PPBF: The Cat and the Rat and the Hat

Author: Em Lynas
Illustrator:
 Matt Hunt
Publisher: Nosy Crow, 2021
Age: 
3-6
Themes: rats, cats, hats

Opening: see image below.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) A raucous, rhyming tale that will have children (and adults) in fits of laughter! Cat is sitting on his favourite mat, when who should come along but Rat with a very nice hat? Cat wants Rat’s hat and will stop at NOTHING to get it. But when Bat arrives wearing a fancy cravat, well, what could be better than that? Chaos ensues as both Cat and Rat decide they MUST have Bat’s fancy cravat for themselves! From Em Lynas and Matt Hunt comes this hilarious, read-aloud picture book, bursting with comic capers and animal antics. With a hilarious, tongue-twister text, slapstick humour, bright neon artwork and colourful, comic characters.

I picked this book because: those colors were shouting at me!! And i too have a manuscript with a cat and a hat! So of course I wanted to see what kind of relationship these characters have with each other – so funny – and how these amazing colors would be used – such great compositions – and how it would all pan out – terrific twist! Read it!

Resources/activities: This book will be great to use in teaching how shapes are the foundation for so many things you can draw; re draw these characters in your own style; get out some graph paper and doodle using the squares; try creating a drawing using a limited number of colors – and loud ones too!

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

PPBF: Mina

Author/Illustrator: Matthew Forsythe
Publisher: Paula Wiseman, 2022
Age: 
3-7
Themes: mice, parents, pets

Opening: Mina lived in her own little world where nothing ever bothered her. Except for one thing.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Mina the mouse is very upset when her father brings home a pet “squirrel” that she is certain is a cat.

I picked this book because: see my review on the Kid’s Indie Next List, March/April 22, image below:

Resources/activities: I hope in reading this kids – like me – feel the urge to draw in color! Try drawing lines in one color first and going over the same lines with another color, laying down an area of colored pencil and using an eraser to draw in that space, or using one range of colors, like greens, blues and purples for a single drawing.

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

PPBF: Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake

Author/Illustrator: Barbara Lehman
Publisher: HMH, 2021
Age: 
3-7
Themes: wordless picture books, fairy tales, cats

Opening: see spread below

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Little Red has baked a cake with their father, and is on the way to Grandma’s house to make a delivery. But someone has been trailing them ever since they left home . . . someone who really loves cake. This playful retelling of a beloved classic is a visual delight, with references to other fairy tales hidden throughout Lehman’s inviting illustrations.

I picked this book because: the author-illustrator is one of my idols and I would read her shopping list given a chance!! BUT, this is yet another delightful wordless picture book illustrated in the deceptively simplest lines that it takes a few pages before you notice all the wonderful fairytale clues seamlessly woven into the frames. And so much humor! I have read it 4x and I’m still finding something new to make me smile!

Resources/activities: Lehman has included some wonderful search-and-find material in the back matter; I would suggest looking for versions of some of the tales included in the illustrations to read along with this title, and maybe even a Each Peach Pear Plum, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg too! This could also be a fun story to act out!

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

PPBF: Stretchy and Beanie

Author/Illustrator: Judy Schachner
Publisher: Dial, 2021
Age: 
3-7
Themes: cats, pets, stories in rhyme

Opening: When the McHandsome Clan met the McBrights, each kid got a cat, so it worked out just right.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) An independent cat and his young owner learn to appreciate the independence and enthusiasm of the other.

I picked this book because: The rhyme is a delightful read-aloud and this is the kind of book I would have poured over as a kid, picking out my own favorite cat, or favorite cat expression, and looking to see which other McBright child seemed most like me. I would swear up and down that I would have been a better cat owner, but truth be told: I also stuck a kitty or two in a drawer too many! Just like Beanie and the other kids, I would have loved to have had a kitty of my very own. The illustrations are jam packed with wonderful little details (check out Beanie’s shoe choices!), cheerful colors and loads of humor and energy!

Resources/activities: check out Judy Schachner’s IG account and have a look at her handmade stretchy-accordion cats and make your own; read Stretchy McHandsome; learn about best practices with a new pet – cat or other!; make your own cat tail, or headband ears like Beanie’s.

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

PPBF: Little Mouse’s Big Breakfast

Author/Illustrator: Christine Pym
Publisher: Nosy Crow, 2018
Age: 
3-7
Themes: mice, breakfast, hunger

Opening:  On a cold crisp day, as the night crept in, a hungry little mouse discovered he had nothing to nibble for breakfast the next morning.

Summary: (from my library catalog) When Little Mouse realizes he has nothing for breakfast the next morning, he makes his way to the kitchen next door and finds all sorts of appetizing foods that will be perfect for his breakfast..

I like this book because: I’ve been thinking a lot of my friend who lives on Blueberry Hill, and reading this reminded me of her, not because her eyes are bigger than her belly, but her heart is so generous! And it’s got beautiful illustrations sprinkled with fun details, a delicious palette, striking compositions – and an adorable story!

Resources/activities: discuss your favorite breakfast foods; talk about Mouse’s food choices and which ones are healthy and why; consider filling our plates with our eyes compared to our appetites; gather objects and give them food names from the book, then see how many you can stack before it all tumbles down.

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

I’m also over at Writer’s Rumpus today talking about I’M A HARE SO THERE!, with a GIVEAWAY!

PPBF: I Wish I Was Sick, Too!

