Perfect Picture Book Friday – Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story PLUS The Love Is Kind Giveaway Winner!!!

Woo hoo!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And you know what that means . . .

The weekend is (for all intents and purposes) HERE!!!

Autumn weekends are the best, aren’t they?

Apple picking…cider donuts…fall foliage…cider donuts…pumpkin picking…cider donuts… hiking…cider donuts…I’m sure you get the point…cider donuts 🙂 )

Today, I’m sharing a book about nature – well, really about a person who truly loved and appreciated it – even though not specifically about autumn.  (And not at all about cider donuts – although I’m sure the book would be even more enjoyable with a plate of them to munch on 🙂 ) Have a look!

Gwen Frostic

Title: Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story

Written By: Lindsey McDivitt

Illustrated By: Eileen Ryan Ewen

Sleeping Bear Press, July 2018, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 6-9

Themes/Topics: nature/environment, overcoming disabilities, girl power, artists

Opening: “Gwen followed her brothers and sisters everywhere, like a small fawn follows its herd.  They roamed the woods and fields near Croswell – their tiny town tucked into the thumb of Michigan.  Gwen played and picked wildflowers.  But her hands were weakened from an illness as a baby.  Her speech was slurred, one small foot dragged, and she fell down often.  
     She bumped her shins.
          She bruised her knees.
               She banged her elbows.
“Gwen doesn’t need your help, Helen,” Mama called from the porch.  Mama knew Gwen could do whatever she put her mind to.

Brief Synopsis: A picture book biography of lesser-known environmental pioneer, artist, and businesswoman, Gwen Frostic, who rose above the challenges caused by a debilitating childhood illness to create nature-based artwork, help build WWII bombers, create her own printmaking business, and encourage people to appreciate, protect and cherish nature.

Links To Resources: the book itself is a resource, including back matter with additional biographical information on Gwen Frostic and a print-making art/nature activity; make your own leaf rubbings

Why I Like This Book: Most picture books are for kids up to age 8.  I love when the occasional one comes along that is intended for slightly older kids because, let’s face it – they love picture books too!  Educational and/or biographical information is so much more palatable in picture book format! :). This book is beautifully written, placing the emphasis on Gwen’s intelligence and determination to succeed in art, environmental protection and business, in spite of dire warnings in her youth that she’d never be able to write (never mind draw or carve) because her hands weren’t strong enough to hold a pencil and the fact that her physical disabilities made getting around difficult.  The repeated phrase that Gwen knew she could do whatever she set her mind to is inspirational and motivational for young readers.  I also love that Gwen was ahead of her time, doing things that women didn’t typically do.  Very empowering for young readers.  All around a very interesting book about a person I hadn’t heard of before!

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!!! 🙂

Oh, and if you missed the Halloweensie Contest announcement and want to work on your story this weekend, click HERE for the guidelines!!!

OH!  And I almost forgot to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway!  Laura Sassi and her generous publisher, Zonderkidz, offered a copy of LOVE IS KIND to one lucky commenter.  And the winner is . . .


Becky Scharnhorst!!!

So, Becky, give me a holler and I’ll put you and Laura in touch with each other so you can get your book!!!

Many thanks, Laura and Zonderkidz!

32 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story PLUS The Love Is Kind Giveaway Winner!!!

  1. authorlaurablog says:

    Another book that I can’t wait to share at school!
    Susanna, my debut picture book will be released on 2/19/2019 and I am wondering how you choose the books for your Friday and Tuesday blogposts. If it’s not okay to ask this in the comments, please accept my apology and delete this.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Glad you like it Laura! As for choosing books, for Fridays I choose what I like :). For Tuesdays, email me and we’ll talk. It’s a very sophisticated system :). I actually have someone scheduled already for 2/19/19, but I think the week after is open…

  2. Patricia Tilton says:

    Thank you for introducing Gwen Frostic — I wasn’t familiar with her wonderful story. And, it’s nonfiction. Hope it was nominated for the Cybils elementary nonfiction category. I want to read this one.

  3. Becky Scharnhorst says:

    I was so caught up in reading about this book that I didn’t even notice I won Love Is Kind until my critique partner pointed it out to me! Yay! What a nice surprise! Thanks to Susanna for sharing this lovely book about Gwen Frostic and thanks to Laura for the great giveaway!

  4. julie rowan zoch says:

    I’ve been a fan of Gwen Frostic’s art since a friend from the same region of MI gave me a set of GF note cards years ago! I gave her this book for her birthday, and so did her sister! Ha!

  5. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    I’m gonna tell you a little secret: I LOVE reading nonfiction PBs. I didn’t read many as a child, so now I LOVE learning about history, our world, and people through picture books! So this sounds like a great one on several levels. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Diane Tulloch says:

    Love your choice of topic. Since it is spring here now and the weather has warmed being out in the garden is wonderful seeing all the new plants come through stretching and flowering. Nature is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      You know, Diane, I’m never jealous when spring and summer are coming here and you’re bundling up… but when it’s the other way around I always am! :). It was 38 here this morning. A harbinger of things to come! (But isn’t harbinger a great word that is just so much fun to say that you almost don’t mind cold weather coming? 🙂 )

  7. Carole Calladine says:

    Great choice. I saw this book at the SCBWI Ohio North annual conference. I have several of Gwen Frostic books. So, I was so excited to see this book. And, it didn’t disappoint. This is a wonderful picture book with delightful text and wonderful illustrations. Thanks for sharing this book, Susanna!

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