Perfect Picture Book Friday – Goodnight, Ark PLUS A Giveaway!!!

Dzoo dzoo-doo dzoo dzoo dzoo dzooooo!!!

(That’s me playing my kazoo in celebration.  You didn’t know I was a kazoo virtuoso, did you?  Just another of my many talents.  I am also a whiz at removing toothpaste “mints” from the sink :))

Welcome back to another year of Perfect Picture Book Fridays!

I am so looking forward to all the new picture books we’re going to share!

Parents, teachers, readers, and writers take note!  There will be something for everyone to enjoy and learn from 🙂

I am thrilled to be presenting a wonderful book for the 2014-2015 PPBF kick-off, written by none other than your friend and mine, Laura Sassi.  Since this is part of her blog tour, we are fortunate to have her here with us today, sharing her thoughts on the illustrations and how parents and teachers can engage their kids through them.  She and her publisher, Zonderkidz, are also generously offering a giveaway, so one lucky reader will win a copy of this delightful book! (U.S. residents only – street address, no P.O. box – publisher’s stipulation.)  Laura’s thoughts and the giveaway will appear below the book listing.

Title: Goodnight, Ark
Written By: Laura Sassi
Illustrated By: Jane Chapman
Zonderkidz, August 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8 (according to publisher, but I think ages 2-3 would enjoy it too :))

Themes/Topics: animals, bedtime, fear (of thunderstorms), language fun (rhyme, onomatopoeia)

Opening: “Beds are ready.
Food is stored.
Noah hollers,
“All aboard!”
Guests rush forward.
Furry, scaled,
woolly, feathered,
swishy-tailed.”

Brief Synopsis: Two by two, the animals board Noah’s ark.  They’re supposed to settle down and go to sleep… but the heavy rain, thunder and lightning frighten them, so two by two they climb in bed with Noah!  How much can one bed take? And will anybody get any sleep?

Links To Resources: talk about onomatopoetic words – what onomatopoetic words can kids think up?  Words for eating sounds? Engine noises? Musical sounds?; Noah’s Ark coloring page #1Noah’s Ark coloring page #2; talk about the bible story of Noah’s ark – how is it like GOODNIGHT, ARK and how is it different?; talk about fears – is anyone afraid of storms?  What other things are frightening?  What can you do to feel safe and secure when you’re frightened?; the animals are described as “furry, scaled, woolly, feathered, swishy-tailed” – what animals can you think of that are furry? scaled? etc.; please see Laura’s thoughts below on ways to use the illustrations; here’s the link to book trailer (in case it doesn’t load properly here :)) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRsc-pKmKwM


Why I Like This Book: This is a delightful story – an entertaining, clever, child-friendly twist on the original Noah’s ark.  The text is the perfect length for young attention spans.  The rhyme is filled with fun onomatopoetic words that kids will enjoy joining in with.  The art is bright, colorful and engaging, filled with small details that will keep young listeners busy.  But possibly my favorite thing is the skunks who have a whole story of their own going on in the illustrations.  Start looking for them in the 4th spread and watch what happens 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.
The Importance of Illustration – Thoughts From Laura Sassi
(A lesson for writers, and an opportunity for parents, teachers, and kids :))
Author Laura Sassi
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One of the basic rules of picture book writing is that writers need to let the illustrations tell part of the story. I understood this in principle, but it wasn’t until I saw Jane Chapman’s delightful illustrations for GOODNIGHT, ARK that it really hit home. I mean, WOW! Her illustrations truly show that principle in action and are a great reminder for me, that as a writer, I should curb any lingering tendency to over-describe or over-prescribe my texts and let the illustrators do their jobs.  
Here, then, are some great examples of how Jane used illustration to add humor and even extra plot details to GOODNIGHT, ARK. You’ll have to look carefully, for they are subtly sprinkled throughout her rich and colorful spreads:
1.Extra Animals: In addition to the key players, Jane adds extra animal guests.  I found nine extra pairs. Can you?
2. Extra (funny!)provisions: The text makes no mention of specific provisions, leaving lots of room for Jane to add humorous extras like the canned cat food that rolls across the floor on the tippiest page in the story.  It took me several reads to notice them! What other funny provisions do you see?
3. Underwear!: Every child I’ve read my story to has howled at Jane’s humorous inclusion of polka-dotted boxers quietly hanging on the line to dry.  We’ve also chuckled over the toothbrush. Both nice touches, I would never have thought of. What other humorous extras can you find?
4. Extra Plot Layer:  I don’t want to give away the most exciting part, but a certain pair of creatures is instrumental in restoring balance on the ark. In her illustrations, Jane brings out the personality of this pair in a darling way, even hinting through their gestures that they planned the whole stinky thing.  I LOVE that extra layering! 
Thanks, Laura!  To see the other stops on Laura’s blog tour (6 completed, 4 upcoming) please click HERE for the links.



And now for the giveaway!  All you have to do to be entered is leave a comment telling us something funny about bedtime: a favorite trick for getting kids to bed? an unusual bedtime routine? something kids won’t sleep without? some clever way kids try to get out of bedtime?  Anything fun and bedtime-related.  Bonus point if it includes an animal in some way 🙂

My example (which does not include animals except as occasional topics of discussion) is that when my son was little, he was never ready for sleep when he got in bed.  Instead, he had what he called his “thinking time” which inevitably (Every. Night!) involved him getting up numerous times and coming to ask me such can’t-wait questions as, “How much is infinity?”, “Where does wind come from?”, “How many teeth does a tyrannosaurus rex have?”, and “Why is it called the Milky Way?”  To which I would respond knowledgeably, “Uh…….” 🙂

Please leave your comment by Sunday September 14 at 5 PM EDT.  A winner will be chosen at random and announced next week.  One note: the publisher stipulates that the winner must reside in the U.S. and have a street address, not a PO box, so please let us know if you’re commenting just for fun and are not eligible.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!  Hurray!  Can’t wait!!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

87 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Goodnight, Ark PLUS A Giveaway!!!

  1. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Isn't it funny how particular we are when it comes to sleeping arrangements? I had a whole crew of stuffed animals I wouldn't sleep without. And My step-daughter used to have a rotating system so each of hers got a turn to sleep next to her 🙂 No worries about the link-up! We need readers just as much as reviewers, and we all know there are only so many hours in the day!

  2. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    So glad to see you back on your PPBF pony, Vivian 🙂 It is fun for us all to be together again, isn't it? Although I confess, it was a little too nice having a blog vacation 🙂 I hope you enjoy Laura's book. If you love it now, you'll REALLY love it when you can see the whole thing. And we have our baby blankets tucked away too 🙂

  3. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    SO nice to see you again, Jarmila! 🙂 And you must take care of yourself and go to bed on time – if necessary you must be quite stern and remind yourself that you will be tired in the morning if you don't go to sleep 🙂

  4. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know, Teresa! I love hearing those how-the-book-came-to-be stories too! We promise not to tell you son you told 🙂 And I could tell you a similar story, but I might get in trouble since my kids occasionally come over here and read 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  5. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It's a very cute book, Iza – you will like it because it's a little reminiscent of your work. And I love that you and Jambo snuck around behind Rob's back 🙂 I will be happy to play my kazoo for you the next time we have lunch… if I can find it 🙂

  6. JillSF1959 says:

    Yes, we just have one child. And you do get used to keeping a mental record during the day. Perhaps I should be using those braincells for other things, though. 😀

  7. Sandy P says:

    This book looks wonderful – thanks for the peek at it, Susanna. I don't know if I have a funny story about bedtime… but one “fun” thing we started when my daughter was three or four was telling “fairy stories.” Basically, I'd lie in bed with her and make up lots of stories about the adventures my daughter would get into, often featuring fairies or squirrels or another animal. Sometimes I'd tell them, but often I'd encourage my daughter to make one up. She's 10 now, and still asks for “fairy stories” once in a while.

  8. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I've been following this book tour and it's on my list. I look forward to getting my hand on a copy. Thanks for sharing and so happy MPBM is back! Looking forward to reading through the list and the adding more great reads to my library list.

  9. sharon mayhew says:

    This sounds like a wonderful book! I imagine it was hard for all the animals to get comfortable on the ark, especially the first night.

    My husband used to make up Johnny stories for our daughter when she went to bed. I wish I had sat outside her room with a tape player recording them. When I tucked her in she wanted the night she was born story. I guess I should be grateful that she either phones us or texts us goodnight now that she is off in college.

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know! Me too! The last comment reminded me of how my dad used to make up stories for me and my sister on Saturday nights – about Ruanna and Suecca who floated down the river in a dresser drawer 🙂 (My sister's name is Rebecca, so you can see where the names came from :))

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It was especially difficult for them to get comfortable in Noah's bed 🙂 And thanks so much for sharing your bedtime story. I was telling Laura above that it reminded me of my dad telling made up stories to me and my sister, and oh how I wish I had those!

  12. theresamilstein says:

    I like a new take on the old story that Laura Sassi's written.

    My bedtime routine is partially borrowed from Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I made a tune to go with, “I love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.” I still sing it each night.

  13. Tracy Campbell says:

    Wow, what a wonderful way to share Noah's story. Love the illustrations and the video was wonderful. And Laura's opening lines grabbed my attention. 🙂

  14. :Donna Marie says:

    You know, I looked for this at my Barnes right after its release, the computer SAID it was in the store, but it wasn't on the shelf! I'm hoping someone pulled it off the shelf to buy 🙂 I STILL haven't been able to read it! *sigh* Can't wait! lol

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