Perfect Picture Book Friday – Neville

Golly gee willikers!  We have just been so busy this week!  Today, in addition to PPBF, I also have the pleasure of announcing the February Pitch Winner.  And knowing me, I’ll think of a few other things…  But you know the rules 🙂  PPB first!

Written By: Norton Juster
Illustrated By: G. Brian Karas
Schwartz & Wade, October 2011, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: moving, making new friends

Opening: “The big gray van pulled away from the curb, moved slowly down the street, and disappeared around the corner.  Now it was quiet, and there he was, where he really didn’t want to be.”

Brief Synopsis: (from Amazon’s book description): “This is a simply told story about a boy who moves to a new neighborhood and finds a unique way to make friends.”

Links To Resources:  Although this book has been out for 6 months, I was not able to find any online resources.  I was surprised.  (Granted I was cross-eyed tired when I looked and may have missed something – feel free to point it out if you know of any!)  So.  This book would make a good jumping off point for a discussion about either being “the new kid” or being kind to someone else who is.  How can one meet people and make friends?  Alternatively, how can one help others feel welcome?  It would be equally good for discussions about moving. What are some hard things about moving?  What are some good things?  A child who is moving to a new home could make a keepsake book to remind him of the home he’s leaving behind.

Why I Like This Book:  This is a simple story, but so nicely told that you feel the boy’s emotions perfectly, from sadness and loneliness to hope to contentment.  I like the fact that he goes out and tries to make friends – he doesn’t just sit home and mope, he takes positive action in spite of his feelings.  This is one clever boy.  He finds a very innovative way to make friends, and it works like a charm.  I bet the ending surprises a lot of kids 🙂  I love the line where he says, “People always say you’ll love something when they know you won’t” – something a kid would say!

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now, before I get to the Pitch Winner :), I knew I’d think of other things!  I forgot to mention on Wednesday that I was interviewed on Kai Strand’s blog.  I posted it on FB and a few of you lovely people visited and commented, but I wanted to mention it here too because Kai was so nice to have me and I don’t want her to be disappointed at the turn-out!  So if you have a moment, and you need something to do, and you want to hear about my childhood 🙂 hop on over to Kai’s.  (BTW, Kai keeps an eye out for other authors who might want to participate in her Three Times A Charm interviews, so some of you might like a turn!)

Also, sources close to the hog have indicated that Phyllis has arrived in California!!! and we should be hearing from her Florida any time now… maybe in time for Monday! Wouldn’t that be exciting!  Phyllis is especially happy to be on tour since today, at a school visit, someone mistook her for a chipmunk!  (Sometimes I wonder if kids go outside enough to see animals!  A chipmunk?  Really? :))

Okay.  Enough with the stalling 🙂  The February Pitch Winner, whose Pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for critique and comments is….


Congratulations, Sharron!  And congratulations to everyone who bravely put forth their pitches for critique.  I hope you all got some valuable and helpful feedback so that even if you didn’t win a read by Erin you still gained from the experience!  Thank you all for participating and, judging by the voting results, everyone had a tough choice – three people were fairly close in the running so you all must have done a good job!!!

PPB bloggers, please leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit 🙂  Have a great weekend, everyone, and we’ll meet back here Monday for a new Oh Susanna question, and maybe Straight From The Editor and maybe a report from Phyllis 🙂

62 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Neville

  1. Robyn Campbell says:

    Congrads Sharron! Woot!

    This book sounds delightful, Susanna. I'll add it to my huge GBI list. (Gotta buy it) 🙂 I love that sentence too. We always do say a child will love it when we know he/she won't. The cover is beautiful. 🙂

  2. Margaret Greanias says:

    Congrats Sharron!

    Susanna, I love your choice for PPBF. My daughter is off to kindergarten next year and won't know many kids, so I will definitely have to check it out.

  3. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    So many things going on, Susanna!
    Congrats to Sharron on winning the February Pitch contest. 🙂 I might have to screw up my courage and submit something one day. 🙂
    Congrats to you, Susanna…I'm excited to hear about the global blog tour. 🙂
    I'll hop over to Kai's blog and check out your interview.
    This was a great book pick…so many children have to deal with moving or going to a new school…and it does cause lots of anxiety…what a wonderful book to ease some of that. 🙂

  4. sharon mayhew says:

    Congratulations to Sharron!

    This sounds like a great book for a teacher, counselor, or for a parent to use!

  5. Beth Stilborn says:

    Congratulations, Sharron!

    Neville sounds like an excellent book — being the “new kid” is a challenge.

    I've done two Perfect Picture Books today, including one of the April 1st exploits of the ever-amazing chipmunk… er, GROUNDHOG, Phyllis! Woohoo, Phyllis! Enjoy that world tour! (I'm looking forward to seeing all the posts from all over.)

  6. Catherine Johnson says:

    Congrats Sharron!
    Chipmunk indeed, how funny!
    Love your choice today 🙂 And Go Phyllis woo hoo!
    I'll check that post out, sorry I missed it.

  7. Tracy Bermeo says:

    This looks like a great story Susanna! Moving is so hard for kids that I would imagine this could be a very helpful story for everyone. Congratulations Sharron!

  8. Joanna Marple says:

    Firstly, well done Sharron!

    I am so excited about Phyllis' travels, you'd think I were a kid. I hope Phyliis wasn't too upset by the chipmunk comment?

    I so want to know what Neville's friend-making strategy was! Will it work for adults, if I end up moving soon?

    Thanks for tip off about Kai's interview. I missed that!

  9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Phyllis got over the chipmunk comment quickly – she is very self-confident, and besides she is too interested in her tour to waste time moping about name-calling 🙂 I will tell you Neville's strategy if you'd like to know it, but I don't think it would work well for adults! 🙂

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I guessed the ending – did you? Or your kids? Arghh – I don't' know why some people consistently have trouble adding their links! It's called simply linked! It should be simple!!! I'll put it on – sorry for the trouble!

  11. Dede Perkins says:

    Congratulations to Sharron! And Susanna, I just love the image of your dad telling you Shakespeare stories in his own words when it was too dark to read…soliloquies and all. Sounds like you were a lucky kid! 🙂

    Happy Friday, everyone!

  12. Angela Brown says:

    Three cheers to Sharron for winning the pitch contest. Hoping things go swimmingly in that regards.

    I loved seeing April Fool's Phyllis over at Beth's blog. The moment I saw the PB cover I squeed, recognizing it from yours 🙂

    And going over to Kai's to check out your childhood. Bet there's a lot of good stuff to learn. Have a great weekend.

  13. This Kid Reviews Bks says:

    Congrats Ms. Sharron! 🙂 I'd love to know what Neville's way of making friends is! I'm going to be moving at the end of the school year and I'll be the “new kid”. I'm excited to move but a little nervous. Sounds like a book I should read!

  14. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I'm wondering from the cover, if he's searching for a dog. You've made me curious. I'm checking this one out. Congratulations Sharon and I'll hop over to the interview then begin reading the other PPBF selection. (Of course, every time I type that a certain kiddo wakes up …)

  15. pennyklostermann says:

    Yea, Sharron. A BIG congrats on winning!

    Personally, I am thinking that maybe the chipmunk incident got to Phyllis to thinking about some of her cousins that scamper, burrow, and otherwise run about. She could be meeting some of them on her tour :•)

    I LOVE Melville, and your review nailed it.

  16. Heather Newman says:

    Congratulations, Sharron! It was a tough choice this month!

    Susanna, I love your idea about making a keepsake book for a child who is sad about moving. I know a family who did that when their daughter was upset about getting a new couch 🙂 Great interview over on Kai's blog, car trips must have been a lot of fun for you as a kid!

  17. Clarike Bowman-Jahn says:

    I know you'll make tons of new friends easily, Erik. You have so many varied interests that kids will want to get to know you. You will meet them in all the places your hobbies take you on.

    Good luck, Clar

  18. Clarike Bowman-Jahn says:

    Congrats, Shannon and good luck in furthering your pitch.

    Susanna, I love all the different ways you thought of for making a new kid on the block feel like he's lived there a while.

    And we love hearing how Phyllis is doing. I feel sorry for kids these days because they don't get out in nature like we did as kids. There just isn't as much of it anymore. I never see kids playing outside anymore.

  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm not telling 🙂 You'll just have to read it and find out 🙂 I'm like a nut job this morning – hopping back and forth between reading the new PPBs and commenting, and trying desperately to update the old ones – I got behind with school visits, kids home, etc…! And every now and then, I need a few minutes to actually write!

  20. Tiltonph says:

    I love the cover and it would grab my attention on a book shelf. Glad you shared Neville. We don't having moving books on our list. Sounds like a very proactive and self-confident kid. Great choice. Will have to check this one out.

    Congratulations Sharron!

  21. Amy Dixon says:

    It must be a G. Brian Karas kind of morning. He illustrated my PPBF pick today, too!

    This book looks really cute. Our go-to moving book (for when their friends have moved) is a really old-school one called Molly Moves to Sesame Street, so I think it is time for an update 🙂

  22. patientdreamer says:

    congrats Sharron and good luck on the reading.
    Your book Susanna really has me curious how he made friends and what the supprise is at the end….lol. Great idea for helping kids settle into a new environment. (pisst have sent email)

  23. Loni Edwards says:

    Congrats to Sharron!

    Thanks for the review, Susanna. This looks like a great gift idea for someone who's moving to a new town. I love that line you posted. So true! Have a great weekend!

  24. Kirsten Larson says:

    Living in a military-ish area, people move in and out frequently. Neville sounds like a great way to talk to children about moving and making new friends. Second, Phyllis has arrived! She's already been read at bedtime and visited Ms. Dina's Pre-K class. I'll snap some picks of her with local landmarks later today and email them. Congrats to Sharron!

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