Chapter 8 of In Pictures and In Words

Growing Kinders is hosting this week!

I am really enjoying this book, as it is making me think about all the numerous ways illustrations are used. When reading about Technique #22, using details as an element of surprise, I got to thinking about this past school year. My school had an author and an illustrator come out to visit us. Christa Carpenter and Mark Wayne Adams came. Who? I know, right... I haven't heard of them until they came. Mark Adams presented how he did his artwork, and he was a phenomenal presenter! He reminds me a little bit of David Shannon's "David". Before seeing him present, I was thinking of which book to buy from them, and was considering The Belly Button Fairy or The Fart Fairy. You know how kids would be intrigued with titles like that! Well, I ended up purchasing...
... all because he pointed out the different surprises in the book. The dog is something to pay attention to on each page, and it is drawn after his real life dog. The boy is him. He told about a story of his dog eating spaghetti, which is why he drew that in the book. This book is in my classroom, so I cannot show pictures or go into detail without looking at those pictures. I wish I had my book! It is a fun book about a boy who does ridiculous things. There is a repetitious part- after the silly things, there is the statement, "Nicholas, that's ridiculous!" My kinderkids loved it! It might remind you of a little boy that you know.

There is a girl version coming out in the fall called Jilli, That's Silly! A Story About Being a Girl. I am planning to purchase that one, since there will "secrets" to look for in that one as well.

While reading about Techniques # 20 & 21 (creating an illusion of motion or sound with details), I thought of one of my favorite books...
This is also in my classroom! I do remember in my mind some beautiful illustrations of an adorable elephant learning to play his trumpet. At first, he does not play his trunk well. Then by the end, with the help of his friend Weasel, he learns to play his trunk to his own beat. I remember a part where Weasel is falling backwards from Ellison- showing movement. I want to look at the details to see why I remember it that way without seeing the book in a couple months. In addition, sound is in this book as Ellison is trying to play his trunk. This is such a great book!

While reading about Technique #17, showing the effects of weather on a scene, I thought of Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days, but also of this one...

This one makes me think of those hurricane seasons in Florida. I do have this one at home! It is a story of a tree...
through windy days

through snowy days

and stormy days.

There is a flood picture and this picture of the fallen tree. This is why Florida's hurricanes come to mind. Certainly not because of the snow picture! I love this book! It touched my heart.

While reading about Technique #13, crafting details of expression and gesture, I thought of my collection of feelings books. In looking or thinking about the 3 books that I recommend, I believe expression and gesture are in these books as well.

Now, with all this wonderful reading and collaboration of great picture books, I was thinking how can I create a scale for this. A couple of weeks ago, I went to a writing scale workshop- it will be a focus for teachers in my county to use more of these to go along with Marzano's Teacher Evaluation. So, now I need a little help from you, as I have not created too many of these. The scale is from 0-4, with 3 being the goal. I plan on creating a few class scales, so my students will learn to self-reflect on their own growth. Below shows a scale in progress. I just need to get my descriptors the way I want them, and then doodle some pictures to help my kinderkids remember key ideas. Ideally, this would be hung up, laminated, and clothespins with student names clipped to the sides to show what level they are working on.

I am using Common Core Standard SL.K.5 -adding details to drawings. Since I took the picture, I already changed the title to "I can add details to drawings." Check it out below. Please let me know what you think... let's collaborate so we can get a great scale! Thanks for your comments and help with this. I hope to get a better scale after your input!



  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts I loved the book, A Tree Named Steve. It looks like a wonderful story with great illustrations. I like your scale as well.


    The Very Busy Kindergarten

  2. I like your scale. Is it used strictly for self evaluation or teacher evaluation? I'm adding Nicholas to my wishlist. Thanks for sharing!

    Owl Things First

  3. A Tree Names Steve looks ADORABLE! I think I need to put that one on my wishlist!

    thanks for linking up!
    Growing Kinders

  4. Jenny- I plan to use it for both self and teacher.

  5. I love your scale. I need to work on some for mine too. Thanks for the reminder.

    ✰ Kimberley ✰
    First in Maine

  6. Mrs. Brinn,

    I'm so happy you're using "Nicholas, That's Ridiculous!" in the classroom! "Jilli, That's Silly!" is now available. I'm the Publisher and Illustrator. Christa and I would love to hear your feedback on the new story.

    Happy Holidays!


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