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

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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!

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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

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PPBF: Ungerer-vaganza

Today is Tomi Ungerer’s birthday and we need to celebrate!

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Publisher: Phaidon Press, 2013
Ages: 5-8yrs
Themes: children, fog, coastal/rural life
Opening: Finn and Cara were brother and sister. They lived by the sea in the back of beyond. (the opening sets the fairytale feel)
Summary: (from the publisher) No one has ever returned from the mysterious Fog Island, but when Finn and Cara get castaway on its murky shores, they discover things are not quite as they expect… Will anyone ever believe them?

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Why I like this book: though written in a rather adult voice, the child in the author is definitely inviting the child in the reader with lines like these: ‘Fog Island loomed like a jagged black tooth’, ‘But to be lonesome is not a reason to get bored’, or ‘It tasted awful but felt strangely heartening’. Living in a very dry, landlocked place I miss the ocean and fog – the art in the book present a cloudy, cool and moist feel so well I can smell the salt on the air. A perfect read for a grey day – don’t forget a cup of tea!

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Resources/activities – for kids: use this book when studying a weather unit, and make fog in a jar – HERE; check out this German Kindergarten, ‘Die Katze’ designed by Tomi Ungerer and architect Ayla-Suzan Yöndel; just for adults: Check out the wonderful documentary, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough (NOT for the little uns‘): HEREvisit the Tomi Ungerer Museum: International Center for Illustration in Strasbourg (voted one of the 10 best museums in Europe by the Council of Europe); for interested adults: watch the B-movie horror film (same title, not the same content!) from 1945 (poster image below); if ever in Nantucket visit the Fog Island Cafe;

Really want to know more, don’t you! Check out the timeline on his official website – HERE; The Free Library of Philadelphia has a collection of Tomi Ungerer papersTomi Ungerer is a candidate for the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) ‘The World’s Largest Children’s Literature Award’; Follow Tomi Ungerer on Facebook, or Twitter

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Here is a list (mostly) from Wikipedia of his children’s picture books (available in English), including two I have already recommended:

  • The Mellops Go Flying (1957)
  • Mellops Go Diving for Treasure (1957)
  • Crictor (1958)
  • The Mellops Strike Oil (1958)
  • Adelaide (1959)
  • Christmas Eve at the Mellops (1960)
  • Emile (1960)
  • Rufus (1961)
  • The Three Robbers (1961)
  • Snail, Where Are You? (1962)
  • Mellops Go Spelunking (1963)
  • Flat Stanley (1964) — art by Tomi Ungerer, written by Jeff Brown
  • One, Two, Where’s My Shoe? (1964)
  • Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls (1964) — art by Tomi Ungerer, poems collected by William Cole
  • Oh, What Nonsense! (1966) — art by Tomi Ungerer, edited by William Cole
  • Orlando, the Brave Vulture (1966)
  • Warwick’s Three Bottles (1966) – with André Hodeir
  • Cleopatra Goes Sledding (1967) – with André Hodeir
  • What’s Good for a 4-Year-Old? (1967) — art by Tomi Ungerer, text by William Cole
  • Moon Man (Der Mondmann) (Diogenes Verlag, 1966)
  • Zeralda’s Ogre (1967)
  • Ask Me a Question (1968)
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1969) — text by Barbara Hazen
  • Oh, How Silly! (1970) — art by Tomi Ungerer, edited by William Cole
  • The Hat (1970)
  • I Am Papa Snap and These Are My Favorite No Such Stories (1971)
  • The Beast of Monsieur Racine (1971)
  • The Hut (1972)
  • Oh, That’s Ridiculous! (1972) — art by Tomi Ungerer, edited by William Cole
  • No Kiss for Mother (1973)
  • Allumette; A Fable, with Due Respect to Hans Christian Andersen, the Grimm Brothers, and the Honorable Ambrose Bierce (1974)
  • Tomi Ungerer’s Heidi: The Classic Novel (1997) — art by Tomi Ungerer, text by Johanna Spyri
  • Flix (1998)
  • Tortoni Tremelo the Cursed Musician (1998)
  • Otto: The Autobiography of a Teddy Bear (1999)
  • Snail, Where Are You? (2005)
  • Zloty (2009)
  • Fog Island (2013)

One more treat – the trailer to a film based on the book MOON MAN

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For more PPBF picks packed with resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

PPBF: Sam’s Sandwich

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Author/Illustrator: David Pelham
Publisher: Dutton, 1991 (first American edition)
Ages: 3-8yrs
Themes: siblings, sandwiches, stories in rhyme
Opening: Samantha liked to sit and dream of doughnuts filled with chocolate cream, giant burgers, heaps of fries, frosty shakes and cherry pies. Shortly after Sunday luncheon Samantha wanted more to munch on. “Oh, Sam,” she wailed, “what can I eat? I need a really special treat.”
Summary: (from Amazon) When Samantha needs a really special treat to munch on, her devious brother Sam knows just what to make: a sandwich with everything on it. A sandwich-shaped, foldout book, Sam?s Sandwich invites young readers to peel back the lettuce, tomato, and other ingredients to discover Sam?s rhyming, crawling surprises.

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I like this book because: Because it was delightful to read to my children hundreds of times, and over and over. And one more time? Sure! As you can see from the photos, the book has seen a lot of love: unfolding, folding, unfolding again, shouting out the end rhymes and giggling all the way.

SamLettuce

Resources/activities: Make a real sandwich with everything on it (just don’t take your eyes off it!); Create a paper sandwich, like this one HERE; discuss insects in the garden – which are pests and which are beneficial; Do other cultures eat any of these insects? Find out together.

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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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And a wee coloring sheet, for those equipped with crayons:

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