A couple of months ago I started brainstorming for a picture book idea I had that revolved around collections. My daughter collecting rocks while she was supposed to be playing T-Ball was the inspiration behind it. So I borrowed a few books about collecting from my local library to see how they approached the topic, and discovered some common themes. I’ll highlight those below in reference to each book.
After I had written my manuscript, I realized that maybe other people would like to know these titles too! Obviously this is not a comprehensive list of ALL the collection themed books out there, just the ones that I read as mentor texts.
The Word Collector – Peter H. Reynolds
Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words . . . In this extraordinary tale, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multi-syllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower. A celebration of finding your own words — and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.
Themes: Sharing, Vocabulary, Word Combinations
Hannah’s Collections – Marthe Jocelyn
Hannah loves to make collections. Whether its new barrettes for her hair or seashells from the shore, she likes to gather things and sort them by size, shape, and color. But now she is facing a dilemma. The children in her class have been invited to bring their favorite collection to school. How can she possibly pick a favorite? Once again, Hannahs boundless imagination wins the day. She finds a way to show off all of her collections in a surprising new way.
Themes: Counting, Creativity, School Project
If You Find A Rock – Peggy Christian
Think of all the rocks there are: the skipping rocks, the splashing rocks, and the chalk rocks. Whether the found treasures are climbing rocks or wishing rocks, children can’t help collecting them. With joyful text and luminous photographs, If You Find a Rock celebrates rocks everywhere–as well as the mysterious and wonderful places they are found.
Themes: Sentimental, Types of Rocks
Hats Off to Mr. Pockles! – Sally Lloyd-Jones
For Mr. Pockles, going without a hat is as unthinkable as going around without any pants on. He has millions of hats, for every occasion–an Eating His Cornflakes hat, a Drinking Cups of Tea hat, and even an In the Bath hat–but for some reason, he doesn’t have any friends. One day, when Lady CoCo Fitz-Tulip–a Very Important Panda–finds that her hat has been gobbled up by some hungry bunnies, Mr. Pockles knows just how to help.
Themes: Friendship, Sharing, Inclusion
Dewey Bob – Judith Byron Schachner
Dewey Bob Crockett is a durn cute raccoon who lives by himself in a house filled to the brim with the wonderful objects he collects. Buttons, wheels, furniture and bricabrac adorn his cozy quarters and keep him busy as he finds and fixes, turning trash into treasures. But there’s something missing from Dewey’s collections—a friend! He tries gathering up some critters and bringing them home in his shopping cart, but that doesn’t work out so well. In the end, a friend does come Dewey’s way, and, with a little DIY help from this clever raccoon, returns again and again.
The Matchbox Diary – Paul Fleischman
When a little girl visits her great-grandfather at his curio-filled home, she chooses an unusual object to learn about: an old cigar box. What she finds inside surprises her: a collection of matchboxes making up her great-grandfather’s diary, harboring objects she can hold in her hand, each one evoking a memory. Together they tell of his journey from Italy to a new country, before he could read and write — the olive pit his mother gave him to suck on when there wasn’t enough food; a bottle cap he saw on his way to the boat; a ticket still retaining the thrill of his first baseball game.
Themes: Family, Memoir, Immigration