PPBF: Froodle

FroodleCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Antoinette Portis
Publisher: Neal Porter/roaring Brook Press, 2014
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: birds, birdsong, individuality
Opening: All year long, the dogs went ‘Woof’. The cats went ‘Meow’. And the birds in the neighborhood went ‘Caw’, ‘Coo’, ‘Chip’, ‘Peep’,…
Summary: (from my library catalog) In a normal neighborhood, on a typical day, the birds chirp, the dogs bark and the cats meow. When Little Brown Bird decides she doesn’t want to sing the same old song, out comes a new tune that shakes up the neighborhood and changes things forever in this funny, innovative book that kids will love to read outloud.

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I like this book because: I like birds. Just ask Debbie, or Teresa. And I really admire crows, like Whitney. And I even asked my library to purchase it before it was released! But they forgot to notify me when it came in. If I didn’t love ’em so much, well…! I love it’s beautiful graphic composition, and the spunky little sparrow/main character who entices her friends into creative disobedience! And my favorite new bird call? ‘Itsy boggen!’ Read it to see why!

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Resources/activities: this book would be great in the art room, because kids should learn how to use simple shape changes to differentiate between animals of the same class. AND the story promotes creativity – booyah!; I’d even go as far as college with this, for logo development! Find a list of Portis’ awesome books – HERE; watch this full PBS documentary online: A Murder of Crows.

Perfect Picture Book Friday has lots of selections listed on a themed and alphabetized list, each with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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FC ADVENTure CALENDAR Day 12, and 12x12in’12 Party!

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A favorite book from my childhood is Go, Dog. Go!, by P.D. Eastman. It features dogs in all colors, utilizing all sorts of vehicles to get around. We didn’t have a car in Hannover, but we never needed to own one. In moving to Fort Collins from Germany we had to make a big adjustment. When we first arrived it was really important to me that we choose a place to live that allows for accessibility with a bicycle, or on foot. So we rented a house in Old Town, and finally bought one two years later. We only had one car for a few years, and with the trailer on the bike I was able to manage pretty well.

Bike paths in Fort Collins

We are fortunate that Fort Collins has a great bike culture, and many of the city’s streets are marked with bike paths. If you are looking to get somewhere via bike, the city has a Bike Coordinator to help you find the best route, bicycle safety resources and classes, route maps, a bike-and-ride program( buses that can carry up to two buses on the front at a time), status updates on bike trail conditions, bike cage access in one of the parking houses, bike-to-work-day and bike-to-school-day events, and more.

The bus system cannot be compared to any in Europe, but the city puts a lot of effort into promoting it’s use, including offering free bus fare for all students under 17, and all university students with a RamCard. They also work with neighboring communities to establish affordable regional transit services, for we may have train tracks, but no passenger trains. Unbelievable to us at first, but true. And at this point, with our barely stable economy, I only hope to see that happen. I’ll be sharing the story of our trolley in another ADVENTure post!

It’s Wednesday, and time for another idiom (WIX). I’ll keep ‘in motion’ with the thread of today’s post: on the home stretch: approaching something such as a task, race or journey. And I am! It’s the 12th day of the 12th month in 2012, a perfect day to celebrate! I have almost (19 days left!) successfully completed Julie Hedlund’s 12x12in’12 Challenge: 12 rough picture book drafts in 12 months in 2012! I am finding it too hard to express my gratitude to Julie and all my fellow participants – I am overflowing. So here is another Mr.Poppenfuss illustration, for IF: Explore, which expresses how I feel:

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PS: Happy Birthday Beth!

Halfway-There Blog Party: Bring Dessert

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill

There are numerous wise quotes about having nothing to be unhappy about. I like to keep the positive in mind as we* approach the halfway point in the 12 x 12 in ’12 Challenge. Because as much as I appreciate this opportunity to better my habits, append my skills, grow my potential, and fuel my motivation I admit, my dear friends, I am also half sad.

Shortly after beginning I felt I had found something special, worth nurturing through to the harvest. Now I profess it! So before I let negative thoughts rot the crop, I will grab this moment and celebrate fiercely! Today I toast my fellow participants with my glass half full, and vow to cherish sweet fruits, toss the pits and make good pie!

*Over 400 writers and writer/illustrators of picture books completing 12 drafts in 12 months in 2012.

PPBF: The Giant Seed

This post is dedicated to all those affected by the High Park Fire: seeds of hope
Author/Illustrator: Arthur Geisert
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books, 2012 (originally published in France under La Grosse Graine by Editions Autrement, 2010)
Genre: wordless fiction;  note the interesting size: 10 1/4″ x 6″
Themes: pigs, seeds, volcanoes, islands, dandelions, displacement
Age Level: 4-8
Synopsis: In this new episode of Geisert’s pig stories (yes, that was the cue to read the others) a seed drifts into the community, is planted, nurtured and enjoyed by all. The threat of a  volcano eruption has them scrambling to safety, and I’ll let you guess how their escape is provided – or you can drift over to your local bookstore tomorrow to participate in Kelly Sonnack’s annual Save the Bookstore’s 2012 Event
Why I like this book: Geisert’s ability to imbue action and adventure in a wordless picture book with really cool photogravure illustrations is magical! (From Wikipedia: Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking or photo-mechanical process whereby a copper plate is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched, resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a photograph.)
Resource/Activity:  Good explanation for wind dispersal of seeds; Craft ideas: Printmaking for Kids; makeandtakes.com: home-made volcanoes
For more posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources visit Susanna Hill’s blog every Friday
And now to Day Nine: Jeff Goins tells us another habit of great writers is to connect with other writers. Then I must be in a great group of great writers already! For more info visit Julie Hedlund’s site for more info on the 12x12in’12 Challlenge.