Miss Mingo Weathers the Storm


Title: Miss Mingo Weathers the Storm

Author: Jamie Harper

Illustrator: Jamie Harper

Publisher and Year: Candlewick Press, 2012

Number of Pages: 31

Genre: Fiction

Analysis: Miss Mingo Weathers the Storm is about a flamingo teacher and all of her students who take a hike for their class field trip. Throughout the hike, each animal’s special talent is helpful in different scenarios, resulting in a successful field trip.

This book can function as a mirror for any teacher who takes students on a field trip. Although the characters throughout this book are all animals, the book is still relevant to teachers. Teachers also realize throughout the school year that each student in their class has a special talent or unique characteristic that adds to the classroom and helps fill the family vibe within the class. The book can also function as a window for all children wanting to learn about animals. The tidbits of scientific information that is provided throughout the entire book allow students to learn different facts about different types of animals.


Perceptually, the book is colorful, warm and inviting for all kids. This book appears to be kid friendly and an interesting book about animals. While first looking at the front cover, one may assume that the book is a cute picture book. However, the picture book includes information about different animals.


Structurally, the book includes facts about the animals’ skills and talents. These facts are put on display on different pages throughout the entire book. The facts throughout the book add to the text, while the images mirror the text of the story. The facts can also act as images throughout the book. One thing that every page has in common is that the images are not framed, which allows the readers to feel part of the story throughout the book.


Ideologically, this book is a perfect example about how each student’s skills and talents add to the classroom environment. Every student is special in their own way, so this book can be used to allow students to see that their talents are special to the class as a whole. A class wide lesson that a teacher could teach from this book is that as a class we are better together then apart. Another lesson that could be taken away from the book is that the facts about each animal are scientific information, which could be teaching points that students would find interesting. Overall, this book is a fun and interesting book that students will love, but teachers can also find teachable moments throughout the book.

A Day’s Work


Title: A Day’s Work

Author: Even Bunting

Illustrator: Ronald Himler

Publisher and Year: Clarion Books, 1994

Number of Pages: 32

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Analysis: A Day’s Work is a story about a young boy, Francisco and his grandfather, who go to look for work in America after Francisco’s grandfather moves in with Francisco and his mother. Francisco goes with his grandfather since he does not understand English yet. The two work hard but realize that they have to come back the next day to redo their day’s work.


This book can function as a mirror for those just moving to America from another country. Many experiences that Francisco’s grandfather goes through could also be significant for other people as well. Not knowing English and having to learn English as a second language can be challenging for anyone. This book could also function as a window, for people who speak English to learn about the challenges that others experience when moving to the United States.


Perceptually, the colors from the front cover appear dull, which is not very interesting or engaging for young children. They also appear to be pencil drawings looking like rough sketches, but very detailed. Although the colors are dull and not intriguing, the mysteriousness behind the front cover, invites the reader inside the book to continue reading the story.

Structurally, the images are not framed, which allows the audience to feel invited in and included throughout the book. The text per page with the images is just the correct amount of text so that the reader can understand the text before turning to the next page. The images leave the audience with a mysterious feeling because there is not a clarity in the images, especially the faces, which leaves the reader with an idea about what occurred on that page because of the text but does not provide many details. Since the reader is not able to clearly see the faces of the characters, facial expressions and emotions are hard to see in the images. The illustrator may be trying to make a point about these workers and that workers may not want to specifically have an identity because of frequent job changes or moves.


Ideologically, this book is an excellent example of honesty, loyalty, and that hard work pays off. The grandfather and Francisco are loyal and honest with their employer. Since they completed the wrong job, they were not going to accept payment until the next day when they had completed the job correctly. This example teaches children to always be honest and loyal because these characteristics are valued among adults, parents, and teachers. The easy way out would have been from the grandfather and Francisco to simply accept the money and come out the next day to partially complete the job, but they took the harder route by waiting. Another lesson that this book teaches children is that hard work pays off. Since Francisco and his grandfather took the harder route, they were more valued by their employer, and it could be likely for them to be asked again by this same employer to work for him another time. A Day’s Work is a great book to teach children about morals and values.



Benito’s Sopaipillas


Title: Benito’s Sopaipillas

Author: Ana Baca

Illustrator: Anthony Accardo

Publisher and Year: Piñata Books, 2006

Number of Pages: 26

Genre: Fiction

Analysis: Benito’s Sopaipillas is about a young girl,Cristina, learning about her family history. Her grandmother tells her a story about Cristina’s great grandfather Benito and his soup catchers also know as sopaipillas in Spanish that he made many years ago with his mother.

This book can function as a window for those who are not familiar with this culture and sopaipillas. Many people who read this book can learn a lot about the culture displayed throughout. Not only could the book function as a window, but it could also function as a mirror for those who are familiar with this culture. People of this culture can relate to this book and understand the story behind sopaipillas. Benito’s Sopaipillas can also function as a door for children who want to learn more about their family culture and history. Cristina learns a lot about her great grandfather Benito and his sopaipillas, so other children could want to learn about their family history.


Perceptually, the front cover of the book had a mysterious feeling especially since they were cheering for rain, which was unclear the meaning behind the image on the front. From the front cover, there is both Spanish and English portrayed in the title, author and illustrator which showed that the book would both involve Spanish and English, without even opening to the first page.

Structurally, all the images are on the right side, with the entire left side full of text. The text is in two different languages, Spanish and English, which is why the text takes up an entire page. On each page, the image is framed, which only allows the audience to have a glimpse into the storyline, and not truly connect with the storyline and characters. Separating the English text and the Spanish text is a small image of a crop. This image changes throughout the book adapting to the storyline, three examples of this image can be seen below.


Ideologically, the book expresses stories about Cristina’s family history, showing to the audience that family history is important for all to learn about. Cristina learned about her own family’s culture and history, which could encourage the audience to also learn about their own family culture and history. Since the book contains text in both Spanish and English, the two different languages are useful depending on the audience. For example, if one person wanted to learn Spanish and knew English, he or she could read the English text and the Spanish text to learn the meaning of different words. The same is true for the opposite, if one person were to know Spanish, but not English, he or she could use both texts to learn English.


Ava and the Real Lucille


Title: Ava and the Real Lucille

Author: Cari Best

Illustrator: Madeline Valentine

Publisher and Year: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2012

Number of Pages: 30

Genre: Fiction

Analysis: Ava and the Real Lucille is about two sisters, Ava and Arlie who enter a contest to win a pet. The girls are hoping to win a dog when entering the poem contest. The end result is not what they thought, but the prize ended up being perfect.

This book can function as a mirror for young kids wanting a pet, which is common for most children. Not only will this book function as a mirror for children but can work as a mirror for parents as well. Children who want a pet are constantly talking about their pet and bugging their parents. Both children and parents can relate to this book because the real life experiences are understandable from the audiences perspective.


Perceptually, the front cover of the book is colorful and appears to be about a little girl Ava and a pet dog named Lucille. The book looks to be a fun and entertaining book for children. The cover catches the reader’s attention, who is then interested in reading about Ava and her pet Lucille.


Structurally, many pictures throughout the book have round frames, implying that the characters are content and secure. The illustrator could have created these round frames for the audience to think that the two little girls were content with the fact that they could win a poem contest and receive a pet dog. The round frames throw the reader off a bit, thinking that the girls will win a pet dog, when they actually win a pet bird. At the end of the book when Ava and Arlie love their pet bird, there are also round frames, showing the girls are content with having a pet bird named Lucille. The images both give more details as well as mirror the text throughout the book.

Ideologically, this book portrays a positive message but also conveys a negative message for children as well.   Positively, the book teaches children about the responsibility that is associated with having a pet. Children learn to love and care for the pet, regardless if it is a pet that they had wished for. The book teaches children that they must feed, love, help, and play with their pet. All of these actions are important lessons for children to read about prior to actually buying a pet. However, when first receiving the pet, Ava was ungrateful for the pet bird that they won, because she wanted a dog. She would yell and stomp so loud that her actions would upset Lucille the bird. Ungratefulness, disrespect and impatience are all lessons that teachers and adults do not want children reading about and learning to behave in such a way. After Ava’s poor actions, she came around and really cared for Lucille the bird, however, her prior actions were poor lessons for children to learn.



The Deaf Musicians


Title: The Deaf Musicians

Authors: Pete Seeger and Paul Dubois Jacobs

Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie

Publisher and Year: The Penguin Group, 2006

Number of Pages: 28

Analysis: The Deaf Musicians is about a man who loves music but is deaf. Initially, he is kicked out of his first band, but he meets other deaf musicians who create a quartet and they are successful musicians on the subway.

This book could function as a mirror for deaf people who love music. Deaf musicians are not typically seen throughout society, so having a book that is relatable to deaf musicians is important. A window could be another function for this book because other people may not think that people who are deaf can be musicians as well, but that is obviously not the case in this book. Deaf musicians are able to achieve and be successful in their own way.

Perceptually, the front cover had colorful and unique images, but the images were also diverse in skin color, characteristics, hairstyle and personality. The reader may also not be able to tell who the deaf characters are in the book, simply by looking at the front cover. That crucial aspect sends the message that not all disabilities change the outward appearance of the person. A person who is deaf can be just as successful as any other person.


Structurally, the main character, Lee, was typically on the right side of the page or faced towards the right of the page until his quartet of deaf musicians were successful on the subway. Being on the right side of the page or facing towards the right is a way to portray that the character is less secure and stable. Lee’s security with himself could’ve been lost when being kicked out of his first band before finding the quartet of other deaf musicians. Bright colors in each image helps show freedom that Lee and the other musicians feel while creating their own music on the subway throughout the book.


Ideologically, a crucial lesson that can be taken away from this book is that disabilities do not change the success a person can have. A disability may challenge the person, but having a disability does not mean that one cannot be successful. This book also teaches children that individuality and uniqueness is important and that all students should accept their differences because those characteristics are what make them special. Throughout the entire book Lee persevered and believed in his talents and abilities, which eventually lead to his success on the subway. Teachers strive to have all students accept and include any students with disabilities.


Dancing in the Wings

Dancing1 Title: Dancing in the Wings

Author: Debbie Allen

Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

Publisher and Year: The Penguin Group, 2000

Number of Pages: 29

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Analysis: Dancing in the Wings is about a young girl, Sassy, who loves ballet but is taller than all of her peers. Throughout the book, Sassy learns to embrace her difference leading to her success near the end of the book.

This book could function as a mirror for all young girls who love dancing but do not always feel that their appearance is the same as their classmates. Girls typically struggle more with self-image compared to boys, so this book helps young girls embrace their characteristics. I think that this book could also function as a mirror for African American girls. They could see themselves through Sassy and her family. Having a book that is applicable to African American girls can make these girls feel included and understood. A window is another function of this book because people can learn about some aspects of a different culture from this book.

Perceptually, this book portrays a musical, beautiful and elegant cover that makes one believe that the same types of images will continue throughout the book. However, that is not the case at all. Within the images, Sassy appears to have two different sides to her personality. One aspect of her personality portrays elegance through the dancing images. Another aspect of Sassy’s character that is portrayed in the images is her athletic and tomboy characteristics, as seen in the images below. However, all of the images are beautifully drawn throughout the entire book.


Structurally, Sassy is taller and larger than her classmates, showing that she is stronger than her classmates as well. This is symbolic to the ending of the book, when Sassy outlasts all of her classmates in a tryout. The unframed images allow the audience to feel included in the story and allow the audience to connect with Sassy and her challenges that she faces throughout the book. Throughout most of the book, Sassy is facing left. This is a way for viewers to see that Sassy is less secure with herself. After Sassy wins the dance contest between other girls she still continues to face towards the left, which can be a sign of the lack of confidence that Sassy has with herself. For the longest time Sassy has been bullied about her height, so her struggle to believe in herself is something that she has learned over time from her peers and teachers.Dancing2

Ideologically, this book expresses the message that one should embrace his or her individuality because what makes him or her unique may be what leads to success. Sassy was successful and won the dance contest because of her height and long legs. What was once a deficit in her mind, became one of her biggest assets. Sassy always worked hard even when her peers would discourage or upset Sassy and in the end all of her hard work paid off. Throughout the book, there were a couple girls who were mean and would upset Sassy. This is a lesson that children should not be taught. Even though this lesson was an essential part of the story plot, children could learn this from the book.

Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat Ella Fitzgerald


Title: Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat Ella Fitzgerald

Author: Roxane Orgill

Illustrator: Sean Qualls

Publisher and Year: Candlewick Press, 2010

Number of Pages: 38

Genre: Biography

Analysis: Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat Ella Fitzgerald is a biography about Ella Fitzgerald and her swing dancing and singing career. The book goes through a timeline of events throughout her life, some that were challenging, some that were joyful, but all ending with success.

This book could function as a window for many people who are not sure of who Ella Fitzgerald is. Throughout the book the audience can learn about Ella Fitzgerald as a person, her career, success, family and much more. Not only can this book function as a window, but it can also function as a mirror for African American young girls who love singing and dancing. After reading this book, young girls can feel encouraged to continue pursuing their passion like Ella did. Young girls may feel exhilarated or confident after reading about Ella’s success singing and dancing.


Perceptually, this book has an entertaining and engaging front cover along with a fun title that children will enjoy reading because of the phonics. Initially, the audience is not able to tell that the book is also about dancing, one may simply think that this book is only about singing. While first seeing the front cover, the reader may think that this book is fiction and not a true story about Ella Fitzgerald. It isn’t until reading the first few pages that the true story begins to emerge.

Structurally, there are a lot of words per page resulting in the reading of each page being quite lengthy. However, the author is sharing a lot of information about Ella Fitzgerald. The images throughout the book are unframed, allowing the audience to feel included in the action and connected with Ella Fitzgerald as a book character. Throughout the book, the illustrator portrays a variety of facial expressions, which are understandable to all audiences. The audience can connect with Ella and her story while reading the book because of the true story and connections that can be made throughout the book.


Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat Ella Fitzgerald ideologically portrays a positive message for young girls, however, there is also a negative lesson. First, the story of Ella Fitzgerald and all of her hard work and success can be inspirational for all girls. This book can teach girls to never give up on their dreams because with hard work they can be successful in whatever they do. A negative lesson seen in the book is that Ella disobeyed the law multiple times resulting in her being sent to a school for orphans. Reading this book, children can understand that even though Ella disobeyed the law she was still very successful.

Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin


Author: Duncan Tonatiuh

Illustrator: Duncan Tonatiuh

Publisher and Year: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2010

Number of Pages: 29

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Analysis: Dear Primo is a book about two cousins who live in different countries, one in America and the other cousin in Mexico. These boys write letters back and forth comparing the cultural differences in their own country. Dear Primo is also a 2015 Monarch Award Nominee.

This book could function as a mirror for other families whom are separated by country borders. Many families experience separation from one another and have some cultural differences within their family members. For families who are experiencing the same dilemma as Charlie and Carlitos, this book could function as a door because it could encourage them to write letters or communicate more with their families in other countries. However, this book could also function as a window for those who have family living in the same town or even same state because they could learn more about different cultures amongst families after reading this book.

Perceptually, the unique depictions of the characters on the front-page make the audience wonder what the book is about and curious if all the images will have a similar style as the drawings of the boys on the front. Once seeing the cover, the reader may want to dive into the book and read more about the culture seen. From the front cover, people who have learned about Spanish will recognize the word “primo” which means cousin in Spanish. This hint allows Spanish-speaking readers to know that this book will include the Spanish culture.

Structurally, the unframed images allow the audience to feel part of the action, experiencing the moments with Charlie and Carlitos. While reading the book, a reader may relate more to one cousin than the other. Within the book there are a couple pages that have similar instances portrayed with minimal differences. For example on the last page, which Primo2is seen to the right, the boys are both in bed, but the differences of their shoes, lights, beds, shelves, tables and toys all vary based on the culture and country that the boys live in. The images throughout the book add to the words. Often times when Carlitos is writing he will include words in Spanish, so the images help the reader to understand the meaning of those few Spanish words.


The book ideologically portrays some important lessons about family and culture. The value of family can be seen throughout this book by the letters that Charlie and Carlitos write to each other. The boys care for one another and value the differences within their culture. Even though the cultural differences exist, the boys still love and respect one another. The differences are what make the family special in their own way. This book teaches others about a new culture and some basic language that children may be able to use. The lessons throughout this book are beneficial, informational and intriguing.

