Author: Naomi Danis Illustrator:Cinta Arribas Publisher: POW!, 2018 Age: 3-7 Themes: emotions, parties, frustration Opening: It’s my birthday, so boo! I hate all of you.
Summary: (from my library catalog) “I hate everyone.” In your worst mood, it’s a phrase you might want to shout out loud, even if, deep down, you don’t really mean it. Set at a birthday party, this disgruntled, first-person story portrays the confusing feelings that sometimes make it impossible to be nice, even or especially when everyone else is in a partying mode. A gorgeous, poetic contemplation, sure to elicit a reaction from readers.
I like this book because: That cover! And I do have a weakness for the magic artists can create with a limited palette. I get this character, we’ve all been in her shoes, and it’s so easy to identify with her situation, even if we don’t know what brought on the initial frustration. I also appreciate the close-up perspective in most of the spreads, which allow the reader to be right there as an ally.
Resources/activities: discuss what might frustrate us. Are these BIG deals or is it okay to be frustrated when they are not. Can we think of strategies to help us get through them, can we be kind to ourselves and be with our feelings even when it doesn’t please others? Draw yourself in a situation where you might feel frustrated.
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author/Illustrator: BeatriceAlemagna Publisher: Harper, 2019 Age: 4-8 Themes: birthdays, parties, animals Opening: Some days feel like complete disasters. You feel turned upside down, and it seems impossible anything good can happen.
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Lonely seven-year-old Harold Phillip Snipperpot is excited when his parents, not known for their affection, throw him a birthday party attended exclusively by animals, but things take a turn when his guests start destroying the house, forcing Harold to try and save his party from calamity with surprising results.
I like this book because: I love the underlying theme: sometimes unimaginable disaster can spark positive change. Adults are far more frightened of change or the unknown than children are, and I love how this book bursts through to prove it! Oh, and by the way, the illustrations are exquisite.
Resources/Activities: Watch this interview with Beatrice Alemagna; discuss experiences where one may have thought the worst had happen while going through it, yet some outcome or change might have had positive aspects – like missing a bus and therefore an important appointment, but bumping into an old friend because you missed the bus!; visit the zoo for a ‘safe’ encounter with animals spotted in this book; think about what kind of animals you would like to invite to your own birthday!
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE
Author/Illustrator: Akiko Miyakoshi Publisher: Kids Can Press, 2015 (originally published in Japanese: Mori no Okuno Ochakai e, Kaisei-Sha Publishing, 2010 ) Ages: 3-7 Themes: forest animals, parties, imagination Opening: That morning, Kikko had awoken to a winter wonderland. It had snowed all night.Now her father was off to Grandma’s house to help clear the walk.
Summary: (from my library catalog) As Kikko goes through the woods to bring a pie to her grandmother, she happens upon a home full of animals and joins their tea party.
I like this book because: It’s breathtakingly beautiful. The story is a simple flight of imagination, and anyone would wish to be in the main characters place.
Resources/activities: Plan a tea party. Who would you invite? What would you serve? This might also be fun to act out with puppets.
For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE