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:Helen Docherty Illustrator:Thomas Docherty Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabbberwocky, 2013 Ages: 3 and up Themes: books, stories, community, sharing Opening:One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down…when a Snatchabook flew into town. Summary: (from my library catalogue) The woodland animals of Burrow Down are ready for a bedtime story, but where are the books? Haha! That was short!
I like this book because: I don’t like to throw out terms like classic, or evergreen, in fact, I haven’t ever attempted to predict a book’s success, but… yeah, I think this is one! Not only a clever premise, but a great read-aloud, and a celebration of stories and reading, inclusion and community. It has a delightful play of contrast with bright, colorful images, and moonlit, windy, owl-hooting darkness and such endearing characters. Oops, I almost forgot…it’s a rhymer!
Resources/activities: This is a perfect vehicle to start a discussion on favorite stories, books we like to read with our families, even how books should be treated and stored; talk about sharing books with those who don’t have many; start a book collection for a school in need; make a drawing/picture or diorama of Eliza’s room in the tree.
For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.