PPBF: Don’t Cross the Line

dontcrossthelinecoverAuthor: Isabel Minhós Martins
Illustrator: Bernardo P. Carvalho
Publisher: Gecko Press, 2016
Age: 4-8
Themes: dictators, soldiers, resistance
Opening: The story truly begins on the end papers (see further below) but especially on the following title page:

dontcrossthelinetitle
Summary: (from my library catalog) This slapstick postmodern tale is also a profound statement about dictatorship and peaceful revolution, from an award-winning author/illustrator team.

dontcrosstheline2Why I like this book: My friends here could say they could spot this ‘Julie pick’ a mile off, I’m sure! The strong, clean compositions, the loose, playful, colorful rendering style. This title reminds me strongly of one of my favorite classics, Drummer Hoff, from Ed Emberley (whose exhibit KAHBAHBLOOOM at the Worcester Art Museum goes through April 7, 2017)

DontCrosstheLine3.jpgResources/Activities: I find this is a perfect book to share consider the times we find ourselves in: kids WANT to discuss these topics – let them lead how far, and how deep they would like to go with it. We all belong to groups. Everyone is political.

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

dontcrossthelineback

PPBF: 1 Big Salad

bigsaladcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Juana Medina
Publisher: Viking, 2016
Age: 2-6
Themes: vegetables, salad, creativity
Opening: One Avocado Deer.
Summary: (from the publisher) Count from 1 avocado deer to 2 radish mice and all the way up to 10 clementine kitties, which all add up to one big, delicious salad!

bigsalad2Why I like this book: It’s as clean and fresh as a real one! The layout and design are crisp and inviting. The concept delicious! My kids may love a good salad now, but we started off counting how many ‘leaves’ one had to eat. The creativity in this book may have some reluctant eaters asking to make their own!

bigsalad3Resources/Activities: make your OWN salad! Dressing recipe included in the book.

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

PPBF: One Little Two Little Three Little Children

onelittlecoverAuthor: Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrator: Mary Lundquist
Publisher: Balzer & Bray, 2016
Age: 2-6
Themes: children, families, rhyming stories
Opening: One little, two little, three little children.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A rhyming celebration of the diversity and universality of children and their families.onelittleaWhy I like this book: The more I read to toddlers, the more I love solid rhythmic rhyming stories that embrace concepts without becoming pedagogic. This hits the mark in the best way, enhanced by beautiful soft illustrations where everyone can find a character with which to identify.onelittle3Resources/Activities: discuss what kinds of families there are and what matters, what makes a family a family.onelittle2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

PPBF: The Battle Of the Vegetables

battleofthevegetablescoverAuthor: Matthieu Sylvander
Illustrator: Perceval Barrier
Publisher: Clarion, 2016 (orig.: 3 contes cruels, l’écoles des loisirs, 2013)
Age: 5-8
Themes: gardens, vegetables, humorous stories
Opening: In the vegetable garden, the leeks generally lead a calm, monotonous – maybe even boring – life.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Three interconnected tales reveal the dangers, both from within and without, of life in a vegetable garden as leeks meet one of Santa’s reindeer, carrots plot an escape, and an unlikely romance leads to an inevitable conclusion.

BattleoftheVegetables2.jpgWhy I like this book: The humor in the text and illustrations is well cultivated for the early elementary set – and the kid in every gardener. Dig in!

BattleoftheVegetables3.jpgResources/Activities: come up with alternate titles for the stories; write sequels; what other characters would you like to see grow? Plant seeds – the season is nigh!

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

 

PPBF: You Belong Here

youbelongherecoverAuthor: M.H.Clark
Illustrator: Isabelle Arsenault
Publisher: Compendium, 2016
Age: 2-5
Themes: animals, poetry, stories in rhyme
Opening: The stars belong in the deep night sky and the moon belongs there too, and the winds belong in each place they blow by and I belong here with you.
Summary: (from the publisher) This classic bedtime story journeys around the world, observing plants and animals everywhere, and reminding children that they are right where they belong. Perfect for new babies, adoptive families, or for sharing with loved ones of any age. .

youbelonghere1Why I like this book: Lyrical rhyme that flows over the pages, softly, gently and so smoothly you feel like you’re floating along with the poem! Arsenault manages to keep her signature red discreetly yet powerfully. Ahhh…

YouBelongHere2.jpgResources/Activities: discuss other animals, plants or things that belong together and why.youbelonghereFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

youbelonghere3

PPBF: Henry Wants More

henrywantsmorecoverAuthor: Linda Ashman
Illustrator: Brooke Boynton-Hughes
Publisher: Random House, 2016
Age: 2-5
Themes: toddlers, families, stories in rhyme
OpeningPapa’s lifting Henry high above his head. Henry’s face is joyful. Pap’s face is red.
Summary: (from my library catalog)Whether spending time with Papa, singing songs with Grandma, playing games with Lucy, or racing with Charlie, toddler Henry wears his family out until bedtime, when Mama is the one who wants more.

henrywantsmore2Why I like this book: Such a fun read aloud that every child can connect with – and will soon shout “more!” too! Brooke’s soft and adorable illustration style allows MORE to pop!

henrywantsmore3Resources/Activities: what favorite activities do you like to yell “more” for?

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

PPBF: The Little Fir Tree

littlefirtreecoverAuthor: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Barbara Cooney
Publisher: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1954
Age: 3-7
Themes: trees, growth, christmas story
Opening: A little fir tree stood by the edge of a forest, a little way off from the great green trees.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A lonely little fir tree, standing by itself at the edge of the forest, has its life transformed when a father takes it home to serve as a living Christmas tree for his bedridden son.

littlefirtree1Why I like this book: I like this version of Margaret Wise Brown’s book out of sentimentality: my beloved school librarian, Mrs. Nurnberg, read this one to us in elementary school.

 

littlefirtree2Resources/Activities: take a walk in the forest and identify trees by their species and their age; discuss illnesses and what an illness might prevent one from doing; share your favorite Christmas songs.

littlefirtree4For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

littlefirtreesong

PPBF: I Used to Be A Fish

iusedtobeafishcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Tom Sullivan
Publisher: Balzer & Bray, 2016
Age: 4-8
Themes: fish, humans, evolution
Opening: I used to be a fish. But I got tired of swimming.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A boy explains how he used to be a fish, until one day he grew legs and then fur, before becoming human.

iusedtobeafisheWhy I like this book: So simple yet the book manages to convey the idea of our history on Earth with a minimal palette and a touch of ‘Suessical’- which ties in well with all the Grinch Sticks I just made for the reading in the bookstore tomorrow (note the green food die on my finger in the third pic!).

iusedtobeafish1Resources/Activities: this book opens the can of worms on evolution, and depending on the child, you can dive deep into discussion or just enjoy the simple yet humorous text; make all the evolving figures out of playdough – or bread dough…and bake!

iusedtobeafish2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

iusedtobeafishback

PPBF: Moustache

moustachecoverAuthor: Gracia Iglesias
Illustrator: Guridi
Publisher: Lata de Sal, 2015
Age: 3-7
Themes: cats, whiskers, vanity
OpeningSer gato y ser curioso son dos cosas casi inseperables.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Here’s what they had in Spanish: Ser gato y ser curioso son dos cosas casi inseparables. Moustache era un gato elegante, refinado y guapo, un gato con buenos modales y muy coqueto. Pero un día sus preciados bigotes se quemaron con tanta curiosidad. ¡Horror! ¿Qué hará Moustache? Quizás unos bigotes postizos sean la solución… O quizás la solución esté en la mano de un niño igual de curioso.”– Provided by publisher. And with the help of Google translate, I will give you summary: Being an elegant and refined cat and at the same time a curious cat can be dangerous. After Moustache gets too close to a flame and loses his prized whiskers but he does not lose heart. He sets out to replace them and finds a thoughtful friend along the way.

 

moustache1Why I like this book: I don’t know enough Spanish to read a picture book like this, but, lured by the marvelous artwork of Guridi, I made an effort with Google translate to learn more and was not disappointed.

moustache3

 

Resources/Activities: learn Spanish (that note is for me!); at the very least, check out the foreign language section at your local library for books, some of which that might not even look like what you are used to; try to surmise what is going on based on the artwork; ask a member of the community to come and read a favorite book from their language/heritage to read a picture book to your class and explain the text.

moustache2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo

gingerbreadmanlooseatthezoocoverAuthor: Laura Murray
Illustrator: Mike Lowery
Publisher: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 2016, originally publ. in France by L’école des loisirs, 2013
Age: 4-8
Themes: gingerbread man, zoo animals, scavenger hunts
Opening: I woke to the sound of a rumbling ROAR! And hooting, and howling, and growling galore.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When the gingerbread man gets separated from his class during a field trip to the zoo, he uses his teacher’s animal scavenger hunt clues to find his way back to them.

GingerbreadManLooseattheZoo2.jpgWhy I like this book: Another fantastic read-aloud from Laura Murray, layered with information on animal identification and fun! The illustrations are bright, comic-like (in composition too) and cheerful – bound to engage the whole class

gingerbreadmanlooseatthezoo3Resources/Activities: great read for a science unit on zoology; create riddles about animals not included in the book: make a classroom scavenger hunt.

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