PPBF: Worms

WormsCoverAuthor: Bernard Friot; translation: Yvette Ghione
Illustrator: Aurélie Guillerey
Publisher: Kids can Press, 2015; Originally published under Asticots, by Éditions Milan, 2010.
Age: 4-7
Themes: worms, manners, humorous stories
Opening: I was bored. SO bored! My father had invited the senior executives form the factory to dinner and made me join them.

Worms1Summary: (from the publisher) A hilarious picture book tale of a small boy’s mischief, with a sly take on what it wreaks in the world of the grown-ups.

Worms2Why I like this book: This hilarious depiction of a small narrative ‘incident’ is a perfect example of what an illustrator can do to amplify the story through deceptively simple gestures and details. Bravo! I’m sure the kids will laugh out loud with this one, but it may make a few more suspicious of their dinner salads!

worms3Resources/Activities: This book provides an interesting opportunity to discuss past and present practices of work associates and families: why would a boss invite his workers home for a dinner? Have workers invited their bosses? For what purpose? Together read, How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell.

Worms4.pngFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

PPBF: Louis I, King of the Sheep

LouisIcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Olivier Tallec
Publisher: Enchanted Lion, 2015; originally published in France by Actes Sud, 2014; translation Claudia Zoe Bedrick
Age: 5-9
Themes: kings, rulers, sheep, power
Opening: And so it was one windy day that Louis the sheep thereby became Louis I, King of the Sheep.
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) When a crown lands at Louis the sheep’s feet, he crowns himself king of the sheep, imagining just what kind of a king he would be.

LouisItitlepageWhy I like this book: It’s funny yet great food for thought for young people about authority and power and it’s place in our present world. Thew illustrations are sumptuous, yet the cartoon-style characters are totally suited to their rich surroundings. And if you are familiar with other Tallec books, you might recognize some characters (do read, Who Done It?, Chronicle Books, 2015)!

 

LouisI1.jpgResources/Activities: imagine what you might like to do as king; look into the reality of monarchies today; do kingdoms exist in the wild animal world?; would you like to live in a kingdom?

 

LouisI2.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

LouisI3

PPBF: Another Brother

AnotherBrotherCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, 2012
Age: 3-7
Themes: brothers, imitation, family life
Opening: For four glorious years, Davy had Mom and Dad all to himself.
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Davy the sheep wishes he had time alone with his parents, as he did before his 12 brothers came along and started imitating his every move, but when his wish comes true Davy misses playing with the youngsters.

AnotherBrotherpage1.jpgWhy I like this book: I was won over immediately by the cover, but Davy’s headband sealed it! A great character and though the situation is one often portrayed in books, the uniqueness comes with the amplification: 12 brothers! There is so much to notice in what looks like sparse illustrations – and all of it is hysterical! LOVE this book!

AnotherBrotherspot.jpg

Resources/Activities: Lots of good questions for a discussion: How many siblings do you have? Are you the oldest, middle or youngest? Do you have step-siblings? What kinds of things do you enjoy doing together? What things would you rather do alone?

AnotherBrother4

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

AnotherBrotherendpapers2.jpg

PPBF: What Do You Say, Dear?

WhatDoYouSayDear?CoverAuthor: Sesyle Joslin
Illustrator: Maurice Sendak
Publisher: Harper Collins; first publ. by Addison-Wesley, 1958
Age: 3-6
Themes: etiquette, manners, humorous stories
Opening: You are downtown and there is a gentleman giving baby elephants to people. You want to take one home because you have always wanted a baby elephant, but first the gentleman introduces you to each other. What do you say, dear?

WhatDoYouSayDear?TitlepageSummary: (from my library catalog) Offers advice on how to cope correctly with a variety of common and uncommon social situations. (That is such an understatement! The book is HILARIOUS!)

WhatDoYouSayDear?2Why I like this book: it’s ‘the funniest book on good behavior you’ll ever read’, according to the back cover – and I concur! And the illustrations are at the same time slightly snarky and heart-meltingly darling! Enjoy!

WhatDoYouSayDear?3Resources/Activities: Read the companion book: What Do You Do, Dear? (images below), by the same author and illustrator. Read them again! Come up with more common and uncommon situations!

WhatDoYouDoDear?coverWhatDoYouDoDear?1WhatDoYouDoDear?4For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Great Dog Bottom Swap

GreatDogBottomSwapcoverAuthor: Peter Bently
Illustrator: Mei Matsuoka
Publisher: Andersen Press, 2009
Age: 0+ (according to publisher!)
Themes: dogs, behavior, humorous stories
Opening: The day had arrived for the Dog’s Summer Ball. All the dogs in the world were lined up at the hall, where a sign on the door said, Now please be so kind as to keep your coat on but remove your behind. Please hang up your bottom on one of the pegs and remember, no growling or cocking of legs.

UntitledSummary: (from my library catalog) The day has arrived for the Dogs’ Summer Ball. It’s so high class that each dog must remove their bottom before they are allowed inside the hall. But in the middle of all the frivolity something unexpected happens and the dogs have to make a hasty exit…with or without the correct bottom!

GreatDogBottomSwap2Why I like this book: It’s HILARIOUS! I have recently mentioned this book so many times it was evident I needed to feature it! The illustrations feature dogs in outfits and accessories that bring on the giggles all by themselves, but this story is just such a hoot, you MUST look for it at your library/bookstore!

GreatDogBottomSwap3.pngResources/Activities: Think how you might come up with a ‘legend’ for how some strange behavior came to be for other animals.

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

PPBF: The Paper-Flower Tree

PaperFlowerTree1Author/Illustrator: Jacqueline Ayer
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace, & World, 1962
Age: 4-7
Themes: Thailand, wishing, believing
Opening: (see image above)
Summary: (from my library catalog) One day, an old peddler came to the small village in Thailand where a little girl called Miss Moon lived. He brought a tree, fashioned of brightly colored paper flowers. When the old man gave Miss Moon one of the flowers, she planted its seed – a black bead – and tended it faithfully. Though beads will not grow, Miss Moon’s faith was nevertheless rewarded.

PaperFlowerTree7Why I like this book: What a gem! I can hardly believe I have never seen any of Ayer’s work before, but I am mesmerized! A gentle tale of hoping and believing, despite all odds. The illustrations feel fresh as a daisy!

PaperFlowerTree10Resources/Activities: look up where Thailand is on the map; read companion books on Thai culture; visit a Thai restaurant; explore more of Jacqueline Ayer’s books; consider donation to this kickstarter; if possible, visit the exhibit, starting this month, on her work at The House of Illustration in London – info HERE

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

PPBF: WE4 – Oh, No! Where Are My Pants?+2

To close the series this month on Wolf Erlbruch, I’d like to introduce three titles that he illustrated for other authors. To read the other posts, click HERE, HERE, or HERE. Enjoy!Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?CoverEdited by: Lee Bennet Hopkins
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Harper Collins, 2005
Age: 4-8
Themes: conduct of life, children’s poetry, emotions
Opening: This isn’t the way it was supposed to be- You in Room Two. Me in Room Three.

Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?1Summary: Poignant and funny American poems for children selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?2Why I like this book: I love suggesting books of poetry for emerging readers, especially humorous ones. These all touch on the feelings we all share of what it is like to have a really bad day. I love the simplicity in rendering and arresting compositions that snuggle up perfectly to each poem.

Resources/Activities: write poems about a bad-day experience you may have had.

ButterflyWorkshopCoverAuthor: Gioconda Belli, translated from the Spanish by Charles Castaldi
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Peter Hammer Verlag/Europa Editions, 1994/2005
Age: 7-11
Themes: imagination, inventors, insects
Opening: Butterflies are almost weightless. They are ever so light, like the batting of an eyelid, the sun blinking red and yellow.

ButterflyWorkshop1.jpgSummary: (from fantasticfiction.com) Odair, one of the “Designers of All Things” and grandson of the esteemed inventor of the rainbow, has been banished to the insect laboratory as punishment for his overactive imagination. But he still dreams of one day creating a cross between a bird and a flower. Then, after a helpful chat with a dog . . .

ButterflyWorkshop2Why I like this book: Every illustration is a gem! For illustrators this is a beautiful edition from which to study what the silhouette of a character can lend to visual storytelling. And I believe children and adults alike can relate to the inventive main character who is one of the ‘Designers of All Things’.

Resources/Activities: consider the kinds of insects or flowers you might like to invent.

BearWhoWasn'tThereCoverAuthor: Oren Lavie
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Verlag Antje Kunstmann/Black Sheep, 2014/2016
Age: 6-8
Themes: itching, bears, identity
Opening: Once upon a time there was an Itch. Simply, an Itch.

BearWhoWasn'tThere1.jpgSummary: (from my library catalog) One day, a few minutes after Once Upon a Time, a bear awakes to find he has lost something very important: himself! He sets out into the Fabulous Forest to find himself, using only a few clues scrawled on a piece of paper: the bear he’s looking for is a nice bear; he is a happy bear; and he’s very handsome too! These sound like pretty good qualities to Bear, and so begins his memorable journey. With the help of Fabulous Forest critters like the Convenience Cow, theLazy Lizard, and the Penultimate Penguin, Bear finds that he himself is just what he’s been looking for all along: a nice, happy bear–and handsome too!

BearWhoWasn'tThere2.jpgWhy I like this book: The text is full of gags, silliness and wordplay that are accompanied by equally playful and light illustrations making wonderful use of collage.

Resources/Activities: make a list of character traits you believe belong to you.

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

PPBF: WE3 – The Big Question

BigQuestionCover.jpgAuthor/Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch, winner of the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Publisher: Europa Editions, 2003; original title: Le grande question, translated by Michael Reynolds
Age: 4-6
Themes: self-perception, questions and answers
Opening: Your brother says: *You’re here on earth to celebrate your birthday, of course.”
Summary: (from my library catalog) A child, on his 5th birthday, asks why are we here, and receives a number of different answers.

BigQuestion1Why I like this book: very simply, and beautifully, the book addresses why we our main character is here on earth, as perceived through multiple characters and examples. Many thanks to Rainer Pleyer for pointing my attention toward this book!

BigQuestion2.jpgResources/Activities: come up with  more characters and create examples, maybe a picturebook maker would say, “You’re here for me to tell you stories.” ; read the book in the first post in this series HERE or the second HERE

BigQuestion3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

P1210019I took the book pictures just before the one above of the big spring snow dump! Picture taken before the end of the storm – hope the shrubs will recover!

PPBF: WE2 – Ten Green Herrings

TenGreenHerringsCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch, winner of the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Publisher: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1995
Age: 4-6
Themes: counting rhyme, herings, adaptation or nursery-rhyme
Opening: see spread image below; my translation: ten little herrings sleeping in the barn (Sheun), one got hayfever and then there were nine (neun).
Summary: (adapted from the publisher) Wolf Erlbruch’s best-seller about the ten green herrings which, one after the other, mysteriously disappear.

TenGreenHerrings1Why I like this book: I bought this incredibly silly adaptation of the American nursery rhyme, of which there are a number of highly controversial adaptations (Ten Little Indians), especially for the edgy illustrations and fantastic composition. But my kids loved it too!

TenGreenHerrings2.jpgResources/Activities: read other adaptations, and should you come across controversial ones, and the kids are ripe for it, discuss the matter. Read the first post in this series on Wolf Erlbruch books HERE

TenGreenHerrings3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: WE1: Duck, Death and the Tulip

IMG_0832This month my picks for Perfect Picture Book Friday will feature Wolf Erlbruch, illustrator and picture book author, and 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award laureate. (some more HERE). He will be presented with the award on May 29th in Stockholm.

DuckDeathTulipCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch, ; translator: Catherine Chidgey
Publisher: Lerner, 2011; originally published in German as Ente, Tod und Tulpe by Verlag Antje Kunstmann; This translation first published in New Zealand and Australia in 2008 by Gecko Press.
Age: 4-6
Themes: death, ducks, tulips
Opening: For a while now, Duck had had a feeling. “Who are you? What are you up to, creeping along behind me?” “Good,” said Death, “you finally noticed me. I am Death.”
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) In a strangely heart-warming story, a duck strikes up an unlikely friendship with Death.

DuckDeathTulip1

DuckDeathTulip2Why I like this book: I like this book in particular for the gentle way in which the author approaches the subject, with very little explaining, lots of quiet moments, just enough humor and the strong emotions conveyed in the posturing of the characters. It amazes me how sparse and how rich a book can be at once.

DuckDeathTulip3Resources/Activities: read then discuss the book with your child(ren), but do not lead the conversation, just watch as it floats.

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