PPBF: Sometimes It’s Storks + a winner!

SometimesIt'sStorkscoverAuthor: L.J.R. Kelly
Illustrator: The Brothers Hilts
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017
Age: 2-5
Themes: infants, animals
Opening: “Babies arrive by different means, on rickshaws, beasts or submarines, and some, indeed, do come by wing – a bundle of baby, blanket and string – “

SometimesIt'sStorks1Summary: (from my library catalog) Relates where some babies come from as a parent tells a child of the long and strange journey that began with a careless stork and ended with the baby finally reaching home.

SometimesIt'sStorks2Why I like this book: Stunning compositions with stimulating use of contrast – great for young eyes – and tired ones too! The text gets high marks for top-notch readaloudability and humor too. Great gift for new parents!

SometimesIt'sStorks4Resources/Activities: read it again, savor it a third time, and after the fifth reading buy a copy for a friend!

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

And the WINNER of the 5th BLOGIVERSARY giveaway picture book is:

JOANNA MARPLE!

Thanks to each and every one of you for participating!!!

PPBF: Mom, There’s a Bear at the Door! + my 5th blogiversary!

To celebrate 5 years of blogging I’d like to send one lucky reader a gift: a picture book of their choice! Please leave the title of the book you’d like in the comment section by March 23, 2017/6amMDT, and if I can get a hold of a new copy I’d be honored to send it to you. Please understand that if the winner is from outside the US, the offer applies in softcover/paperback form. Looking forward to reading your wish titles in the comment section below! And happy St. Patrick’s Day to my fellow (lucky) Irish folks!

BearattheDoorcoverAuthor: Sabine Lipan
Illustrator: Manuela Olten
Publisher: Eerdmans, 2016; orig. in German: Mama, da steht ein Bär vor der Tür!
Age: 2-5
Themes: bears, mother-and-child, humorous stories
Opening: Mom, there’s a bear at the door! A Bear? A bear. But we live on the eleventh floor! That’s why he’s here.

BearattheDoor1Summary: (from my library catalog) I love the faith tenacity of this main character, and the expression-laden character designs. So much fun!!! Can’t wait to try this out on my storytime kids!

BearattheDoor2Why I like this bookA mother has several questions when her son tells her there’s a bear standing outside the front door of their eleventh-floor apartment.

BearattheDoor4Resources/Activities: this is a great ‘what if?’ prompt for young writers!

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

PPBF: Old MacDonald Had a Truck

OMHadATruckCoverAuthor: Steve Goetz
Illustrator: Eda Kaban
Publisher: Chronicle, 2016
Age: 2-5
Themes: farmers, trucks, stories based on songs
Opening: Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had an…EXCAVATOR!

OMHadATruckEndpapersSummary: (from my library catalog) An update of the classic folk song, Old MacDonald, featuring farm vehicles like excavator, dump truck, and bulldozer.

OMHadATruck1Why I like this book: My local library’s children’s librarian handed this one to me, and I am grateful – such a great read-aloud that will surely delight truck-loving singers and my storytime crowd at the bookstore.

OMHadATruck2Resources/Activities: read this along with Little Blue Truck, by Alice Shertle and Jill McElmurry and The Happy Man and His Dump Truck, by Miryam and Tibor Gergely; Play animal charades: have children pick an image of farm animal out of a bag/basket and act out the sounds or movements of the animal for others to guess.

OMHadATruck3For 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.

PPBF: Strong As a Bear

strongasabearcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Katrin Stangl
Publisher: Enchanted Lion, 2016 (Originally published in Germany in 2013 as Stark wie ein Bär.)
Age: 2-6
Themes: metaphors, concept books
Opening: *see first spread image below the endpaper image.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A series of children show how they are free as a bird, quick as a hare, mischievous as a monkey, quiet as a mouse, and strong as a bear.

StrongAsABearendpaper.jpgWhy I like this book: I actually liked this so much more at the second look – as with too many things, we move too fast and don’t savour the journey, but kids are still smart about that and I believe they will see straight off that this is an invitation to role play, to thinking out of the box, and the robust use of color and composition grabs a tight hold!

strongasabear1Resources/Activities: discuss the analogies made and make a new list and act them out; use in an art class to discuss how to use a limited color palette to extend powerful messages and imagery.

StrongAsABear2.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

strongasabearback

PPBF: A Well-Mannered Young Wolf

wellmanneredwolfcoverAuthor: Jean Leroy
Illustrator: Matthieu Maudet
Publisher: Eerdmans, 2016, originally publ. in France by L’école des loisirs, 2013
Age: 4-8
Themes: wolves, manners, humorous stories
OpeningA young wolf, whose parents had taught him good manners, went hunting alone, in the forest for the first time.
Summary: (from my library catalog, short and to the point) A young wolf must fulfill his prey’s last wishes before he devours them.

wellmanneredwolf2Why I like this book: I have a penchant for sweet-on-the-outside stories with bite! The illustrations are much like those found in graphic novels, with very simple use of color and white space, allowing for the characters to take the simple plot on a well-paced ride!

wellmanneredwolf3Resources/Activities: A great book to discuss manners, honor, expectation and safety too!

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

PPBF: The Lost House

losthousecoverAuthor/Illustrator: b.b.cronin
Publisher: Viking, 2016
Age: 4-7
Themes: seek-and-find books, houses, grandfathers
Opening: Grandad promised to take his grandchildren to the park today. But he needs some help getting ready. He’s lost a few things.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A brother and sister want to go to the playground with their grandfather, but they can’t leave until they find everything they need to take with them, in his colorful house. Help Grandad find all of his belongings in this search and find!

losthouseendpaperWhy I like this book: Duh! Haha! This book is a riot of color and barrels of fun! My adult son and I spent at least half an hour looking for a sock in one of the spreads (no spoilers!). There is so much more to find than just the objects Grandad needs! I know readers will enjoy this as much as I do (still haven’t found everything!).

losthouse1Resources/Activities: I would say the book provides this itself but go around the house or classroom and look for colors and objects that might get lost in one of the rooms, like this faded rose…

p1180966

losthouse2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

losthouseback

NO! I did not forget the GIVEAWAY!!! And I am delighted to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Skippy John Jones in MUMMY TROUBLE is a writer-friend on the other side of the globe: Diane Tulloch!