PPBF: Move Over, Rover!

MoveOver,Rover!CoverAuthor: Karen Beaumont
Illustrator: Jane Dyer
Publisher: Harcourt, 2006
Age: 2-5
Themes: animals, shelter, sharing
OpeningRover’s in the dog house, chewing on a bone. What a day to romp and play! Too bad he’s all alone.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When a storm comes, Rover expects to have his doghouse all to himself but finds that various other animals, including a skunk, come to join him.

MoveOver,Rover!1Why I like this book: This is a great rhyming read aloud with a stinky surprise ending! Perfect for toddlers.

MoveOver,Rover!2Resources/Activities: a good companion read to The Mitten; try putting this on as a pre-school play, narrated by a parent or teacher; discuss how animals seek shelter in a storm.

MoveOver,Rover!3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Next to You

NextToYouCoverAuthor: Lori Haskins Houran
Illustrator: Sydney Hanson
Publisher: Albert Whitman, 2016
Age: 2-5
Themes: animals, cuteness, parent/child relationships
OpeningNext to you, the softest puppy in the world is only kind of cute.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When it comes to new babies, friends, or other loved ones, we should remind them of just how darling they are. But are they cuter than a piglet in a sweater? A basket of baby chicks? An elephant calf taking a bath? Of course! Sweet, funny, irreverent, but above all, CUTE, this keepsake-size book is perfect for both gift-giving and cuddly story times.

NextToYou1.pngWhy I like this book: Amazing how this one can be so funny and touching at the same time. You’re going to want to buy this one for someone you like to be next to!

NextToYou2Resources/Activities: great for learning how to draw a child’s face, esp a small child; I could see this being used in a biology class, discussing evolution and how we are wired to take care of our young.

NextToYou3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Playground

PlaygroundCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Mies van Hout
Publisher: Lemniscaat, 2015
Age: 3-6
Themes: playgrounds, imagination, animals
Opening: Let’s go to the playground! Are you coming?
Summary: (from my library catalog) Two children find many adventures on their journey to the playground.

Playground2Why I like this book: For the exciting textures, colors and compositions, the cute characters and the silliness! Just look at these spreads!

Playground4.jpgResources/Activities: Explore watercolor wash-blending, and just go play!!!

Playground6For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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PPBF: Miss Twiggley’s Tree and a winner!

Congratulations ASHLEY WOLFF! You guessed right, yet there are 2 correct guesses: fox and chicken (I’m nice like that). This is YOUR prize – a copy of my favorite picture book!

MissTwiggley'sTreecoverAuthor/Illustrator: Dorothea Warren Fox
Publisher: Purple House Press, 1966
Ages: 4-7
Themes: friendship, animals, treehouses
Opening: Funny Miss Twiggley lived in a tree with a dog named Puss and a color TV. She did what she liked, and she liked what she did, but when company came Miss Twiggley hid.

MissTwiggley'sTree1Summary: (from Amazon) Why did Miss Twiggley live in a tree? Why did she send her dog, Puss, out to do the shopping? Why did she always run away and hide when people came to visit? And it was rumored that Miss Twiggley had even more peculiar habits…

Old Miss Twiggley
Was friendly with bears.
“They shed on the sofa,” she said,
“But who cares?”

And was it true, as the mayor’s wife had heard, that she actually slept in her hat? “Simply disgraceful!” they said. But when a hurricane hits the town and the water rises, everyone is grateful to Miss Twiggley and her tree. Even better, Miss Twiggley herself learns a very important lesson, with a warm and happy ending.

MissTwiggley'sTree2This is my personal favorite. Hard to believe I can chose one, but it speaks to my heart! I found Miss Twiggley late, but it was a meeting of kindred spirits (pssst – I grew up with a willow tree in our backyard). Even after the magic of reading bedtime stories had faded, I still read this one with my big kids – sure is nice that they humor me! For those of you who know me better it is transparent – I identify strongly with the main character. Please find and read this. Let me know if you share the admiration.

MissTwiggley'sTreehalfResources/activities: Read it. Read it again!; Build a treehouse (I’d like one!); look into fostering animals from your local Humane Society; make an disaster preparedness plan 

MissTwiggley'sTree4.jpgFor existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

MissTwiggley'sTreeauthor

PPBF: The Little Red Hen

LRHcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Paui Galdone
Publisher: Clarion, 1973
Ages: 3-7yrs
Themes: folk tale, animals, just rewards
Opening: Once upon a time a cat and a dog and a mouse and a little red hen all lived together in a cozy little house.
Summary: (from my library catalog)The little red hen finds none of her lazy friends willing to help her plant, harvest, or grind wheat into flour, but all are eager to eat the cake she makes from it.

DSC01146I like this book because: it is the didactic tale we all know, but what I like is that the hen does not give in, and that leads into the discussion of right and wrong so much better than versions where the hen decides to share. But who is kidding who here? I chose it for the illustrations! Specifically for the character designs and the way Galdone lends emotion to the character’s faces and postures, making visual reading so much fun!

