PPBF: Steadfast Tin Soldier

BF4E6FA6-4C03-493F-B876-7639EF42B552Author: Hans Christian Andersen/Joohee Yoon
Illustrator: 
Joohee Yoon
Publisher:
Enchanted Lion Books, 2016
Age: 4
-8
Themes: Toys, fairytales
OpeningOnce there were five and twenty tin soldiers, all of them brothers, being made from the same tin spoon.

40DC6820-6B08-4358-AD9C-58B4394C3A66Summary: (from my library catalog) The perilous adventure of a toy soldier who loves a paper dancing girl culminates in tragedy for both of them.

50418E2F-E08A-4019-BA19-EFC8A307EE0CI like this book because: I love fairytales, especially around the holidays – nostalgia? – and this is such a beautiful version! The text is also more palatable for younger ears, but together with the illustrations this is a book that multiple ages can enjoy together.

F61D2F46-EC28-46A3-8466-4601A17ACBD0Resources/Activities: create art using just two colors, or one color and black; read more fairytales together! I find that winter-break was always a good time to bake, read, drink tea or hot cocoa, and just enjoy being together.

F18CF510-F6D6-44C1-B511-02C4BA7FDDF4For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

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PPBF: Do Not Open

665553D9-D668-49FC-ABAF-68AF614A75E9Author/Illustrator: Brinton Turkle
Publisher: Penguin, 1981
Age: 4-8
Themes: cats, seashore, magic
Opening: Miss Moody lived at land’s end with Captain Kidd. Captain Kidd wasn’t the famous pirate; he was a cat.

262F8ADD-9EB8-412E-85B5-BF026A2B4163Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Following a storm Miss Moody and her cat find an intriguing bottle washed up on the beach. Should they ignore its “Do not open” warning?

300DC470-5B1F-4F67-8082-663099AD57A3I like this book because: Drawn to the illustrations on a another one of Jama Kim Rattigan’s facebook posts, I placed several of Brinton Turkle’s books on hold, and this is one I had enjoyed before with my children. It’s a His use of dramatic pencil lines and efficient yet bold compositions is food for my soul! (I would have preferred not to have the text boxes set in the middle of these lovely images though!) It’s a dramatic little story too!

8FB4948D-1FF9-486C-9B43-061FC3B2C19EResources/Activities: Brinton Turkle’s started making picture books before I was born, and one title, Thy Friend, Obadiah, won a Caldecott Honor Medal in 1970. Look for a pile of his books, ones he wrote and ones he illustrated for others, and enjoy!

DB8CD5D4-F72D-47DF-81ED-20CACF89A89DFor more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

PPBF: Penguinaut!

D7D3E475-0EB7-4C28-B11F-9BB049AAC583Author: Marcie Collen
Illustrator: 
Emma Yarlett
Publisher:
Orchard, 2018
Age:
3-7
Themes: penguins, zoo, moon
OpeningOrville was small. His friends were big. And their adventures were bigger

073BC828-75E1-495C-9443-F1BC7BF6EDC9Summary: (from my library catalog) Orville is a little penguin who lives in a zoo and dreams of big adventures, like going to the Moon; the other animals are skeptical, but Orville is determined, so he builds a spaceship and sets out all by himself–and discovers that real adventures are best when they are shared with friends.

34B1586C-2709-43B4-8741-F19801D94552I like this book because: full disclosure: I am biased! This is a BA-BOING brand new picture book from one of my critique partners, and it IS fabulous! Great rhythm and readaloudablity, oodles of onomatopoeia and lots of alliteration! AND I love the mixed media illustrations and adorable KA-BOOM character designs! BLAST OFF to your library and enjoy it yourself!

Nightsky kid's artResources/Activities: create your own milk-carton rockets; make a volcano-styled blast-off with recyclable water bottles, instructions HERE; make night sky art on dark paper, like the one above which I found HERE

EE4BCBB8-FF0D-449E-95E7-8DB218F46B2CFor more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Mediterranean

79225BCA-E2F4-4E87-918F-85444F57B380Author/Illustrator: Armin Greder
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2017, originally publ. in Italy
Age: 8+
Themes: refugees, shipwrecks, Mediterranean region
Opening: After he had finished drowning, his body sank slowly to the bottom, where the fish were waiting.

