PPBF: Anatole

AnatoleCoverAuthor: Eve Titus
Illustrator: Paul Galdone
Publisher: McGraw-Hill, 1956
Age: 4-8
Themes: mice, cheese, fairness
OpeningIn all France there was no happier, more contented mouse than Anatole.

AnatoletitlepageSummary: (from my library catalog) A French mouse decides to earn an honest living by tasting the cheese in a cheese factory and leaving notes about its quality.

Anatole1Why I like this book: Looks like I am sort of stuck in the past again (will try better next time)! I love the limited color palette set against the black and white ink-wash and Galdone’s loose yet confident style, illustrating a sweet classic story of a French mouse on a mission to change!

Anatole3.pngResources/Activities: come up with a secret way to make someone else’s life or lives better without looking for recognition, like leaving flowers on a doorstep, or mowing someone’s lawn while they are out – or even sending a secret note to make someone smile!

Anatole2For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

Anatole

PPBF: Marsh Crone’s Brew

MarshCronesBrewFullCover.jpgAuthor/Illustrator: Ib Spang Olsen, translated by Virginia Allen Jensen
Publisher: Abingdon Press, 1960
Age: 5-8
Themes: seasons, marsh people, Danish folk tale
OpeningIn summer when the sun goes down behind the marshes and evening sets in, a kind of white vapor sometimes rises from the swampy ground.

MarshCronesBrew1.pngSummary: (from my library catalog) A retelling of the Danish folktale about the Marsh Crone whose husband looks like a willow bush and whose children are mistaken for grass hillocks. They mix things like moonlight, willow spears, evening dew and stork feathers in a brew that brings spring to the marsh..

MarshCronesBrew3Why I like this book: It fits in my pocket at 6.5×4.5″! Number one priority for me though is to pick up any book that has a great cover, and it does, but this time I was influenced to look for Ib Spang Olsen’s books from singular picture book illustration post by Jama Kim Rattigan . So I put as many as I could on hold through my library, and this is the first title to arrive. It reminds me so much of the landscape where I lived for many years in northern Germany, where the coming of spring is highly anticipated. Hope you can find and enjoy it too!

MarshCronesBrew4Resources/Activities: Read about the Danish author/illustrator HERE;  Read a few more Danish folktales, like The Fat Cat: A Danish Folktale by Jack Kent – or another edition of the same by by Margaret Read MacDonald and Julie Paschkis (Illustrator).

MarshCronesBrew5For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Frog in the Well

FrogInTheWell

Boring cover to you, fantastic typeface to me!

Author: Alvin Tresselt
Illustrator: Roger Duvoisin
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1958
Age: 3-6
Themes: dwellings, frogs, reflection
OpeningThere was once a frog who lived in a well, and a fine well it was, too.

 

FrogInTheWellendpapersSummary: Once upon a time there was a frog who lived at the bottom of a well. The well was the frog’s whole world, until the day the well ran dry and the bugs began to disappear. What was happening to the world, the frog wondered, and what could he do? The hungry frog decided he must hop to the top of the well to see what he could of the end of the world. Conquering his fear, he peered out, and what did he see? Trees, flowers, meadows, marshes, and all kinds of end-of-the-world creatures! Entranced, the little frog ventured forth to find out more about the world outside his own. Based on a classic Chinese fable, and written and illustrated by the Caldecott-winning Alvin Tresselt and Roger Duvoisin, The Frog in the Well is a charming tale of one brave frog and his journey into wisdom.

FrogInTheWelltitlepageFrogInTheWell2.jpgWhy I like this book: Oldy but a gooooody! Found this title while I was searching for storytime books with a ‘home’ theme, and fell in love. Wouldn’t be the first time a girl fell for a sweet frog, eh? Still fresh for todays readers.

