When Your Books Go On A Blog Tour – Kickoff!

It’s July!!!

And you know what THAT means…!

It’s National Lasagna Awareness Month!

(It IS actually – I am not making that up!  It also happens to be National Blueberries Month and National Doghouse Repairs Month… so many things appropriate to life on Blueberry Hill!  But that is not actually why we are here… 🙂 )

At long last the much-anticipated, eagerly-awaited BOOK BIRTHDAY MONTH has arrived!

I am thrilled beyond measure to introduce you all to WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH and WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES, coming to a bookseller near you on July 11! (to be followed by a third book birthday a couple weeks after…but we’ll get to that later 🙂 )

For now . . .

Woo hoo!  Strike up the band!  Shower down the confetti!  Release the balloons!

It’s time for . . .


Thanks to a group of kind, generous, kidlit-enthusiast bloggers who are absolutely lovely in every way, we have a fun-filled couple of weeks in store for you all, full of interviews with the author (me 🙂 ) and illustrator (the amazing Daniel Wiseman!), book trailer reveals, activity and coloring page reveals, recipes, crafts, and games, articles on different aspects of writing, as well as giveaways and prizes!  It’ll be almost like all of you are celebrating your birthdays too! 🙂

Let’s have a look at the line up, shall we?

Blog Tour Schedule

* one small note: Sue of KidLit Reviews may not be able to post.*

I hope you will all join us as we welcome these two brand new books into the world!  All the participating bloggers have worked hard to make this fun, and I’d hate for you to miss anything.  And I’d love as many people as possible to come visit!

So I am offering two special prizes to be awarded after the close of this blog tour.

One prize will be given to a randomly-selected person who visits and comments on every single post in the blog tour!  All 19 listed here! (18 if Sue is unable to post.)

That special prize will be personalized signed copies of WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH and WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES, a “goody bag” containing items relating to both books – stickers, bookmarks, orange-scented kid-friendly lion soap, an elephant memory game, lion bubbles…plus a couple surprises! (and I’m not saying there will be chocolate, but if you’ve spent any time around this blog at all you should know that’s a distinct possibility…) :), PLUS your choice of any one of my other books personalized and signed.

The other prize will be given for sharing on social media.  The hashtag we are using to promote the books is #whenyourbooks.  Every time you share a post on Face Book, Twitter or Instagram using #whenyourbooks you will get an entry into a raffle where 3 winners will each get a $25 Amazon gift card.

Did you read a blog post you thought was so great all your friends should read it too?  Share it with #whenyourbooks

Do you have a photo of a child reading WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH or WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES?  Share it with #whenyourbooks

Did you try an activity, craft or recipe that was included in one of the posts with your child or class? Or one you thought up related to these books?  Share the results and/or a photo with #whenyourbooks

Live video footage of you bathing a lion? 🙂  Definitely share THAT with #whenyourbooks  🙂

Although the tour ends on August 3, I’ll give you a couple days to comment on that last post, and announce the winners on Monday August 7.

So, are you ready to join the high jinx and shenanigans?

Comment below to start your eligibility for prize #1, and share today’s post with #whenyourbooks to start earning points toward prize #2!  Then tune in to Frog On A Blog tomorrow, when Lauri Fortino will have a guest article from yours truly on writing a series!

Let’s get this blog tour underway! 🙂


illustration copyright (C) Daniel Wiseman 2017

P.S.  Since the Blog Tour Schedule is a photoshop-made graphic that can’t have live links (plus when I made it none of the posts were actually posted yet so no one had urls) I will list the links to the ones that have gone up below for your convenience.

7/1/17 – Susanna Leonard Hill – Blog Tour Kickoff – well, you’re already here 🙂

7/2/17 – Lauri Fortinos’s Frog On A Blog – Guest Post on Writing A Series PLUS a Giveaway!

7/3/17 – Jena Benton’s Of Tea And Mermaids Blog – Simply 7 Interviews with Susanna & Daniel PLUS a Giveaway!

7/4/17 – Lynn Davidson’s Polilla Writes Blog – LION book review and GAME

Would You Read It Wednesday #258 – The Snugglebeast And The Spotty Sock (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor

Hi Everyone!  Happy Wednesday!

I am having so much fun this week!  Crazy and busy, but totally fun!  My new books are about to launch, and the swag and activity pages and blog tour and book trailers, etc. are all starting to come together and I can’t wait to share everything with you!  I am so lucky to have the opportunity to work with such talented illustrators!  And so lucky to have the support of so many wonderful, generous kidlit bloggers as well as lovely people who have agreed to read the books and consider reviewing them!  I hope you’re going to enjoy it all as much as I do.  I think there’s a not-so-subtle reason I’m drawn to writing for the picture book age… I may well still be there myself! 🙂

It’s all going to kick off here on July 1, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise!  I’m a little afraid of how close that date is when I think of everything I still have to do!  But for now, let’s focus on Would You Read It! 🙂

First, we have Straight From The Editor for May!  You will recall winner Cortney’s pitch for Olive Hills (PB ages 3-6):

Elle’s mind drifts through an olive grove as she tries to keep memories of her grandma alive. She surprisingly finds herself with a familiar, yet forgetful brontosaurus. The two set out to retrace their footprints in hope to relive fading memories. When they reach the giant tree where Elle’s grandma used to sit and reflect, they discover love ones will always be with you no matter where they are.

Here are Erin’s thoughts:

This sounds like it could be a lovely picture book but I’m getting stuck on the brontosaurus. How is he familiar… and forgetful? Dinosaurs and death are pretty disparate concepts for kids age 3-6 and you need to somehow clarify that link in this pitch.

As always, I find Erin’s comments very illuminating!  I hope they’re helpful to you too – and to Cortney as she continues to perfect this manuscript and pitch!

Now then, burning the candle at both ends as I am, I feel in need of Something Chocolate right this minute!  What should we have today?

