PPBF: Lawrence in the Fall

Author: Matthew Farina
Illustrator:
 Doug Salati
Publisher: 
Disney Hyperion, 2019
Age: 
3-7
Themes: show-and-tell, collections, trees
OpeningWhen Lawrence saw the chalkboard, he froze .

Summary: (from my library catalog) Lawrence the fox accompanies his father into the forest to collect something to take to his school show-and-tell, and while briefly lost and alone, Lawrence encounters the beauty of nature and finds exactly what he needs.

I like this book because: I’ve been there, frozen with the thought I would have nothing to share with my classmates. I didn’t have anything, but I also didn’t understand what a hobby or collection is, so how could I share it? I was equally drawn in by the delicate nature of the telling in the text and the illustrations. Find a copy to read – and share, of course!

*All the shadows in the photos are from yellow-twig dogwood leaves!

Resources/activities: there are so many discussions this book might be used to initiate: school, collections, hobbies, nature in general, and  trees specifically. Maybe children would find even more topics after reading it! Here are instructions for making a leaf crown, one of my favorite things to do in the fall, like the one at the bottom of this post: HERE

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

PPBF: Mice Twice

Author/Illustrator: Joseph Low
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry (Atheneum), 1980
Age: 
3-8
Themes: animals, etiquette, humorous stories
Opening: Cat was thinking about supper. He thought, “I could eat forty-seven grasshoppers. or I could eat 69 crickets. Or I could eat a fine, fat sparrow. But what I think I’d really like is a nice, tender mouse.

Summary: A round of uneasy hospitality results when Mouse and Dog arrive at Cat’s house for dinner.

I like this book because: first off, I’m not alone – this title is a 1981 Caldecott Honor book. I love the loose, energetic rendering and use of a simple yet bright palette, dominated by pinks and yellows. That’s what attracted me to this book I found at Brattle Bookshop in Boston this spring, but it’s the round robin tale of trickery and wit and the drama of it all that delighted me so very much! Hope you can find a copy.

Resources/activities: learn more about Low, his obituary here; look for other titles on the Caldecott list from 1981; perform this story as a play.

There is a summer break for new entries, but for more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE.

Around the corner from Brattle Bookshop, the Make Way for Ducklings sculptures in Boston Commons (dressed as RBGs!)

PPBF: Mystery

Author/Illustrator: Arthur Geisert
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 2003
Age: 
3-6
Themes: pigs, art museums, mystery stories  
OpeningI packed the lunch – sandwiches with extra mayonnaise, apples, oranges, and twenty-four cookies. Everything my Grandpa liked.

Summary: (from my library catalog) During a visit to the art museum, a little piglet and her grandfather investigate the disappearance of several paintings. Clues in the illustrations give readers a chance to solve the mystery along with the heroine.

I like this book because: I confess, I like all of Geisert’s books, and this isn’t even my favorite, but it warms my artist heart with all the visual references to great paintings, architecture, sculpture, and even, in the last image below, to the publisher! Oh, and PIGS! I’ve added one of my own pigs to the bottom of this post (because…PIGS!)

Resources/activities: visit an art museum – one of my local favorites: The Kirkland; check out this site to find one near you – or near where you are headed: http://www.artcyclopedia.com/museums-us.html; check out how to become a police artist HERE

There is a summer break for new entries, but for more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE.

PPBF: Ogilvy

Author: Deborah Underwood
Illustrator:
 T.L. McBeth
Publisher: 
Godwin Books/Henry Holt and Co, 2019
Age: 
4-100
Themes: rabbits, clothing, sex roles, story in rhyme
OpeningOgilvy happily hopped up and down. The very fist day in a very new town .

Summary:(from my library catalog) When Ogilvy moves to a new town, he discovers that bunnies who wear dresses play ball and knit socks, and bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks, and Ogilvy must figure out a way to do it all.

I like this book because: it’s BRILLIANT! In a delightful yet touching way, Underwood has managed to teach such a valuable lesson without having bopped the reader(s) on the head with pedagogy! Each time I read it I find another layer too! Get your Ogilvy on!

Resources/activities: Make collage clothing for your own bunny characters; discuss what it might feel like to move to a new town (read a companion book, like Neville by Norman Juster, and or what it feels like to be pressured by others to behave in a way you might not want to; discuss empathy, tolerance and acceptance and what makes them similar, and how the are different.

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

PPBF: I Can Only Draw Worms

Author/Illustrator: Will Mabbitt
Publisher: P
enguin Workshop, 2019, orig. published by PRH UK, 2017
Age: 
3-6
Themes: worms, counting books, humorous stories 
OpeningThis is a book about worms. (I can only draw worms.)

Summary: (from my library catalog) Teaches the reader to count to ten using worms that have great adventures or everyday experiences, described but not illustrated due to the author’s inability to draw anything but worms.

I like this book because: super simple, super bright, and super funny! I’t’s simple, really! (psst, I’m still laughing!)

Resources/activities: what can you draw? Make a counting book with whatever subject you like to draw best; dig up and examine some worms, but remember to treat them well, and put them right back as soon as you’re finished! Make tissue paper worms by following instructions HERE

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

PPBF: The Undefeated

Author: Kwame Alexander
Illustrator:
 Kadir Nelson
Publisher: 
HMH, 2019
Age: 
4-100
Themes: African-Americans, Children’s poetry,
OpeningGrandfather was a man of few words .

