PPBF: Frida and Bear Play the Shape Game!

Author-Illustrator: Anthony Browne
Author-Illustrator
: Hanne Bartholin
Publisher: Candlewick, 2015
Age: 
3-7
Themes: drawing, shapes, imagination

Opening: see spread above.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Frida and Bear love to draw. When Bear runs out of ideas, Frida suggests they play the shape game.

I picked this book because: School has started in my district and one of the things I often felt got left behind was prioritizing creativity (I could go on for hours on this subject!), so I chose this book to help foster it, esp at the beginning of the year when some young people are feeling anxious – and for those that are not yet ready for a school environment this is a great activity that can be done anywhere!

Resources/activities: read then play the shape game! Watch this TED talk from Sir Ken Robinson:

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

PPBF: Magic Candies

Author/Illustrator: Heena Baek
Translated by: Sophie Bowman
Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids, 2021
Age: 
4-8
Themes: candy, magic, imagination

Opening: I play on my own.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Tong Tong could never have imagined what everyone around him was thinking. But when he gets hold of some magic candies, suddenly there are voices everywhere. He can hear how his couch feels, what upsets his dog, that his demanding dad loves him. He even gets to catch up with his dead grandmother. It turns out, these voices in Tong Tongs life have A LOT to say! Is Tong Tong ready to hear it? At turns funny, weird, and heartfelt, this imaginative picture book from award-winning Korean author Heena Baek will take readers along on Tong Tongs journey as he goes from lonely to brave.

I picked this book because: The amazing illustration on the cover caught my eye, and the interior art does not disappoint! I love the concept of magic candy, where each candy takes the main character and how he even learns to manipulate the magic – and make the most of it! Very sweet and it left me wanting more, so I made the most of it and imagined what I might hear with a few such candies!

Resources/activities: Do what I did, and imagine what you might hear with magic candies. Draw what they might look like. Maybe investigate how to make your own candies or lollipops – and share with friends! Read another book from Korean illustrator Heena Baek: Moon Pops, Owl Kids, 2021

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

PPBF: I Can Make a Train Noise

Authors and Illustrators: Michael Emberley and Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House, 2021
Age: 
3-7
Themes: railroad trains, imagination, read-aloud

Opening: see image below.

Summary: (from my library catalog) A girl transforms a cafe into a train by making train noises with words.

I picked this book because: it’s absolutely perfect for storytime! I loved reading books with toddlers/pre-schoolers in the bookstore, but I have not been able to since the pandemic and wow, do I miss it! So this will be on the tippy-top of my list when we start up again! What a fantastic way to engage kids with crescendo/de-crescendo, beautiful visuals, and physical movement! Woohoo!!!

Resources/activities: Turn your classroom or living room into a train! Listen to all different kinds of trains on youtube, HERE; make train crafts like the one below – instructions/suggestions HERE

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

PPBF: The Froggies Do Not Want to Sleep

Author/Illustrator: Adam Gustavson
Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2021
Age: 
2-5
Themes: frogs, sleep, bedtime

Opening: The froggies do not want to sleep.

Summary: (from my library catalog) The froggies do not want to sleep and refuse to head to bed; they’d rather play their accordions, go for long drives in the country, or sing opera while shooting themselves out of cannons.

I like this book because: of the silliness! I have been missing “silly” in my life in the last year and a half, and I am certain “other kids” have too!! The compositions and rendering are marvelous, the physicality of the humor so delightful, and those froggy eyes! So while the story line may not offer something particularly new in bedtime-ruckus books, there is more than enough here to bring smiles and giggles to all readers!

Resources/activities: imagine what kind of car you would like to take on a drive, what household objects you might use in a joust, which planets you would visit, if you just didn’t have to go to bed!! Set your visual images to paper and color them in!

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

PPBF: Pierre and Paul: Dragon!

Needed to show off all the pollen on my porch!

Author: Caroline Adderson
Illustrator:
 Alice Carter
Publisher: Owl Kids, 2021
Age: 
4-8
Themes: imagination, bilingual stories, dragons
Opening: see opening page below image of title page.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Pierre speaks French and Paul speaks English, but that doesn’t stop them from being friends and exploring together. Today is garbage day, so the duo sets out to find hidden treasures in the trash. Treasure map in hand, they encounter poisonous swamps, dark forests, a dragon, and even a tsunami! (Or maybe it’s a garbage truck driving through a puddle). When the tsunami sweeps away their treasure map, they think all is lost–until they finally find a treasure lying in plain sight. Told half in French and half in English, this uses simple phrases and clues in the illustrations to make the story accessible to readers in both languages. Full of imagination this is a story of friendship.

I read this book because: my friend Julie Abery recommended it on IG, and I was immediately intrigued by a book that seemed so good on so many levels: imagination, friendship, language, and the sense of adventure! And it delivers on all fronts! in our family’s bookshelf my dad kept what looked like a French comic book and I poured over it hoping my efforts would magically teach me French! Well, it achieved something better, the desire to learn other languages and the sound of words! That and my second grade teacher, Mrs. Beck who taught us a bit of Spanish! This was a fun way to test what I have retained form HS French! And I bet my dad would enjoy it too!

