Day 4 #picturebookpicnic giveaway!

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today LOUIS chose to have the picture book picnic on the bench! Meet Elk, Puffinski, McEelface, Brownie the Pup, Walross and Komodo! Puffinski is holding a barely visible butterfly net and there is a bucket of chalk (*always use just a little at a time, if at all, to protect water organisms!) under the bench, and a pair of klompen to klomp around in the garden! If you are asking, Where is LOUIS?, he ran back inside to get napkins for the cupcakes!

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, by Penny Parker Klostermann, illus. by Ben Mantle, Random House, 2015: In this variation on the traditional cumulative rhyme, a greedy, hungry dragon eventually learns moderation.

The Road That Trucks Built, by Susanna Leonard Hill and illus. by Erica Sirotich, Little Simon, 2017: Rhyming text follows the story of a team of vehicles that work together to build a new road.

Arnie the Doughnut, by Laurie Keller, Henry Holt, 2003: Arnie the talking doughnut convinces Mr. Bing that not all doughnuts are meant to be eaten.

A Morning With Grandpa, by Sylvia Liu and illus. by Christina Forshay, Lee & Low, 2016: Curious and energetic Mei Mei attempts some t’ai chi forms as her grandfather demonstrates them, then tries to teach him basic yoga poses. Includes introductions to t’ai chi and yoga, as well as instructions for the exercises described in the text.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HEREDon’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

Day 3 #picturebookpicnic giveaway

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today it’s a picnic in a basket! It’s likely to rain any minute, so everyone squeezed in, munched on blueberries while dreaming of the raspberries, currants, and gooseberries about to ripen (in the meantime there is rhubarb nectar too – see photo at the bottom). Also, please say hello to Schmarmot, Jay, Blue, Foxie (in the bunny suit!) and Otto! Let’s see if anyone asks about that pumpkin!

Rosie’s Walk, by Pat Hutchins, S&S, 1968: Unaware of a hungry fox right behind her, Rosie, the hen, goes about her barnyard business as usual.

Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin and illus. by Harry Bliss , Joana Cotler Books (HC), 2003: A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not so good things about being a worm in this great big world.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, by Verna Aardema and illus. by Leo and Diane Dillon, Dial Books, 1975: A retelling of a traditional West African tale that reveals how the mosquito developed its annoying habit.

The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss and illus. by Crockett Johnson, Scholastic, 1945: Despite everyone’s dire predictions, a little boy has faith in the carrot seed he plants.

*Book descriptions from my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HEREDon’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

Day 2 #picturebookpicnic giveaway!

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

But let me introduce you to his stuffie-guests and the friends they brought along for the picture book picnic today! Meet Elk, Penny, Wolfie, H. Hog and his elephant and horse – and Pooh, of course!

My Best Friend, by Julie Fogliano, Atheneum, 2020: Two girls quickly become best friends, even before they learn one another’s names.

The Nest That Wren Built, by Randi Sonenshine and illus. by Anne Hunter, Candlewick, 2020: In the rhyming style of “The House That Jack Built,” this poem about the care and specificity that Carolina wrens put into building a nest is at once tender and true to life. Papa and Mama Wren gather treasures of the forest, from soft moss for a lining to snakeskin for warding off predators. Randi Sonenshine’s lilting stanzas, woven with accurate and unexpected details about Carolina wrens, and Anne Hunter’s gentle, inviting illustrations reveal the mysterious lives of these birds and impart an appreciation for the wonder of the life cycles around us. Back matter includes a glossary and additional interesting facts about wrens. Nature lovers and poetry fans alike will be drawn to this lyrical picture book depicting how Carolina wrens build a nest for their young.

Cupcake Cousins, by Kate Hannigan and illus. by Brooke Boynton Hughes, Disney Hyperion, 2014: During a family vacation at Lake Michigan, nine-year-old cousins Willow and Delia, desperate to avoid being flower girls in their aunt’s wedding, try to demonstrate that they would do better as chefs for the reception.

“Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses, by Beth Anderson and illus. by Jenn Harney, Calkins Creek, 2020: James Kelly smelled EVERYTHING: rats in the shed; circus elephants a mile away; tomorrow s rain. His sense of smell was EXTRAORDINARY. But what good was a powerful nose? How could his super-sniffer make him special? In the New York City subway, James found his calling and earned the nickname Smelly Kelly. Armed with his super-sniffer and the tools he invented, he tracked down leaks from the dangerous to the disgusting, from the comical to the bizarre.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HERE! Don’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

PPBF: LOUIS hosts a GIVEAWAY

Today is World Picnic Day and LOUIS will be hosting picnics with his picture book friends – and stuffies – all week! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

But let me introduce you to his stuffie-guests and the friends they brought along for the picture book picnic today! Meet Elk, Penny, Wolfie, H. Hog and his elephant – and Pooh, of course!