You know I’m nothing if not health-conscious… 🙂 so how about a little Death By Chocolate Zucchini Bread?!  (Note the ZUCCHINI in the title…like I said, health food 🙂 )


Also, I hope you noticed that it is clearly called “bread”, not “cake”, so again with the health benefits and it is perfectly okay to eat it for breakfast! 🙂


Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Katy who says, “I’m a Design Director who does branding and packaging design the north of the UK and am very much an early stages writer. Because of my creative job I love to have an outlet for my other ideas and like to sketch, illustrate and create story’s and picture books amusing children’s characters that are usually based on animals.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Snugglebeast And The Spotty Sock

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-7)

The Pitch:

Have you ever stopped to ponder,
where all your lost socks go.
Where on Earth could they possibly wander?

You know the ones I mean,
your best socks, the very favourite kind
Where do they end up?
We seek them out, but we never can find?

Discover the world of a tiny, secretive, sneaky little creature, who adventures out at night in the night in a plot to steal your socks.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Katy improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in July, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Katy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to getting everything done so we can all start off on this crazy, wonderful book launch blog tour!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


Would You Read It Wednesday #257 – Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma (PB) PLUS The May Pitch Winner!!!

Hi Everyone!

So glad you could make it 🙂

Actually, I’m glad I could make it!  I’ve been so busy this week I almost forgot it was Wednesday!

I am busy planning the launch of WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH, WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES and THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT.  A fun-filled blog tour is in the making and I hope you’ll all join the high jinx and shenanigans!

But for now, it’s a regular Wednesday so let’s jump right in, shall we?

First of all, the winner of the May Pitch Pick was Cortney with her PB pitch for Olive Hills!  Congratulations, Cortney!  Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts!!!

Congratulations also to our other pitchers who worked hard to write and revise their pitches and bravely put them up for all of us to learn from.  I hope it was a helpful experience.  And I have to say, this particular group had about the closest voting results I’ve ever seen on WYRI, so you must all have done an unusually good job!!!

Since summer is officially here, and cherries are in season and go so well with chocolate, how about some Triple Chocolate Cherry Cake for our Something Chocolate this morning?



Recipe HERE at Averie Cooks

Delicious AND nutritious!!!  (I mean, it has cherries in it!  That’s fruit! 🙂 )

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jenny who says, “I graduated from Making Picture Book Magic in 2015 with an advanced degree in Kidlit and honors in Chocolate Appreciation.  I’m an active participant in the 12 x 12 community and a member of SCBWI.  While I regularly write non-fiction for Cricket Media, I’m chasing the dream of becoming a published picture book author.  Every line, every draft, is one step closer to success!”

Find her on Twitter @Yangmommy

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-6)

The Pitch: Little Medusa loves everything about snakes–just as long as they’re not slithering and sliding through her hair!  She’s tangled up in knots trying to follow tradition.  Using her imagination and heart, Little Medusa tries her best to please her family, her snake and herself.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Jenny improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in July, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Jenny is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to continuing work on the upcoming blog tour because I want it to be really special for you all!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


Monday Funday Short & Sweet – June

It’s the third Monday of the month, and you know what that means!


Well, no, not donuts… although that is a good guess and given the “sweet” in today’s activity maybe we should have donuts…

So, ok, donuts:

dark chocolate creme donut

But what I was actually referring to, you incorrigible donut hounds 🙂 , is Monday Funday Short & Sweets!

SS Spring Badge Susanna Hill - Final Small

badge created by Loni Edwards

Nothing like a little warm-up writing fun to kick off the day and the week, don’t you think?  Who knows what great story idea we might spark from this!


Today’s Short & Sweet will work best if you don’t peek.  I’m not quite sure how to accomplish that on a blog post, so let’s go on the honor system – no scrolling down yet!

First, pick a number from 1 – 10.  Got it?  Write it down.

Now pick a number from 1 – 10 again and write that down.

Now do it again.

And now one last time.

(BTW, it’s okay if you pick the same number more than once.  If you want to make it really random you can roll a pair of dice and just discard any 11s or 12s you get.  Or take an Ace through 10 out of a deck of cards and randomly choose cards to see what numbers you get.)

Hopefully you now have 4 numbers between 1 and 10 written down.  (For example, I have 5, 9, 3, and 2.)

Now.  Use your first number to select from this list:


  1. a boy who comes from the Land of Nod
  2. a guinea pig who always carries a lucky penny
  3. a princess who is mischievous
  4. a knight who hates to get wet
  5. a dinosaur who is forgetful
  6. a king who loves licorice
  7. a witch who loves to whistle
  8. a monster who is shy
  9. a robot who is to curious
  10. a cowboy who loves bugs


Use your second number to select from this list:


  1. outer space
  2. a birthday party
  3. the shore of Lake Chaubunagungamaug
  4. a city sidewalk
  5. the edge of a meadow
  6. zoo
  7. the soda fountain
  8. lighthouse
  9. circus
  10. campsite


Use your third number to select from this list:


  1. nap time
  2. June twilight
  3. just after losing first tooth
  4. during a blizzard
  5. snack time
  6. after losing the big game
  7. first light of morning
  8. the day before Halloween
  9. the first really hot day of summer
  10. moments before the school play


Use your last number to select from this list:


  1. someone’s feelings have been hurt
  2. someone is having a bad day
  3. someone had a fight with a friend
  4. someone is stuck or trapped somewhere
  5. someone is lonely
  6. someone can’t climb to the treehouse
  7. someone wishes s/he were bigger
  8. someone is moving away
  9. someone is being chased by an animal
  10. someone broke his/her big toe

You should now have a randomly selected character, setting, time, and situation/challenge – everything you need to prompt a story!

