Perfect Picture Book Friday – Happy Groundhog Day!


It’s Groundhog Day!

And you know what that means!!! 🙂

Punxsutawney Phyllis herself will be up and at ’em as soon as it’s light to make her prediction about whether we’ll have 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring!  (Fingers, toes, eyes, paws, etc. crossed for the latter! 🙂 )

As it happens, however, Phyllis and I are off to an all-day school visit the second she’s made her prediction, so you’ll have to wait to find out what she says!  And we are not here to participate actively in PPBF…

…so at the risk of tooting our own horn, Phyllis and I would like to direct you to Beth Stilborn’s Perfect Picture Book blog post on Punxsutawney Phyllis for today’s Perfect Picture Book.


We hope you will read Beth’s post and then enjoy our book with all your friends and relations, human and groundhog!

Also, Phyllis being Phyllis, she would love fan mail in the comments, so feel free to write to her 🙂

I’m skipping most of the PPBF categories because they’re on Beth’s post, just making sure everyone sees the accompanying resources!

Links To Resources: coloring pages and activities (scroll down to Punxsutawney Phyllis to make your selection); classroom guides (scroll down to Punxsutawney Phyllis to make your selection); Groundhog Day Cupcakes

Why I Like This Book: I think I’m probably too biased to answer that question 🙂  See what Beth has to say 🙂

I hope you enjoy it as much as Phyllis and I do 🙂

Before we go, Groundhog Day Cupcakes, anyone???!!!

Groundhog Day Cupcakes

Recipe HERE at Bakerella

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!

Happy Groundhog Day, enjoy the cupcakes, and have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

Punxsutawney Phyllis’s 10th Anniversary Birthday Bonanza!!!


It’s Groundhog Day!

And you know what that means, right?

First of all, it means we have an announcement to make!

And that is that Punxsutawney Phyllis, Sage of Sages, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinaire did set forth from her burrow on Blueberry Hill this Monday February 2, 2015 at 7:25 AM and declare, “Six more weeks of winter!”

Obviously with the howling winds and heavy, blowing snow there was no possibility of seeing her shadow, but Phyllis’s weather sense (possibly motivated by her desire to get right back in the burrow!) saw no signs of an early spring.  We are disappointed because we are tired of winter, but we are eating strawberries to make us think of warm summer days 🙂

Second, that means it’s my little Phyllis’s 10th Anniversary Birthday Bonanza!!!

illustration copyright Jeff Ebbeler 2005

“We’re having a party!  We’re having a party!” [That’s Phyllis.  She’s a little excited.]  “We need CAKE!!!” [She’s a girl after my own heart :)]

I said, “How about cupcakes?”

Phyllis said, “Something BIGGER!”

So I said, “How about this?”

Phyllis said, “But there’s no ICING!”

So we settled on this:

and in case you are wondering, those little brown things are
groundhog graham crackers… which makes this a Groundhog Day Cake 🙂

“Now we need festive balloons!” said Phyllis.

“Here!” said I.

 “You’re kidding, of course,” said Phyllis.

“What?  It’s blue!  It’s pretty!”

“It’s only ONE!” said Phyllis.  “ONE is not festive!”

“Fine,” I said, ever accommodating.

“I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that,” said Phyllis.  “Otherwise I might regurgitate my recently ingested natal day pancakes.  What do the words GROUNDHOG and BIRTHDAY mean to you?”

“You’re being just a tad demanding, Phyllis,” I said patiently.  “But I’ll humor you.  Will these do?”

“At last!” said Phyllis.  “And now, for the most important part…  my POEM!”

“Uh, yeah, about that… I’m not quite done yet.”


“I want it to be perfect,” I explained.  “After all, it’s for you.  It can’t be just any old thrown together thing!”

“That’s true,” agreed Phyllis.

“But I’ve got to finish it quick.  Everyone’s going to be here soon.”

“Also true,” said Phyllis.

“So it would be helpful,” I said pointedly, “if you would be quiet and let me concentrate.”

“Okay,” whispered Phyllis.

I tapped my pen against the table top.


I wrote across the top of the paper.

“Good start!” said Phyllis.

“Thank you.”

I tapped some more.

There once was a groundhog named Phyllis

“Stop,” said Phyllis.

“What do you mean, stop?”

“Nothing rhymes with Phyllis.  Believe me.  I know.  That’s a nonstarter.”

“How about There once was a groundhog named Phyllis/Who made so much noise that her poem will never get written?

“That doesn’t rhyme,” sniffed Phyllis.  But she stopped talking.

tap tap tap tap tap

In the hollow of old Punxsutawney
Lived Phyllis, whose fur was so . . .

“STOP!” said Phyllis.

“What now?”

“What is it with you and these impossible words?  NOTHING rhymes with Punxsutawney!  You’re supposed to be writing me a poem!  Poems are supposed to RHYME!”

“For your information, Miss Smarty Pants, I was going to say ‘whose fur was so tawny‘, but forget it.”

“Yeah, well, that’s pretty much cheating.  Punxsutawney and tawny – it’s practically rhyming the same word with itself.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be outside looking for your shadow or something?”

“It’s too early,” said Phyllis comfortably, helping herself to a strawberry.

I sighed.

tap tap tap tap tap tap tap

Oh, Phyllis, you forecasting marmot

“Er.  Ahem.  I don’t mean to interrupt, but seriously, marmot?  Where can you possibly go with that?”

“Harm it?!” I suggested.

“No…” said Phyllis, oblivious.  “I don’t think so.  And I don’t think you’re quite getting the sense of an ode.  You’re supposed to be praising me.  You have to set the mood.”

“I’ll set a mood all right.”

Phyllis ignored me and gazed out the window.  “Maybe something like:

Phyllis, your fur is so fine
Your eyes sparkle like finest wine…”

Hacksputtercough! I’m sorry.  I just had to gag a little there.”

“It’s better than yours!”

“How do you know?  You won’t let me get past the first line!”

“Here’s what we’ll do,” said Phyllis.  “I’LL write a poem and YOU write a poem and then we’ll see whose is better.”

“You’re going to write an ode to yourself?”

“Who better?  I know me and love me well!”



tap tap tap tap tap tap tap

“Stop tapping your pen!”

“Stop talking!”


*     *     *     *     *     denotes passage of time     *     *     *     *     *

“I’ve got one,” said Phyllis.  She cleared her throat and read,

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I can write poems
Way better than you!

“Well in that case,” I shot back,

Two poems diverged in a snowy wood
And I,
I chose the better one…
Which was not yours!

“Hmm…” Phyllis said primly.  “I don’t think we’re there yet.  Ready, set, write another one!”

*     *     *     *     *     denotes passage of time     *     *     *     *     *

“How about this?” said Phyllis.
so much depends
a brown groundhog
seeking shadows
beside a green
pine tree
“Hey, that’s not bad!” I said.
“Let’s hear yours,” said Phyllis.
Phyllis is the thing without feathers (I began)
“What kind of thing is that to say?” demanded Phyllis.  “I’m a groundhog!  Of COURSE I don’t have FEATHERS!”
“You’re interrupting!” I grumped.  “Are you going to let me read it or not?”
“Fine.  Read. But I don’t think there’s much hope for this one.”  She snickered.
I glared, and started again:
Phyllis is the thing without feathers
That perches in the burrow
And searches the air with her nose
for signs of spring.
Phyllis patted my hand.  “It’s okay that you’re not very good at this.  You’re trying.  That’s what’s important.”  She stuffed a strawberry in my mouth.  “Let’s keep practicing.  Maybe you’ll get better.”
*     *     *     *     *     denotes passage of time     *     *     *     *     *

“Done!” I said.

“I was done first three times in a row,” said Phyllis.  “That means you have to read first.”

Really, it is hard to follow groundhog logic.  Actually, groundhog logic is probably an oxymoron.

I sighed.  “Okay.  But let me read the whole thing.  Don’t interrupt.”

“I would never do that,” said Phyllis sweetly.  She sat up on her haunches and prepared to listen attentively.

by Susanna

Beauty, wit, charm, grace
Fuzzy little marmot face
Unsurpassed intelligence
Never-equaled weather sense
Even though you’re not a boy
You’re Punxsutawney’s pride and joy
My furry friend, you know it’s true
There’s no one else on earth like you!

Phyllis jumped in my lap and gave me a hug.  “See?  I KNEW you could do it!  Now I’ll read mine.”

by Phyllis

Lavender’s blue dilly dilly lavender’s green
It’s really true dilly dilly I should be queen
Lavender’s green dilly dilly lavender’s blue
I’m a Punxsutawney dream-come-true.

“Ye-ah…,” I said.  “You should have quit while you were ahead.”

“Yeah, probably,” said Phyllis.  “But never mind.  Happy birthday to me!”

Happy Birthday, dear Phyllis,
Happy Birthday to you!!!

And now, Phyllis and I are looking forward with GREAT anticipation to reading YOUR poems for Phyllis, and hopefully seeing some videos too (no pressure, Erik) since we totally failed on that score!

If you wrote a poem for Phyllis, and/or have photographs, drawings, videos, or other fun feature accompaniments, please add your post-specific blog link to the list below, or post your poem etc in the comments, or Email it to me and I’ll post it for you so that we can all enjoy everyone’s creativity!

Maybe Phyllis and I will pick some top finishers, or maybe we’ll have a vote later in the week, but either way, some people will win a signed copy of PUNXSUTAWNEY PHYLLIS (if there’s anyone left on earth who doesn’t already have one or who wants another for someone), a signed copy of Pat Miller’s wonderful SUBSTITUTE GROUNDHOG along with audio CD!, and there will be some other non-groundhog-day-related picture books up for grabs too.

Happy Groundhog Day to everyone!  May spring come early in your hearts, even if the weather outside fails to comply! 🙂

Have a marvelous Monday! 🙂

And please don’t miss Julie’s amazing and clever poem in the comments! HERE
And Karen’s delightful poem HERE
And Sarah’s wonderful ode HERE
And Jilanne’s terrific limerick HERE

Happy Groundhog Day! Early Spring Or 6 More Weeks? AND Phyllis’s Fun Fashion Show!

It’s here!  It’s here!  It’s finally here!


Here on Blueberry Hill this is cause for great excitement.  It’s the day of days!  The moment Phyllis waits for ALL YEAR!

As you may know, this winter on Blueberry Hill has been a crazy one with the weather either unusually balmy for January (you remember those 2 days when it rained and flooded the basement…) or unusually arctic with day after sub-zero day (the vast majority of this frigid January!)

As a result, Some People have spent most of the winter holed up drinking hot chocolate with not-so-mini-marshmallows attempting not to become a groundhog ice cube!

Now, at long last, it’s time to see what everybody’s favorite groundhog has to say: early spring, or 6 more weeks of winter?

And so, Punxsutawney Phyllis, Sage of Sages, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinaire did set forth from her burrow on Blueberry Hill this Sunday February 2, 2014  at 7:25 AM under sunny skies with a calm wind, 82% humidity and 28 degrees, and declare: “There’s my shadow!  6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER!

Though I am disappointed to hear that winter plans to hang around, I certainly enjoyed watching the show.  Phyllis does everything with flair 🙂  Here she is making her prediction in my Phyllis’s Fun Fashion Show sample (which I totally cheated on by getting my daughter to execute my idea in photoshop because I – shockingly – have not learned how to use it since Monday!)

All Weather Phyllis – idea by me, execution by Katie 🙂

And now, in celebration of Groundhog Day, I want to welcome you to an exclusive showing of top fashion by outstanding designers, some of them very new to the world of fashion – the very hautest in haute couture!

Prepare yourselves…

(and I mean really)

… because here comes Phyllis on the runway!

Please enjoy these fabulous, show-stopping designs, and then vote for your favorite at the end!

#1 Steampunk Phyllis by Stacy

#2 Olympic Phyllis by Katie

#3 Ain’t Nothin’ But A Groundhog by Julie

#4 Spring Phyllis by Gracie

#5 Done With Glum Phyllis by Linda

#6 Periscope Phyllis by Sue H

#7 Queen Phyllis of the Krewe of Marmotte by Keila

#8 Mariachi Phyllis by Arturo

#9 Skiing Phyllis by Sue H

#10 Birthday Suit Phyllis by Vivian

#11 Sunday Best Phyllis by Heather G

#12 Opera Star Phyllis by Beth

#13 Glow-In-The-Dark Phyllis by Catherine

#14 Divergent Phyllis by Stacy

#15 Rock Star Phyllis by Jenny

#16 Paradise Phyllis by Angie

#17 Phyllis’s Allongé by Nata

#18 Maori Phyllis by Diane

#19 Ballerina Phyllis by Anna

#20 Sleepy Phyllis by Josie

#21 Princess Phyllis Organa by Erik

#22 Gala Phyllis by Meg

#23 Square Dance Phyllis by Penny

#24 Chef Phyllis by Neighbor Girl

#25 Dragon Tail Phyllis by Sue M

#26 Fashion Phyllis Extravaganza by the Maynard Kids

Wow!  That is a lot of fashion designing talent!  You guys are amazing!  Please vote for your favorite in the poll below by Tuesday February 4 at 5PM EST!  Prizes will be awarded Wednesday during Would You Read It!

Happy Groundhog Day Everyone!  And may spring be in your hearts 🙂

Time For Some Fun!!!

So, here we are.

It’s still January.

It’s dark.

It’s really, really, really COLD.

And Spring seems like an impossible dream.

We could wallow in the doldrums…

…but I say, LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!!! 🙂

(Yep.  You know what that means.  Time for another Hare Brained Scheme! :))

As some of you may realize, GROUNDHOG DAY is nearly upon us.  (And in case you DON’T realize, someone at my house who gets VERY excited about it is here to remind you!)

This whole thing is her idea.  She was worried you might not even REMEMBER Groundhog Day (quel horreur!), what with all the hiding out indoors under piles of blankets due to that pesky polar vortex, and that would be UNTHINKABLE!

Therefore, in celebration…


..we are going to have Phyllis’s Fun Fashion Show!!!

It will be easy and fun and everyone can join in, and there will be prizes!!!

Here’s what to do:

Think up something you think Phyllis would look dazzling in.  An evening gown?  A loin cloth?  An Eskimo parka and mukluks?  A polka-dot bikini?  A sari?  A sundress?  A kimono?  A burlap sack?  Jeans and a t-shirt?  A pineapple?  A Broncos sweatshirt?  Or a Seahawks sweatshirt?  Whatever you like!  Let your inner fashion goddess/god run wild! 🙂

Then dress her up!

And feel free to accessorize!  Hats, handbags, scarves, jewelry, shoes/boots, spurs, parrots, hair ribbons, walking stick, gloves, pony, canoe…maybe a football in honor of the fact that this year Groundhog Day and Super Bowl Sunday are one and the same! 🙂

High-Tech Option:  You can do it by photoshop or MS Paint if you’re handy like that.  (Feel free to help yourself to the Phyllis heads or Phyllis figure below so at least that part is done for you, or use the Phyllis action figure HERE.)

Mid-Tech Option:  You can use Face In or similar

Low-Tech Option:  You can print out one of the Phyllis heads or the whole Phyllis figure supplied below and draw, paint, sew, or make paper clothes to stick on.  Or cut something out of a magazine.  Or make her an outfit out of feathers 🙂  Or raisins 🙂  Or whatever 🙂 (Or again, use the Phyllis action figure HERE.)

(And if the ones I post below don’t work properly, just email me and I’ll send you the files!)

Then post a photo (or your photo shop version) of your dressed up Phyllis on your blog along with your prediction: 6 more weeks of winter, or early spring???  (Or email it to me and I’ll post it here if you don’t have a blog but would like to join the fun.)

The outfit does not have to match your prediction.  After all, if Phyllis decides there will be 6 more weeks of winter, she might hightail it for sunny Cancun in a polka-dot bikini 🙂

(If you would like to also help Phyllis in her quest to stay in print, she would be most appreciative of a link to her page at your local indie, Amazon, B&N, or wherever you feel like.)

Anyhoo, post your Phyllis Fashionista on your blog (or email it to me for posting here) anytime between now and Saturday February 1 at 5 PM EST and add your post-specific link to the link list below so we can all come see how gorgeous she looks!  Feel free to post more than one if you’re having fun 🙂

On Sunday February 2 – GROUNDHOG DAY! – I will post all the photos here in a special post – the complete fashion show! – and we’ll let everyone vote for winners 🙂

Doesn’t that sound like fun???  I totally can’t wait to see what we all come up with!!! 🙂  I think we’re going to be taking the cat walk to hitherto unprecedented levels.  Look out, Gisele, Tyra, Heidi!  You’ve got nothing on Phyllis!  Short, stout, furry, and dressed to the nines, you’re about to see how a groundhog struts her stuff 🙂

Here are the heads and figure for your convenience: (with many thanks to my daughter who did this on photoshop since I am clueless!)

you can color this one in if you like…

or there’s this one that’s already colored…

you can cover what she’s wearing here with whatever you choose for her 🙂

And prizes.  Hmm… prizes…

If we get 12 or fewer entries, 1 prize shall be awarded and it shall be the winner’s choice of a signed hard cover copy of Punxsutawney Phyllis (if by some chance you don’t already have one :)) or an unsigned (but still free!) hard cover copy of Gretchen Groundhog It’s Your Day, or your choice of two of the following because they’re all only available in paperback: Go To Sleep, Groundhog by Judy Cox, Substitute Groundhog by Pat Miller or Mr. Groundhog Wants The Day Off by Pat Vojta or Ten Grouchy Groundhogs by Kathryn Heling, any of which shall be purchased from Merritt Bookstore.  If you should happen to want something besides Groundhog Day picture books (which Phyllis is unable to fathom, but no accounting for taste :)) you may alternatively select any book of your choice up to a price of $17.95 to be shipped to you from Merritt.

If we get more than 12 entries, we will award 1st – 3rd and all winners can pick from the choices listed above.

Golly!  I’m excited!

Phyllis is jumping up and down!

We are having so much fun we’ve forgotten the dark and the cold and the still faraway whisper of spring!

So come join us!!!

Have a marvelous (and warm!) Monday everyone! 🙂

And whenever you have a Phyllis Fashionista, add your post-specific link to the list below!

And LOOK!  Here’s our first one from Linda who says EARLY SPRING!!!

by Linda Boyden

And here is our next one!

Olympic Phyllis by Katie Hill

And another!!

Spring Phyllis by Grace age 8!

And two from Sue!

Phyllis makes a prediction (after looking at the world’s upside) by Sue Heavenrich

Phyllis modeling her 6 more weeks of Ski Season togs by Sue Heavenrich
Sunday Best Phyllis by Heather Greene

IT’S GROUNDHOG DAY!!! – Early Spring Or Six More Weeks?

February 4th Update:

Since I made you all read an extra post Saturday, I’m not posting a new post today.  Enjoy visiting all the blogs who hosted Phyllis – they all did such a great job! – and feel free to join in yourself if you’d like to – you have until tonight! 🙂



GROUNDHOG DAY!  The favorite day of your friend and mine, Punxsutawney Phyllis 🙂

Phyllis knows no better way to celebrate anything than with a party in her honor, so today we will all be entertaining ourselves, each other, and Phyllis with Phyllis’s Fun Photo Contest.

The challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to download the Phyllis action figure, color her in, and then photograph her today predicting Spring 2013 in your neck of the woods.  For full rules and prize, see HERE.

But first, no party is really in full swing without cake…

Groundhog Day cupcakes anyone? 🙂

Now then.  Let’s step outside, shall we?  And see what Punxsutawney Phyllis, Sage of Sages, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinaire, has to say about the coming of Spring 2013!!!

She was prepared for anything – rain or snow or sleet…

She was hoping for sunbathing weather…

A quick check told Phyllis that is was a nippy 10 degrees, with clear blue skies and sunshine on the way…

recognize this Phyllis – created by the very talented Julie in CO? 🙂

In the final analysis, however, Punxsutawney Phyllis emerged from her burrow on Blueberry Hill at 7:25 AM on this February 2, 2013…

… and declared, “No shadow!  EARLY SPRING!!!!”

Even Uncle Phil had to agree 🙂

On the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California, Linda reports that Phyllis also saw no shadow and predicts an early spring!

Linda’s entry – Phyllis in Redding, CA

So what’s happening in your neck of the woods?

Quick!  Get your photo on your blog and your post-specific blog link on the list below so we can come see Phyllis predicting spring all over the world!  (And again, if you, like Linda above, do not have a blog, feel free to send my your picture and I’ll add it to this post with your weather caption, location, and name :))

I can’t wait to see all the pictures!  And Phyllis REALLY can’t wait!  She loves this day which is all about her!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!!!

Happy Beth’s Birthday Day!!!

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday, dear Beth,
Happy Birthday to you!

… and many more…!

With best wishes and much love from all your blogging buddies, especially Vivian, Renee, Catherine, Other Beth (Stanton), Heather, Lori, Loni, Pat, Kirsten, Erik, Julie R-Z, Joanna, Bananabeth (we seem to have an awful lot of Elizabeth/Beths!) who wanted to be included but I couldn’t quite make it work so go visit her too :), and last but not least, me and my furry friend, Phyllis!!!  Have a wonderful day, and we hope the year ahead is filled with all good things and much writing success!!!

And now, for your present, if you will kindly email me I’ll give it to you 🙂  xo S

Happy Groundhog Day Everyone!

Here at Groundhog Central we’re full of news!

As dawn breaks on this February 2, groundhogs all over the eastern seaboard are making their predictions for spring.

And now….  drum roll, please… bdrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In Poughquag, NY, Phyllis declares, “No shadow!  Early spring!!”

Yay, Phyllis!!!

In Punxsutawney, PA, Punxsutawney Phil agrees!

In Staten Island, Chuck also predicts an early spring, and managed to do it without biting Mayor Bloomberg this year 🙂  In Georgia, the prediction was slightly delayed when General Lee got away from his handlers and hid, then climbed a fence behind his mock-mansion home, but he too predicts an early spring!  In Woodstock, IL, the weather is so fierce that Woodstock Willie’s 2011 prognostication has been cancelled for safety reasons.  Out in Ohio, Buckeye Chuck concurs with the prediction of early spring!  It seems they’re all in agreement.

It may be a whole lot of wishful thinking, but there’s no doubt, our trusty groundhog friends would have been hard-pressed to see their shadows this morning!

So now, back to the Picture Book Marathon.  Maybe I should write a story about Groundhog Day.  Oh, wait…  🙂

Best wishes to all for an early spring as we hole up for another day of winter.  Maybe at least we’ll get some great writing (or reading) done!