Resources/activities: go to your library’s foreign language sections – hopefully they have one with kids books – and take home a pile to try out your pronunciation skills and detective skills! Watch a kids show

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

PPBF: Dear Mr.Blueberry

Author/Illustrator: Simon James
Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1996, c1991
Age: 
3-7
Themes: whales, letters, teachers

Opening:  see below

Summary: (from my library catalog) A young girl and her teacher correspond about the whale she has discovered in her pond.

I like this book because: it’s an oldie, a classic gem, and always reads fresh as a daisy!! Soft illustrations convey the mood and feelings Emily seems to experience, which also lend contrast to Mr. Blueberry’s tone of disbelief! poor Mr. Blueberry!

Resources/activities: read books and look up facts about blue whales; write a letter to one of your teachers, one of your classmates, or a relative or friend; draw something you would hope to find in a pool in your backyard or on the roof of your apartment building!

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

Also happy to share a nice review my upcoming book received from Project MUSE!

PPBF: There Must Be More Than That!

Author/Illustrator: Shinsuke Yoshitake
Publisher: Chronicle, 2020
Age: 
4-8
Themes: future, imagination, family

Opening: see below

Summary: (from my library catalog) Troubled because her brother has told her that the future of Earth is bleak, a little girl goes to her grandmother who assures her that there are many possible futures and encourages her to use her imagination to explore some of the alternatives.

I like this book because: I have to say I fell in love with the grandmother here! We try to protect children from terrible things yet inevitably they will hear about them and I was glad to see the main character sought out advice from her grandmother, but reflected and made her own way in dealing with them. Heavy stuff tackled in such a creative way – plus I am a sucker for all his books, must say!

Resources/activities: reading this book together will open all the cans of worms and leading all readers to discuss everything – what an opportunity! Take it! Read other books by Yoshitake

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

PPBF: The Wild Baby Goes to Sea

Author: Barbro Lindgren, translated by Jack Prelutsky
Illustrator:
 Eva Ericsson
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 1983 (orig.1982)
Age: 
2-6
Themes: Mothers and sons, imaginations, stories in rhyme
Opening: Baby Ben was twice as wild as any other ten, there never was another child as wild as Baby Ben.

Summary: (from my library catalog) While his mother cleans house, rambunctious baby Ben sets sail in a wooden box and has many adventures.

I like this book because: the main character is just too cute! For those of us cooped up inside today, Baby Ben shows us we can still have adventures, you just need a little imaginative. Perfect book for these difficult times!

Resources/activities: get out the cardboard boxes, the laundry baskets, the pillows, blankets, and brooms! Bon voyage!

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

PPBF: Vroom!

Author/Illustrator: Barbara McClintock
Publisher: 
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2019
Age: 
3-6
Themes: Automobiles, cars, imagination
OpeningSee image below .

Summary: (from my library catalog) Follows a young girl’s imaginary journey as she zooms in a race car past fields and forests to faraway lands before returning home to her own safe bed.

I like this book because: the deceptively simple writing packs a punch, inviting listeners to add “Vroom!” whenever possible! It was such a fun read aloud, with beautiful illustrations loaded with details, esp the ones in the forest that the kids loved to shout out as soon as they found them! (See image below)

Resources/activities: read companion books like, Go, Dog, Go!, by P.D. Eastman, and Red Light, Green Lion, by Candace Ryan and Jennifer Yerkes; build your own toilet-paper roll cars. Our storytime gang used used milk lids and pipe cleaners (we tried straws and twisty ties, but they didn’t work as well).

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

PPBF: Our Car

BCC3A07E-CBC6-453F-BE02-2644E9E80458Author: J.M. Brum
Illustrator: 
Jan Bajtlik
Publisher: 
Roaring Brook Press, 2018
Age: 
2-6
Themes: cars, toys, imagination
OpeningOur car is as red as a fire engine.

6B86FB8E-9A9C-4415-9EDB-EB75D493BEE0Summary: (from my library catalog) A child describes the family car, which is as red as a fire engine, and is driven by his father through wind, snow, and all seasons.

45025787-AFDD-475F-967C-610229365D8BI like this book because: It’s so simple (yeah, you know me!), fun, elegant and a great aid in teaching small bodies with big minds about reading pictures! I brought this book to my regular coffee date with ‘old’ folks (me and my friends!) and everyone picked it up to look at of their own accord, laughed, smiled, and said, “So cute!” Perfect holiday gift for a young friend. And yes, Virginia, even grown-ups enjoy great picture books!

2AC128D6-0224-47F3-97CC-DF1F0C2EF43EResources/Activities: draw with oil pastels on dark paper for a night-time ‘ride’; recreate the car images with chalk on sidewalks; act out the story with toy cars; make a map on a large piece of paper where your toy cars can roam; create your own toy car out of a cardboard box and ‘race’ your friends!

84FC066F-BA5D-4A6A-8D47-008ADEC0FA69For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.