School Library Journal Book Picks: Problem Solving
Children are wired to be problem-solvers. From birth, figuring out the world and how to get what they need — from getting fed to getting hugged — is the number one way they learn. Some puzzles are harder, and too big to solve alone. Sometimes problems need community! These wonderful titles remind kids that almost everything can be taken apart and more importantly, put back together for the benefit of all.
This list of books that highlight empathy was curated by Kimberly Olson Fakih, Senior Editor, Picture Books at School Library Journal.
The Good Stranger’s Sancocho Surprise/El sancocho sorpresa del buen desconocido
- What problem does the community face in the story?
- How do they work together to solve the problem?
- Can you think of problems members of OUR community could solve by working together?
- If you lived in the neighborhood where the book took place, what would YOU have added to the soup?
Something’s Wrong! A Bear, a Hare, and Some Underwear
- Why are the other animals giving Bear funny looks? How do you think this makes him feel?
- How does Anders help Bear to solve his problem?
- Do you have any other ideas to share with Bear and his friend? How would YOU solve this problem?
Bunny Will Not Jump!
- Big tells us what Bunny's problem is. What is it?
- Have you ever had a problem like Bunny's? Tell me about it!
- How does Bunny learn to jump?
- How did YOU solve the problem YOU faced? Are there other strategies you should have tried?
Ten Steps to Flying Like a Superhero
- What challenge does Lava Boy face?
- What would YOU do if you were him?
- Describe how his friend Star Girl helps solve the problem. What can we learn from the story?
- Let's think of a few ways that friends, working together, can do big things in real life!
One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers
- Sometimes people can use numbers to solve problems — this is math! Sometimes people can use their words — this is usually when there are problems between two people. What kind of "problems" are in this book?
- Have you ever tried to solve a problem with numbers? Let's practice together, using what we learned in the book.
Isobel Adds It Up
- What problems does Isobel love to solve (with numbers)?
- What non-math problem does Isobel try to solve in the story?
- What DID YOU think was causing all the noise?
- Does the answer surprise you?
- What did you learn about problem solving from "Isobel Adds it Up"?
It Began with Lemonade
- Have you ever had an idea for a business? Tell me about it!
- What problems does the entrepreneur in the story try to solve? What challenges does she face along the way?
- Did anything surprise you about the story?
- What lessons can we learn from her story?
School Library Journal is the premiere publication for librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens. A source of quality journalism and reviews for more than 60 years, SLJ produces award-winning features and news coverage on literacy, technology, education policy, and other issues of interest to the school library and greater educator community. SLJ evaluates a broad range of resources, from books and digital content to databases, in 6000-plus reviews published annually. This list was curated by Kimberly Olson Fakih, Senior Editor, Picture Books.