Perfect Picture Book Friday – All The Places To Love, And A Teensy Halloweensie Update

You know me.  Planning is not my strong suit.  I’m definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal.  But for today, I planned.  I had a book in mind.  I was all set.  I ordered my copy well in advance.  Unfortunately the release date was shifted.  Fortunately, it still shipped in time.  But… thanks to Sandy… delivery has been delayed, so today’s book, which was supposed to have been Marathon Mouse by Amy Dixon, just in time for the NYC marathon and in advance of her interview here on Monday, ain’t happenin’.  Sad face.  Apparently I am not destined to be a planner!

So instead, in the aftermath of Sandy when so many have lost so much, I’ve chosen a book I dearly love.  I know.  This makes two quiet books in a row.  But after the craziness of this hurricane week it seemed like a good choice.  I dare you to read it without feeling touched 🙂

All The Places To Love
Written By: Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated By: Mike Wimmer
HarperColllins, 1994, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 3-8

Themes/Topics: appreciating what you have, love, family, new baby

Opening: “On the day I was born my grandmother wrapped me in a blanket made from the wool of her sheep.  She held me up to the window so that what I first heard was the wind.  What I first saw were all the places to love…”

Brief Synopsis: Everyone in Eli’s family has a favorite place – Mama loves the blueberry barren, grandmother loves the river, grandfather loves the barn.  “Where else,” he says, “can the soft sound of cows chewing make all the difference in the world?”  Eli knows that no matter where he goes in the world, all the places to love are right here, connected to his family, and always to be cherished.  Then one day, Eli and his grandfather wait together in the barn until grandmother holds someone new up to the window, wrapped in a blanket made from the wool of her sheep – Eli’s sister Sylvie – and he looks forward to sharing his joy, showing her all the places to love including his favorite, which is revealed in the end, but I won’t spoil it 🙂

Links To Resources:  here is a nice Teacher’s Guide, but I also think this book lends itself perfectly to discussion of the places YOU love and why.  Draw a picture of a place you love.  Make a list of places you love.  Talk about why you love them, what makes them special.

Why I Like This Book: I don’t just like this book – I absolutely love it.  The language is poetic and lyrical with a rhythm that makes it wonderful to read aloud.  The art is warm, loving, and so appealing.  The story is all about love, appreciation, and family.  It’s a quiet book, just right for bedtime or those moments when children need to settle down.  It brings all the warmth and comfort of love and family to the surface, giving children a model whereby they can revel in their own experience of the people and places they love.  I read this book many, many times to my kids and after all those readings, even now, it makes me teary every time (in a good way :))  Simply a gem.

Here’s the only other picture that was available on the internet for a glimpse of the beauty inside:

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

And now, before you all rush off to read everyone’s wonderful offerings for today, a teensy Halloweensie Contest update.  We had an INCREDIBLE turn-out – 37 entries at the time of this writing (and I did say I’d extend the deadline to the end of today to help people who lost their power and couldn’t post or link up.)  If you haven’t had a chance to read them, please go HERE and have fun following the links and checking the comment section for the 6 that were entered there.  All these writers worked so hard, and produced such wonderful, entertaining stories I’d hate for you to miss any of them.  And a couple got added late and I’m worried they didn’t get many visitors 😦 so please, if you’re looking for a little light reading over the weekend, check them out!

Now, if all you amazing PPBF bloggers would kindly leave your post-specific links below, we’ll all come visit you with a piece of paper and a pencil so we can make extensive library lists 🙂  OH!  And don’t miss Monday’s post – with Amy Dixon, author of Marathon Mouse, and the vote for the Halloweensie Contest Winner (assuming my assistant judge and I have any luck narrowing this unbelievable field!)

Have a great weekend, everyone, and GOOD LUCK to anyone who is running the NYC Marathon (and that includes my better half! :))!!!

57 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – All The Places To Love, And A Teensy Halloweensie Update

  1. This Kid Reviews Bks says:

    Great pick! It sounds perfect! 🙂 I love the illustrations! I didn't get my Halloweensie Story done… 😦 I will still finish the story and I'll post it when I get it done but not in time for the contest – I'll enjoy reading the entries! 🙂

  2. Laura Anne Miller says:

    This sounds lovely – and reminds me of summers on my grandparents farm, the cozy kitchen with the word burning stove the musty smell of hay in the barn, chickens scattering at you feet and pecking you shoelaces if you stood still. I will definitely look for it. Will check out the Halloweensie stories too.

  3. Angela Brown says:

    Something special about an older sibling taking his little sister and showing her the beautiful things to love. Great choice, Susanna.

  4. Laura Renauld says:


    This is one of my all time favorite books. It makes me cry every time. There is something so beautiful, poignant, and timeless about it. So glad you posted it. (It's been on my list of possibilities. You beat me to it!)

  5. Clarike Bowman-Jahn says:

    Sounds like your book is about all that really matters and that always makes for a good read. I'll have to check it out. 🙂

    And good luck to hubby on the marathon! Way to go. 🙂

    Thanks for hosting the Halloweenie contest, Susanna, it was loads of fun reading all the entries. Good luck picking a winner. 🙂

  6. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Perfect choice. I finally found the book I lost several weeks ago. Traveling and still catching up on my Halloweensie stories. There were sooooo many fun ones.

  7. Jarm Del Boccio says:

    What a beautiful book, Susanna…it brought tears to my eyes. It makes me want to hunker down and read it to my two teenagers! Thanks for sharing this touching book with us.

  8. Heather Newman says:

    Quiet books are my favorites, keep them coming, Susanna! I'm adding this one to my wish list right now. Thank you.

  9. Beth Stilborn says:

    What a lovely, lovely book. Thank you for sharing that one, Susanna! (Although I'm sorry Marathon Mouse was delayed.) My book today celebrates trees, in a rather unique way. I think everyone will absolutely love the art! Here's hoping I can somehow fit in reading all the PPBFs and the Halloweensies between now and Monday!

  10. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Planning? What's that? I was having so much fun yesterday, reading and commenting on all of the Halloweensie Contest entries (which are AWESOME!), that I forgot today is Friday and Perfect Picture Book Friday. Perhaps it's also that I just finished Kathy's 31 in 31 and just started PiBoIdMo…Yikes! So, the long and the short of it (and all the space in-between) is that I didn't post a PPBF review on my blog last night…and now I have to run and throw on my clothes and get to work.:( But…as “Arnold” would say…”I'll Be Back!” I will definitely do a pb review and post it later tonight. 🙂
    The book you picked is so lovely, Susanna…it's true, we all have special places…I'll try to get a copy…the illustrations look beautiful. 🙂

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    We are all up to our ears in picture book land 🙂 No worries if you don't get around to it today, Vivian 🙂 The contest entries really were amazing, weren't they? I have no idea how I'm going to narrow down the field! And this is a lovely, lovely book on so many levels… definitely get your hands on a copy if you can 🙂

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Marathon Mouse showed up a couple hours ago, so I'm all set for next week 🙂 but I'm actually glad I got to post this book today after all everyone's been through this week. Can't wait to see your book, but I'm behind as I always seem to be lately – I need to press pause for a couple days and catch up and then resume 🙂 – so I will probably be there later….

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Glad you like the pick, and no worries about the contest – I'll look forward to reading your story whenever you post it. Meanwhile, since I know you are very busy, I'll give you a heads up that I am planning a Holiday Contest again, probably for around Dec. 19 🙂

  14. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Got your pick on my 'holds', too bad someone has it now – so in the mood, and your review sounds like a cup of tea in a book!

  15. Joanna Marple says:

    Susanna, I think this was indeed just the book we needed after all the noise of sirens, helicopters, wind, rain etc of the past days. This was balm to us today. I see it was published in 1994 and sadly fear that something similar would not get published today, yet how we need these stories too. *sigh*

  16. Rhythm says:

    This book is a favorite at our library. It's one that the kids gravitate to. and I like the pictures and the rhythm of the text. It's all dreamy. A lovely review. Thank you.

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I admit it. I do, too. Text also, of course, but I'm likely to reach for a book whose cover illustration I love over one that doesn't grab me… and you've got to have it in your hand before you can read the text 🙂

  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm so glad you think it's a good choice, Joanna. It is a lovely book, and the kind I love to read, write, and share with my kids. But you are right – the kind of book that is very hard to get published today. Sigh is right. Not sure where you are in NYC but hope you are weathering the after effects of Sandy OK!

  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Things happen for a reason. And you're right, after Sandy wreaked such havoc, your book offering is perfect for this Friday. I'll be sure to read it. It sounds like a book an adult would love as well.

    And I hope to get to all the entries tomorrow. Good luck everyone! Oh, and please pass along my good luck wishes to your husband. 🙂

    Please let us know how he made out.

  20. Julie says:

    What a beautiful book! I'm also looking forward to hearing about Marathon Mouse on Monday! In the meantime, I'll try to catch up on the rest of the Halloweensie entries this weekend!

  21. Patricia Tilton says:

    I've been reading reviews, and you end up last again. I read your review of “All the Places to Love” earlier this morning. You've reviewed two similar books in the past week and I have loved them both. Again, the ones I'd like to write. This one sounds very beautiful and has such a lovely message about loving everything around you including family. I would like this one for myself.

    Played with the deck of cards last night and had some fun!

  22. Carrie Finison says:

    I've been soooo busy all day and am just now getting to my PPBF reading. This sounds beautiful, Susanna, and your heartfelt review makes me want to read it.

  23. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    I had to go with a classic picture book this time…I read so many of the newer books for Kathy's 31 in 31. 🙂 BTW, I got your awesome bookmarks, Susanna…they look fantastic! Thank you so much…I will make sure to have them with me when I do school visits (have one coming up on Thursday) and I'll give them to the children's librarians.

  24. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Yes, I know, 2 quiet books in a row – but I do love them 🙂 And this book is a gem – very pretty and nostalgic. I know you get to me last because of the commenting problem and I so appreciate you going the extra mile on that. Glad you're having fun with the cards 🙂

  25. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Of course my copy of Marathon Mouse showed up about 14 seconds after I posted this book instead 🙂 But it's all good – I love this book and am glad I had a chance to put it up and this was a good week for it. And now that I'll be all ready to put Marathon Mouse up next week and I'll tell you in advance that it's absolutely fabulous and I LOVE it! Have fun reading the entries. I have spent half the day re-reading and re-reading them, trying to decide which to place as finalists, and it's pretty much impossible! 🙂

  26. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thank you, Beth 🙂 You are the sweetest of sweet 🙂

    Beth Stilborn (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Take care and be gentle with yourself. The posts will still be there later. There's a lot been going on!

    Link to comment
    IP address:

  27. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Well here it is, Saturday evening, and between life (which has been a bit crazy lately) and the Halloweensie Contest, I'm still working my way around this weeks PPBs and haven't gotten to yours yet… but I WILL! So glad you like the bookmarks! 🙂

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