In the comments below, list the 4 you got and write 50-100 words of whatever story they suggest to you!  Don’t agonize!  Don’t over-think!  We’re all among friends.  Just write!  All we’re doing here is priming the pump.  If all you can squeeze out is 50 rusty words, that’s fine!  You wrote 50 words in the middle of your hectic, busy day!  But maybe, just maybe, 25-50 more will trickle out a little less rusty, and maybe after you’ve written your 50-100 here you’ll find you’ve got a gush of clear water rushing forth and a whole  new story will well up and land on your list of accomplishments for today!

Oh, and if you find it’s too hard to include all 4, it’s okay to just use 1, 2, or 3 of the prompts you picked – the exercise is just to get ideas and words flowing 🙂

Here’s my example in case you don’t quite get it:
The numbers I chose were 5, 9, 3, and 2, so I get

Character #5 – a dinosaur who is forgetful
Setting #9 – circus
Time #3 – just after losing first tooth
and Situation/Challenge #2 – someone is having a bad day

Given these prompts, I might write the following 50-100 words:

So far, Reinhold was not having a good day.

He was last to the breakfast table so all the Frosted Flakes were gone.

His favorite blue-sequined tight-rope walking outfit was in the wash, so he had to go to practice wearing the stupid red and green striped one that made him look like a triceratops-shaped elf.

Worst of all (and the reason he had been late to breakfast) he had lost his first tooth.

This should have been a good thing.  He had been looking forward to this moment for months, ever since Jiminy had lost his first tooth…and then Alvin…and then Sparky.

He had begun to worry that maybe his baby teeth were going to stick in there forever.  Maybe he’d never lose a tooth!

But now he had.

And he hadn’t just lost it.  He had LOST it.


Tonight the Tooth Fairy would come to the rainbow-colored circus tent where Reinhold was supposed to be sleeping soundly.

She would look under his pillow for his first baby triceratop tooth.

And she would find . . .


Because Reinhold could not remember where he had put it!


Okay.  So I went a little over with 188 words 🙂  But I hope you’ll get carried away too!

See how easy?

Ready, Set, WRITE!!!

I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone!!! 🙂




Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Summer Nick Taught His Cats To Read

Look at this, dearies!

Summer has arrived!  I know this because the mountain laurel is out.


So it’s time for a Perfect Picture Book hiatus.

I always feel a little sad to put PPBF on hold for the summer 😦  But summer is a busy time for all of us – hard to keep up with reading and writing blog posts – and I always have grand ambitions of getting lots of other stuff done…

Just because I haven’t managed before doesn’t mean it can’t happen this year! 🙂

We will still be here for Would You Read It Wednesdays, Oh Susanna on the first Monday of the month and Short & Sweets on the third Monday of the month, and there are going to be a couple of VERY exciting blog tours coming up (starring your friends and mine, LION, ELEPHANT, and TRUCKS) as my three new books step out into the world.

So don’t worry!

There will still be plenty of fun (and chocolate!) around here! 🙂

And as we head into summer, I have the perfect Perfect Picture Book to share with you!

Nick Cats

Title: The Summer Nick Taught His Cats To Read

Written By: Curtis Manley

Illustrated By: Kate Berube

A Paula Wiseman Book (Simon & Schuster), July 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics:  reading, perseverance, creativity, imagination

Opening: “Nick had two cats, Verne and Stevenson.
They spent summers doing everything together.
But when Nick sat down with a book, the cats had their own ideas.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 6.47.29 PM

text copyright Curtis Manley 2016, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2016

Brief Synopsis: Nick loves to read.  His cats do not.  Every time Nick opens a book, Verne sprawls across the pages and Stevenson sits on a stack of books scowling and cleaning his paw.  So naturally, Nick decides to share his love of reading with them by teaching them how.  Verne is amenable and learns quickly.  Stevenson shows all the behaviors of a reluctant reader…until Nick finds just the right way to pique his interest.

Links To Resources: read as many books as you can this summer!  Keep a list to show your progress!  Put a star or a sticker beside your favorite titles.  Swap one of your favorite books with one of a friend’s favorites and see if you like the same kind of books or if your friend’s tastes introduce you to something new!  Make your own book club.  Give it a name!  Choose a time and a place and a snack for meetings 🙂  Talk about the books your read with your friends.  Enjoy reading!

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 6.48.15 PM

text copyright Curtis Manley 2016, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2016

Why I Like This Book: Curtis is a likable boy with a genuine and infectious love of reading as well as obvious love for his two cats.  I love the silliness of the concept of teaching cats to read…and the fact that they learn 🙂  Verne is an easy-going amenable type who learns quickly and embraces reading as Nick does.  Stevenson, however, is a challenge – one that any reluctant reader will identify with.  But it turns out that Stevenson is an artist!  Nick turns Stevenson’s art into a story about Stevenson…and suddenly reading seems a little more interesting… 🙂  The story is imaginative and fun.  The art is cozy and warm.  This is a delightful book that budding readers, writers, artists…and cat lovers :)…will love.

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!!! 🙂

See you on Monday for Short & Sweets (assuming, of course, that I can think up something fun for you…! 🙂 )

Oh!  And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!!! 🙂


Would You Read It Wednesday #256 – Oscar’s Noggin (PB) PLUS The May Pitch Pick!!!

Howdy, Friends!

Big doings in our bustling metropolis (population about 200 plus some bears and bobcats and a lot of deer.)  My sister is coming to visit!!!

So now that I’ve updated you on what will probably be the entire year’s worth of news here in Busy Town 🙂 let’s get down to business, starting with the May Pitch Pick!

Behold the contenders:

#1 Gabrielle – Follow In My Footsteps (PB ages 4-8)

When his dad is injured on a winter hike, Zach must find help. Without a cell phone or map, he worries he won’t find the way home in time until his father’s words echo in his head, “Just follow in my footsteps.”

#2 Joanna – Princess Ickybelle (PB ages 4-8)

When messy and mucky Princess Ickybelle needs a bath, the fed-up Queen calls for help. Queen Granny arrives with some terrific tricks up her sleeve but Princess Ickybelle leads Granny on a wild goose chase around the castle, determined to foil Granny’s perfect plans. When the Princess finally succumbs to a scrubbing, she discovers that some Princesses aren’t meant to stay spotless for long.

