PPBF: The Great Stink

Author: Colleen Paeff
 Nancy Carpenter
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry, 2021
Themes: sewerage, Bazalgette, London

Opening: see full spread below.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) This funny and informative picture book tells the story of Joseph Bazalgette, a 19th century engineer who designed London’s first comprehensive sewage system. In doing so, he saved thousands of lives from cholera outbreaks that regularly plagued the city. This STEM-focused story provides a window into the past and shows how one invention went on to affect generations to come-and teaches kids how they can prevent pollution in their own neighborhoods today.

I picked this book because: I was also thrilled to see what illustrator Nancy Carpenter had done with the cover, and could hardly wait to discover the magic I knew she would bring to my Soaring20s pal’s debut picture book. I was not disappointed, and sublimely surprised at what Colleen conjured with the text! Amazing how the two of them could bring so many gross AND fun facts to life with humor and enthusiasm! Definitely worth your while!

Resources/activities: I generally dislike suggesting more screen time, but these two videos are fascinating: 10mins on Bazalgette’s work HERE, and another 59min video that presents very interesting research on what’s going on with waste water development today.

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

PPBF: The Queen’s Hat

Queen'sHatCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Steve Antony
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2015 (Originally published in the UK by Hodder Children’s Books)
Ages: 3-5
Themes: hats, Queens, London
Opening: The Queen was on her way to visit someone very special when the wind went…

Queen'sHatEndpapersSummary: (from my library catalog) A sudden gust of wind takes the Queen’s favorite hat and blows it all over London, as the Queen’s men give chase.


Queen'sHat1I like this book because: Seemingly simple, strong compositions using a limited palette take the reader on a rollicking romp. I love books that pack a big punch with a small idea!


Queen'sHat2Resources/activities: Follow up with THE QUEEN’S HANDBAG; Make hats after listening to a video explained by a Brit – see below


Queen'sHatBackFor existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

PPBF: The Hero of Little Street

Author/Illustrator: Gregory Rogers
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, 2012
Genre: fiction, story without words
Themes: dogs, painting, time travel, London, Delft/Netherlands, history
Age Level: 4-8
Opening: hmmm…Click on the picture to flip through some pages
Synopsis: A runaway romp through one painting and another as a boy seeks cover from bullies in an art museum. From Kirkus Review: Rogers’ Boy (from The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard, 2004, and A Midsummer Knight, 2007) returns for another wordless metafictive adventure, this one centering on Dutch painting.
Reminds me of my last stay in Amsterdam, though it was a cold January and I was 6 months pregnant. This is the first I have read from Rogers, but I will keep my eyes peeled for his other titles.
Resource/Activity: The art of Rembrandt : kids art supply catalog: http://www.kidsart.com/store/karemb.html
For more posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources visit Susanna Hill’s blog every Friday