PPBF: The House on East 88th Street

HouseOnE88thsStcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Bernard Waber
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1962
Age: 3-7
Themes: crocodiles, moving, family
Opening: This is the house. The house on East 88th Street. It is empty now, but it won’t be for long.
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) The Primm family finds Lyle, a performing crocodile, in the bathtub in their new apartment. To everyone’s surprise all become great friends.

HouseOnE88thsSt2Why I like this book: Another classic, and an old friend that time and again needs revisiting. The limited color palette and loose style leaves plenty of room for imagination, excitement, and emotion to unfold. The storytelling has the matter-of-fact attitude that children understand best. Of course they continue to welcome this crocodile into their own family! Enjoy!

HouseOnE88thsSt3.jpgResources/Activities: Have you ever moved to a new home and found something the previous owner left behind? No? Make one up! Create a new story with the object; also read Lovable Lyle, or Lyle Walks the Dogs, from Bernard Waber.

HouseOnE88thSt4.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

HouseOnE88thStback

PPBF: Danny and the Dinosaur

DannyDinoCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Syd Hoff
Publisher: Harper & Row, 1958
Age: Easy Reader; 3+
Themes: dinosaurs, museums, play
Opening: One day Danny went to the museum. he wanted to see what was inside.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Danny goes to a museum to see the dinosaurs and ends up spending the day outside with one.

DannyDino1Why I like this book: It’s a favorite of my youth and a classic easy reader with excellent read-aloud-ability for a toddler storytime. The illustrations are just right for kids learning to read through both word and pictures.

DannyDino2.jpgResources/Activities: for a dinosaur theme read together with Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct/Mo Willems, and We Are the Dinosaurs/Laurie Berkner and Ben Clanton.

DannyDino3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Things To Do

ThingsToDocoverAuthor: Elaine Magliaro
Illustrator: Catia Chien
Publisher: Chronicle, 2016
Age: 4-8
Themes: nature, activity, imagination
Opening: Things to do if you are DAWN. Shoo away night. Wash the eastern sky with light. wake the sleeping sun: Rise and shine!

ThingsToDoEndpapersSummary: (from my library catalog) Told in rhyming text, the story takes us through a child’s day, focusing on the animals and objects around the child.

ThingsToDoTitlepageWhy I like this booksoft, endearing illustrations compliment the magical text ‘like butta’, as my aunt might have said!

ThingsToDo1.jpgResources/Activities: go for a spring walk or hike, and take along some of the highlighted words in the book’s text; see how you might find something that ‘flits’, is ‘buzzy’, ‘bold’, or ‘dazzles’.

ThingsToDo2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

ThingsToDo3

PPBF: Have You Seen My Trumpet?

HaveYouSeenMyTrumpet?cover

Author: Michael Escoffier
Illustrator: Kris Di Giacomo
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books, 2016
Age: 3-6
Themes: vocabulary, wordplay, animals
Opening: Who is playing frisbee?

HaveYouSeenMyTrumpet?1Summary: (from my library catalog) Presents a young girl looking for her trumpet, with her questions containing hidden words for animals that can be seen in the illustrations..

HaveYouSeenMyTrumpet?4Why I like this book: I love playing with words and think it’s important to encourage children to do so as well, especially while having to cope within an environment overrun by standardized testing. (Thanks for allowing me a 2-second soapbox moment!) The artwork invites play on an entirely different level, using a warm and welcoming palette. Enjoy, my playful friends!

HaveYouSeenMyTrumpet?2Resources/Activities: Play! With words, both written and spoken and with visuals: what new beasts can you create from common complex words? What new words can you invent for common (and/or complex!) creatures?

For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Mom, There’s a Bear at the Door! + my 5th blogiversary!

To celebrate 5 years of blogging I’d like to send one lucky reader a gift: a picture book of their choice! Please leave the title of the book you’d like in the comment section by March 23, 2017/6amMDT, and if I can get a hold of a new copy I’d be honored to send it to you. Please understand that if the winner is from outside the US, the offer applies in softcover/paperback form. Looking forward to reading your wish titles in the comment section below! And happy St. Patrick’s Day to my fellow (lucky) Irish folks!

BearattheDoorcoverAuthor: Sabine Lipan
Illustrator: Manuela Olten
Publisher: Eerdmans, 2016; orig. in German: Mama, da steht ein Bär vor der Tür!
Age: 2-5
Themes: bears, mother-and-child, humorous stories
Opening: Mom, there’s a bear at the door! A Bear? A bear. But we live on the eleventh floor! That’s why he’s here.

BearattheDoor1Summary: (from my library catalog) I love the faith tenacity of this main character, and the expression-laden character designs. So much fun!!! Can’t wait to try this out on my storytime kids!

BearattheDoor2Why I like this bookA mother has several questions when her son tells her there’s a bear standing outside the front door of their eleventh-floor apartment.

BearattheDoor4Resources/Activities: this is a great ‘what if?’ prompt for young writers!

