PPBF: How I Learned to Fall Out of Trees

Author/Illustrator: Vincent X. Kirsch
Publisher: Abrams, 2019
Age: 
3-7
Themes: best friends, moving, tree climbing

Opening: When Adelia told me she had to move away, she was up in her favorite tree. “Roger, before i go, I’m going to teach you how to climb a tree.” “What if I fall?”

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Edward and Adelia have been best friends for many years, so when it is time for Adelia to move away she plans a special parting gift for him.

I picked this book because: I love the message. I am already a fan of Kirsch’s somewhat quirky characters and details and his loose, energetic drawing style, so I was immediately drawn to the cover. What I really liked in this book is the message of learning something new, easing your fears by preparing for a hard landing just in case, and for letting go – one of the hardest lessons of all.

Resources/activities: learn to climb a tree with the help of a friend or an adult; learn about how to identify trees by their shape and leaves in order to find the best climbers; practice on playground equipment designed for climbing; read more tree themed books!

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

PPBF: Lost and Found

Author/Illustrator: JiWon Beck
Publisher: Peter Pauper Press, 2019 (orig. I Meet You, Bombom/Korea, 2017)
Age: 
3-7
Themes: friendship, eskimos, polar bear

Opening: wordless

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) A wordless picture book in which a young Eskimo girl befriends a weak, hungry polar bear that has taken refuge in her igloo, and the bear later returns the favor..

I picked this book because: we’re expecting snow this weekend, despite a week in the high 80’s, so this beautifully composed, quiet, wordless picture book feels just right to keep me from crying! The compositions are breathtaking and the character design melts my heart. I may cry anyway if I lose all my plums, currants and black raspberries though… In the meantime, enjoy this with a cuppa.

Resources/activities: Read books featuring snow even when snow isn’t expected. Bake something that needs to be dusted with powdered sugar. Place a paper snowflake over the cake first for a pretty design.

(can’t find my own pics, but this looks yummy too!)

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

PPBF: Poles Apart

Author: Jeanne Willis
Illustrator:
 Jarvis
Publisher: Nosy Crow, 2016
Age: 
3-7
Themes: penguins, polar bears, getting lost

Opening: As everyone knows, penguins are found at the South Pole and never at the North Pole. At least not until the day…

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Everybody knows that penguins live at the South Pole and polar bears live at the North Pole—but what would happen if, one day, a family of picnicking penguins accidentally got lost? When the hapless Pilchard-Brown family find themselves at the wrong pole, they need Mr. White, a friendly polar bear, to guide them all the way home.

I picked this book because: I enjoy other books by Willis and by Jarvis so I was curious to see a collaboration between them – and I was not disappointed! It’s simple and sweet and a huggable sort of book with bright, lively, and loose drawings (something I am forever trying to achieve myself!). And be just right for the toddler/preschool crowd for story time with lots of alliteration and fun details that truly engage. Hope you enjoy it too!

Resources/activities: look into which animals are found on both poles, and which are not; make a diorama featuring the differences; create a play adding other locations with backdrop paintings; read more picture books featuring animals from the north and south poles, like Except Antarctica by Todd Sturgell.

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

PPBF: Louis and Valentine cards

Author/Illustrator: Julie Rowan-Zoch (ME!)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020
Age: 
3-7
Themes: teddy bears, frustration, friendship,

“Undies” Case
endpapers

Summary: (from my library catalog) Tired of the “dangerous adventures” with his human boy, a teddy bear decides to run away but reconsiders when bedtime arrives.

photo from a dear friend (great lighting!)

Why the shameless self promotion: yes, it might be a bit much BUT I wanted to maximize the sharing of the ♥️ Valentine cards to print and color which Tom and I created in time for World Read Aloud Day (2.3.21). That’s it! ♥️ Go to HMH and click on the links to the right under “Available Resources”.

Resources/activities: print out and color 🎁 LOUiS’ Valentine cards and share; make a 🧸teddy with a small towel (see below); have a ☕️🫖 tea party with 🧁cupcakes and invite your friends and stuffed-ones; 🔖tag your most beloved stuffies with contact info; print out LOUiS activity sheets at HMH (click on the links on the right under “Available Resources”.)

lots of how-to videos on youtube

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

AND while I’m at it, here’s another nice review my upcoming book!

PPBF: Raising Dragons

Author: Jerdine Nolen
Illustrator:
 Elise Primavera
Publisher: Harcourt, 1998
Age: 
4-8
Themes: dragons, farm life, friendship
Opening: Pa didn’t know a thing about raising dragons. He raised corn and peas and barley and whet. He raised sheep and cows and pigs and chickens. He raised just about everything we needed for life on our farm, but he didn’t know a thing about raising dragons.

Summary: (from my library catalog) A farmer’s young daughter shares numerous adventures with the dragon that she raises from infancy.

I like this book because: of the way Nolen tells a story. She has the reader believing everything without an ounce of doubt, and identifying with the main character and her firm confidence in her own abilities. Pure magic and an absolute joy to read aloud! Once upon a time I was a parent of young children, and I was reluctant to read long stories to my kids at the end of the day. I realize now I cheated myself from discovering some of the best writing. Don’t miss out. Don’t be a Lazy Julie!

Resources/activities: research all the creatures that are oviparous; compare the shape, color and sizes of eggs; talk about what to do if you should find one in the wild; read more books by Jerdine Nolen!

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

PPBF: 13 Stories About Harris

Author/Illustrator: Amy Schwartz
Publisher: Holiday House, 2020
Age: 
3-7
Themes: best friends, friendship, neighborhoods

Opening:  See image above

Summary: (from my library catalog) Thirteen vignettes reveal the everyday life of Harris, who makes butter with his mother, attends the birthday party of his best friend, Ayana.

I like this book because: It’s so everyday! It celebrates the normal things a child experiences with such gentle humor that the whole book just melts your heart in the sweetest way (also because I am sorely missing my neighbors that moved a few months ago!). I hope others read it – it’s a huggable!

Resources/activities: this book put me in the mood for chalk drawing, but I recently found out that colored chalk is really bad for our water system and has bad effects for aquatic organisms. So while I will be searching for eco-friendly alternatives, I might gather sticks and stones and create a scene on the sidewalk instead and invite your kid(s) to do the same! Check out the work of Andy Goldsworthy for inspiration:

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

PPBF: Look Up!

Author/Illustrator: Jung Jin-Ho, translated by My Hyun Kim
Publisher: Holiday House, 2016
Age: 4-8
Themes: kindness, friendship, perception

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) .

I like this book because: of it’s simplicity! The choice of rendering in black and white allows the eye to focus so much more on the details of a unique perspective and place the reader/viewer not only in the mind but also in the body of the protagonist, a child in a wheelchair. And it’s a sweet story of how easy it can be to make a new friend too!

Resources/Activities: look at things from different heights: a stoop, a tree, the top of the stairs, or take a visit to your local parking garage, or another building that is multiple stories high, to get a sense of what it is like to look down on a scene. Now look up instead!

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

PPBF: Super Manny Cleans Up!

EC9BDDF8-4ECB-4D25-A366-5356CBF6A0CFAuthor: Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrator:
Stephanie Graegin
Publisher:
Atheneum, 2018
Age: 4
-8
Themes: environment, friendship, apathy
Opening: Every weekend, Manny and Gertie put on their capes and saved the planet from danger.

A309CACC-2D14-4FCB-B643-14150E603FFDSummary: (from my library catalog) Manny and his friend Gertie join forces to clean up their local park–because every superhero needs a planet worth saving.

BA37D3A7-7694-4ABF-84E6-CA9FB060AD79I like this book because: it has such an important and urgent message for kids, that they too can be engaged and do something important or even just something they are passionate about, despite being ‘just’ a kid. The illustrations are warm and endearing, and are unique in the ability to distinguish between the real and imaginary world without skipping a beat.

F3AB9615-A300-4550-AE79-036D31F7DB4AResources/activities: Start a clean-up/trash pick-up action in your community, even just around the house or school; discuss responsibility towards others, the environment and what issues bother you right now. What can you do about them?

725649DD-A12A-415B-8650-7FCEDF27204BFor more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE.

6FF33247-C34F-4C15-83A5-13BE5445CD2B

PPBF: Beyond the Fence

AD8F2CE1-E5A7-44CC-B708-D7321C65E257Author/Illustrator: Maria Gulemetova
Publisher: Kane Miller, 2018
Age: Child’s Play Int’l., 3-8
Themes: pigs, friendship, freedom
Opening: Thomas talked a lot. And Piggy had to listen.

C89384BB-173F-4F4D-8CB1-F261D7F2C879Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Piggy and Thomas live in a large house. Thomas knows exactly what Piggy needs until a chance meeting with a wild pig changes everything: Piggy finds out what lies beyond the fence.

2CC3231D-5DFE-48EB-A345-C73647D171F6I like this book because: there are so many picturebooks about the importance and joy of friendship, but this book takes us beyond. What happens when friendship disappoints, saddens, and hurts us. It touched my heart profoundly, and I wanted to share it as close to valentine‘s day as possible, because not all relationships deserve to be celebrated.

A5CE1D35-A664-4F97-A743-00C4DACF5510Resources/Activities: discuss what is important in a friendship and what is not, do friendships take work and why? What makes a good friend? Look around and let your friends know you care and appreciate them.

D3996A8B-1214-47B0-8D21-1FECEB96C20BFor more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

CD30ADEB-DB4B-4745-9F00-421924A00B46

PPBF: The Town of Turtle

46fcc74a-cd65-4974-9c28-338c50a7f71eAuthor: Michelle Cuevas
Illustrator: 
Catia Chien
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018
Age:
3-7
Themes: loneliness, home, community
Opening: Turtle lived in a part of the world as empty as a bird’s nest in December.

be92df2b-9ca3-41d9-884a-d0d609bed18fSummary: (from my library catalog) Lonely Turtle’s only friend is his shadow until he decides to build a deck, then a garden, then houses and other buildings until, while he naps, new friends arrive.

8378fcd6-ba06-4892-a7e0-b311cd788871I like this book because: when I think of the things that compel me to pick up a book usually one element suffices (Easy to please? Not really). This one offered three on the cover alone: the intriguing title, the name of an illustrator I already admire, and the cover design and rendering itself. And I was not disappointed by anything I found inside. A beautifully, poetically, and perfectly told story (that opening line!), artwork that makes me wish Catia Chien could render my dreams, and the whole of it is what makes this so stellar. And believe it or not, I have not even included the most mesmerizing spreads!

be647131-c9cb-463a-92ce-e469f193cf91Resources/Activities: design your own dream home including anything you want; discuss the importance of community and friendships in your neighborhood; think about neighbors who you have not yet met, who might need some help, or a new friend; have a neighborhood tea party!

05766cab-e1a6-4972-ad0e-44fdd759a664For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.