PPBF: The Caiman

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

Author: María Eugenia Manrique, transl. Amy Brill
Illustrator:
 Ramón Paris
Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids, 2021; orig. Ediciones Ekaré, 2019
Age: 
3-8
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)
Age: 
3-6
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
Age: 
2-5
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.

PPBF: The Snail and the Whale and a WINNER!

Needed to show off all the pollen on my porch!

Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator:
 Axel Scheffler
Publisher: Dial, 2004
Age: 
3-8
Themes: snails, whales, stories in rhyme
Opening: see opening page below image of title page.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Wanting to sail beyond its rock, a tiny snail hitches a ride on a big humpback whale and then is able to help the whale when it gets stuck in the sand.

I like this book because: it’s such fun to read aloud, written so well that one doesn’t stumble trying! And the vocabulary for younger kids (as well as for people like me!) is exhilarating! The story is so heartwarming and humorous, and the illustrations are rich – I love when an illustrator can use a lot of black for drama! Yes, this book needs no boosting from me, but a reminder of a good book to pull out for pure enjoyment is always welcome!

Resources/activities: The relationship between the two main characters may not be a real-life symbiotic relationship, but there are numerous in nature – would be fun to lest ones we know and research more. Have kids write a poem – in rhyme or not – about a symbiotic relationship.

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

And now for the winner of LOUIS’s #picturebookpicnic giveaway is… ptnozell, better known as Patricia, Head Cheerleader of Picture Books!!! Thanks to everyone who participated! It was such fun to share picnics – and a few cupcakes!

Day 7 (last) #picturebookpicnic giveaway

LOUIS has celebrated World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ve posted pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is TODAY, Thurs., 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today we’re having a #picturebookpicnic in the crabapple tree with old classics and teddy-guests that are hand-made! Just small towels a few rubber bands and ribbon. Plenty of how-to videos on youtube for your convenience.

Chanticleer and the Fox, by Geoffrey Chaucer, illus. by Barbara Cooney, Thomas Y. Crowell, 1958: A sly fox tries to outwit a proud rooster through the use of flattery. (“Adaptation of the ‘Nun’s priest’s tale’ from the Canterbury tales”–T.p. verso.)

Journeycakes Ho!, by Ruth Sawyer and illus. by Robert McCloskey, Viking Press, 1953: Johnny is leaving the farm because of hard times when his Journey Cake leads him on a merry chase that results in a farm yard full of animals and the family all together again. (my blogpost HERE)

The Crows of Pearlblossom, by Aldous Huxley and illus. by Barbara Cooney, Random House, 1967: When Mrs. Crow discovers a snake has been eating her eggs, Mr. Crow and his friend Owl fool Mr. Snake and put an end to that problem.

Miss Twiggley’s Tree, by Dorothea Warren Fox, Parents’ Magazine Press, 1966: see my blog post HERE

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

*I will announce the winner in my PPBF post tomorrow – GOOD LUCK!

Day 6 #picturebookpicnic giveaway

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today’s stuffie-guests are Walross, Komodo, Pooh, Wolfie, H. Hog and his elephant and horse, McEelface, and Elk! Activities to freshen up and cool down on this HOT day: sprinkler hop, book swap, ice pop, and sofa flop!

Bubbles…UP!, by Jacqueline Davies and illus. by Sonia Sánchez, Katherine Tegen, 2021: A day at the community pool is full of underwater magic–dunking and diving with friends, somersaulting, walking on your hands, and bursting up through the surface like a tortoise. But when a thunderstorm comes and a little brother ventures too close to the pool’s edge, will our main character be quick enough and brave enough to save the day?

I’m a Hare, So There!, by Julie Rowan-Zoch, HMH, 2021: (shameless!) An exasperated hare and plucky (ground!) squirrel engage in a battle of wits to determine who’s who in this hilarious author-illustrator debut for fans of I Yam a Donkey and Grumpy Monkey.

The True Tale of a Giantess, by Anne Renaud and illus. by Marie Lafrance, Kids Can Press, 2018: Anna Swan lived an inspiring life as big as she was, filled with fame, wealth, world travel and true love. In this thoroughly researched picture book biography, Anne Renaud uses playful and rhythmic language and first-person storytelling to perfectly capture the essence of this unique woman’s uplifting life. (*snippet from amazon description)

Fox & Chick: The Sleepover: and Other Stories, by Sergio Ruzzier, Chronicle, 2021: In three stories, Fox comforts Chick on a sleepover, helps Chick hang a painting, and throws Chicks a surprise birthday party.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HEREDon’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

I think Wolfie fell asleep – too many cupcakes!

Day 5 #picturebookpicnic giveaway

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Back in a secluded spot in the garden in honor of Miss Olivia’s birthday (see photo in the photo)! Invited stuffies: Livvy’s dragon, Livvy’s horse, Livvy’s birdie and kangaroo! LOUIS picked all the books for their splash of red on the cover (wonder why?!) and the book Olivia had wanted read over, and over, and over!

Ada’s Ideas, by Fiona Robinson, Harry N. Abrams, 2016: A picture book biography of mathematician Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, by the award-winning author/illustrator Fiona Robinson

Hello, Lighthouse, by Sophie Blackall, Little Brown, 2018: Explores the life of one lighthouse as it beams its message out to sea through shifting seasons, changeable weather, and the tenure of its final keeper.

