PPBF: Still This Love Goes On

Author: Buffy Sainte-Marie
 Julie Flett
Publisher: Greystone Kids, 2022
Themes: Indigenous communities, family, love, songs

*The blast of color on the lower left came from a crystal in my window!

Opening: Sat beside a beaver dam and watched the winter grow

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) A love letter to Indigenous communities everywhere, this picture book gorgeously celebrates seasons, nature, and community. Based on Academy Award-winning Cree icon Buffy Sainte-Marie’s song of the same name, this gem of a picture book is accompanied by: Sheet music so that readers can play along and a note from Sainte-Marie about her much-admired song.

I picked this book because: I will read any book illustrated by Julie Flett, and now I’ll have to extend that courtesy to Buffy Sainte-Marie! The writing is so beautiful and touching and is perfectly paired with Flett’s skill in bringing emotion through her palette and composition. Most readers of my posts know I favor humor in picture books, but when a team does “quiet” and “thoughtful” this well, I go weak in the knees!

Resources/activities: Look for stirrings in nature, growth, change, and tracks in snow, sand, mud together with loved ones. Repeat.

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

*tracks in the recent snow in my garden

PPBF: Your Birthday Was the Best!

Author: Maggie Hutchings
 Felicita Sala
Publisher: Tundra, 2020
Themes: parties, birthdays, insects

Opening: Your birthday was the best! Everyone said so.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) The story of an eager cockroach who gate-crashes a birthday party — with hilarious results. It’s your birthday, and little do you know that an unwelcome guest has joined in on the festivities. A friendly cockroach has snuck undetected into the house, and has proceeded to join in on all of your fun party games. You were so excited to finally spot him napping on top of your birthday cake, having eaten his fill, that you couldn’t help but scream! You think he’s gone when your dad sucks him up in the vacuum cleaner . . . but with a birthday party this good, he’s going to be nearly impossible to keep away! This laugh-out-loud picture book is the perfect birthday gift for young readers.

I picked this book because: I saw it suggested on twitter as a humorous picture book, and I can’t get enough of humorous picture books. Sure, I can appreciate many of the meaningful books that have dominated the picture book market over the last 5 or 6 years, but I miss a more balanced proportion of pure, unadulterated fun. I need more humor as well as solid stories for my own peace of mind – and I’m sure I am not alone! Ands this one delivers! In story and amplified by the art. Being an adult I missed a few introductory clues so I was taken surprise – pleasantly – by the narration. There is drama in the text as well as the art, and plenty of details to keep the reader coming back again and again. Friends, it hit the spot!

Resources/activities: read more humorous picture books of course! have I written about Sir Ladybug by Corey Tabor yet? I will, but go ahead and look for it anyway – it would be a perfect companion book!

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

PPBF: One Boy Watching

Author/Illustrator: Grant Snider
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2022
3-7 (but anyone would love it!)
Themes: school bus, observations, curiosity

Opening: Seven a.m.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) This lyrical picture book follows one boy’s early morning bus ride to school and the many things he observes.

I picked this book because: I totally fell for the cover! And there’s nothing better than a book that lives up to it’s cover! I love the sheer simplicity of the text, the bright illustrations so full of energy, and the sense of wonder the author-illustrator has for everyday things. A gem!

Resources/activities: Take more deliberate time to get where you are going, and to note what you see along the way. Repeat!

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

PPBF: Luna’s Green Pet

Author: Kirsten Pendreigh
 Carmen Mok
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press, 2022
Themes: pets, houseplants, devotion

Opening: Luna longed for a pet, but her apartment building had very strict NO PETS! policy.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) A young girl named Luna circumvents her apartment building’s no-pet policy by rescuing a houseplant which she names Stephanie.

I picked this book because: This book brought back memories, not of the first bean I sprouted in the 2nd grade windowsill, but of my very own, very first houseplant – a cactus. I took what I believed to be the best care, and in all seriousness I understood the responsibility of caring for this little life. I may have loved it a little too much! But reading about Luna and her very own houseplant brought back all the good feelings I had and I figure those feelings are why I am an avid gardener today. The story is so endearing and has many slyly-educational layers amplified by sweet, cozy illustrations! I sincerely hope this book inspires other kids who may not have the pet they initially desire to take on a “little life” of their very own!

Resources/activities: Read up together on houseplants before deciding which to bring one home (one can be overwhelmed at a garden center), or choose a spot or planter to keep a one outside. Collect seeds on walks or in your own garden, or connect with a neighbor who is willing to share. Make your own pot/planter, like these upcycling ideas HERE.

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