PPBF: WE4 – Oh, No! Where Are My Pants?+2

To close the series this month on Wolf Erlbruch, I’d like to introduce three titles that he illustrated for other authors. To read the other posts, click HERE, HERE, or HERE. Enjoy!Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?CoverEdited by: Lee Bennet Hopkins
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Harper Collins, 2005
Age: 4-8
Themes: conduct of life, children’s poetry, emotions
Opening: This isn’t the way it was supposed to be- You in Room Two. Me in Room Three.

Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?1Summary: Poignant and funny American poems for children selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?2Why I like this book: I love suggesting books of poetry for emerging readers, especially humorous ones. These all touch on the feelings we all share of what it is like to have a really bad day. I love the simplicity in rendering and arresting compositions that snuggle up perfectly to each poem.

Resources/Activities: write poems about a bad-day experience you may have had.

ButterflyWorkshopCoverAuthor: Gioconda Belli, translated from the Spanish by Charles Castaldi
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Peter Hammer Verlag/Europa Editions, 1994/2005
Age: 7-11
Themes: imagination, inventors, insects
Opening: Butterflies are almost weightless. They are ever so light, like the batting of an eyelid, the sun blinking red and yellow.

ButterflyWorkshop1.jpgSummary: (from fantasticfiction.com) Odair, one of the “Designers of All Things” and grandson of the esteemed inventor of the rainbow, has been banished to the insect laboratory as punishment for his overactive imagination. But he still dreams of one day creating a cross between a bird and a flower. Then, after a helpful chat with a dog . . .

ButterflyWorkshop2Why I like this book: Every illustration is a gem! For illustrators this is a beautiful edition from which to study what the silhouette of a character can lend to visual storytelling. And I believe children and adults alike can relate to the inventive main character who is one of the ‘Designers of All Things’.

Resources/Activities: consider the kinds of insects or flowers you might like to invent.

BearWhoWasn'tThereCoverAuthor: Oren Lavie
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Verlag Antje Kunstmann/Black Sheep, 2014/2016
Age: 6-8
Themes: itching, bears, identity
Opening: Once upon a time there was an Itch. Simply, an Itch.

BearWhoWasn'tThere1.jpgSummary: (from my library catalog) One day, a few minutes after Once Upon a Time, a bear awakes to find he has lost something very important: himself! He sets out into the Fabulous Forest to find himself, using only a few clues scrawled on a piece of paper: the bear he’s looking for is a nice bear; he is a happy bear; and he’s very handsome too! These sound like pretty good qualities to Bear, and so begins his memorable journey. With the help of Fabulous Forest critters like the Convenience Cow, theLazy Lizard, and the Penultimate Penguin, Bear finds that he himself is just what he’s been looking for all along: a nice, happy bear–and handsome too!

BearWhoWasn'tThere2.jpgWhy I like this book: The text is full of gags, silliness and wordplay that are accompanied by equally playful and light illustrations making wonderful use of collage.

Resources/Activities: make a list of character traits you believe belong to you.

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

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: Where’s My Teddy

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Author/Illustrator: Jez Alborough
Publisher: Candlewick, 1992
Ages: 3-7yrs
Themes: teddy bears, bears, stories in rhyme
Opening: Eddie’s off to find his teddy. Eddie’s teddy’s name is Freddie.
Summary: (from the book) When a small boy named Eddie goes searching for his lost teddy in the dark woods, he comes across a gigantic bear with a similar problem.

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I like this book: The concept is incredibly simple, AND it makes me happy to read. The rhythm carries the reader quickly into the story, slows at the climax, and relaxes in a very comfortable ending. This may be the first PPBF pick where I am not totally enamored with the illustrations, because Eddie’s head gets a little lost on the forest floor, but I’m okay with that – hope you are too!

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Resources/activities: Book specific primary teaching resources – HERE; I’m guessing this would be fun to act out, with puppets or ‘for reals’! Print and cut the simple knock-offs below, glue them on popsicle sticks or rilled up scrap paper, and ‘on with the shooooow’!

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

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PPBF: Bear With Me

Author/Illustrator: Max Kornell
Publisher: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 2011
Genre: fiction
Themes: friendship, bears, siblings
Age Level: 4-6
Opening: It started off just right. I had a mom and a dad and my own set of blocks. I had everything I needed.
Synopsis: from the publisher: Everything in Owen’s world is just peachy-till his parents bring home a bear named Gary-without even asking! Gary changes everything: he takes up way too much space and makes a mess of all of Owen’s toys. Gary means well, though, and eventually Owen starts to see that there are some good things about having a bear in the family.
Why I like this book: I am a sucker for great illustrations and Kornell captures the frustration of his main character impeccably, using vibrant watercolors and pencil lines, creatively arranged in collage with acrylics. The difficulty in adapting to change in a family is conveyed in a straightforward manner and balanced with gentle yet juicy humor.
Resource/Activity: This is the first time I have attached a book enrichment pdf, from Words Alive, so let me know if you have trouble downloading: ELIBookEnrichmentGuide_BearWithMe
The attached video was probably made as an intro piece, but it is fun and informative to see how his characters come to life digitally:
For more posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources visit Susanna Hill’s blog any day of the week!
PS – Playing around with a more graphic header, utilizing a font I created. Should I stick to pretty pics instead?