Author: Harriet Ziefert
Illustrator: Barroux (click for HZ’s post on visiting Barroux)
Publisher: Blue Apple, 2012
Themes: dogs, animal rescue
Age Level: 4 and up
Opening: Here is Lucy at the pound, where we found her. She needed to be rescued. Her time was almost up.
Summary: (from the publisher) When Lucy is adopted from the local animal shelter, her new family thinks that they have chosen a perfect pet. And she is, right up to the minute she starts to howl, and howl, and howl some more. Treats, tricks, a soft red bed, lullabies, and even doggy therapy cannot stop her “Wah-ooo-ooo-roo!” It is the little girl who figures out that Lucy needs a comfy friend (her own stuffed animal) and Lucy who figures out that she needs as many as she can get her paws on. And then, all is well.
Why I like this book: I’ll admit, the cover grabbed me! And the end papers. And the seemingly simple yet heartwarming story. But the illustrator was able to show how an anxious puppy’s howling can fill a room. I have never owned a dog, but I live close to the local university. New college kids move in next door almost every year, getting a puppy and leaving it home a lot (sad to have to add this) so I know what puppy howling ‘looks’ like, and how heartbreaking it feels to hear it. Barroux must know this too!
Resources/Activities: Volunteering at your local Humane Society isn’t something kids can easily do on their own, but here are some ways kids can help; offer to watch a neighbor’s puppy when they go out!
A good one as we get closer to a favorite Family-Time celebration: Thanksgiving!
Author: Harriet Ziefert (click for interview)
Illustrator: Deborah Zemke
Publisher: Blue Apple Books, 2005
Opening: Morning has hugs. Toasters have plugs. Breakfast has mugs. Milk has glugs.
Themes: family, stories in rhyme
Summary: (from the publisher) Whether we are rushing out the door for our busy day or taking a car ride to see our friends, our family is with us This delightful rhyming book celebrates the joys of family life.
Why I Like This Book: This book encourages creativity in accentuating the positive things in life – a grand yet simple lesson!
Resources/Activities: Find rhymes in your own household, or in the classroom: Teacher has talk, board has chalk, and so on; share your day at the table with a ‘best thing about today’ item and a ‘worst thing’ – everyone gets a turn; Special plate – everyone shares something they like about who ever gets the ‘special plate’ (different patterned plate, different placemat, different glass) at the table. We have test-driven all of these for years, and can recommend every one!
Susanna’s Rules for the Halloweensie contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children, using the words witch, bat, and “trick-or-treat“. Check out other Halloweensie Contest entries at http://susannahill.blogspot.com/
I’ve been going door-to-door dressed in costume with an open bag for treats most of my life – okay I have enjoyed the custom most of my life! I even got married on Halloween (Happy 21st, hon!). And I’ve only just read that this practice has a name other than ‘trick-or-treating’: guising. Ha! Learn something new every day! New words should be applied freely so as to cement them into one’s vocabulary, so I thought I’d have a little trick-twisting fun with idioms and sayings:
A half truth is a whole guise. (off a Yiddish proverb)
A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the guise you can invent. (Sorry Bill! ~William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence,” Poems from the Pickering Manuscript)
A guise may take care of the present, but it has no future. (Author Unknown; if you know, tell the author to drop a line!)
Fit to be guised.
Early to bed, early to guise…
Guise to the challenge!
One guise fits all.
That’s about the guise of it!
Also have to mention a Halloween PB – too delightful to pass up!
Author: Harriet Ziefert
Illustrator: Simms Tabak
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2007
Age level: 2 and up
Opening: If one little witch meets one little witch, that makes…two little witches going trick or treating.
Why I like it: As you can see on the cover, one little witch is a bit suspicious of the other little witch as they meet their dressed-up friends. A little spooky and a lot of fun, with delightful illustrations from the late Simms Taback, who created over 35 picture books, winning the Caldecott Medal for Joseph Had A Little Overcoat and a Caldecott Honor for There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Do try an all time favorite of mine Kibitzers and Fools: tales my zayda told me.