Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

Real Men Read Parent Toolkit

Parents, caregivers, and friends,
WELCOME to the Real Men Read Parent Resource page! Throughout the course of the school year, your kindergartener will bring home five books from their class MENtor. Check out this page to find information and ideas to help your child get the most out of the stories while having a ton of fun!
 >> Return to the main Real Men Read page

Book Selections:


Whistle for Willie

By Ezra Jack Keats

Peter is a city kid fascinated by the world around him. Peter can turn any activity into an adventure. 



Perseverance – Peter sets his eyes on a goal, whistling for his dog Willie, and practices until he gets it right. Perseverance means to keep working toward something even if it is difficult or you face failure doing it.  
Adventure – Everywhere he goes, Peter finds an adventure in what he’s doing. An adventure can be an exciting or remarkable experience.  
Imagination – Peter is fascinated by the world around him. Imagination is important because having creative ability is a life-skill in many ways.



If your child liked Whistle for Willie, they may also like...

  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

  • A Letter to Amby Ezra Jack Keats

Ask your local librarian or teacher for more suggestions!


Make a paper whistle! Click here for instructions.

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has a kid friendly collection of online games based off Ezra’s books! Click here for access to games, animated read-alouds, activities and more.


Miss Nelson is Missing!

By Harry Allard

Miss Nelson is the nicest teacher in the school, with the worst-behaved class.


Gratitude – After Miss Nelson goes missing, the kids realize what a great teacher they had. When they get their act together and she returns, the students show a new gratitude for what a great teacher she is by being on their best behavior.   

Respect – Miss Viola Swamp shows the children some hard-love. This teaches the kids how to show respect by listening and doing their work. When Miss Nelson returns, the kids are sure to no longer be rude and disrespectful or take Miss Nelson for granted.  


If your child liked Miss Nelson is Missing, they may also like...

  • Miss Nelson Has a Field Day by Harry Allard   

  • Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel 

Ask your local librarian or teacher for more suggestions!


Show your teacher some appreciation!

Ways to say “Thank You” from a student to a great teacher:  

  • Give them an apple. This classic simple gesture will show them that you care.  

  • Tell them how much you appreciate them, words are powerful!   

  • Write them a note. Keep it simple! Click here for an easy, fill-in template.

  • Draw them a picture. Click here for a free coloring sheet.

  • Nothing says “Thank You” to a teacher like success. Work hard and make them proud!  


The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

By Dan Santat

From an island far away, Beekle is an imaginary friend who sets out on an adventure to find his best friend.


Courage  Beekle shows courage by taking the initiative to go out in the world by himself and make a brand a new friend.  

Friendship  Beekle and his new friend show kindness and acceptance to one another and embrace their new friendship!  


If your child liked The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, they may also like...

  • Ricky, the Rock that Couldn’t Roll by Jay Miletsky  

  • After the Fall (How Humpty-Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat 

Ask your local librarian or teacher for more suggestions!


Ways to Encourage Your Child to Make Friends:

  • Practice active listening at home

  • Practice saying hello

  • Teach them how to introduce themselves

  • Build trust

  • Play games

For resources on how to encourage your child to make friends, click here and here.
Have your child create their own imaginary friend using playdough, pipe cleaners and more! Click here for instructions. 

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

By Natasha Yim, Illustrations by Grace Zong

Goldy Luck is a young girl who lives in China. Being sleepy and very hungry, Goldy gets herself into some trouble.



Forgiveness – Goldy had made lots of mistakes by wrecking Little Chan’s house. But Goldy realized her mistakes and apologized, with Little Chan accepting her apology and inviting her in to make Turnip Cakes.

Friendship  Goldy and Chan realize that their friendship is strong, and little Chan shows Goldy kindness when he knew she was sorry and made a mistake.


If your child liked Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas, they may also like...

  • Jilly’s Terrible Temper Tantrums: and How She Outgrew Them by Martha Heinenman Piper

  • Listening with My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion by Gabi Garcia

Ask your local librarian or teacher for more suggestions!


Click here to learn your Chinese Zodiac sign!

Did you know that Cantonese is one of the two dialects of the Chinese language spoken in China? Click here to learn the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese, and where each of them is spoken in China.

Make an egg carton dragon to celebrate the Chinese New Year! Chinese dragons are a symbol of China's culture, and they are believed to bring good luck to people. Click here for instructions.


Friends Stick Together

By Hannah E. Harrison

Rupert the Rhino meets Levi the tickbird at school. Levi wants to be Rupert’s friend, but Rupert is embarrassed by Levi’s silly behavior.


Belonging – Rupert and Levi accept each other while they build a friendship and get to know themselves better along the way! Their friendship helps them to feel a sense of belonging at school.


If your child liked Friends Stick Together, they may also like...

  • My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison

  • Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison

Ask your local librarian or teacher for more suggestions!


Learn how to make a cereal box guitar so you can rock out to your favorite music or create songs of your own! Click here for instructions.





Check out the Monroe County Public Library's website to find more books and general information about the library.


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