#3 Erin – Colors Want To Play (PB ages 3-6)

In COLORS WANT TO PLAY, colors (and maybe you) unravel in a fun-filled journey of demanding direction from the hues themselves. One color is missing and needs some coaxing to join the others. Readers learn the ride can be just as much fun as the destination. Don’t forget comfortable shoes!

#4 Suzie – Gracie Gopher IT Specialist (PB ages 4-8)

Gracie Gopher is an Infrastructure Tunnel (IT) Specialist for Ground City. She is helping Ground City set up and build its tunnel infrastructure. When water blocks the drainage tunnel, Gracie goes down to debug the system. The problem is more difficult than anticipated, so Gracie will have to think fast and come up with a solution on the fly!

#5 Cortney – Olive Hills (PB ages 4-8)

Elle’s mind drifts through an olive grove as she tries to keep memories of her grandma alive. She surprisingly finds herself with a familiar, yet forgetful brontosaurus. The two set out to retrace their footprints in hope to relive fading memories. When they reach the giant tree where Elle’s grandma used to sit and reflect, they discover love ones will always be with you no matter where they are.

Please read and evaluate these 5 lovely pitches and vote in the poll below by Sunday June 18 at 5 PM Eastern for the one you think is best and most deserves a read and comments by editor Erin Molta!

As a reward for all that hard work, we shall now have Something Chocolate.  And okay.  I’m just not even going to pretend health food today.  This is cream cheese and sugar and chocolate!  Enjoy! 🙂

Something Chocolate: No Bake Brownie Batter Cheesecake

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Chambrae who says, “My name is Chambrae Griffith. I studied political science in college and am trying my best to use my education to effectively govern the four little dictators currently running my house hold. I have a love for reading and running, all though I don’t recommend doing them at the same time. Treadmills and page turns don’t mix well. I have always wanted to write and since my youngest has started school I figured no time is as good as the present!”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Oscar’s Noggin

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: Oscar has an extraordinary noggin! He can decode any dilemma, unravel any riddle and obliterate the most overwhelming obstacles – except one. Oscar must go to school and school is simply not nogginey enough for a kid with such big ideas. When his teacher tires of Oscar’s disastrous attempts to make school more stimulating and hires a substitute, Oscar’s noggin starts to spin. Has he finally found a way to finagle his freedom?

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Chambrae improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)


Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in July, so you have a little time to polish your pitch before putting it up for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Chambrae is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to spending a week with my sister and her family!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


Oh, and P.S. – if anyone has a question for the July 3 Oh Susanna, please send it in!!!


Perfect Picture Book Friday – Green Green: A Community Gardening Story

Happy Friday, Everyone!

So, over Memorial Day weekend I put my planters full of flowers out on the back porch for summer.  (Please see exhibit A)

Exhibit A


(I refer to them as “flowers” because I grew up in an apartment in New York City where our windowsills were decorated with pigeons and we didn’t have a back porch.  I’ll hazard that some of my “flowers” are petunias.  And some others are possibly geraniums.  But that’s as far out on that limb as I’ll crawl! 🙂 )

Anyway, then we had a violent thunderstorm with fierce wind and giant hail.

I will not depress you with exhibit B – the resulting carnage.  I’ll just say it was sad!  Very sniff VERY sniffsniff sad!

While I am waiting for my poor little flowers to resurrect themselves (which is uphill work for them due to continued rain and not very much healing sunshine), I will share a gorgeous picture book about a garden that does grow 🙂  I think it will inspire us all to go out and spend the weekend digging in dirt 🙂

Green Green

Title: Green Green: A Community Gardening Story

Written By: Marie Lamba & Baldev Lamba

Illustrated By: Sonia Sanchez

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, May 9, 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-5

Themes/Topics: community, environmental preservation, gardening, city, nature

Opening: “Green green,
Fresh and clean.
Brown brown,
Dig the ground.”

Brief Synopsis: First a green meadow is wide and fresh and clean for kids to play in, and brown dirt is just right for digging. But buildings grow up around the green space, gradually crowding it out.  Will the community lose their green?

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 1.55.22 PM

text copyright Marie Lamba & Baldev Lamba 2017, illustration copyright Sonia Sanchez 2017

Links To Resources: wonderful resource material at the back of the book gives a guide to making your world more green, helping bees and butterflies, and making bee and butterfly decorations.

Why I Like This Book: Simply told with gorgeous pictures (so beautiful I couldn’t decide which interior spread to share because I wanted to share them all!), this story is perfect to introduce youngest readers to the idea of community gardening.  It’s also empowering because it’s the kids who band together to save the green space.  I love the concept that even if a child lives in the city, he or she can have a garden and care for our earth.  The illustrations are wonderful and offer something for everyone from plants to animals to construction vehicles 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 1.55.04 PM

text copyright Marie Lamba & Baldev Lamba 2017, illustration copyright Sonia Sanchez 2017

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!!! 🙂  I’m off to the Children’s Writers of the Hudson Valley Conference.  I hope I’ll see some of you there! 🙂


Would You Read It Wednesday – Topsy Turvy Fun And Games!

Good Morning Everyone!

You will never guess what happened!

The person who was scheduled to pitch today, well, uh… she never showed up!!!

I realized yesterday morning that she’d scheduled a date but never sent her pitch.  I emailed her immediately, but though I waited very patiently for about 16 hours I sadly got no reply.

“Whatever shall I do?” quoth I.  “I have no pitch for tomorrow!”

Not wanting to disappoint you, and being full of hare-brained ideas incredibly resourceful I thought, why not play a Would You Read It game?

