Perfect Picture Book Friday – Willow Finds A Way


Whose idea was this polar vortex thing?

I have to say, I am not in favor.  (Not that I recall getting a vote!)

My thermometer has forgotten how to go above 1.  I have been forced to waste gas to get Princess Blue Kitty’s engine properly warmed before driving (which I’m sure is contributing to the environmental circumstances responsible for this weather!)  Worst of all, I’m afraid Punxsutawney Phyllis isn’t even going to emerge on February 2 if it doesn’t get a little warmer, never mind make a prediction!  She is a fan of all weather, but even she has her limits!  Plus, I heard a rumor that her long underwear is missing…

In protest, since I’m feeling bullied by the weather, I’ve decided to do a Perfect Picture Book about one way to deal with bullies!

Title: Willow Finds A Way
Written By: Lana Button
Illustrated By: Tania Howells
Kids Can Press, March 2013, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: bullying, problem solving, friendship, self-confidence

Opening: “In Willow’s class, Kristabelle was the boss.  Willow wished for words that would say, “no,” when Kristabelle told her where to sit, and what to play, and who to play with.  But when Kristabelle spoke, everyone did as they were told.  Even Willow.

Brief Synopsis: Kristabelle, the class boss, is having a fabulous birthday party, and Willow really wants to go.  But when Kristabelle un-invites some of the other kids, Willow has to decide which is more important: the party, or doing what’s right.

Links To Resources: This book is a good one for opening discussions about friendship, bullying, and self-confidence.  What makes a good friend?  How does bullying make people feel?  Anti-Bullying Tips and Conflict Mediation Tips which you can read and then discuss with kids.  Read Enemy Pie and talk about how Derek and Willow’s approaches are different.  Which one do you think would work better?

Why I Like This Book: This is a charming story in which Willow models one way of dealing with a classmate who is a bully/has a controlling personality.  Her response is a refusal to take part in the exclusion.  She doesn’t get mad or yell or carry on.  She thinks.  And she comes to a decision about what is right for her.  By taking the action she does, she shows the other children that they have a choice and encourages them to embrace it.  She makes her point by disengaging, which is something a lot of kids could have success with in similar situations.

(Willow’s Whispers was reviewed for PPBF a couple weeks ago by Pat Tilton and would make a nice companion read.)

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

Following Willow’s example of disengagement, I’ve decided to disengage from winter and go where it is not negative-something degrees!  If you need me, I’ll be here 🙂

PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific links on the list below so we can all come visit you (if we can thaw enough to move :))

Have a great weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

(Oh, and P.S. – I’m hoping to have an interview with Lana Button, the author of Willow’s Whispers and Willow Finds A Way, sometime in the not-too-distant future, so keep a weather eye! :))

48 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Willow Finds A Way

  1. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Another great book on a tough topic. Sorry about the weather. We had a little snow in Colorado, but it was light, fluffy and glittery! Maybe it was princess snow?

  2. patientdreamer says:

    Yes certainly a tough and inspiring topic for a pb. It's Auckland Anniversary this weekend, yay an extra day to our weekend so heading north for relaxing in the sun at the beach. Getting the most out of our summer. Thinking of you warm wrapped in blankets with hot chocolate and marshmellows. 🙂

  3. Teresa Robeson says:

    Sounds like a delightful yet empowering book on a topic that, sadly, never seems to go away.

    Love your beach “summer” sign! I hope Phyllis will just bundle up and make an appearance!

    And you probably know this already, but as the wife of a climatologist, I feel compelled to tell people that the polar vortex is always there; it's just swinging really far south this year. 🙂

  4. Patricia Tilton says:

    I am so happy you reviewed Jill's second book! It sounds like a different approach to dealing with a bully. Can't wait to read it! I'm glad the bullying books are more books released on such an important subject for kids.

    Great summer beach sign. Have had it with winter.

  5. Laura Anne Miller says:

    I'm with you Susanna. I don't remember this kind of cold since my childhood…and even tho' I wouldn't mind being younger, I'd rather remember those warm summers instead. Come over to my PPB choice which will warm you from the heartside out.

  6. Kirsten Larson says:

    Thanks for uncovering this one, Susanna. And keep warm! I won't tell you it was 70 here a couple of days ago…. 🙂

  7. Catherine Johnson says:

    There were lots of dominent types in my school, I wish I'd had this book back then. I hope phyllis finds her longjohns. It's cold and windy out there! It's about -30 here brrr…

  8. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    The weather has definitely changed over the years…although researchers are saying it is getting warmer (especially at the poles)…but obviously not on the East Coast! It's been pretty chilly in New Hampshire…but sunny, for the most part…and so, if I don't have to go out, I can PRETEND it is SUMMER.
    I love the book you picked for PPBF…I'm going to put a hold on it at the library and also the one Pat did the other week that is part of the series. Jeremy has already indicated that there are several kids in his class who like to tell others what to do…it sounds like this author shows positive ways to deal with situations like that.
    Looking forward to the February excitement of taking your class, Susanna!

  9. Patricia Tilton says:

    I am so happy you reviewed Lana's second book Willow Finds a Way! It sounds like a different approach to dealing with a bully. Can't wait to read it! I'm glad the bullying books are more books released on such an important subject for kids.

    Great summer beach sign. Have had it with winter.

  10. Joanne Roberts says:

    This looks great. I love the plot, and of course, the often-requested theme. I have seen a lot of reviews of Kids Can Press books lately. I guess it's time to take a closer look. Thanks.

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Ooh! I love the sound of that! We have just a little snow and it is pretty, but it's SO COLD! I've been ladling out bird seed by the truckload… poor little birdies all fluffed up to three times their normal size!

  12. Angela Brown says:

    Having well thought out ways to deal with a “boss” is nice and a good lesson to share at young ages when they are so impressionable.

  13. Wendy Greenley says:

    I didn't know our weather station had negative numbers until this year! Cabin fever is setting in. I have four new books on my list so far today–thank goodness for libraries! Willow sounds like my kind of girl.

  14. Genevieve says:

    Sounds good. I like disengaging as a technique to deal with bullies. It's good for certain types of kids to have an alternative to “standing up to them” in a confrontation.

  15. Laura Renauld says:

    I like the idea of disengagement when it comes to anti-bullying strategies. The character in my book this week does get to carrying on 🙂 But it is for a different reason! The Arctic has made itself known in VA, too. We haven't had school all week!

  16. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    This sounds like a great book! I love the message! Mind if I join you in the place you call “Summer”? I remember what “Summer” is, but I don't remember how it feels – it's been that cold! I could see my breath at my karate dojo!

  17. Rosi says:

    I will definitely be checking this one out. This sounds like a very important book and one that will engage kids. Thanks for telling me about it.

  18. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Ummm, it was cold enough to frost over the windshields Friday morning, but warm enough during the day to HAVE to roll down car windows. I think it will be in the 60's here today. Yep, time to pay us a visit, I'd say!

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