I had made this sketch first thing this morning, as the sun was creeping in my window. It was meant for a birthday greeting, but it suits the end of SkADaMo and PiBoIdMo so well – a new dawn, fresh and ready to flesh out those picture book ideas (30!) in word and image! And this is my 300th blog post to boot! Thanks for hanging in there, everyone!
Author/Illustrator: John Agee
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2013
Age Level: 3-5 (says Amazon – but I’d put that up to 8)
Themes: young Santa, North Pole
Opening: In the North Pole, in a little cabin, lived Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their seven children, Larry, Mary, Willy, Millie, Joey, Zoe, and Santa.
Summary: (From Amazon) Little Santa loves the North Pole. The rest of his family? Not so much. So, when they decide to move to Florida, Santa is miserable. Lucky for him, a blizzard foils their plans. The only way out of the house is up the chimney. Up goes Santa, to look for help, and along the way, he meets a reindeer and a large group of elves, who are more than eager to join in the rescue!
Why I like this book: Simplicity, both in the illustrations and in the storytelling. His frowning family helps the reader identify with this cold and snow loving character in a red suit all the more. I could easily imagine where the story was going, yet I was excited at every page turn! And I know my dear friend Penny Klosterman just reviewed this last week, but I wrote this up weeks ago and it IS THAT GOOD – so pooh! And since there is no PPBF today, it won’t harm anyone!
Resources/Activities: Christmas books are not found in too many classrooms anymore. Debatable, but I believe too much political correctness wipes us clean of culture. But this is one that should be shared for ideas alone, especially good for kids who begin to ask why – and don’t stop! This could be a great lead-in to help kids come up with story ideas: imagine how any cultural figure, mythical or otherwise, started out.
No new ones today, but for other Perfect Picture Book picks with activity resources, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE
In honor of Charlotte Zolotow – June 26, 1915 – November 19, 2013 – poet, editor, publisher and author of more than 70 picture books.
Author: Charlotte Zolotow
Illustrator: Maurice Sendak
Publisher: Scholastic Book Services, 1968 (originally published in 1962)
Themes: rabbits, birthdays, color
Opening: “Mr. Rabbit,” said the little girl, “I want help.” ” Help, little girl, I’ll give you help if I can, ” said Mr. Rabbit.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Mr. Rabbit helps a little girl find a colorful present for her mother’s birthday. Mrs. Zolotow had submitted it as The Color Book, but it was turned down because it was initially a collection of poems without any children or relationships. Eventually she revised it, using color to help a child choose a birthday gift (see resource link below for more). Persistence paid off: it is one of her most popular books and now available in many languages.
Why I like this book: is Mr. Rabbit’s personality, his matter-of-fact dry but gentle humor, and his patience with the little girl demanding his help. Most of all his final wish for her mother’s birthday…” a happy basket of fruit.”
Resources/Activities: Read more on how the book came about on the Charlotte Zolotow website – HERE ; prepared activities from Live Oak Media – HERE
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks and parent/teacher resources go to Susanna Hill’s blog – HERE
Snow still falling, perfect for an old favorite in the dark, the Powell and Pressburger classic: The Red Shoes.
Last of the posting skadamoers (this year!):