PPBF: What to Do With a Box

WhatToDoWithABoxCoverAuthor: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Chris Sheban
Publisher: Creative Editions, 2016
Age: 3 and up
Themes: imagination, cardboard boxes, stories in rhyme
OpeningA box! A box is a strange device.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Jane Yolen poetically reminds young readers that a simple box can be a child’s most imaginative plaything as artist Chris Sheban illustrates its myriad and magical uses.

WhatToDoWithABox1Why I like this book: I love cardboard boxes, not just because of the great memories of appliances delivered in the neighborhood and the whole gang of kids piling in and rolling down the hill, or of the multiple box pirate ship we built for my son’s birthday, but for the allure of adventure! And this book is a beautiful invitation!

WhatToDoWithABox2Resources/Activities: get a box – no instructions needed!

WhatToDoWithABox4For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Ladybug Race

LadybugRaceCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Amy Nielander
Publisher: Pomegranate Kids, 2015
Age: 3-103
Themes: insects, competition, wordless picture books
Opening: Introducing: the Versizer! The book you are holding in your hands is a marvel of squishy science. After many years of mulling and figuring, I have developed a device called the Versizer that will transform lengthy novels, myths, and epic poems into delightful nuggets of nonsense.
Summary: (from my library catalog) The plots of nine classic stories are summarized in this collection of silly verses.

LadybugRace1Why I like this book: So simple, yet so clever and so much fun! Like most kids, I like looking at bugs and these are all drawn to actual size!

LadybugRace2Resources/Activities: Perfect read for an insect unit: discuss the variety of one species, and find out which ladybug species to look for in your geographic area; search for the word ‘ladybug’ in different languages and talk about the direct translations; how are ladybugs beneficial in the garden? (I sure could use their help defending my currant bushes!)

LadybugRace3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: 3 Counting Books

TwoMiceCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Sergio Ruzzier
Publisher: Clarion, 2015
Summary: review from Kirkus – HERE

One,Two:UngerercoverAuthor/Illustrator: Tomi Ungerer
Publisher: Phaidon, 2014 (first published in Gernman, Diogenes, 1973)
Summary: review from Kirkus – HERE

123BookCoverAuthor/Illustrator: R.O. Blechman
Publisher: Creative Editions, 2013
Summary: review from Kirkus – HERE

Why I like these books: I found these three in short succession, so I thought I’d share them together. Each has deceptively simple yet engaging artwork and at the same time is completely unique in content – key to a great concept book! And my personal preference – they’re all humorous! I’ve linked each for further information via their Kirkus review (above).

Resources/Activities: Read them together – or with other counting books; create your own, with drawings or photos of items from the classroom or home;

One,Two:Unger3

123Book1

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

PPBF: The Secret Subway

SecretSubwayCoverAuthor: Shana Corey
Illustrator: Red Nose Studio
Publisher: Schwartz&Wade, 2016
Age: 4 and up
Themes: subways, New York, Alfred E. Beach
Opening: Welcome to New York City – the greatest city on earth!
Summary: (from my library catalog) This is the astounding true story of New York City’s first and long-forgotten underground train, invented by Alfred Ely Beach in 1870

SecretSubway1Why I like this book: I love origin stories! This one makes great use of suspense to bring actual events alive and the artwork from Red Nose studio blends the perfect nostalgic sense of a silent movie with bold colors, dramatic silhouettes and humor (find the dog with wheels for back legs!)

SecretSubway3Resources/Activities: a great companion read for a unit on transportation, or in art class for sculpture or puppet making and effective use of complimentary hues in composition.

SecretSubway4For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

SecretSubwayBackCover

PPBF: Shrunken Treasures

ShrunkenTreasuresCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Scott Nash
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2016
Age: 5-8
Themes: classics, literature, humorous stories
Opening: Introducing: the Versizer! The book you are holding in your hands is a marvel of squishy science. After many years of mulling and figuring, I have developed a device called the Versizer that will transform lengthy novels, myths, and epic poems into delightful nuggets of nonsense.
Summary: (from my library catalog) The plots of nine classic stories are summarized in this collection of silly verses.

ShrunkenTreasures1Why I like this book: Such a fun introduction to literary classics! The bright and adorable illustrations add light-hearted amusement to these ‘shrunken’ interpretations of some heavy tales. After having analyzed a number of them in high school, I believe my adult kids would love to read these too!  (ps – in case there is a curious botanist amongst us, the late afternoon shadows grew from Cornus stolonifera, or Yellow-twig dogwood)

ShrunkenTreasures4Resources/Activities: Discuss what makes a story, poem or book a classic; draw your own favorite characters; write your own shrunken poems about favorite fairy tales or fables.

ShrunkenTreasures2.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

ShrunkenTreasures3

PPBF: Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)

ToughGuyscoverAuthor/Illustrator: Keith Negley
Publisher: Nobrow, 2015; first publ. in England by Flying Eye, 2015
Ages: 4-7
Themes: feelings, emotions, men and emotions
Opening: It’s not always easy being a tough guy…You might not think it, but tough guys have feelings too.

ToughGuysendpapersSummary: (from my library catalog) Explains through simple text and colorful illustrations that tough guys have the same feelings as you and I.

ToughGuys1.pngWhy I like this book: It’s such a bright and attractive, bold yet simply illustrated book which compliments and leaves much room for reflecting on the simple statements on each page.

ToughGuys2.pngResources/activities: there is so much to talk about – each spread will easily invite discussion; expand upon feelings that not-so-tough guys, or strong women might have too, and how similar we all are.

ToughGuys3For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE, and for today’s list: HERE

ToughGuysback

PPBF: Miss Twiggley’s Tree and a winner!

