Perfect Picture Book Friday – Hide and Shh!: A Not-So-Sneaky Sister Story About Inclusion PLUS A Giveaway!

Do you realize it’s the last day of March?

How did THAT happen?!

I think there was some kind of time-bending magic involved, but we might as well take advantage of today to celebrate that tomorrow is April! Woo hoo! Chocolate cake for everyone! (since that is the proper way to celebrate any occasion of any kind! 😊)

I will be at the Poughkeepsie Book Festival tomorrow along with lots of my friends and yours – Iza Trapnai, Lisa Theising, Karen Orloff, Nancy Furstinger, Diana Murray, Laurie Wallmark, Robin Newman, Tania Guarino, Teri Miller, and so many more I can’t possibly list them all, but you should come if you can!

Meanwhile, there are gifts a-plenty here today!

First, I’m delighted to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway – a signed copy of Easter Eggs and Matso Balls generously donated by author Janie Emaus!

And the lucky winner is. . .

Seahorsecoffeeelektra79018 (Dianne Borowski?)!

Congratulations!!! Please email me with your snail mail address and who you’d like the book signed to so Janie can send you your prize!!!

And. . . AND. . . as if that weren’t enough! . . . we have ANOTHER giveaway this week! Leave a comment in the comment section below by Thursday April 6 at 3PM Eastern to be entered in the random drawing for a signed copy of today’s Perfect Picture Book, Hide and Shh! kindly offered by author Christina Dendy and hot off the press!

Let’s have a look!

Title: Hide and Shh!: A Not-So-Sneaky Sister Story About Inclusion

Written By: Christina Dendy

Illustrated By: Nathalia Takeyama

Publisher: Cardinal Rule Press (April 1, 2023) fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-7

Themes/Topics: inclusion (Down’s Syndrome), sisterhood, friendship, kindness

Opening: “Dinah has waited ALL week to play with her sister, Chloe.
Through Chloe’s trumpet practice and robotics league.
Through her own speech class and gymnastics.
Through school, homework and all the busy-making stuff they do.”

Brief Synopsis: [From the publisher] “Dinah, a young girl with Down Syndrome, loves to play games with her older sister, Chloe, but she’ s not very good at the still and quiet kind. When her not-so-sneaky efforts to get into the big kids’ game backfire, Dinah realizes she might need to adapt a few of her own behaviors. In the process, she shows Chloe and her friends that there’ s more than one way to play.”

Links To Resources: the back of the book includes information on Down Syndrome and guided questions for reading; 15 Hide ‘n’ Seek Variations (so fun!);

From the author: (many thanks, Christina!)

  • Dinah works her way to using her animal cards to hide, lighting on the chameleon, but she could go back and think about ways the other animals could hide, too. How would a snake hide? How would a crow hide? What about a monkey? Or another favorite animal not in the book? How would each play, and how would each hide? It could be a fun variation on hide and seek, or just an activity taking turns acting out the animals, or a guessing game like charades
  • Another idea is practicing the animal signs. There are great kid-friendly videos online, e.g.: Learn How to Sign Animal Signs in ASL – YouTube and ASL Animals Song Lesson for Kids – Learn how to sign Animals with Fireese – YouTube.
  • My inspiration for the book was A combination of things. I always answer “Brain Soup” when kids ask me where my ideas come from, because it’s usually not just one thing but a bunch of things that get mixed up in my head and pour out on the page. And it’s a messy process what we do, right?

    The inspirations here included a funny day long ago with two friends when we were hiding and I said, “Shh! Be a mushroom.” That has stuck in my head for years and occasionally gets pulled out. (Alas, no mushrooms made it into the final story though. They were weeded out in my early revisions to make way for the animal kingdom.)

    My children, particularly my daughter, are another inspiration. She was the kid who couldn’t stay still and quiet when playing hide and seek. Her younger brother could make my heart stop by hiding too well, but she always gave herself away. I’ve found that there tend to be quite a few of those kids who like to wiggle and giggle.

    Other inspirations include the interwoven themes of mindfulness, self-awareness, and self-control, which go along with staying still and quiet. I led some volunteer “stories in motion” groups at our preschool years ago, and those contributed to the ideas of fun movement and sneaky movement.

    Finally, Dinah. We’re fortunate enough to have many young people with Down Syndrome among our friends and in our school communities, and in my earlier professional life, I worked as a support person with adults with developmental differences, including several who had DS. When I started developing this story several years ago, there were far fewer books that featured MCs or other characters with DS. Most were nonfiction (about DS) or a few were fiction stories focused on having DS or on being a friend or sibling to someone who has DS. I wanted to see more representation not only of and for friends who have DS but also for all children to build that sense of community, empathy, and inclusion. It’s important that the books we read reflect the diversity of our communities and our world. So, I decided to tell a story that featured an MC with DS that was not about having DS but that put her in a situation to which most young people can relate, where she could play, learn, be silly, get frustrated, and confront and solve problems just like all children do. All of that got stirred up in the soup! Dinah has DS, and that presents in different ways in the story, but the story itself is about learning flexibility and compromise, trying new things, being aware of how our actions impact others, and embracing different ideas and ways of doing things. Dinah and her sister, Chloe, both learn and grow.

Why I Like This Book: This is such a believable story about a young girl named Dinah who just wants to be part of the gang with her big sister. I think any kid who has an older sibling, or who has ever wanted to play with the big kids, will relate! But what I like best about this story is that although Dinah, has Down Syndrome, that is not the focus of the story. She’s just a kid like any other kid, frustrated at being left out of the fun with her sister and her friends, trying to find a way to fit in. Yes, she has Down Syndrome, but it’s just part of who she is, not the only thing anyone ever notices about her. She loves animals, she’s silly and sweet, and like lots of young kids she’s not so good at keeping still and quiet or being sneaky. And, she comes up with her own unique solution to the problem that turns into a game that’s fun for everyone. A fun read that might just get you playing Dinah’s game, too! 😊

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 blog 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! 😊 Don’t forget to leave a comment below by Thursday afternoon for your chance to win a copy of today’s Perfect Picture Book!

And Happy April Fool’s Day! 🌸

16 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Hide and Shh!: A Not-So-Sneaky Sister Story About Inclusion PLUS A Giveaway!

  1. seschipper says:

    This is another “perfect” pick for PPBF! I agree, my favorite part of this story is the focus on Dinah wanting to join her big sister, not the DS aspect. Looking forward to adding this PB to my collection! 🙂

  2. Andrea Mack says:

    This sounds like a great one for a school collection – I love the family emphasis and the animal card game!

  3. palpbkids says:

    Beautifully constructed story! Putting Downs Syndrome in the back story with such a resonant theme of siblings is as close to perfection as it gets.

  4. CJ Penko says:

    Everything about this story seems so perfectly thought out. And I love the different variations of hide and seek! Really well done. Congratulations! ❤️

  5. Danielle Hammelef says:

    This sounds so heartwarming and relatable for readers. I can’t wait to read it and discover the ending for myself.

  6. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    I agree with Julie. That title is inspired and such a perfect fit for this fun book! I love how picture books are now featuring a wide range of diversities without having the diverse aspect be the focus of the book. Yay!

  7. Jessica Milo says:

    This looks so sweet and fun!! Can’t wait to read this book 🙂 I can totally relate to wanting to play with the big kids!

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