PPBF: The Detective Dog

E6F5CC3F-B534-4860-8BCD-052EC38CD4F2Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie
Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt, 2018; orig. in England by Macmillan, 2016
Age: 4-7
Themes: dogs, libraries, rhyming books

7C75A5E4-FAAD-490A-A2AB-2EE5E2032304Opening: There once was a dog with a keen sense of smell. She was known far and wide as Detective Dog Nell.

BB2D39D7-BE29-4DD1-A51F-B6FC12069C9FSummary: (from my library’s catalog): When Detective Dog Nell puts her nose to the task, there’s no mystery she can’t solve. Whether she’s tracking the missing shoe of her human, Peter, or locating some lost honeycomb, all Nell has to do is sniff, sniff, sniff and she’s hot on the trail. Besides solving mysteries, there’s something else Nell loves–listening to children read. Every Monday, Peter takes her to school where children tell her stories. One day, Nell and Peter arrive to find that all the books are gone. Who could have taken them? And why? There’s only one dog for the job, and Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the thief!

405C55BC-51C9-48E6-9E65-618459010332

Fitting for the illo that the book was falling off the table when I shot this pic!

I like this book because: I figure every child (and me!) wishes they could have a dog in the classroom – every day! This is yet another fantastic read-aloud from the Gruffalo-author, Julia Donaldson. And the delightful, energetic renderings live up to the Donaldson standard! You will fall in love with Nell too!

1AD14924-E8E4-459A-8429-C2A0E1808C87Resources/Activities: seek out programs (like at my local library) where you can read to a dog; Ask around, someone you know might not be using the library for all it has to offer – maybe you could even give them a tour! I meet people all the time in the bookstore where I work who do not even have a library card! Yowza!

F3C1DC18-CE56-4FF8-A5FC-89D54BC379F4For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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PPBF: A Squash and a Squeeze

SquashandaSqueezeCoverAuthor: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine, 2017; first published by Methuen Books, 1993
Age: 3-6
Themes: dwellings, domestic animals, stories in rhyme, humorous stories
Opening: A little old lady lived all by herself with a table and chairs and a jug on the shelf.

SquashandaSqueezeTitlepageSummary: With the help of an old man and all of her animals, an old lady realizes that her house is not as small as she thought it was.

SquashandaSqueeze1Why I like this book: This rollicking rhyme spins an old Jewish folk tale said to be from Poland, is always fun, but made so much sweeter by the master of rhyme herself, Julia Donaldson. Scheffler is able to add so much emotion to the cozy illustrations (the goat’s face while pig raids the cupboard is priceless!), that you might want to move in with all the characters too!

SquashandaSqueezebackResources/Activities: Read about the illustrator HERE;  attempt read every single one of the author’s and illustrator’s collaborations – you won’t be sorry! Read a few more Jewish folktales, like Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, by Simms Tabak, or Such a Noise!, by Aliana Brodmann and Hans Poppel.

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

Picture Perfect Friday Book – a spin!

Perfect Picture Book Friday is STILL taking a break, but I had to share this! Maybe I can add it to the list on Susanna Hill’s blog later, or inspire someone else to write a review!

Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: 
Axel Scheffler
Publisher: 
Arthur A. Levine Books; Reprint edition, 2013
Age Level: 4-7
Themes: rats, thieves, animals, stories in rhyme
Opening: The Highway Rat was a baddie. The Highway Rat was a beast. He took what he wanted and ate what he took. His life was one long feast. His teeth were sharp and yellow, his manners were rough and rude, And the Highway Rat went riding – riding – riding – riding along the highway and stealing the traveler’s food.
Summary: (From Amazon) From the bestselling creators of THE GRUFFALO, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Quick! Hide all your goodies! The Highway Rat’s coming, and he’s going to steal your snacks… He takes clover from a rabbit, nuts from a squirrel — he even steals his own horse’s hay! Can no one stop him? The creators of STICK MAN and A GOLD STAR FOR ZOG stand and deliver this fabulous new story of a wickedly loveable villain who gets his just deserts.

This find on the NEW bookshelf at the library made me gasp! I have become SUCH a big fan of their collaborations, that I keep my fingers crossed and hope they continue! But I don’t like being disappointed, so I tucked it in my bag to savor the excitement (and wouldn’t want to shriek in the library, though the children’s librarians would understand). On the way home I told myself, “Now, Julie, the chances of this becoming another favorite are slim (I am a good convincer!), it will probably be good, probably not great, just enjoy it for what it is.” It’s a good trick of mine, and useful for someone who enjoys going from a calm state to euphoria in seconds. And it worked again! Aww, man – I LOVE IT!!! I’m like a kid, I love the characters, the repetition, but as an adult I know the poem from whence it was inspired and so could enjoy it all the more! Hope you do too!

If you have a few minutes, listen to the kids reading this book HERE.

And for Anne of Green Gables aficianados – enjoy: