PPBF: 13 Ways to Eat a Fly

Author: Sue Heavenrich
Illustrator:
 David Clark
Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2021
Age: 
4-9
Themes: flies, counting, humorous non-fiction
Opening: See image below

Summary: (from the publisher) Thirteen flies become tasty snacks in this clever reverse counting book about predators and prey. Science meets subtraction as a swarm of flies buzzes along, losing one member to each predator along the way. Includes a guide to eating bugs, complete with nutritional information for a single serving of flies.

I like this book because: the reaction! I just shared this book with a friend and former biologist and the look on her face reading the first page was priceless! disgust and laughter in the first paragraph! we were just talking about education reform, and THIS book epitomizes the approach we would like to see, coupling fun with learning! Solid facts with hilarious humor – and many other levels of practical knowledge. PERFECT!

Resources/activities: pick one of the 13 ways and delve deeper – choose the predator you like the most, and the one that grosses you out the most! And be sure to share your knowledge at the dinner table! Spring is here and so are other insects. Take a walk and note what plants they are attracted to and discuss why you think so; look it up to see if you are close with your assumptions. Make a fly puppet from an old sock (the one that lost its pair), buttons, some stuffing, and pipe cleaners.

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

PPBF: WE4 – Oh, No! Where Are My Pants?+2

To close the series this month on Wolf Erlbruch, I’d like to introduce three titles that he illustrated for other authors. To read the other posts, click HERE, HERE, or HERE. Enjoy!Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?CoverEdited by: Lee Bennet Hopkins
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Harper Collins, 2005
Age: 4-8
Themes: conduct of life, children’s poetry, emotions
Opening: This isn’t the way it was supposed to be- You in Room Two. Me in Room Three.

Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?1Summary: Poignant and funny American poems for children selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?2Why I like this book: I love suggesting books of poetry for emerging readers, especially humorous ones. These all touch on the feelings we all share of what it is like to have a really bad day. I love the simplicity in rendering and arresting compositions that snuggle up perfectly to each poem.

Resources/Activities: write poems about a bad-day experience you may have had.

ButterflyWorkshopCoverAuthor: Gioconda Belli, translated from the Spanish by Charles Castaldi
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Peter Hammer Verlag/Europa Editions, 1994/2005
Age: 7-11
Themes: imagination, inventors, insects
Opening: Butterflies are almost weightless. They are ever so light, like the batting of an eyelid, the sun blinking red and yellow.

ButterflyWorkshop1.jpgSummary: (from fantasticfiction.com) Odair, one of the “Designers of All Things” and grandson of the esteemed inventor of the rainbow, has been banished to the insect laboratory as punishment for his overactive imagination. But he still dreams of one day creating a cross between a bird and a flower. Then, after a helpful chat with a dog . . .

ButterflyWorkshop2Why I like this book: Every illustration is a gem! For illustrators this is a beautiful edition from which to study what the silhouette of a character can lend to visual storytelling. And I believe children and adults alike can relate to the inventive main character who is one of the ‘Designers of All Things’.

Resources/Activities: consider the kinds of insects or flowers you might like to invent.

BearWhoWasn'tThereCoverAuthor: Oren Lavie
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Verlag Antje Kunstmann/Black Sheep, 2014/2016
Age: 6-8
Themes: itching, bears, identity
Opening: Once upon a time there was an Itch. Simply, an Itch.

BearWhoWasn'tThere1.jpgSummary: (from my library catalog) One day, a few minutes after Once Upon a Time, a bear awakes to find he has lost something very important: himself! He sets out into the Fabulous Forest to find himself, using only a few clues scrawled on a piece of paper: the bear he’s looking for is a nice bear; he is a happy bear; and he’s very handsome too! These sound like pretty good qualities to Bear, and so begins his memorable journey. With the help of Fabulous Forest critters like the Convenience Cow, theLazy Lizard, and the Penultimate Penguin, Bear finds that he himself is just what he’s been looking for all along: a nice, happy bear–and handsome too!

BearWhoWasn'tThere2.jpgWhy I like this book: The text is full of gags, silliness and wordplay that are accompanied by equally playful and light illustrations making wonderful use of collage.

Resources/Activities: make a list of character traits you believe belong to you.

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

PPBF: Some Bugs

BugsCoverAuthor: Angela DiTerlizzi
Illustrator: Brendan Wenzel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2014
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: stories in rhyme, insects
Opening: Some bugs sting. Some bugs bite. Some bugs stink. And some bugs fight.
Summary: (from my library catalog) From butterflies and moths to crickets and cicadas, a rhyming exploration of backyard-bug behavior.

BugsTitle I like this book because: it features simple, spot on rhyme. Not too tight – just right! Bright, mixed-media collage illustrations are engaging and vibrant – makes you want to jump up for spring! (Which I hope has sprung when I return from the old country!)

BugsButterfResources/activities: get out your magnifying glasses, turn over leaves, rocks, mulch – you’ll be surprised to see what you can find. Draw or take photos, create a class collage. Do this at repeated intervals throughout the year and gain a better sense of what otherwise remains a hidden environment.

BugsMelonHeading out on a search for picture books on foreign soil, so I won’t be PPBF-ing (or checking out everyone else’s posts – sorry!) until after mid-March. Until then keep up with the PPBF posts and parent/teacher resources you can find on Susanna Hill’s blog – HERE