PPBF: Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear

HHMDcoverAuthor: N. M. Bodecker
Illustrator: Erik Blegvad
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry, 1998 (originally written in 1975)
Ages: 6-9yrs
Themes: poetry, married life, New England
Opening: American history is filled with stories of brave and powerful men…but have you ever wondered where the women are?
HHMD1Summary: (from my library catalog) A woman frantically rushes to prepare for the fast-approaching winter while her husband sits idly by.

HHMD2I like this book because: Let’s just say I can easily empathize with Mary! Ha! I love the depiction of the change of seasons in Erik Blegvad’s New England, and the simple understated humor in both words and text. I won’t spoil the ending, but I do hope you can get hold of a copy to find out!

HHMD3Resources/activities: Talk about how chores are shared in your household, what chores are specific to the change of seasons.

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

Love the cat's shadow in this !

Love the cat’s shadow in this !

PPBF: Rad American Women A-Z

RadAmiWomenCover1Author: Kate Schatz
Illustrator: Miriam Klein Stahl
Publisher: City Light Books, 2015
Ages: 5-9yrs
Themes: alphabet book, women, biography
Opening: American history is filled with stories of brave and powerful men…but have you ever wondered where the women are?
Summary: (from my library catalog) Presents a collection of short biographies of notable American women representing each letter of the alphabet, from Angela Davis and Billie Jean King to Yuri Kochiyama and Zora Neale Hurston.

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I like this book because: I’m a woman too! And I believe it’s always more important than ever to educate both boys and girls on the impact both sexes have on the world (And I hope to see the day where I don’t have to say that!). The vibrant graphic illustrations are a powerful plus. Every non-fiction book should be this exciting!

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Resources/activities: choose a biography in the book that resonates and find out more about the woman and contemporaries in her field or cause; check out the comment section on the Amazon page- HERE

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

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PPBF: The Death of the Hat

DeathHatCoverA Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects: selected by Paul Janeczko
Illustrator: Chris Raschka
Publisher: Candlewick, 2015
Ages: 5-9yrs
Themes: poetry
Opening: (from Things, Eloise Greenfield) Went to the corner/ Walked in the store/ Bought me some candy/ Ain’t got it no more/Ain’t got it no more.
Summary: (from my library catalog) The award-winning creators of A Foot in the Mouth present a collection of poems inspired by earthly and celestial objects to reveal how poetry has been an enduring artistic form that reflects the historical periods of its writers.

DeathHat Endpapers

I like this book because: I am a BIG Raschka fan, because I love how loose and free his illustrations are, and I know it looks a lot easier to do that than it truly is (still trying!). This volume is particularly special because the collection is a history of poetry – you might be surprised how timeless and fressssshhhh century’s old poetry can be!

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Resources/activities: WRITE poetry! Pick one object you like, and one you don’t. READ poetry! When I feel like  I need a break from writing, revisions, drawing even, I like to read poetry, and I am particularly fond of poetry meant for children (I know it’s a scam to keep the best stuff for kids!).

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

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PPBF: It’s Only Stanley

It'sOnlyStanleyCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Jon Agee
Publisher: Dial, 2015
Ages: 4 and up
Themes: stories in rhyme, dogs, humorous stories
Opening: The Wimbledons were sleeping. It was very, very late, when Wilma heard a spooky sound, which made her sit up straight
Summary: (from my library catalog) Very strange noises that keep awakening the Wimbledon family one night have an even stranger source.

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Why I like this book: It’s JON AGEE. Yep, I am a total fan, and I was not disappointed with his latest! Check out my guest post on why he inspires me on Marcie Colleen’s series: Friendspiration Fridays – HERE

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Resources/activities: learn about the intelligence of dogs – HERE; and their emotions – HERE; and some fun facts about dogs, (like a dog’s hearing is four times better than yours!) – HERE

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

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PPBF: Clown

ClownCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Quentin Blake
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 1995
Ages: 3-8yrs
Themes: wordless stories, toys, home
Summary: (from my library catalog)After being discarded, Clown makes his way through town having a series of adventures as he tries to find a home for himself and his other toy friends.

