Author: Davide Cali
Illustrator: Benjamin Chaud
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2014
Ages: (from the publisher, but I would say 6+) Text Level Gradient: N
Themes: humorous stories, homework, excuses
Opening: “So, why didn’t you do your homework.” I didn’t do my homework because… An Airplane full of monkeys landed in our yard.
Summary: (from my library catalogue) A humorous story about the absurd excuses for not doing homework. –Essentially it is a concept book, with a sweet twist at the end!
I like this book because: No need for me to rave about the story, because every page is it’s own! I think any kid who has every taken a moment to think of an excuse will get a real kick out of this. And each spread’s illustration is laden with more hysterical details, with terrific energy and an appealing use of color. Totally satisfying read that you’ll want to repeat immediately.
Resources/activities: I think this book could be used in the classroom to inspire a creative writing class to go above and beyond, to let their imaginations take them by surprise.
For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
WAIT! SHAMELESS INTERRUPTION. I’m chillin’ in the spotlight over at KID-LIT 411 today – HERE.
Author: Michelle Robinson
Illustrator: Leonie Lord
Publisher: Peachtree, 2013, first published in GB, by Orchard Books, 2013
Age: 3 – 8yrs
Themes: excuses, gorillas, pizza
Opening: You know we ordered a pizza? A GREAT BIG one with extra cheese? Well. I’m afraid I have some BAD news…
Summary: (from SLJ) After a gorilla shows up at the door, a boy has the wildest night of his life. Unfortunately, he then must explain to his family about crayon on the walls, toys and piles of dirty clothes all over the house, and a broken window and vase. And that’s not even the bad news! When the delivery boy arrives with dinner, the gorilla scares him away and then eats all of the pizza. Soon after, the animal slips discreetly out the door, too, leaving the boy to explain the situation, and his family with a messy house and nothing to eat.
Why I like this book: IT’S FUNNY! And not just the text: the illustrations are right up my alley, with bold strokes simple textures and great use of basic color schemes, and I enjoyed the spare use of ‘ornamental’ fonts – simple and not distracting. I can’t say all of the dialogue was age specific (no, I don’t know any kids who say ‘overexcited’), but the fun trumps any hiccups!
Resources/Activities: discuss excuses a child or adult may have used to avoid trouble (like having to go to the bathroom, so I could spit out all those mushy peas!); below is a page to color downloaded from the author’s page – HERE
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks and parent/teacher resources go to Susanna Hill’s blog – HERE