PPBF: Imaginary Fred


Author: Eoin Colfer
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Publisher: Harper, 2015 (Originally published in the UK by HarperCollins)
Ages: 4-8
Themes: friendship, imaginary friends, loneliness
Opening: Headaches are a pain. A bee sting hurts even more. But there’s one thing that’s worse than getting stung on the3 head by a bee on a rainy day, and that is…loneliness. 


Summary: (from my library catalog)Fred is the best imaginary friend you could ever hope for, but no matter how hard he tries, the same thing always happens: his friend finds a friend in the real world, and Fred fades away, bit by bit, waiting to be wished for again… Then one day, a boy named Sam wishes for a friend, and Fred appears! For a while everything is perfect. But what about the day when Sam finds a real friend? Could it be that this time, something magical might happen…?.


I like this book because: though I usually get turned off the moment I see longer text in a picture book, I read on this time and was glad I did. It’s a story describing an imaginary friendship and how it comes about, but it gets to the heart of what friendship means, in spite of our imagination! Ach, and there’s Jeffers’ light touch and simplicity – can’t be beat. Nope. And right now, I know I’d be a driveling mess without mine.


Resources/activities: design your own imaginary friend; watch the book trailer HERE


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

PPBF: Ear Muffs for Everyone

EarmuffscoverAuthor/Illustrator: Meghan McCarthy
Publisher: Paula Wisemann/S&S, 2015
Ages: 4-8
Themes: ear muffs, ear warmers, inventors, patents
Opening: The word “muff” has been around since the Middle Ages. Starting in the 1700’s, people wore muffs on their hands to keep them warm, like this: ‘This muff keeps my hands so very warm!’
Summary: (from my library catalog) This picture book biography of Chester Greenwood explores the invention of the earmuffs and the patenting process.

earmuffsendpapersI like this book because: it’s not all about who invented earmuffs, or as the title says, ‘How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs’, it goes into depth about the information we get and how we need to look deeper into the history of an invention – or patent – to really know how the object came about. It will help them to question things they hear and take for granted. The art is fabulous – McCarthy has such a wonderful way of bringing to our attention what could otherwise be seen dry information yet it’s all so much fun in her books – do check out her website: http://www.meghan-mccarthy.com/; or this article in School Library Journal.

earmuffs1Resources/activities: try and make your own earmuffs – video instructions here; if you are lucky, maybe there is a patent museum near you, like the Hagley Museum I visited in PA – HERE

earmuffs3For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HEREearmuffsback


PPBF: Sharing the Bread

SharingcoverAuthor: Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrator: Jill McElmurry
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade, 2015
Ages: 4-8
Themes: family, Thanksgiving, stories in rhyme
Opening: Mama, fetch the cooking pot. Fetch our turkey-cooking pot. Big and old and black and squat. Mama, fetch the pot.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal a family’s preparations for their Thanksgiving feast, with everyone pitching in to help–including Baby, who sleeps quiet as a mouse.

Sharing1I like this book because: The warm illustrations, reminiscent of american primitive folk art of the 20th century (particular favorites – Ralph and Martha Cahoon), entice and match the musical vigor of the text. Marvelous!

Sharing2Resources/activities: make bread, and/or any traditional family recipe, together; Read the Q&A about this book with the author, Pat Zietlow Miller HERE

Sharing3For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: A Daisy is a Daisy is a Daisy (except when it’s a girl’s name)

DaisycoverAuthor/Illustrator: Linda Wolfsgruber
Publisher: Groundwood Books, 2011, originally published by Verlag Jungbrunnen, Wien, 2009
Ages: 4 and up
Themes: names, feminine names, flowers
Opening: Flora, Florica, Kukka, Lore, Hana and Zvetana mean flower. Flowers are born in the spring.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Presents an illustrated look at names for flowers in several languages that are used as personal names for girls.

DaisyendpapersI like this book because: of it’s simplistic, dainty yet powerful beauty, and I’ve always ghad a fascination for name origins. I once found one for mine that I really liked: thick-haired.

Daisy1Resources/activities: make paper flowers; ‘draw’ with thread – with or without a sewing machine; look up the origin of your own name; create a new name for yourself or a pet.

Daisy2For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE