Perfect Picture Book Friday – Here Comes Valentine Cat

Hurray!ย  It’s Friday!

That means Perfect Picture Books AND…

…that the Valentiny Writing Contest opens tomorrow!!!

I know we all have tons to do (er… it’s possible some of us may not have even given a moment’s thought to their sample entry yet! ๐Ÿ™‚ ), so let’s get right to today’s pick!ย  I’m sure it’s been done before, but I love it so I’m doing it too ๐Ÿ™‚

Valentine Cat

Title: Here Comes Valentine Cat

Written By: Deborah Underwood

Illustrated By: Claudia Rueda

Dial Books for Young Readers, December 2015, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-6

Themes/Topics: holidays (Valentines Day), misunderstanding, friendship, humor

Opening: “Hey, Cat!
Any Valentine’s Day plans?”

Brief Synopsis:ย Cat does NOT like Valentine’s Day. It’s much too mushy, and no way is he making anyone a valentineโ€”especially not his new neighbor, Dog who clearly has no understanding of how to behave!ย  But maybe it’s Cat who is misunderstanding Dog’s intent!

Links To Resources: make Valentines! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Use colored construction paper, stickers, glitter and glue, markers and paint, fancy doilies too!ย  Anything goes!ย  Write a Valentine poem!ย  Try starting with “Roses are red, violets are blue” if you need a nudge ๐Ÿ™‚

Why I Like This Book:ย  I love all of Deborah Underwood’s Cat books – they are so funny!ย  I love Cat’s grumpy personality and sly humor.ย  And I love Claudia Rueda’s art – especially her skill with facial expression.ย  This is a story kids will relate to well.ย  Many kids feel as Cat does that Valentine’s Day is way too mushy ๐Ÿ™‚ย  And haven’t we all been in situations where we misunderstood the actions of others, or had our own behaviors misunderstood?ย  Cat resolves the problem in this story… but he doesn’t go mushy!ย  He gets the last word as always ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 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!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

See you tomorrow for the Valentiny Writing Contest!!!

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Happy Groundhog Day!

Woohoo!

It’s Groundhog Day!

And you know what that means!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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!ย  (Fingers, toes, eyes, paws, etc. crossed for the latter! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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!ย  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.

punxsutawney_phyllis_cover-b

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ย  See what Beth has to say ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoy it as much as Phyllis and I do ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Groundhog Day Cupcakes

Recipe HERE at Bakerella

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 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!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Bagel In Love

Woohoo!ย  It’s PPBF!ย  Come join the fun and share your books!

Speaking of sharing books, have you ever heard of Bookroo?

I hadn’t, but it’s a really cool kids book club subscription where the books arrive wrapped up like presents to make them even more fun.ย  They were kind enough to feature WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES in their January Board Book Boxes, and to interview me on their blog, and I know they’d appreciate some visitors.ย  They use recycled and recyclable packaging and help kids who don’t have access to enough books through Reach Out And Read – very cool.ย  So if you have a sec, hop over and check them out – especially if you have a little person in your life who might enjoy belonging to the book club!

My PPBF pick for the week is tons of fun ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I love bagels.ย  Also donuts and cupcakes.ย  This book has them all!ย  And they dance!ย  What’s not to love? ๐Ÿ™‚

Bagel In Love

Title: Bagel In Love

Written By:ย  Natasha Wing

Illustrated By: Helen Dardik

Sterling Children’s Books, January 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: language fun (puns and word play), perseverance, dancing

Opening: “Bagel loved to dance.ย  It made him happier than a birthday cake!ย  He never felt plain when he was spinning and swirling, tapping and twirling.ย  But he didn’t have a partner, so he couldn’t enter the dance contest.

Brief Synopsis: (From the jacket): “Bagel loved to dance. It made him happier than a birthday cake!ย And more than anything, he wants a partner who will spin and swirl, tap and twirl with him in the Cherry Jubilee dance contest. But Pretzel sniffs that he doesnโ€™t cut the mustard, Croissant thinks his moves are stale, and Doughnutโ€™s eyes just glaze over. Can a cute cupcake save the day for our would-be Fred ร‰clair? Witty and pun-filled, this picture book really takes the cake.”

Links To Resources: 5 Fun Dance Games For Kids; Easy, Healthy Breakfast and Lunch Bagel Ideas for Kids; Word Play For Kids

Why I Like This Book: How can you not love a dancing bagel? ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Bagel is so sincere in his desire to dance in the contest, and he tries so hard to find a partner.ย  Even though one after another leaves him disappointed, he keeps trying.ย  You’ve got to admire his perseverance and dedication to his mission!ย  In the end, his determination pays off in even better ways than he could have imagined.ย  Although some of the word play may be lost on younger readers, there’s lots of it and it’s fun and can provide a platform for discussion of puns.ย  The art is bright and engaging.ย  An enjoyable read!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 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!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Go trip the light fantastic!ย  And then have some bagels for Sunday breakfast ๐Ÿ™‚ย  AND (this is important!) tune in tomorrow (Saturday!) for a special post you writers will NOT want to miss!!!ย  I’m serious! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Brobarians

It’s Friday!

And you know what that means. . .

Perfect Picture Books!

I don’t know about where you live, but where I live the weather has been most uncooperative!ย  Long spells of frigid temperatures topped off with snow and ice.ย  It’s too cold to stay outside for more than about 14 seconds, and even if you dare go out, you have to wade through snow or pick your way carefully over ice.ย  (Don’t get me wrong – I like winter activities as much as the next person – but getting groceries has turned into an Olympic sport! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

The result?

Cabin fever and barbarian behavior!

So I have the Perfect Picture Book for today ๐Ÿ™‚

Brobarians

Title: Brobarians

Written & Illustrated By: Lindsay Ward

Two Lions, March 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: siblings, sibling rivalry, conflict resolution, humor

Opening: “In the beginning,
a great warrior laid claim to the land.
Feared by all, his reign was steadfast.

But soon another arrived
and his influence spread quickly.
This fierce rival challenged the great warrior.

Two seekers of high adventure,
Their strength and courage became that of legend.

This is the tale of the mighty Brobarians. . .

Brief Synopsis: Otto and Iggy, two warriors once at peace, end up at odds when they blame each other for spilling the cookies and then Iggy commandeers Otto’s army guys and Otto strikes back by taking Iggy’s bottle ๐Ÿ™‚ย  How can the problem be resolved with two such fierce contenders at war?

Links To Resources: video of how to make your own cardboard sword; video of how to make your own cardboard shield; recipe for Viking Bread

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 6.45.22 PM

text and illustration copyright Lindsay Ward 2017

Why I Like This Book: The book is written like a knightly quest tale of old (or maybe it has more of a Viking flavor ๐Ÿ™‚ )ย  All is well in the kingdom until the brothers start fighting over their belongings.ย  Anyone who has spent time around siblings will appreciate the story!ย  When the clash between the two reaches an unbearable level, who should step in to referee but Mamabarian! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  The two brothers, sent off in shame, end up friends again when they’re both sentenced to the “dungeon of seclusion” (the bathtub) – partners in crime ๐Ÿ™‚ย  A fun, entertaining story that all Brobarians and Mamabarians will get a kick out of ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Ski, sled, skate, and come in and get warm with a cozy fire, a mug of hot chocolate, and a stack of picture books!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Gabe And Goon

Guess what today is, everyone?

It is the birthday of my dear friend, talented author/illustrator, Iza Trapani!!!

Happy Birthday, Iza!

And what better way to celebrate than by sharing one of her amazing books with you?!

But first, let’s have some cake ๐Ÿ™‚

(And as long as we’re celebrating birthdays with cake, let me take this opportunity to wish Happy Birthday to my Brown Dog who will be 11 tomorrow!)

Isn’t it lovely to have birthdays and cake? ๐Ÿ™‚

But now, to Iza’s wonderful book!ย  Not her newest, which I shared back in the fall, but one of my favorites!

Gabe and Goon

Title: Gabe and Goon

Written & Illustrated By: Iza Trapani

Charlesbridge, July 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-6

Themes/Topics: monsters, friendship, humor, language fun (rhyme)

Opening: “Gabe wasn’t scared of monsters.
He hoped to see one soon.
Well, hiding in his closet
Was a real live monster, Goon.

Brief Synopsis: Gabe is not afraid of monsters.ย  In fact, he longs to meet one.ย  Goon lives in Gabe’s closet, but he is terrified of children!ย  When they meet, Goon does his best to scare Gabe away but nothing works.ย  But though he’s unsuccessful as a scary monster, he makes a great friend when something comes along that does scare Gabe.

Links To Resources: draw a monster you would like to meet; write a story about what you would do if you met a monster; 25 Crazy Monster Crafts for Kids; 20 Monster Recipes & Snacks For Kids

Why I Like This Book: this is such a fun twist on the idea of kids being afraid of monsters, since in this story it’s the other way around.ย  Poor Goon does his best to be scary and all Gabe does is laugh.ย  Gabe wants to be friends but is unintentionally terrifying Goon with his nose-blowing and sneezing (he has a cold.)ย  But when Goon realizes that Gabe isn’t so brave about everything, it bolsters his confidence a bit and the two become friends.ย  The art is warm and cozy and inviting.ย  Goon is an adorable monster.ย  There is plenty of humor.ย  Written in Iza’s trademark engaging rhyme which makes for a great read-aloud, this is a fun read kids will love!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 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!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Perfect Picture Book Friday – We Wish For A Monster Christmas

Happy December, Folks!

And welcome to a no frills Perfect Picture Book Friday!

No frills because I am out of office… EXTREMELY FAR out of office ๐Ÿ™‚

So you’re on your own, boys and girls ๐Ÿ™‚

Have fun sharing your books, and I hope you like my pick for the week!

Monster xmas

Title: We Wish For A Monster Christmas

Written By: Sue Fliess

Illustrated By: Claudia Ranucci

SterlingChildren’s Books, October 3 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: Holidays (Christmas), monsters, unexpected consequences, humor

Opening: “We wish for a furry monster,
a big, hairy, scary monster,
our own stomping, chomping monster, for Christmas this year.”

Brief Synopsis: A brother and sister don’t want the usual toys for Christmas…they want a monster!ย  Their parents refuse, so they take their request to Santa who, of course, delivers.ย  But having a monster doesn’t turn out quite as they expected!

Links To Resources: sing along to the Karaoke version! ๐Ÿ™‚ ; 50 Monster Crafts for Kids Any Time of Year

Why I Like This Book: I like this book because it’s not your usual Christmas book.ย  It’s about monsters ๐Ÿ™‚ย  It’s fun, it’s different, and if you know We Wish You A Merry Christmas you can sing the story ๐Ÿ™‚ย  There’s plenty of humor, havoc and mayhem.ย  A little problem solving is required and then…?ย  Time to think about what to ask for next Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚ย  The endpapers are covered with monster pictures and descriptions, with the one the kids choose (Furzilla) circled and labeled “THIS ONE!”ย  The art is bright, engaging, humorous, and a perfect fit for the story.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 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!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Mice Skating

Hiya, Folks!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

If you’re like me, it’s not really over yet.ย  Thanksgiving is always a multiple day affair here on Blueberry Hill, so I’m afraid I’m not really going to be hanging around the blog today.

But I knew some of you dedicated picture book lovers would have perfect picture books to post, and some of you parents dedicated picture book readers need the weekly list of fabulosity to keep the kiddos entertained on the long drive home from Grandma’s to enrich your weekend literary experience ๐Ÿ™‚

And I have such a lovely one to share!ย  Have a look!

Mice Skating

Title: Mice Skating

Written By: Annie Silvestro

Illustrated By: Teagan White

Sterling Children’s Books,ย  October 2, 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: being yourself, seasons (winter), friendship

Opening: “During the cold winter months, most field mice take cover. . .
. . . tunneling deep underground, burrowing into farmhouse walls, nesting in hollow logs. But not Lucy.

Brief Synopsis: Lucy is different from the other mice.ย  She loves winter!ย  But it would be much more fun if her friends would come out and join her.ย  Can she find a way to get them to come try something new?

Links To Resources: make-a-mouse craft (using wooden ice cream “spoon”); mouse crafts and activities for children; winter outdoor games for kids

Why I Like This Book:ย  This is a lovely, cozy, sweet story of a little mouse who is different from her peers and not afraid to be an individual.ย  She is comfortable doing her own thing.ย  But she also values her friends, doesn’t want them to miss out on fun, and knows her own experience would be enhanced by having friends to share it with.ย  Her bold spirit, ingenuity, and warm-hearted friendship come through beautifully.ย  The art is warm and cozy and comforting – the perfect pictures to curl up with on a snowy day ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Oh, and by the way, if the people in charge around here manage to tear themselves away from the pie long enough to attend to their job, the Holiday Contest Guidelines will be posted sometime in the next 24 hours or so, so keep a weather eye out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Freaky Friday :)

Darlings!

I am trying desperately to finish the Halloweensie judging!

SUCH a challenge!ย  You all did an unbelievable job and having to cut anyone from the list is practically impossible.ย  Vast quantities of chocolate are required for this Herculean task!

I mean seriously!ย  There were 244 fantastic entries and somehow the other judges and I have to cull them down to a dozen…preferably without doing each other bodily injury! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I can assure you there is a great deal of hair-tearing, tooth-gnashing, and rending of garments going on around here!

So I’m not posting a Perfect Picture Book today because I’m buried under Halloweensie stories.

But I will put the link list here for those of you who want to Perfect Picture Book Party ๐Ÿ™‚

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

I’m hopinghopinghoping to have the finalist list up by later today… or tomorrow… ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Wish us luck!!!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Dough Knights And Dragons

Good Morning, fellow picture book peeps!