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I like this book because: I too have once been discarded (some friendships just don’t last), and immediately found myself able to empathize with Clown and understand his struggle to feel secure again. I’m glad he didn’t give up either! Yeah, it made me a little weepy, but happy too! I’ve been on a Quentin Blake spree, reading books he has illustrated and/or written, biography materials and interviews too. Whew – it’s been a fun and enlightening ride! He also helped establish the House of Illustration, a home for the art of illustration. Read more on Blake’s exhibit there- HERE, or a visit to the museum by kid-lit author Pippa Goodhart from the Picture Book Den blog – HERE

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Resources/activities: this is a great book to read when discussing emotions, understanding them, learning the difference between sympathy and empathy, as well as character traits like perseverance. One could also touch on hygiene and why it would be a good thing to clean toys found in the trash before we use (and love!) them.

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

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Check out the red button in the sidebar – yes, that one. Click it. Now go make your own – HERE

PPBF: Farewell Floppy

FarewellFloppyCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Benjamin Chaud (Engl. translation: Taylor Norman)
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2015 (orig. published: Adieu Chausette, hélium/Actes Sud, 2010)
Ages: 4 and up
Themes: pets, friendship, responsibility
Opening: Floppy, that’s my rabbit. That’s his name because of his ears. They don’t stand up straight like other rabbits’. 
Summary: (from my library catalog) A boy feels that he is too old for his pet rabbit, so he tries to turn Floppy loose in the woods–but when he realizes that he really loves his pet, and returns for him, Floppy is nowhere to be found.

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Why I like this book: I picked it up because of the book’s vertical format (8 x 0.5 x 12.5 inches) and the illustrator’s work (another PPBF pick of mine HERE). But at first I was not taken with the text – WHHAAAAH? But, I read on – so something must have been working because I am a tosser (over the shoulder but with a soft landing). If I am not grabbed in the first 2 pages, 3 max, the book is airborne. The illustrations invited me to keep going. but the last line on page 2 got me:  “So I had to let him go.” Yikes! I had to follow the mc and find out how he planned to do this! When you’ve read it too let me know what you think. I fell, big time! A Kirkus review did not, and as with all books, it keeps me wondering about personal tastes and how we form opinions – too deep a topic for this recommendation though. Do give it a go!

FF5Resources/activities: discuss pet care and the connected responsibilities, and choosing the right pet; learn about lop-eared rabbits; contact your local Humane Society to arrange a visit; tell the story with puppets.FF4

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

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PPBF: Leave Your Sleep

LYScoverCollection of Classic Children’s Poetry: adapted to music by Natalie Merchant
Illustrator: Barbara McClintock
Publisher: Frances Foster Books, FSG, 2012
Ages: 5-9yrs
Themes: poetry
Opening: (from The Land of Nod, R.L.Stevenson) From breakfast on all through the day, At home among my friends I stay; But every night I go abroad, Afar into the land of Nod.
Summary: (from my library catalog) This collection of classic children’s poetry, adapted to music by Natalie Merchant, opens the door to a wondrous world filled with witches and fearless girls, blind men and elephants, giants and sailors and dancing bears. Leave Your Sleepfeatures a daring and delightful selection, ranging from the beloved (e.e. cummings, Edward Lear, and Jack Prelutsky) to the undiscovered (the young Nathalia Crane). Natalie Merchant’s brilliant musical renderings, selected from her highly praised album, share the stage with Barbara McClintock’s richly imagined art to create a memorable reading, looking, and listening experience.

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I like this book because: I’ll admit I hadn’t even opened the book before I melted: McClintock’s illustrations are so rich and divinely rendered that i sat and stared, carefully turning each page as slowly as possible, soaking it all in. I have always loved to leaf through collections, laughing at silly sounds and notions, and wondering why the illustrator decided to illustrate just that particular part of it. Beautifully done, these are lifetime treasures.

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Resources/activities: Watch Merchant perform the poems in a TED Talk – HERE; choose a particularly descriptive line or phrase from any of the poems to illustrate something from; learn a poem by heart, from this book or another.

