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.

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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.

PPBF: Das Wurzelkind/ The Root Child

Tomorrow, April 4th, is the birthday of Belgian illustrator and recipient of the 2010 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Kitty Crowther. And though she may not be well known in the US, it is where I first saw her work, albeit in the World Languages section of my library (see my review of ¿Entonces?/Then? – HERE). Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick is the only ‘Crowther’ I was able to find on the fly (why, why didn’t I order ahead?), while traveling through Germany last month. Read more about Crowther and her work at picturebookmakers.com HERE

Author/Illustrator: Kitty Crowther, translated from the French by Bernadette Ott
Publisher: Aladin Verlag, 2014 (originally published in French by l’ecole des loisirs, 2003)
Ages: 5 and up
Themes: forest creatures, fairies, friendship
Opening: my translation: This story takes place in a deep, deep forest. (Diese Geschichte spielt in einem tiefen, tiefen Wald.)
Summary: (from the publisher) my translation attempt: A fox lures Leslie in the dense undergrowth of the deep woods, not found on any map. In a clearing she meets a secretive creature that will change her life in wonderful ways. (Original: Ein Fuchs lockt Leslie ins dichte Unterholz eines tiefen Waldes, der in keiner Karte verzeichnet ist. Auf einer Lichtung begegnet sie dort einem geheimnisvollen Wesen, das ihr Leben auf wunderbare Weise verändern wird.)

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I bought this book because: it may have been the only Crowther book I could find, but the illustrations are charming and I would have picked it anyway! They possess so much energy while maintaining a a level of secrecy, of mystery, always leaving me wanting more. It’s a folk tale, unlike conventional American counterparts in word count and style, but universal in the telling of how a wild creature might not adapt to a home life.

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Resources/activities: as this book may not be available in English I won’t add activities for it, but would like to invite caregivers and children to explore the world languages departments of their local bookstores and libraries.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KITTY!

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

PPBF: Ungerer-vaganza

Today is Tomi Ungerer’s birthday and we need to celebrate!

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Publisher: Phaidon Press, 2013
Ages: 5-8yrs
Themes: children, fog, coastal/rural life
Opening: Finn and Cara were brother and sister. They lived by the sea in the back of beyond. (the opening sets the fairytale feel)
Summary: (from the publisher) No one has ever returned from the mysterious Fog Island, but when Finn and Cara get castaway on its murky shores, they discover things are not quite as they expect… Will anyone ever believe them?

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Why I like this book: though written in a rather adult voice, the child in the author is definitely inviting the child in the reader with lines like these: ‘Fog Island loomed like a jagged black tooth’, ‘But to be lonesome is not a reason to get bored’, or ‘It tasted awful but felt strangely heartening’. Living in a very dry, landlocked place I miss the ocean and fog – the art in the book present a cloudy, cool and moist feel so well I can smell the salt on the air. A perfect read for a grey day – don’t forget a cup of tea!

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Resources/activities – for kids: use this book when studying a weather unit, and make fog in a jar – HERE; check out this German Kindergarten, ‘Die Katze’ designed by Tomi Ungerer and architect Ayla-Suzan Yöndel; just for adults: Check out the wonderful documentary, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough (NOT for the little uns‘): HEREvisit the Tomi Ungerer Museum: International Center for Illustration in Strasbourg (voted one of the 10 best museums in Europe by the Council of Europe); for interested adults: watch the B-movie horror film (same title, not the same content!) from 1945 (poster image below); if ever in Nantucket visit the Fog Island Cafe;

Really want to know more, don’t you! Check out the timeline on his official website – HERE; The Free Library of Philadelphia has a collection of Tomi Ungerer papersTomi Ungerer is a candidate for the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) ‘The World’s Largest Children’s Literature Award’; Follow Tomi Ungerer on Facebook, or Twitter

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Here is a list (mostly) from Wikipedia of his children’s picture books (available in English), including two I have already recommended:

  • The Mellops Go Flying (1957)
  • Mellops Go Diving for Treasure (1957)
  • Crictor (1958)
  • The Mellops Strike Oil (1958)
  • Adelaide (1959)
  • Christmas Eve at the Mellops (1960)
  • Emile (1960)
  • Rufus (1961)
  • The Three Robbers (1961)
  • Snail, Where Are You? (1962)
  • Mellops Go Spelunking (1963)
  • Flat Stanley (1964) — art by Tomi Ungerer, written by Jeff Brown
  • One, Two, Where’s My Shoe? (1964)
  • Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls (1964) — art by Tomi Ungerer, poems collected by William Cole
  • Oh, What Nonsense! (1966) — art by Tomi Ungerer, edited by William Cole
  • Orlando, the Brave Vulture (1966)
  • Warwick’s Three Bottles (1966) – with André Hodeir
  • Cleopatra Goes Sledding (1967) – with André Hodeir
  • What’s Good for a 4-Year-Old? (1967) — art by Tomi Ungerer, text by William Cole
  • Moon Man (Der Mondmann) (Diogenes Verlag, 1966)
  • Zeralda’s Ogre (1967)
  • Ask Me a Question (1968)
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1969) — text by Barbara Hazen
  • Oh, How Silly! (1970) — art by Tomi Ungerer, edited by William Cole
  • The Hat (1970)
  • I Am Papa Snap and These Are My Favorite No Such Stories (1971)
  • The Beast of Monsieur Racine (1971)
  • The Hut (1972)
  • Oh, That’s Ridiculous! (1972) — art by Tomi Ungerer, edited by William Cole
  • No Kiss for Mother (1973)
  • Allumette; A Fable, with Due Respect to Hans Christian Andersen, the Grimm Brothers, and the Honorable Ambrose Bierce (1974)
  • Tomi Ungerer’s Heidi: The Classic Novel (1997) — art by Tomi Ungerer, text by Johanna Spyri
  • Flix (1998)
  • Tortoni Tremelo the Cursed Musician (1998)
  • Otto: The Autobiography of a Teddy Bear (1999)
  • Snail, Where Are You? (2005)
  • Zloty (2009)
  • Fog Island (2013)

One more treat – the trailer to a film based on the book MOON MAN

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For more PPBF picks packed with resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.