Perfect Picture Book Friday – Pysanky Promise

Happy Friday, Everyone!

I know many of you are on school vacation (or have children who are 😊) so I won’t keep you long today!

I have a unique book to share, just in time for Easter!  Have a look!

Pysanky Promise

Title: Pysanky Promise

Written & Illustrated By: Cathy Witbeck

Calico Barn Books, 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 6-10

Themes/Topics: love (grandmother/granddaughter), holidays (Easter), traditions

Opening: “The dancer spun in a flash of colors.  Ribbons flew, and the layers of her skirt flared.  Alena clapped and cheered with her family.  The smell of perogies, cabbage rolls and kielbasa filled the air.  The Ukranian dance festival was just one of the reasons she loved spring.

Brief Synopsis: (from the jacket copy) “When a young girl learns that her grandmother’s hands have grown too shaky to continue making pysanky, she learns the art herself hoping to heal her grandmother’s heart. The book explains the process of how to make pysanky, as well as a bit about the history, symbolism and the tradition behind the art.”

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 8.43.09 PM

text and illustration copyright Cathy Witbeck 2018

Links To Resources: the book itself is a resource, explaining a little of the history of pysanky and how to make them.  The back matter includes samples of borders along with an explanation of what they mean.  There are also a few websites listed:  learnpysanky.com (for hints, tips, egg patterns, and everything else); Ukrainiangiftshop.com (for basic and advanced supplies); pysankyusaretreat.com (for people who want to learn.)

Why I Like This Book: Not only is this a touching story about the relationship between a granddaughter and her grandmother, it is also a very interesting look at the history and craft of making pysanky – Ukrainian Easter eggs.  When Alena sees how sad her grandmother is that her hands have grown too shaky for the delicate work of creating the beautiful pysanky, she asks her aunt to teach her the art so she can make one for her grandmother and show her that the tradition will go on in the family.  It is a lovely and very interesting tale, nicely written for slightly older picture book readers, and I think will inspire children to try their hand at the beautiful art!

I was fortunate to get a little background on the creation of this book from author/illustrator, Cathy Witbeck, who said, “I thought about publishing traditionally, but my mother-in-law posed for reference pics of the grandmother in the story and I wanted her to see the finished product. She turned 90 this year. I took reference photos when my daughter was about 11. She’s 27 now. So you can see why I had to get it done pronto.” The fact that the book is based on real life makes me like it even more! 😊

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 for everyone who celebrates, have a joyous Easter or Passover! 😊

13 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Pysanky Promise

  1. viviankirkfield says:

    Oooh…here is a new one for me…thanks so much, Susanna…you always uncover the best picture book treasures! And I hope everyone will stop by my blog today because not only do I have a super cool book that I reviewed…I also announced the winners of #50PreciousWords…this was the most difficult year of all…possibly a bit because I was traveling so much, but mostly because of the quality and quantity…300 entries and they were sooo good! I know you understand, my friend, how painful it is to eliminate great stories from the list – just because there are so many. But, like you, I will do it again and again, because I know these contests and challenges are such an important part of the journey we all have to take on the road to success in book publishing. 🙂

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