Shrunken Treasures, by Scott Nash, Candlewick, 2016: The plots of nine classic stories are summarized in this collection of silly verses.

Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything!, by Cori Doerrfeld, S&S, 2016: Illustrations and easy-to-read text portray a young brother and sister as they spend an afternoon imagining great adventures together.

Skippyjon Jones, by Judy Schachner, Puffin Books, 2005: Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese cat with an overactive imagination who would rather be El Skippito, his Zorro-like alter ego.

How To Survive as a Firefly, by Kristen Foote and illus. by Erica Salcedo, Innovation Press, 2017: A group of firefly larvae are taught how to survive as a firefly, from finding food to the importance of finding a mate, in a book filled with hidden firefly facts.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

The activity suggestion today is to read all the books, eat some cupcakes from our favorite, Butter Cream Cupcakery, hunt for treasure/clover (esp four-leaf, but don’t tell them, there isn’t any clover in this part of the yard!)

Don’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

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

PPBF: Pierre and Paul: Dragon!

Needed to show off all the pollen on my porch!

Author: Caroline Adderson
Illustrator:
 Alice Carter
Publisher: Owl Kids, 2021
Age: 
4-8
Themes: imagination, bilingual stories, dragons
Opening: see opening page below image of title page.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Pierre speaks French and Paul speaks English, but that doesn’t stop them from being friends and exploring together. Today is garbage day, so the duo sets out to find hidden treasures in the trash. Treasure map in hand, they encounter poisonous swamps, dark forests, a dragon, and even a tsunami! (Or maybe it’s a garbage truck driving through a puddle). When the tsunami sweeps away their treasure map, they think all is lost–until they finally find a treasure lying in plain sight. Told half in French and half in English, this uses simple phrases and clues in the illustrations to make the story accessible to readers in both languages. Full of imagination this is a story of friendship.

I read this book because: my friend Julie Abery recommended it on IG, and I was immediately intrigued by a book that seemed so good on so many levels: imagination, friendship, language, and the sense of adventure! And it delivers on all fronts! in our family’s bookshelf my dad kept what looked like a French comic book and I poured over it hoping my efforts would magically teach me French! Well, it achieved something better, the desire to learn other languages and the sound of words! That and my second grade teacher, Mrs. Beck who taught us a bit of Spanish! This was a fun way to test what I have retained form HS French! And I bet my dad would enjoy it too!

Resources/activities: go to your library’s foreign language sections – hopefully they have one with kids books – and take home a pile to try out your pronunciation skills and detective skills! Watch a kids show

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

PPBF: The Wanderer

Author/Illustrator: Peter Van den Ende
Publisher: Levine Querido, 2019


Age: 
3+
Themes: wordless picture book, boats, voyages

Opening: see spread below.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Without a word, and with Escher-like precision, Van den Ende presents one little paper boat’s journey across the ocean, past reefs and between icebergs, through schools of fish, swaying water plants, and terrifying sea monsters. The little boat is all alone, and while its aloneness gives it the chance to wonder at the fairy-tale world above and below the waves uninterrupted, that also means it must save itself when storms approach. And so it does. We hope that readers young and old will find the strength and inspiration that we did in this quietly powerful story about growing, learning, and life’s ups and downs..

I like this book because: this is an absolute pleasure to look at! All black and white pen and ink drawings, and endless beauty to get lost in! Take your time and savour it! If anyone knows of a child who has read it, I would love to hear back whether they were as enchanted as I am with this book!

Resources/activities: just dive in to the book; and if that isn’t enough, a video featuring the book and it’s maker featured at the bottom of this post.

A little excitement to share – knowing that an appearance in PW may never happen again!

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

PPBF: While Grandpa Naps

Needed to show off all the pollen on my porch!

Author: Naomi Danis
Illustrator:
 Junghwa Park
Publisher: POW!, 2019
Age: 
3-7
Themes: family, multigenerational life, responsibility
Opening: Grandpa comes to visit on Sunday. He brings salami, rye bread, mustard, and pickles for the whole family.

Summary: (from the publisher) Gilbert spends a sunny summer afternoon obediently keeping watch over his napping grandpa to shoo the pesky flies away. Unsure of exactly how long he’s really supposed to sit there, watching for non-existent bugs, he passes time contemplating his ever-changing family: His grandma Sarah recently died, a new baby is on the way, his siblings and cousins race in and out. While the temptations to abandon his post beckon, Gilbert’s loyalty to his grandpa stays true, and his quiet dedication finds a sweet reward.

