Book picks similar to
Old Man of the Sea by Stella Elia


picture-book
picture-books
adventure
family

When Emily Was Small


Lauren Soloy - 2020
    Small when her mother tells her not to get her dress dirty, small when she's told to sit up straight, small when she has to sit still in school.But when she's in the garden, she becomes Small: a wild, fearless, curious and passionate soul, communing with nature and feeling one with herself. She knows there are secrets to be unlocked in nature, and she yearns to discover the mysteries before she has to go back to being small . . . for now.When Emily Was Small is at once a celebration of freedom, a playful romp through the garden and a contemplation of the mysteries of nature.

Before We Stood Tall: From Small Seed to Mighty Tree


Jessica Kulekjian - 2021
    The steps are described in simple but evocative text, each starting with “Before . . .” for a rhythmic telling. For example, “Before we stood tall, we clothed ourselves in bark and crowned ourselves in leaves, waving eagerly at the sun.” Particular attention is paid throughout to what's happening underground and how that links all life in the forest. Beginning with mature giants, “mighty in the kingdom of trees,” and ending with the promise of new life on the branches that are “hoping to be mighty in the kingdom of trees,” it's a beautiful and loving celebration of the circle of life.Jessica Kulekjian's skill at seamlessly blending nonfiction information with a poetic narrative sets this informational picture book apart. She also uniquely incorporates intriguing new research on how trees communicate with each other using an underground network of roots and fungus that connects the forest and helps the trees to thrive. Madeline Kloepper's rich artwork with its deep earth tone palette brings the forest and all its inhabitants alive on the page. The material has been vetted by several scientists, including experts on trees, insects and mushrooms. Supported by well-researched backmatter, the book has strong curriculum links to early elementary earth and life science topics, including plants, ecosystems and soil.

Rain


Sam Usher - 2016
    Sam drinks hot chocolate and reads his books and dreams of adventures while Grandpa gets on with his important paperwork. Grandpa seems to have a VERY important letter to write. Then that very important letter has to be posted, despite the rain and floods. As they finally go outside, Sam and Grandpa have a magical adventure.

The Mermaid and the Shoe


K.G. Campbell - 2014
    Some might call them mermaids. Each one, it seemed, was more remarkable than the last. Except Minnow.The only remarkable thing about Minnow was the questions she asked. So many questions! "Where do bubbles go?" "Why don't crabs have fins?" "What lies beyond the kingdom?"When a curious and beautiful new object drifts into her life, Minnow can't imagine what it might be for, but she's certain it must have a purpose. So she follows her questions into the unknown, all the way to another, wondrous world. There she makes several remarkable discoveries...

Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat


Philip C. Stead - 2011
    Along the way he assembles a ragtag crew, including a mountain goat, a lonely circus elephant, and even a friendly whale. Adventure and intrigue (and pirates!) follow.This title has Common Core connections.

The Old Boat


Jarrett Pumphrey - 2021
    They ride the waves, dreaming, catching fish, and seeing the wonders of the ocean. But soon the boy is sailing the boat himself, venturing further from shore as the waters grow dirty and polluted. When a storm washes him ashore and wrecks the old boat, he sees home in a new light. He decides to turn the tides of his fortune, cleaning the island’s waters and creating a new life with a family to call his own. With an eye-catching design and masterfully detailed illustrations, The Old Boat is an exquisite story about caring for the places we call home.

The Collectors


Alice Feagan - 2021
    Winslow and Rosie have been building an impressive collection of natural wonders, and now it's nearly complete. With just enough space left for one final piece, the girls set off into the forest to find something extraordinary. Their journey takes them far --- along the creek, across the valley, through the spruce grove and up the mountain. And while they find many extraordinary things, nothing is just the right extraordinary thing. When the girls find a deep, dark cave, they decide to venture farther than ever before. Surely, a mysterious cave must hold something extraordinary ... Bestselling creator Alice Feagan's distinct cut-paper collage artwork brings this fun quest story to life and packs it with learning opportunities. The story highlights that girls can be adventurous, brave, clever and fascinated by science, and also that the natural world is a wondrous place to explore. From the detailed depictions of the girls' gear to the many portrayals of their extraordinary finds (a gemstone, dinosaur fossils, a rare woodpecker's feather), there are numerous STEM curriculum applications here. The story also offers excellent character education lessons in perseverance, resilience and teamwork.

