PPBF: Trouble Gum

Author/Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, 2009
Ages: 2-6
Themes: humorous stories, pigs,  boredom, bubble gum
Opening: “The trouble at the Figg’s house began one rainy day when Grammy was over for tea. Mom was knitting a blanket for Julius. Ruben stared out of the living room window. 
Summary: (from my library catalogue) Playing indoors with his little brother on a rainy day, a rambunctious young pig causes a ruckus and then breaks his mother’s three chewing gum rules.

Why I like this book: Whilst browsing for bug books a la Cronin, I plucked this ‘old’ Cordell favorite. When it first came out, I was ultra-jealous of this oh-so-clever title, and I wasn’t even writing yet! In the book I saw myself … and the broken mirror, the hole in the door, lice in my hair, the glue on the carpet (all details will resurface in my own books!) – just a few very relatable sore-spots. And the art is just right – clean, crisp and clever!

click the image to go to Simon Decker’s page

Resources/activities: if you are a visual teacher, you might feel inspired by this pinterest board; read about the invention of bubble gum – HERE; learn the scientific method using bubble gum – HERE

Thump

read the book if you want to find out what THUMP is all about

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

It’s a Wrap! – my holiday contest entry

Susanna Hill’s 3rd Annual Holiday Contest: Write a children’s story about a Holiday Mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster in 350 words or less. I managed 344.

Ah, Christmas! Finding a fitting tree, decking it out with ornaments we made ourselves, caroling in the freezing cold, stockings, stuffings, baking cookies – lots of cookies! Always a plate for Santa, his reindeer and this year, extra for my sister, Candy.

Candy loved wrapping presents. She was good at it. An artist! A master of folding and taping – any shape, any size. You name it, she could wrap it. We’ve always left it to her, and why not? It made her happy!

What she enjoyed most of all? Embellishment! Ribbons, bows, bells and gift tags galore! She made them herself, believe it or not, and you almost couldn’t tell, if it weren’t for the incident with my remote control car last year, but that’s another story.

The thing is, she got carried away. Literally. But I knew Candy didn’t want to wrap just our presents. And why let her talent go to waste? It wasn’t easy for my parents, but it made her happy! And they still had me. So we let her go. We didn’t try to save her as she flew up the chimney. Okay, I was the only one there.

But it wasn’t anyone’s fault. She was wrapping merrily away, maybe sitting a bit close to the tree, which was really close to the fireplace, and it takes a lot of ribbon to create a work of art, and who was I to ruin her fun? I got more ribbon when she asked. I was really helpful, she said. But there was a lot of ribbon! Candy could hardly see. And maybe Santa couldn’t see her.

And all that gum on Santa’s shoe? Who knows where he picked that up?

So, although I am looking forward to my presents this year, the ones from Santa addressed to me? Well, I might just leave them wrapped – a reminder of my dear sister, who probably wrapped them herself.  At least until I’m sure she’s settled. Settled down, that is. The extra cookies I’m sending with Santa should help.

Cookie anyone?

wrap_03-1Do go to Susanna’s blog to read the other entries – HERE

PPBF: Bear With Me

Author/Illustrator: Max Kornell
Publisher: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 2011
Genre: fiction
Themes: friendship, bears, siblings
Age Level: 4-6
Opening: It started off just right. I had a mom and a dad and my own set of blocks. I had everything I needed.
Synopsis: from the publisher: Everything in Owen’s world is just peachy-till his parents bring home a bear named Gary-without even asking! Gary changes everything: he takes up way too much space and makes a mess of all of Owen’s toys. Gary means well, though, and eventually Owen starts to see that there are some good things about having a bear in the family.
Why I like this book: I am a sucker for great illustrations and Kornell captures the frustration of his main character impeccably, using vibrant watercolors and pencil lines, creatively arranged in collage with acrylics. The difficulty in adapting to change in a family is conveyed in a straightforward manner and balanced with gentle yet juicy humor.
Resource/Activity: This is the first time I have attached a book enrichment pdf, from Words Alive, so let me know if you have trouble downloading: ELIBookEnrichmentGuide_BearWithMe
The attached video was probably made as an intro piece, but it is fun and informative to see how his characters come to life digitally:
For more posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources visit Susanna Hill’s blog any day of the week!
PS – Playing around with a more graphic header, utilizing a font I created. Should I stick to pretty pics instead?