PPBF: A Squash and a Squeeze

SquashandaSqueezeCoverAuthor: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine, 2017; first published by Methuen Books, 1993
Age: 3-6
Themes: dwellings, domestic animals, stories in rhyme, humorous stories
Opening: A little old lady lived all by herself with a table and chairs and a jug on the shelf.

SquashandaSqueezeTitlepageSummary: With the help of an old man and all of her animals, an old lady realizes that her house is not as small as she thought it was.

SquashandaSqueeze1Why I like this book: This rollicking rhyme spins an old Jewish folk tale said to be from Poland, is always fun, but made so much sweeter by the master of rhyme herself, Julia Donaldson. Scheffler is able to add so much emotion to the cozy illustrations (the goat’s face while pig raids the cupboard is priceless!), that you might want to move in with all the characters too!

SquashandaSqueezebackResources/Activities: Read about the illustrator HERE;  attempt read every single one of the author’s and illustrator’s collaborations – you won’t be sorry! Read a few more Jewish folktales, like Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, by Simms Tabak, or Such a Noise!, by Aliana Brodmann and Hans Poppel.

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

PPBF: North Is For Polar Bears

Northis4PolarBearsCover.jpgAuthor: Adelaide Holl
Illustrator: J.P. Miller
Publisher: L.W.Singer/RH, 1968
Age: 3-6
Themes: polar bears, North Pole, curiosity
Opening: Pierre was a polar bear. He lived in the Far North, at the very top of the world, where everything is frosted over with ice and snow.

 

Northis4PolarBears1Summary: Story of a curious polar bear enticed by bird’s chatter about the South: the sunshine, the trees and the flowers, and his adventures far from home.

Northis4PolarBears3.jpgWhy I like this book: A sweet and innocent adventure story beautifully illustrated in bright bold colors that still feel fresh and timely.

Northis4PolarBears4Resources/Activities: Read about the illustrator HERE: have a look at some of his art HERE; read some of his other books, or Disney films he worked on like Dumbo, Pinocchio or Fantasia.

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

PPBF: Worms

WormsCoverAuthor: Bernard Friot; translation: Yvette Ghione
Illustrator: Aurélie Guillerey
Publisher: Kids can Press, 2015; Originally published under Asticots, by Éditions Milan, 2010.
Age: 4-7
Themes: worms, manners, humorous stories
Opening: I was bored. SO bored! My father had invited the senior executives form the factory to dinner and made me join them.

Worms1Summary: (from the publisher) A hilarious picture book tale of a small boy’s mischief, with a sly take on what it wreaks in the world of the grown-ups.

Worms2Why I like this book: This hilarious depiction of a small narrative ‘incident’ is a perfect example of what an illustrator can do to amplify the story through deceptively simple gestures and details. Bravo! I’m sure the kids will laugh out loud with this one, but it may make a few more suspicious of their dinner salads!

worms3Resources/Activities: This book provides an interesting opportunity to discuss past and present practices of work associates and families: why would a boss invite his workers home for a dinner? Have workers invited their bosses? For what purpose? Together read, How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell.

Worms4.pngFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

PPBF: Louis I, King of the Sheep

LouisIcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Olivier Tallec
Publisher: Enchanted Lion, 2015; originally published in France by Actes Sud, 2014; translation Claudia Zoe Bedrick
Age: 5-9
Themes: kings, rulers, sheep, power
Opening: And so it was one windy day that Louis the sheep thereby became Louis I, King of the Sheep.
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) When a crown lands at Louis the sheep’s feet, he crowns himself king of the sheep, imagining just what kind of a king he would be.

LouisItitlepageWhy I like this book: It’s funny yet great food for thought for young people about authority and power and it’s place in our present world. Thew illustrations are sumptuous, yet the cartoon-style characters are totally suited to their rich surroundings. And if you are familiar with other Tallec books, you might recognize some characters (do read, Who Done It?, Chronicle Books, 2015)!

 

LouisI1.jpgResources/Activities: imagine what you might like to do as king; look into the reality of monarchies today; do kingdoms exist in the wild animal world?; would you like to live in a kingdom?

 

LouisI2.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

LouisI3