PPBF: Book! Book! Book!

Book!coverAuthor: Deborah Bruss
Illustrator: Tiphanie Beeke
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine, 2001
Age: 1-4
Themes: domestic animals, libraries, books
Opening: (see image below)

Book!1.jpgSummary: (from my library catalog) When the children go back to school, the animals on the farm are bored, so they go into the library in town trying to find something to do.

Book!2Why I like this book: My friend and ‘professional’ babysitter, Mila, recommended this to me years ago. Still packs a solid punch. I was recently lamenting about a beautiful new book with a very flat story and wonder why so many books get published that just don’t make the cut when read aloud, as I am sure EVRY writer, or wanna-be writer does. This is visually engaging AND it has perfect pacing and a solid story with a very funny ending – do look for it!!

Book!3.jpgResources/Activities: discuss what a librarian does; take a field-trip to the library, arrange (ahead) for the children’s librarian to give your child(ren) a ‘tour’; take home a new-to-you book! book! book!

Book!4.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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PPBF: Old MacDonald Had a Truck

OMHadATruckCoverAuthor: Steve Goetz
Illustrator: Eda Kaban
Publisher: Chronicle, 2016
Age: 2-5
Themes: farmers, trucks, stories based on songs
Opening: Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had an…EXCAVATOR!

OMHadATruckEndpapersSummary: (from my library catalog) An update of the classic folk song, Old MacDonald, featuring farm vehicles like excavator, dump truck, and bulldozer.

OMHadATruck1Why I like this book: My local library’s children’s librarian handed this one to me, and I am grateful – such a great read-aloud that will surely delight truck-loving singers and my storytime crowd at the bookstore.

OMHadATruck2Resources/Activities: read this along with Little Blue Truck, by Alice Shertle and Jill McElmurry and The Happy Man and His Dump Truck, by Miryam and Tibor Gergely; Play animal charades: have children pick an image of farm animal out of a bag/basket and act out the sounds or movements of the animal for others to guess.

OMHadATruck3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: A Crow of His Own

ACrowofHisOwnCoverAuthor: Megan Dowd Lambert
Illustrator: David Hyde Costello
Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2015
Age: 4 and up
Themes: roosters, identity, farm animals
ACrowofHisOwn1.jpgOpening: When Larry was called off to new opportunities, Sunrise Farm suddenly found itself without its prized rooster. The animals overslept and no one knew what to do.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Clyde the rooster is a little scrawny, so he is having a hard time trying to measure up to his predecessor on the farm–but with a little help from a friendly goose he may find a crow of his own.

 

ACrowofHisOwn2Why I like this book: These farm animals have such character! The text is smart, creative and engaging, and there is so much to read in the illustrations. Clyde is a new favorite protagonist!

ACrowofHisOwn4.jpgResources/Activities: discuss the responsibilities of classmates, or family members, and what would be missed if any one person were away.

ACrowofHisOwnBFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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PPBF: The Little Red Hen

LRHcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Paui Galdone
Publisher: Clarion, 1973
Ages: 3-7yrs
Themes: folk tale, animals, just rewards
Opening: Once upon a time a cat and a dog and a mouse and a little red hen all lived together in a cozy little house.
Summary: (from my library catalog)The little red hen finds none of her lazy friends willing to help her plant, harvest, or grind wheat into flour, but all are eager to eat the cake she makes from it.

DSC01146I like this book because: it is the didactic tale we all know, but what I like is that the hen does not give in, and that leads into the discussion of right and wrong so much better than versions where the hen decides to share. But who is kidding who here? I chose it for the illustrations! Specifically for the character designs and the way Galdone lends emotion to the character’s faces and postures, making visual reading so much fun!

LRH3Resources/activities: bake bread; make pretend/playdough bread using rolling pins; try assorted breads in class – have a taste test.

