I have a ton of favorites, but my most favoritest FAVORITE books are Pete the Cat and Scaredy Squirrel. I love them so much, I don't just use them for one unit, I use them throughout the entire year. ( I've gotten so many kids hooked on these books, I should get roylaties.)
I think it comes down to the fact that I can relate to these fabulous little characters. I can identify with Pete because he doesn't sweat the small stuff. Teachers would never make it through the day with a sane thought in our heads if we freaked out over every little thing. That being said, I can really identify with Scaredy Squirrel,too. OCD is too mild a label for him. I can relate.
I guess Pete and Scaredy are my yin and yang.
Fortunately, there are a million and one things to do with these books and a whole host of skills to teach with them. I usually start the year with Pete since he's so good at teaching that all important "go with the flow" skill. Pete helps me teach social skills, color words, voice, text features, sight words, sequencing, and making connections to name just a few.
When October rolls around, it's time for Scaredy Squirrel. He fits nicely with autumn. At the beginning of the year, I try to get those kids to write something - anything. A sentence is often too daunting for many of my friends, so we start with lists, labels, and sequencing. Right up ol' Scaredy Squirrels's alley. I am spending my summer making some materials for the Scaredy Squirrel books because I just haven't found much out there and, of course, there's no time during the school year to do it!
Enjoy and have a terrific week!