Author: George Jonsen
Illustrator: John O’Brien
Publisher: Random House, 1977
Themes: monsters, trolls, fairy tales
Opening: Once upon a time there were thee billy goats named Gruff who lived together on a mountainside. There was not much to eat in their rocky pasture, but they could see a field of sweet green grass just across a deep valley.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Three traditional tales concerning successful attempts to outwit grumpy trolls: The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Trolls and the Pussy Cat, and The Stone Cheese.
I like this book because: Just for the pictures, to be quite honest! I was doing some research for the 2018 SCBWI narrative art award when I came across this book and am so glad I did! The art is fantastic and I could busy myself for hours on one spread! Just WOW!
Resources/Activities: chose a fairytale and illustrate one scene from it – or more! Act out the fairytales in class.
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author/Illustrator: Ed Emberley
Publisher: Little Brown, 1993, 2005
Themes: monsters, fear, toy books
Opening: Big Green Monster has two big yellow eyes,
Summary: (from my library catalog) Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.
Why I like this book: Simple concept, visually inviting, and so much fun – no spoilers! Great inspiration for pumpkin carving crowds.
Resources/Activities: Draw your own monsters; what features will your monster have that differ from this one?
For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author: Meg Rosoff
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Publisher: Henry Holt, 2008
Ages: 4-8blogspot.com: friendship, monsters, snails
Opening: “I’m nervous,” said Jumpy Jack to his best friend, Googily. “There could be a monster nearby and I’m scared of monsters.” “Don’t be ridiculous,” said Googily.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Jumpy Jack the snail is terrified that there are monsters around every corner despite the reassurances of his best friend, Googily.
I like this book because: I really have a soft spot for books that let the reader in on what is oblivious to (at least one of) the characters. Here we have Jumpy Jack describing his fear of monsters, and describing his friend Googily to a teeThe beautifully detailed artwork slimes it’s snaily way right into the heart – check out the tea cozy below!
Resources/activities: Check out the prepared literature unit activities from edHelp.com – HERE;Read Kay Yeh’s article: Why Picture Books Are Important – HERE
Photo courtesy of Kat Yeh8
For more Perfect Picture Book picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s bolg at susannahill.blogspot.com
Author: Barbara Jean Hicks
Illustrator: Alexis Deacon
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2004
Age Level: 4-8
Themes: monsters, fear, family life
Opening: Nobody believes me, and my brother Buster says I’m a fraidy-cat, but I’m not fooling you: there’s a boy who hides in my big old monster closet all night long and then sneaks under my bed in the morning on purpose to scare me.
Summary: (from the publisher) Bobo is a young monster who’s afraid to sleep in his own bed. He is sure there is a boy hiding beneath it – a boy with “pink skin and orange fur on his head where his horns should be.” Bobo’s older brother thinks he’s a fraidy-cat, but his grandpa, Boo-Dad, knows all about these fearful creatures. And Boo-Dad knows exactly what to do to scare them away. But after being afraid for so long, Bobo might just want to take matters into his own paws and find out if the creature under his bed really is as bad as he thinks.
Why I like this book: The illustrations are unique, which is why I checked this out from my library, but the rhythms and sounds throughout the text had me reading it over and over again.Good old-fashioned storytelling with a delightful twist.
Resources/Activities: Draw your own monster; make paper-bag monster puppets; make your own jam – try frog jam (fig, raspberry, orange and ginger); be Bobo for Halloween: make a monstermask, dress in ‘jammies, and carry a reptile stuffed animal.
Visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog for more Perfect Picture Books, listed alphabetically, by title, theme and age level, including resources and activity ideas for teachers.