So I thought one up on the spot! 🙂

First, I will fortify you with Something Chocolate to gear you up mentally!  It would not be fair to drag you into a game without a little sustenance!  (Besides, it wouldn’t be Wednesday morning without chocolate!)

Let’s see… how about some Extreme Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Scrumdiddlyumptious!!!!  Plenty to go around.  Have 5 🙂

Now that you’re raring to go, here’s the game:

I will share three pitches/jacket copy for upcoming picture book releases, all taken from the Amazon descriptions, and you say in the comments whether or not you would read them based on only the description I supply – no title, no author or illustrator, no publishing house, no cover image, NOTHING!  If you happen to recognize them, try to put your knowledge aside and remain objective, evaluating only on the basis of the supplied information.

Anyone who would like to increase the fun may post the pitch/jacket copy for a picture book of their choosing in the same way in the comments and let us respond to that too!

Okay?  Sound good?

Here we go!

#1 – Yes, Maybe, or No?
“Princess Magnolia and Princess Sneezewort have plans . . . mysterious plans, like a princess playdate! They dress-up slam! They karaoke jam! They playhouse romp and snack-time stomp! But then a shout from outside Princess Sneezewort’s castle interrupts their fun. It’s a monster trying to eat someone’s kitty! This is a job for the Princess in Black. Yet when the Princess in Black gets there, she finds only a masked stranger and no monster in sight . . . or is there?”

#2- Yes, Maybe, or No?
“When Kiniro, a young mermaid, comes upon a gorgeous house made of seashells and coral, she is so curious that she goes inside. She’s thrilled to find a just-right breakfast, pretty little chair, and, best of all, a comfy bed that rocks in the current.

But when the Octopus family returns home, they are not happy to find that someone has been eating their food and breaking their things. Baby has the biggest shock when she finds the mermaid asleep in her bed! Luckily, shock turns to happiness when Kiniro gives her a thoughtful gift before escaping from the twenty-four arms coming her way.”

#3- Yes, Maybe, or No?
“Erin loves to lie on the jetty, looking for the weirdest fish in the sea—the weirder, the better! And she knows the best ones must be further out, where her mum won’t let her go . . .

Out there in the deepest sea lies the Black Rock: a huge, dark and spiky mass that is said to destroy any boats that come near it! Can Erin uncover the truth behind this mysterious legend?”

So now!  You be the judge!  Would You Read #1, #2, or #3?  Yes, maybe, or no?

Post your response in the comments in the form of #1 – yes, #2 – no, #3 -maybe, or whatever, and if you care to say why you can put that too! 🙂  We can take a poll at the end (and by “poll” I mean I can go through the comments and count 🙂 ) and see which book gets the most YES votes 🙂

Extra Credit/Bonus (which means extra cookies for you if you get it 🙂 ) I noticed something after I’d chosen these three books.  Can you guess what I noticed?

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!  These are actual blurbs by actual publishers, so I will be VERY interested to know your response to these “pitches” without the aid of title, cover, etc!

Oh, Susanna! – What Picture Books Can Help A Child Cope With Loss Of A Loved One?

Good Morning, Everyone!

So sorry to be late with this post!  Cable is coming to Blueberry Hill but it’s not here yet! and heavy HEAVY rain last night took out my internet (just for a change! 🙂 ).  Since I spent the weekend in New Brunswick at NJSCBWI (SO awesome, and SO great to see everyone I got to see!!!) I did not write this ahead of time and schedule the post.

(Okay.  Who am I kidding?  I’m always writing posts at the last minute!  You know me too well 🙂 )

Anyway, although today’s topic is sad, I think it’s a very important one for parents, teachers, kids, and writers, so I hope even though you might not have need of it right now, you’ll tuck it away as a resource just in case the need should arise.

Today’s question comes from Anonymous who says, “I am in the unfortunate and sad situation of needing to find picture books about loss.  My friend has two young kids – ages 6 and 3 – who lost their father 2 1/2 years ago, and now recently lost a cousin to SIDS.  I would love some recommendations for books to help them understand death and deal with it.”

First, let me take a moment to say how sorry I am for all the loss – to your friend’s kids, to your friend, and to you.  So much hardship, so much to cope with at such a young age… it is heartbreaking.

But one of the things books are good for – not just for kids, but for all of us – is helping us to understand the common life challenges we all share, and helping us to know we’re not alone in the experience.  There is comfort in knowing that others know and understand.

I’m sure there are many people besides our questioner for today – parents, teachers, grandparents, and other good friends seeking to help someone they love – who will find the following list of books useful at some point.  Although these are all amazing books, I recommend that you pre-read before sharing with your child.  Some books may not be quite right for your child’s personality or sensibilities or specific situation.  Browse the list and find the ones best suited.

A side note to writers: well-written books on difficult topics are always in demand, precisely because hard things happen even to the very young and they (and the adults in their lives who search for a way to explain) need help to find their way through the tough times.  The books listed below are excellent and may serve as mentor texts for anyone trying to write picture books on painful topics.

Boats For PapaBagley, Jessixa, Boats For Papa (Roaring Brook Press, June 2015): “”They didn’t have much, but they always had each other.” So begins this spare tale of longing and acceptance. Buckley and his mother (a pair of beavers) spend their days near their ocean-front home, gathering driftwood treasures, playing together, and having picnics in the sand. His favorite pastime is using his discoveries to make miniature ships to send out to sea with a note that reads, “For Papa, Love Buckley.” He is sure the boats will reach his father if they don’t wash back up on shore. He works tirelessly over the course of a year to create new and beautiful boats for his absent parent. One evening when he forgets his customary note, he runs back to grab a piece of paper from Mama’s desk and discovers his ships hidden there.That night when Mama goes to retrieve Buckley’s boat, the note reads, “For Mama, Love Buckley.” Bagley’s tender watercolors and lyrical text give weight and volume to a family’s grief. Her portrayal of Buckley’s hope and his mother’s acts of love are heartbreakingly beautiful and authentic. The ambiguity of Papa’s absence allows this story to transcend specifics and gives it a timeless and universal appeal. VERDICT The only thing better than this title for anyone who has experienced loss is the redemptive nature of time.—Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, Beavercreek, OH” (from School Library Journal)

Where Is GrandpaBarron, T.A., Where Is Grandpa? (Philomel Books, January 2000): “Where is Grandpa? This question haunts a young boy on the day his grandpa dies. Grandpa has been so richly present in so many places–at the tree house, at the waterfall, at the door ready to carve pumpkins. But where is he now? As the boy searches for an answer, he makes a surprising discovery: perhaps Grandpa is closer to home than anyone ever realized. In this deeply moving tale, the poetic words of T. A. Barron and the luminous illustrations of Chris K. Soentpiet remind us all that a family’s sorrow can be shared–and that even in the greatest loss, love can still be found.” (from the Amazon description)

Sun KissesBernardo, Susan Schaefer, Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs (Inner Flower Child Books, November 2012): “Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is a beautiful picture book with a simple but powerful message: love lasts forever. Lyrical writing and delightful illustrations provide perfect bedtime reading for any child. The book is also ideal for supporting children through grief, separation anxiety, divorce, illness or other traumatic situations, by wrapping them in a warm and comforting emotional security blanket and opening a dialogue on the nature of love. Even when loved ones cannot be with us, we can feel their presence through our deep connections to the natural world. Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs has received glowing testimonials from parents, librarians, social workers, teachers, hospice caregivers…and most importantly, kids.” (from the Amazon description)

Tess's TreeBrallier, Jess, Tess’s Tree (Harper Collins, August 2009):
“Tess loved her tree.
She liked to swing on it
and sit in its shade
and catch its leaves in the fall.
When Tess’s tree has to come down, Tess is very sad . . . until she finds a way to gather friends and family and celebrate her tree’s remarkable life.” (from the Amazon description)  Reviewer Jack Keely adds: “This emotionally resonant picture book tells the story of Tess who is “nine years, three months, and two days old” and her love for a one hundred and seventy five year old tree. When the tree has to be cut down, Tess must find a way to deal with the anger and sorrow she feels. Jess Brallier has managed to craft a story about dealing with loss and grief in a way that a child can understand, and he has done it with charm, sensitivity, and a touch of humor. The illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds have a subtle, soft focus charm. With expert lines and a wash of color Mr. Reynolds creates memorable images that perceptively illuminate the text.”

When Dino'sBrown, Laura Krasny, When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide To Understanding Death (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 1998): ” The authors explain in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died.” (from the Amazon description)  An added note from reviewers: although this book is written and intended for picture book aged kids and is nicely done, it does touch on many ways that people CAN die including some that may not be appropriate for your child’s specific situation.

Fall of Freddie LeafBuscaglia, Leo, The Fall Of Freddie The Leaf (Slack Incorporated, June 1982): “This story by Leo Buscaglia is a warm, wonderfully wise and strikingly simple story about a leaf names Freddie. How Freddie and his companion leaves change with the passing seasons, finally falling to the ground with winter’s snow, is an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death.  Both children and adults will be deeply touched by this inspiring book.” (from the jacket)

RabbitynessEmpson, Jo, Rabbityness (Child’s Play International, November 2012): “I am an elementary school counselor and am using the book in my practice.
Sometimes I get requests from parents or teachers for books dealing with very specific grief situations. If I can’t find the perfect fit from my bookshelf I definitely feel frustrated. Rabbityness is a really special story I can use to cover a lot of different grief or tragedy situations. Rabbit disappears in the story – but no one knows why or what happened to him. I like that there’s no answer as to what happened because I can help the child relate their own story to Rabbit.
“One day. Rabbit disappeared. The other rabbits were very sad. They couldn’t find him anywhere. The woods were quiet and gray. All that Rabbit had left was a hole…a DEEP dark hole.”
Wow. The deep dark hole can represent a lot of different feelings for children. The second part of the story shows the other rabbits learning how to cope with their loss. What I see as a healing step for kids is to talk about how to fill the void they might be feeling. What coping skills could they use to fill that deep dark hole…….
Absolutely love this one and see it HELPING me as a counselor and the grieving children I work with throughout the year.” (from an Amazon review by an elementary school counselor)

Fox, Mem, The Goblin And The Empty Chair (Beach Lane Books, September 2009): “In a time long past, in a land far away, a family has suffered an unspeakable loss.
But a lonely goblin has been watching. And he knows what to do to help them heal.
From internationally acclaimed picture book masters Mem Fox and Leo and Diane Dillon, here is a rich and moving original fairy tale about family, friendship, and the power compassion has to unite us all.” (from the Amazon description)

The Next Place
Hanson, Warren, The Next Place (Waldman House Press, August 2002): “”The Next Place” is an inspirational journey of light and hope to a place where earthly hurts are left behind. An uncomplicated journey of awe and wonder to a destination without barriers.” (from the Amazon description)

Death Is Stupid
Higginbotham, Anastasia, Death Is Stupid (The Feminist Press at CUNY, April 2016): “This exploration of death and grieving begins with a boy mourning the loss of his grandma and his bold observation that “When a loved one dies/people can say some/…stupid things”—referring to the platitudes offered to him (e.g., “Just be grateful for the time you had with her.”). Through mixed-media collage, speech bubbles, and simple text, Higginbotham explores a child’s experience of loss: “Dying is not a punishment. But it mostly doesn’t feel fair.” The bold collages, set against a plain brown background, visually reinforce the child’s disoriented swirl of emotion. A few of the images are unclear or ambiguous, but the boy’s grief and responses are kidlike and recognizable. Readers follow along as he contemplates the reactions of his family members, imagines having a conversation with Gramma, and continues to feel her absence in his life. Eventually, he shares cherished memories with his father, and they work together in Gramma’s garden. The author recommends activities that may help (“keep someone and, at the same time, let them go”), such as reading the same books that they enjoyed. She also offers suggestions for dealing with the death of a pet. VERDICT Clearly written to validate and respect a child’s feelings, this book is a useful resource for parenting collections or patrons looking for a relatable exploration of death.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA” (from School Library Journal)

