Author: Martin Waddell Illustrator: Patrick Benson Publisher: Candlewick, 1992 Age: 2-6 Themes: owls, siblings, separation anxiety Opening: Once there were three baby owls: Sarah and Percy and Bill.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Three owl babies whose mother has gone out in the night try to stay calm while she is gone.
I like this book because: it’s a great story to study for picture book writers! Yes, it’s a classic favorite that warms the heart, and its simplicity has so much to offer. The opening line: the sole focus is on the babies, not the mother/family; the names are listed without a comma which shows the reader the mother’s love is equal and unconditional. And the name choices, the older sibs have two syllables, the littlest only one – and it’s a nickname a pun! Already I know Bill will be the one to steal my heart! (Please let me know what else you may see.)
Resources/activities: listen to their calls here: Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. If you are in a classroom setting – even a virtual one – this would be a nice piece to act out, with a chance to discuss how voice and intonation can contribute to the drama of a play.
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author/Illustrator: Alexandra Boiger Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2015 Ages: 3-5 Themes: sledding, Olympics, friendship Opening:Max and Marla are best friends. Summary: (from Amazon) Max and Marla are best friends. And aspiring Olympians! With their eyes on the prize, they know exactly what it’ll take to reach sledding success: preparation, practice and perseverance. So when rusty blades, strong winds and difficult slopes get in their way, Max and Marla realize true joy lies not in winning but in friendship. Obstacles turn into victories!
I like this book because: it reminds me of the sledding adventures I had as a child, how persistent we were, wet mittens and all, and how the kids in our neighborhood enjoyed playing ‘Olympics’, though gymnastics was my chosen sport because CARTWHEELS! (I always wanted to play Nadia Comaneci). I love the simple palette, an array of cool blues and spots of cinnamon. Both characters are endearing, but my heart melted with little Marla asleep on the couch, ‘helping’ with the wax – “True Olympians never give up”!
Resources/activities: learn about different Olympic sports for winter or summer (don’t forget badminton – my favorite to play!); discover the difference between sleds and sleighs, and what makes them go (and why Max uses wax on his)at wonderopolois.org – HERE; investigate: do different cultures use different kinds of sleds? (I have a German one, just like the sled in the book!). I’ve wanted one like the following since I first saw the Swedish tv series, Pippi Longstocking:
For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE