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…


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


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


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.

PPBF: Move Over, Rover!

MoveOver,Rover!CoverAuthor: Karen Beaumont
Illustrator: Jane Dyer
Publisher: Harcourt, 2006
Age: 2-5
Themes: animals, shelter, sharing
OpeningRover’s in the dog house, chewing on a bone. What a day to romp and play! Too bad he’s all alone.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When a storm comes, Rover expects to have his doghouse all to himself but finds that various other animals, including a skunk, come to join him.

MoveOver,Rover!1Why I like this book: This is a great rhyming read aloud with a stinky surprise ending! Perfect for toddlers.

MoveOver,Rover!2Resources/Activities: a good companion read to The Mitten; try putting this on as a pre-school play, narrated by a parent or teacher; discuss how animals seek shelter in a storm.

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

PPBF: Dylan the Villain

DylantheVillainCoverAuthor/Illustrator: K.G. Campbell
Publisher: Viking, 2016
Age: 4-6
Themes: heroes, villains, friendship
OpeningMr. and Mrs. Snivels were minding their own business, when they happened to have a baby.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Dylan is the baddest little super-villain this side of pre-school? Until he meets the dreaded Addison Van Malice. When their teacher holds a Diabolical Robot Building Contest, Dylan sets out to prove he is the most sinister super-villain of all time.

DylanVillain1Why I like this book: I was taken with the cover, and my interest anchored with the opening line! I especially like the juxtaposition in using soft color and lines, which is quite the opposite of what we usually find in comics or graphic novels portraying villains or superheroes. And of course the dry humor, in both text and illustrations. Although my own child suffers from severe food allergies, I think this will be a good segue into discussing how very dangerous it can be to expose someone to an allergen intentionally, and at the same time let those having to deal with allergies see a little humor in the tragedy of it all.

DylanVillain3Resources/Activities: discuss food allergies and the tragic consequences of exposure; talk about the possible differences between villains and super-heroes, and the different ways their stories can be told; why do you think the author/illustrator chose the colors he did and how do colors amplify what an author wants us to understand about main characters?

DylanVillain4.pngFor more Perfect Picture BooDylanVillain5k picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.


PPBF: Leave Me Alone

LeaveMeAloneCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Vera Brosgol
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press, 2016
Age: 4-7
Themes: grandmothers, knitting, family
Summary: (from the publisher) An epic tale about one grandmother, a giant sack of yarn, and her ultimate quest to finish her knitting.

LeaveMeAlone1.pngWhy I like this book: An editor at Roaring Brook showed me this one back in February, and I have been sooo good at waiting sooo long to share it with you! I love finding picture books with an adult as the main protagonist, and I have totally fallen for this snarky Grandmother! Actually, I fell for the cover straight away! AND it’s a great read-aloud! The superb color palette and beautifully rendered compositions are icing on the cake!

LeaveMeAlone2Resources/Activities: learn how to knit at Imagination Soup: HERE

LeaveMeAlone3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.


PPBF: Green Wilma

GreenWilmaCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Sydney Hanson
Publisher: Dial, 1993
Age: 3-6
Themes: frogs, frog habits, dreams
OpeningOne morning, Wilma woke up green, and much to her surprise she sat up on her bed and croaked and started eating flies.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Waking up with a frog-like appearance, Wilma proves disruptive at school as she searches for some tasty flies.

GreenWilma1Why I like this book: A hilarious rhyming read aloud, perfect for those going back to school! The bright illustrations really make the story come to life! A superb classic!

GreenWilma2.jpgResources/Activities: discuss what other habits frogs or toads have that might make it difficult to live in a human world and fit in well; Are all frogs green? What is the difference between a frog and a toad? What kind of frogs and/or toads can you find in your area?

GreenWilma3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.


PPBF: The Wolves of Currumpaw

WolvesOfCurrumpawCoverAuthor/Illustrator: William Grill
Publisher: Flying Eye Books, 2016
Age: 7-14
Themes: wolves, wildlife conservation, New Mexico
OpeningHalf a million wolves once roamed freely across North America, but with the arrival of European settlers the habitats of the animals began to change.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Lobo, the legendary leader of a band of cattle-killing wolves has been terrorizing cattle ranchers and their livestock in the American Southwest. Bounty hunter Ernest Thompson Seton, sets out to trap and exterminate Lobo. “A beautiful re-telling of the first story from Ernest Thompson Seton’s 1898 Classic, Wild Animals I Have Known”–publisher.

WolvesOfCurrumpaw1Resources/Activities: Why I like this book: I deeply admire William Grill’s visual storytelling skills (see my recommendation for Shackleton’s Journey HERE) and was so pleased to find this in the library! I made myself a nice cup of coffee and sat down with it as soon as I got home but barely took a sip, I was so riveted. By the time I finished my coffee was cold, and I was sopping up my tears! A sad AND beautifully told story you will not regret reading. I promise!

WolvesOfCurrumpaw2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.



PPBF: Next to You

NextToYouCoverAuthor: Lori Haskins Houran
Illustrator: Sydney Hanson
Publisher: Albert Whitman, 2016
Age: 2-5
Themes: animals, cuteness, parent/child relationships
OpeningNext to you, the softest puppy in the world is only kind of cute.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When it comes to new babies, friends, or other loved ones, we should remind them of just how darling they are. But are they cuter than a piglet in a sweater? A basket of baby chicks? An elephant calf taking a bath? Of course! Sweet, funny, irreverent, but above all, CUTE, this keepsake-size book is perfect for both gift-giving and cuddly story times.

NextToYou1.pngWhy I like this book: Amazing how this one can be so funny and touching at the same time. You’re going to want to buy this one for someone you like to be next to!

NextToYou2Resources/Activities: great for learning how to draw a child’s face, esp a small child; I could see this being used in a biology class, discussing evolution and how we are wired to take care of our young.

NextToYou3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.