PPBF: I Used to Be A Fish

iusedtobeafishcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Tom Sullivan
Publisher: Balzer & Bray, 2016
Age: 4-8
Themes: fish, humans, evolution
Opening: I used to be a fish. But I got tired of swimming.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A boy explains how he used to be a fish, until one day he grew legs and then fur, before becoming human.

iusedtobeafisheWhy I like this book: So simple yet the book manages to convey the idea of our history on Earth with a minimal palette and a touch of ‘Suessical’- which ties in well with all the Grinch Sticks I just made for the reading in the bookstore tomorrow (note the green food die on my finger in the third pic!).

iusedtobeafish1Resources/Activities: this book opens the can of worms on evolution, and depending on the child, you can dive deep into discussion or just enjoy the simple yet humorous text; make all the evolving figures out of playdough – or bread dough…and bake!

iusedtobeafish2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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PPBF: Moustache

moustachecoverAuthor: Gracia Iglesias
Illustrator: Guridi
Publisher: Lata de Sal, 2015
Age: 3-7
Themes: cats, whiskers, vanity
OpeningSer gato y ser curioso son dos cosas casi inseperables.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Here’s what they had in Spanish: Ser gato y ser curioso son dos cosas casi inseparables. Moustache era un gato elegante, refinado y guapo, un gato con buenos modales y muy coqueto. Pero un día sus preciados bigotes se quemaron con tanta curiosidad. ¡Horror! ¿Qué hará Moustache? Quizás unos bigotes postizos sean la solución… O quizás la solución esté en la mano de un niño igual de curioso.”– Provided by publisher. And with the help of Google translate, I will give you summary: Being an elegant and refined cat and at the same time a curious cat can be dangerous. After Moustache gets too close to a flame and loses his prized whiskers but he does not lose heart. He sets out to replace them and finds a thoughtful friend along the way.

 

moustache1Why I like this book: I don’t know enough Spanish to read a picture book like this, but, lured by the marvelous artwork of Guridi, I made an effort with Google translate to learn more and was not disappointed.

moustache3

 

Resources/Activities: learn Spanish (that note is for me!); at the very least, check out the foreign language section at your local library for books, some of which that might not even look like what you are used to; try to surmise what is going on based on the artwork; ask a member of the community to come and read a favorite book from their language/heritage to read a picture book to your class and explain the text.

moustache2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo

gingerbreadmanlooseatthezoocoverAuthor: Laura Murray
Illustrator: Mike Lowery
Publisher: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 2016, originally publ. in France by L’école des loisirs, 2013
Age: 4-8
Themes: gingerbread man, zoo animals, scavenger hunts
Opening: I woke to the sound of a rumbling ROAR! And hooting, and howling, and growling galore.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When the gingerbread man gets separated from his class during a field trip to the zoo, he uses his teacher’s animal scavenger hunt clues to find his way back to them.

GingerbreadManLooseattheZoo2.jpgWhy I like this book: Another fantastic read-aloud from Laura Murray, layered with information on animal identification and fun! The illustrations are bright, comic-like (in composition too) and cheerful – bound to engage the whole class

gingerbreadmanlooseatthezoo3Resources/Activities: great read for a science unit on zoology; create riddles about animals not included in the book: make a classroom scavenger hunt.

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

PPBF: Strong As a Bear

strongasabearcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Katrin Stangl
Publisher: Enchanted Lion, 2016 (Originally published in Germany in 2013 as Stark wie ein Bär.)
Age: 2-6
Themes: metaphors, concept books
Opening: *see first spread image below the endpaper image.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A series of children show how they are free as a bird, quick as a hare, mischievous as a monkey, quiet as a mouse, and strong as a bear.

StrongAsABearendpaper.jpgWhy I like this book: I actually liked this so much more at the second look – as with too many things, we move too fast and don’t savour the journey, but kids are still smart about that and I believe they will see straight off that this is an invitation to role play, to thinking out of the box, and the robust use of color and composition grabs a tight hold!

strongasabear1Resources/Activities: discuss the analogies made and make a new list and act them out; use in an art class to discuss how to use a limited color palette to extend powerful messages and imagery.

StrongAsABear2.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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PPBF: A Well-Mannered Young Wolf

wellmanneredwolfcoverAuthor: Jean Leroy
Illustrator: Matthieu Maudet
Publisher: Eerdmans, 2016, originally publ. in France by L’école des loisirs, 2013
Age: 4-8
Themes: wolves, manners, humorous stories
OpeningA young wolf, whose parents had taught him good manners, went hunting alone, in the forest for the first time.
Summary: (from my library catalog, short and to the point) A young wolf must fulfill his prey’s last wishes before he devours them.

wellmanneredwolf2Why I like this book: I have a penchant for sweet-on-the-outside stories with bite! The illustrations are much like those found in graphic novels, with very simple use of color and white space, allowing for the characters to take the simple plot on a well-paced ride!

wellmanneredwolf3Resources/Activities: A great book to discuss manners, honor, expectation and safety too!

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

Almost Halloweensie

Boo hoo! This is NOT an acceptable entry  for Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie Contest (over by 4 words), but I thought I’d post my adaptation of a Storytime action-rhyme for teachers, parents, librarians – or another bookseller! – who might enjoy boo-hooing with toddlers too!

To read all the entries, click HERE

quicklyslowlyhalloweensie  

PPBF: The Lost House

losthousecoverAuthor/Illustrator: b.b.cronin
Publisher: Viking, 2016
Age: 4-7
Themes: seek-and-find books, houses, grandfathers
Opening: Grandad promised to take his grandchildren to the park today. But he needs some help getting ready. He’s lost a few things.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A brother and sister want to go to the playground with their grandfather, but they can’t leave until they find everything they need to take with them, in his colorful house. Help Grandad find all of his belongings in this search and find!

losthouseendpaperWhy I like this book: Duh! Haha! This book is a riot of color and barrels of fun! My adult son and I spent at least half an hour looking for a sock in one of the spreads (no spoilers!). There is so much more to find than just the objects Grandad needs! I know readers will enjoy this as much as I do (still haven’t found everything!).

losthouse1Resources/Activities: I would say the book provides this itself but go around the house or classroom and look for colors and objects that might get lost in one of the rooms, like this faded rose…

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losthouse2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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NO! I did not forget the GIVEAWAY!!! And I am delighted to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Skippy John Jones in MUMMY TROUBLE is a writer-friend on the other side of the globe: Diane Tulloch!

PPBF: Mummy Trouble and a Giveaway!

mummyintroublecoverAuthor/Illustrator: Judy Schachner
Publisher: Penguin, 2006
Age: 4-7
Themes: cats, imagination, mummies
Opening: Skippy John Jones did his very best thinking outside the box.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Skippyjon Jones, a Siamese kitten who thinks he’s a Chihuahua, dreams of traveling to ancient Egypt with his gang of Chihuahua amigos..mummyintrouble1

–ONE LUCKY COMMENTER CAN WIN THIS SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY!–

Why I like this book: I love El Skippito and I loved listening to Judy Schachner describe how he came into being at our recent regional SCBWI conference in Denver. If you love the drama of speaking in various accents, you’ll love to read it aloud – even to yourself! The illustrations are bold, imaginative and wonderfully winsome!

mummyintrouble5Resources/Activities: great book to read during a unit on ancient Egypt; download suggested lesson plans and activities HERE

mummyintrouble4For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Go Away, Big Green Monster!

GoAway,BigGreenMonster!CoverAuthor/Illustrator: Ed Emberley
Publisher: Little Brown, 1993, 2005
Age: 4-7
Themes: monsters, fear, toy books
Opening: Big Green Monster has two big yellow eyes,
Summary: (from my library catalog) Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.

GoAway,BigGreenMonster!1Why I like this book: Simple concept, visually inviting, and so much fun – no spoilers! Great inspiration for pumpkin carving crowds.

GoAway,BigGreenMonster!2Resources/Activities: Draw your own monsters; what features will your monster have that differ from this one?

GoAway,BigGreenMonster!3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Shopping Basket

ShoppingBasketCoverAuthor/Illustrator: John Burningham
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 1996 (originally published by Jonathon Cape, 1980)
Age: 3-5
Themes: shopping, city life, problem solving
Opening“Run down to the store for me, will you, Steven, and buy six eggs, Five bananas, four apples, three oranges for the baby, two doughnuts, and a bag of chips for your snack. And leave this note at Number 25.”
Summary: (from my library catalog) On his way home from a quick trip to the store, Steven encounters several marauding animals ready to relieve him of his goods.

ShoppingBasket1st.jpgWhy I like this book: this book embodies what I love so much about John Burningham’s work: he incorporates something to learn without hitting kids over the head, gives a child character’s imagination full credit, and in the illustrations he also packs in humor and emotion in just the right amounts. Brilliant!

ShoppingBasket2.jpgResources/Activities: go shopping with a list; think about who might approach you wanting any of the items on your list and why; make a note of different scenes you pass along the way; did you forget anything on the list?

ShoppingBasket3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.