PPBF: WE4 – Oh, No! Where Are My Pants?+2

To close the series this month on Wolf Erlbruch, I’d like to introduce three titles that he illustrated for other authors. To read the other posts, click HERE, HERE, or HERE. Enjoy!Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?CoverEdited by: Lee Bennet Hopkins
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Harper Collins, 2005
Age: 4-8
Themes: conduct of life, children’s poetry, emotions
Opening: This isn’t the way it was supposed to be- You in Room Two. Me in Room Three.

Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?1Summary: Poignant and funny American poems for children selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Oh,No!WhereAreMyPants?2Why I like this book: I love suggesting books of poetry for emerging readers, especially humorous ones. These all touch on the feelings we all share of what it is like to have a really bad day. I love the simplicity in rendering and arresting compositions that snuggle up perfectly to each poem.

Resources/Activities: write poems about a bad-day experience you may have had.

ButterflyWorkshopCoverAuthor: Gioconda Belli, translated from the Spanish by Charles Castaldi
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Peter Hammer Verlag/Europa Editions, 1994/2005
Age: 7-11
Themes: imagination, inventors, insects
Opening: Butterflies are almost weightless. They are ever so light, like the batting of an eyelid, the sun blinking red and yellow.

ButterflyWorkshop1.jpgSummary: (from fantasticfiction.com) Odair, one of the “Designers of All Things” and grandson of the esteemed inventor of the rainbow, has been banished to the insect laboratory as punishment for his overactive imagination. But he still dreams of one day creating a cross between a bird and a flower. Then, after a helpful chat with a dog . . .

ButterflyWorkshop2Why I like this book: Every illustration is a gem! For illustrators this is a beautiful edition from which to study what the silhouette of a character can lend to visual storytelling. And I believe children and adults alike can relate to the inventive main character who is one of the ‘Designers of All Things’.

Resources/Activities: consider the kinds of insects or flowers you might like to invent.

BearWhoWasn'tThereCoverAuthor: Oren Lavie
Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch
Publisher: Verlag Antje Kunstmann/Black Sheep, 2014/2016
Age: 6-8
Themes: itching, bears, identity
Opening: Once upon a time there was an Itch. Simply, an Itch.

BearWhoWasn'tThere1.jpgSummary: (from my library catalog) One day, a few minutes after Once Upon a Time, a bear awakes to find he has lost something very important: himself! He sets out into the Fabulous Forest to find himself, using only a few clues scrawled on a piece of paper: the bear he’s looking for is a nice bear; he is a happy bear; and he’s very handsome too! These sound like pretty good qualities to Bear, and so begins his memorable journey. With the help of Fabulous Forest critters like the Convenience Cow, theLazy Lizard, and the Penultimate Penguin, Bear finds that he himself is just what he’s been looking for all along: a nice, happy bear–and handsome too!

BearWhoWasn'tThere2.jpgWhy I like this book: The text is full of gags, silliness and wordplay that are accompanied by equally playful and light illustrations making wonderful use of collage.

Resources/Activities: make a list of character traits you believe belong to you.

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: WE3 – The Big Question

BigQuestionCover.jpgAuthor/Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch, winner of the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Publisher: Europa Editions, 2003; original title: Le grande question, translated by Michael Reynolds
Age: 4-6
Themes: self-perception, questions and answers
Opening: Your brother says: *You’re here on earth to celebrate your birthday, of course.”
Summary: (from my library catalog) A child, on his 5th birthday, asks why are we here, and receives a number of different answers.

BigQuestion1Why I like this book: very simply, and beautifully, the book addresses why we our main character is here on earth, as perceived through multiple characters and examples. Many thanks to Rainer Pleyer for pointing my attention toward this book!

BigQuestion2.jpgResources/Activities: come up with  more characters and create examples, maybe a picturebook maker would say, “You’re here for me to tell you stories.” ; read the book in the first post in this series HERE or the second HERE

BigQuestion3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.

 

P1210019I took the book pictures just before the one above of the big spring snow dump! Picture taken before the end of the storm – hope the shrubs will recover!

PPBF: WE2 – Ten Green Herrings

TenGreenHerringsCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Wolf Erlbruch, winner of the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Publisher: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1995
Age: 4-6
Themes: counting rhyme, herings, adaptation or nursery-rhyme
Opening: see spread image below; my translation: ten little herrings sleeping in the barn (Sheun), one got hayfever and then there were nine (neun).
Summary: (adapted from the publisher) Wolf Erlbruch’s best-seller about the ten green herrings which, one after the other, mysteriously disappear.

TenGreenHerrings1Why I like this book: I bought this incredibly silly adaptation of the American nursery rhyme, of which there are a number of highly controversial adaptations (Ten Little Indians), especially for the edgy illustrations and fantastic composition. But my kids loved it too!

TenGreenHerrings2.jpgResources/Activities: read other adaptations, and should you come across controversial ones, and the kids are ripe for it, discuss the matter. Read the first post in this series on Wolf Erlbruch books HERE

TenGreenHerrings3For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.