Perfect Picture Book Friday – Lala Salama – Celebrating Universal Children’s Day

Today is a special Perfect Picture Book Friday.

At the suggestion of Pat at Children’s Books Heal and Vivian at Positive Parental Participation, since today is the anniversary of the date in 1954 that the UN General Assembly recommended there should be a Universal Children’s Day, we are doing our part to raise awareness of the plight of children around the globe and to promote the welfare of children in the world by posting books which focus on multicultural/multiracial issues, human rights, and/or children who have helped to change the world in some way.  (The actual date of Universal Children’s Day is November 20 – we are celebrating the day it came into being!)

I quickly discovered that the books that leapt instantly to mind in this category (Beatrice’s Goat, One Hen, etc…) have already been expertly reviewed by others for previous PPBFs.  So I chose a book for younger readers that shows a way of life very different from my own.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby
Written By: Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated By: Elizabeth Zunon
Candlewick Press, November 2011, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 3-7

Themes/Topics: day-in-the-life, bedtime, lullaby, multicultural

Opening: “Long ago, this morning, the sun rose above our house, spilling light over the hills of the Congo and the lake with the beautiful name, Tanganyika, like a song.  Lala salama, little one.”

Brief Synopsis: (From the jacket) The rhythm of the Tanzanian day inspires the melody of the evening’s lullaby in this sweet song of family life.

Links To Resources: It’s important for children to learn about the world they live in, and understand that not everyone lives the same life they do.  This book offers a wonderful opportunity for children to explore how things in their life compare to things in this book – ask, how are your clothes alike or different from the baby’s clothes?  Does your home look like the homes in the book?  How is it the same or different?  Do you take a bath the same way the baby does?  The baby’s father works on a fishing boat – what does your father do?  The baby’s mother carries him in a sling on her back – how are babies carried where you live, or are they put in strollers or swings?  This baby has monkeys and zebras nearby – what animals live near you?  The story offers a great opportunity to talk about how life is the same everywhere on some levels, and yet very different on others.

Why I Like This Book:  The language in this book is rhythmic, soothing and beautiful – just like a lullaby.  The story takes readers through a day in the life of a family on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania.  The gorgeous illustrations give a glimpse of what the scenery is like, how people dress, where they live, what they do.  The story is not long – easily short enough for a very young child, but offers an idea of what life is like in another part of the world, perhaps very different from what the reader has experienced.  This is a beautiful book, perfect for bedtime!

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.  I’m really looking forward to reading everyone’s choices for Universal Children’s Day!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

“WHAT!” I heard you gasp.  That’s it?

I realize this may be my shortest post ever, but seriously, you have not been in my house this week where life has been a three-ring circus 🙂  Plus I just realized that somebody had the bright idea of posting the Holiday Contest on Saturday the 15th which is – you got it! –  TOMORROW!  (I don’t know who is in charge around here, but apparently she has horsefeathers for brains!)  Honestly, it’s going to be pretty much of a miracle if my sample entry is ready by then, because let’s face it that’s in like 12 hours! so I might be posting the official post and putting up the list and then adding in my sample entry Sunday or Monday 🙂  Just warning you :))  But I totally can’t wait to read everyone’s entries!  I hope there are some 🙂  OK.  Really.  Happy weekend! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – All The Places To Love, And A Teensy Halloweensie Update

You know me.  Planning is not my strong suit.  I’m definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal.  But for today, I planned.  I had a book in mind.  I was all set.  I ordered my copy well in advance.  Unfortunately the release date was shifted.  Fortunately, it still shipped in time.  But… thanks to Sandy… delivery has been delayed, so today’s book, which was supposed to have been Marathon Mouse by Amy Dixon, just in time for the NYC marathon and in advance of her interview here on Monday, ain’t happenin’.  Sad face.  Apparently I am not destined to be a planner!

So instead, in the aftermath of Sandy when so many have lost so much, I’ve chosen a book I dearly love.  I know.  This makes two quiet books in a row.  But after the craziness of this hurricane week it seemed like a good choice.  I dare you to read it without feeling touched 🙂

All The Places To Love
Written By: Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated By: Mike Wimmer
HarperColllins, 1994, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 3-8

Themes/Topics: appreciating what you have, love, family, new baby

Opening: “On the day I was born my grandmother wrapped me in a blanket made from the wool of her sheep.  She held me up to the window so that what I first heard was the wind.  What I first saw were all the places to love…”

Brief Synopsis: Everyone in Eli’s family has a favorite place – Mama loves the blueberry barren, grandmother loves the river, grandfather loves the barn.  “Where else,” he says, “can the soft sound of cows chewing make all the difference in the world?”  Eli knows that no matter where he goes in the world, all the places to love are right here, connected to his family, and always to be cherished.  Then one day, Eli and his grandfather wait together in the barn until grandmother holds someone new up to the window, wrapped in a blanket made from the wool of her sheep – Eli’s sister Sylvie – and he looks forward to sharing his joy, showing her all the places to love including his favorite, which is revealed in the end, but I won’t spoil it 🙂

Links To Resources:  here is a nice Teacher’s Guide, but I also think this book lends itself perfectly to discussion of the places YOU love and why.  Draw a picture of a place you love.  Make a list of places you love.  Talk about why you love them, what makes them special.

Why I Like This Book: I don’t just like this book – I absolutely love it.  The language is poetic and lyrical with a rhythm that makes it wonderful to read aloud.  The art is warm, loving, and so appealing.  The story is all about love, appreciation, and family.  It’s a quiet book, just right for bedtime or those moments when children need to settle down.  It brings all the warmth and comfort of love and family to the surface, giving children a model whereby they can revel in their own experience of the people and places they love.  I read this book many, many times to my kids and after all those readings, even now, it makes me teary every time (in a good way :))  Simply a gem.

Here’s the only other picture that was available on the internet for a glimpse of the beauty inside:

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

And now, before you all rush off to read everyone’s wonderful offerings for today, a teensy Halloweensie Contest update.  We had an INCREDIBLE turn-out – 37 entries at the time of this writing (and I did say I’d extend the deadline to the end of today to help people who lost their power and couldn’t post or link up.)  If you haven’t had a chance to read them, please go HERE and have fun following the links and checking the comment section for the 6 that were entered there.  All these writers worked so hard, and produced such wonderful, entertaining stories I’d hate for you to miss any of them.  And a couple got added late and I’m worried they didn’t get many visitors 😦 so please, if you’re looking for a little light reading over the weekend, check them out!

Now, if all you amazing PPBF bloggers would kindly leave your post-specific links below, we’ll all come visit you with a piece of paper and a pencil so we can make extensive library lists 🙂  OH!  And don’t miss Monday’s post – with Amy Dixon, author of Marathon Mouse, and the vote for the Halloweensie Contest Winner (assuming my assistant judge and I have any luck narrowing this unbelievable field!)

Have a great weekend, everyone, and GOOD LUCK to anyone who is running the NYC Marathon (and that includes my better half! :))!!!