LRH3Resources/activities: bake bread; make pretend/playdough bread using rolling pins; try assorted breads in class – have a taste test.

LRH5For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

LRHspot

PPBF: Journey Cake, Ho!

JCHcover Heading for the hills this weekend – will reply later!

Author: Ruth Sawyer Illustrator: Robert McCloskey Publisher: The Viking Press, 1953 Ages: 3+ Themes: farm/farmers, animals, run-away food Opening: There were three of them: the old woman, Merry; the old man, Grumble: and Johnny, the bound-out boy. They lived in a log cabin, t’other side of Tip Top Mountain. Summary: (from my library catalogue) Johnny is leaving the farm because of hard times when his Journey Cake leads him on a merry chase that results in a farm yard full of animals and the family all together again. JCHtitlepage I like this book because: I adore the flavor of dialect in this classic’s rhythmic text from Ruth Sawyer, with words like ‘this-wise’, ‘nettlesome’, and ‘all of a tucker’. The very simple use of just two contrasting tones from master book maker Robert McCloskey, of Make Way for Ducklings fame, make the pictures pop, but I really appreciate the bold line strokes used to create texture and infuse energy in these traditional illustrations (pssst -I plan to post more McCloskey favorites this year). JCHrunawayfood Resources/activities: Read about the history of America’s first pancakes, and make the recipe – HERE ; put on a play, like the kids from the Atlanta School – with music! – in the video below (17:30mins – play is over after 13 )

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

PPBF: For Just One Day

Author:Laura Leuck
Illustrator: 
Marc Boutavant
Publisher: 
Chronicle Books, 2009
Age Level: pre-school and up
Themes: imagination, animals, stories in rhyme
Opening: For just one day, I’d like to be a busy, buzzing bumble-   BEE! The flowers would belong to me, if I could be a bumble bee.
Summary: (Excerpt from Publisher’s Weekly) Schoolchildren imagine themselves as chimps, whales and butterflies in this fantasy. The layout builds suspense, with ellipses preceding each page turn.

ForJustOneDayEP

Totally fell for the endpapers, half pictured above. Not something I say often.

ForJustOneDay2

And these cute critters and kiddies make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But I like this book because of the sweet rhymes and repetition, with just enough page-turning suspense that I enjoyed every one!

PPBF: The Gigantic Turnip

Celebrating with themes of food, family, and friends this month:

Author: Aleksei Tolstoy
Illustrator: Niamh Sharkey
Publisher: Barefoot Books, 1998
Age Level: 3-7 yrs
Themes: folklore, Russia, gardening, animals, teamwork
Opening: Long ago, an old man and an old woman lived together in a crooked old cottage with a large, overgrown garden.
Summary: (from the publisher) A hilarious retelling of the famous Russian folktale of the turnip that grows and grows and grows.. Simple vocabulary, lots of repetition, and quirky illustrations add to its overall appeal.
Why I like this book: First of all. the opening line is what I think kids will be saying about my house in the future! It’s already 112 years old and the loosening bricks may give a crooked look to the place soon enough! But many of you may know this story already since so many versions have been published. Here is my favorite spread because I love silhouettes  –


Resources/Activities: plant turnips (and more veg/flowers) in the spring; create a lesson about root vegetables, which are not as commonly used anymore (pity!) – and make soup; check out Barefoot Turtle blog for a wonderful ‘chain’ craft idea; reenact the story as a play; read a Spanish/English version too.

PPBF: Animal Masquerade

Author/Illustrator: Marianne Dubuc
Publisher:Kids Can Press, 2012 (Originally under Au carnaval des animaux, 2011)
Genre: fiction
Themes: animals, disguises, masquerade
Age Level: 3-7, but my teens loved this too!
Opening: Come one, come all to the animal masquerade. Disguises are a must!
Synopsis: from Kids Can Press: The lion is going as an elephant, the elephant as a parrot, and the parrot as a turtle! Each costume gives way to another, yielding new surprises on every page, and revealing a menagerie of familiar and unusual animals. Young children will delight in the absurd and amusing images (who wouldn’t love a ladybug dressed as a hippopotamus?) and will also appreciate the gags (a fish costumed as a cat is dubbed a “catfish”) and other bits of silly sweetness. Recapping this reading adventure: a detailed panorama at book’s end, showing all the party guests in their fanciful finery.
Why I like this book: I don’t like this book, I LOVE IT! You can read it, over and over right away! If anyone out there ever makes a costume of an animal ‘in costume’ send me a photo!
Resource/Activity: make your own costumes: http://crafts.kaboose.com/holidays/halloween/costumes/ ; Blog: My Disguises great photos and ideas for kids of ALL ages
For more links to posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources, visit Susanna Hill’s blog every Friday.
PS: It is Day Four of the 15 Habits of Great Writers Challenge and we have been prompted to ‘practice’ publicly. Well, I did that last night when I read a MS to my shiny and new kid-lit crit-group. It was scary but fun and helpful, and I appreciate my fellow members soooo much!