Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Perfectly Paired Picture Books for June & July

By Keila V. Dawson

Today’s picture book pairs look at sports, Pride, and 4th of July.

With the French Open in June and Wimbledon in July, Game Changers: The Story of Venus And Serena Williams by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome and Martina And Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry In The History Of Sports by Phil Bildner and Brett Helquist are a good pair to compare and contrast. Each book explores the experiences of inspirational female athletes within professional tennis. Themes include competition, camaraderie, and commitment. 

After reading This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman and Kristyna Litten about Pride Month, pair Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman and Maria Mola with When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff and Kaylani Juanita.


Apple Pie 4th Of July by Janet S. Wong, Margaret Chodos-Irvine and My Fourth Of July by Jerry Spinelli, Larry Day are stories about the same holiday but from different perspectives.


Use the guide below from the introduction to Perfectly Paired Picture Books as you study the books in today’s post.

1. Is a book you read diverse? If yes, what story elements make it so? 

·        Setting

·        Main character

·        gender identity

·        sexual orientation

·        skin color

·        racial identity

·        ethnic/cultural identity

·        religious affiliation

·        neurodiversity

·        socioeconomic inequity or inequality

·        Story problem

·        Topic

·        Language

2.   How is this book a mirror for readers represented in it?

3.   How is this book a window or sliding glass door for readers who are and are not represented?

4.  How does the point of view add to the storytelling?

5.   What makes the structure of this book a good fit for this story?

6.   How do the illustrations and visual storytelling add to the text?

7.   Consider the author’s perspective—what are examples of ways the author and or illustrator show how they see the setting, character, problem, or topic? 

8.  Do you know the relationship of the author to the characters, topic, and or theme of the book? How does that affect the storytelling?


    Happy reading! 


  1. Thank you Keila for these titles and the study guide. I'm anxious to read these mentor texts and do the study!

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