Author: Sylviane Donnio
Illustrator: Dorothée de Monfried
Publisher: Random House, 2004
Age: 3-8 Themes: humorous stories, food, crocodiles Opening: see first full spread below.
Summary: (from my library catalog) One morning Achilles, a young crocodile, insists that he will eat a child that day and refuses all other food, but when he actually finds a little girl, she puts him in his place.
I like this book because: I’m actually surprised I have not recommended this title before – it’s truly one of my favorites! The title grabbed me, as I am sure it grabbed you, and I was in no way disappointed. The simplicity, the humor, the tenacious child in whom we may see ourselves. And while parents would also like to see him eat the bananas, we also cheer him on in his persistent pursuit!
Resources/activities: read about what real crocodiles eat, where do they live, how do they differ from alligators; bake a chocolate cake – if that’s what you’d like to eat; find out how many different kinds of bananas there really are and where they come from.
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
One more for the road…though this is an alligator, of course…in underwear!
Author/Illustrator: Bernard Waber Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1962 Age: 3-7 Themes: crocodiles, moving, family Opening: This is the house. The house on East 88th Street. It is empty now, but it won’t be for long. Summary: (from my library’s catalog) The Primm family finds Lyle, a performing crocodile, in the bathtub in their new apartment. To everyone’s surprise all become great friends.
Why I like this book: Another classic, and an old friend that time and again needs revisiting. The limited color palette and loose style leaves plenty of room for imagination, excitement, and emotion to unfold. The storytelling has the matter-of-fact attitude that children understand best. Of course they continue to welcome this crocodile into their own family! Enjoy!
Resources/Activities: Have you ever moved to a new home and found something the previous owner left behind? No? Make one up! Create a new story with the object; also read Lovable Lyle, or Lyle Walks the Dogs, from Bernard Waber.
For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author: Russel Hoban Illustrator:James Marshall Publisher: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1975 Ages: 6-10 (from the publisher in ’75) Themes: crocodiles, etiquette, first love Opening:“Arthur,” said Mrs. Crocodile to her sone one evening at dinner, “you are eating like a regular little beast.” Summary: (from my library catalog)Arthur Crocodile cannot seem to learn table manners until his sister brings her new girlfriend to visit.
I like this book because: it’s a gem! I am on a James Marshall kick (again!), and this is where I’d like to thank my favorite children’s librarian, Giny (miss you!), for asking me to take a second look at the Marshall books years ago. Hysterical yet understated, lots of beastly sibling snarkiness, and perfect for any child who has been admonished to sit up straight or chew with their mouths closed (you got that, Olivia?).
Resources/activities: write up a list of reasonable table manners, and another wacky list – just for fun (we had ‘no singing during meals’ for a while); discuss table manners that are different form yours – here is a list of 17 from other countries at The Savory,HERE.
For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE
Welcome to Design of the Picture Book! I'm Carter Higgins, and I'm a writer and librarian for kids. I spent a spectacular stint as the Children's Book Editor at <a href="http://www.designmom.com/">Design Mom</a> which I loved! You can find my column <a href="http://www.designmom.com/category/childrens-lit/">here</a>.<br /> I'm a K-6 librarian, a former-ish graphic designer, an SCBWI member, and a huge fan of words and pictures.<br /> Represented by <a href="http://www.rpcontent.com/">Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC</a>.