Catholic Education Week 2018 - Recommended books by Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association
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by Scot Ritchie
In this engaging nonfiction picture book, five young friends -- Nick, Yulee, Pedro, Sally and Martin -- spend the day traveling around their neighborhood and participating in activities designed to raise money for their local library. Along the way, they learn about the people and places that make up their community and what it means to be a part of one. A map opens the story, with each of the places the children will be visiting labeled, including the gas station, retirement home, school, police station, soccer field, community garden and, of course, the library! Then each of the following spreads features a different location, detailed in a bright, busy illustration. Illustration captions expand the locations' connections to the concept of community. For example, when they stop at a yard sale, the caption reads, "Donating means you give something to help a good cause. You can donate money, things or your time." In some cases, readers are asked to find things or people within the illustrations, which adds an interactive experience. Author and illustrator Scot Ritchie has created a rich resource for social studies lessons on places, roles and jobs within a community, and what it takes to be a responsible citizen. But there is also the potential here for even broader classroom discussions, including about the economy of a community, geography and mapping, and how the character education concepts of cooperation, responsibility and teamwork apply. The author has also included step-by-step instructions for a puzzle-making project.