Perfect Picture Book Friday – First Snow (And Some Other Odds And Ends!)

Well, you guys are in for it today!

After several brief (for me) posts in a row, I’ve used up my ability to be short-winded and I have so much to tell you today I can’t even believe it.  I’ll try to be succinct 🙂

First, my Perfect Picture Book, because I like that to be at the top on Friday.

First Snow
Written & Illustrated By: Kim Lewis
Candlewick Press, 1993, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: kindness, helping others, friends, pets, farm life, beloved toy, loss

Opening: “Wake up, Sara,” whispered Mommy.  “Daddy’s not very well today.  I’m going to feed the sheep on the hill.  Would you and Teddy like to come?

Brief Synopsis: To help Daddy, Mommy and Sara and Sara’s bear, Teddy, go up the hill to feed the sheep.  It’s a long climb, and while they’re up there, the first snow of the year begins to fall.  Hurrying to get home before they can’t find their way, no one notices that Sara’s beloved Teddy has been left behind.

Links To Resources: The Working Sheep Dog (video), Sheep Herding Demonstration (video), Fun Sheep Facts For Kids, Facts About Border Collies Talk about what you could do for someone that would be nice or help them in some way.

Why I Like This Book:  I love that whole story takes place because Sara and her mom are trying to do something nice for Daddy.  As they hike, you can feel the steepness of the hill, the cold air, the first tentative snowflakes followed by the real snow.  For children who may never have been out in the real country, the book gives them a taste of it.  The sense of wanting to get back to their cottage pulls the reader along, but on the whole it’s a fairly quiet book.  The art is gorgeous.  It’s drawn in colored pencil and the little cottage where Sara’s family lives is so warm and inviting, and the vistas of the English hills so lovely it makes you want to step right into the pages of the book.  The sheep are beautiful, the border collies exceptional.  But maybe the thing I love most about the book is the understanding it shows between a child and her pet.  It is not Mommy or Daddy or Sara who recovers Teddy 🙂

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

Next, two things that kind of go together.  When Beth asked to interview me about Perfect Picture Books I was happy to do it to raise awareness of this resource that we all work so hard on (and because Beth is nice and I like her :)) but I never in a million years expected the kind of response we got.  So I wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful comments.  They meant so much to me.  I really can’t find words to tell you how much… which is bad for a writer!  But it was an unexpected gift for which I am truly grateful, and it just makes me value this wonderful community even more.  I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to print out that post and stick it on my wall to read on days when I feel low 🙂  So thank you.

In the same vein, Randy over at Author In Training very kindly gave me the Addictive Blog Award.

In addition to linking back to him (and I hope you’ll go visit him if you haven’t because he does great writing prods and is currently writing a YA novel that you get to read a bit of every Friday and just has an all around great blog!) I am supposed to list 10 blogs I am addicted to.  But I can’t list only 10.  Especially after being reminded Wednesday of just how wonderful you all are.  So consider yourselves all recipients, and feel free to take the award badge and post it on your blog!

The next item I wanted to mention is that tomorrow, December 1 (a Saturday so I don’t post) marks my 2nd Blogiversary!!!  I can’t believe it’s been 2 years.  I have had so much fun here, getting to know you all and dragging you into all my hair-brained schemes!  Anything that’s good about this blog is good because of you, so please give yourselves all a big pat on the back and a round of applause!  Some confetti would be nice, too.  And of course, I think we should serve Something Chocolate, even though it’s not Wednesday 🙂  I would also like to give you A PRESENT!  Of course, I’d really like to give you ALL a present, but I don’t have the resources, so two (that’s 2!) lucky random commenters today will receive a packet of 5 assorted hand-drawn greeting cards by our own superbly talented  Tracy Campbell!  Here’s a little sample:

copyright Tracy Campbell 2012 used by permission

copyright Tracy Campbell 2012 used by permission

copyright Tracy Campbell 2012 used by permission

Aren’t they gorgeous?  Please click on the link to her blog and explore and you can see many other cards!

Second to last (see? there’s a light at the end of the tunnel :)), I wanted to let you all know ahead of time about a special PPBF.  At the suggestion of Pat at Children’s Books Heal and Vivian at Positive Parental Participation, on Friday December 14, which is the anniversary of the date in 1954 that the UN General Assembly recommended there should be a Universal Children’s Day, we are going to be doing our part to raise awareness of the plight of children around the globe and to promote the welfare of children in the world by posting books which focus on multicultural/multiracial issues, human rights, and/or children who have helped to change the world in some way.  For example, Pat plans to post the picture book version of The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.  Beatrice’s Goat and Wangari’s Trees Of Peace are other examples of books in this category (although they’re already on our list.)  Please join us if you’d like to!  But of course, if you’ve already got a book in mind and would like to post a regular PPB that is fine too – all picture books are for children 🙂

FINALLY (here we are! this is the end!) I’m hoping to post the rules for the Holiday Contest on Monday.  Of course, that will depend on whether I make up my mind about what it’s going to be by then 🙂  But here’s hoping 🙂

That’s it!  Go forth!  Run free!  Go see all the wonderful picture books that have been chosen this week!  And have a GREAT weekend! 🙂

(PPBF bloggers, please remember to add your post-specific link below!  And don’t forget, 2 lucky commenters will win beautiful cards, and the winners will be chosen totally by and not at all based on how nice the things you say about me or my blog are :))

63 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – First Snow (And Some Other Odds And Ends!)

  1. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    There's so much going on. I've been in hiding this week due to the end of the semester. Hmm. I'll need to take a break and visit all these posts I've missed. 🙂

  2. Angela Brown says:

    An early Happy Blogiversary to you. Saw Phyllis get her special pick today as a PPBF choice over at Beth's blog. A good choice indeed. And you choice sounds so sweet and kind.
    Love it!

  3. Tina Cho says:

    Happy Blogiversary! You have lots of “news' on this post! Tracy's cards are beautiful; I enjoy her blog, too. How neat you're celebrating this UN Children's Day. And actually, my Nov 12×12 draft is one of those kinds of stories! I hope some day an editor will pick it up! Happy Friday!

  4. Laura Anne Miller says:

    Happy 2nd Blogiversary, Susanna! Leave it to you to give US a present. I like your PPBF choice – sounds wonderful. I like books that help us to feel and be part of another lifestyle. I remember going to milk the cows with my grandma and stepping from the whistlin' wind into a cozy barn smelling of hay, cows, and um…a..other things. 🙂

  5. Kirsten Larson says:

    Happy Blog-iversary, Susanna! Thanks for this beautiful PPFF choice. I am ready for snow and Christmas books. I love this time of year.

  6. Laura Renauld says:

    2 years! Quite an accomplishment. I haven't figured out how to blog and write at the same time. And my blog is not nearly involved as yours! Do you have a secret?

  7. Beth Stilborn says:

    Yay! My link is “sweet sixteen”! (I haven't been sweet sixteen for, um, a while…)

    Congratulations on your second blogiversary tomorrow, Susanna! I'm so grateful you started blogging, and developed such a delightful blog that has built such a wonderful community.

    A HUGE thank you from me to you for this week, and for the interview on Wednesday — and wow, thank you to all the wonderful commenters. Reading what they had to say about you really warmed my heart as well. You ROCK, Susanna!

    Hope Phyllis enjoys her moment in the spotlight with my PPBF choice today. Give her a hug for me.

    The book you've highlighted today sounds wonderful. I know I'd like it.

    Finally — what a wonderful idea for PPBF on the 14th. I had a book planned for that day, but I'm going to bump it up to the 7th, and find something that fits the theme. Kudos to Pat and Vivian!

  8. Clarike Bowman-Jahn says:

    What a wonderful post! So chock full of good things to know and learn. Congrats on your blogaversary! Can't believe it's only been two years.

    Love the sound of your book this Friday. I love quiet books that take you into the past and into another place.

    The Dec 14th celebration sounds good, too. I'm part of Amnesty International and will eagerly participate with a book that deals with Human Rights issues. The book I reviewed for today's selection is also a multicultural book dealing with an immigrant's trying to cope with a new country, America. I hope you will come and give me a visit. 🙂

  9. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Hurray for your blog-anniversary #2! Hurray for this lovely picture book you reviewed…will you take me there? It sounds like a place we'd all like to be. 🙂 The resources/activities look great also! Hurray for the Addictive Blog Award…yes, I agree…your blog IS addictive. an oh so nice way! 🙂 I'll hop over to Randy's blog tonight. Hurray for PRIZES…and hurray for Tracy Campbell's AWESOME cards…she is so very talented! Hurray for your upcoming holiday writing contest! And lastly, hurray for celebrating the rights of children everywhere…thank you, Susanna, for mentioning the Universal Children's Day idea for the December 14th PPBF.'
    So…hip hip hip hip hip (is that enough hips) hooray!!!!!!!!!

  10. Beth Stilborn says:

    This is such a great community! In the comments on my PPBF today, Pam Courtney suggested a wonderful activity for Punxsutawney Phyllis readers, so I've added it to my post.

  11. Patricia Tilton says:

    Enjoyed your book selection — such a touching story! The beautiful cover alone draws you into wanting to read the book.

    WhooHoo for your 2nd blog anniversary. Your blog is a kind of hub for many of us. Great community! And, so very generous of Tracy Campbell to donate such beautiful hand-made greeting cards.

    And thank you for encouraging the other bloggers to consider reviewing a book for Universal Children's Day! Vivian wrote such a lovely post on the subject — it just seemed like a natural thing for us to participate in. And all books celebrate children!

  12. Joanna Marple says:

    Happy blogiversary, Susanna. There's so much to cheer about in this post.

