PPBF: Clown

ClownCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Quentin Blake
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 1995
Ages: 3-8yrs
Themes: wordless stories, toys, home
Summary: (from my library catalog)After being discarded, Clown makes his way through town having a series of adventures as he tries to find a home for himself and his other toy friends.

Clown1

I like this book because: I too have once been discarded (some friendships just don’t last), and immediately found myself able to empathize with Clown and understand his struggle to feel secure again. I’m glad he didn’t give up either! Yeah, it made me a little weepy, but happy too! I’ve been on a Quentin Blake spree, reading books he has illustrated and/or written, biography materials and interviews too. Whew – it’s been a fun and enlightening ride! He also helped establish the House of Illustration, a home for the art of illustration. Read more on Blake’s exhibit there- HERE, or a visit to the museum by kid-lit author Pippa Goodhart from the Picture Book Den blog – HERE

Clown2

Resources/activities: this is a great book to read when discussing emotions, understanding them, learning the difference between sympathy and empathy, as well as character traits like perseverance. One could also touch on hygiene and why it would be a good thing to clean toys found in the trash before we use (and love!) them.

Clownspot4

For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

Clown4

Check out the red button in the sidebar – yes, that one. Click it. Now go make your own – HERE

Advertisements

PPBF: Farewell Floppy

FarewellFloppyCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Benjamin Chaud (Engl. translation: Taylor Norman)
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2015 (orig. published: Adieu Chausette, hélium/Actes Sud, 2010)
Ages: 4 and up
Themes: pets, friendship, responsibility
Opening: Floppy, that’s my rabbit. That’s his name because of his ears. They don’t stand up straight like other rabbits’. 
Summary: (from my library catalog) A boy feels that he is too old for his pet rabbit, so he tries to turn Floppy loose in the woods–but when he realizes that he really loves his pet, and returns for him, Floppy is nowhere to be found.

FFEndpapers

Why I like this book: I picked it up because of the book’s vertical format (8 x 0.5 x 12.5 inches) and the illustrator’s work (another PPBF pick of mine HERE). But at first I was not taken with the text – WHHAAAAH? But, I read on – so something must have been working because I am a tosser (over the shoulder but with a soft landing). If I am not grabbed in the first 2 pages, 3 max, the book is airborne. The illustrations invited me to keep going. but the last line on page 2 got me:  “So I had to let him go.” Yikes! I had to follow the mc and find out how he planned to do this! When you’ve read it too let me know what you think. I fell, big time! A Kirkus review did not, and as with all books, it keeps me wondering about personal tastes and how we form opinions – too deep a topic for this recommendation though. Do give it a go!

FF5Resources/activities: discuss pet care and the connected responsibilities, and choosing the right pet; learn about lop-eared rabbits; contact your local Humane Society to arrange a visit; tell the story with puppets.FF4

For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

FFspot

PPBF: Leave Your Sleep

LYScoverCollection of Classic Children’s Poetry: adapted to music by Natalie Merchant
Illustrator: Barbara McClintock
Publisher: Frances Foster Books, FSG, 2012
Ages: 5-9yrs
Themes: poetry
Opening: (from The Land of Nod, R.L.Stevenson) From breakfast on all through the day, At home among my friends I stay; But every night I go abroad, Afar into the land of Nod.
Summary: (from my library catalog) This collection of classic children’s poetry, adapted to music by Natalie Merchant, opens the door to a wondrous world filled with witches and fearless girls, blind men and elephants, giants and sailors and dancing bears. Leave Your Sleepfeatures a daring and delightful selection, ranging from the beloved (e.e. cummings, Edward Lear, and Jack Prelutsky) to the undiscovered (the young Nathalia Crane). Natalie Merchant’s brilliant musical renderings, selected from her highly praised album, share the stage with Barbara McClintock’s richly imagined art to create a memorable reading, looking, and listening experience.

LYS4

I like this book because: I’ll admit I hadn’t even opened the book before I melted: McClintock’s illustrations are so rich and divinely rendered that i sat and stared, carefully turning each page as slowly as possible, soaking it all in. I have always loved to leaf through collections, laughing at silly sounds and notions, and wondering why the illustrator decided to illustrate just that particular part of it. Beautifully done, these are lifetime treasures.

LYS3

Resources/activities: Watch Merchant perform the poems in a TED Talk – HERE; choose a particularly descriptive line or phrase from any of the poems to illustrate something from; learn a poem by heart, from this book or another.

LYS2

For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: Das Wurzelkind/ The Root Child

Tomorrow, April 4th, is the birthday of Belgian illustrator and recipient of the 2010 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Kitty Crowther. And though she may not be well known in the US, it is where I first saw her work, albeit in the World Languages section of my library (see my review of ¿Entonces?/Then? – HERE). Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick is the only ‘Crowther’ I was able to find on the fly (why, why didn’t I order ahead?), while traveling through Germany last month. Read more about Crowther and her work at picturebookmakers.com HERE

Author/Illustrator: Kitty Crowther, translated from the French by Bernadette Ott
Publisher: Aladin Verlag, 2014 (originally published in French by l’ecole des loisirs, 2003)
Ages: 5 and up
Themes: forest creatures, fairies, friendship
Opening: my translation: This story takes place in a deep, deep forest. (Diese Geschichte spielt in einem tiefen, tiefen Wald.)
Summary: (from the publisher) my translation attempt: A fox lures Leslie in the dense undergrowth of the deep woods, not found on any map. In a clearing she meets a secretive creature that will change her life in wonderful ways. (Original: Ein Fuchs lockt Leslie ins dichte Unterholz eines tiefen Waldes, der in keiner Karte verzeichnet ist. Auf einer Lichtung begegnet sie dort einem geheimnisvollen Wesen, das ihr Leben auf wunderbare Weise verändern wird.)

W1

I bought this book because: it may have been the only Crowther book I could find, but the illustrations are charming and I would have picked it anyway! They possess so much energy while maintaining a a level of secrecy, of mystery, always leaving me wanting more. It’s a folk tale, unlike conventional American counterparts in word count and style, but universal in the telling of how a wild creature might not adapt to a home life.

W2

Resources/activities: as this book may not be available in English I won’t add activities for it, but would like to invite caregivers and children to explore the world languages departments of their local bookstores and libraries.

W4

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KITTY!

For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE