Perfect Picture Book Friday – Big Cat, Little Cat

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Oh boy, do I have a gem to share with you today!

Perhaps this lovely book particularly appeals to me because its message of loving, losing, and new beginnings strikes a chord with me right now, but I think anyone and everyone can appreciate what it has to offer!  I wish I could show you the whole thing – every page! – but you’ll just have to trot right out to the library after PPBF! 🙂

Big Cat Little Cat

Title: Big Cat, Little Cat

Written & Illustrated By: Elisha Cooper

Roaring Brook Press, March 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-6 years

Themes/Topics: friendship, cycle of life

Opening: “There was a cat who lived alone.  Until the day a new cat came…”

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copyright Elisha Cooper 2017

Brief Synopsis: Two cats become friends and do everything together until one day the older cat has to go…and he doesn’t come back.

Links To Resources:  draw a picture of you and your pet; write a story or poem about your pet; how would you describe your pet to someone who had never met it?  talk about what love means – is love for a pet the same as love for a sibling or friend or parent?  what are some things that let you know you love someone, or that someone loves you?  has a pet you loved ever died?  how did it make you feel?  what did you do to feel better?

Why I Like This Book: I LOVE this book.  It is the most beautiful, perfect, sweet book I’ve read in a long, long time.  186 words of sheer genius.  The kind of book every writer (well, at least this one!) dreams of writing.  A full, emotionally satisfying, complete story arc in less than 200 words.  Simple, yet so evocative.  Wonder and delight, learning and play, joy, contentment, friendship, love, grief, endings and beginnings – it’s all here.  The art is  a perfect complement – simple black and white drawings that convey personality, action, expression, and just enough detail, with one page in gray to show sadness, and a soft glow of pale butternut on just three pages to show warmth and contentment.  The text and art are also thoughtfully spaced to give time and distance where needed.  A lovely book to gently help children understand life, love, loss, new life and new love.  And writers, if you haven’t seen this book, rush out and read it – seriously I am not kidding! – a fabulous example of how to do it right!  Definitely in the “wish I wrote that!” category 🙂

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copyright Elisha Cooper 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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Rock Maiden

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today we have a special treat!  Author Natasha Yim is blog touring with her brand new book and she has been kind enough to share her writing inspiration with us!

rock maiden

Title: The Rock Maiden – A Chinese Tale of Love And Loyalty

Written By: Natasha Yim

Illustrated By: Pirkko Vainio

Wisdom Tales, March 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: retold legends/folktales, faith, hope

Opening: “There was once a beautiful maiden named Ling Yee.  She lived in Hong Kong, a fishing village on the southern coast of China.  All the young men in the village wanted to marry her.
But Ling Yee loved Ching Yin, a young fisherman.  She was touched by his kindness.  H often helped the old men pull in their boats and haul in their fish.

Brief Synopsis: From the publisher: “When her fisherman husband fails to come home after a storm at sea, the beautiful maiden Ling Yee is heartbroken. Every morning, she puts her baby on her back and clambers to the top of a cliff looking for any signs of his return. But day after day, she is disappointed. The villagers try to convince her to give up her vigil. “No,” she would say, “He will come home soon.” Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Heavens, takes pity on her grief and turns Ling Yee and her child into stone so that they would mourn no more. The fisherman eventually finds his way home―only to discover that his wife has been transformed into the Rock Maiden. Will the family forever be kept apart? Or will devotion and faithfulness ultimately be rewarded?”

Links To Resources:  The Rock Maiden is a retelling of an old Hong Kong legend.  What favorite folk tale, legend or other classic tale might you retell?  How would you do it?  Write your own!  Draw a picture that represents a favorite moment in one of your favorite folk tales or legends. The story of  The Rock Maiden explains how a certain rock came to be.  Write a story about how something you know of came to be – a specially shaped rock, like in The Rock Maiden, or a mountain range, or a lake or pond, or an ancient tree…

Special Resource!  A glimpse into inspiration and writing – author Natasha Yim shares her thoughts about how she became inspired to write the story of The Rock Maiden:

“The story of the Rock Maiden has been brewing in my head—and my heart— since my adolescent years growing up in Hong Kong. On occasional weekends, to get away from the bustle of city crowds, my parents would take the family to Sha Tin, a region in the New Territories, an area of Hong Kong that in the 1970s was still rural. We referred to it as our “countryside,” even though it was on the outskirts of a city of six million people.

On these weekend outings, we would often lunch or have afternoon tea at a hotel with an outdoor patio. From the patio, one could get a good view of the Amah Rock, a natural granite rock formation shaped like a woman with a baby on her back. In the lobby of the hotel was a plaque that told her story: how a young woman had lost her fisherman husband at sea and her faithful vigil on top of a hill looking for his return. Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Sea, took pity upon her and turned her into stone so she wouldn’t mourn anymore.

This story captured my adolescent romantic fancy and on every outing to Sha Tin, I would gaze at the Amah Rock wondering what happened to this family. As I grew older, this woman and her baby continued to penetrate my thoughts from time to time. I knew that one day, I’d write her story.

Years later, when I did sit down to write this tale, I was writing for children and imagined it as a picture book. However, I thought it was a bit too sad and depressing as a story for kids to have her end up as a rock on top of a hill. So, I re-envisioned the story with a happier ending.

I created the story about twelve years ago, but it’s had a difficult time finding its way to publication. Many of the rejections I received said it was a lovely tale but too “quiet” or that it doesn’t have a child protagonist or that folk tales are a “hard sell” as standalone picture books.

One of the lessons I’ve learned as a writer is that if a story sinks its teeth into me and won’t let go, I must write it. And two, every story has to have a champion to help it find its way into the world. First, the writer who feels compelled to write it, and then the editor/publisher who feels its voice needs to be heard. For this reason, I am grateful to Wisdom Tales Press for their vision, insights, and support of The Rock Maiden.

I hope children around the world will enjoy the story of the Amah Rock as much as I did as a child.”

Why I Like This Book: I love retellings of classic tales – especially tales I’m unfamiliar with.  This one, though sad for a while, is a story of love, faith and hope.  And in Natasha’s retelling, it has a happy ending in which love overcomes all obstacles.  The art is so beautiful – delicate and stunning – a perfect complement to the story!

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!

The other stops on Natasha’s blog tour are listed below, in case you are interested in finding out more about Natasha and her wonderful new book!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

MARCH 3: Jeff Barger, NC Teacher Stuff
MARCH 7: Sheryl Hagan-Booth, Booth Talks Books
MARCH 10: Susanna Hill, Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog
MARCH 14ReaderKidZ, reviewer Nancy Bo Flood
MARCH 20: MaryAnn Scheuer, Great Kid Books
MARCH 22: Pam Margolis, An Unconventional Librarian
MARCH 28: Stephanie Kammeraad, Mama-Lady-Books

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Waiting For Pumpsie

Hey Everyone!

After our weeks off for the Valentiny Contest, it’s finally Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And as I believe I mentioned on Wednesday… and am likely to keep mentioning 🙂 … spring is right around the corner.  (I am choosing to ignore the fact that the weather people in this neck of the woods are predicting a decidedly un-spring-like 8 degrees tonight!)  With spring comes baseball, so what better time for a book about baseball – with some history and civil rights to make it even better?!

I hope you’ll enjoy today’s Perfect Picture Book which comes to us from a talented debut author with more titles coming soon!

waiting-for-pumpsie

Title: Waiting For Pumpsie

Written By: Barry Wittenstein

Illustrated By: London Ladd

Charlesbridge, February 2017,  historical fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: civil rights/race relations, sports (baseball)

Opening: “I’m Bernard, and I’m crazy, crazy, crazy about the Red Sox.  Everybody in Boston is.  It’s just something you get born into.  We’re lucky, I guess.
We always want the Sox to win.  But Mama says we gotta root for all the colored players, no matter what team they’re on.

Brief Synopsis: From the jacket: “It’s 1959.  Bernard lives in Boston, and he dreams about a day when a baseball player who looks like him will play for his beloved Red Sox.  Bernard’s mother says change is coming soon.  Bernard’s father says she’s always right.  But they are all disappointed when no black player is called up from the minors to start the season.”  Will Bernard ever get to see someone like him play for the Sox?

Links To Resources: back matter in the book includes an author’s note with historical information; list of first black players on every MLB team with photos and bios; history for kids – civil rights movements; with your children or students, discuss a time when they were unfairly excluded from something – how did it make them feel? draw a picture of the situation, write a letter to the person who excluded them, or write a poem about how it felt.

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Why I Like This Book: I love books that give young readers a slice of history encapsulated in an engaging story.  One of the best things about this book is Bernard’s voice.  Although he’s a fictional character, he feels real.  He sounds believable.  His enthusiasm for baseball in general and the Red Sox in particular comes through clearly, along with his acute awareness that his team is the only holdout in the major leagues – the only team that has yet to play an African-American.  When at last Pumpsie Green gets his chance, helping the Red Sox to a win, Bernard and his family are there to witness the historic moment.  I think my favorite line in the book is: “The Sox win.  After the game, I stop walking for a minute and turn around.  I look at Fenway and the crowd and tell my eyes to take a picture.”  Isn’t that just wonderful?  Haven’t we all had moments like that when we try to commit every single detail to memory so we’ll never forget?  A wonderful choice for baseball fans, young historians, or anyone who likes a good story!

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!!! 🙂

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Goldy Luck And The Three Pandas

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everybody!

Is everyone ready for the Year of the Rooster?  And not just any rooster!  The Year of the Fire Rooster?

The Fire Rooster is characterized by creativity, passion and energy, so I think (hope!) we have a good year ahead!

In celebration of Chinese New Year, I have a terrific book to share.

goldy-luck

Title: Goldy Luck And The Three Pandas

Written By: Natasha Yim

Illustrated By: Grace 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.”

goldy-luck-1

text copyright Natasha Yim 2014, illustration copyright Grace Zong 2014

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; Goldy Luck blog post with activities from 2nd Grade Snickerdoodles

goldy-3

text copyright Natasha Yim 2014, illustration copyright Grace Zong 2014

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 🙂

goldy-2

text copyright Natasha Yim 2014, illustration copyright Grace Zong 2014

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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Fair Cow

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

I realize that since it’s Inauguration Day I should probably have chosen a book on a related topic… but I already reviewed President Squid last March 🙂

Setting one’s sights on the State Fair isn’t SO far off setting one’s sights on the White House… and being pinned with a blue ribbon is kind of like being sworn in as POTUS…

Okay…

Maybe it’s a bit of a stretch 🙂

But this is still a totally fun book and I hope you’ll get a kick out of it!

fair-cow

Title: Fair Cow

Written & Illustrated By: Leslie Helakoski

Two Lions (Amazon’s Children’s Publishing), August 2010, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: believe in yourself, be yourself, having goals

Opening: “Effie dreamed of being a state fair cow.  She loved living on the farm, grazing in the fields, and giving milk every day.  But still…she dreamed of being beautiful, of billowing blue ribbons, and big, bodacious barns.”

Brief Synopsis: Effie dreams of being a state-fair cow.  Petunia the pig gives Effie loads of helpful advice on how to become beautiful and win a ribbon. But in the end, it seems that maybe it’s best for Effie to just be Effie.

Links To Resources: Amazing Cow Facts For Kids; All About Cows For Kids And Teachers; Cow Coloring PagesShowring Ready: A Beginner’s Guide To Showing Dairy Cattle;

Why I Like This Book: Effie is cute and sassy, determined to make it to the fair, willing to follow Petunia’s (often ridiculous 🙂 ) advice to make her dreams come true.  The theme of the book isn’t new, but the execution is fun and fresh, and I think there’s always room for a book that encourages kids to be themselves and follow their dreams (er… come to think of it, I’ve written one myself, though it’s about groundhogs, not cows 🙂 )  The art takes the fun story to the next level of humor – colorful, fun and engaging, with plenty of silliness and great expressions.  And the repeating line of “Nothing a little {something} won’t fix” is used to great effect 🙂

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Text and illustration copyright Leslie Helakoski 2010

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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – An Apple Pie For Dinner

Today is a special day.

Yes, it is Perfect Picture Book Friday, which is always special 🙂

But today is also my Brown Dog’s birthday!

Here she is when she was tiny:

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And here she is now that she is 10!

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She is the best Brown Brownie in the whole wide world – my loyal, devoted friend who has stayed by my side during some of the toughest times I’ve been through, warm and comforting and kind.  I feel so lucky to have her.  So we will celebrate her 10th birthday tonight with a party, complete with yellow cake with vanilla icing so she can have some 🙂  Happy Birthday, my faithful, loving friend!

I guess I should have chosen a Perfect Picture Book for today that was about birthdays or dogs or cake…  I chose one about pie… that has a dog in it… (I mean the story has a dog in it, not the pie! 🙂 ) and ends with a party 🙂

apple-pie-pb

Title: An Apple Pie For Dinner

Retold By: Susan VanHecke

Illustrated By: Carol Baicker-McKee

Two Lions (Amazon Children’s Publishing), August 2009, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: resourcefulness, kindness, persistence, folktale retelling

Opening: “One day, Old Granny Smith wanted an apple pie for dinner.
She looked around her cozy kitchen.
She had flour and butter.
She had sugar and spices.
But there was one thing she didn’t have.

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Brief Synopsis: Granny Smith wants to bake an apple pie, but she doesn’t have any apples.  So she fills her basket with plums and sets out to see if she can trade.  She swaps plums for feathers, feathers for flowers, flowers for a gold coin… but will she ever find her apples?

Links To Resources: Apple pie recipe at the back of the book; author notes about the retelling and illustrator notes about how the three-dimensional mixed media art was created are also included at the back of the book; An Apple Pie For Dinner dedicated website with related activities

Why I Like This Book: This story has such a cozy, friendly feel.  Granny is so sweet.  She goes along, patiently hoping to find apples for her pie, doing good for everyone she meets and making their days better even though time after time she fails to get the apples she needs.  The story is cheerful and comes full circle to delicious ending 🙂  The mixed-media illustrations are delightful in their 3-D, stand-out-from-the-page, sunny, colorfulness.  An all-around satisfying read complete with an apple pie recipe to try at home!

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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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Mother Bruce

Happy First Perfect Picture Book Friday of 2017, Folks!

There’s really nothing like Friday, is there?

Not only do we get a brand new list of Perfect Picture Books to enjoy, we have the prospect of the whole weekend stretching before us in which to read them, hopefully by a cozy fire with a cup of hot chocolate, or tucked under a warm quilt with a pajamaed youngster or two or three eagerly anticipating the stories to come 🙂

If you haven’t yet read this Perfect Picture Book, you’re in for a treat!

mother-bruce

Title:  Mother Goose Bruce

Written & Illustrated By: Ryan T. Higgins

Disney Hyperion, November 2015, fiction – an Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: humor, determination/perseverance

Opening: “Bruce was a bear who lived all by himself.  He was a grump.”

Brief Synopsis: Bruce is a grumpy bear who lives alone and likes to cook fancy egg recipes he finds on the internet.  But when the eggs he procures hatch, he’s in for a whole lot of trouble – a bunch of goslings who think he’s their mother and WILL NOT LEAVE! 🙂

bruce-2

illustration copyright Ryan T. Higgins 2015

Links To Resources: Geese Fun Facts For Kids; 15 Fun Facts About Geese; goose coloring pages

Why I Like This Book: This book made me laugh out loud!  It’s clever and funny.  Bruce is stubbornly determined to maintain his loner living status, and the goslings are equally determined that they will never leave their “mother” 🙂  And the art is amazing!  Bruce’s grumpy expressions, the adorable goslings, the beautiful backgrounds and details – such fun!

bruce-1

illustration copyright Ryan T. Higgins 2015

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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present

Hurray!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I have a cute one for you today 🙂

Along with a heads up that this is probably the last Perfect Picture Book Friday of 2016.  By next Friday the Holiday Writing Contest will be underway… as well as the Friday after…and then we will all be up to our ears in holiday preparations – cleaning, sampling the gingerbread    baking,tasting the Christmas brownies shopping, wrapping, greeting, entertaining the little angels who are on school vacation,sustaining ourselves with Something Chocolate traveling, spending time with friends and family – far too busy for blogging!

But I hope you’ll like today’s pick – a little reminiscent of Eloise to my mind!

the-biggest-smallest-xmas-present

Title: The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present

Written & Illustrated By: Harriet Muncaster

G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers, October 18 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: Holidays (Christmas), ingenuity, perseverance, making the best of things

Opening: “Clementine lived in an ordinary house on an ordinary street with her ordinary mom and dad and brother, Charlie.
But there was one extraordinary thing about Clementine…

Brief Synopsis: Clementine is not an average-size girl.  She’s so tiny she bathes in a teacup.  Santa keeps bringing her presents that are much too big.  How can she get him to bring her a present that’s the right size?

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text and illustration copyright Harriet Muncaster 2016

Links To Resources: The 5 Best Toys Of All Time (or how to let kids use their imagination and creativity as Clementine does 🙂 ); 25 Easy Christmas Crafts For Kids

Why I Like This Book:  Clementine is cute and spunky.  She may be tiny, but she finds ingenious and creative ways to use the gifts she receives that are too big for her.  She can’t use the xylophone sticks to play the instrument… but they make great stilts!  And the xylophone itself? Well, she can play it by dancing on it – making her own music!  The fairy slippers are too big to wear… but one of them makes a perfect bed.  Still, she longs for a present that’s just the right size.  She does her best to explain this to Santa, but her first two attempts are foiled.  I love the ending because of the ambiguity.  Did Santa really get her message?  Or has he known all along that she would get more out of presents she had to find her own way to enjoy?  The art is delightful and engaging, showing Clementine’s disporportionatly big personality.  A fun, fresh read for Christmas time!

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text and illustration copyright Harriet Muncaster 2016

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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Waiting For Snow

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

You know, there’s nothing the WeatherFolk like better than drama!

They are never happier than when they can use words like “hurricane”, “tornado”, and “polar vortex”!

They love prompting you in urgent tones to make sure you’re stocked up on batteries, bottled water, canned goods, flashlights, and toilet paper 🙂  (I don’t know why they never mention chocolate… seems to me that should be right up there at the top of the list!)

They love predicting that holiday travel will be nightmarish.  It warms them to the cockles of their weather-beatin’ little hearts 🙂

So, in  my neck of the woods, the headlines for the next couple days read:

SNOW IN NORTHEASTERN US AS TEMPERATURES PLUNGE UP TO 50 DEGREES THIS WEEKEND!!!

As writers, we can all appreciate the WeatherFolks’ use of exaggeration evocative verbiage 🙂  I believe the content of the article suggests that some places may see a dusting of snow and it’s going to be a wee bit colder over the weekend than it was this unusually warm past week 🙂  But it just sounds so much more interesting when they say the temperature is going to “plunge 50 degrees,” doesn’t it? Kinda makes you want to stock up on toilet paper… in case you need to wrap yourself in it to stay warm… 🙂

Anyway, speaking of snow, look at this wonderful book!

waiting-for-snow

Title: Waiting For Snow

Written By: Marsha Diane Arnold

Illustrated By: Renata Liwska

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 1, 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: publisher says 4-7… I think 3-6/7

Themes/Topics: patience, seasons (winter), snow, friendship

Opening: “Hedgehog found Badger staring at the sky.
“What are you doing, Badger?”
“Waiting for snow.  It’s winter and I haven’t seen one snowflake.”

Brief Synopsis:  Poor Badger is desperate for snow, but no matter what he does the weather won’t cooperate.  Hedgehog assures him that everything comes in its own time, but oh! it’s so hard to wait!!!

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text copyright Marsha Diane Arnold 2016, illustration copyright Renata Kiwska 2016… a glimpse of ways the friends try to pass the waiting time… 🙂

Links To Resources: waiting is hard, and kids have to do a lot of it!  Have your kids/students make a list of things they have to wait for, or draw a picture of something they’re waiting for;  10 Ways To Play With Kids While You’re Waiting; 12 Games To Play While You Wait

Why I Like This Book: If you’ve ever had a kid… or been a kid… or, well, you’re anyone living life on this earth 🙂 you’ve had to wait for things and you know how hard it is!  (er, ahem, writers… agency and/or publishing contracts…!  Am I right? 🙂 )  This sweet, funny, and beautiful book is about a little badger who is waiting for snow.  He and his friends try everything they can think of to hurry it along but, as is so often the case when you really want something to happen, nothing works.  What he learns in the meantime is the value of good friends.  What he learns in the end is that everything happens in its own time.  I think we can all take a lesson from Badger’s experience 🙂  The soft, fuzzy art is the perfect complement to the text – endearing, engaging, sweet!

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text copyright Marsha Diane Arnold 2016, illustration copyright Renata Kiwska 2016

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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Before Morning

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Oh my goodness do I have a beauty for you today!

I read a lot of picture books.

Many of them are excellent.

But every now and again I read one that is just so perfect, so magically written and illustrated, that it takes my breath away, knocks my socks off, and makes me whisper to myself, “Man!  I wish I’d written that!”

Today’s selection is one of those 🙂

The Halloweensie Contest is over.

Thanksgiving is coming.

And that means, before you know it, the skies will be swirling with flurries of snow!

My Perfect Picture Book today is all about that most coveted of childhood days – the peaceful, happy, special perfection of snow days 🙂

before-morning

Title: Before Morning

Written By: Joyce Sidman

Illustrated By: Beth Krommes

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 4 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-7

Themes/Topics: seasons (winter), snow, snow days, invocations, language fun (rhyme, word choice)

Opening: “In the deep woolen dark, as we slumber unknowing, let the sky fill with flurry and flight.” (These few words actually cover 5 spreads, some of which are wordless.)

Brief Synopsis: Although there is much going on in the busy, busy world, a small child wishes for just one day to be a delightfully snow-covered pause.

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Links To Resources: the final page of the book explains invocations and invites young readers to come up with their own; make paper snowflakes; snow recipes; make your own snow!

Why I Like This Book: Oh my goodness!  What’s not to love?  This book is beautiful in every way!  The rhyming text is written by Joyce Sidman (you know what a huge fan I am of Red Sings From Treetops!) and it is gorgeous and poetic and spare.  How can you not love a book that begins “In the deep woolen dark”?! 🙂  The entire book is 66 words, so expertly chosen and crafted together that as a writer I can only feel awe.  And the art is scratchboard and watercolor, exquisitely done, showing the little girl’s hopes that while she sleeps the world will turn white, allowing for a hushed, snow-covered morning that keeps her family home for a leisurely breakfast, some extra time together, the chance to go sledding and make snow angels, and come home to dry wet mittens.  It is everything we all love about snow days, and every child’s prayer for one to come to their house!

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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!!! 🙂

P.S. One little side note: my email service is msn, which has recently switched its Outlook mail platform.  I am having TERRIBLE trouble getting my email!!!  So for people who have contacted me about the Halloweensie Prizes, or people who are in my writing class, or anyone else who may be emailing me, if I don’t get back to you right away, that’s why!  I can’t receive, read, or send email with any kind of reliability.  A serious problem in the world we currently live in!  If anyone else has experienced this problem and found a work-around, PLEASE let me know!!!