Author: Michelle Cuevas
Illustrator: Catia Chien
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018
Age: 3-7 Themes: loneliness, home, community Opening: Turtle lived in a part of the world as empty as a bird’s nest in December.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Lonely Turtle’s only friend is his shadow until he decides to build a deck, then a garden, then houses and other buildings until, while he naps, new friends arrive.
I like this book because: when I think of the things that compel me to pick up a book usually one element suffices (Easy to please? Not really). This one offered three on the cover alone: the intriguing title, the name of an illustrator I already admire, and the cover design and rendering itself. And I was not disappointed by anything I found inside. A beautifully, poetically, and perfectly told story (that opening line!), artwork that makes me wish Catia Chien could render my dreams, and the whole of it is what makes this so stellar. And believe it or not, I have not even included the most mesmerizing spreads!
Resources/Activities: design your own dream home including anything you want; discuss the importance of community and friendships in your neighborhood; think about neighbors who you have not yet met, who might need some help, or a new friend; have a neighborhood tea party!
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author: Elaine Magliaro Illustrator: Catia Chien Publisher: Chronicle, 2016 Age: 4-8 Themes: nature, activity, imagination Opening: Things to do if you are DAWN. Shoo away night. Wash the eastern sky with light. wake the sleeping sun: Rise and shine!
Summary: (from my library catalog) Told in rhyming text, the story takes us through a child’s day, focusing on the animals and objects around the child.
Why I like this book: soft, endearing illustrations compliment the magical text ‘like butta’, as my aunt might have said!
Resources/Activities: go for a spring walk or hike, and take along some of the highlighted words in the book’s text; see how you might find something that ‘flits’, is ‘buzzy’, ‘bold’, or ‘dazzles’.
For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author: Dashka Slater Illustrator:Catia Chien Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 2008 Ages: 6-9yrs Themes: sea serpents, friendship, growth Opening:On Tuesday, as I was about to climb into the bath, a sea serpent dropped out of the faucet and into the tub. Summary: (from my library catalog) One day a small sea serpent falls from the faucet into the tub as a child is about to take a bath, and as the days go by and the serpent grows, they both realize that he needs to go back to the sea where he belongs.
I like this book because:the story reminds me of childhood dreams of just such an experience (who am I kidding – still hoping!), written simply and beautifully – “the clouds drifted over green jungles and silvery cities…” – yet the undertone is exciting with an anxious pull. The illustrations are flowing, loose yet captivating, as you can see – and believe it or not, I did not post the best spreads – you’ll have to check them out yourself!
Resources/activities: I will forever appreciate how a friend of the family, Risa, taught me to appreciate the smallest of creatures, not to be frightened when they take interest in my personal space, but to help them find a way to a more suitable environment – for us both! Discuss the natural habitats of creatures and why it is important to respect them; Create an inviting habitat: plant flowers and shrubbery for butterflies, bees, and other wildlife in your back yard, or school grounds; Take a field trip to the beach, the woods, or a stream – pick up plastic rings, bottles, and other trash that can kill birds, turtles, dolphins, and other animals.
Perfect Picture Book Friday is on hiatus for the summer, but there are still plenty of selections on a themed and alphabetized list, with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE
The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man. — Charles Darwin