The Faithful Friend

Title: The Faithful Friend


Author: Robert D. San Souci

Illustrator: Brian Pinkney

Publisher and Year: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Adults, 1995

Number of Pages: 36

Genre: Fable, Folktale

Analysis: The Faithful Friend is a book about two friends, Clement and Hippolyte, who take a journey to find a young girl named Pauline for Clement. Once arriving things take a turn for the worse and Hippolyte must keep trying to not let the zombie’s spells harm Clement and Pauline. In the end Hippolyte sacrifices himself so Clement and Pauline can live happily ever after.

This book can function as a mirror or a window for two friends. Friends who truly care for one another, grow close like siblings, similar to Clement and Hippolyte. The actions portrayed by Hippolyte were sacrificial. This book could function as either a mirror or a window because for the mirror, two friends would be sacrificing for the other friend in this exact moment, but this book could be a window for friends who could see themselves sacrificing for the better of the other friend in the future.


Perceptually, the book cover has two silver honor awards, a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award, which stick out immediately. However, the colors on the cover are dark creating a bad feeling. The size and color of the text make it easy to read and flow from page to page.


Structurally, the two boys are on the same level because of their similar status or power. However, Monsieur Zabocat, the plantation owner of Pauline, appears higher than Hippolyte, Clement and Pauline throughout the book. Since Zabocat is shown higher than the three friends, this shows that he has more power and status than the others. A horizon typically appears throughout the book, but the horizon disappears when Hippolyte is about to prevent the zombie’s spell from harming Clement and Pauline, which shows that danger is near. The text adds to the images because of the complexity of the message within. The words could cause some confusion if there was an absence of images. Both the images and the text work together to complete the message and story.


Ideologically, sacrificial friendship is the main lesson to take away from the book. The author does a great job of showing the sacrifices that were made by one friend. However, some of the actions prior to the sacrifices like zombies, threats from Pauline’s owner, and spells are all actions and behaviors that children should not read about. The spells and zombies could easily scare young children. So, yes the lesson about friendship is important, but that lesson does not reveal itself until after the inappropriate action by some of the characters in the book. The concept as a whole is great, but some of the minor details are worrisome for children.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Title: A Sick Day for Amos McGee


Author: Philip C. Stead

Illustrator: Erin E. Stead

Publisher and Year: Roaring Brook Press, 2010

Number of Pages: 30

Tags: Award Book, Natalie Fletcher, Animals, Fiction, Friendship, Picture Book, K-1

Genre: Fiction

Analysis: A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a book about a zookeeper names Amos McGee who visits the zoo every day. However, one morning Amos wakes up sick and is not able to visit his friends at the zoo. The animals decide to go visit Amos McGee at his house instead. This book also is a Caldecott winner.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee could act as a window for a child learning about how to be a true friend and care for their friends even when friends are not able to reciprocate. This book could also act as a door for a child or person challenging them to act on their friendships. This book could encourage people to reach out to an old friend, check up on a current friend or make a new friend. Similarly, this picture book could function as a mirror too, for friends who are experiencing friendship in a similar way that Amos and the animals experience their friendship.


Perceptually, the front cover has a bright pop of color, even though Amos and the animals are all in dull colors. Initially the book feels excited to read because of the bright yellow, but once looking closer to the images, the dull colors create a feeling of sadness and mystery. The colors throughout the book create a feeling for the reader throughout the book. The text is easy to read and helps the story flow from page to page.

Structurally, Amos and the animals are proportional throughout the novel demonstrating that the status or power of each character is equal. Prior to Amos’ illness, Amos takes care of the animals and entertains them, but once Amos falls sick, the animals step up and make Amos feel better or entertain him. The animals and Amos both have equal power to help the other, demonstrating their equivalent status throughout the book. With a lack of a frame, the audience feels part of the action that is occurring in the pictures. The images throughout the book mirror the text that is written, further expressing the text in a different manner. At times, the images can also add some clarity or details for readers while they read through the book. Amos2

The overarching message throughout the entire book is the importance of loyalty and friendship. This book shows these messages in a way that is entertaining for young children. Children can see loyalty through Amos’ action of visiting the zoo everyday to see his animal friends. They can also learn a lesson from Amos and the animals about friendship, because Amos does not just visit his friends, he also plays and interacts with them. Likewise, the animals visit Amos, take care of him and entertain him. Simple actions go a long way and can be demonstrated throughout this book.