PPBF: The Snail and the Whale and a WINNER!

Needed to show off all the pollen on my porch!

Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator:
 Axel Scheffler
Publisher: Dial, 2004
Age: 
3-8
Themes: snails, whales, stories in rhyme
Opening: see opening page below image of title page.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Wanting to sail beyond its rock, a tiny snail hitches a ride on a big humpback whale and then is able to help the whale when it gets stuck in the sand.

I like this book because: it’s such fun to read aloud, written so well that one doesn’t stumble trying! And the vocabulary for younger kids (as well as for people like me!) is exhilarating! The story is so heartwarming and humorous, and the illustrations are rich – I love when an illustrator can use a lot of black for drama! Yes, this book needs no boosting from me, but a reminder of a good book to pull out for pure enjoyment is always welcome!

Resources/activities: The relationship between the two main characters may not be a real-life symbiotic relationship, but there are numerous in nature – would be fun to lest ones we know and research more. Have kids write a poem – in rhyme or not – about a symbiotic relationship.

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

And now for the winner of LOUIS’s #picturebookpicnic giveaway is… ptnozell, better known as Patricia, Head Cheerleader of Picture Books!!! Thanks to everyone who participated! It was such fun to share picnics – and a few cupcakes!

Day 5 #picturebookpicnic giveaway

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Back in a secluded spot in the garden in honor of Miss Olivia’s birthday (see photo in the photo)! Invited stuffies: Livvy’s dragon, Livvy’s horse, Livvy’s birdie and kangaroo! LOUIS picked all the books for their splash of red on the cover (wonder why?!) and the book Olivia had wanted read over, and over, and over!

Ada’s Ideas, by Fiona Robinson, Harry N. Abrams, 2016: A picture book biography of mathematician Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, by the award-winning author/illustrator Fiona Robinson

Hello, Lighthouse, by Sophie Blackall, Little Brown, 2018: Explores the life of one lighthouse as it beams its message out to sea through shifting seasons, changeable weather, and the tenure of its final keeper.

Go Show the World, by Wab Kinew illus. by Joe Morse, Tundra, 2018: Go Show the World is a tribute to historic and modern-day Indigenous heroes, featuring important figures such as Tecumseh, Sacagawea and former NASA astronaut John Herrington. Celebrating the stories of Indigenous people throughout time, Wab Kinew has created a powerful rap song, the lyrics of which are the basis for the text in this beautiful picture book, illustrated by the acclaimed Joe Morse. Including figures such as Crazy Horse, Net-no-kwa, former NASA astronaut John Herrington and Canadian NHL goalie Carey Price, Go Show the World showcases a diverse group of Indigenous people in the US and Canada, both the more well known and the not- so-widely recognized. Individually, their stories, though briefly touched on, are inspiring; collectively, they empower the reader with this message: “We are people who matter, yes, it’s true; now let’s show the world what people who matter can do”

Noah, Noasaurus, by Elaine Kiely Kearns and illus. by Colin Jack, Albert Whitman, 2019: Noah is in a grumpy mood and wants to be alone, but when his friends follow him around he cannot help but have fun.

A Porcupine Named Fluffy, Helen Lester, illus. by Lynn Munsinger, HMH, 1989: A porcupine named Fluffy is happier with his name after he meets a similarly misnamed rhinoceros.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HEREDon’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

Day 4 #picturebookpicnic giveaway!

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today LOUIS chose to have the picture book picnic on the bench! Meet Elk, Puffinski, McEelface, Brownie the Pup, Walross and Komodo! Puffinski is holding a barely visible butterfly net and there is a bucket of chalk (*always use just a little at a time, if at all, to protect water organisms!) under the bench, and a pair of klompen to klomp around in the garden! If you are asking, Where is LOUIS?, he ran back inside to get napkins for the cupcakes!

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, by Penny Parker Klostermann, illus. by Ben Mantle, Random House, 2015: In this variation on the traditional cumulative rhyme, a greedy, hungry dragon eventually learns moderation.

The Road That Trucks Built, by Susanna Leonard Hill and illus. by Erica Sirotich, Little Simon, 2017: Rhyming text follows the story of a team of vehicles that work together to build a new road.

Arnie the Doughnut, by Laurie Keller, Henry Holt, 2003: Arnie the talking doughnut convinces Mr. Bing that not all doughnuts are meant to be eaten.

