Author/Illustrator: Beatrice Alemagna [English translation by Rae Walter]
Publisher: Tate Publishing, First published in French by Autrement, 2006; Engl. edition 2014
Themes: lions, paris, statues
Opening: He was a big lion. A young, curious and lonely lion. He was bored at home on the grasslands, and so one day he set off to find a job, love and a future.
Summary: (from Amazon) “A lion … bored by his rural life in the savanna, seeks excitement and opportunity in the City of Light. Upon arriving in Paris, the lion is disappointed to find that despite his size, people barely pay attention to him, not even when he lets out a ferocious roar on the busy underground Métro”
I like this book because: of the art. Hands down. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story, but I almost feel the words were superflous. The art is so powerful, so full of energy, whimsy and detail (deserving of the thick paper used in the making) and left me thinking about them all day. I am so glad the size (15 x 11.3 inches) is large enough to accommodate, and I wonder if the the vertical opening was necessary for the image below, but having neck and shoulder problems I would have appreciated a horizontal format (selfish!). This is a must-read for all budding artists!
Resources/activities: learn about a local statue in your town/city and it’s history; create stories for statues about how they might have found their resting spot; make pap-mâché statues after watching a tutorial – HERE.
Perfect Picture Book Friday is still on hiatus for the summer (back in 2 weeks!), but there are still plenty of selections on a themed and alphabetized list, each with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author/Illustrator: Tomi Ungerer
Publisher: Phaidon Press, 2011 (First published in German, Diogenes, 1980)
Themes: kangaroos, flight, courage, uniqueness
Opening: Adelaide’s parents were surprised when they saw that their daughter had wings.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Adelaide, a kangaroo with wings, discovers that her unique anatomy and abilities bring her fame and fortune in Paris.
I like this book because: the story line does not follow ‘traditional’ patterns and norms, as in escalating scenes or the protagonist having a strong hand in solving the ‘conflict’. Adelaide doesn’t see her uniqueness as a problem, she embraces it. That was enough to satisfy me, as well as Ungerer’s ability to tell so much with so few lines. I recently watched a documentary on Ungerer, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, and was touched by the way Maurice Sendalk spoke of him. In an article Sendak once described Ungerer’s work as passionate and personal – “it’s marvelous and it’s cuckoo and it’s that kind of veracity that’s always made for good children’s literature” (The New York Times, Sept 2011). Random tidbit: Amazon has a choking hazard warning for this book on their site! Go figure!
Resources/activities: Vintage Kid’s Books My Kid Loves posted a recommendation, and a list of Ungerer titles you might be interested in – click on any of the links for more on each book; discuss things that might make us unique, special and different from other family members or friends.
Perfect Picture Book Friday is on hiatus for the summer, but there are still plenty of selections on a themed and alphabetized list, each with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE
“Be different so that people can see you clearly amongst the crowds.” ― Mehmet Murat ildan