Author/Illustrator: Quentin Blake Publisher: Tate Publishing, 2014 Age: 4-8 Themes: abilities, friendship, road trip Opening: Once, not very long ago, and not very far from here, there were fve friends. There names were Angie, Ollie, Simona, Mario and Eric. They were all fantastic.
Summary: (from the author’s website) THE FIVE OF US is a captivating tale of adventure, friendship and teamwork: Angie, Ollie, Simona, Mario and Eric are five fantastic friends, each of whom has an unusual ability. Disaster strikes on a day out to the countryside but, working together and combining their individual powers, the Fantastic Five save the day. Teeming with Quentin Blake’s characteristic sense of fun and his exuberant illustrations, THE FIVE OF US is also a powerful, though subtle, reminder that the world is a better place when we focus on what we can do, rather than on what we can’t.
I like this book because: I was actually on the hunt for counting books when I came upon this Blake title I had not yet read (I believe I have read most of his authored books…but happy to find out I haven’t!). The story is so simple yet powerful, and as usual the drawings lively and loose – just the way I like ’em! But read this for the heart. It reminds us how much we can accomplish with our own special quirks if we put them to good use!
Resources/Activities: For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.
Author/Illustrator: Quentin Blake Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 1995 Ages: 3-8yrs Themes: wordless stories, toys, home Summary: (from my library catalog)After being discarded, Clown makes his way through town having a series of adventures as he tries to find a home for himself and his other toy friends.
I like this book because: I too have once been discarded (some friendships just don’t last), and immediately found myself able to empathize with Clown and understand his struggle to feel secure again. I’m glad he didn’t give up either! Yeah, it made me a little weepy, but happy too! I’ve been on a Quentin Blake spree, reading books he has illustrated and/or written, biography materials and interviews too. Whew – it’s been a fun and enlightening ride! He also helped establish the House of Illustration, a home for the art of illustration. Read more on Blake’s exhibit there- HERE, or a visit to the museum by kid-lit author Pippa Goodhart from the Picture Book Den blog – HERE
Resources/activities: this is a great book to read when discussing emotions, understanding them, learning the difference between sympathy and empathy, as well as character traits like perseverance. One could also touch on hygiene and why it would be a good thing to clean toys found in the trash before we use (and love!) them.
For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE
Check out the red button in the sidebar – yes, that one. Click it. Now go make your own – HERE