FrogInTheWell3Resources/Activities: Read about the illustrator HERE though I am sure many of you are familiar with his classics like, Petunia, Veronica, or The Happy Lion! If not – you need to read them! If you just want to wallow in a pool of his wonderful images – click HERE. Make a storytime-craft activity with a paper towel roll, or clothes pins.

FrogInTheWell5For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

PPBF: A Squash and a Squeeze

SquashandaSqueezeCoverAuthor: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine, 2017; first published by Methuen Books, 1993
Age: 3-6
Themes: dwellings, domestic animals, stories in rhyme, humorous stories
Opening: A little old lady lived all by herself with a table and chairs and a jug on the shelf.

SquashandaSqueezeTitlepageSummary: With the help of an old man and all of her animals, an old lady realizes that her house is not as small as she thought it was.

SquashandaSqueeze1Why I like this book: This rollicking rhyme spins an old Jewish folk tale said to be from Poland, is always fun, but made so much sweeter by the master of rhyme herself, Julia Donaldson. Scheffler is able to add so much emotion to the cozy illustrations (the goat’s face while pig raids the cupboard is priceless!), that you might want to move in with all the characters too!

SquashandaSqueezebackResources/Activities: Read about the illustrator HERE;  attempt read every single one of the author’s and illustrator’s collaborations – you won’t be sorry! Read a few more Jewish folktales, like Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, by Simms Tabak, or Such a Noise!, by Aliana Brodmann and Hans Poppel.

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

PPBF: North Is For Polar Bears

Northis4PolarBearsCover.jpgAuthor: Adelaide Holl
Illustrator: J.P. Miller
Publisher: L.W.Singer/RH, 1968
Age: 3-6
Themes: polar bears, North Pole, curiosity
Opening: Pierre was a polar bear. He lived in the Far North, at the very top of the world, where everything is frosted over with ice and snow.

 

Northis4PolarBears1Summary: Story of a curious polar bear enticed by bird’s chatter about the South: the sunshine, the trees and the flowers, and his adventures far from home.

Northis4PolarBears3.jpgWhy I like this book: A sweet and innocent adventure story beautifully illustrated in bright bold colors that still feel fresh and timely.

Northis4PolarBears4Resources/Activities: Read about the illustrator HERE: have a look at some of his art HERE; read some of his other books, or Disney films he worked on like Dumbo, Pinocchio or Fantasia.

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

PPBF: Worms

WormsCoverAuthor: Bernard Friot; translation: Yvette Ghione
Illustrator: Aurélie Guillerey
Publisher: Kids can Press, 2015; Originally published under Asticots, by Éditions Milan, 2010.
Age: 4-7
Themes: worms, manners, humorous stories
Opening: I was bored. SO bored! My father had invited the senior executives form the factory to dinner and made me join them.

Worms1Summary: (from the publisher) A hilarious picture book tale of a small boy’s mischief, with a sly take on what it wreaks in the world of the grown-ups.

Worms2Why I like this book: This hilarious depiction of a small narrative ‘incident’ is a perfect example of what an illustrator can do to amplify the story through deceptively simple gestures and details. Bravo! I’m sure the kids will laugh out loud with this one, but it may make a few more suspicious of their dinner salads!

worms3Resources/Activities: This book provides an interesting opportunity to discuss past and present practices of work associates and families: why would a boss invite his workers home for a dinner? Have workers invited their bosses? For what purpose? Together read, How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell.

Worms4.pngFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

PPBF: Louis I, King of the Sheep

LouisIcoverAuthor/Illustrator: Olivier Tallec
Publisher: Enchanted Lion, 2015; originally published in France by Actes Sud, 2014; translation Claudia Zoe Bedrick
Age: 5-9
Themes: kings, rulers, sheep, power
Opening: And so it was one windy day that Louis the sheep thereby became Louis I, King of the Sheep.
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) When a crown lands at Louis the sheep’s feet, he crowns himself king of the sheep, imagining just what kind of a king he would be.

