PPBF: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Author/Illustrator: Charles Mackesy
Publisher: 
Harper One/Harper Collins, 2019
Age: 
all
Themes: animals, conduct of life, fables
Opening“I’m so small,” said the mole. “Yes,” said the boy. “But you make a huge difference.”

Summary: (from my library catalog – which they took from the publisher!) Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse explores their unlikely friendship and the poignant, universal lessons they learn together. Radiant with Mackesy’s warmth and gentle wit, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse blends hand-written narrative with dozens of drawings, including some of his best-loved illustrations (including “Help,” which has been shared over one million times) and new, never-before-seen material. A modern classic in the vein of The Tao of Pooh, The Alchemist, and The Giving Tree, this charmingly designed keepsake will be treasured for generations to come.

I like this book because: every little thing, every page is a treat! Each little ‘chapter’ will keep every reader thinking for days and days. I recommend it to anyone and everyone – a perfect gift for anyone you love, and especially for those that need to be loved (hint: all of us!) And I haven’t even mentioned the art! Ha! Superb! Go read it! Treasure it, and pass it on!

Resources/activities: create a play with stuffed animals or even home-made puppets or masks; take a walk in nature and sit down once in a while and read a ‘chapter’, think about that chapter until you find another resting spot and repeat with the other ‘chapters’; talk about each ‘chapter’ and what it means to listeners.; read more about the author/illustrator HERE

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

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.