Author: Michelle Cuevas
Illustrator: Catia Chien
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018
Age: 3-7 Themes: loneliness, home, community Opening: Turtle lived in a part of the world as empty as a bird’s nest in December.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Lonely Turtle’s only friend is his shadow until he decides to build a deck, then a garden, then houses and other buildings until, while he naps, new friends arrive.
I like this book because: when I think of the things that compel me to pick up a book usually one element suffices (Easy to please? Not really). This one offered three on the cover alone: the intriguing title, the name of an illustrator I already admire, and the cover design and rendering itself. And I was not disappointed by anything I found inside. A beautifully, poetically, and perfectly told story (that opening line!), artwork that makes me wish Catia Chien could render my dreams, and the whole of it is what makes this so stellar. And believe it or not, I have not even included the most mesmerizing spreads!
Resources/Activities: design your own dream home including anything you want; discuss the importance of community and friendships in your neighborhood; think about neighbors who you have not yet met, who might need some help, or a new friend; have a neighborhood tea party!
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Authors: Laura Marchesani and Zenaides A. Medina Jr. Illustrator: Jarvis Publisher: Penguin Young Readers, 2015 Ages: level 2 progressing reader Themes: farm animals, friendhip, commonalities Opening:Pig lives on a farm. There are four cows. There are ten chickens. There are six sheep. But there is just one pig. Summary: (from my library catalog) Pig lives on a farm where he is the only animal without a friend until a new creature arrives, Pug, who is not a pig but has a curly tail, snorts, plays in the mud, and just might be a good friend for Pig.
I like this book because: despite my choice being a leveled reader, it’s narrative is fun to read aloud and the takeaway is endearing. The illustrations are delightful, simple (okay, a little more depth of color/contrast might be too much to expect in a leveled reader, but I’d suggest it for the series), and full of emotion.
Resources/activities: Compare animal traits; What do we feel would make a good friend and why?; Do we have friends with which we share a lot in common? How important is that? Draw the characters in the book – they are perfect for emulating.
For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE
Author: Nadine Brun-Cosme Illustrator:Olivier Tallec Publisher: Enchanted Lion, 2010 Ages: 4-8yrs Themes: wolves, feelings, friendship, loneliness Opening:Big Wolf lived under his tree at the top of a hill. It had always been that way. Then one day Little Wolf arrived. He came from so far away that at first he looked no bigger than a dot. Summary: (from my library catalog) Big Wolf has always lived alone at the top of a hill under a tree, so when a little wolf suddenly arrives one day, he does not know what to think.
I like this book because:I love the illustrations (big surprise, Patricia?), but more importantly this is a very touching story on the evolution of a friendship, told slowly, gently, creating the perfect tension. Bet you couldn’t read it fast if you wanted to! Perfect accompaniment for a lollipop.
Welcome to Design of the Picture Book! I'm Carter Higgins, and I'm a writer and librarian for kids. I spent a spectacular stint as the Children's Book Editor at <a href="http://www.designmom.com/">Design Mom</a> which I loved! You can find my column <a href="http://www.designmom.com/category/childrens-lit/">here</a>.<br /> I'm a K-6 librarian, a former-ish graphic designer, an SCBWI member, and a huge fan of words and pictures.<br /> Represented by <a href="http://www.rpcontent.com/">Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC</a>.