PPBF: Owl Babies

Author: Martin Waddell
Illustrator:
 Patrick Benson
Publisher: Candlewick, 1992
Age: 
2-6
Themes: owls, siblings, separation anxiety
Opening: Once there were three baby owls: Sarah and Percy and Bill.

Summary: (from my library catalog) Three owl babies whose mother has gone out in the night try to stay calm while she is gone.

I like this book because: it’s a great story to study for picture book writers! Yes, it’s a classic favorite that warms the heart, and its simplicity has so much to offer. The opening line: the sole focus is on the babies, not the mother/family; the names are listed without a comma which shows the reader the mother’s love is equal and unconditional. And the name choices, the older sibs have two syllables, the littlest only one – and it’s a nickname a pun! Already I know Bill will be the one to steal my heart! (Please let me know what else you may see.)

Resources/activities: listen to their calls here: Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. If you are in a classroom setting – even a virtual one – this would be a nice piece to act out, with a chance to discuss how voice and intonation can contribute to the drama of a play.

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

PPBF: Bunny in the Middle

Author: Anika Denise
Illustrator:
 Christopher Denise
Publisher: 
Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt and Co, 2019
Age: 
3-7
Themes: Siblings, family life, rabbits
OpeningWhen you’re ihn the middle…you’re not the oldest and you’re not the youngest. You are right in between .

Summary: (from my library catalog) Illustrations and easy-to-read text celebrate the joys of being the middle child in a loving family of rabbits.

I like this book because: I’m a middlest child, and can identify with every whisker twist of this in between bunny. The illustrations themselves are lighting up all the adorable markers in my brain, but feeling noticed is what made me fall in love. I would have worn the pages onion-skin-thin had I had a book like this when I needed it.

Resources/activities: list the pros and cons of different positions in the family – maybe even include parents!; discuss within a class or larger group, reform new ‘family’ groups with oldest, middle, youngest, twin, members – we might find we are more able to listen to the woes of a friend over a sibling; talk about what positions our parents, grandparents, teachers, guardians had in their families and see if their feelings are the same today as they might have been in the past.

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

PPBF: Tell Me a Mitzi

One more book celebrating women in children’s literature for the Women’s History Month in 2019!

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Author: Lore Segel
Illustrator:
Harriet Pincus
Publisher:
Dover, 2017, orig. published by FSG in 1970
Age:
4-8
Themes: siblings, families, city life
Opening: “Tell me a story,” said Martha. Once upon a time (said her mother) There was a Mitzi.

58FC025C-CC40-43EF-BCC8-56C7DF5C3101Summary: (from my library catalog) Three household adventures in the life of Mitzi include an intended trip to grandmother’s, sharing a family cold, and reversing the President’s motorcade..

6477939B-0E91-41EC-A0C9-CB2E88E24CE8I like this book because: it transported me back to my own childhood, growing up just outside of New York City! And considering the pub date, it’s likely that the best librarian in the world, Mrs. Nienburg, read it to us in school. And she would have because it’s well written and funny! I love a book that pushes you to read pout loud from the get go, makes you want to ‘act’ it out in the telling, give it an amplifier. There are not very many of those that do it so well.

C4FF408B-E49D-478E-9FBA-06912E0067E7Resources/activities: kids love to hear family stories, things they can’t remember themselves, but are fully aware that they exist! Share them! Listen! Take the time and allow kids in a group to share theirs – because, as Simone Weil once said, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”

E32B942C-CEE0-4A26-9A03-22EC6A4D39DEFor more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE.

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PPBF: I Do Not Like Books Anymore!

CD43691B-C78F-46F6-B61A-1B36280C5716Author/Illustrator: Daisy Horst
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2018
Age: 3-7
Themes: siblings, reading, books
Opening: Natalie and Alphonse really liked books and stories.

4621BE25-012C-4A13-A5DF-D09C60149840Summary: (from my library’s catalog/amazon) Natalie and Alphonse REALLY like books. So when it’s time for Natalie to learn to read, she thinks it will be exciting — she can have all the stories in the world now, and even read them to Alphonse. But when Natalie gets her first reading book, the letters look like squiggles and it isn’t even a good story; it’s just about a cat that can sit. “I do not like books anymore!” Natalie declares. But she still wants to make up stories. With Alphonse’s help, can she find a way to turn a love of telling stories into a love of reading stories?

07A3DCBC-3C89-446A-8657-C32B8C537884I like this book because: It’s an adorable take on the trials and tribulations of learning to read. For my daughter it was such a chore, and for my son the words danced on the page, so I can easily see how reader’s will identify with Natalie’s plight. The illustrations are cute yet not too sweet and very easy for picture readers!

