Literature Connections to
Treasure Boxes

Teacher's Guides > Treasure Boxes

Alligator Shoes
Anthony Ant’s Treasure Hunt
As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps
Aunt Ippy’s Museum of Junk
The Best Vacation Ever
The Button Box
Caps for Sale

Divide and Ride
The Doorbell Rang
Everybody Needs a Rock
Gator Pie
The Greatest Treasure
The I Spy series of books
The Keeping Quilt

Maps and Mapping
On My Beach There Are Many Pebbles
One Hundred Hungry Ants
A Remainder of One
Roxaboxen
The Secret Birthday Message
Shoes
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
A Taste of the Mexican Market/El Gusto del Mercado Mexicano
A Three Hat Day
The Treasure
The Way to Captain Yankee’s

Whose Shoes Are These?


Alligator Shoes
by Arthur Dorros
E. P. Dutton, New York. 1982
Grades: Preschool–2
When an alligator accidentally becomes locked in a shoe store overnight, he spends his time trying on a variety of shoes. As he puts on each type the illustration shows him in the setting appropriate for each shoe. This is a good book to introduce sorting, especially for younger students.

Anthony Ant’s Treasure Hunt
by Lorna and Graham Philpot
Random House, New York. 1996
Grades: K–3
When Anthony finds a treasure map under his bedroom floor, he begins an exciting journey to find a long-lost cache of jewels. The treasure map leads Anthony (and the reader!) through a maze with clues on each page. Flaps to lift and a fold-out maze/map make the book interactive. A great connection to Activity 5.

As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps
by Gail Hartman; illustrated by Harvey Stevenson
Bradbury Press, New York. 1991
Grades: Preschool–2
This book provides a look at different geographical areas from the perspectives of an eagle, rabbit, crow, horse, and gull. There is a verbal account of each animal’s journey followed by an overhead view of the animal’s path. The last page includes a big map, a larger context into which each of the smaller maps fits. It is an excellent book to introduce or reinforce mapping skills.

Aunt Ippy’s Museum of Junk
by Rodney A. Greenblat
HarperCollins, New York. 1991
Grades: K–2
A brother and sister visit their ecology-minded Aunt Ippy and her world-famous Museum of Junk, which includes treasures such as a barrel of one-of-a-kind shoes and a sack of clocks. This story can inspire a class to begin a collection of treasure boxes, an activity that can raise awareness of recycling and reusing materials in new and different ways. Such a collection also provides new math manipulatives for teaching many concepts, including sorting and classifying.

The Best Vacation Ever
by Stuart J. Murphy; illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
HarperCollins, New York. 1997
Grades: 1–4
In this book, which introduces survey graphs in a meaningful context, a young girl decides that her busy family needs a vacation. To help determine what vacation would meet all their needs, she surveys her family and then analyzes her data only to discover that the best vacation ever is in their own backyard!

The Button Box
by Margarette S. Reid; illustrated by Sarah Chamberlain
Dutton Children’s Books, New York. 1990
Grades: Preschool–2
This book is a wonderful introduction to sorting buttons. A young boy explores his grandmother’s button box and categorizes buttons by various attributes. Reading this story is likely to inspire students to sort buttons many ways!

Caps for Sale
by Esphyr Slobodkina
W. R. Scott, New York. 1947
Harper & Row, New York. 1985
Grades: Preschool–4
When a peddler takes a nap under a tree, a band of mischievous monkeys steal all the caps he has neatly stacked on his head. This classic story is useful with counting, sorting, or graphing activities.

Divide and Ride
by Stuart J. Murphy; illustrated by George Ulrich
HarperCollins, New York. 1997
Grades: 2–5
This book provides a great introduction to or review of division. It shows how the number 11 can be divided in many ways as a group of 11 best friends go on carnival rides with varying numbers of seats.

The Doorbell Rang
by Pat Hutchins
Greenwillow Books, New York. 1986
Grades: Preschool–4
This delightful story provides an inviting introduction to "sharing" or division. Each time the doorbell rings, there are more people who arrive and share the dozen delicious cookies that Ma made! But when twelve hungry children are already seated at the table and the doorbell rings again, who can figure out how everyone gets a fair share? This well-known book is a wonderful opener to the sharing activities.

