Author/Illustrator: Dorothée De Monfreid Publisher: Random House, 2009 Age: 3-7 Opening: It was a dark night. Summary: (via Amazon) Little Felix is all alone, walking home through the forest when he hears a spooky howling and spots a wolf approaching! His luck turns from bad to worse when a tiger scares away the wolf and a crocodile scares away the tiger! Can something as small as a rabbit help Felix scare away the wild things prowling the woods? This empowering picture book is perfect for any child who’s ever wanted to turn the tables on scary beasts lurking at night.
Themes: dark, fear, courage
I like this book because: Nothing like jumping right into a dark forest in the middle of the night to get a story started! I am a big fan of picture books with simple use of color and silhouette to keep the reader focussed on the bare essentials of a good story (if you haven’t already noticed!).
Resources: read other books about confronting fear of the dark, like The Dark, Handler and Klassen (see trailer below), or It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg – review here; check out more of Dorothée De Monfreid’s delightful work here and here.
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes Publisher: Greenwillow, 1987 Ages: 4-8 Themes: mice, courage, siblings Opening: Sheila Rae wasn’t afraid of anything.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When brave Sheila Rae, who usually looks out for her sister Louise, becomes lost and scared one day, Louise comes to the rescue.
I like this book because: I read a lot of picture books, and as much as I get excited about new ones to love, I rejoice all the more when I find an older classic. Almost 30 years old yet fresh , snappy, and kids can relate just as easily today.
Resources/activities: discuss individual fears, how to possibly overcome them, and how one person’s abilities differ from another’s.
For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE
Author/Illustrator: Tomi Ungerer Publisher: Phaidon Press, 2011 (First published in German, Diogenes, 1980) Ages: 4-8yrs Themes: kangaroos, flight, courage, uniqueness Opening:Adelaide’s parents were surprised when they saw that their daughter had wings. Summary: (from my library catalog) Adelaide, a kangaroo with wings, discovers that her unique anatomy and abilities bring her fame and fortune in Paris.
I like this book because:the story line does not follow ‘traditional’ patterns and norms, as in escalating scenes or the protagonist having a strong hand in solving the ‘conflict’. Adelaide doesn’t see her uniqueness as a problem, she embraces it. That was enough to satisfy me, as well as Ungerer’s ability to tell so much with so few lines. I recently watched a documentary on Ungerer, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, and was touched by the way Maurice Sendalk spoke of him. In an article Sendak once described Ungerer’s work as passionate and personal – “it’s marvelous and it’s cuckoo and it’s that kind of veracity that’s always made for good children’s literature” (The New York Times, Sept 2011). Random tidbit: Amazon has a choking hazard warning for this book on their site! Go figure!
Resources/activities: Vintage Kid’s Books My Kid Loves posted a recommendation, and a list of Ungerer titles you might be interested in – click on any of the links for more on each book; discuss things that might make us unique, special and different from other family members or friends.
Perfect Picture Book Friday is on hiatus for the summer, but there are still plenty of selections on a themed and alphabetized list, each with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE
“Be different so that people can see you clearly amongst the crowds.” ― Mehmet Murat ildan