FA1C9E18-8CF0-4809-8A7E-5EF2F950721BResources/Activities: make a story with pictures and have a reading writer help put down the words, just like the siblings did in this book; create your own stories using toys of your own; make a display for your favorite book, using props, drawings, even food!

8E563E15-FA86-418C-BD82-AA245FC51C5BFor more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

PPBF: Danny McGee Drinks the Sea

DannyMcGeecover.jpgAuthor: Andy Stanton
Illustrator: 
Neal Layton
Publisher: 
Schwartz & Wade2016 (Orig publ. by Hodder Children’s Books, 2016)
Age: 
4-8
Themes: siblings, humorous stories, stories in rhyme
OpeningOne summer’s day, Danny and Frannie McGee hopped into a car and drove down to the sea.

DannyMcGee1Summary: (from my library catalog) When Danny’s sister doubts his boast that he can drink the entire sea, he not only proves he was right, he swallows everything else in sight.

DannyMcGee1bI like this book because: The humor and read-aloud-ability are the super-powers of this book. I really want to share it with my storytime crew, and though I wonder if the youngest might not catch some of the humor, it might just be worth trying! And summer is almost over – good time for us land-locked-lubbers! The illustrations are fun, bright and energetic, but in a few spots some interesting details are too close to the gutter – sorry I noticed at all, but hey, I notice stuff!

DannyMcGee2Resources/Activities: Read companion stories that have to do with eating, like I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie/Jackson and Schachner, The Runaway Dinner/ Ahlberg and Ingman, Stop That Pickle!/ Armour and Shachat;discuss your favorite foods and how much could be eaten in one sitting; have a mini watermelon eating contest (not as harmful as hotdogs!)

DannyMcGee3For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

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PPFB: Karen’s Opposites

ThasKarensOpoositesCover

One of my favorites in celebration of Alice Provensen, who passed away at age 99 just weeks ago, on April 23, 2018. 

Author/Illustrator: Alice and Martin Provensen
Publisher: Golden Press, 1963
Age: 2-5
Opening: (see spread below)
Summary: concept book of opposites.

KarensOpposites2Themes: opposites, siblings, children

KarensOpposites3.jpgI like this book because: It is a PERFECT concept book. Yup. Think I’m exaggerating? Go find a copy and we can talk.

KarensOpposites6Resources: Look for other opposites in your home, classroom. Read more about the Provensen. According to Alice, “we were a true collaboration. Martin and I really were one artist.” Read the NYT obituary here.

KarensOpposites7For more Perfect Picture Book Friday 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: 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?

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

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PPBF: Sheila Rae, The Brave

SheilaRaeCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: Greenwillow, 1987
Ages: 4-8
Themes: mice, courage, siblings
Opening: Sheila Rae wasn’t afraid of anything.

SheilaRae1Summary: (from my library catalog) When brave Sheila Rae, who usually looks out for her sister Louise, becomes lost and scared one day, Louise comes to the rescue.

SheilaRae2I like this book because: I read a lot of picture books, and as much as I get excited about new ones to love, I rejoice all the more when I find an older classic. Almost 30 years old yet fresh , snappy, and kids can relate just as easily today.

SheilaRae3Resources/activities: discuss individual fears, how to possibly overcome them, and how one person’s abilities differ from another’s.

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

PPBF: Dinner at Alberta’s

DinnerAtAlberta'sCoverYup, The PPBF series on Susanna Hill’s blog is still on vacation, so I am giving myself permission to stretch the rules for this recommendation, listed under JuvF – not PB – at my library.

DinnerAtAlberta'sEndpapersAuthor: Russel Hoban
Illustrator: James Marshall
Publisher: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1975
Ages: 6-10 (from the publisher in ’75)
Themes: crocodiles, etiquette, first love
Opening: “Arthur,” said Mrs. Crocodile to her sone one evening at dinner, “you are eating like a regular little beast.”
Summary: (from my library catalog)Arthur Crocodile cannot seem to learn table manners until his sister brings her new girlfriend to visit.

DinnerAtAlberta's1I like this book because: it’s a gem! I am on a James Marshall kick (again!), and this is where I’d like to thank my favorite children’s librarian, Giny (miss you!), for asking me to take a second look at the Marshall books years ago. Hysterical yet understated, lots of beastly sibling snarkiness, and perfect for any child who has been admonished to sit up straight or chew with their mouths closed (you got that, Olivia?).

DinnerAtAlberta's2Resources/activities: write up a list of reasonable table manners, and another wacky list – just for fun (we had ‘no singing during meals’ for a while); discuss table manners that are different form yours – here is a list of 17 from other countries at The Savory, HERE.

DinnerAtAlberta's3For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

DinnerAtAlberta's4