Summary:(from my library catalog) The Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.

I like this book because: the illustrations grab you and do not let you go! So beautiful, so arresting, and the use of negative space is equally powerful. Now imagine that they not only amplify the text, but are equal to this gorgeous of endurance and spirit, of love. Still get the chills writing this post.

Resources/activities: do not wait for a specific month dedicated to African-Americans, read the stories of the figures mentioned, and beyond, throughout the year.

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

PPBF: Look Up!

Author/Illustrator: Jung Jin-Ho, translated by My Hyun Kim
Publisher: Holiday House, 2016
Age: 4-8
Themes: kindness, friendship, perception

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) .

I like this book because: of it’s simplicity! The choice of rendering in black and white allows the eye to focus so much more on the details of a unique perspective and place the reader/viewer not only in the mind but also in the body of the protagonist, a child in a wheelchair. And it’s a sweet story of how easy it can be to make a new friend too!

Resources/Activities: look at things from different heights: a stoop, a tree, the top of the stairs, or take a visit to your local parking garage, or another building that is multiple stories high, to get a sense of what it is like to look down on a scene. Now look up instead!

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

PPBF: Grandfather and the Moon

Author: Stéphanie Lapointe
Illustrator:
 Roge
Publisher:
Groundwood Books, 2017 (Orig. Les Editions, 2015)
Age:
3-100
Themes: grief, grandfathers, space
Opening: Grandfather was a man of few words .

Summary:(from my library catalog) Tells the story of a loving granddaughter who worries about her grandfather’s depression after the loss of her grandmother and enters a contest to travel to the moon, with unexpected results.

I like this book because: the illustrations are a perfect reflection of the mood of the concept and ideas within the text. The dreamlike, imaginative pondering of the child become visual and real – the space in which the main character enters into is inside and out. There is something mystical and magical, sad and hopeful. I hope you look for this because it is hard to pin point in words. Truly a picture book of discovery for ALL ages. I read it while waiting for a friend but my thoughts on it lingered for some time, and I am sure will continue.

Resources/activities: there are many great books on grief and we should not wait until there is a death to start talking about it with children.

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

PPBF:I’d Really Like to Eat a Child

0662347C-E88A-464D-8328-16039979D337Author: Sylviane Donnio
Illustrator:
 Dorothée de Monfried
Publisher: 
Random House, 2004
Age:
3-8
Themes: humorous stories, food, crocodiles
Opening: see first full spread below.

CD6512C2-93A2-4F99-AA5F-10D3209807E8Summary: (from my library catalog) One morning Achilles, a young crocodile, insists that he will eat a child that day and refuses all other food, but when he actually finds a little girl, she puts him in his place.

3E91E8A3-68FC-4C1E-925E-F4F9960EE091I like this book because: I’m actually surprised I have not recommended this title before – it’s truly one of my favorites! The title grabbed me, as I am sure it grabbed you, and I was in no way disappointed. The simplicity, the humor, the tenacious child in whom we may see ourselves. And while parents would also like to see him eat the bananas, we also cheer him on in his persistent pursuit!

53B2FBDD-5A24-4D35-A216-1D1141DEF7F6Resources/activities: read about what real crocodiles eat, where do they live, how do they differ from alligators; bake a chocolate cake – if that’s what you’d like to eat; find out how many different kinds of bananas there really are and where they come from.

3259BB1E-1F15-405D-BB3D-4AB2C87A4F44For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE.

6FCB4A14-53AD-42E8-A20A-5429D4EBEF69

One more for the road…though this is an alligator, of course…in underwear!

36726549_1647717741992905_3119300112744972288_n

PPBF: Lola Shapes the Sky

BFD1381A-FF6F-4638-9B4B-BC13A86CEEE1Author: Wendy Greenley
Illustrator:
 Paolo Domeniconi
Publisher: 
Creative Editions, 2019
Age:
4-8
Themes: weather, clouds, acceptance
Opening: see photo below.

90C04E47-4D2E-4920-842B-3EDE9D37666DSummary: (from the publishers) A cloud with a mind of her own and a gift for making awe-inspiring shapes encourages her friends to go beyond their practical functions and expand their imaginative horizons.

670D23B6-75D6-414A-9C42-49007E6FCFCAI like this book because: Bias Reveal: this is the debut picture book of my longtime critique-partner Wendy Greenley! BUT, bias aside, it‘s a lovely book of self-acceptance and creativity, and was very well received by my adorable storytime gang at the bookstore! It‘s also brimming with absolutely beautiful illustrations! The kids were mesmerized!

62948B6A-5E78-48BB-A657-A14FE50F75BCResources/activities: start a kid’s chapter of The Cloud Appreciation Society – find out more HERE; learn how clouds make rain and other weather;  make umbrellas on popsicle sticks – see photos below

583F56D1-37C0-4AC9-8DCB-A626433BD7681EDD5A90-C5A3-4DA5-A41E-83855B0C79BB

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

40818650-EA6C-42D7-A028-0D92B13459E9