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.

Count Downton 2* and PPBF: A Child’s Calendar


For your coloring pleasure: Rose MacClare (Lily James) looking so very innocent.

Author: John Updike
Illustrator: Trina Schart Hyman
Publisher: Original text: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965; New edition: Holiday House, 1999/2002
Age: found three: at 3, 4, 5, and up
Themes: American children’s poetry, months
Opening: January: The days are short,/ The sun a spark/ Hung thin between/ The dark and dark.
Summary: (Excerpt from my library catalog) A collection of twelve poems describing the activities in a child’s life and the changes in the weather as the year moves from January to December. A Caldecott Honor Book.

Why I like this book: 
Resources/Activities: Click HERE to view the illustrations for the original printing in 1965, by Nancy Eckholm Burkert; learn songs about days of the week or months – HERE


For more Perfect Picture Book selections, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE

PPBF: Colors! Colores!

Author: Jorge Luján
Piet Grobler
Groundwood Books, bilingual edition (February 28, 2008); Translators:
Age Level: 5-9
Themes: colors, children’s poetry, Spanish American, English
Opening: Rocked by the tide, beige fell asleep on the sand. El beige se durmió en la arena de tanto que lo arula la marca.
Summary: (From Amazon) Noted Mexican poet Jorge Luján and South Africa’s illustrious illustrator Piet Grobler have teamed up again to produce this exquisite celebration of color. As day turns into night, young readers see fleeting, evocative glimpses of the qualities inherent in a range of colors. An antelope and a group of children are pictured inhabiting this delicate world. This bilingual book presents a gorgeous vision of a planet in which nature, words, and the rising and setting of the sun and the moon exist in harmony.

Why I like this book: I found another treat sifting through the world languages section of my library. If you didn’t know colors could sing, you will after reading the short poems bursting at the seams with image-inducing emotion. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for this skilled watercolorist to do the same thing with his images – they look simple, yet are able to lift you into a dream.

Resources/Activities: Now who doesn’t want to pick up a brush? A class could also make a list of objects of a certain color, shape, taste, touch – explore all the senses!

This will be the last PPBF pick for the summer – see you in September! For more PPBF picks go to Susanna Hill’s blog – any day!