Author/Illustrator: John Burningham Publisher: AlfredA. Knopf, 2006 Age: 4-8 Themes: behavior, interpersonal relationships Opening: Edwardo was an ordinary boy.
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Each time he does something a little bit bad, Edwardo is told that he is very bad and soon his behavior is awful, but when he accidentally does good things and is complimented, he becomes much, much nicer.
I like this book because: it‘s a good reminder for us all, and unfortunately we need reminders. I was really lucky to be able to attend (for free through my library) a talk called, An Open Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Close, with Dr. Steve Robbins. And in the very same vein this book addresses our biases, how easily we form them, adapt to other people‘s biases and how easily we can change them – if we make the effort. Every elementary classroom should have this book and others like it. Also, the author, one of my favorites, recently passed away, and I am rereading as much of his work as I can get a hold of. RIP, John Burningham.
Resources/Activities: do yourself a favor and read more Burningham, like The Shopping Basket, or Would You Rather, or perhaps one of the books I mention in this post about Burningham
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE
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!