Author/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes Publisher: Greenwillow, 1987 Ages: 4-8 Themes: mice, courage, siblings Opening: Sheila Rae wasn’t afraid of anything.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When brave Sheila Rae, who usually looks out for her sister Louise, becomes lost and scared one day, Louise comes to the rescue.
I like this book because: I read a lot of picture books, and as much as I get excited about new ones to love, I rejoice all the more when I find an older classic. Almost 30 years old yet fresh , snappy, and kids can relate just as easily today.
Resources/activities: discuss individual fears, how to possibly overcome them, and how one person’s abilities differ from another’s.
For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1982 Ages: 4-8yrs Themes: mice, fox, dentists Opening:Doctor De Soto, the dentist, did very good work, so he had no end of patients. Those close to his own size – moles, chipmunks, et cetera – sat in the regular dentist’s chair. Summary: (from my library catalog) Dr. De Soto, a mouse dentist, copes with the toothaches of various animals except those with a taste for mice, until the day a fox comes to him in great pain.
I like this book because: though I love so many of Steig’s stories, this is my absolute favorite. Not because I have particularly fond memories of the dentist (even though I wrote a little ditty about our family dentist growing up, Dr. B.B. Levine), but because Doctor De Soto is dedicated, just as his father was, and manages to keep his cool and have (some) compassion even in a life threatening situation and in the end outwits the fox – a “wicked, wicked creature(s)”. How could I not become Dr.De Soto’s biggest fan?
Resources/activities: this is a great story to read and begin a discussion about trust, judgement and compassion with students – or for a lesson on dental health; for a science lesson, make ‘elephant toothpaste’ click HERE; or to make real natural toothpaste kids will like, click HERE
Today’s tidbits: I found a dentist in Louisiana that was practicing before the book was published – would love to ask him what work has been like after the book! And Doctor De Soto in acronym is DDS, which means Doctor of Dental Surgery. I found an Australian band called, Doctor De Soto (video below)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1992, c1971. Ages: 4-8yrs Themes: mice, whales, friendship Opening:Amos, a mouse, lived by the ocean. He loved the ocean. He loved the smell of sea air. He loved to hear the surf sounds- the bursting breakers, the backwashes with rolling pebbles. Summary: (from my library catalog) Befriended by a whale as he is drowning in the ocean, a mouse gets a chance to reciprocate years later in an equally unlikely situation.
I like this book because: like many of Steig’s characters, Amos has some pretty deep thoughts about beauty and life and what may become of his soul after death. I like that in a mouse. Also because he named his boat the Rodent, and among all the useful things he packed a yo-yo, and that says a lot.
Resources/activities: Common Core activity Pitner’s Potporri HERE ; draw another adventure for Amos and Boris; felt amn elephant or male a boat at moomah.com
Today’s tidbit: more gorgeous homemade Amos and Boris characters at moomah.com – HERE
I’m a guest blogger on Laura Sassi Tales today – HERE
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>.