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

PPBF: Das Wurzelkind/ The Root Child

Tomorrow, April 4th, is the birthday of Belgian illustrator and recipient of the 2010 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Kitty Crowther. And though she may not be well known in the US, it is where I first saw her work, albeit in the World Languages section of my library (see my review of ¿Entonces?/Then? – HERE). Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick is the only ‘Crowther’ I was able to find on the fly (why, why didn’t I order ahead?), while traveling through Germany last month. Read more about Crowther and her work at picturebookmakers.com HERE

Author/Illustrator: Kitty Crowther, translated from the French by Bernadette Ott
Publisher: Aladin Verlag, 2014 (originally published in French by l’ecole des loisirs, 2003)
Ages: 5 and up
Themes: forest creatures, fairies, friendship
Opening: my translation: This story takes place in a deep, deep forest. (Diese Geschichte spielt in einem tiefen, tiefen Wald.)
Summary: (from the publisher) my translation attempt: A fox lures Leslie in the dense undergrowth of the deep woods, not found on any map. In a clearing she meets a secretive creature that will change her life in wonderful ways. (Original: Ein Fuchs lockt Leslie ins dichte Unterholz eines tiefen Waldes, der in keiner Karte verzeichnet ist. Auf einer Lichtung begegnet sie dort einem geheimnisvollen Wesen, das ihr Leben auf wunderbare Weise verändern wird.)

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I bought this book because: it may have been the only Crowther book I could find, but the illustrations are charming and I would have picked it anyway! They possess so much energy while maintaining a a level of secrecy, of mystery, always leaving me wanting more. It’s a folk tale, unlike conventional American counterparts in word count and style, but universal in the telling of how a wild creature might not adapt to a home life.

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Resources/activities: as this book may not be available in English I won’t add activities for it, but would like to invite caregivers and children to explore the world languages departments of their local bookstores and libraries.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KITTY!

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

PPBF: Scrappy the Pup

ScrappyCoverAuthor: John Ciardi
Illustrator: Jane Miller
Publisher: J. B. Lippincott, 1960
Ages: 3-8yrs
Themes: stories in rhyme, watchdogs, farmers
Opening: This is the story of Scrappy the Pup, Who slept so hard he just couldn’t wake up.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Here is a Poem about Scrappy the pup who was supposed to be a watchdog. What Scrappy really liked to do was eat and sleep, and once he was asleep nothing could arouse him-not thunder, rain, guns, nor anything else – until his owner, a farmer, broke Scrappy’s dinner plate.Scrappy2

I like this book because: the rhyme is sublime! I am a late bloomer when it comes to poetry, but I know a good ‘un when I read it! I saw the author mentioned in an interview with illustrator Moira Swiatkowski on Joanna Marple’s blog HERE. I put a bunch of his books on hold and am totally in love! As I told a friend, I feel like I’m being pushed on a swing while reading this. No need to take my word, read the three consecutive pages posted here. I enjoyed the simplistic and loose illustration style, and feel it works well with the rhythm of the story.Scrappy3

Resources/activities: read more of John Ciardi’s collections for children; read Renée LaTulippe’s Ciardi post with Lee Bennet Hopkins at No Water River HEREwrite a poem!Scrappy4

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

PPBF: Eine Kleine Dickmadam

EineKleineDickmadam

A Little Fat Madam: Funny Rhymes for Children (my direct translation!)
Illustrator: Franz Zauleck
Publisher: LieV, 2010; originally published 1979
Ages: 3-6yrs
Themes: funny rhymes in German

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Opening: “Eine kleine Dickmadam reiste mit der Eisenbahn; Eisenbahne krachte, Dickmadame lachte, lachte bis der Schaffner kam und sie mit zur Wache nahm.”

EineKleineDM3Summary: board book with funny rhymes for children.

EineKleineDM4I bought this book because: my daughter planned a visit to the Leipzig Biook Fair while I stayed with her in Germany. I planned to purchase a select few that I could fit in my wee suitcase. This one has pretty edgy illustrations for a 36 year old book! Sure, I enjoy rhymes, and hope to read this to a child someday, but I bought this last Friday for ME!

EineKleineDM5Resources/activities: though it may seem odd to read a few German rhymes to English speaking preschoolers, I think it would be fun for them to listen for the sounds/words that rhyme and try and guess what the rhyme is about from the pictures. Not a bad way to spark interest in learning a foreign language!

Also tempted to purchase, from Zauleck

For more PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) titles, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: susannahill.blogspot.com

From the same stand at the Leipziger Buchmesse:

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