Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Best Mentor Texts of 2016

Whew!  We did it.  As a Reading for Research Family, we read read hundreds of books in 2016! The big challenge in March got us into the mentor text mode and every month the mini challenges helped us hone our picture book reading and writing skills. 

We asked the ReFoReMo Facebook group which mentor texts taught them the most about great picture book writing as a whole and why?  Here's the list of 2016 books the group responded with. 

For poetry:  
What to do With a Box, by Jane Yolen and Chris Sheban

For non-fiction narratives: 
The William Hoy Story by Nancy Churnin and Jez Tuya 
The Hole Story of the Doughnut by Pat Miller and  Vincent X. Kirsch 
Seven and a Half Tons of Steel by Janet Nolan and Thomas Gonzalez 
On the Farm at the Market by G. Brian Karas 
Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari and Bagram Ibatoulline


For tight writing and humor: 
Mary had a little Glam, by Tami Sauer and Vanessa Brantley Newton 
I Love Cake!:Starring Rabbit Porcupine and Moose by Tammi Sauer and Angie Rozelaar 
Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman

 For friendship and emotional resonance:
Ida Always by Caron Levis 
Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson

For diversity: 
A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts and Hyewon Yum

For unique point of view
A Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window by Jeff Gottesfeld.

For literary appeal and illustrations: 
The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers 

Thank you to the ReFoReMo Facebookers that contributed to this list!

What picture books did you use as mentor texts this year and why?


  1. Great list! I have some reading to do! Newly out is Friend Ship, funny & punny with a sweet message & great illustrations (Kat Yeh/Chuck Groenink).

    1. Yes, Patricia! Here is our interview with Kat Yeh. :) http://www.reforemo.com/2016/11/author-kat-yeh-talks-mentor-texts.html

  2. Thanks for a great list. Looking forward to more reading and research in March!

  3. Super super list! Thanks for consolidating!

  4. What a delight to open this & see Coyote Moon featured here--thanks, Kirsti!! I'm honored to have it included among these other wonderful titles. I especially loved The Hole Story of the Doughnut--great text & art as well as The William Hoy Story. Very touching.


    1. Our members contributed these titles, Maria, so you are definitely touching the lives of picture book writers. :)

  5. Thank you so much for sharing these great resources.