Creativity Corner: Battle of the Books

by: Terry Shay

Ask almost any writer, the best way to be a better writer is to read books. Ask any teacher, the best way to become a better reader is to read books. With that in mind, my morning book club and I decided it would be fun to share our favorite picture books with other classes. Since we are a K-12 school in one building, it’s easy to collaborate with other classes. The morning book club is a group of high school students who meet before school to read picture books. You can learn more about them in this previous post.

The idea of sharing picture books floated around for awhile, then we invited elementary classrooms to be a part of the “Battle of the Books.” With the help of my students, I paired books into a tournament style battle in which books were pitted against each other. We pitted similarly themed books against each other until we had placed books into four brackets of eight books. Each participating teacher read the books to the the class and then students voted on which one was the class favorite. The kindergarten, third grade and sixth grade classes participated. You can see all of the brackets here. 

After all of the books had battled through the brackets, we went into a final round. It was 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath by Stacey McAnulty, illustrated by Joy Ang versus Monster Trucks by Anika Denise, illustrated by Nate Wragg. The day of the finals, coincidentally World Read Aloud Day, two morning book club members went to read each of the books to the participating elementary class and have them vote for their favorite. It was a very close vote.


Our school’s favorite book was Monster Trucks by Anika Denise, illustrated by Nate Wragg.


Through this process, the kids had a had fun making choices about books while supporting them with their rationale. The kindergarten class loved the battle so much, they wrote a song. The third graders made a poem about the battle. I asked some kids and the kindergarten teacher, Anne Turner, what they thought about the Battle of the Books and here is the link to their responses.

Meet Mrs. Ro

I like to highlight the work of awesome teachers, especially ones who make dots!  This month I would like to share a video from Rochelle Menendez (Mrs. Ro) who did aluminum relief dots for Dot Day this year. I saw her tweet and the amazing results so I asked for a how-to video which I’m thrilled to share with you!

Watch Mrs. Ro explain the process.

Aluminum Relief Dots

Find Mrs. Ro on Twitter @romenendez14!

Books to Inspire Creativity:

Clowey wanted to share some favorite books to inspire creativity.

Featured Books:


A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Mike Lowery





The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers





Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell




Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color by Julia Denos


February Morning Book Club Recommendations:

Check out this month’s book recommendations from the morning book club.


Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith




Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda




Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat




How to be a Bigger Bunny by Florence and Wendell Minor



If you have a great Dot Day activity, please share in the comments below and you could be featured in future columns. Please include a Twitter handle so I can reach you!

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