PPBF: The Tea Party in the Woods

TeaPartyInTheWoodsCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Akiko Miyakoshi
Publisher: Kids Can Press, 2015 (originally published in Japanese: Mori no Okuno Ochakai e, Kaisei-Sha Publishing, 2010 )
Ages: 3-7
Themes: forest animals, parties, imagination
Opening: That morning, Kikko had awoken to a winter wonderland. It had snowed all night.Now her father was off to Grandma’s house to help clear the walk.


Summary: (from my library catalog) As Kikko goes through the woods to bring a pie to her grandmother, she happens upon a home full of animals and joins their tea party.


I like this book because: It’s breathtakingly beautiful. The story is a simple flight of imagination, and anyone would wish to be in the main characters place.


Resources/activities: Plan a tea party. Who would you invite? What would you serve? This might also be fun to act out with puppets.


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

PPBF: Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes


Author: Clyde Watson
Illustrator: Wendy Watson
Publisher: 1971, HarperCollins Publishers; Reprint edition, 2001
Age: 3 and up
Themes: Nursery rhymes, children’s poetry
Opening: The sky is dark, there blows a storm. Our cider is hot, the fire is warm. The snow is deep & the night is long: Old Father Fox, will you sing us a song?
Summary: (from Amazon) Full of vim, vigor, and robust silliness, Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes is at long last back in print. Father Fox and his russet-furred, pointy-nosed family romp through the pages of these original American nursery rhymes, written and illustrated in the early 1970s by a pair of Vermonter sisters, Clyde and Wendy Watson. Each two-page spread features a quirky little verse on one side and framed pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations on the other. The extensive Fox family, in their patchwork-mended clothes, tumble over one another as they depict the very rhymes their father tells.

Why I like this book: I have a real weakness for nursery rhymes, so when someone mentioned this volume I rushed to put it on hold at the library. I love the humor and lightness in the illustrations too. Can hardly wait to share it with my little neighbor, Penelope. As soon as I get another chance to babysit!

Resources/Activities: read more nursery rhymes; nursery rhymes in a foreign language are a fun way to share a language you may speak but your young one does not, without the pressure of ‘teaching’.

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

PPBF: On the Train

OnTheTrainCoverAuthor: Carron Brown
Illustrator: Bee Johnson
Publisher: Kane Miller, 2015 (first published in the UK, The Ivy Press, 2015)
Ages: 4-8
Themes: trains
Opening: A railroad station is bustling with activity.

OnTheTrain1.jpgSummary: (from the publisher) “What can we find on the train today? Shine a light behind the page and see… From the engineer in his cab and maintenance workers on the track, to stop-and-go signals and all kinds of trains, each page will take you behind the scenes of a busy train ride.”

OnTheTrain2I like this book because: It’s a beautiful, informative and fun! Cha-ching!

OnTheTrain3Resources/activities: research some fun railroad facts, like the number of miles of train tracks in the United States; check out more in the shine a light series from Kane Miller:

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

PPBF: Sheila Rae, The Brave

SheilaRaeCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: Greenwillow, 1987
Ages: 4-8
Themes: mice, courage, siblings
Opening: Sheila Rae wasn’t afraid of anything.

SheilaRae1Summary: (from my library catalog) When brave Sheila Rae, who usually looks out for her sister Louise, becomes lost and scared one day, Louise comes to the rescue.

SheilaRae2I like this book because: I read a lot of picture books, and as much as I get excited about new ones to love, I rejoice all the more when I find an older classic. Almost 30 years old yet fresh , snappy, and kids can relate just as easily today.

SheilaRae3Resources/activities: discuss individual fears, how to possibly overcome them, and how one person’s abilities differ from another’s.

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

PPBF: Some Things I’ve Lost

LostThingsCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Cybèle Young
Publisher: Groundwood Books, 2015
Ages: 4-8
Themes: lost articles, found objects, creation, paper work
Opening: You can’t find something, something you’ve lost.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Cybèle Young invites readers to consider the inevitability of change and the power of the imagination with a collection of misplaced objects, including a roller skate, a wristwatch, and a set of keys, are shown undergoing imaginative transformations through a series of paper sculptures.

LostThingsEndpapersI like this book because: as an artist, a creator, a human – this book speaks to me on the most basic level, the ground floor. Taking it all in made me cry – and I cry again as I write! What evolves in Young’s recreations need not be attractive to get the message across, but they are sublime! I love that I can say this, “Read it and weep!”

LostThings1Resources/activities: create something from a found object, perhaps something from a recycling bin. No need to look further for inspiration – Some Things I’ve Lost explodes your mind!

LostThings2For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE