Perfect Picture Book Friday – Snoozefest

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, everyone!

I have a delightful book to share with you today which is not about a groundhog.  But speaking of groundhogs (did you see how smoothly I slipped that in there? :)) if you missed yesterday’s Special Edition Post (which you easily might have because I almost never post on Thursdays so why would you think to check?) about Phyllis’s Birthday Bonanza (which you definitely will NOT want to miss!), hop on over and check it out HERE!  Join the fun and spread the word! 🙂

Now then.  Today’s book.  Which is not about a groundhog.  But IS about a sloth 🙂

Title: Snoozefest
Written By: Samantha Berger
Illustrated By: Kristyna Litten
Dial, January 2015, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: bedtime, sleep, animals (sloths), language fun (rhyme and inventive vocabulary)

Opening: “In the center of Snoozeville, dwells the wee one, the sleepiest sloth, Snuggleford Cuddlebun.  Now, that sloth can sleep, for a month at a go. The few times she rises, she moves in slo-mo.”

Brief Synopsis:  It’s time for the annual Snoozefest at the Nuzzledome, an arena festival that celebrates sleep.  All the best sleepers attend.  Snuggleford Cuddlebun settles into a hammock with her blanket and pillow, her favorite stuffed animal and her best bedtime book, and a snack of milk and honey, ready to enjoy the show.  But will she?

Links To Resources: the author makes up some wonderful words in this story – what kind of words can you make up that sound just right to describe something you like to do (like sleeping, sledding, riding a bicycle, or any other activity)?; have your own snoozefest – make your room super comfy for sleeping, choose bedtimes stories, music, snacks, stuffed animals, pajamas and anything else that makes bedtime cozy for you.  You can even write up and decorate your own snoozefest program.  Have a lullaby sing-along and your own pajama fashion show!

Why I Like This Book:  How can you not love a book about a snoozefest that takes place at the Nuzzledome?  The text is full of delightful made-up words like “snoozillions” and “wumphiest” (as in “wumphiest, comfiest, coziest things” :))  There are designer pajamas by Diane Von Firstinbed and Louis Futon.  The snack vendors sell milk and honey.  The bands, with names like Chamomile Rage and the Nocturnal Nesters, play lullabies!  And everyone brings their nightlight from home 🙂  Adult readers will enjoy the spoof of music festivals.  The whole over-the-top celebration of bedtime is just flat out fun!  But you’ll have to read it to find out what Snuggleford’s experience of the show is 🙂

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

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you and see what kind of amazingly wonderful entertaining books you chose this week.  It’s supposed to snow… a good weekend to stock up on library books and spend the day reading 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

100 Weeks Of Perfect Picture Books! (Celebrated In The 101st Week!) – I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! PLUS PRIZES!

WOO-HOO!!!

Can you believe it?

In spite of the fact that Perfect Picture Books goes on vacation every summer, we are now celebrating the 100th week of Perfect Picture Book Fridays!  (Just in time to go on summer vacation again :))

100 weeks of fabulous picture books with resources of all kinds to make them easy for parents and teachers to use at home and in the classroom!

100 weeks of highly recommended books listed alphabetically and by theme to make it easy for gift-givers to find the perfect picture book for that special little someone!

100 weeks of perfect examples that we, as writers, can study and learn from!

To date, we have picture books listed in 226 themes/categories.

And we have – get this! – 2055 Perfect Picture Books on our list!!!

(Or, we would if I ever got caught up updating!  Which is on my to-do list for this summer along with about a million other things :))

For those of you who haven’t noticed yet (because I haven’t announced it because I’m not finished with it :)), Perfect Picture Books is now on Pinterest.  I’m hoping it will make it easier to search.  But it’s a work in progress and far from complete!  If you want to check it out, here’s the link: http://www.pinterest.com/susannaleonard/

So really, after all the hard work you guys have put in, all the wonderful picture books and resources that are now available to teachers, parents, writers, and gift-givers everywhere, I think we should celebrate!!!

First, we need cake (obviously!) 🙂

Next, we need streamers. . .

. . . confetti. . .

. . . and balloons!

And last but not least, we need prizes for all the amazing bloggers who have contributed so devotedly week after week to this effort!  So let’s do today’s Perfect Picture Book, and hopefully by then I will have thought up a plan.  I’ll meet you down below after you’re done reading about this delightful book!

Title: I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!
Written By: Jill Esbaum
Illustrated By: Gus Gordon
Dial (Penguin Group), May 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: honesty, courage, animals

Opening: “Nadine was a truly remarkable cow.
There was nothing she feared – so she claimed, anyhow.
“Not lightning?” asked Starla.  “Loud noises? A rat?”
“I’m not scared,” Nadine boasted, “of any of that.”
“The woods?” asked Annette.  “‘Cause that place scares me stiff.”
“Not me,” bragged Nadine with a proud little sniff.
“As a matter of fact, just to prove it, let’s go!”
(She was certain her meek-hearted friends would say no.)

Brief Synopsis: Nadine boasts that she isn’t afraid of anything!  When her friends call her bluff, she learns that sometimes acting brave can make you feel brave… and sometimes it can’t!  And when she’s hailed as a hero for saving her friends, she has the choice to ‘fess up and admit she was just as scared as they were or let her friends believe what they want.  Which do you think Nadine chooses? 🙂

Links To Resources: this book will give parents and teachers a great opportunity to have discussions about what courage is, and what makes a person brave.  Is it not being afraid? Or is it going forward in spite of your fear?  It will also give an opportunity to talk about honesty.  Is is okay to lie if it ends up being the truth?  Is it okay to let people believe something good about you even if it’s not exactly deserved?  Talk with kids about things they’re afraid of.  What do they think could make them feel braver?  Ask kids if they’ve ever lied about something and gotten caught?  How did they feel?  Classroom Activities: Honesty, Classroom Activities: Courage.

Why I Like This Book:  Nadine is so full of herself, so spunky and fun, and so believable because haven’t we all met kids (or adults :)) who can bluster their way through just about anything?!  Kids will relate to this confident bovine who pretends not to be scared of the Deep. Dark. Woods. only to discover that she really isn’t afraid… until the sun goes down!  Things unravel a bit (I don’t want to spoil it :)) but she ends up saving her friends (completely by accident) and is hailed as a brave hero… an illusion she chooses not to discourage 🙂  The art is lively and entertaining, and the story is fun and full of humor!

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

So.  About those prizes!  Since we’re celebrating Perfect Picture Books, I’d like to give away a few 🙂  I wish I could give everyone a prize, but I have yet to become one of those authors who makes millions of dollars 🙂  Instead, I’ve chosen a few books that have been widely well-received that I hope you guys might want to win:

Journey by Aaron Becker (Candlewick)
Mr. Wuffles by David Weisner (Clarion)
Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt, illus. by Matthew Forsythe (Simon & Schuster)
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli (Disney/Hyperion)
On A Beam Of Light: A Story Of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne, illus. by Vladimir Radunsky (Chronicle)
Mitchell Goes Bowling by Hallie Durand, illus. by Tony Fucile (Candlewick)
The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illus. by Jon Klassen (Little, Brown)
This Is The Rope: A Story Of The Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson, illus. by James Ransome (Nancy Paulsen Books)
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Christian Robinson (Atheneum)

+1 – If you’d like to win one of these fabulous books, please leave a comment below.
+1 – If you follow the Perfect Picture Books Pinterest Board, you’ll get an additional chance to win (if you already follow, please remind me, if you don’t already follow, there’s no time like the present :))  http://www.pinterest.com/susannaleonard/
+5 – If you’ve posted 50 or more Perfect Picture Books on your blog over the course of the past 100 weeks, tell me that and I’ll give you 5 additional chances to win!  (Scout’s Honor – I don’t have time to count! – but I think I know who qualifies :))

(And if there’s a book your particularly hope to win or one that you already own, feel free to let me know.)

Please leave your comments/follow the Pinterest Board/let me know if you’ve posted 50 or more PPBs etc. by Sunday June 15 at 5 PM EDT.  Names will be entered the appropriate number of times into random.org and 9 winners will be randomly chosen and matched with the books.

My deepest thanks to all the bloggers who have supported this effort so whole-heartedly, and to all the readers who come by to share our love of picture books every week!  Perfect Picture Books would not exist without you!

And maybe we’ll have another celebration/giveaway in September when we start up again because I’d really like to spread the word about PPBF but now is a dumb time since we’re about to go on Summer Vacation! 🙂

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you one last time before summer!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone, and I look forward to hearing from you all in the comments!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Extraordinary Jane

Woo-hoo!  It’s Friday!

Doesn’t Friday just automatically make you happy?

I think Fridays are just a little bit magic and have an advantage over the other days of the week 🙂

My plan for this weekend includes baking birthday cake for my step-daughter and babysitting for my granddaughters so she and her husband can have a little much-deserved-no-kids-couple-time.  Lucky me – I totally win out!  I see acorn and stick collecting, painting, play-doh, sidewalk chalk, tea parties, hide-and-seek, and being a pony in my weekend 🙂

And I’m thinking I will share this book – my PPBF pick for this week – because it is so cute and sweet!

Title: Extraordinary Jane
Written & Illustrated By: Hannah E. Harrison
Dial, February 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: being yourself

Opening: “Jane was ordinary in a world that was extraordinary.”

Brief Synopsis: Jane is a little dog who lives at the circus.  She’s not graceful like her mother, mighty like her father, daring like her brothers, or fearless like her sisters.  She’s just Jane.  But you don’t have to be graceful or mighty or daring or fearless to be special.

Links To Resources: together with your child or class, make a list of things you think everyone would agree are extraordinary, like being brave or strong.  Do you have any of those qualities? Does your child or the members of your class?  Talk about what extraordinary really means.  Make a new list of things that could be considered extraordinary, like helping an elderly neighbor take out the recycling, or being kind to the new kid in class.  Who has these qualities?  Talk about what makes you like people – probably things like they’re nice, or they make you laugh.  Can those things be considered special?  What can you do today to make the world a better place just by being you?  Would pair nicely with Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson.

Why I Like This Book: This is one of those delightfully simple and sweet books that I just love!  Let’s face it – lots of us feel ordinary.  So many kids can relate to the idea of worrying that they might not measure up in today’s world of high expectations.  This sweet story reminds us – kids, parents, and teachers alike – that we are all extraordinary in our own way, and that we are all special to somebody.  The art is bright and colorful.  Some of the spreads are humorous (in particular the balancing ball incident  and the page after it :)) and the last one is guaranteed to make you say “Aww!” 🙂

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

So what are you all planning for this weekend (besides a trip to the library to read all the great books that are sure to show up on this week’s PPBF list)?

PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific links on the list below so we can all come visit and make our library lists 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – I Hatched!

ACK!  Posting glitch!  Sorry I’m late, everyone!

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

My book choice for today has nothing to do with Valentines, but here is some Valentine love for you 🙂

Suitably picture book-y, don’t you think? 🙂

But, I kid you not when I tell you I LOVE this book!  Please go out and read it as soon as you can – it’s SO cute 🙂

Title: I Hatched!
Written By: Jill Esbaum
Illustrated By: Jen Corace
Dial Books For Young Readers, January 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-4 (according to publisher) – I think kids a little older would still like it.

Themes/Topics: being yourself, wonder, learning new things

Opening: “A patch of light!
One final peck.
I give a shove and s-t-r-e-t-c-h my neck.
Then – CRACK!

Brief Synopsis: A baby killdeer chick comes out of his egg and sees himself and the world around him for the first time.  Goofy and sweet and filled with awe, his energy and enthusiasm are delightful to behold.

Links To Resources: HERE are lots of activities related to hatching chicks without having to actually hatch them at home or in the classroom! HERE are a whole bunch of chick crafts (not killdeers but still cute :)) Talk about what baby chicks can do when they’re born?  How does that compare with baby cats and dogs?  How about with baby horses?  And how about with baby humans?

Why I Like This Book: So full of energy and delight I think it’s impossible not to like this book!  The newly hatched chick’s boundless joy at seeing the brand new world around him is so contagious.  As he learns about himself, he’s so pleased with everything: how fast he can run! how handsome his stripe is!  And I don’t think there’s a child who won’t chuckle over the page where he says, “I stop because… look out below!/Something’s falling from my… oh./Here’s a shocker.  Please don’t stare,/but take a peek… I’m ORANGE down there!” 🙂  Everyone should have as much confidence and self-esteem as this little guy.  And the end of the story has a lovely surprise for him 🙂

I hope you like it as much as I do 🙂

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

PPBF Bloggers, please leave your post-specific links in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a GREAT weekend, everyone! 🙂