I read this book because: someone recommended it, so I also looked for a Kirkus review that lead with a strange remark: “Typographically overdesigned …”. I have to admit that was hook enough for me (reformed graphic designer) to search it out! But first off, the illustrations are so charming, I would have read it anyway! And while the text positioning may seem unconventional, I thought it in no way detracted from the story, in fact it was easier to read than so many others that add multiple blocks of text across a spread. And I enjoyed the font choice too! Aside from all that the story charmed my socks off! The more I read the closer I felt to the main character, despite never having had a similar experience. Now I long for a snooze in a hammock – and salami on rye with mustard!

Resources/activities: make a list of things kids know about their grandparents, including all the senses! (I cannot think of my father’s father without smelling his pipe!); have a garden picnic. Watermelon is a must – and at least try a version of Grandpa’s sandwich: salami on rye with mustard and pickles!

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

PPBF: The King’s Golden Beard

Author/Illustrator: Klaas Verplancke
Publisher: minedition, 2021
Age: 
3-8
Themes: beards, rulers, vanity

Opening: see spread above.

Summary: (from my library catalog) The lush, golden royal beard is a wondrous thing–especially to the king himself. He spends his days admiring and grooming it, and passes laws making it a crime punishable by death for anyone else’s face to sport even a single hair. As the people of the kingdom nervously shave daily, the royal beard grows and grows until it appears at the palace’s back gate. What happens next will have readers laughing along–and cheering for the astronomers who, unlike the tyrannical king, know that the earth is round.

I like this book because: the very strong, graphic compositions, and I love a good cautionary tale! And perhaps because of all the hair I’ve had to deal with as a mother of two who’ve always preferred long hair! I also admire the masterful use of a limited palette and simple but effective use of texture in the art. The story itself is a well-told and humorous tale of too much pride – great for discussions too!

Resources/activities: Klaas shared a really fun drawing lesson over at kidlit tv: https://youtu.be/oZkcA5Ei6ck

A little excitement to share – knowing that an appearance in PW may never happen again!

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

PPBF: The Big Bad Wolf In My House

Author: Valérie Fontaine, transl. Shelley Tanaka
Illustrator:
 Nathalie Dion
Publisher: Groundwood Books, 2021, org 2020 in French
Age: 
4-8
Themes: family violence, domestic violence, wolves
Opening: see image below

Summary: (from the publisher) The young girl tells us that her mom’s new friend is just like the big bad wolf. At first the wolf is sweet and kind to her mom, though the girl notices the wolf’s cold eyes from the very beginning. When her mom arrives home late one day, the wolf suddenly hurls angry words and terrible names at her. From that day on her mother doesn’t smile anymore. The girl is careful to clean her room and brush her teeth and do everything to keep the peace, but the wolf is unpredictable, throwing plates on the floor, yelling at her mother and holding the girl’s arm so tightly she is left with bruises. Whenever the yelling begins, she hides under the covers in her room. How will she and her mom cope as the wolf becomes increasingly fierce? Valérie Fontaine and Nathalie Dion have created a powerful, moving story about violence in the home that ends on a note of hope.

I like this book because: it’s so important, and it’s been written and illustrated simply, clearly and with such thoughtfulness – for readers who can identify as well as readers who may not. Especially knowing the level of hidden domestic violence has risen due to the pandemic, I feel it’s more important than ever to address the topic. I also know from people I’ve met serving my neighbors experiencing homelessness that 50% of homeless women are domestic violence victims. I will definitely be donating a copy to a local school.

Resources/activities: easy – read the book!

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

PPBF: How to Build a Hug

Author: Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville
Illustrator:
 Giselle Potter
Publisher: Atheneum, 2018
Age: 
4-8
Themes: Temple Grandin, animal scientist, autism spectrum disorders in children
Opening: Temple loved folding paper kites, making obstacle courses for her dog, and building lean-tos with real hinged doors.

Summary: (from the publisher) As a young girl, Temple Grandin loved folding paper kites, making obstacle courses, and building lean-tos. But she really didn’t like hugs. Temple wanted to be held—but to her, hugs felt like being stuffed inside the scratchiest sock in the world; like a tidal wave of dentist drills, sandpaper, and awful cologne, coming at her all at once. Would she ever get to enjoy the comfort of a hug? Then one day, Temple had an idea. If she couldn’t receive a hug, she would make one . . . she would build a hug machine!

I like this book because: I think it relays her feelings as a child well making her trajectory in life so easy for all kids to relate to. I recently watched a book talk with Jeff Kinney for her newest book for kids, The Outdoor Scientist (see below). Glad this is out as summer is about to begin for kids and adults to explore together, but I’d suggest reading this with kids too! I had first heard about Grandin in an article I read in Germany almost 30yrs ago, and was fascinated to learn – at the same age – that not everyone thought visually like myself! And I was delighted to hear she worked in the town I was moving to in the States. I’ve seen her speak numerous times and have even spotted her in the wild in town!

Resources/activities: easy – read the book!

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

And take a peek at my uncut Corona hair in the video below with Laura Backes form writeforkids.org below!