BE720432-243B-4E89-94B9-B68D37B4226ESummary: (from my library’s catalog) A lifeless body. One of many in the waters of the Mediterranean. Precarious boats navigate the waters of the sea, from south to north. And more often than not, it is not only hope that drowns. The author and illustrator uses his distinctive charcoal drawings to depict a dark world with a global dimension. The only words in the story are a single sentence indicating what is happening to the body in the water in the first picture. From there on the reader needs to examine the pictures to draw conclusions about how that body came to be in the sea. An afterword by Alessandro Leogrande, an Italian journalist who writes about social, political and environmental issues, fills in thebackground about the ‘food chain’ portrayed in this disturbing picture book which demands discussion.

F540E815-8E99-4787-A5C5-2786C5340836I like this book because: It is so powerful! Migration has always been an important issue, but especially now in it’s forced impact, and of our time on earth, and, I believe, one we will have to deal with on a myriad of levels and layers all over the world at least for the rest of my lifetime. And a wordless picture book may be the perfect vehicle for discussion. The execution makes the very best use of strong yet simple composition and contrast, limited palette, and loose rendering to deliver equally on an emotional and thought-provoking level. Pow!

6EEC960E-95FF-44A9-9726-4F170A97F644Resources/Activities: Make this a weekly discussion, where new ideas and thoughts may be brought up to ponder over and over.

3D934AD2-FE41-4445-A713-393EEA208A68For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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PPBF: Dark Night

DarkNightcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Dorothée De Monfreid
Publisher: Random House, 2009
Age: 3-7
Opening: It was a dark night.
Summary: (via Amazon) Little Felix is all alone, walking home through the forest when he hears a spooky howling and spots a wolf approaching! His luck turns from bad to worse when a tiger scares away the wolf and a crocodile scares away the tiger! Can something as small as a rabbit help Felix scare away the wild things prowling the woods? This empowering picture book is perfect for any child who’s ever wanted to turn the tables on scary beasts lurking at night.

DarkNight1Themes: dark, fear, courage

DarkNight2I like this book because: Nothing like jumping right into a dark forest in the middle of the night to get a story started! I am a big fan of picture books with simple use of color and silhouette to keep the reader focussed on the bare essentials of a good story (if you haven’t already noticed!).

DarkNight3aResources: read other books about confronting fear of the dark, like The Dark, Handler and Klassen (see trailer below), or It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg – review here; check out more of Dorothée De Monfreid’s delightful work here and here.

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

DarkNight3

PPBF: Double Take!

D8988505-AE17-46BC-95EA-1D99DE13B388Author: Susan Hood
Illustrator: Jay Fleck
Publisher: Candlewick, 2017
Age: 2-5
Themes: opposites, elephants, friendship

CC4FED82-2BE4-4E1E-9294-F7D6150454E9Summary: (from my library catalog) Lively text and retro-style artwork combine in a lively picture book about opposites that invites children to learn new perspectives on spreads depicting a topsy-turvy funhouse journey.

I like this book because: it’s just right for the kids in my storytime group, ages 6mths-3. The rhyme will keep the attention of younger ears and the older children can help me find and compare the opposites in and out of the book. You might think this a simple reason, but it really is difficult to find one just right for everyone without being too ‘easy’. And it’s quite adorable!

FAFB8DD2-A22A-4B06-822F-0DB503BFF814.jpegResources/Activities: Look for opposites in your home, in your classroom, or while you stroll outside; this book is also excellent for identifying clear shapes – read a shape book along with this and finsd all the circles and squares on each page.

75F2A816-165A-41F7-83B3-ED763DC34FB8For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

Merry Christmas, one and all!

8D215E1B-D05F-46FA-95F8-F269AA3A97CB.jpeg

PPBF: King of the Sky

KingOfTheSkycoverAuthor: Nicola Davies
Illustrator: Laura Carlin
Publisher:  Candlewick, 2017
Age: 4-8
Themes: immigrants, moving house, racing pigeons

KingOfTheSkyendpapersSummary: (from my library catalog) When a young boy moves from his home in Italy to Wales, the only thing that cheers him up are the racing pigeons that Mr. Evans keeps in a loft behind his house.

