PPBF: The Caiman

2″ wider than HARE! No wonder I was drawn to it!

Author: María Eugenia Manrique, transl. Amy Brill
Illustrator:
 Ramón Paris
Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids, 2021; orig. Ediciones Ekaré, 2019
Age: 
3-8
Themes: alligators, pets, Venezuela,
Opening: see opening page below image of title page.

Summary: (from my library catalog) When Faoro the clockmaker adopts a baby caiman, he has no idea that someday their story will travel far and wide. But the town of San Fernando de Apure would never forget this kind young man and his adoring alligator, who played with the neighborhood children, took part in Faoro’s wedding, and, eventually, mourned his loss.

I like this book because: I was hooked by the cover (and format!). The bold colors and use of black and white, but also because of the author’s own real life experience with this story and her intriguing bio. The story did not disappoint. I love examples of human-animal connection, as I’m sure many others do, but also of cultures other than my own. There is sadness, but so much love in this beautiful tale – no pun intended!

Resources/activities: Look into the life-cycle of Caimans, their habitat, and how they might be different than other alligators. Are there other real-life stories of bringing an alligator into a home? What does a Caiman egg look like? Does it take as long to hatch as a chicken’s egg? All fun facts to discover together.

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

PPBF: Mr. Scruff

Author/Illustrator: Simon James
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2019
Age: 
3-6
Themes: Companionship, dogs, pet ownership

Opening: see 2 images below.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Everyone knows that owners and their dogs belong together in a unique way. Polly belongs to Molly, Eric belongs to Derek, Berry belongs to Terry. But poor Mr. Scruff, alone in the rescue shelter, doesn’t belong to anyone. Then a boy named Jim walks in, and they seem to get along. Jim and Mr. Scruff don’t look anything alike, and their names certainly don’t rhyme, but they may end up belonging to each other just the same. From author-illustrator Simon James comes a warm, winning story about friendship and finding a home. A sweetly silly story of a little boy and a dog who make an unlikely (but perhaps perfect) pair.

Resources/activities: Talk about pets and why they might be a good fit for a child or their family, how the pet was chosen, or how otherwise ownership has come about; discuss what’s important about ownership, responsibilities, and care; discuss why a person or family might chose not to have a pet.

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

PPBF: One Word from Sophia

SophiaCoverThe PPBF series on Susanna Hill’s blog is still snoring the summer away, but I must share Perfect Picture Books as I come across them, at least on Fridays!

SophiaEndPAuthor: Jim Averbeck
Illustrator: Yasmeen Ismail
Publisher: Atheneum, 2015
Ages: 4-8
Themes: pets, politeness, giraffes
Opening: Sophia’s birthday was coming up, and she had five things on her mind – One True Desire and four problems.
Summary: (from my library catalog)All Sophie wants for her birthday is a pet giraffe, but as she tries to convince different members of her rather complicated family to support her cause, each tells her she is using too many words until she finally hits on the perfectone. Includes glossary.

Sophia1I like this book because: of big words and nimble, fluid illustrations! This may be a challenge for younger ears, but go ahead and challenge them! The text is dense and deep and the light and elegant illustrations compliment perfectly!

Sophia2Resources/activities: Review the glossary, discuss the big words, and see if you can find more to add; discuss strategies and methods as well as manners to communicate with; list everyone’s One True Desire (for the day!)

Sophia3For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

Sophia4

PPBF: Farewell Floppy

FarewellFloppyCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Benjamin Chaud (Engl. translation: Taylor Norman)
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2015 (orig. published: Adieu Chausette, hélium/Actes Sud, 2010)
Ages: 4 and up
Themes: pets, friendship, responsibility
Opening: Floppy, that’s my rabbit. That’s his name because of his ears. They don’t stand up straight like other rabbits’. 
Summary: (from my library catalog) A boy feels that he is too old for his pet rabbit, so he tries to turn Floppy loose in the woods–but when he realizes that he really loves his pet, and returns for him, Floppy is nowhere to be found.

FFEndpapers

Why I like this book: I picked it up because of the book’s vertical format (8 x 0.5 x 12.5 inches) and the illustrator’s work (another PPBF pick of mine HERE). But at first I was not taken with the text – WHHAAAAH? But, I read on – so something must have been working because I am a tosser (over the shoulder but with a soft landing). If I am not grabbed in the first 2 pages, 3 max, the book is airborne. The illustrations invited me to keep going. but the last line on page 2 got me:  “So I had to let him go.” Yikes! I had to follow the mc and find out how he planned to do this! When you’ve read it too let me know what you think. I fell, big time! A Kirkus review did not, and as with all books, it keeps me wondering about personal tastes and how we form opinions – too deep a topic for this recommendation though. Do give it a go!

FF5Resources/activities: discuss pet care and the connected responsibilities, and choosing the right pet; learn about lop-eared rabbits; contact your local Humane Society to arrange a visit; tell the story with puppets.FF4

For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

FFspot

PPBF: This Moose Belongs to Me

MooseCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Publisher: Philomel Books, 2012
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: moose (or meese if you’re being silly), pets, ownership
Opening: Wilfred owned a moose.
Summary: (from my library catalog) A young boy learns that moose do not always follow the rules of proper pet behavior.

Moosetagging

I like this book because: it got me. Some books just do that. Was it the wry humor, the fun character drawings, the use of existing landscape art in collage? Can’t quite pinpoint, but I keep coming back to this book.

Moosedreams

Resources/activities: ask students what makes a suitable pet and discuss why some don’t; make collages with magazine pages of landscapes and drawn characters placed in them. For a GREAT poem, in a GREAT new series from Penny Parker Klostermann, AND a moose – click HERE!

Moooseblue

 

Listen to this:

Perfect Picture Book Friday is still on hiatus for the summer (back next week! Come back for a GIVEAWAY!), but there are still plenty of selections on a themed and alphabetized list, each with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

MoveMoose