PPBF: Dark Night

DarkNightcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Dorothée De Monfreid
Publisher: Random House, 2009
Age: 3-7
Opening: It was a dark night.
Summary: (via Amazon) Little Felix is all alone, walking home through the forest when he hears a spooky howling and spots a wolf approaching! His luck turns from bad to worse when a tiger scares away the wolf and a crocodile scares away the tiger! Can something as small as a rabbit help Felix scare away the wild things prowling the woods? This empowering picture book is perfect for any child who’s ever wanted to turn the tables on scary beasts lurking at night.

DarkNight1Themes: dark, fear, courage

DarkNight2I like this book because: Nothing like jumping right into a dark forest in the middle of the night to get a story started! I am a big fan of picture books with simple use of color and silhouette to keep the reader focussed on the bare essentials of a good story (if you haven’t already noticed!).

DarkNight3aResources: read other books about confronting fear of the dark, like The Dark, Handler and Klassen (see trailer below), or It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg – review here; check out more of Dorothée De Monfreid’s delightful work here and here.

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

DarkNight3

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PPBF: Go Away, Big Green Monster!

GoAway,BigGreenMonster!CoverAuthor/Illustrator: Ed Emberley
Publisher: Little Brown, 1993, 2005
Age: 4-7
Themes: monsters, fear, toy books
Opening: Big Green Monster has two big yellow eyes,
Summary: (from my library catalog) Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.

GoAway,BigGreenMonster!1Why I like this book: Simple concept, visually inviting, and so much fun – no spoilers! Great inspiration for pumpkin carving crowds.

GoAway,BigGreenMonster!2Resources/Activities: Draw your own monsters; what features will your monster have that differ from this one?

GoAway,BigGreenMonster!3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Rosie and the Nightmares

RosieCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Philip Waechter
Publisher: Handprint Books, 2005; originally in German, Verlagsgruppe Belz, 2005; translation: Christopher Franceschelli
Ages: 3-7yrs
Themes: fear, nightmares, monsters
Opening: Rosie looked deep into the dark red maw. Sharp teeth glittered. Rosie knew her hour had come. She had only seconds left…
Summary: (from my library catalog) Tired of having nightmares about monsters, Rosie the rabbit decides to confront her fears.

Rosie1I like this book because: Yup, sold by the cover. I truly admire illustrators who can make great use of negative space in their compositions, and Waechter is one of them. I was very fortunate to see an exhibit of original work of his at the Wilhelm Busch Museum, in Hannover, Germany in March. This is a great story too, of a rabbit who not only confronts her fears, but OWNS them!

Rosie3Resources/activities: discuss different kinds of fears and the sometimes hilarious names for them, as well as suggestions on how to confront them; draw your own monsters (because that’s what I wanted to do after reading this!).

Rosie4aFor more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

RosieSpot

PPBF: Too Noisy!

Author: Malachy Doyle
Illustrator: Ed Vere
Publisher: Candlewick, 2012
Ages: 3 and up
Themes: families, noise/quiet, tolerance
Opening: CRASH! JANGLE! Meet the Bungles – Whistle! Tweet! Toot!
Summary: (from my library catalogue) The Bungles sure are a large and noisy bunch! So noisy that Sam, the middle Bungle, has no room to think and is desperate to escape his booming, twooting, banging, clanging family. So off he wanders into the woods for some peace and quiet.

I like this book because: I love critters in picture books that I am not quite certain of  – are the Bungles raccoons? Could be, maybe. And how Vere used silhouettes for all the other critters, aside from the family pet and a butterfly. Doyle lyrical flair shines through – he really knows how to imbibe rhythm without the use of a formal rhyme, though the main character surprises himself with one!

Resources/activities: What a great way to start a discussion on noise in the classroom and respecting others! I imagine the class could make a poster(s) of self portraits and have the kids make speech bubbles just like the ones in the book, an include some of there likes and dislikes that may or may not have to do with classroom behavior. And if you’re really into picture book making, head over to Picture Book Den, an informative blog Doyle shares with other others. AND here is a great review on the same book with fabulous activity suggestions at This Picture Book Life – HERE

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

PPBF: Jitterbug Jam – A Monster Tale

Author: Barbara Jean Hicks
Illustrator: Alexis Deacon
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2004
Age Level: 4-8
Themes: monsters, fear, family life
Opening: Nobody believes me, and my brother Buster says I’m a fraidy-cat, but I’m not fooling you: there’s a boy who hides in  my big old monster closet all night long and then sneaks under my bed in the morning on purpose to scare me.
Summary: (from the publisher) Bobo is a young monster who’s afraid to sleep in his own bed. He is sure there is a boy hiding beneath it – a boy with “pink skin and orange fur on his head where his horns should be.” Bobo’s older brother thinks he’s a fraidy-cat, but his grandpa, Boo-Dad, knows all about these fearful creatures. And Boo-Dad knows exactly what to do to scare them away. But after being afraid for so long, Bobo might just want to take matters into his own paws and find out if the creature under his bed really is as bad as he thinks.
Why I like this book: The illustrations are unique, which is why I checked this out from my library, but the rhythms and sounds throughout the text had me reading it over and over again.Good old-fashioned storytelling with a delightful twist.
Resources/Activities: Draw your own monster; make paper-bag monster puppets; make your own jam – try frog jam (fig, raspberry, orange and ginger); be Bobo for Halloween: make a monstermask, dress in ‘jammies, and carry a reptile stuffed animal.

Visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog for more Perfect Picture Books, listed alphabetically, by title, theme and age level, including resources and activity ideas for teachers.