I don’t know about you, but there are so many books I want to post for Perfect Picture Book Friday lately that there aren’t enough Fridays!ย  As you well know, by this time next week we’ll be up to our Jack-O-Lantern grins in the Halloweensie Writing Contest, so we’ll have to skip our perfect picture books… but for a very good cause!ย  I can promise you the stories that will be entered will be so much fun to read that you won’t even notice we’re not doing PPBF ๐Ÿ™‚

But for today, I have another delightful book to share!ย  And just wait til you see the activity kit that goes along with it – I tell you, it made my writerly heart go pitter-pat! ๐Ÿ™‚

Dough Knights

Title: Dough Knights And Dragons

Written By: Dee Leone

Illustrated By: George Ermos

Sterling Children’s Books, October 3 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: friendship, creative problem solving, standing for what you believe

Opening: “In a magical kingdom far to the east
lived a very small knight and a very large beast.
One day while collecting fresh herbs in a glen
the young knight discovered a well-hidden den.
It was filled with ingredients he’d not seen before.
The lad couldn’t resist – he just had to explore!

Brief Synopsis: A young knight and a friendly dragon meet by chance in the woods and become friends when they discover they both love to cook.ย  But the kingdom has a law that knights and dragons must fight each other.ย  The friends can’t bear the thought!ย  Can they cook up a clever way to avoid fighting and put an end to the silly law?

Links To Resources: Fantastic activity kit from the author!ย Read with A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale by Penny Klostermann and compare and contrast ๐Ÿ™‚ (Sorry if I just gave you a ghastly flashback to high school English essays ๐Ÿ™‚ )

dough knights int

text copyright Dee Leone 2017, illustration copyright George Ermos 2017

Why I Like This Book: This is such a fun, imaginative story.ย  I love that the boy and the dragon develop a close friendship over cooking and baking, (something you might not expect of a boy and a dragon ๐Ÿ™‚ ) but that there is also a real element of tension because of the law that requires them to fight.ย  And I love that they stand up for what they believe in and find a creative solution to the problem.ย  The rhyme is catchy and fun to read aloud, and the art is entertaining, colorful and delightful – a perfect complement to the story!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 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!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  and come to the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival if you’re in the area!ย  I’d love to see you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Old MacDonald Had A… Zoo?

Psst!ย  The word on the street is it’s Friday!

This may be a completely unfounded rumor.

After all, due to the holiday last Monday it doesn’t really feel like Friday yet, does it?

But let’s go with popular opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

I have a fabulously fun Perfect Picture Book to share with you today.ย  Get ready to enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Old MacDonald

Title: Old MacDonald Had A… Zoo?

Written & Illustrated By: Iza Trapani

Charlesbridge, September 12 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-5

Themes/Topics: animals (farm and zoo), nursery rhyme retelling, language (prepositions)

Opening: “Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O,
And on that farm he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O.
With a moo moo here, and a moo moo there,
Here a moo, there a moo,
Everywhere a moo moo,
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

Brief Synopsis: Old MacDonald is tending his farm, milking his cow, minding his own business when along comes a herd of disruption!ย  What on earth are a bunch of zoo animals doing on Old MacDonald’s farm???!!!

Links To Resources: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others – think up groups of animals where 3 match in some way (farm, zoo, jungle, aquatic, color, pattern, food preference, feathers, fins, number of legs, tail, etc.) and the 4th doesn’t and get kids to tell you what the 3 have in common and why the 4th doesn’t match; draw your favorite farm animal and tell why it’s your favorite; what animal would YOU invite to Old MacDonald’s farm and how would your song verse go?; play Old MacDonald Says and practice the position words from the story – above, below, near, far, high, low, etc…

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 8.12.13 PM

text and illustration copyright Iza Trapani 2017

Why I Like This Book: Everyone knows the familiar story/song of Old MacDonald and his farm…but this version takes it to a whole new level as a bunch of escaped zoo animals wander in and start making themselves at home, much to the surprise of the regular farm inhabitants and to Old MacDonald’s chagrin!ย  The rhyme is perfect and fun to read aloud, telling a humorous story (and as an added bonus using a lot of positional words (above, below, near, far, high, low, etc.) so kids get practice in understanding the physical relationship of things.)ย  The art is lively and full of delightful hidden details.ย  And the facial expressions of both Old MacDonald and the animals are priceless ๐Ÿ™‚ย  An all-around fun tale that will have little ones singing along!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 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!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S.ย  You may have noticed that Halloween is right around the corner, and you know what THAT means…ย  the annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!!!ย  Stay tuned for details, hopefully coming early next week so you’ll have time to write, polish, and perfect!!! ๐Ÿ™‚