Go Show the World, by Wab Kinew illus. by Joe Morse, Tundra, 2018: Go Show the World is a tribute to historic and modern-day Indigenous heroes, featuring important figures such as Tecumseh, Sacagawea and former NASA astronaut John Herrington. Celebrating the stories of Indigenous people throughout time, Wab Kinew has created a powerful rap song, the lyrics of which are the basis for the text in this beautiful picture book, illustrated by the acclaimed Joe Morse. Including figures such as Crazy Horse, Net-no-kwa, former NASA astronaut John Herrington and Canadian NHL goalie Carey Price, Go Show the World showcases a diverse group of Indigenous people in the US and Canada, both the more well known and the not- so-widely recognized. Individually, their stories, though briefly touched on, are inspiring; collectively, they empower the reader with this message: “We are people who matter, yes, it’s true; now let’s show the world what people who matter can do”

Noah, Noasaurus, by Elaine Kiely Kearns and illus. by Colin Jack, Albert Whitman, 2019: Noah is in a grumpy mood and wants to be alone, but when his friends follow him around he cannot help but have fun.

A Porcupine Named Fluffy, Helen Lester, illus. by Lynn Munsinger, HMH, 1989: A porcupine named Fluffy is happier with his name after he meets a similarly misnamed rhinoceros.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HEREDon’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

Day 4 #picturebookpicnic giveaway!

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today LOUIS chose to have the picture book picnic on the bench! Meet Elk, Puffinski, McEelface, Brownie the Pup, Walross and Komodo! Puffinski is holding a barely visible butterfly net and there is a bucket of chalk (*always use just a little at a time, if at all, to protect water organisms!) under the bench, and a pair of klompen to klomp around in the garden! If you are asking, Where is LOUIS?, he ran back inside to get napkins for the cupcakes!

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, by Penny Parker Klostermann, illus. by Ben Mantle, Random House, 2015: In this variation on the traditional cumulative rhyme, a greedy, hungry dragon eventually learns moderation.

The Road That Trucks Built, by Susanna Leonard Hill and illus. by Erica Sirotich, Little Simon, 2017: Rhyming text follows the story of a team of vehicles that work together to build a new road.

Arnie the Doughnut, by Laurie Keller, Henry Holt, 2003: Arnie the talking doughnut convinces Mr. Bing that not all doughnuts are meant to be eaten.

A Morning With Grandpa, by Sylvia Liu and illus. by Christina Forshay, Lee & Low, 2016: Curious and energetic Mei Mei attempts some t’ai chi forms as her grandfather demonstrates them, then tries to teach him basic yoga poses. Includes introductions to t’ai chi and yoga, as well as instructions for the exercises described in the text.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HEREDon’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

Day 3 #picturebookpicnic giveaway

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today it’s a picnic in a basket! It’s likely to rain any minute, so everyone squeezed in, munched on blueberries while dreaming of the raspberries, currants, and gooseberries about to ripen (in the meantime there is rhubarb nectar too – see photo at the bottom). Also, please say hello to Schmarmot, Jay, Blue, Foxie (in the bunny suit!) and Otto! Let’s see if anyone asks about that pumpkin!

Rosie’s Walk, by Pat Hutchins, S&S, 1968: Unaware of a hungry fox right behind her, Rosie, the hen, goes about her barnyard business as usual.

Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin and illus. by Harry Bliss , Joana Cotler Books (HC), 2003: A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not so good things about being a worm in this great big world.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, by Verna Aardema and illus. by Leo and Diane Dillon, Dial Books, 1975: A retelling of a traditional West African tale that reveals how the mosquito developed its annoying habit.

The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss and illus. by Crockett Johnson, Scholastic, 1945: Despite everyone’s dire predictions, a little boy has faith in the carrot seed he plants.

*Book descriptions from my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HEREDon’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

Day 2 #picturebookpicnic giveaway!

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

But let me introduce you to his stuffie-guests and the friends they brought along for the picture book picnic today! Meet Elk, Penny, Wolfie, H. Hog and his elephant and horse – and Pooh, of course!

My Best Friend, by Julie Fogliano, Atheneum, 2020: Two girls quickly become best friends, even before they learn one another’s names.

The Nest That Wren Built, by Randi Sonenshine and illus. by Anne Hunter, Candlewick, 2020: 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.

Cupcake Cousins, by Kate Hannigan and illus. by Brooke Boynton Hughes, Disney Hyperion, 2014: During a family vacation at Lake Michigan, nine-year-old cousins Willow and Delia, desperate to avoid being flower girls in their aunt’s wedding, try to demonstrate that they would do better as chefs for the reception.

“Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses, by Beth Anderson and illus. by Jenn Harney, Calkins Creek, 2020: James Kelly smelled EVERYTHING: rats in the shed; circus elephants a mile away; tomorrow s rain. His sense of smell was EXTRAORDINARY. But what good was a powerful nose? How could his super-sniffer make him special? In the New York City subway, James found his calling and earned the nickname Smelly Kelly. Armed with his super-sniffer and the tools he invented, he tracked down leaks from the dangerous to the disgusting, from the comical to the bizarre.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HERE! Don’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch