PPBF: Owl Babies

Author: Martin Waddell
Illustrator:
 Patrick Benson
Publisher: Candlewick, 1992
Age: 
2-6
Themes: owls, siblings, separation anxiety
Opening: Once there were three baby owls: Sarah and Percy and Bill.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Three owl babies whose mother has gone out in the night try to stay calm while she is gone.

I like this book because: it’s a great story to study for picture book writers! Yes, it’s a classic favorite that warms the heart, and its simplicity has so much to offer. The opening line: the sole focus is on the babies, not the mother/family; the names are listed without a comma which shows the reader the mother’s love is equal and unconditional. And the name choices, the older sibs have two syllables, the littlest only one – and it’s a nickname a pun! Already I know Bill will be the one to steal my heart! (Please let me know what else you may see.)

Resources/activities: listen to their calls here: Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. If you are in a classroom setting – even a virtual one – this would be a nice piece to act out, with a chance to discuss how voice and intonation can contribute to the drama of a play.

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

PPBF: The Nest That Wren Built

Author: Randi Sonenshine
Illustrator:
 Anne Hunter
Publisher: Candlewick, 2020
Age: 
3-7
Themes: wrens, nest building, stories in rhyme
Opening: These are the twigs, dried in the sun, that Papa collected one by one to cradle the nest that Wren built.

Summary: (from my library catalog) In the rhyming style of “The House That Jack Built,” this poem about the care and specificity that Carolina wrens put into building a nest is at once tender and true to life. Papa and Mama Wren gather treasures of the forest, from soft moss for a lining to snakeskin for warding off predators. Randi Sonenshine’s lilting stanzas, woven with accurate and unexpected details about Carolina wrens, and Anne Hunter’s gentle, inviting illustrations reveal the mysterious lives of these birds and impart an appreciation for the wonder of the life cycles around us. Back matter includes a glossary and additional interesting facts about wrens. Nature lovers and poetry fans alike will be drawn to this lyrical picture book depicting how Carolina wrens build a nest for their young.

I like this book because:I admit I was completely sold by the cover! And was not disappointed by the beautiful interior art at all! The is truly a perfect marriage of word and art, but the description already says it all! Definitely one of my favorites this year!

Resources/activities: try and build a nest from all the components in the book – or as many as you can find; look up the calls and songs of wrens, and maybe some other favorite birds on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. I used to drive my kids crazy listening on a loop! Read more books with animal stories illustrated by Anne Hunter .

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

PPBF: The Wild Baby Goes to Sea

Author: Barbro Lindgren, translated by Jack Prelutsky
Illustrator:
 Eva Ericsson
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 1983 (orig.1982)
Age: 
2-6
Themes: Mothers and sons, imaginations, stories in rhyme
Opening: Baby Ben was twice as wild as any other ten, there never was another child as wild as Baby Ben.

Summary: (from my library catalog) While his mother cleans house, rambunctious baby Ben sets sail in a wooden box and has many adventures.

I like this book because: the main character is just too cute! For those of us cooped up inside today, Baby Ben shows us we can still have adventures, you just need a little imaginative. Perfect book for these difficult times!

Resources/activities: get out the cardboard boxes, the laundry baskets, the pillows, blankets, and brooms! Bon voyage!

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

PPBF: Our Apple Tree

Author: Görlitz Kristina NÀslund
Illustrator:
 Kristina Digman
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press, 2005 (orig.2002)
Age: 
3-7
Themes: apples, trees, seasons
Opening: All winter long, our apple tree rests. But not everyone is asleep.

Summary: (from Amazon) Here’s a whimsical and very useful look at the life cycle of the apple tree. With two helpful tree sprites as guides, readers travel from spring, when the apple tree blossoms, through summer, when the fruit grows, to fall and the harvest. Along the way, you’ll learn about the life of the tree and the animals that visit – from insects that pollinate the flowers to deer that eat the fallen fruit.

I like this book because: the story and pictures do so much more than describe the life cycle of apple trees. I love the magic that is brought to the experience, and amplified by the illustrations! A crisp and juicy example of the chemistry of a perfect picture book!

Resources/activities: Visit an apple orchard if possible, or take your time at a farmer’s market to talk to apple growers, taste a variety and bring them home to share with others! Make apple prints on paper (save to use as gift wrap during the holidays!), make a special apple dessert, or ne of my favorites: grated apple and carrot salad with a bit of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

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