Heart And BottleJeffers, Oliver, The Heart And The Bottle, (Philomel Books, March 2010): “A little girl delights in the boundless discoveries of the world around her with an older gentleman, likely her grandfather. But then the man’s chair is empty, and the girl puts her heart in a bottle to help with the hurt. As she grows older, she loses her sense of wonderment, and it isn’t until she meets another young girl that she finds a way to free her heart again. This book showcases some absolutely captivating artwork. The way in which Jeffers employs pictures in word balloons to convey the limberness of imagination is brilliant: the man points to the sky to talk about constellations, while the girl sees stars as inflamed bumblebees. But what begins promisingly runs into trouble, and it’s not clear who the message is directed toward: children just opening their eyes to the world, or parents who have lost their sense of curiosity? Even if children don’t glean much from the abstractions and subtleties of the narrative, they’re nevertheless in for a treat with the unforgettable visuals of imagination at play. Preschool-Grade 1. –Ian Chipman” (from Booklist)

Invisible StringKarst, Patrice, The Invisible String (Devorss & Co, September 2000): “Specifically written to address children’s fear of being apart from the ones they love, The Invisible String delivers a particularly compelling message in today’s uncertain times that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, or distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else. Parents and children everywhere who are looking for reassurance and reaffirmation of the transcendent power of love, to bind, connect and comfort us through those inevitable times when life challenges us!” (from the Amazon description)

Ida AlwaysLevis, Caron, Ida, Always (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, February 2016): “A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears.
Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always.
Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn’t going to get better. The friends help each other face the difficult news with whispers, sniffles, cuddles, and even laughs. Slowly Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will still be with him—through the sounds of their city, and the memories that live in their favorite spots.
Ida, Always is an exquisitely told story of two best friends—inspired by a real bear friendship—and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost will stay in our hearts, always.” (from the Amazon description)

LifetimesMellonie, Bryan, Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way To Explain Death To Children (Bantam, October 1983): “When the death of a relative, a friend, or a pet happens or is about to happen . . . how can we help a child to understand?
Lifetimes is a moving book for children of all ages, even parents too. It lets us explain life and death in a sensitive, caring, beautiful way. Lifetimes tells us about beginnings. And about endings. And about living in between. With large, wonderful illustrations, it tells about plants. About animals. About people. It tells that dying is as much a part of living as being born. It helps us to remember. It helps us to understand.
Lifetimes . . . a very special, very important book for you and your child. The book that explains—beautifully—that all living things have their own special Lifetimes.” (from the GoodReads description)

The ScarMoundlic, Charlotte, The Scar (Candlewick, November 2011): “When the boy in this story wakes to find that his mother has died, he is overwhelmed with sadness, anger, and fear that he will forget her. He shuts all the windows to keep in his mother’s familiar smell and scratches open the cut on his knee to remember her comforting voice. He doesn’t know how to speak to his dad anymore, and when Grandma visits and throws open the windows, it’s more than the boy can take–until his grandmother shows him another way to feel that his mom’s love is near. With tenderness, touches of humor, and unflinching emotional truth, Charlotte Moundlic captures the loneliness of grief through the eyes of a child, rendered with sympathy and charm in Olivier Tallec’s expressive illustrations.” (from the Amazon description)

Flat RabbitOskarsson, Bardur, The Flat Rabbit (Owlkids, September 2014): “When a dog and a rat come upon a rabbit flattened on the road in their neighborhood, they contemplate her situation, wondering what they should do to help her. They decide it can’t be much fun to lie there; she should be moved. But how? And to where? Finally, the dog comes up with an inspired and unique idea and they work together through the night to make it happen. Once finished, they can’t be positive, but they think they have done their best to help the flat rabbit get somewhere better than the middle of the road where they found her. Sparely told with simple artwork, The Flat Rabbit treats the concept of death with a sense of compassion and gentle humor — and a note of practicality. In the end, the dog’s and the rat’s caring, thoughtful approach results in an unusual yet perfect way to respect their departed friend.” (from the Amazon review) This book received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, but a few other reviewers felt it might be too humorous for children actively grieving, so again, check it out first 🙂

Goodbye BookParr, Todd, The Goodbye Book (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, November 2015): “This picture book shows young children that even when goodbyes bring sadness and unfamiliar emotions, those feelings will ease with the help of time, remembrance, and support. The Goodbye Book addresses the range of emotions someone might feel after a loss, including anger, sadness, lack of joy, and denial, as well as the desire to stop eating or sleeping. Parr explains that even when a person starts to feel better, there could be moments of grief or confusion, but at the end of the day, another person will always be available to provide love and comfort. The colorful illustrations, in an naive, childlike style and outlined in black, feature a goldfish that experiences the emotions discussed throughout the book. Young readers can infer what the goldfish is feeling by looking at the picture, and the imaginative representation gives the book a soothing tone. The Goodbye Book never specifies what the exact scenario is, making it an appropriate choice whether a child is dealing with death or another difficult situation. VERDICT An honest but gentle look at the grief that comes with saying goodbye. An essential purchase for all early childhood collections.—Liz Anderson, D.C. Public Library” (from School Library Journal)

Cry Heart

Ringtved, Glenn, Cry, Heart, But Never Break (Enchanted Lion, February 2016): “Aware their grandmother is gravely ill, four siblings make a pact to keep death from taking her away. But Death does arrive all the same, as it must. He comes gently, naturally. And he comes with enough time to share a story with the children that helps them to realize the value of loss to life and the importance of being able to say goodbye.” (from the Amazon description)


