Author/Illustrator: Joseph Low Publisher: Margaret K McElderry (Atheneum), 1980 Age: 3-8 Themes: animals, etiquette, humorous stories Opening: Cat was thinking about supper. He thought, “I could eat forty-seven grasshoppers. or I could eat 69 crickets. Or I could eat a fine, fat sparrow. But what I think I’d really like is a nice, tender mouse.
Summary: A round of uneasy hospitality results when Mouse and Dog arrive at Cat’s house for dinner.
I like this book because: first off, I’m not alone – this title is a 1981 Caldecott Honor book. I love the loose, energetic rendering and use of a simple yet bright palette, dominated by pinks and yellows. That’s what attracted me to this book I found at Brattle Bookshop in Boston this spring, but it’s the round robin tale of trickery and wit and the drama of it all that delighted me so very much! Hope you can find a copy.
Resources/activities: learn more about Low, his obituary here; look for other titles on the Caldecott list from 1981; perform this story as a play.
There is a summer break for new entries, but for more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author: Sesyle Joslin Illustrator: Maurice Sendak Publisher: Harper Collins; first publ. by Addison-Wesley, 1958 Age: 3-6 Themes: etiquette, manners, humorous stories Opening: You are downtown and there is a gentleman giving baby elephants to people. You want to take one home because you have always wanted a baby elephant, but first the gentleman introduces you to each other. What do you say, dear?
Summary: (from my library catalog) Offers advice on how to cope correctly with a variety of common and uncommon social situations. (That is such an understatement! The book is HILARIOUS!)
Why I like this book: it’s ‘the funniest book on good behavior you’ll ever read’, according to the back cover – and I concur! And the illustrations are at the same time slightly snarky and heart-meltingly darling! Enjoy!
Resources/Activities: Read the companion book: What Do You Do, Dear? (images below), by the same author and illustrator. Read them again! Come up with more common and uncommon situations!
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
In honor of Perfect Picture Book Friday revving up another season today, I’m having my FIRSTEVER
Win a signed copy! Leave a comment (until 9/19) and I’ll put your name in the hat (looks a lot like Mr.Tiger’s!)
Author/Illustrator: Peter BrownPublisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013 Age Level: 3-6 Themes: tigers, animals, etiquette, city/town life, self-actualization Opening:Everyone was perfectly fine with the way things were. Everyone but Mr. Tiger.Summary: (From Amazon) Are you bored with being so proper? Do you want to have more fun? Mr. Tiger knows exactly how you feel. So he decides to go wild. But does he go too far? From Caldecott Honor artist Peter Brown comes a story that shows there’s a time and place for everything…even going wild.
Why I like it: It’s beautiful! You’ll have to check the cover under the jacket (notice the texture) too, but everything down to the endpapers, the color use, the graphic down-paring, the use of negative space – is well designed. During the read-aloud I attended on Peter Brown’s book tour, (if you live near NY – go to the PARTY) he explained his own difficulties sitting still in the classroom as a young child, longing to be wild and free, naturally. I can’t believe I didn’t ask if he too stripped himself – of the confines – and ran for the woods!
12xers with Peter Brown at the Tattered Cover, Denver (me, second from left)Resources/Activities: Have children talk about natural animal behaviors they are aware of: stalking, hunting, protecting, team-working, etc.; Discuss the use of color in the book and why the author/illustrator may have made the choices he did; Make your own book the Peter Brown way I’d also like to suggest two pairings for Mr.Tiger Goes Wild below. (See my critique group’s PB & J picture book picks HERE; inspired by B&N’s – Books Made Better When Read Together)