Congratulations ASHLEY WOLFF! You guessed right, yet there are 2 correct guesses: fox and chicken (I’m nice like that). This is YOUR prize – a copy of my favorite picture book!

MissTwiggley'sTreecoverAuthor/Illustrator: Dorothea Warren Fox
Publisher: Purple House Press, 1966
Ages: 4-7
Themes: friendship, animals, treehouses
Opening: Funny Miss Twiggley lived in a tree with a dog named Puss and a color TV. She did what she liked, and she liked what she did, but when company came Miss Twiggley hid.

MissTwiggley'sTree1Summary: (from Amazon) Why did Miss Twiggley live in a tree? Why did she send her dog, Puss, out to do the shopping? Why did she always run away and hide when people came to visit? And it was rumored that Miss Twiggley had even more peculiar habits…

Old Miss Twiggley
Was friendly with bears.
“They shed on the sofa,” she said,
“But who cares?”

And was it true, as the mayor’s wife had heard, that she actually slept in her hat? “Simply disgraceful!” they said. But when a hurricane hits the town and the water rises, everyone is grateful to Miss Twiggley and her tree. Even better, Miss Twiggley herself learns a very important lesson, with a warm and happy ending.

MissTwiggley'sTree2This is my personal favorite. Hard to believe I can chose one, but it speaks to my heart! I found Miss Twiggley late, but it was a meeting of kindred spirits (pssst – I grew up with a willow tree in our backyard). Even after the magic of reading bedtime stories had faded, I still read this one with my big kids – sure is nice that they humor me! For those of you who know me better it is transparent – I identify strongly with the main character. Please find and read this. Let me know if you share the admiration.

MissTwiggley'sTreehalfResources/activities: Read it. Read it again!; Build a treehouse (I’d like one!); look into fostering animals from your local Humane Society; make an disaster preparedness plan 

MissTwiggley'sTree4.jpgFor existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

MissTwiggley'sTreeauthor

PPBF: Henny Penny (*giveaway series)

#4 in the *giveaway: please take a guess at which animal is present in all four classics. Add your guess to the comment section for a chance to win a copy of my favorite book, featured next week.

HennyPennycoverAuthor/Illustrator: Paul Galdone
Publisher: Clarion, 1968
Age: 3 and up
Themes: farm animals, panic, cumulative stories
OpeningOne day when Henny Penny was scratching among the leaves, an acorn fell out of a tree and struck her on the head.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A cumulative tale about Henny Penny and her barnyard friends who were literally outfoxed on their journey to tell the king the sky was falling.

HennyPennytitlepage copy.jpgWhy I like this book: one of my favorite classic tales, and this is the version I remember from the library at my elementary school. The colors, compositions and expressions are striking, and the story has aways made me laugh (maybe because I am known to go into an excited panic easily too!).

HennyPenny1 copy.jpgResources/Activities: Ask readers why the they think a cast of birds was chosen over any other animal; break off in groups and perform this as a skit – compare and contrast how the interpretations may differ.

HennyPenny4.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

HennyPennyextra copy*giveaway contest rules: find an animal that is present in all four of the classics in the series of picture books, starting with Rosie’s Walk, The Hare and the Tortoise, Over in the Meadow and Henny Penny. Mention your guess in the comment section after the fourth book is featured today, April 8th.

 

PPBF: Over in the Meadow

No foolin’! The 3rd stunner in the *giveaway series to celebrate my 4th blogiversary!OitMcoverAuthor: John Langstaff
Illustrator: Feodor Rojankovsky
Publisher: Voyager Books/Harcourt, 1957
Age: 3 and up
Themes: mothers, meadow animals, cumulative stories
OpeningOver in the meadow in the sand in the sun, lived an old mother turtle and her little turtle one.OITMtitlepage3
Summary: (from my library catalog) A presentation of an old counting rhyme about meadow animals and their activities.

OverintheMeadow4Why I like this book: This was one of my favorites to read aloud when the kids were very young, and one they learned by heart quite easily. This rhyme has been rewritten and illustrated numerous times since, with the same or with a completely different cast of characters. Some of my faves: Ezra Jack Keats, David A. Carter, Louise Voce, Jane Cabrera, and Paul Galdone.

OitM5.jpgResources/Activities: Make lists of animals and/or insects and identify some of their regular activities; Discuss where we find meadows; visit a meadow.

OitMfinalspread7.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

OverInTheMeadowhalftitle2*giveaway contest rules: find an animal that is present in all four of the classics in the series of picture books, starting with Rosie’s Walk. Mention your guess in the comment section after the fourth book is featured on April 8th.

PPBF: The Hare and the Tortoise

Another classic picture book in the *giveaway series to celebrate my 4th blogiversary.

H&TCoverIllustrator: Brian Wildsmith
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1966
Ages: 3-7
Themes: hares, tortoises, fables
Opening: A hare and a tortoise were having an argument. The Hare, who could run very fast, thought he was much more clever than the tortoise, who could only move slowly and had to carry his house around on his back.

H&Ta.jpgSummary: (from goodreads) The race is on–the race, quick as lightning, against the tortoise, who not only moves slowly but carries his entire house on his back. Off they go. In a flash, the hare is yards away, flying over the grass. The tortoise has barely moved. Does he have any chance of winning?

H&T1.jpgI like this book because: not only is it a favorite fable, but it’s a stunner, then and now!

H&T3Resources/activities: research the intelligence of animals, as perceived in the past in comparison to now; what differences are there? Does one life skill trump another?

H&T4.jpgFor existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

*giveaway contest rules: find an animal that is present in all four of the classics in the series of picture books, starting with last week’s recommendation: Rosie’s Walk. Mention your guess in the comment section after the fourth book is featured on April 8th.