PPBF: The Way the Storm Stops

Author: Michelle Meadows
Rosanne Litzinger
Publisher: Henry Holt, 2003
Themes: storms, rain, worry

Opening: Pitter, pitter. Plam, plam. On my windowpane.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) A mother soothes her child to sleep during a thunderstorm.

I picked this book because: I was already a fan of the illustrator, so when someone mentioned this title I put it on hold and have been so pleasantly surprised by the soothing, rhythmic, rhyming text – an absolute perfect read aloud (might be nice to calm young listeners at the end of a storytime too!). The only thing I can fault is the title font (yes, I am a font-nerd and I can nit-pick!).

Resources/activities: read during a storm, or in anticipation, then ask listeners to note similar or new sounds they can hear during the storm; use household items to recreate the sounds heard.

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

PPBF: Brian Wildsmith’s Animal Gallery

Author/Illustrator: Brian Wildsmith
Publisher: Candlewick, 1967, 1968, 2008, first US edition 2020
Themes: animals, nomenclature

Opening: see spread above.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Discover a troop of kangaroos, an ambush of tigers, a rafter of turkeys, and a flotilla of swordfish in this glorious introduction to the animal kingdom from internationally acclaimed artist Brian Wildsmith. A lion yawns lazily in the grass. Curious giraffes crane their long necks. Step into this rich world of animals from an extraordinary illustrator whose work influenced generations of younger artists. Each animal’s essence is strikingly captured, from the playfulness of otters to a noisy gathering of parrots, while panoramic pictures give a real sense of the animals’ habitats. Collective nouns — some familiar, others wonderfully surprising — are used to describe each group of animals. Brian Wildsmith’s stunning illustrations will inspire a love of nature and a respect for animals from the earliest age.

I picked this book because: today Wildsmith’s images are knocking the gray out of my sky! the energy alone is enough to send the warmth straight to my toes, but combined with his mastery of color, texture, composition, atmosphere, and emotion it just doesn’t get better than this!

Resources/activities: look up group names for all your favorite animals and read companion picture books featuring group names, like Julie Hedlund’s A Troop is a Group of Monkeys (2013); paint your favorite group using a mixture of different media – and don’t forget fun textures!

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

PPBF: Lentil Soup

Author: Carole Tremblay, transl. Charles Simard
 Maurèen Poignonec
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers, 2021; Originally published as: La soupe aux lentilles ©2018 Les editions la courte echelle.
Themes: soup, lentils, brothers

Opening: see full spread below title page image

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) A young mouse cleverly avoids eating his soup by distracting his older brother with questions about every single ingredient.

I picked this book because: I first pulled it out of the new-release shelf because of the title, and then for the illustrations – so cute I wish the book were larger. (I actually put on a pair of reading glasses that are too strong so I could look at the details more closely!). But why I chose it for PPBF is for the voice of these characters. There is a lot of what could be considered didactic information included in the text, but the characters allow you to look past and enjoy and identify this familiar situation between siblings. A perfect read this time of year in the northern hemisphere, because you are going to want to make soup!

Resources/activities: Make lentil soup! Also, learn about making another basic vegetable soup to introduce kids to the simplicity of creative cooking (my first foray was either tomato or carrot soup, both of which I still love. I just wish I had been introduced to making soup much earlier!) Read companion books, like The Real Story of Stone Soup, or Freedom Soup.

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

PPBF: This Is Your World

Author: Sophia Gholz
 Robin Boyden
Publisher: Running Press Kids, 2021
Themes: Bob Ross, painters, biographies

Opening: see full spread below title page image

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) From rescuing animals in his backyard to barking orders as a miliary sergeant, follow famous artist and television star, Bob Ross, as he journeys from his childhood in Florida to his days in Alaska to his discovery of the joys of painting–and teaching others to paint.

I picked this book because: Even though I was never drawn to painting, even as a child I could appreciate the relaxed and soft-spoken instructor on tv. I really enjoyed how the text effortlessly conveys what an emerging artist feels about observation as much as about practice. The illustrations are so charming too! I know creative kids will relate, and those who are not yet sure about their artistic confidence will feel seen. Delightful!

Resources/activities: watch some of his old instruction videos on YT; for adults: watch the documentary about his life; paint (!) or draw something from nature and just accept that what you see is your world!

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