Waterbugs and Dragonflies
Stickney, Doris, Waterbugs And Dragonflies: Explaining Death To Young Children (Pilgrim Press, December 1998): “Waterbugs and Dragonflies is a graceful fable written by Doris Stickney who sought a meaningful way to explain to neighborhood children the death of a five-year-old friend. The small book is beautifully illustrtated by artist Gloria Ortiz Hernandez.” (from the Barnes & Noble description)

The Memory Tree
Teckentrup, Britta, The Memory Tree (Orchard Books, November 2014): “A beautiful and heartfelt picture book to help children celebrate the memories left behind when a loved one dies.
Fox has lived a long and happy life in the forest. One day, he lies down in his favourite clearing, takes a deep breath, and falls asleep for ever.
Before long, Fox’s friends begin to gather in the clearing. One by one, they tell stories of the special moments that they shared with Fox. And, as they share their memories, a tree begins to grow, becoming bigger and stronger, sheltering and protecting all the animals in the forest, just as Fox did when he was alive.
This uplifting, lyrical story about the loss of a loved one is perfect for sharing and will bring comfort to both children and parents. (from the Amazon description)

BadgerVarley, Susan, Badger’s Parting Gifts (HarperCollins, July 1992): “Warm and sensitive illustrations reflect the hopeful mood of this tale about woodland animals learning to accept their friend Badger’s death.” (from Publisher’s Weekly)
“Badger’s friends are overwhelmed with their loss when he dies. By sharing their memories of his gifts, they find the strength to face the future with hope.” (from School Library Journal)

Yeomans, Ellen, Jubilee (Eerdmans Books For Young Readers, January 2010): “This book works beautifully on two levels: it shares the simple joyous experience of a family reunion/picnic and, on a deeper level, if the adult reader chooses, it introduces the child to heaven. The book helps the reader envision a loving, light-filled place that exists beyond life as we know it. Beautiful illustrations, lyrical text. The author should be congratulated for approaching the very difficult idea of “what happens to us after we die” with a very tender hand.” (from reviewer Susan Keeter)

I’m sure this list just begins to scratch the surface.  There are undoubtedly others that have been reviewed for Perfect Picture Book Friday (actually, several of these have been.)  (And Perfect Picture Books also includes books that more specifically address loss of a pet or loss of a beloved item/object.)

If anyone has other titles they highly recommend to add to this list, Anonymous and I would be grateful.

Have a question for Oh, Susanna!?  Please send it to me!!!  Our next installment will be on Monday July 3!

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone (in spite of our heavy topic for today!) 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Lost In The Woods

Happy June, Everybody!

It seems we’ve had rain forever. It’s so bad that the farmers can’t get enough rain-free days in a row to cut the hay, and it’s now well past time for first cutting.  Wednesday evening we had a violent thunderstorm with tornado warnings and hail that turned my porch garden into a cuisinart special.

But yesterday morning, as if to welcome June, we had a gorgeous clear sunny morning – the kind that makes you glad you’re alive to be out in it.

My daughter and I went for a walk.  We saw Mama and Papa Goose out on the pond with their 6-gosling flotilla (I tried to get you a video but they were too far away!)  And upon our return to the driveway we found a tiny fawn – not quite newborn, but pretty close, maybe a couple weeks old.  The fawn and our two dogs came face to face.  They were all the same size, looking at each other, and for a moment no one knew what to do!  Then I called the dogs off (they did not listen!), and the fawn bleated for his mama who was quite nearby and came running, and I panicked lest the dogs hurt the fawn or the mama deer hurt the dogs! and there was a bit of chaos!  But in the end I got the dogs in the house and the fawn and her mama scampered safely off into the green woods.

So after that, there was no doubt about what Perfect Picture Book I would share today!

I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

Lost In The Woods: A Photographic Fantasy

Written By & Photographed By: Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick

Published By: Carl R. Sams II Photography, June, 2004, Reality Based Fiction

Suitable For: ages 5 and up

Themes/Topics: Animals, Patience, Seasons (Spring), Trust

Opening: “The Spring frogs sing-singing with a thousand trilling voices were silenced by the rising sun.  New life came into the woods before the sun touched the tops of the trees.  He slept quietly in the tall grass on the north edge of the meadow where the trees start the forest.”

Brief Synopsis:  The woodland creatures are worried that a newborn fawn might be lost.  “Mama said to wait right here,” the fawn whispers.  “She will come back.”  But the other animals aren’t convinced and offer their advice and help.  Does the doe come back?  What do you think? 🙂

Links To Resources:  The book itself is a resource.  Page after page of gorgeous photographs of woodland creatures will introduce children to animals and birds they may never have seen, especially if they live in the city.  The very last page of the book challenges readers to look back through the pictures and see if they can find a number of hidden animals.  Activity pages, Lesson Plan.  If you’re lucky enough to live in a rural area, go for a “deer drive” in the evening, cruising slowly along back roads, and see how many different animals and birds you can spot 🙂

Why I Like This Book:  I love this story!  It’s simple and sweet.  On the first page where the fawn appears, he is a tangle of fragile limbs.  His spotted fur helps him blend into the forest floor.  By the last page, he has mastered those rascally legs and can be seen bounding through the meadow grass with such joy you can’t help but smile at his airs above the ground.  But the best part is the photography.  It’s breathtaking.  Absolutely stunning!  The fawn’s fur looks like you could reach out and touch it.  You can see his eyelashes!  And there are so many other animals pictured – chipmunk, goslings, a tree frog whose camouflage is amazing!, cardinal, red-winged blackbird, raccoon, and many others.  I know I’m an animal lover (and therefore biased :)) but I think this book is exquisitely beautiful and one that anyone would enjoy!

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!!! 🙂  I hope to see lots of you at the NJSCBWI Conference!!!  And please tune in Monday for the next installment of Oh Susanna!

Also, just a heads up that we will have 2 more weeks of Perfect Picture Books – Friday June 9 and Friday June 16 – and then go on hiatus for the summer!