LRH5For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

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PPBF: Pig and Pug

PigPugCoverAuthors: Laura Marchesani and Zenaides A. Medina Jr.
Illustrator: Jarvis
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers, 2015
Ages: level 2 progressing reader
Themes: farm animals, friendhip, commonalities
Opening: Pig lives on a farm. There are four cows. There are ten chickens. There are six sheep. But there is just one pig.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Pig lives on a farm where he is the only animal without a friend until a new creature arrives, Pug, who is not a pig but has a curly tail, snorts, plays in the mud, and just might be a good friend for Pig.

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I like this book because: despite my choice being a leveled reader, it’s narrative is fun to read aloud and the takeaway is endearing. The illustrations are delightful, simple (okay, a little more depth of color/contrast might be too much to expect in a leveled reader, but I’d suggest it for the series), and full of emotion.

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Resources/activities: Compare animal traits; What do we feel would make a good friend and why?; Do we have friends with which we share a lot in common? How important is that? Draw the characters in the book – they are perfect for emulating.

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For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

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PPBF: The Chickens Build a Wall

I interrupt this review so the little jackrabbit and I can say thanks (“Go on give it to them now. Yes, the note!”) again for all the kind words of encouragement on my entry for Susanna’s illustration contest (see all the finalist covers HERE). Now, let’s read a book… Jack rabbit Who Cried Gllamonster_20(2)-1

Author/Illustrator:  Jean-François Dumont
Publisher: Eerdmans, 2013); Originally published in French by Flammarion, in 2011, Une poule derriére un mur.
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: chickens, farm animals, toleration
Opening: On the farm, the chickens have built a wall, though no one is exactly sure why.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When a friendly hedgehog visits the farm, the chickens build an enormous wall to keep out “prickly invaders.” ChickenWall2 I like this book: It MUST be spring, because I had to review another farm-life book! And because the rat calls the hedgehog, “this chestnut with paws.” The traditional art is humorous and cartoon-like, created in warm colors and richly textured strokes. The story is one of tolerance, or the lack thereof. No one had ever seen a hedgehog before. I wish I could share this with my 19 yr old, as she has recently experienced some 2nd hand intolerance while shopping with her new college besties in Germany. One is from Nigeria, the other from Brazil, and my daughter was shocked to see a couple bend 90° in a not-to-be-mistaken what’s-up-with-the-dreadlocks glance. I’m happy that she was able to experience this, to better understand what her ‘foreign looking’ colleagues go through every day. ChickenWall1 Resources/activities: sing Old MacDonald – again!; discuss tolerance and acceptance – please!;  get crazy and build a chicken coop, maybe even one like the one below (don’t forget to get some chickens too!) For more really cool chicken coop ideas, click HERE; Check out the other books on the 2014 list of Notable Books for a Global Society – HERE

For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Our Animal Friends

 

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Author/Illustrator: Alice and Martin Provensen
Publisher: Random House, 1974
Ages: 3-8yrs
Themes: farm animals, domestic animals, farm life
Opening: Who lives at Maple Hill Farm?
Summary: (from Amazon) Two dogs, five horses, a pig, some geese, lots of chickens, a few cows, a few goats, several sheep, and four special cats — these are the animals at Maple Hill Farm.
With simple text that is both affectionate and wry, and irresistible illustrations that burst with personality, Alice and Martin Provensen bring their barnyard friends to life for the delight of animal lovers both young and old.

I like this book because: this picture book tells all about farm life, even without the words and I appreciate the range of children that can enjoy this – even on their own. The well designed spreads pictures are humorous yet honest – maybe that’s what makes them so timeless.

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Robyn and Susanna?

Resources/activities: sing Old MacDonald; list all the farm animals you can think of and talk about why they might be kept on a farm (other than sheer cuteness!); visit a farm, preferably a working farm. My city of choice, Fort Collins, CO, has one that serves ‘as an educational and interactive experience for residents and visitors’, where one ‘can learn more about the industry that shaped this region, have interactive, hands-on farm fun, and introduce your child to agriculture and farm life while visiting’ – for more info click HERE

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For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.