PPBF: The Rabbit Listened

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Book on display at Old Firehouse Books

In honor of Women’s History Month I will be focussing on outstanding books by female authors and illustrators. I reached out to the author/illustrator of today’s Perfect Picture Book pick, Cori Doerrfeld, and asked for the names of a few women she admires making their mark in children’s literature. Click to head to their websites! 

Jane Yolen

Kelly Barnhill

Raina Telgemeier

Thi Bui

Yasmeen Ismail

Jessica Gibson

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Today’s pick is especially perfect: The Rabbit Listened

Author/Illustrator: Cori Doerrfeld
Publisher: Dial, 2018
Age: 3-6
Themes: listening, loss, rabbits

RabbitListenedendpapersOpeningOne day, Taylor decided to build something. Something new. Something special.

RabbitListened1Summary: (from my library catalog) When Taylor’s block castle is destroyed, all the animals think they know just what to do, but only the rabbit quietly listens to how Taylor is feeling.

RabbitListened2Why I like this book: The story is so simple, yet so powerful!! It’s an important lesson to learn for adults and children about what it means to truly listen when a friend is in need. I recently read an article by Swedish children’s book author Ingrid Olsson who wrote about comfort possibly being more important than love as a message in children’s books, and that books themselves can be a great comfort to readers. That certainly rang true for me, and this book is a whole heart example.

RabbitListened3Resources/Activities: learn about meditation and/or breathing exercises; talk about what listening really means; practice listening with role play, ex.: pretend to be Rapunzel, and have another person practice listening to what she would like to say.

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

 

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PPBF: Where‘s Halmoni?

F699B63E-8F64-4356-991E-EE17E568AE95.jpegAuthor/Illustrator: Julie Kim
Publisher: Little Bigfoot, 2017
Age: 4-8
Themes: siblings, animals, Korean folktale characters

 

1246E859-B42A-429D-8F06-B616576C1FBAOpening: Halmoni! We are here!

AA8E112C-15AE-4A24-BD76-02E467FCF831Summary: (from my library catalog) Searching for their missing grandmother, two Korean children follow tracks into a fantastic world filled with beings from folklore who speak in Korean. Includes translations and information about the folkloric characters.

427DF8C0-0530-4F49-8E2B-73C36C30BC13Why I like this book: It’s bright, culture- and adventure-packed! This is exactly the kind of book I would have poured over as a kid, looking for the unfamiliar and trying to make sense of it, be it language, gesture, or physical elements. There is a bit of mystery on every beautifully rendered and composed page!

56467CB1-98CE-44BA-B298-E2A8D419A8BE.jpegResources/Activities: read other Korean folktale picture books – HERE is a list; what folktale animals do you already know – how do they compare to those in this book; make a Korean meal, like the red bean soup (porridge) the kids smell when they walk into Halmoni’s home.

C273904C-F395-49F5-90E2-D14ED23E2154.jpegFor more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: The Country Bunny

Author: Du Bose Heyward
Illustrator: Marjorie Flack
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1939,1967
Age Level: 4-8
Themes: Easter, rabbits
Opening: We hear of the Easter Bunny who comes each Easter Day before sunrise to bring eggs for boys and girls, so we think there is only one. But this is not so.
Summary: To the surprise of many, the little country cottontail becomes one of the special Easter bunnies even though she has twenty-one children of her very own. (You go, girl!)

Why I like this book: This story is about a new Easter bunny, one of five that deliver the eggs. No, not really. It’s the story of a simple little girl determined to achieve her dream. She plans well, and with patience and wisdom earns the chance to prove herself  – and her bravery. On the back of my edition there is a quote: It’s difficult to believe that this very modern feminist tale was originally written in 1939…A gem of a fantasy. – Learning. But is it so very difficult? I am certain there were women as wise, patient and brave as Little Cottontail Mother (like my grandmother) for Heyward to use as a role model . But maybe there were not as many wise or brave publishers. Oh, and by the way, the illustrations are AWESOME!
Resources/Activities: check out the art projects, performance, and writing activities from April Sanders, eHow contributor – HERE; read  another classic, The Story About Ping which Marjorie Flack wrote, but was illustrated by Kurt Wiese.

Read a New Yorker article on The Country Bunny’s history HERE

For more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE

PPBF: Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth

Author: Kate Klise
Illustrator: M. Sarah Klise
Publisher:Harcourt, 2010
Genre: fiction
Themes: rabbits, mother and child, circus, cleanliness, behavior
Age Level: 4 and up
Opening: Little Rabbit heard the drums beating far away. It could mean only one thing. “The circus is in town! The circus is in town!” Little Rabbit cheered. 
Synopsis: Upset that his mother will not let him go out until he cleans his playroom, Little Rabbit sneaks away to join the circus and sells tickets by promising the audience a view of the Meanest Mother on Earth.
For more posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources visit Susanna Hill’s blog every Friday