A Picture for a Poem – with B.j. Lee

 

MuchAdo:BjLeeCheck out the poem B.j. wrote,  posted on her blog: http://bluewindow.weebly.com/home/much-ado-about-a-do

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PPBF: The Stupids Die

StupidsCover

Author: Harry Allard
Illustrator: James Marshall
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1985
Ages: 5-8yrs
Themes: humorous stories
Opening: One morning Stanley Q. Stupid woke up with a funny feeling. “Something really stupid is going to happen today,” he said. “Oh, wow!” said the two Stupid kids.
Summary: (from my library catalog) The Stupid family think they are dead when the lights go out.

StupidsShower

I like this book because: it’s just plain silly! Well, silly – yes, but plain? No! I don’t know if such a title could get published today, but I certainly hope it would. I love that each page has a singular idea that is so thought provoking you cannot help but linger; each illustration seems simple, yet has subtle clues that allow the reader to be in on the picture beyond the picture. As per usual, Marshall used a limited color palette. An easy choice? Maybe, yet the limitation pushes certain elements forward, as with the silhouette above or the fingernails below.

StupidsTV

StupidsDress

Resources/activities: If you think Mrs. stupids dress is so very preposterous, have a look at the dress below and the exhibit of feathered fashions HERE; read other titles in The Stupids series – list posted HERE; suggested use for the classroom at The Hungry Readers HERE

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

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“That’s the only thing I truly envy Jim for. Deep envy. I think The Stupids Die is the best title ever. . .”
–– Maurice Sendak

PPBF: Adelaide, The Flying Kangaroo

Author/Illustrator: Tomi Ungerer
Publisher: Phaidon Press, 2011 (First published in German, Diogenes, 1980)
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: kangaroos, flight, courage, uniqueness
Opening: Adelaide’s parents were surprised when they saw that their daughter had wings.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Adelaide, a kangaroo with wings, discovers that her unique anatomy and abilities bring her fame and fortune in Paris.

I like this book because: the story line does not follow ‘traditional’  patterns and norms,  as in escalating scenes or the protagonist having a strong hand in solving the ‘conflict’. Adelaide doesn’t see her uniqueness as a problem, she embraces it.  That was enough to satisfy me, as well as Ungerer’s ability to tell so much with so few lines. I recently watched a documentary on Ungerer, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, and was touched by the way Maurice Sendalk spoke of him. In an article Sendak once described Ungerer’s work as passionate and personal – “it’s marvelous and it’s cuckoo and it’s that kind of veracity that’s always made for good children’s literature” (The New York Times, Sept 2011). Random tidbit: Amazon has a choking hazard warning for this book on their site! Go figure!

Resources/activitiesVintage Kid’s Books My Kid Loves posted a recommendation, and a list of Ungerer titles you might be interested in – click on any of the links for more on each book; discuss things that might make us unique, special and different from other family members or friends.

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

“Be different so that people can see you clearly amongst the crowds.” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

PPBF: The Sea Serpent and Me

 

Author: Dashka Slater
Illustrator: Catia Chien
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 2008
Ages: 6-9yrs
Themes: sea serpents, friendship, growth
Opening: On Tuesday, as I was about to climb into the bath, a sea serpent dropped out of the faucet and into the tub.
Summary: (from my library catalog) One day a small sea serpent falls from the faucet into the tub as a child is about to take a bath, and as the days go by and the serpent grows, they both realize that he needs to go back to the sea where he belongs.

TitleSSandMe

I like this book because: the story reminds me of childhood dreams of just such an experience (who am I kidding – still hoping!), written simply and beautifully – “the clouds drifted over green jungles and silvery cities…” – yet the undertone is exciting with an anxious pull. The illustrations are flowing, loose yet captivating, as you can see – and believe it or not, I did not post the best spreads – you’ll have to check them out yourself!

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Resources/activities: I will forever appreciate how a friend of the family, Risa, taught me to appreciate the smallest of creatures, not to be frightened when they take interest in my personal space, but to help them find a way to a more suitable environment – for us both! Discuss the natural habitats of creatures and why it is important to respect them; Create an inviting habitat: plant flowers and shrubbery for butterflies, bees, and other wildlife in your back yard, or school grounds; Take a field trip to the beach, the woods, or a stream – pick up plastic rings, bottles, and other trash that can kill birds, turtles, dolphins, and other animals.

SSandMepage

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

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The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man. — Charles Darwin

PPBF: Big Wolf & Little Wolf

Author: Nadine Brun-Cosme
Illustrator: Olivier Tallec
Publisher: Enchanted Lion, 2010
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: wolves, feelings, friendship, loneliness
Opening: Big Wolf lived under his tree at the top of a hill. It had always been that way. Then one day Little Wolf arrived. He came from so far away that at first he looked no bigger than a dot.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Big Wolf has always lived alone at the top of a hill under a tree, so when a little wolf suddenly arrives one day, he does not know what to think.

I like this book because: I love the illustrations (big surprise, Patricia?), but more importantly this is a very touching story on the evolution of a friendship, told slowly, gently, creating the perfect tension. Bet you couldn’t read it fast if you wanted to! Perfect accompaniment for a lollipop.

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Resources/activities: Read the other books in this series: Big Wolf and Little Wolf, Such A Beautiful Orange!, and Big Wolf and Little Wolf, The Little Leaf That Wouldn’t Fall; watch the following interview with Tallec on his books, Waterloo & Trafalgar and Big Wolf & Little Wolf; discuss friendship, sharing and loneliness.

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

BWLW

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit. – Aristotle