PPBF: Pirates vs. Cowboys

Author: Aaron Reynolds
 David Barneda
Publisher: Knopf, 2013
Themes: pirates, cowboys, language

Opening: see image under “summary”.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) A scurvy pirate crew, led by Burnt Beard, finds trouble when they try to hide their treasure in Old Cheyenne and have some miscommunication with Black Bob McKraw and his posse.

I picked this book because: I do love the illustrations (and all that white space!) and character designs, but I really admire a story conflict built off language and miscommunication! And the pirate and cowboy jargon is hilarious! And for younger ears it will be fine to not be able to understand the colorful language just as the main characters do not.

Resources/activities: great unit resource on language and communication, and to start a discussion on the difference between languages, dialogues, accents, etc. I will be reviewing another pirate book soon once I have my very own copy, but I would suggest reading it too as it is already available: The Monster in the Briny, written by Lynn Becker and illustrated by Scott Brundage.

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

PPBF: The Cat and the Rat and the Hat

Author: Em Lynas
 Matt Hunt
Publisher: Nosy Crow, 2021
Themes: rats, cats, hats

Opening: see image below.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) A raucous, rhyming tale that will have children (and adults) in fits of laughter! Cat is sitting on his favourite mat, when who should come along but Rat with a very nice hat? Cat wants Rat’s hat and will stop at NOTHING to get it. But when Bat arrives wearing a fancy cravat, well, what could be better than that? Chaos ensues as both Cat and Rat decide they MUST have Bat’s fancy cravat for themselves! From Em Lynas and Matt Hunt comes this hilarious, read-aloud picture book, bursting with comic capers and animal antics. With a hilarious, tongue-twister text, slapstick humour, bright neon artwork and colourful, comic characters.

I picked this book because: those colors were shouting at me!! And i too have a manuscript with a cat and a hat! So of course I wanted to see what kind of relationship these characters have with each other – so funny – and how these amazing colors would be used – such great compositions – and how it would all pan out – terrific twist! Read it!

Resources/activities: This book will be great to use in teaching how shapes are the foundation for so many things you can draw; re draw these characters in your own style; get out some graph paper and doodle using the squares; try creating a drawing using a limited number of colors – and loud ones too!

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

PPBF: One of a Kind

Author/Illustrator: Neil Packer
Publisher: Candlewick Studio, 2020
Themes: classifying, sorting, concepts

Opening: see image above.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Meet Arvo. Now look at his family tree. Meet his cat, Malcolm, and check out Malcolm’s family tree, too. Whether people or cats, buildings or books, food or vehicles, there’s a category for everything. And in this mesmerizing narrative introduction to taxonomy, readers follow Arvo through his day to learn about the order of the animal kingdom, to his music lesson to help categorize instruments, and across town to classify cloud formations he sees along the way.

I picked this book because: I love to organize – even if I’m not good at it (I get overwhelmed and capitulate!) and I love fun, random facts, AND I know there are kids out there just like me, maybe some adults too. The illustrations are beautiful and composed for the organizing freak with an aesthetic eye. And the main character loves cheese – just like me! So grab this if you have a child you know who likes to line up their matchbox cars neatly and enjoy the book together.

Resources/activities: choose an amount of objects to sort and classify, like stuffed animals or art supplies. Try some of the cheeses listed on the cheese page (this will happen at my house!).

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

PPBF: See You Soon

Author: Mariame Kaba
 Bianca Diaz
Publisher: Haymarket, 2022
Themes: mothers, emotions, imprisonment

Opening: Queenie is what they call me, but Reyna is my name. I am six years old. And my life’s about to change.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) From New York Times Bestselling Author Mariame Kaba, a poignant, beautifully illustrated story of a little girl’s worries when her Mama goes to jail, and the love that bridges the distance between them.

I picked this book because: It’s beautiful and important. The US has 4% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population. You can just imagine the number of children affected, but I’ll tell you: approximately 7% of the US population has had a parent in prison or jail at some point. That’s 5 million children. And they need books like these as well as all the other books to make them laugh, to find comfort, and to learn from. I’d love to see this in every school.

Resources/activities: How to Explain an Arrest or Jail to Children; Tip Sheet for Teachers (Pre-K through 12): Supporting Children Who Have an Incarcerated Parent; video from Sesame Street https://youtu.be/I3sf7O5mrlY

To lighten the mood just a bit, here is my image for Poisson d’Avril Instagram and facebook challenge with the ii: Illustration Institute. It’s a French tradition to tape a paper fish on someone’s back for April Fools day. And a few to print and color!

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