A Morning With Grandpa, by Sylvia Liu and illus. by Christina Forshay, Lee & Low, 2016: Curious and energetic Mei Mei attempts some t’ai chi forms as her grandfather demonstrates them, then tries to teach him basic yoga poses. Includes introductions to t’ai chi and yoga, as well as instructions for the exercises described in the text.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HEREDon’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

Day 3 #picturebookpicnic giveaway

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today it’s a picnic in a basket! It’s likely to rain any minute, so everyone squeezed in, munched on blueberries while dreaming of the raspberries, currants, and gooseberries about to ripen (in the meantime there is rhubarb nectar too – see photo at the bottom). Also, please say hello to Schmarmot, Jay, Blue, Foxie (in the bunny suit!) and Otto! Let’s see if anyone asks about that pumpkin!

Rosie’s Walk, by Pat Hutchins, S&S, 1968: Unaware of a hungry fox right behind her, Rosie, the hen, goes about her barnyard business as usual.

Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin and illus. by Harry Bliss , Joana Cotler Books (HC), 2003: A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not so good things about being a worm in this great big world.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, by Verna Aardema and illus. by Leo and Diane Dillon, Dial Books, 1975: A retelling of a traditional West African tale that reveals how the mosquito developed its annoying habit.

The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss and illus. by Crockett Johnson, Scholastic, 1945: Despite everyone’s dire predictions, a little boy has faith in the carrot seed he plants.

*Book descriptions from my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HEREDon’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

Day 2 #picturebookpicnic giveaway!

LOUIS will be celebrating World Picnic Day with picnics and his picture book friends – and stuffies – all WEEK! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

But let me introduce you to his stuffie-guests and the friends they brought along for the picture book picnic today! Meet Elk, Penny, Wolfie, H. Hog and his elephant and horse – and Pooh, of course!

My Best Friend, by Julie Fogliano, Atheneum, 2020: Two girls quickly become best friends, even before they learn one another’s names.

The Nest That Wren Built, by Randi Sonenshine and illus. by Anne Hunter, Candlewick, 2020: In the rhyming style of “The House That Jack Built,” this poem about the care and specificity that Carolina wrens put into building a nest is at once tender and true to life. Papa and Mama Wren gather treasures of the forest, from soft moss for a lining to snakeskin for warding off predators. Randi Sonenshine’s lilting stanzas, woven with accurate and unexpected details about Carolina wrens, and Anne Hunter’s gentle, inviting illustrations reveal the mysterious lives of these birds and impart an appreciation for the wonder of the life cycles around us. Back matter includes a glossary and additional interesting facts about wrens. Nature lovers and poetry fans alike will be drawn to this lyrical picture book depicting how Carolina wrens build a nest for their young.

Cupcake Cousins, by Kate Hannigan and illus. by Brooke Boynton Hughes, Disney Hyperion, 2014: During a family vacation at Lake Michigan, nine-year-old cousins Willow and Delia, desperate to avoid being flower girls in their aunt’s wedding, try to demonstrate that they would do better as chefs for the reception.

“Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses, by Beth Anderson and illus. by Jenn Harney, Calkins Creek, 2020: James Kelly smelled EVERYTHING: rats in the shed; circus elephants a mile away; tomorrow s rain. His sense of smell was EXTRAORDINARY. But what good was a powerful nose? How could his super-sniffer make him special? In the New York City subway, James found his calling and earned the nickname Smelly Kelly. Armed with his super-sniffer and the tools he invented, he tracked down leaks from the dangerous to the disgusting, from the comical to the bizarre.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

AND LOUIS is on SALE right now on Amazon: HERE! Don’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

PPBF: LOUIS hosts a GIVEAWAY

Today is World Picnic Day and LOUIS will be hosting picnics with his picture book friends – and stuffies – all week! I’ll post pictures on Instagram where anyone (in the US) can comment – on any of the week’s posts – for a chance to win. Deadline is Thursday, 6/24/21 12pm MDT. Winner will be announced on the next Perfect Picture Book Friday!

But let me introduce you to his stuffie-guests and the friends they brought along for the picture book picnic today! Meet Elk, Penny, Wolfie, H. Hog and his elephant – and Pooh, of course!

Shrunken Treasures, by Scott Nash, Candlewick, 2016: The plots of nine classic stories are summarized in this collection of silly verses.

Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything!, by Cori Doerrfeld, S&S, 2016: Illustrations and easy-to-read text portray a young brother and sister as they spend an afternoon imagining great adventures together.

Skippyjon Jones, by Judy Schachner, Puffin Books, 2005: Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese cat with an overactive imagination who would rather be El Skippito, his Zorro-like alter ego.

How To Survive as a Firefly, by Kristen Foote and illus. by Erica Salcedo, Innovation Press, 2017: A group of firefly larvae are taught how to survive as a firefly, from finding food to the importance of finding a mate, in a book filled with hidden firefly facts.

