PPBF: Journey Cake, Ho!

JCHcover Heading for the hills this weekend – will reply later!

Author: Ruth Sawyer Illustrator: Robert McCloskey Publisher: The Viking Press, 1953 Ages: 3+ Themes: farm/farmers, animals, run-away food Opening: There were three of them: the old woman, Merry; the old man, Grumble: and Johnny, the bound-out boy. They lived in a log cabin, t’other side of Tip Top Mountain. Summary: (from my library catalogue) Johnny is leaving the farm because of hard times when his Journey Cake leads him on a merry chase that results in a farm yard full of animals and the family all together again. JCHtitlepage I like this book because: I adore the flavor of dialect in this classic’s rhythmic text from Ruth Sawyer, with words like ‘this-wise’, ‘nettlesome’, and ‘all of a tucker’. The very simple use of just two contrasting tones from master book maker Robert McCloskey, of Make Way for Ducklings fame, make the pictures pop, but I really appreciate the bold line strokes used to create texture and infuse energy in these traditional illustrations (pssst -I plan to post more McCloskey favorites this year). JCHrunawayfood Resources/activities: Read about the history of America’s first pancakes, and make the recipe – HERE ; put on a play, like the kids from the Atlanta School – with music! – in the video below (17:30mins – play is over after 13 )

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

PPBF: Un loro en mi granja/A Parrot on My Farm

Author: Pep Bruno
Illustrator: Lucie Müllerová
Publisher: Edelvives, 2009
Age: 4 – 8 yrs
Themes: parrots, animals, farms
Opening: Esta es mi granja. En ella puedes encontrar cerdos, caballos, gallinas, ovejas, alguna vaca, algún pato, un perro que se llama Pánfilo… Lo habitual en una granja. English – or, funky translation from Google: This is my farm. Here you can find pigs, horses, chickens, sheep, a cow, a duck, a dog named Pánfilo … Typically on a farm.

Summary: Without knowing what the text says it was easy to see this story is about a parrot who lives on a farm, and his role amongst the other more typical members of the farm community. But spread by spread, the scenes pan out, inviting the reader to imagine more than just a farm.

I LOVE this book: I am not able to speak Spanish so I typed up the whole text and translated it with Google – so clearly I haven’t got it all straight, BUT this is truly a picture book romance for me! Perfect pick for Valentine’s Day! Superb ingredients: a bit of mystery, wonderful illustrations that expand with clues, and a parrot who might be a pirate, well…you’ll just have to get your library map and head over to the Spanish section to discover this treasure!

Resources/Activities: It could be great fun to draw your own farm characters, from this book or others, including a farm setting. Cut them out and and tell this story or make up a new one!; This book would be a great way to introduce a Spanish lesson using the words for everything you can find on a farm – let students come up with things they know can be found there.

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

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