associated with fall such as leaves, red, yellow, orange, football, acorns, squirrels, caterpillar, cocoon, Columbus Day, wild geese, pumpkins, Halloween, jack-o’-latern, trick or treat, turkey, Thanksgiving, Mayflower, Pilgrims, Indians, and tepee. Preschool and elementary school aged children can practice identifying and naming the key vocabulary. This is a fair book for kids with limited semantic or vocabulary skills. I use this book with kids with moderate intellectual disabilities and co-occurring language impairment. It can be used with a variety of children with language difficulty. 
My speech students love the books The Saturday Triplets in Lost in the Leaf Pile and The Saturday Triplets in The Pumpkin Fair Problem by Katharine Kenah. In the first story, the siblings decide to make a game out of raking leaves and in the process they lose their kitty, Boo. In the other story, the triplets go to the fair with their parents. They are so excited to be there, but can’t agree on what to do! The illustrations are fantastic in these stories and provide a great opportunity for kids to practice basic level verbal narratives. 

It wouldn’t be a new season without using one of Lucille Colandro’s books. I definitely recommend There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly! Yes, the children you work with will probably be grossed out again by the things this silly old lady eats. However, these books are an engaging and fun way to allow kids to practice identifying the correct sequence of the story events and verbally retelling the fiction story. Of course, you should always ask “wh” questions to check for comprehension. Although these books are at a second grade reading level, I think they are appropriate for a read aloud for preschool-3rd grade kids with language impairment or in a general education class as well. 
Enjoy the month of October! What are some books that you use this month in your classroom or during speech-language therapy sessions?
Tamara Anderson

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