PPBF: Playlist

Author: James Rhodes
Illustrator:
 Martin O’Neill
Publisher: 
Candlewick Studio, 2019
Age: 
5+
Themes: Music, classical music, masterworks
Full titlePlaylist: The Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound

Summary: (from my library catalog) Illustrations and easy-to-read text celebrate the joys of being the middle child in a loving family of rabbits.

I like this book because: it’s stunning, like old album covers, and it’s an enthralling intro to classical music. Recently friends been surprised to find out that I play classical music in my car. Really loud too! I realize not as many grew up in a household in which that is pretty much all we were allowed to listen to (when Dad was home!), but I was surprised that I am the “only friend that listens to it in the car”! So I though I would share this book in hopes that others might also get the bug! Classical rocks!

Resources/activities: listen to all the masters introduced in the book, after reading each chapter. That’s it! I don’t want to push it, I want others to love classical too!

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

PPBF: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Author/Illustrator: Charles Mackesy
Publisher: 
Harper One/Harper Collins, 2019
Age: 
all
Themes: animals, conduct of life, fables
Opening“I’m so small,” said the mole. “Yes,” said the boy. “But you make a huge difference.”

Summary: (from my library catalog – which they took from the publisher!) Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse explores their unlikely friendship and the poignant, universal lessons they learn together. Radiant with Mackesy’s warmth and gentle wit, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse blends hand-written narrative with dozens of drawings, including some of his best-loved illustrations (including “Help,” which has been shared over one million times) and new, never-before-seen material. A modern classic in the vein of The Tao of Pooh, The Alchemist, and The Giving Tree, this charmingly designed keepsake will be treasured for generations to come.

I like this book because: every little thing, every page is a treat! Each little ‘chapter’ will keep every reader thinking for days and days. I recommend it to anyone and everyone – a perfect gift for anyone you love, and especially for those that need to be loved (hint: all of us!) And I haven’t even mentioned the art! Ha! Superb! Go read it! Treasure it, and pass it on!

Resources/activities: create a play with stuffed animals or even home-made puppets or masks; take a walk in nature and sit down once in a while and read a ‘chapter’, think about that chapter until you find another resting spot and repeat with the other ‘chapters’; talk about each ‘chapter’ and what it means to listeners.; read more about the author/illustrator HERE

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

PPBF: Bunny in the Middle

Author: Anika Denise
Illustrator:
 Christopher Denise
Publisher: 
Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt and Co, 2019
Age: 
3-7
Themes: Siblings, family life, rabbits
OpeningWhen you’re ihn the middle…you’re not the oldest and you’re not the youngest. You are right in between .

Summary: (from my library catalog) Illustrations and easy-to-read text celebrate the joys of being the middle child in a loving family of rabbits.

I like this book because: I’m a middlest child, and can identify with every whisker twist of this in between bunny. The illustrations themselves are lighting up all the adorable markers in my brain, but feeling noticed is what made me fall in love. I would have worn the pages onion-skin-thin had I had a book like this when I needed it.

Resources/activities: list the pros and cons of different positions in the family – maybe even include parents!; discuss within a class or larger group, reform new ‘family’ groups with oldest, middle, youngest, twin, members – we might find we are more able to listen to the woes of a friend over a sibling; talk about what positions our parents, grandparents, teachers, guardians had in their families and see if their feelings are the same today as they might have been in the past.

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

PPBF: Vroom!

Author/Illustrator: Barbara McClintock
Publisher: 
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2019
Age: 
3-6
Themes: Automobiles, cars, imagination
OpeningSee image below .

Summary: (from my library catalog) Follows a young girl’s imaginary journey as she zooms in a race car past fields and forests to faraway lands before returning home to her own safe bed.

I like this book because: the deceptively simple writing packs a punch, inviting listeners to add “Vroom!” whenever possible! It was such a fun read aloud, with beautiful illustrations loaded with details, esp the ones in the forest that the kids loved to shout out as soon as they found them! (See image below)

Resources/activities: read companion books like, Go, Dog, Go!, by P.D. Eastman, and Red Light, Green Lion, by Candace Ryan and Jennifer Yerkes; build your own toilet-paper roll cars. Our storytime gang used used milk lids and pipe cleaners (we tried straws and twisty ties, but they didn’t work as well).

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

PPBF: Pokko and the Drum

Author/Illustrator: Matthew Forsythe
Publisher: 
Paula Wiseman, S&S, 2019
Age: 
3-6
Themes: Forest animals, musicians, drum
OpeningThe biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her a drum. They had made mistakes before .

Summary: (from my library catalog) When Pokko plays her drum in the forest she suddenly finds herself surrounded by an entire band of animal musicians.

I like this book because: it’s a stunner! I’d buy this book even if it didn’t have words! The palette is warm and harmonious, the rendering rich and radiant! Forsythe has also managed to present us with endearing characters both parent and child can identify with! And the humor! It is sweet and subtle, but still bound to make you laugh out loud!

Resources/activities: play instruments, and if you don’t have any, make them – click HERE for ideas

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

PPBF: Lawrence in the Fall

Author: Matthew Farina
Illustrator:
 Doug Salati
Publisher: 
Disney Hyperion, 2019
Age: 
3-7
Themes: show-and-tell, collections, trees
OpeningWhen Lawrence saw the chalkboard, he froze .

Summary: (from my library catalog) Lawrence the fox accompanies his father into the forest to collect something to take to his school show-and-tell, and while briefly lost and alone, Lawrence encounters the beauty of nature and finds exactly what he needs.

I like this book because: I’ve been there, frozen with the thought I would have nothing to share with my classmates. I didn’t have anything, but I also didn’t understand what a hobby or collection is, so how could I share it? I was equally drawn in by the delicate nature of the telling in the text and the illustrations. Find a copy to read – and share, of course!

*All the shadows in the photos are from yellow-twig dogwood leaves!

Resources/activities: there are so many discussions this book might be used to initiate: school, collections, hobbies, nature in general, and  trees specifically. Maybe children would find even more topics after reading it! Here are instructions for making a leaf crown, one of my favorite things to do in the fall, like the one at the bottom of this post: HERE

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

PPBF: Mice Twice

Author/Illustrator: Joseph Low
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry (Atheneum), 1980
Age: 
3-8
Themes: animals, etiquette, humorous stories
Opening: Cat was thinking about supper. He thought, “I could eat forty-seven grasshoppers. or I could eat 69 crickets. Or I could eat a fine, fat sparrow. But what I think I’d really like is a nice, tender mouse.

Summary: A round of uneasy hospitality results when Mouse and Dog arrive at Cat’s house for dinner.

I like this book because: first off, I’m not alone – this title is a 1981 Caldecott Honor book. I love the loose, energetic rendering and use of a simple yet bright palette, dominated by pinks and yellows. That’s what attracted me to this book I found at Brattle Bookshop in Boston this spring, but it’s the round robin tale of trickery and wit and the drama of it all that delighted me so very much! Hope you can find a copy.

Resources/activities: learn more about Low, his obituary here; look for other titles on the Caldecott list from 1981; perform this story as a play.

There is a summer break for new entries, but for more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE.

Around the corner from Brattle Bookshop, the Make Way for Ducklings sculptures in Boston Commons (dressed as RBGs!)

PPBF: Mystery

Author/Illustrator: Arthur Geisert
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 2003
Age: 
3-6
Themes: pigs, art museums, mystery stories  
OpeningI packed the lunch – sandwiches with extra mayonnaise, apples, oranges, and twenty-four cookies. Everything my Grandpa liked.

Summary: (from my library catalog) During a visit to the art museum, a little piglet and her grandfather investigate the disappearance of several paintings. Clues in the illustrations give readers a chance to solve the mystery along with the heroine.

I like this book because: I confess, I like all of Geisert’s books, and this isn’t even my favorite, but it warms my artist heart with all the visual references to great paintings, architecture, sculpture, and even, in the last image below, to the publisher! Oh, and PIGS! I’ve added one of my own pigs to the bottom of this post (because…PIGS!)

Resources/activities: visit an art museum – one of my local favorites: The Kirkland; check out this site to find one near you – or near where you are headed: http://www.artcyclopedia.com/museums-us.html; check out how to become a police artist HERE

There is a summer break for new entries, but for more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE.

PPBF: Ogilvy

Author: Deborah Underwood
Illustrator:
 T.L. McBeth
Publisher: 
Godwin Books/Henry Holt and Co, 2019
Age: 
4-100
Themes: rabbits, clothing, sex roles, story in rhyme
OpeningOgilvy happily hopped up and down. The very fist day in a very new town .

Summary:(from my library catalog) When Ogilvy moves to a new town, he discovers that bunnies who wear dresses play ball and knit socks, and bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks, and Ogilvy must figure out a way to do it all.

I like this book because: it’s BRILLIANT! In a delightful yet touching way, Underwood has managed to teach such a valuable lesson without having bopped the reader(s) on the head with pedagogy! Each time I read it I find another layer too! Get your Ogilvy on!

Resources/activities: Make collage clothing for your own bunny characters; discuss what it might feel like to move to a new town (read a companion book, like Neville by Norman Juster, and or what it feels like to be pressured by others to behave in a way you might not want to; discuss empathy, tolerance and acceptance and what makes them similar, and how the are different.

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

PPBF: I Can Only Draw Worms

Author/Illustrator: Will Mabbitt
Publisher: P
enguin Workshop, 2019, orig. published by PRH UK, 2017
Age: 
3-6
Themes: worms, counting books, humorous stories 
OpeningThis is a book about worms. (I can only draw worms.)

Summary: (from my library catalog) Teaches the reader to count to ten using worms that have great adventures or everyday experiences, described but not illustrated due to the author’s inability to draw anything but worms.

I like this book because: super simple, super bright, and super funny! I’t’s simple, really! (psst, I’m still laughing!)

Resources/activities: what can you draw? Make a counting book with whatever subject you like to draw best; dig up and examine some worms, but remember to treat them well, and put them right back as soon as you’re finished! Make tissue paper worms by following instructions HERE

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