Preschool and Picture Books

Theme: Real People: True stories of the famous and not so famous

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. - (ISBN: 978-0823408474)

by David A. Adler

This illustrated story of the life of one of our great African American leaders communicates his message of nonviolent civil protest and shows that he began as a common man, working as a minister. What new things about Martin Luther King, Jr. did you learn through this book?

Grandfather’s Journey - (ISBN: 978-0547076805)

by Allen Say

The children’s writer Allen Say tells the story of his grandfather’s journey from Japan to the U.S. with great simplicity. The wonder his grandfather felt as he left home for a very different world is reflected on the beautiful pages of this tribute. Although he always wants to see more of this new world, the woman he marries longs for Japan, and so they return. Why can’t the grandfather stop thinking of the U.S. after he tries to resettle in Japan? Have you ever moved to a new home? What helped you adjust to your new location?

Snowflake Bentley - (ISBN: 978-0395861622)

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

This mesmerizing biography tells the story of a photographer/scientist who revealed in his photos the many shapes of snowflakes. He loved all kinds of science. But when he first looked through his microscope at a snowflake, he was hooked. Enjoy the marvelous illustrations that detail the precision of his work. Cut out a snowflake by folding paper into little squares and making tiny snips.

The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps - (ISBN: 978-0375867743)

by Jeanette Winter

Jane began to love animals and the outside when she was just a girl. When she got to Africa, she found a place she could live for the rest of her life and the work she would do: studying chimpanzees. She tried to make the jungle safer for the chimps she loved. Try to draw a picture of yourself next to a picture of a chimp. What are the similarities?

Winners Never Quit! - (ISBN: 978-0439849302)

by Mia Hamm

As a child, Mia loved all sports that involved balls. Since her favorite was soccer, she became a very good soccer player. She learned that being a team player was more important than always winning! What sports do you like? Are any the same as Mia’s favorites?

A Picture Book of Cesar Chavez - (ISBN: 978-0823423835)

by David A. Adler

Eleanor - (ISBN: 978-0140555837)

by Barbara Cooney

Harlem’s Little Blackbird - (ISBN: 978-0375869730)

by Renee Watson

Mr. Williams - (ISBN: 978-0805067736)

by Karen Barbour

Activities for this Theme

Take pictures of your family members at the next get-together using a simple throw away camera. Put them into an album to help everyone remember that special day. Or work with an adult and create an online scrapbook using a tool such as Smilebox.


Draw a picture of yourself. Ask each family member to add something else to the picture to get a true depiction of the person you are.


Draw a picture of an animal representing each family member. Have your parents and sisters and brothers guess which animal represents which person.