DAD32252-B0C8-4BB4-B872-F08E63D0CB1FAuthor: Franz Brandenburg
Illustrator:
Aliki
Publisher:
The New York Review, 2018 (originally 1976)
Age:
3-7
Themes: envy, cats, illness
Opening: Edward was sick..

073BA0D0-B9AB-4B4F-BD0C-1C62DB090371Summary: (from my library catalog) Elizabeth envies her brother the pampered treatment he gets when he is sick in bed. Then she gets sick too..

BF4C5171-E37C-424C-96D0-99DBC48B159AI like this book because: maybe it’s just that it reminds me of my own childhood, or maybe because the sweetmness of the story is ageless, but both the simplicity of the story and it’s very caring nature paired with adorable, emotion-packed illustrations feels just right! Perfect read for the nose-blowing season and “to pass the time.”

942A656E-A875-4EA7-AB5B-723C76CD3620Resources/Activities: role play: this was one of my favorite activities with my older sister (maybe because she got to play the patient!); I played the nurse, and mostly what I did was prepare her a meal in bed and just get her whatever she needed (wanted!).

581E6A1F-C3E8-4459-9644-30CA27DD0816For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

5384AD36-E681-41BC-AC05-2ABA0B2F8B22

My lemon tree looking at the snow falling!

PPBF: Seven Bad Cats

9af78837-87bf-4def-a082-a1a043d20ce7Author/Illustrator: Moe Bonneau
Publisher: Sourcebooks, 2018
Age: 3-7
Themes: cats, boats, counting books
Opening: Today I put on my boots and my coat, and seven bad cats jumped into my boat.

f23bd765-6983-4588-b4ca-fefa5bec897bSummary: (from my library’s catalog) From one bad cat that eats from fish traps to seven that flip over the boat, a young girl tells, in rhyme, of an adventure at sea.

56b86a66-17b8-4ed2-adf4-d61e85c68355I like this book because: It’s delightful – best suited word I could find! Great read-aloud-ability despite near rhymes, a fun concept for a concept book, and cats! There is even an element of don’t-judge-a-book-by-it’s-cover added in for extra spice – isn’t that nice?

351a9e6f-1a64-4c3b-a25b-f9f77a781e81Resources/Activities: read a collection of counting books (like One Gorilla, a personal favorite ; use the books to look for and count items on one page that recur on others; identify the color scheme throughout the book.

124382b3-1a4e-4b42-bf02-e5753dedb1dfFor more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

96287bb0-de59-43f9-9b45-b2672e21cf9b

PPBF: Moustache

moustachecoverAuthor: Gracia Iglesias
Illustrator: Guridi
Publisher: Lata de Sal, 2015
Age: 3-7
Themes: cats, whiskers, vanity
OpeningSer gato y ser curioso son dos cosas casi inseperables.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Here’s what they had in Spanish: Ser gato y ser curioso son dos cosas casi inseparables. Moustache era un gato elegante, refinado y guapo, un gato con buenos modales y muy coqueto. Pero un día sus preciados bigotes se quemaron con tanta curiosidad. ¡Horror! ¿Qué hará Moustache? Quizás unos bigotes postizos sean la solución… O quizás la solución esté en la mano de un niño igual de curioso.”– Provided by publisher. And with the help of Google translate, I will give you summary: Being an elegant and refined cat and at the same time a curious cat can be dangerous. After Moustache gets too close to a flame and loses his prized whiskers but he does not lose heart. He sets out to replace them and finds a thoughtful friend along the way.

 

moustache1Why I like this book: I don’t know enough Spanish to read a picture book like this, but, lured by the marvelous artwork of Guridi, I made an effort with Google translate to learn more and was not disappointed.

moustache3

 

Resources/Activities: learn Spanish (that note is for me!); at the very least, check out the foreign language section at your local library for books, some of which that might not even look like what you are used to; try to surmise what is going on based on the artwork; ask a member of the community to come and read a favorite book from their language/heritage to read a picture book to your class and explain the text.

moustache2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Mummy Trouble and a Giveaway!

mummyintroublecoverAuthor/Illustrator: Judy Schachner
Publisher: Penguin, 2006
Age: 4-7
Themes: cats, imagination, mummies
Opening: Skippy John Jones did his very best thinking outside the box.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Skippyjon Jones, a Siamese kitten who thinks he’s a Chihuahua, dreams of traveling to ancient Egypt with his gang of Chihuahua amigos..mummyintrouble1

–ONE LUCKY COMMENTER CAN WIN THIS SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY!–

Why I like this book: I love El Skippito and I loved listening to Judy Schachner describe how he came into being at our recent regional SCBWI conference in Denver. If you love the drama of speaking in various accents, you’ll love to read it aloud – even to yourself! The illustrations are bold, imaginative and wonderfully winsome!

mummyintrouble5Resources/Activities: great book to read during a unit on ancient Egypt; download suggested lesson plans and activities HERE

mummyintrouble4For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Widget

Author: Lyn Rossiter McFarland
Illustrator: Jim McFarland
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001
Genre: fiction
Themes: dogs, cats, tolerance, acceptance, emergencies
Age Level: 3 to 6
Grade Range:
p to 1
Opening: Widget was a little stray dog. He had no home. He had no friends.
Synopsis: A small stray dog is accepted into a household full of cats learning to “fit in,” but when his mistress is hurt, he demonstrates that being a dog is not all bad.
Why I like this book: Widget weaselled his way into my heart by doing his darndest to fit in with 6 cats. I had no choice but to fall in love!
For more posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources visit Susanna Hill’s blog every Friday