*Book descriptions form my library’s catalog.

The activity suggestion today is to read all the books, eat some cupcakes from our favorite, Butter Cream Cupcakery, hunt for treasure/clover (esp four-leaf, but don’t tell them, there isn’t any clover in this part of the yard!)

Don’t forget to enter by commenting for the GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page: @jrzoch

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

PPBF: Louis and Valentine cards

Author/Illustrator: Julie Rowan-Zoch (ME!)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020
Age: 
3-7
Themes: teddy bears, frustration, friendship,

“Undies” Case
endpapers

Summary: (from my library catalog) Tired of the “dangerous adventures” with his human boy, a teddy bear decides to run away but reconsiders when bedtime arrives.

photo from a dear friend (great lighting!)

Why the shameless self promotion: yes, it might be a bit much BUT I wanted to maximize the sharing of the ♥️ Valentine cards to print and color which Tom and I created in time for World Read Aloud Day (2.3.21). That’s it! ♥️ Go to HMH and click on the links to the right under “Available Resources”.

Resources/activities: print out and color 🎁 LOUiS’ Valentine cards and share; make a 🧸teddy with a small towel (see below); have a ☕️🫖 tea party with 🧁cupcakes and invite your friends and stuffed-ones; 🔖tag your most beloved stuffies with contact info; print out LOUiS activity sheets at HMH (click on the links on the right under “Available Resources”.)

lots of how-to videos on youtube

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

AND while I’m at it, here’s another nice review my upcoming book!

LOUIS ★starred review★!

A star from Kirkus! The review is in their August 15th issue – read the full review online now here.

This one in the August issue of SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:

PreS-Gr 3–Louis is a teddy bear who has truly seen it all. And he’s a teddy bear who has had enough. He has been used and abused as a pillow, a hankie, and as lunch for a prehistoric beast. He’s been buried alive, thrown into a hurricane, hung out to dry, and has even been made an accessory to a nightmare-inducing crime! Lichtenheld lets readers know that Louis is ready to break free—but there is always a reason not to leave, and he’s going to need more cupcakes. Rowan-Zoch’s colorful and expressive illustrations complement Lichtenheld’s silly story and truly bring Louis the grumpy bear to life. Fans of the author’s Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site will delight in this enjoyable picture book. VERDICT Perfect for read-alouds or one-on-one sharing, this is a laugh-out-loud spin on a would-be runaway’s best-laid plans.–Elizabeth Blake, Fields Corner Lib., Dorchester, MA

To pre-order: links on my Books page HERE and at Soaring 20s HERE!

PPBF: Where’s Baby?…and my own cover reveal…WHAT?

Author/Illustrator: Anne Hunter
Publisher: 
Tundra PRH, 2020
Age: 
2-5
Themes: foxes, prepositions, hide-and-seek
OpeningHave you seen Baby, Mama Fox? Why, Baby must be somewhere, Papa Fox.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Papa Fox is looking for Baby Fox, who is just out of his sight … but not ours! An adorable, interactive read-aloud for fans of Are You My Mother. In this clever introduction to prepositions, a near-sighted Papa is looking for his baby. Is Baby up in the tree? Is Baby under the log? Is Baby around the corner? Where could Baby be? Readers will delight in spotting the little fox on every page as Papa wanders the forest, encountering other animals all along the way, but never quite able to spot his own baby. Anne Hunter’s delicate and lovely illustrations with their limited palette highlight the humor of this adorable hide-and-seek tale.

I like this book because: there are so many reasons! The illustrations (which MELT my heart!) were done in ballpoint pen and colored pencil; the text is handwritten; I love foxes – like, they are my favorite animal!; my storytime gang loved it so much we had to read it again, right away! Ticks all the boxes: simple, rich, funny, readaloudability, nice size (yeah, it’s a thing for me!) AND the case, but you’ll have to pick it up to find out for yourself!

Resources/activities: we played Topfschlagen, a German party game where a blindfolded child (we used an airline mask) taps around with a wooden spoon on the floor for the over-turned pot the others have ‘hidden’, and receives the ‘gift’ underneath. We used shiny little apples that were enjoyed by all; I also brought a glass jar filled with rice and a couple of very small toys hidden inside that the kids had to shake and roll around to find.

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

🎉Now to the cover reveal for my picture book illustration debut, to be released October 6th, 2020, called LOUIS, written by Tom Lichtenheld. Only I won’t be posting it here just yet – you’ll have to come over to the Soaring 20’s High-Flying Picture Book Debut website HERE. I will post links for pre-orders under Books very soon! (Mini-reveal “Story” at Instagram – HERE!)