For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Old MacDonald Had a Truck

OMHadATruckCoverAuthor: Steve Goetz
Illustrator: Eda Kaban
Publisher: Chronicle, 2016
Age: 2-5
Themes: farmers, trucks, stories based on songs
Opening: Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had an…EXCAVATOR!

OMHadATruckEndpapersSummary: (from my library catalog) An update of the classic folk song, Old MacDonald, featuring farm vehicles like excavator, dump truck, and bulldozer.

OMHadATruck1Why I like this book: My local library’s children’s librarian handed this one to me, and I am grateful – such a great read-aloud that will surely delight truck-loving singers and my storytime crowd at the bookstore.

OMHadATruck2Resources/Activities: read this along with Little Blue Truck, by Alice Shertle and Jill McElmurry and The Happy Man and His Dump Truck, by Miryam and Tibor Gergely; Play animal charades: have children pick an image of farm animal out of a bag/basket and act out the sounds or movements of the animal for others to guess.

OMHadATruck3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Little Fir Tree

littlefirtreecoverAuthor: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Barbara Cooney
Publisher: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1954
Age: 3-7
Themes: trees, growth, christmas story
Opening: A little fir tree stood by the edge of a forest, a little way off from the great green trees.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A lonely little fir tree, standing by itself at the edge of the forest, has its life transformed when a father takes it home to serve as a living Christmas tree for his bedridden son.

littlefirtree1Why I like this book: I like this version of Margaret Wise Brown’s book out of sentimentality: my beloved school librarian, Mrs. Nurnberg, read this one to us in elementary school.

 

littlefirtree2Resources/Activities: take a walk in the forest and identify trees by their species and their age; discuss illnesses and what an illness might prevent one from doing; share your favorite Christmas songs.

littlefirtree4For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

littlefirtreesong

PPBF: I Used to Be A Fish

iusedtobeafishcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Tom Sullivan
Publisher: Balzer & Bray, 2016
Age: 4-8
Themes: fish, humans, evolution
Opening: I used to be a fish. But I got tired of swimming.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A boy explains how he used to be a fish, until one day he grew legs and then fur, before becoming human.

iusedtobeafisheWhy I like this book: So simple yet the book manages to convey the idea of our history on Earth with a minimal palette and a touch of ‘Suessical’- which ties in well with all the Grinch Sticks I just made for the reading in the bookstore tomorrow (note the green food die on my finger in the third pic!).

iusedtobeafish1Resources/Activities: this book opens the can of worms on evolution, and depending on the child, you can dive deep into discussion or just enjoy the simple yet humorous text; make all the evolving figures out of playdough – or bread dough…and bake!

iusedtobeafish2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

iusedtobeafishback

PPBF: Moustache

moustachecoverAuthor: Gracia Iglesias
Illustrator: Guridi
Publisher: Lata de Sal, 2015
Age: 3-7
Themes: cats, whiskers, vanity
OpeningSer gato y ser curioso son dos cosas casi inseperables.
Summary: (from my library catalog) Here’s what they had in Spanish: Ser gato y ser curioso son dos cosas casi inseparables. Moustache era un gato elegante, refinado y guapo, un gato con buenos modales y muy coqueto. Pero un día sus preciados bigotes se quemaron con tanta curiosidad. ¡Horror! ¿Qué hará Moustache? Quizás unos bigotes postizos sean la solución… O quizás la solución esté en la mano de un niño igual de curioso.”– Provided by publisher. And with the help of Google translate, I will give you summary: Being an elegant and refined cat and at the same time a curious cat can be dangerous. After Moustache gets too close to a flame and loses his prized whiskers but he does not lose heart. He sets out to replace them and finds a thoughtful friend along the way.

 

moustache1Why I like this book: I don’t know enough Spanish to read a picture book like this, but, lured by the marvelous artwork of Guridi, I made an effort with Google translate to learn more and was not disappointed.

moustache3

 

Resources/Activities: learn Spanish (that note is for me!); at the very least, check out the foreign language section at your local library for books, some of which that might not even look like what you are used to; try to surmise what is going on based on the artwork; ask a member of the community to come and read a favorite book from their language/heritage to read a picture book to your class and explain the text.

moustache2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo

gingerbreadmanlooseatthezoocoverAuthor: Laura Murray
Illustrator: Mike Lowery
Publisher: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 2016, originally publ. in France by L’école des loisirs, 2013
Age: 4-8
Themes: gingerbread man, zoo animals, scavenger hunts
Opening: I woke to the sound of a rumbling ROAR! And hooting, and howling, and growling galore.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When the gingerbread man gets separated from his class during a field trip to the zoo, he uses his teacher’s animal scavenger hunt clues to find his way back to them.

GingerbreadManLooseattheZoo2.jpgWhy I like this book: Another fantastic read-aloud from Laura Murray, layered with information on animal identification and fun! The illustrations are bright, comic-like (in composition too) and cheerful – bound to engage the whole class

gingerbreadmanlooseatthezoo3Resources/Activities: great read for a science unit on zoology; create riddles about animals not included in the book: make a classroom scavenger hunt.

gingerbreadmanlooseatthezoobackFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.