Author: Karen Hesse
Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2018
Themes: Fathers and sons, night work , nighttime
Opening: On Friday nights, when the sun goes down, I snap the clips shut on Dad’s lunchbox and climb onto the back of his bike.
Summary: (from my library catalog) What is it like to work at night, while the rest of the city is asleep? Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse’s quietly powerful story of a boy and his father is tenderly brought to life by G. Brian Karas in this luminous tribute to an enduring, everyday sort of love.
I like this book because: employment is a part of life that each family deals with differently and yet is seldom discussed. In Night Job the images are evocative of what can make the night seem almost dream-like and magical, and the writing Is equally transportive – it would be a neat idea to read this a second time around with the listener’s eyes closed!
Resources/Activities: talk about jobs, regular hours, night shifts, and different forms of employment; discuss the pros and cons of these different forms; what do kids in school think of their ‘jobs’ as students, the hours, and ‘time off’?
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE
Author: Paula Danziger
Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
Publisher: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 2014
Themes: babies, brothers, jealousy
Opening: “Isn’t he the sweetest little baby brother?” Mom asks. She’s making silly faces at Daniel. Daniel has gunk all over his face. He looks like he spit up a space blob. “He’s just a Barfburger Baby,” I whisper to myself.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Five-year-old Jonathon is not pleased when neighbors and relatives come to visit and admire his new baby brother.
I like this book because: I was on the lookout for new baby/siblings books, as one of my Storytime gang is expecting a baby sister next year. This one would be a good choice if my little friend were just a year older, but it touched me, even if I have no recollection of my own little brother being born (and I was not there first!). It’s a poignant, funny and beautifully written story depicting the stark reality of navigating a new world where all the attention is no longer on you! And I am a HUGE fan of Karas’ work, which is what made me pick this book out in the first place. Just look what he can do with dots for eyes!
Resources/Activities: I asked my Storytime gang what kind of objects we could hand to a baby by drawing them out (they also loved watching me draw and guessing what the next object would be): a comb? A bottle? A teddy bear? An apple? A tree? We also talked about how our behavior has to change in the presence of a very new baby, and what we will be able to teach a baby.
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Inspired by this post on the B&N blog: Books Made Better When Read Together, my online writer’s critique group decided to come up with a few of our own – for picture books, which you can see and read about HERE on Marcie Colleen’s blog, The Write Routine.
Big, Bad Bunny written by Fran Billingsley, illustrated by G.Brian Karas, Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2008
and The Black Rabbit, created by Philippa Leathers, Candlewick Press, 2013
And the second pairing:
Owl Babies, written by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson, Candlewick, 1992
and Little Lost Owl, created by Chris Haughton, Candlewick, 2010