PPBF: Don’t Worry Little Crab

Author/Illustrator: Chris Haughton
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2020
Themes: crabs, ocean, fear

Opening: see image below.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Little Crab and Very Big Crab live in a tiny rock pool near the sea. Today they’re going for a dip in the big ocean. ‘This is going to be so great,’ says Little Crab, splish-splashing and squelch-squelching along, all the way to the very edge. Then comes a first glance down at the waves. WHOOSH! Maybe it’s better if they don’t go in?

I am a fan of all of Haughton’s books: the bright colors, their juxtaposition, the composition, and the understated humor!

Resources/activities: Talk about what fears we have and reasons why we might have them, as well as strategies we can use to overcome as well as accept them. Make colorful shadow puppets using harmonious colors (colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel) – like THESE

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

PPBF: Bookmaker’s Studio

TheBookmaker'sStudioCoverAuthor: Photography: Jake Green; Art Direction: Melanie Mues; Editor: James Cartwright
Publisher: The Bookmaker’s Studio, 2015; Printers: Hacksmith Press
Ages: all
Themes: children’s picture book illustrators, illustration, design
Opening/Introduction: Making books for kids is a humbling profession; months and years of character developing, story refining, composition adjusting, and dummy approving to which your audience will be forever indifferent.

TheBookmaker'sStudio2Summary: (from the kickstarter page) A glimpse inside the studios and minds of some of the world’s best living children’s picturebook makers. A limited edition photo book.

TheBookmaker'sStudioInhaltI supported this kickstarter project because: I am curious, nosy, interested and delighted to have a glimpse into the working spaces of other artists. TheBookmaker'sStudio3

TheBookmaker'sStudio4Resources/activities: Have children list all the things they recognize in the artist’s studios as tools they know or own themselves, then make a second list of things they are surprised to see in an artist’s studio; Discuss how picture books are made.

TheBookmaker'sStudio5For existing PPBF selections, including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE; for todays’ fresh picks, click HERE



PPBF- Cybils Awards Finalist: Shh! We Have a Plan


Shh1This selection is one of seven finalists for fiction picture books, and I am a participating judge for round 2. Which means I have to read them. Tough work, huh? For information on the Cybils Awards, click HERE

Author/Illustrator: Chris Haughton
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2014
Ages: 3-7yrs (according to Amazon, but I think the younger in the range would enjoy it more)
Themes: trapping, birds, compassion, observation
Opening: Look! a bird
Summary: (from Amazon) Four friends creep through the woods, and what do they spot? An exquisite bird high in a tree! “Hello birdie,” waves one. “Shh! We have a plan,” hush the others. They stealthily make their advance, nets in the air. Ready one, ready two, ready three, and go! But as one comically foiled plan follows another, it soon becomes clear that their quiet, observant companion, hand outstretched, has a far better idea.

Shh2I like this book because: it is both humorous and deep. On reading it again I realized an extra layer, that beyond there being more ways to accomplish a task, there are more ways to interact with your environment. The illustrations, as you see, are bold and bright, which stand in glorious juxtaposition to the quiet message midst the humor and excitement. The illustrations have much more to surprise you with than I am willing to spoil by sharing! Check it out!

Shh3Resources/activities: great companion read when discussing problem-solving, opposing viewpoints or respect for nature; use in the art room when discussing use of warm and cold colors; make torn-paper pictures using complimentary colors.

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



Peanut Butter and Jelly Picture Book Pairings

Inspired by this post on the B&N blog: Books Made Better When Read Together, my online writer’s critique group decided to come up with a few of our own – for picture books, which you can see and read about HERE on Marcie Colleen’s blog, The Write Routine.

My contributions:


Big, Bad Bunny written by Fran Billingsley, illustrated by G.Brian Karas, Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2008


and The Black Rabbit, created by Philippa Leathers, Candlewick Press, 2013


And the second pairing:


Owl Babies, written by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson, Candlewick, 1992


and Little Lost Owl, created by Chris Haughton, Candlewick, 2010


PPBF: Oh No, George!

Author/Illustrator: Chris Haughton (interview)
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2012
Age Level: 2 and up
Themes: dogs, temptation, humor

Opening: Harry is going out. “Will you be good, George?” asks Harry.
“Yes,” says George. “I’ll be very good.”
Summary: (from Candlewick) Bold, hilarious artwork captures the innocent charm of affable George, a dog who is trying to be good – with disastrous results.
Why I like this book: Bright, charming and irresistible! A lot of reviewers refer to the ‘retro’ illustrations, but I can’t agree: I find them fresh and exhilarating! One of the few PBs I’ve had to read over and over – in quick succession! So simple, yet so brilliant! All dog owners will take to this story, but also people like me, who sometimes just cannot resist indulging even when I know better. I just polished off a bowl of chips with onion dip. Every time I feel crummy afterwards, but every time I can’t seem to help myself! I hope George is not plagued by these feelings of guilt too!
Resources/Activities: the making of – story behind the book; bake this raspberry and strawberry cake, inspired by Oh No, George!

Click HERE to check out other Perfect Picture Book picks, today and everyday, on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog