Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Almost Terrible Playdate

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, practically Easter, and soon-to-be April!

That sounds great all around 🙂

May I offer you some jelly beans or a chocolate bunny? 🙂

I realized that I hadn’t updated the master Perfect Picture Book list on my website in a while (er… that was because I totally forgot a) how to do it and b) that I had to do it – I had somehow convinced myself it was automatic! 🙂 ) so anyone who wants to have a look will have the happy surprise that there are now over 900 books on the list instead of the paltry 400 that were there last week 🙂  And thanks to you guys and your excellent form-filling-out abilities, many of them have themes listed!  So feel free to check it out and share it!  Perfect Picture Books (website page) and The LIST itself on google docs (search instructions for those who need them on the Perfect Picture Book page.)

(And I have to apologize for the fact that the “master list” is really only the books listed since I moved to wordpress.  The original couple thousand books from blogger have yet to be added because I never seem to have enough time!  I must make myself add 5 a day until they’re done or something!)

Any hoo…!

I have a tons-of-fun book to share today that I hope you’ll all love!

Title: The Almost Terrible Playdate

Written & Illustrated By: Richard Torrey

Doubleday Books For Young Readers, February 16, 2016, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: friendship, compromise, getting along, imagination

Opening: “What do you want to play?”

“What do you want to play?”

“How about I’m the queen of the universe and my doll, Pippy, is my sister queen, and you visit my castle?”

“Or how about I’m the giantest dinosaur ever and you’re a dinosaur too – but not the giantest – and we stomp around smashing stuff?

Brief Synopsis: A girl and a boy with active imaginations each have very different ideas about what makes a fun game.  Will the afternoon end with two kids playing alone on opposite sides of the room, or will they find something that is fun for both of them?

Links To Resources: Class Compromise Activity for grades 3, 4 & 5 – Planning A Class Party; let your child or student draw a picture of what they think would be a fun game to play; discuss the meaning of compromise and the importance of getting along – what would happen if everyone insisted on getting his/her own way?  Give examples of situations where people might have to compromise and have kids discuss how it could be handled, for example if one child wants to go to the zoo and the other wants to go to the playground, or how to plan a family picnic that will be fun for a variety of interests, etc.

Why I Like This Book: This is a delightful story, told completely through dialogue and illustration (a good mentor text for writers who are working on similar stories.)  The writing is spare and there is no written narrative – it’s all a conversation.  The girl is completely sure that her idea is best, her game the most fun…and not surprisingly it gives her the starring role.  The boy is equally convinced that his totally different idea is best, his game the most fun…and not surprisingly it gives him the starring role 🙂  Anyone who has ever spent time around kids will recognize this dynamic.  The children’s imaginative descriptions grow more and more elaborate as they try to convince each other, but it is not to be.  Before long the girl is playing her game, and the boy is playing his.  But they are side by side… sneaking glances at each other… ultimately unable to resist their curiosity about each other’s games and the allure of having someone to play with, not just next to.  The resolution is just right – very believable – and brings young readers full circle.  But one of the best things about this book is the art!  Childlike crayon drawings depicting the imagined games – SO much fun, and not to be missed!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂  And Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all who celebrate!

9 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Almost Terrible Playdate

  1. Patricia Tilton says:

    Such an important topic for children learning to play together and compromising. I like that both siblings have their own ideas about playing, but are curious about each other. Love the cover!

    • Patricia Tilton says:

      Also meant to give you kudos for finding the time to update the PPFB list. Monumental task. I have a book I would like added that may have fallen under your older website. The author has contacted me. Wish it was an easier job. Can’t imagine doing it manually! You are remarkable.

  2. Sue Heavenrich says:

    thanks for the chocolate bunnies! And the fun story. I love imagination and kids and their different ideas of what they could do together.

  3. viviankirkfield says:

    Oh my…this looks like a must read for anyone who needs a mentor text of a picture book written in dialogue! Thanks for sharing it, Susanna. And thanks for the treats! Happy Easter to you, dear friend. 🙂

  4. Barbara Gruener says:

    I really appreciate your dedication to keeping an updated, ongoing list of our favorite picture book picks. What a caring commitment you’ve made. Thank you, thank you. Happy Easter!

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