He says he’s ready for me to finish his story now.
Author: Cary Fagan
Illustrator: Dušan Petričić
Publisher: Tundra Books, 2012
Age Level: 4-6
Themes: children, storytelling, sharing, imagination
Opening: Every day after school, Leo took his ball into the courtyard. He threw the ball high into the air. It would hit the brick wall and bounce back, and Leo would try to catch it.
Summary: (from the publisher) This is the story of a bored little boy, who meets a man, and together they build a story. This story within a story is charming and changes both their lives… and quite possibly the readers as well.
Why I like this book: I picked up the book because I am a big fan of Petričić, and though his lively watercolors are mesmerizing, this time I fell for the story – and consequently put a bunch of Fagan”s books on my list. And the character of Mr. Zinger – I was captivated by his capacity for sharing, and ability to pull stories out of a hat, or a small boy for that matter! Anyone out there telling stories will fall for this one!
Author/Illustrator: Klaas Verplancke
Publisher: Groundwood Books, 2010, English translation 2012
Age Level: 2-5
Themes: parent-child relationship, love, anger, fear
Opening: My Daddy has smooth cheeks and an apple in his throat. He sounds like a mom when he sings in the bath.
Summary:(from the publisher) Johnny’s daddy has smooth cheeks, an apple in his throat and sounds like a mom when he sings in the bath. At other times a cactus grows out of his chin and his breath smells like cauliflower. At times he has warm hands and his fingers taste like applesauce. Other times his hands are cold and flash like lightning, and he becomes a thunder-daddy. When this happens Johnny wants to find a new daddy, but he eventually realizes that thunder-daddies don’t last forever. And that there’s nothing like the comfort that comes from those we love.
Why I like this book: This book addresses the fear a child has when a beloved parent gets angry, which we all know NEVER happens! Ahem. And that finding the way back to the parent they love can be difficult. It’s always clearer seen from the outside: the reaction of the child in the book reminded me a similar scene in our family when a grandparent had a strong reaction to some not-so-good table manners of one of my children – I think this would have been a great book to have had to share back then! The illustrations are hands-down FANTASTIC!
Resources/Activities: this book could easily spark discussions about anger issues; might be a good addition to a counselor’s office.
For more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE
cheated – did this about a year ago. watercolor sketch
Author/Illustrator: Chris Haughton (interview)
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2012
Age Level: 2 and up
Themes: dogs, temptation, humor
Opening: Harry is going out. “Will you be good, George?” asks Harry.
“Yes,” says George. “I’ll be very good.”
Summary: (from Candlewick) Bold, hilarious artwork captures the innocent charm of affable George, a dog who is trying to be good – with disastrous results.
Why I like this book: Bright, charming and irresistible! A lot of reviewers refer to the ‘retro’ illustrations, but I can’t agree: I find them fresh and exhilarating! One of the few PBs I’ve had to read over and over – in quick succession! So simple, yet so brilliant! All dog owners will take to this story, but also people like me, who sometimes just cannot resist indulging even when I know better. I just polished off a bowl of chips with onion dip. Every time I feel crummy afterwards, but every time I can’t seem to help myself! I hope George is not plagued by these feelings of guilt too!
Resources/Activities: the making of – story behind the book; bake this raspberry and strawberry cake, inspired by Oh No, George!
Click HERE to check out other Perfect Picture Book picks, today and everyday, on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog
It could not be helped! I didn’t post 15 yesterday because the internet kept disconnecting – for 2 days! I can only hope the connection lasts long enough for this tandem post. With my heart as heavy as it is, it was probably a good thing for me to sit back and reflect on life, on loss, and how to accept challenges.
This morning I decided to treat myself to a copy of the Sunday New York Times, something I had looked forward to for so many years – my Sunday Times and my Sunday bagel! I left my husband at the kitchen counter to prepare his favorite pancakes (prefer crepes myself!), and hopped into the car on this moist and cold morning to head down to Al’s Newstand.
On the way I saw plenty of people rushing to have their breakfast at a number of restaurants on the path to Al’s. It occurred to me that eating breakfast out is something Germans don’t do – or didn’t while I lived there! Shortly before we left Hannover some bakeries were offering fresh Broetchen (rolls, for the Americans reading – and, no, we can’t get anything of that quality here!) on Sundays, but that was it. Here we even have restaurants that offer only breakfast and often lunch, and that’s it!
We don’t go out to eat that often, but we do have a favorite place in Fort Collins, at least for breakfast – Lucile’s! There are 5 locations in Colorado now, but you’d never guess, because the atmosphere is like coming into someone’s home! Our friends Diana and Will introduced us, and it was their good company and the marvelous food that kept us coming back. Our son has no trouble putting away four of these beignets in one sitting – and he knows not to wear dark clothing for all the powdered sugar!
Sunday breakfasts are usually spent at home though, with pancakes, crepes, baguette or bread, but once in a while we indulge with a dozen bagels. I’d like to add here that they are not as good as those to be had all over New York, but the 2 store here in the Fort come pretty close!
♥An earlier than usual wish: Peace and love to all, everywhere.