Miss Galvin Learns

Must Have Picturebooks


The Teacher Wife


I’ve survived my first day back for Term 3 (and by way of first days it was quite an interesting one for many reasons).

However, what better way to celebrate returning to school than to join in a Linky Party all about picture books. Anyone who knows me knows I’m NUTS about books. I have books all over my classroom (that I’m currently trying to get under control and in enough order for my kids to use).

Also, being Aussie, I’m throwing some Aussie titles into the mix and to share the love with those all over the world. So, here are 5 of my favourite picture books.

Teaching the Teacher by Janet van Loon {Buy}

Beautiful, charming and sure to worm it’s way into the heart of every teacher. The beloved Ms Cherry learns what it’s like to be little again through the imagination of one of her students.

I’ve used this every year for the last 3 years with my students. We read the book and then create a class book of all the things that my students can teach me. It’s just gorgeous.

Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French {Buy}

Meet Mothball, the irrepressibly charming wombat who moves into the backyard of an unassuming family and diligently details her daily life. She sleeps, she eats carrots and she fights major battles with flat hair creatures! This book has 2 follow-ups – Baby Wombat’s Week and Christmas Wombat.

And, I just have to share one of my favourite pages from this book – where Mothball meets a Welcome door mat for the first time!

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland {Buy}

The very funny story of 4 animals trying to find a dry place to play on a rainy day. They stumble on the Very Cranky Bear, who’s trying to hibernate. The animals try to cheer up the bear by making him over in their image. What ensues is hilarious and will have your students in stitches. This book is followed by The Very Itchy Bear (our Bear meets Flea) and The Very Hungry Bear (where Bear meets Polar Bear).

Possum Magic by Mem Fox {Buy}

It’s impossible for me to have a list of picture books without include Possum Magic. This is the quintessential Australian picture book, complete with native animals and local delicacies. Grandma Poss turns Hush invisible to keep her safe from the natural predators in their environment. When Hush wants to turn visible again they need to travel the country in search of the reversal – and it has something to do with people food!

I grew up with this book and I have just as much love for it now as I did as a child. Plus, my class mascot is a small plush version of Hush (and she’s been home to visit each of my students, along with her beautiful story!).

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle {Buy}

What can I say – it’s a classic that will never go out of fashion. I love all of Eric Carle’s work, but The Very Hungry Caterpillar will always hold a special place in my heart. This is another book I grew up with and I share with all my students and they love it like I do!

Join in the fun and recommend your favourite books!

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  1. I’m going to have to see if I can find Teaching the Teacher. It sounds cute! Can I ask where you got those cute numbers with the worms?

  2. Thnks for linking up! I love The Very Cranky Bear, too! 🙂

  3. Mem Fox is wonderful. I love all her books

    rubber boots and elf shoes

  4. I love The Very Cranky Bear! One of my favorites! 🙂

  5. I’m visiting through the Linky Party. Don’t you just love picture books?!!? Great top 5! I need to find Teaching The Teacher!! Come by when you get a chance.

    Waving from The Teacher’s Chatterbox,

  6. I love all of your picks! The Very Cranky Bear is really cute!


  7. The Very Cranky Bear is definitely going on my “must-have” list! Even the cover illustration looks amazing! Thanks for sharing your list…I’m visiting through the Linky Party!

    Craft of Teaching

    • I’m glad you found something to add to your reading list – it’s a GREAT book. Nick Bland does an amazing job with the text and illustrations. (It’s also a great iPad app, too!)

      Thanks for stopping by!


  8. I love Diary of a Wombat and Possum Magic! I am going to check out “Teaching the Teacher”. I love your idea of creating a class book of what your students can teach you. I may just have to use that at the beginning of the year!

    That’s So Second Grade

    • It’s such a nice way to learn about your students. This year they came out with some really surprising answers (even in Term 2) and I was learning about things that they do outside of school that they hadn’t gotten around to telling me about previously. Enjoy!

      Thanks for stopping by!


  9. “The Very Cranky Bear” is a book that I need to have! TOO cute!!!

    Make sure to stop by and enter my giveaway!

  10. Diary of a Wombat has to be one of the best picture books I’ve seen; it’s hilarious and I can see it as what a wombat is really thinking. I love the whole series! Do you have a classroom blog for this year? I am just starting out and am really enjoying looking through other people’s blogs to see what they do with them.

    From Andy
    1/2 Classroom Teacher
    Ballarat North Primary School

    • Hi Andy,

      Anytime I want a laugh, I turn to Diary of a Wombat. It never gets old.

      And I do have a class blog this year – http://hpsprep1g.global2.vic.edu.au

      At the moment we’re using it to share a weekly newsletter and class events, as well as encouraging class participation through little blog challenges each week. I’m hoping to get my Grade 1s helping to compose some posts later this term.

      Thanks for stopping by!


    • Mr. L,
      Make sure you check out my blog

      I’m even doing a giveaway right now that you can enter until August 1st!

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