PPBF: The Queen’s Hat

Queen'sHatCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Steve Antony
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2015 (Originally published in the UK by Hodder Children’s Books)
Ages: 3-5
Themes: hats, Queens, London
Opening: The Queen was on her way to visit someone very special when the wind went…

Queen'sHatEndpapersSummary: (from my library catalog) A sudden gust of wind takes the Queen’s favorite hat and blows it all over London, as the Queen’s men give chase.


Queen'sHat1I like this book because: Seemingly simple, strong compositions using a limited palette take the reader on a rollicking romp. I love books that pack a big punch with a small idea!


Queen'sHat2Resources/activities: Follow up with THE QUEEN’S HANDBAG; Make hats after listening to a video explained by a Brit – see below


Queen'sHatBackFor existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: The Tea Party in the Woods

TeaPartyInTheWoodsCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Akiko Miyakoshi
Publisher: Kids Can Press, 2015 (originally published in Japanese: Mori no Okuno Ochakai e, Kaisei-Sha Publishing, 2010 )
Ages: 3-7
Themes: forest animals, parties, imagination
Opening: That morning, Kikko had awoken to a winter wonderland. It had snowed all night.Now her father was off to Grandma’s house to help clear the walk.


Summary: (from my library catalog) As Kikko goes through the woods to bring a pie to her grandmother, she happens upon a home full of animals and joins their tea party.


I like this book because: It’s breathtakingly beautiful. The story is a simple flight of imagination, and anyone would wish to be in the main characters place.


Resources/activities: Plan a tea party. Who would you invite? What would you serve? This might also be fun to act out with puppets.


For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes

Author: Clyde Watson
Illustrator: Wendy Watson
Publisher: 1971, HarperCollins Publishers; Reprint edition, 2001
Age: 3 and up
Themes: Nursery rhymes, children’s poetry
Opening: The sky is dark, there blows a storm. Our cider is hot, the fire is warm. The snow is deep & the night is long: Old Father Fox, will you sing us a song?
Summary: (from Amazon) Full of vim, vigor, and robust silliness, Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes is at long last back in print. Father Fox and his russet-furred, pointy-nosed family romp through the pages of these original American nursery rhymes, written and illustrated in the early 1970s by a pair of Vermonter sisters, Clyde and Wendy Watson. Each two-page spread features a quirky little verse on one side and framed pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations on the other. The extensive Fox family, in their patchwork-mended clothes, tumble over one another as they depict the very rhymes their father tells.

Why I like this book: I have a real weakness for nursery rhymes, so when someone mentioned this volume I rushed to put it on hold at the library. I love the humor and lightness in the illustrations too. Can hardly wait to share it with my little neighbor, Penelope. As soon as I get another chance to babysit!

Resources/Activities: read more nursery rhymes; nursery rhymes in a foreign language are a fun way to share a language you may speak but your young one does not, without the pressure of ‘teaching’.

For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: On the Train

OnTheTrainCoverAuthor: Carron Brown
Illustrator: Bee Johnson
Publisher: Kane Miller, 2015 (first published in the UK, The Ivy Press, 2015)
Ages: 4-8
Themes: trains
Opening: A railroad station is bustling with activity.

OnTheTrain1.jpgSummary: (from the publisher) “What can we find on the train today? Shine a light behind the page and see… From the engineer in his cab and maintenance workers on the track, to stop-and-go signals and all kinds of trains, each page will take you behind the scenes of a busy train ride.”

OnTheTrain2I like this book because: It’s a beautiful, informative and fun! Cha-ching!

OnTheTrain3Resources/activities: research some fun railroad facts, like the number of miles of train tracks in the United States; check out more in the shine a light series from Kane Miller:

For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: Sheila Rae, The Brave

SheilaRaeCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: Greenwillow, 1987
Ages: 4-8
Themes: mice, courage, siblings
Opening: Sheila Rae wasn’t afraid of anything.

SheilaRae1Summary: (from my library catalog) When brave Sheila Rae, who usually looks out for her sister Louise, becomes lost and scared one day, Louise comes to the rescue.

SheilaRae2I like this book because: I read a lot of picture books, and as much as I get excited about new ones to love, I rejoice all the more when I find an older classic. Almost 30 years old yet fresh , snappy, and kids can relate just as easily today.

SheilaRae3Resources/activities: discuss individual fears, how to possibly overcome them, and how one person’s abilities differ from another’s.

SheilaRaeBackFor existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: Some Things I’ve Lost

LostThingsCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Cybèle Young
Publisher: Groundwood Books, 2015
Ages: 4-8
Themes: lost articles, found objects, creation, paper work
Opening: You can’t find something, something you’ve lost.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Cybèle Young invites readers to consider the inevitability of change and the power of the imagination with a collection of misplaced objects, including a roller skate, a wristwatch, and a set of keys, are shown undergoing imaginative transformations through a series of paper sculptures.

LostThingsEndpapersI like this book because: as an artist, a creator, a human – this book speaks to me on the most basic level, the ground floor. Taking it all in made me cry – and I cry again as I write! What evolves in Young’s recreations need not be attractive to get the message across, but they are sublime! I love that I can say this, “Read it and weep!”

LostThings1Resources/activities: create something from a found object, perhaps something from a recycling bin. No need to look further for inspiration – Some Things I’ve Lost explodes your mind!

LostThings2For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: The King and the Sea

KingCoverAuthor: Heinz Janisch; translated by Sally-Ann Spencer
Illustrator: Wolf Ehrlbruch
Publisher: Gecko Press, 2015 (original: Der König und das Meer, Sansouci im Carl Hanser Verlag, 2008)
Ages: 4-8
Themes: short stories, kings
Opening: ” I am the king,” said the king. The sea answered with a whoosh.

King1Summary: (from the publisher) These stunningly illustrated, ultra-short stories are seemingly simple but ultimately profound tales. In each story, the king has an encounter which he tries to rule over. But of course the rain doesn’t stop just because a king orders it, and tired eyelids can be much stronger than a king’s will. The king sees that his power has limits; the world is diverse and much of it operates under its own rules.

King2I like this book because: these stories talk UP to children, demanding thought and reflection, with sparse and humorous illustrations designed with plenty of negative space – room for all that contemplation!

King3Resources/activities: make a leaf crown (next fall!)

LeafCrown1leafcrown5.jpgFor existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: A Sock Is a Pocket for Your Toes

SockIsAPocketCoverAuthor: Liz Garton Scanlon
Illustrator: Robin Preiss Glasser
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2004
Ages: 4-8
Themes: stories in rhyme, pockets, poetry
Opening: A sock is a pocket for your toes, a vase is a pocket for a rose.Sock1Summary: (from my library catalog) A poetic celebration of non-traditional pockets and what they hold, pointing out that a sock is a pocket for your toes and a vase is a pocket for a rose.Sock2I like this book because: it’s so creative and inviting – inspires me to think up my own pocket rhymes. Definitely on my list for Christmas gifts!SockBackResources/activities: creat your own ‘pocket’ rhymes; consider other objects in lieu of pockets – like, a roof is an umbrella for my house.SockJacketilloFor existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: This is Sadie

SadieCoverAuthor: Sara O’Leary
Illustrator: Julie Morstad
Publisher: Tundra Books, 2015
Ages: 3-7
Themes: imagination
Opening: This is Sadie. No, not that. That’s a box. Sadie is inside the box.
Summary: (from the publisher) Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but that always bring her home again. She likes to make things — boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. For Sadie, the world is so full of wonderful possibilities … This is Sadie, and this is her story..

Sadie1I like this book becausePatricia does too! Haha, we do like a lot of the same books, but I had just read it before Patricia posted. I agree that is is great to see the limits of imagination go beyond gender (I so wanted to be Dr. J!). The illustrations are so charming and make us fall head over heals for the character, not as easy to achieve as one might think.

Sadie2Resources/activities: discuss role-play: what are some of the things we like to play when we are on our own and how that might differ from what we do together?

Sadie3For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: Imaginary Fred


Author: Eoin Colfer
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Publisher: Harper, 2015 (Originally published in the UK by HarperCollins)
Ages: 4-8
Themes: friendship, imaginary friends, loneliness
Opening: Headaches are a pain. A bee sting hurts even more. But there’s one thing that’s worse than getting stung on the3 head by a bee on a rainy day, and that is…loneliness. 


Summary: (from my library catalog)Fred is the best imaginary friend you could ever hope for, but no matter how hard he tries, the same thing always happens: his friend finds a friend in the real world, and Fred fades away, bit by bit, waiting to be wished for again… Then one day, a boy named Sam wishes for a friend, and Fred appears! For a while everything is perfect. But what about the day when Sam finds a real friend? Could it be that this time, something magical might happen…?.


I like this book because: though I usually get turned off the moment I see longer text in a picture book, I read on this time and was glad I did. It’s a story describing an imaginary friendship and how it comes about, but it gets to the heart of what friendship means, in spite of our imagination! Ach, and there’s Jeffers’ light touch and simplicity – can’t be beat. Nope. And right now, I know I’d be a driveling mess without mine.


Resources/activities: design your own imaginary friend; watch the book trailer HERE


For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE