PPBF: The Pilot and the Little Prince


Author/Illustrator: Peter Sis
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014
Ages: 5-8yrs
Themes: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, authors, airpilots
Opening: Long ago in France, at the turn of the last century, a little boy was born to be an adventurer.
Summary: (from my Aaron Reynold’s website) A biography of French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince.


I like this book because: it’s an aesthetically masterful tribute to the author and adventurer, making it so easy to float away and get lost in the life story of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry as a pilot and author. I certainly did, but donning my reading glasses enabled a close look at all of the smaller spot illustrations that accompany the timeline (and some very fine print!). The book makes you want to know more about de Saint-Exupéry, but more importantly, it wakes the spirit of adventure! All in time for what would have been de Saint-Exupéry’s 114th birthday on June 29th.


Resources/activities: I see this book AS a wonderful resource and companion book to The Little Prince (suggested age level 7+), as well as for a transportation unit; a wonderful example to inspire students to illustrate a scene from literature as a visual activity; listen to the interview with Peter Sis on NPR – HERE

de Saint-Exupéry’s most famous book was first published in the US

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s early sketches for “The Little Prince.” (all images courtesy The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, © Estate of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, photographed by Graham S. Haber, 2013)

Perfect Picture Book Friday is on hiatus for the summer, but there are still plenty of selections on a themed and alphabetized list, with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

End papers, and the 'Lucky Day' selection slip from my library.

End papers, and the ‘Lucky Day’ selection slip from my library.

And I could not resist doodling Le Petite Prince myself:

LePetitePrince cropped

PPBF: Pirates vs. Cowboys

PiratesVCowboys Author: Aaron Reynolds
Illustrator: David Barneda
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Ages: 5-8yrs
Themes: pirates, cowboys, communication
Opening: Burnt Beard the Pirate was the scourge of the seven seas, the four oceans, and several lakes.His scurvy crew had ransacked so many ships and pillaged so many villages that all their treasure had them riding low and slow. It was time to go ashore and bury the booty.
Summary: (from my Aaron Reynold’s website) It’s a bad, sad day when Burnt Beard the pirate and his scurvy crew swagger into the town of Old Cheyenne. They run smack-dab into Black Bob McKraw and his posse of horn-swagglin’ varmints. Trouble is none of these cowboys can speak Pirate. And none of those pirates can speak Cowboy! And that’s a recipe for trouble. Can anybody bring this explosive situation to a sweet smelling end?

Preliminary sketch for the cover

I like this book because: it’s got language! Haha! Pirate and cowboy talk, and therefore this is THE perfect read-aloud for anyone who loves to get into voice. It also shows that misunderstandings are not always obvious, and solutions can come with something as simple as a bath! The illustrations are hilarious, though sometimes I found a few details that were too dark to pick up (good excuse to read again, though!).


Resources/activities: discuss how language and lack of understanding could cause strife, and ask students what solutions they can think of to bridge a gap; fun book to read for a unit on migration; discuss how one language can have such different dialects – how is that possible?; draw your own pirates or cowboys using animals that have a geo graphical connection; read the book for Sept.19th – Int’l. Talk Like a Pirate Day – more info HERE


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

My new favorite character: Pegleg Highnoon

PPBF: Jumpy Jack & Googily

Author: Meg Rosoff
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Publisher: Henry Holt, 2008
Ages: 4-8blogspot.com: friendship, monsters, snails
Opening: “I’m nervous,” said Jumpy Jack to his best friend, Googily. “There could be a monster nearby and I’m scared of monsters.” “Don’t be ridiculous,” said Googily.


Summary: (from my library catalog) Jumpy Jack the snail is terrified that there are monsters around every corner despite the reassurances of his best friend, Googily.



I like this book because: I really have a soft spot for books that let the reader in on what is oblivious to (at least one of) the characters. Here we have Jumpy Jack describing his fear of monsters, and describing his friend Googily to a teeThe beautifully detailed artwork slimes it’s snaily way right into the heart – check out the tea cozy below!

Resources/activities: Check out the prepared literature unit activities from edHelp.com – HERE;Read Kay Yeh’s article: Why Picture Books Are Important – HERE

Photo courtesy of Kat Yeh

Photo courtesy of Kat Yeh8

For more Perfect Picture Book picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s bolg at susannahill.blogspot.com

Idea note_20140612_072943_04(1)-1

PPBF: Where’s My Teddy


Author/Illustrator: Jez Alborough
Publisher: Candlewick, 1992
Ages: 3-7yrs
Themes: teddy bears, bears, stories in rhyme
Opening: Eddie’s off to find his teddy. Eddie’s teddy’s name is Freddie.
Summary: (from the book) When a small boy named Eddie goes searching for his lost teddy in the dark woods, he comes across a gigantic bear with a similar problem.


I like this book: The concept is incredibly simple, AND it makes me happy to read. The rhythm carries the reader quickly into the story, slows at the climax, and relaxes in a very comfortable ending. This may be the first PPBF pick where I am not totally enamored with the illustrations, because Eddie’s head gets a little lost on the forest floor, but I’m okay with that – hope you are too!


Resources/activities: Book specific primary teaching resources – HERE; I’m guessing this would be fun to act out, with puppets or ‘for reals’! Print and cut the simple knock-offs below, glue them on popsicle sticks or rilled up scrap paper, and ‘on with the shooooow’!

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