PPBF: My Friends/Mis Amigos and Botas NUEVAS

Author/Illustrator: Taro Gomi
Publisher: Chronicle Books, English 1990/Spanish 2006
Age Level: 4-8
Themes: growth, animals, Spanish language materials-bilingual
Opening: I Learned to walk from my friend the cat. De mi amigo el gato aprendi a caminar.
Summary: A little girl learns to walk climb and study the earth with help form her friends most of which are animals.


Poor scan – sorry!

Why I like this book: I can’t say I have seen many appealing bilingual books, but I also haven’t been searching them out. The vibrantly colors and simple forms are brilliantly composed in what  might be the perfect book to introduce young readers to bilingual language skills – even for me! (I am still grateful to my great second grade teacher, Mrs. Beck, for teaching us Spanish songs!) I’ve just discovered this is the same author behind a rather famous book – Everybody Poops; he has over 400 titles to his credit, so I shouldn’t have trouble finding more!
Resources/Activities: Talk about friendship; What is a friend? How do you make friends? What can you do with a friend? Can you have more than one?

While we’re on the subject of Perfect Picture Books, I’d like to show you a book I found in the World Languages/Spanish section of my library, that I fell in love with, despite not being able to decipher all the words:

Author/Illustrator: Guido Van Genechten
Publisher: Editorial Juventud, 2002; originally published in Dutch by Clavis Vitgevereij, 1997
Age Level: 2 and up
Themes: new boots
Opening: Jan tiene unas botas NUEVAS.
Summary: A little boy explores his surroundings in his new boots.

Why I like this book: The cover is cute, but the red end pages with hats and planes folded from newspaper sold me! And because the concept is simple, and simply delightful! Read a great interview from someone who must have understood all the words at Little Book Bugs.

For more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE

PPBF: A Kick in the Head

Author: Paul B. Janeczko
Illustrator: Chris Raschka
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2005
Age Level: 8 and up
Themes: poetic forms
Opening: Tercet, by Joan Bransfield Graham
Kitchen crickets make a din,
sending taunts to chilly kin,
“You’re outside, but we got in.”
Summary: (subtitle) An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms; In this splendid and playful volume — second of a trilogy — an acclaimed creative team presents examples of twenty-nine poetic forms, demonstrating not only the (sometimes bendable) rules of poetry, but also the spirit that brings these forms to life. Featuring poems from the likes of Eleanor Farjeon (aubade), X. J. Kennedy (elegy), Ogden Nash (couplet), Liz Rosenberg (pantoum), and William Shakespeare, the sonnet king himself. A Kick in the Head perfectly illustrates Robert Frost’s maxim that poetry without rules is like a tennis match without a net.
Why I like this book: All the poems are such fun, but what a great way to learn about all the forms – and feel inspired to write your own! Read it now and you’ll be ready for…next Valentine’s Day!
Resources/Activities: read more books on poems like: A Poke in the I, and A Foot in  the Mouth, the other two in the trilogy; or great for boys: Good Sports, poems by Jack Prelutsky, illustrations by Chris Raschka; Alfred A. Knopf, 2007 – see the illustration spread from Good Sports below; AND WRITE POETRY!


For more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE

Valentine: Bee Mine

Last Friday night, I attended an interesting talk on design approach by Tim Prestero, CEO of Design That Matters. Their project: Firefly. Yes, my town is hot: the local uni biz department invited me (and the rest of the community) to yet another cool event. The co-sponsors have such neat logos I have to include them.


Then I indulged in a Co-Pilot tray at O’Dells (gift idea for Valentine’s: Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout) and managed the table-top ring-toss three times! Skills, I tell ya!


THEN I went home and made this for my scbwi regional chapter’s illustrator meet-up: Valentine Bee Mine. I had to create something three dimensional. And yes, I made up the weird name too.


PPBF: The Day It Rained Hearts

Author/Illustrator: Felicia Bond
Publisher: Laura Geringer Books, 2002
Age Level: 4-6yrs
Themes: valentines, rain, imagination, friendship
Opening: One day it started raining hearts. and Cornelia Augusta caught one.
Summary: (from the publisher) Originally published in 1983 as Four Valentines in a Rainstorm, The Day It Rained Hearts follows young Cornelia Augusta as she makes creative use of a most unusual downpour. Along with the name change, Bond’s offering has also been enlarged, adding a generous white frame around sweet and simple vignettes of Cornelia fashioning a quartet of handcrafted Valentine’s Day cards; includes a heart-themed sticker sheet.
What I think: This is my favorite Valentine’s Day related book. It’s simple story is heartwarming and so much fun I wish it would happen to me! Personally, I prefer the former title, and the lack of valentines in the tree in the last illo – the original illustration ‘leaves’ you free to imagine!

Resources/Activities: What else – make your own Valentine’s Day Cards! Talk about what each recipient likes and fashion the cards to suit; Stories about friends and valentines, songs and finger plays.

For more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE

Groundhog Day!


Sunny and 37 in Fort Collins, Colorado this morning – don’t tell Uncle Phil!

Sad excuse for a photo, but I’m in a rush – dance party tonight! In case you are not familiar, this is my friend Phyllis who visited us last year on her World Tour. 

These are her fabulous books, written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler – visit Susanna’s blog for more fun today!