Everybody Needs a Rock
by Byrd Baylor; illustrated by Peter Parnall
Scribner, New York. 1974
Grades: K–5
This book describes the qualities to consider when selecting the perfect rock for play and pleasure. In so doing, the properties of color, size, shape, texture, and smell are discussed in such a way that you’ll want to rush out and find a rock of your own. Provides a nice introduction to attributes of rocks.

Gator Pie
by Louise Mathews; illustrated by Jeni Bassett
Dodd, Mead, New York. 1979
Grades: 2–5
Two young alligators find a pie near the edge of a swamp and decide to share it. As other alligators emerge from the swamp and demand part of the pie, the portion for each alligator gets smaller. This is a useful book for introducing sharing and division.

The Greatest Treasure
by Arcadio Lobato
Picture Book Studio, Saxonville, Massachusetts. 1987
Grades: K–4
In this story, the time has come for the witches to choose a new queen. The current queen will award this honor to the witch who finds the most special treasure. The most valuable treasure is one that no money can buy—friendship! Delightfully illustrated in watercolors by the Spanish author-illustrator. Useful in Activity 1 for conveying that many things can be treasures.

The I Spy series of books
by Walter Wick and Jean Marzollo
Scholastic, New York. 1992–1996
Grades: K–5
Each thematic book in this series contains photographs with incredible collections of objects—many that could come from a treasure box! Each two-page spread is accompanied by rhyming verses that ask the reader to find objects hidden in the photographs. Young and older students alike hone their observation skills as they comb each page. Many more questions or riddles could be posed to further delve into the attributes of the objects in the photographs. The titles in the series include I Spy (1992), I Spy Christmas (1992), I Spy Fun House (1993), I Spy Mystery (1993), I Spy Fantasy (1994), I Spy School Days (1995), and I Spy Spooky Night (1996).

The Keeping Quilt
by Patricia Polacco
Simon & Schuster, New York. 1988
Grades: Preschool–3
A homemade quilt ties together the lives of four generations of an immigrant Jewish family. Made from their old clothes, it helps them remember back home "like having the family in Russia dance around us at night." The quilt, a cherished family treasure, is used in marriage ceremonies, as a tablecloth, and as a blanket for a newborn child.

Maps and Mapping
by Barbara Taylor
Kingfisher Books, New York. 1993
Grades: 2–4
Through clear illustrations and inviting text, this book explains what maps are and why they are used, introduces symbols found on maps, and describes how cartographers map the world. It includes related activities for the reader to develop a deeper understanding of maps. Ties in strongly with Activity 5.

On My Beach There Are Many Pebbles
by Leo Lionni
Obolensky, New York. 1961
Grades: Preschool–3
This book invites the reader to take a closer look at the many types of pebbles that can be found on a beach. Though there are many "ordinary" pebbles, by looking at them carefully and with a bit of imagination, they can take on new qualities. For example, they are grouped into "fishpebbles" and "numberpebbles." Provides a great springboard into sorting and classifying rocks and pebbles.

One Hundred Hungry Ants
by Elinor J. Pinczes; illustrated by Bonnie MacKain
Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 1993
Grades: Preschool–3
Told in lilting rhyme, this is the playful story of an ant colony swarming toward a picnic. As they march along, the littlest ant stops the procession and suggests they divide into different line formations to arrive at the picnic more quickly. In the end, however, the ants’ rearrangements cause them to miss out on all the food! This book makes a great math connection as an early introduction to the principles of division without remainders. It’s also useful in teaching the real-world activity of how to make change for a dollar. All ages will love to follow along with the actions of these happy, but hungry, ants.

A Remainder of One
by Elinor J. Pinczes; illustrated by Bonnie MacKain
Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 1995
Grades: Preschool–3
When the 25th squadron of bugs march past their queen, she is dismayed to see that the lines of bugs are uneven. One bug, Joe by name, is left behind—a remainder of one. Knowing that their queen does not like untidy lines, the bugs divide themselves into different lines. It is only after several tries that Joe is included in even lines that march by the queen to the delight of all. Colorful and playful illustrations abound in this fun book that introduces the concept of division and remainders.

Roxaboxen
by Alice McLerran; illustrated by Barbara Cooney
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, New York. 1991
Grades: K–4
From a hill covered with sand, rocks, old wooden boxes and thorny plants, Marian, her sisters and friends create an imaginary town called Roxaboxen. The round black pebbles that they find there are thought of as buried treasure and become the money of Roxaboxen. This book, based on the experience of the author, celebrates the wonders of creative imagination.

The Secret Birthday Message
by Eric Carle
Crowell, New York. 1972
Grades: Preschool–2
In this story, a young boy gets a secret message on his birthday. After he follows the shapes that are used as clues to a series of destinations, he finds his birthday treasure! At the end of the story, a map of his complete path is revealed. This story, combined with the experience of treasure maps, can inspire students to create their own unique maps to destinations in and around the school.

Shoes
by Elizabeth Winthrop; illustrated by William Joyce
Harper & Row, New York. 1986
Grades: Preschool–2
Delightful illustrations show a group of children wearing many types of shoes and participating in a variety of activities as rhyming text describes it all. This survey of shoes concludes that the best of all are the perfect natural "shoes" that are your feet. Great to read before doing a survey of shoes or sorting and classifying a group of real shoes.

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
by Ann Morris; photographs by Ken Heyman
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, New York. 1995
Grades: Preschool–3
Photos and simple text describe all kinds of shoes—some for dancing, walking, playing, some for snow or ice, some made of wood or cloth. A great book to kick off sorting and graphing activities. Several other books by this author/photographer team are also recommended, including Hats, Hats, Hats (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1989), Bread, Bread, Bread (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1989), Loving (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1990), Tools (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1992), and Houses and Homes (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1992).

A Taste of the Mexican Market/El Gusto del Mercado Mexicano
by Nancy María Grande Tabor
Charlesbridge, Watertown, Massachusetts. 1996
Grades: Preschool–3
The reader is taken on a visit to a Mexican market and encounters a wide array of food—including beans, a possible treasure box item, and other household items. Each display of food is rich in diversity and many questions are posed that focus on the attributes of the various items. Other questions relate to math concepts such as measurement (weight of vegetables) and statistics (survey of favorite fruit bar).

A Three Hat Day
by Laura Geringer; illustrated by Arnold Lobel
Harper & Row, New York. 1985
Grades: Preschool–3
R. R. Pottle loves hats and has a rather large and varied collection. However, he is lonely. To cheer himself up one day he puts on three of his favorite hats and goes for a walk. As he walks along he sees other couples and this makes him more lonely. So he decides to go to the largest hat store in town. Upon seeing all the beautiful hats his spirits began to soar. Then he sees the woman of his dreams—and she’s wearing the perfect hat. This is a very helpful book to introduce a hat sorting or graphing activity.

The Treasure
by Uri Shulevitz
Farrar, Straus, Giroux, New York. 1978
Grades: 1–5
In this interpretation of a familiar story, a poor man follows his recurring dream and journeys to a distant city in search of a treasure. Once there he is advised to return home to find it—which indeed he does, reminding us that "sometimes one must travel far to discover what is near."

The Way to Captain Yankee’s
by Anne Rockwell
Macmillan, New York. 1994
Grades: Preschool–2
Miss Calico travels to see her friend Captain Yankee by following her carefully drawn map. Each part of her route is documented and the reader can follow along on a two-page map. Readers can even see where Miss Calico misses her turn and gets a bit lost. For preschoolers and kindergartners, this book provides a great introduction to maps.

Whose Shoes Are These?
by Ron Roy; photographs by Rosemarie Hausherr
Clarion Books, New York. 1988
Grades: Preschool–4
Text and photographs describe the appearance and function of almost twenty types of shoes, including work boots, snowshoes, and basketball sneakers. The question and answer layout of the book makes it interactive. A useful book to introduce sorting and graphing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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