    Love the idea of us rallying around Universal Children's Day. And I have a book in mind if the library has it.

    What happens to Teddy???

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks, Nancy 🙂 And if you don't happen to win, you can get cards from Tracy at her blog/website. I've seen a bunch of them and they're beautiful, and the card stock is very good quality. I'm giving some as gifts to family and friends.

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks you, Joanna! I'm glad you have a book in mind… I haven't made a choice yet! 🙂 And since the giveaway is less obvious in the comments I will tell you that the border collie realizes Teddy was left behind and brings him very gently and carefully back to Sara 🙂 as any good dog would 🙂

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Glad you like the book Pat! I'm a big Kim Lewis fan. I love her art… and I love dogs 🙂 Thank you for the blogiversary wishes. I am so happy and grateful for everyone who gathers here. Tracy's cards are really lovely, and I highly recommend them as gifts (for yourself or others :)) if you don't happen to win them! Looking forward to our special PPBF day – thanks for the suggestion!

  16. Carrie Finison says:

    The story sounds great, Susanna. I'm not a dog person, particularly, but I do love Border collies. And happy blogiversary! That's a great idea for the 14th. I have a book in mind to review — Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming. Have you read it? It makes me cry every time.

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks, Angela! And yes, as predicted Phyllis is getting a swelled head from being featured on Beth's blog and she is parading around the house demanding maple syrup in the large teacup with the strawberries on it 🙂

  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    It's no wonder you had so many of your followers comment on Beth's blog, you're kind and helpful just like today's PB themes and topics states. The cover art for this book makes me feel warm and cozy. Colored pencil is an art form, and one day I plan on trying this wonderful medium.

    And you deserve the Addictive Blog Award, especially as you've it awarded to all your faithful tribe. Of course, I'm going to nab it. Thank you! And I'll be sure to check out Randy's Author in Training blog.

    I'm blown away that you've showcased my greeting cards! 😀 Thank you so much!

    I can't wait to see what you come up with for the Holiday Contest!

    As you know, I can't comment directly on your blog, nor can I read any comments (boo hoo),
    so if you would post my comments, I'd appreciate it.

    Happy Blogiversary! 😀

  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks, Laura! And I know it! – there's something about farms and barns especially that is so wonderful. I spent half the morning taking care of the horses today, and it's so peaceful and pleasant. Now, if anyone could just explain to me why I have NO PROBLEM mucking out stalls and sweeping the barn but will leave the vacuuming of my house go for ages… 🙂

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I wish I did! I'm afraid I work more than I should and sleep less than I should 🙂 But I love my blog and everyone who comes to visit, and I love my writing which is where this all came form to begin with, so I just muddle along and do the best I can 🙂

  21. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I think what you meant to say was you WILL be sweet sixteen in 13 days 🙂 Thanks for the congrats, the warm wishes, all your support and enthusiasm, and for your lovely post which didn't just make my day, it made about 6 months worth of days 🙂 Phyllis is behaving predictably. She is marching around in her tiara demanding that we address her as Queen Phyllis 🙂 And yes, didn't Vivian and Pat have a great idea? I'm very excited about it! Now if I could just think of a good book to showcase for it…..!

  22. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Glad you enjoyed the post, Clar! nd I loved your selection for today – I have been to read it and I left a comment – I hope it posted properly! I'm looking forward to the 14th – I think it was a great idea Pat and Vivian had and I'm glad we have such a great way to celebrate it.

  23. Beth Stilborn says:

    “Sweet Fifty-six” just doesn't have quite the same ring to it…

    You are SO welcome for all of those things. Phyllis is such fun! She'll calm down. In a month or two…

  24. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Golly, Viv, I feel like we should have a parade now! 🙂 Thanks for all the cheering! 🙂 The book is lovely – I hope you'll get a chance to look at it, or one of her others – I find her art so appealing! Randy's blog is great. he is so imaginative and clever – he can make a great pitch/jacket blurb-type-idea out of ANYthing! I wish I could be so creative! And thanks for your great idea about Universal Children's Day – I think this is going to be a great way to celebrate children and raise awareness of those less fortunate and learn about different cultures and lifestyles. I hope lots of people will do it and we'll get some great titles on our list!

  25. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Well, at least it as a “6” in it 🙂 And Phyllis will certainly not calm down… Groundhog Day is right around the corner… she's just getting started 🙂

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

    “Sweet Fifty-six” just doesn't have quite the same ring to it…

    You are SO welcome for all of those things. Phyllis is such fun! She'll calm down. In a month or two…

    Link to comment
    IP address:

  26. Beth Stilborn says:

    True. (regarding the “6”) And what was I thinking? You're right about Phyllis (of course you are. You've lived with her all this time. You know what she's like. And Groundhog Day excitement will end, and she'll start planning for April Fool's Day. It never ends, does it?)

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