LouisItitlepageWhy I like this book: It’s funny yet great food for thought for young people about authority and power and it’s place in our present world. Thew illustrations are sumptuous, yet the cartoon-style characters are totally suited to their rich surroundings. And if you are familiar with other Tallec books, you might recognize some characters (do read, Who Done It?, Chronicle Books, 2015)!

 

LouisI1.jpgResources/Activities: imagine what you might like to do as king; look into the reality of monarchies today; do kingdoms exist in the wild animal world?; would you like to live in a kingdom?

 

LouisI2.jpgFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

LouisI3

PPBF: Another Brother

AnotherBrotherCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, 2012
Age: 3-7
Themes: brothers, imitation, family life
Opening: For four glorious years, Davy had Mom and Dad all to himself.
Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Davy the sheep wishes he had time alone with his parents, as he did before his 12 brothers came along and started imitating his every move, but when his wish comes true Davy misses playing with the youngsters.

AnotherBrotherpage1.jpgWhy I like this book: I was won over immediately by the cover, but Davy’s headband sealed it! A great character and though the situation is one often portrayed in books, the uniqueness comes with the amplification: 12 brothers! There is so much to notice in what looks like sparse illustrations – and all of it is hysterical! LOVE this book!

AnotherBrotherspot.jpg

Resources/Activities: Lots of good questions for a discussion: How many siblings do you have? Are you the oldest, middle or youngest? Do you have step-siblings? What kinds of things do you enjoy doing together? What things would you rather do alone?

AnotherBrother4

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

AnotherBrotherendpapers2.jpg

PPBF: What Do You Say, Dear?

WhatDoYouSayDear?CoverAuthor: Sesyle Joslin
Illustrator: Maurice Sendak
Publisher: Harper Collins; first publ. by Addison-Wesley, 1958
Age: 3-6
Themes: etiquette, manners, humorous stories
Opening: You are downtown and there is a gentleman giving baby elephants to people. You want to take one home because you have always wanted a baby elephant, but first the gentleman introduces you to each other. What do you say, dear?

WhatDoYouSayDear?TitlepageSummary: (from my library catalog) Offers advice on how to cope correctly with a variety of common and uncommon social situations. (That is such an understatement! The book is HILARIOUS!)

WhatDoYouSayDear?2Why I like this book: it’s ‘the funniest book on good behavior you’ll ever read’, according to the back cover – and I concur! And the illustrations are at the same time slightly snarky and heart-meltingly darling! Enjoy!

WhatDoYouSayDear?3Resources/Activities: Read the companion book: What Do You Do, Dear? (images below), by the same author and illustrator. Read them again! Come up with more common and uncommon situations!

WhatDoYouDoDear?coverWhatDoYouDoDear?1WhatDoYouDoDear?4For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Great Dog Bottom Swap

GreatDogBottomSwapcoverAuthor: Peter Bently
Illustrator: Mei Matsuoka
Publisher: Andersen Press, 2009
Age: 0+ (according to publisher!)
Themes: dogs, behavior, humorous stories
Opening: The day had arrived for the Dog’s Summer Ball. All the dogs in the world were lined up at the hall, where a sign on the door said, Now please be so kind as to keep your coat on but remove your behind. Please hang up your bottom on one of the pegs and remember, no growling or cocking of legs.

UntitledSummary: (from my library catalog) The day has arrived for the Dogs’ Summer Ball. It’s so high class that each dog must remove their bottom before they are allowed inside the hall. But in the middle of all the frivolity something unexpected happens and the dogs have to make a hasty exit…with or without the correct bottom!

GreatDogBottomSwap2Why I like this book: It’s HILARIOUS! I have recently mentioned this book so many times it was evident I needed to feature it! The illustrations feature dogs in outfits and accessories that bring on the giggles all by themselves, but this story is just such a hoot, you MUST look for it at your library/bookstore!

GreatDogBottomSwap3.pngResources/Activities: Think how you might come up with a ‘legend’ for how some strange behavior came to be for other animals.

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