Paired Book Picturebook Sets

By Kathy G. Short, Updated 2017

Paired Books: Reading against another Perspective

Differing Perspectives of Authors and Illustrators

Kashmira Sheth’s Keeping Corner and Gloria Whelan’s Homeless Bird

Jerrie Oughton’s The Magic Weaver of Rugs (Ill. Lisa Desimini) and Lois Duncan’s The Magic of Spider Woman (Ill. Shonto Begay)

Ramona Maher’s Alice Yazzie’s Year (Ill. Stephen Gammell and Ramona Maher) and Alice Yazzie’s Year (Ill. Shonto Begay)

Robert San Souci’s Song of Sedna (Ill. Daniel San Souci) and Beverly B. McDermott’s Sedna

Differing Perspectives of the Same Event

Linda Sue Park’s When My Name Was Keoko and Yoko Watkins’s So Far From the Bamboo Grove

Yukio Tsuchiya’s Faithful Elephants (Ill. Ted Lewin and Trans. Tomoko Tsuchiya Dykes) and the original picturebook in Japanese (ISBN 4-323-00211-4)

Rosalyn Schanzer’s George Vs George: The American Revolution from Both Sides and Jean Fritz’s And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?, Can’t You Make Them Behave and King George?

Claire Nivola’s Planting the Trees of Kenya and Jeanette Winter’s Wangari’s Trees of Peace

Jen Cullterton Johnson’s Seeds of Change (Ill. Sonia Sadler) and Donna Jo Napoli’s Mama Miti (Ill. Kadir Nelson) and Franck Prevot’s Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees (Ill. Arelia Fronty)

Connections between Familiar and Global Cultures

Linda Urban’s Hound Dog True and Lynn Joseph’s The Color of My Words

Sharon Wyeth’s Something Beautiful (Ill. Chris Soetpiet) and Florence Heide and Judith H. Gilliland’s Sami and the Time of Troubles (Ill. Ted Lewin)

Gloria Anzaldúa’s Friends from the Other Side/Amigos del otro lado (Ill. Consuelo Méndez), Antonio Skármeta’s The Composition (Ill. Alfonso Ruano)

Karen Lynn Williams’s Galimoto (Ill. Catherine Stock) and Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny

Taro Yashima’s Crow Boy and Virginia Fleming’s Be Good to Eddie Lee (Ill. Floyd Cooper)

Challenging Stereotypes

Ifeoma Onyefulu’s Grandma Comes to Stay (Ghana) and Nigel Gray’s A Country Far Away (Ill. Philippe Dupasquier)

Uma Krishnaswami’s Monsoon (Ill. Jamel Akib, India) and Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw’s Same, Same but Different.

Virginia Grossman’s Ten Little Rabbits (Ill. Sylvia Long and Luci Tapahonso) and Eleanor Schick’s Navajo ABC

Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree and Anthony Browne’s Piggybook

Deborah Wiles’ Freedom Summer (Ill. Jerome Lagarrigue) and Jacqueline Woodson’s The Other Side (Ill. E.B. Lewis)

Claire Huchet Bishop’s The Five Chinese Brothers (Ill. Kurt Wiese), Margaret Mahy’s Seven Chinese Brothers (Ill. Mou-Sien Tseng), and Kuang-Tsai Hao’s Seven Magic Brothers (Ill. Eva Wang, English Trans. Rick Charette)

Helen Bannerman’s The Story of Little Black Sambo, Helen Bannerman’s The Story of Little Babaji (Ill. Fred Marcellino), and Julius Lester’s Sam and the Tigers (Ill. Jerry Pinkney)

Felix Pitre’s Juan Bobo and the Pig (Ill. Christy Hale) and Marisa Montes’ Juan Bobo Goes to Work (Ill. Joe Cepeda)

Contrasting Views of Values

Trustworthiness: Build trust through integrity, honesty, loyalty, promise-keeping.

  • Bunting, Eve. A Day’s Work. Illustrated by David Diaz
  • Amado, Elisa. Tricycle. Illustrated by Alfonso Ruano.

Respect: Honor the dignity and worth of each person.

  • Alexis O’Neill. The Recess Queen. Illusrated by Laura Huliska-Beith.
  • Cofelt, Nancy, Fred Stays with Me. Illustrated by Tricia Tusa.

Responsibility: Accountability, self-control, self-reliance, persistence, hard-working.

  • Wyeth, Sharon. Something Beautiful. Illustrated by Chris Soentpiet.
  • Bang, Molly. When Sophie Gets Angry… Really, Really Angry.

Fairness: Consistent, careful decision-making, equitable treatment.

  • Khan, Rukhsana, Big Red Lollipop. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
  • Recorvits, Helen. Yoon and the Jade Bracelet. Illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska.

Caring: Kind, compassionate, empathetic, forgiving, grateful.

  • Fleming, Virginia. Be Good to Eddie Lee. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper.
  • Steptoe, John. Stevie.

Citizenship: Obey laws, improve well-being of others, active participation.

  • Ansuldúa, Gloria. Friends from the Other Side. Illustrated by Consuelo Méndez.
  • McGovern, Ann. The Lady in the Box. Illustrated by Marni Backer.

Finding One Book within Another

The Book Itch (2015) and No Crystal Stair (2012) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

The One and Only Ivan (2012) and Ivan: The Remarkable Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla (2014) by Katherine Applegate

House on Mango Street (1991) and Hairs/Pelitos (1997) by Sandra Cisnernos

Hitler Youth (2005) and The Boy Who Dared (2008) by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Fiction/Nonfiction Pairs

Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising with S. Beth Atkin’s Voices from the Fields

Patricia Reilly Giff’s Nory Ryan’s Song with Susan Bartoletti’s Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Potato Famine

Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust with Jerry Stanley’s Children of the Dust Bowl

Elizabeth Winthrop’s Counting on Grace with Russell Freedman’s Kids at Work

Carl Hiassen’s Flush with Loree Griffith Burns’ Tracking Trash

Linda Sue Park’s Project Mulberry with Richard Sobol’s The Story of Silk

Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon with Jim Arnosky’s All about Owls

Janelle Cannon’s Stellaluna with Sandra Markle’s Little Lost Bat or Outside and Inside Bats

Karma Wilson’s A Frog in the Bog with John Himmelman’s Frog in a Bog

Leo Lionni’s A Color of My Own with Joy Cowley’s Chameleon, Chameleon (Ill. Nic Bishop)

Pat Hutchins’ The Doorbell Rang with David Adler’s Fraction Fun

Julius Lester’s John Henry with Scott Nelson’s Ain’t Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry

Strategies for Interacting with Paired Picture Books

Reading the books

  • Read and discuss one book, and then read and discuss the second book on another day.
  • Read both books in one sitting as partners or a small group, and then discuss
  • One person/partners read one book, and the other person/partners read the other. Share with each other.
  • One half of the class read and discuss one book, while the other half read and discuss the other book. Form partners from the two groups to meet and compare books.
  • Read aloud the nonfiction text to the class, while students are reading the fiction text

Strategies for discussing

  • Web observations about the two books
  • Create a comparison chart, selecting 4-5 categories for comparison
  • Create a Venn Diagram to record comparisons
  • Create Heart Maps to compare the values/beliefs of the main characters across the 2 books
  • 3- column chart to show how the two books Connect to each other, Extend each other, Challenge each other.

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