PPBF: The Caiman

2″ wider than HARE! No wonder I was drawn to it!

Author: María Eugenia Manrique, transl. Amy Brill
 Ramón Paris
Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids, 2021; orig. Ediciones Ekaré, 2019
Themes: alligators, pets, Venezuela,
Opening: see opening page below image of title page.

Summary: (from my library catalog) When Faoro the clockmaker adopts a baby caiman, he has no idea that someday their story will travel far and wide. But the town of San Fernando de Apure would never forget this kind young man and his adoring alligator, who played with the neighborhood children, took part in Faoro’s wedding, and, eventually, mourned his loss.

I like this book because: I was hooked by the cover (and format!). The bold colors and use of black and white, but also because of the author’s own real life experience with this story and her intriguing bio. The story did not disappoint. I love examples of human-animal connection, as I’m sure many others do, but also of cultures other than my own. There is sadness, but so much love in this beautiful tale – no pun intended!

Resources/activities: Look into the life-cycle of Caimans, their habitat, and how they might be different than other alligators. Are there other real-life stories of bringing an alligator into a home? What does a Caiman egg look like? Does it take as long to hatch as a chicken’s egg? All fun facts to discover together.

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

PPBF: The Smile Shop

Author/Illustrator: Satoshi Kitamura
Publisher: Peachtree, 2021 (orig. Scallywag Press, 2019)
Themes: pocket money, markets, smiles

Opening: see spread below.

Summary: (from my library catalog) A small boy has saved all his pocket money and visits the market with high expectations. When disaster strikes and he loses his money, he feels very devastated. But wait, what’s that? A Smile Shop? He could really do with a smile. What will happen if he goes in?

I like this book because: it’s a sweet story that may introduce to young readers that we are indeed in charge of our outlook on life. AND the illustrations: rendering, composition, gentle palette, legibility are perfect! Pretty vague? Read it!

Resources/activities! Great jumping off point for discussion questions on spending money, allowance, shopping, street markets, attitudes, and outlook on life. Make a play market in the classroom and give everyone a chance to spend as they see fit (would actually LOVE to see a classroom act it out!).

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

PPBF: The Froggies Do Not Want to Sleep

Author/Illustrator: Adam Gustavson
Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2021
Themes: frogs, sleep, bedtime

Opening: The froggies do not want to sleep.

Summary: (from my library catalog) The froggies do not want to sleep and refuse to head to bed; they’d rather play their accordions, go for long drives in the country, or sing opera while shooting themselves out of cannons.

I like this book because: of the silliness! I have been missing “silly” in my life in the last year and a half, and I am certain “other kids” have too!! The compositions and rendering are marvelous, the physicality of the humor so delightful, and those froggy eyes! So while the story line may not offer something particularly new in bedtime-ruckus books, there is more than enough here to bring smiles and giggles to all readers!

Resources/activities: imagine what kind of car you would like to take on a drive, what household objects you might use in a joust, which planets you would visit, if you just didn’t have to go to bed!! Set your visual images to paper and color them in!

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