Bad Apple is written and illustrated by Edward Hemingway (Putnam Books, an imprint of Penguin, 2012).
I love this whimsical book with rich illustrations and fun word play. Even better is the message of choosing friendship over popularity. Mac is a very good apple, indeed!
In writing workshop, I could imagine using this book with youngest writers to talk teach into illustrations. I would also use it as an example of choosing meaningful character names. The apple is named Mac and the worm is named Will. Names are powerful and often writers choose names because of the meaning or the word play. This is a perfect text to help children think meaningfully about character names.
In the Tree House by Andrew Larsen and Dusan Petrieie (Kids Can Press, 2013) tugged at my heart. It’s a story about a big dream of a tree house and growing up and brothers and coming back together. In writing workshop, I can imagine using this text to help teach the power of repetition. The things the boys do in the tree house are simple — reading comics, playing cards, building card houses — yet they become powerful because of the way the author repeats these details throughout the text.