A River


Marc Martin - 2015
    From factories to farmlands, freeways to forest, each new landscape is explored through stunning illustrations and poetic text from this award-winning picture-book creator.

The Fog


Kyo Maclear - 2017
    But on a warm day, a deep fog rolls in and obscures his view. The rest of the birds don't seem to notice the fog or the other changes Warble observes on the island. The more the fog is ignored, the more it spreads. When a Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile) appears, Warble discovers that he's not the only one who notices the fog. Will they be able to find others who can see it too? And is the fog here to stay?

Great Big Things


Kate Hoefler - 2017
    Chronicling the quiet heroism of one small mouse on an arduous journey to bring another mouse the smallest of gifts, GREAT BIG THINGS serves as a sweet reminder that it's not our size, but what we're doing in this world that makes us small or big.

The Bus Ride


Marianne Dubuc - 2014
    Mom packed me a snack -- and had me bring my sweater in case I get cold." But Mom likely didn't imagine the adventure her little girl would have as she rides to her grandmother's house in this sweet picture book. While the bus is taking her down the streets, through a forest and into a pitch-black tunnel, the little girl encounters an assortment of animal characters who enliven her journey, including a goat who offers her a flower from a bouquet, a wolf child with whom she happily shares her cookies and a fox who attempts to pickpocket a bear. Adding to the fun are lots of running visual gags, such as the changing headlines on the newspaper that hides one passenger's face, a sleeping sloth who mysteriously appears in different seats without ever having woken up and a nervous-looking turtle whose head and arms pop in and out of its shell. The interior of the bus covers each two-page spread, and award-winning author-illustrator Marianne Dubuc uses subtle colors and tiny details to draw in youngsters to the activity happening there. This book offers a potentially multilayered classroom reading experience: there is the terrific main story of the girl's trip, but there are also any number of mini stories playing out at the same time with each of the other characters. It would work beautifully as a jumping-off point for children to do some imaginary storytelling of their own.

The House at the End of the Road


Kari Rust - 2019
    The kids poke around, one of them causing mischief and tossing rocks at the window, until they glimpse a ghost through the glass! Later, Grandma reveals the house doesn’t belong to a ghost―just old Mr. Peterson.After visiting again with better intentions, the kids discover Mr. Peterson’s great sense of humor and that his house is full of fascinating things: old toys, photographs, even a film projector. They become regular visitors, until one day, Mr. Peterson is gone: he has left for a retirement home, and his house sits empty. Using odds, ends, and gifts he gave them, the kids create mementos of Mr. Peterson’s home to give back to him.Full of heart, this picture book incorporates graphic novel elements to tell a layered and moving story about an intergenerational friendship. It shows how appearances can be deceiving: sometimes the best adventure awaits where you least expect it.

Teacup


Rebecca Young - 2015
    He brings with him a teacup full of earth from the place where he grew up, and sets off to sea. Some days, the journey is peaceful, and the skies are cloudless and bright. Some days, storms threaten to overturn his boat. And some days, the smallest amount of hope grows into something glorious. At last, the boy finds land, but it doesn't feel complete . . . until another traveler joins him, bearing the seed to build a new home.

Little Turtle and the Changing Sea


Becky Davies - 2020
    As the years pass, she repeats an incredible journey across the world to the beautiful coral reefs. But one day she finds that plastic has invaded her beloved ocean. Could Turtle's journey be over forever?

The Bear Report


Thyra Heder - 2015
    They’re mean. They eat things. Bor-ing. At least that’s how Sophie feels when she sits down to do her homework.   But then something decidedly unboring happens—Sophie is whisked away to the Arctic by a jovial polar bear named Olafur. In a whirlwind of a day, he shows the reluctant Sophie the many brilliant things there are to see in his home, from glacier mice to the northern lights. Sophie begins to learn that the polar bear’s home is so much more than a barren, frozen land. It’s a world filled with life, adventure—and a new friend.  The Bear Report showcases the power of curiosity to fill any blank canvas, whether it’s an incomplete homework assignment or the Arctic ice.