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: Alexandra Penfold
Illustrator: Suzanne Kaufmann
Publisher: Knopf Books, 2018
Age: 4-8 Themes: diversity, inclusivity, kindness Opening: Pencil’s sharpened in their case. Bells are ringing, let’s make haste. School’s beginning, dreams to chase. All are welcome here.
Summary: (from the publisher) Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side by side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Inspired by Suzanne Kaufman’s viral poster, Kaufman and Alexandra Penfold have created a welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids.
I like this book because: it celebrates the diversity of the American journey in a familiar setting for children. Many lines like, “Gather now, lets all take part,” show how, as a whole diversity is greater than it’s parts. The vibrant illustrations invite every reader to find themselves in image and in action (esp. love the main character’s tooth gap, just like my daughter’s!). And, as the cover reveals, there is a wonderful poster included in the jacket – the sensation that brought about the collaboration for this classroom treasure!
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>.