Author: Sylviane Donnio
Illustrator: Dorothée de Monfried
Publisher: Random House, 2004
Themes: humorous stories, food, crocodiles
Opening: see first full spread below.
Summary: (from my library catalog) One morning Achilles, a young crocodile, insists that he will eat a child that day and refuses all other food, but when he actually finds a little girl, she puts him in his place.
I like this book because: I’m actually surprised I have not recommended this title before – it’s truly one of my favorites! The title grabbed me, as I am sure it grabbed you, and I was in no way disappointed. The simplicity, the humor, the tenacious child in whom we may see ourselves. And while parents would also like to see him eat the bananas, we also cheer him on in his persistent pursuit!
Resources/activities: read about what real crocodiles eat, where do they live, how do they differ from alligators; bake a chocolate cake – if that’s what you’d like to eat; find out how many different kinds of bananas there really are and where they come from.
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
One more for the road…though this is an alligator, of course…in underwear!
Author: Allan Ahlberg
Illustrator: Bruce Ingman
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2006
Age Level: 4-8
Themes: Humor, imagination, food
Opening: There once was a boy. Banjo, his name was, yes, Banjo Cannon.
Summary: (from the publisher) What happens if someone’s dinner decides that, well, it doesn’t want to be eaten? For a hungry little boy named Banjo and a savory sausage named Melvin, it’s a plight that can only result in a breathless escape — and what a chase it is! Off speeds the sturdy sausage — leading fork, knife, and plate, chair and table, a handful of fries with various French names, and three fat little peas — out the door, down the street, and around the park, with poor Banjo taking up the rear. Will the famished boy ever catch them? And what (gulp) happens to Melvin if he does?
Why I like this book: Its fast-paced hysteria! The illustrations are as light, loose and fun as the text, and I especially like the addition of line drawings throughout the painted scenes. And with Thanksgiving on the way it’s time to think about food, where it comes from, and where it might…go!
Resources/Activities: Amazon list of runaway food titles to compare and contrast; Lessons and resources: Where Does My Food Come From? From the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment.
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.