KingOfTheSky1Resources/Activities: find an atlas and plot out the journey for King of the Sky; research racing pigeons; read other migration oriented stories like, Migrant by Maxine Trottier.

KingOfTheSky3.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

PPBF: 2 Cinderella Tales

RoughfacedGirlcover.pngAuthor: Rafe Martin
Illustrator: David Shannon
Publisher: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 1992
Age: 5-9
Themes: Algonquin Indians, Cinderella
Opening: Once, long ago, there was a village by the shores of Lake Ontario.

roughfacedgirl1.jpgSummary: (from my library catalog) In this Algonquin Indian version of the Cinderella story, the Rough-Face Girl and her two beautiful but heartless sisters compete for the affections of the Invisible Being.

RoughfacedGirl2.jpgWhy I like this book: After reading a collection of tales illustrated by Edmund Dulac, and being interested in the Cinderella illustration (see below), I sought out other versions, and wanted to share two of the most stunning I found.

Yeh-Shencover.jpgAuthor: Ai-Ling Louie
Illustrator: Ed Young
Publisher:  Philomel, 1982
Age: 5-9
Themes: Chinese tales, Cinderella, Stepchildren
Opening: Once, long ago, there was a village by the shores of Lake Ontario.

Yeh-Shen1.jpgSummary: (from my library catalog) This version of the Cinderella story, in which a young girl overcomes the wickedness of her stepsister and stepmother to become the bride of a prince, is based on ancient Chinese manuscripts written 1000 years before the earliest European version.

Yeh-Shen2.jpgResources/Activities: Find more versions, of this tale and others. Compare and contrast what you like, or don’t like, about each one.

P1210740

from Edmund Dulac’s picture-book for the French Red Cross

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

PPBF: The Shrinking of Treehorn

5FC2B3A0-D4A0-4B3F-B4DF-A0B396C626FC.jpegAuthor: Florence Parry Heide
Illustrator: Edward Gorey
Publisher: Holiday House, 1971
Age: 5+
Themes: families, magic, humorous stories
Opening: (see image below)

E0C4BEB8-3167-487D-8A1F-2AF666526E12Summary: (from my library catalog) A boy discovers he is shrinking but does not know the cause or cure.

593084B9-2D04-47F8-8456-834130934186.jpegWhy I like this book: The subtle wit and insight into the lives of only children and parents in the text AND illustration is sublime. I had recently watched a 12×12 webinar with Sergio Ruzzier where he talked about a couple of books he illustrated written by Florence Parry Heide, so as per my usual modus operandi I put a stack of her books on hold through my library. I remember reading this before, but what a pity that I did not have my own copy! I am already a Gordy fan, but 3 FPH books later, I am a fan of hers too (and happy to take any further recommendations!).

348840B8-9313-405F-9A23-FBE5DBF1C7FCResources/Activities: for older children, discuss all the patterns used to create the illustrations in the book and how they influence the story; for younger kids: talk about all the ways we notice growth in our lives.

35937D84-715B-4FCF-9AA6-AAF87E393532.jpegFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

7282A526-6542-46D8-9D4A-3C16FA35C3CF.jpeg

PPBF: A Squash and a Squeeze

SquashandaSqueezeCoverAuthor: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine, 2017; first published by Methuen Books, 1993
Age: 3-6
Themes: dwellings, domestic animals, stories in rhyme, humorous stories
Opening: A little old lady lived all by herself with a table and chairs and a jug on the shelf.

SquashandaSqueezeTitlepageSummary: With the help of an old man and all of her animals, an old lady realizes that her house is not as small as she thought it was.

SquashandaSqueeze1Why I like this book: This rollicking rhyme spins an old Jewish folk tale said to be from Poland, is always fun, but made so much sweeter by the master of rhyme herself, Julia Donaldson. Scheffler is able to add so much emotion to the cozy illustrations (the goat’s face while pig raids the cupboard is priceless!), that you might want to move in with all the characters too!

SquashandaSqueezebackResources/Activities: Read about the illustrator HERE;  attempt read every single one of the author’s and illustrator’s collaborations – you won’t be sorry! Read a few more Jewish folktales, like Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, by Simms Tabak, or Such a Noise!, by Aliana Brodmann and Hans Poppel.

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