Belated WIX: Prendere in Giro

It’s Thursday, late again. Scusi.

We all like to make fun, tease or pull someone’s leg. And I am a well known sucker. Yep, I fall for everything!

Hold on though, the Italians like to spin or take around. Or even give you a drink: cercare di darla a bere. Either way you may have difficulty walking a straight line afterwards!

German’s will take your arm: auf den Arm nehmen; a well-mannered jest!

The French come closer to taking you for a ride: faire marche, though you’ll have to walk! (Or hitch a ride with the Swedes: driva med nån). They might put more effort in it and play a trick on you:  jouer un tour à vous which directly translated is play a turn. That could make you dizzy too!

Finally, if you’re goofing with friends in Argentina you might want to keep your hat on: Tomarle el pelo a alguien so the don’t drink your hair!

Loss of Legend: Leo Dillon

Leo Dillon: 3.2.1933-5.26.2012

I knew what I had before it was gone. Leo Dillon and his wife Diane are not only one of the most successful illustrator partnerships but also among the most influential. I never knew Leo Dillon personally, but his work has guided mine and inspired countless others by striving for beauty and perfection in the world of picture book illustration. And will continue to uplift the hearts of children, and the child in our hearts, all over the world. Thank you Leo.

The Art of Leo & Diane Dillon: An online archive dedicated to sharing the work of Leo and Diane Dillon

PPBF: Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth

Author: Kate Klise
Illustrator: M. Sarah Klise
Publisher:Harcourt, 2010
Genre: fiction
Themes: rabbits, mother and child, circus, cleanliness, behavior
Age Level: 4 and up
Opening: Little Rabbit heard the drums beating far away. It could mean only one thing. “The circus is in town! The circus is in town!” Little Rabbit cheered. 
Synopsis: Upset that his mother will not let him go out until he cleans his playroom, Little Rabbit sneaks away to join the circus and sells tickets by promising the audience a view of the Meanest Mother on Earth.
For more posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources visit Susanna Hill’s blog every Friday

WIX: The Dream of Cats Is All About Mice

cats, dogs, Arabic, idioms, Julie Rowan-ZochI thought the English translation might snag more interest over the original Arabic: hilm il-‘utaat kullu firaan.

In the pre-modern Middle East region cats maintained a high standing, higher than dogs anyway. At times dogs were hung or buried with the corpses of rebels and dissidents as an expression of contempt. No sharing living spaces with the religiously observant either. Bad dog! This prejudice has survived and owning one is still frowned upon.

Back to cats, though not yet to those dreaming of mice: in 13th century Cairo Mamluk sultan al-Zahir Baybars kept a garden for pampering purring pets. Even into the 1830’s the British orientalist E.W. Lane observed  that people still brought baskets of tasty treats for the cats in the garden of the High Court, fulfilling  obligations of the sultan’s endowment for his feline friends.

Muslim scholars wrote odes in honor of the protectors of their precious books from critters…such as mice. There are thousands of mystical Sufi stories including cats. They were famous in Islamic art; Muslim calligraphers used brushes made of the fur of long-haired cats – some bred just for this purpose.

Cats! Cats! Cats! But what does the idiom mean, you say, as I lead you astray? Exactly what I’ve been telling you: to have a one track mind!

A Birthday Present From Me to You

Susanna Leonard Hill’s Birthday Contest: write a children’s story about a very creative and/or unique birthday celebration in 300 words or less.  Poetry or prose, your choice.

Here’s my entry: A Birthday Present From Me to You

Your birthday is tomorrow. I want to give you a present, but I don’t know what.

Mom tried to help. “Think of things Riley likes to do.”

You like to ride your bicycle. You have a helmet and a bell.

You like to read. You have 2 big bookshelves and a library card.

You like taking naps. You have gazillions of stuffed animals and a moon pillow.

“ I don’t know what else Riley likes to do.”

“Does Riley draw? How about some crayons or paint?”

“Riley already has every art thing, and a humungous collection of coloring books.”


“At least 7 different decks, and every board game I can think of.”

“You know what Mom? I don’t think there’s anything Riley doesn’t have.”

“Then let’s put our brains together for more idea power!”

Mom called it brainstorming. We said anything that came in to our heads. But nothing came into my head. No storm, not even a breeze.

Mom said, “This calls for something drastic, like a special weapon!”

“A WEAPON? You know Riley can’t have weapons either Mom!”

“I’m sorry,” she said, “That’s not quite what I meant! What we need to do now, is turn the problem on its head.”

“Like upside-down?

“We have to see it in another way,” Mom said. “Instead of thinking what Riley would like to get, try to think of something you would like to give.”

“Aww, Mom. That’s the same thing.” Mom sent me outside to think about it.

I want to give you something special. Something you don’t have. Something you’ll like. Something no one else can give you.

That’s it! Something only I can give you! I went straight to work. It took all day.


Migrant: Perfect Picture Book Friday


Illustrator: Isabelle Arsenault
Publisher: Groundwood Books, 2011
Genre: fiction
Themes: migrant workers, siblings, imagination
Age Level: 4-7
Opening: There are times when Anna feels like a bird. It is the birds, after all, that fly north in the spring and south every fall, chasing the sun, following the warmth.
Synopsis: This is the story of Anna and her family, Mennonite migrant workers from Mexico who must travel north each year to work in Canada.
I follow this fabulous illustrator’s work, but the theme is intriguing for a picture book. It is beautiful, and would be a great addition to the classroom.
Resource Link:From Teaching Tolerance:  “dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation’s children.”
For more posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources visit Susanna Hill’s blog every Friday

WIX: Better Late Than Never

Okay. It’s Thursday, but…better late than never!

Looks like just about everyone has the same thing to say, but look at the fun patterns when placed together !

Icelandic: betra seint en aldrei

Norwegian: bedre sent enn aldri

Swedish: bättre sent än aldrig

Danish: bedre sent end aldrig

German: Besser spaet als nie.

Dutch: beter laat dan nooit

Afrikaans: Beter laat as nooit

French: Mieux vaut tard que jamais.

Italian: Meglio tardi che mai

Spanish: mejor tarde que nunca

Portuguese: antes tarde do que nunca

Croatian: bolje kasno nego nikad

Latvian: labāk vēlu nekā nekad

Czech: lepší pozdě než nikdy

Polish: lepiej późno niż wcale

Estonian: parem hilja kui mitte kunagi

Finnish: parempi myöhään kuin ei milloinkaan