Perfect Picture Book Friday – Goldy Luck And The Three Pandas

Happy New Year again everyone, because today is Chinese New Year and the first day of The Year Of The Horse!  The Year Of The Horse is said to bring health, prosperity and good luck and I wish that for all of you!

In celebration of Chinese New Year, I have the perfect picture book, hot off the presses from Natasha Yim.  She will be doing an interview here soon, which may supply even more resources for this book, so keep an eye out for that.  Meanwhile, here’s the book (which is also perfect in view of Multicultural Children’s Book Day which was Monday :)):

Title: Goldy Luck And The Three Pandas
Written By: Natasha Yim
Illustrated By: Grce Zong
Charlesbridge, January 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: retelling of classic tale, holidays (Chinese New Year), taking responsibility

Opening: “When Goldy Luck was born her mother said, “Year of the Golden Dragon – very lucky year.  This child will have good luck.”
“She has a face as round as a gold coin,” said her father.  “This child will bring great wealth.”
But Goldy had neither great wealth or good luck.  In fact, she could never seem to keep money in her piggy bank, and she had a habit of breaking things.”

Brief Synopsis: Goldy Luck is sent to deliver turnip cakes to the Chan family for Chinese New Year in spite of the fact that she’s sleepy and hasn’t had breakfast yet.  When she arrives, the Chans are not home, so she samples their congee, tries out their chairs, and naps in Little Chan’s bed, leaving chaos in her wake.

Links To Resources: the back of the book includes an author’s note about traditions of Chinese New Year, a diagram and explanation of the Chinese zodiac, and a recipe for turnip cakes.

Why I Like This Book:  I love retellings of classic tales, and this is a fun one.  It takes Goldilocks and the Three Bears to China to celebrate Chinese New Year 🙂  Although the story follows the basic format of the original, it departs after the Chans (panda bears in this version :)) come home.  Goldy initially runs away (as she does in the original story) but her conscience gets the better of her and she decides to take responsibility for her actions and returns to the Chans’s home to help tidy up.  The ending makes for a big improvement over the original 🙂  And I love that so much back matter is included, making it so easy to expand on the use of the book.  The art is bright and engaging, ending with a sweet picture of Goldy and Little Chan sharing turnip cake, the rug underneath them a depiction of the Chinese zodiac 🙂

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

Before we all take our leave for the weekend, let me take a moment to remind you of the ongoing high jinx and shenanigans around here: Phyllis’s Fun Fashion Show!  There are already a number of FANTASTIC Phyllis’s up: Steampunk Phyllis, Divergent Phyllis, Opera Phyllis, Done With Glum Phyllis, Olympic Phyllis, Punxsutawney Elvis, Glow-In-The-Dark Phyllis, Mardi Gras Phyllis, and Rock Star Phyllis ready to sing with Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl!  Don’t miss all the great entries (link list HERE)  And there’s still time to enter YOUR Fashion Phyllis!  (Contest guidelines also HERE).

Sunday (GROUNDHOG DAY!) we will have a special post with a line up of all the Fashion Show Phyllises so you can see them all and vote for your favorite… and also find out what Phyllis’s prediction will be: 6 more weeks of winter or early spring?

PPBF bloggers, please be sure to leave your post-specific links in the list below so we can all come see what you picked this week!

Looking forward to seeing everyone Sunday!!!  Happy Weekend, y’all! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Little Red Writing

Well, would you look at that?  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday again!

Wowee! did last week disappear fast!

I have a tons-of-fun, 3 day old book to share with you today.  I hope you like it!

Title: Little Red Writing
Written By: Joan Holub
Illustrated By: Melissa Sweet
Chronicle Books, September 2013, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: Fairy Tale retelling, writing, bravery

Opening: “Once upon a time in pencil school, a teacher named Ms. 2 told her class, “Today we’re going to write a story!”
“Yippee!” said the birthday pencil.
“Slammin’,” siad the basketball pencil.
“Sharp!” said Little Red.”

Brief Synopsis: Ms. 2 sets her pupils on the story path and let’s them loose to write their very own stories.  The other pencils stick to what they know about, but Little Red wants to write “a story about bravery because red is the color of courage.”  With a basket of 15 red words from Ms. 2 to use in case she runs into trouble, Little Red sets out to find adventure.

Links To Resources: The obvious resource here is the book itself accompanied by giving kids the opportunity to write their own story!  If they need a little help getting started, supply some story starters.  They can base their story on a well-known fairy tale – like Little Red Riding Hood 🙂  You can give them a “basket” with 3-5 words that they must include in their story.  You can give them an opening line and let them continue, for example, “Once upon a time there was a lonely princess whose best friend was a bear…” or “The night I threw pizza on the roof Mom got really mad…”  For younger kids, you could make up the story together.  There is a classroom guide aligned to common core HERE but be forewarned it took awhile to load.  Hang in there, though.  It shows up eventually 🙂

Why I Like This Book:  I love fractured fairy tales.  I love clever.  And I love books that show kids the fun in writing and teach them a little something about how to do it in the process.  In this story, Ms. 2 (the teacher) writes “The Story Path” on the blackboard: “1. Idea, characters, setting  2. Trouble  3. Even bigger trouble  4. Fix the trouble.”  She gives Little Red a basket of emergency nouns.  As Little Red travels her story path she discovers that action verbs are better than boring ones, adjectives may overwhelm your story and need to be cut down, conjunctions can get you in trouble with run on sentences, adverbs can be helpful (“We deliver speedily!”), that the right word in the right place can make all the difference, and that it takes courage to follow your story through to the end… but it’s worth it when you share it with a rapt audience 🙂  Melissa Sweet’s art (which I love – if you haven’t seen Balloons Over Broadway check it out immediately! :)) is the perfect accompaniment for this story as Little Red wends her way through the forest of adjectives and has to face down the Wolf 3000!  (Can you guess what that is??? :))  I also love the little extra touches, like the fact that they attend the Pencilvania School, and the cover page admonition to “Write often and carry a big notebook” 🙂

This book would pair well with Aunt Isabel Tells A Good One.

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

Before we all head off to read all the other Perfect Picture Books, I’d just like to let you know that on Monday we’ll be having a special guest!  She’s pretty entertaining, so you won’t want to miss her debut appearance!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  And PPBF bloggers, please be sure to leave your post-specific links in the list below so we can all come visit!