Does it feel sometimes like we live in a world where words are shared without much thought to their consequence?

Educators have the opportunity to teach students just how powerful their words can be. Now more than ever we want our children to know that words matter. Words can build up or tear down, and every speaker has the means to make the world a better place. Our list includes a few of our favorite books to help children find their voice and begin to learn the power of words.

 Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words  by Karen Leggett Abouraya

Malala uses her voice to speak up for what she believes, even when it means risking her safety.

Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Desmond Tutu
Desmond learns early in life that two wrongs don’t make a right, especially when it comes to hurtful words.

The Honest-to-Goodness Truth by Patricia C. McKissack
Telling the truth doesn’t mean sharing all of your thinking, especially if it might hurt feelings.

Little Bird’s Bad Word  by Jacob Grant
It’s important to learn that some words shouldn’t be repeated.

Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
“I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent.” Horton’s mantra reminds us that giving our word is meaningful, and that our promises matter.

Andrew’s Angry Words by Dorthea Lachner
When Andrew’s sister knocks over his pile of toys, he lets loose a stream of angry words that he immediately regrets… but it’s too late. His words are out there, and their effect is much bigger than Andrew ever imagined.

Max’s Words by Kate Banks
Max wants to keep up with his older siblings who collect things. Max collects words and soon discover that he doesn’t just have a lot of words, he has the ingredients for a story.

Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
A few encouraging words from a kind teacher make all the difference for a girl who struggles to learn to read.

Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
If anyone knows the power of words, it’s Martin Luther King.

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
A tiny cricket shares encouraging words with a clumsy giraffe who thinks he can’t dance.

This list was created in collaboration with Sarah FitzHenry, for the PB10for10 Google community. Sarah is the Learning Village Librarian at St. Anne’s-Belfield School. See her post on her blog Fitz Between the Shelves. See more PB10for10 lists here or follow along on Twitter at #PB10for10. 

7 thoughts on “PICTURE BOOK 10 FOR 10 2017 – WORDS MATTER

  1. What a wonderful focus for your book list. Words truly do matter. I often have to chat with kids when they say something that they shouldn’t and their response is “I was just joking” or “I didn’t really mean it”. Five year old boys find delight in saying naughty words – Little Bird’s Bad Word might be a good addition to our classroom.


  2. I love your graphic and the premise for the list, Lisa. I know each one but Giraffes Can’t Dance and they are terrific! I know of the giraffe book, but just have never read it. Thanks!


  3. Thanks for your recommendations, Lisa. Giraffes Can’t Dance and Thank You Mr. Falkner are a couple of my favs.
    Apples with Many Seeds


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