Perfect Picture Book Friday – Over The River And Through The Wood: A Holiday Adventure

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, and what with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I wanted to share this wonderful book by Linda Ashman because the song it’s based on always makes me think of going to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving when I was a kid! (Although we went by car, unfortunately, not by horse-drawn sleigh! ๐Ÿ˜Š)

Title: Over The River And Through The Wood: A Holiday Adventure

Written By: Linda Ashman

Illustrated By: Kim Smith

Sterling Children’s Books, October 2015, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: family, holidays (Thanksgiving/Christmas), travel

Opening: “Pack up the pooches and load the van.
We need to leave by eight!
There’s so much to bring.
Do we have everything?
Come on, we can’t be late!

Text copyright Linda Ashman 2015, illustration copyright Kim Smith 2015, Sterling Books

Brief Synopsis: Grandma and Grandpa have sent invitations to all the family: Come to our house for the holidays and bring your favorite pie! So all the families pack up and head out… but travel turns out to be trickier than expected!

Links To Resources: Who do you visit for the holidays? Make a photo collage of a family holiday get-together; If you travel on holidays, how do go? Draw a picture or make a model of your transportation – plane? train? bus? car? boat? Make up your own version of “Over the river” and sing who you go to visit and how you get there; Thanksgiving Turkey Rice Krispie Treats (Recipe)

Text copyright Linda Ashman 2015, illustration copyright Kim Smith 2015, Sterling Books

Why I Like This Book: This wonderful story feels new and familiar at the same time; familiar because we all know the song upon which it is based, new because the travel troubles are fresh and fun (and anyone who has ever traveled for the holidays can relate!) The story is written in Linda Ashman’s trademark fabulous rhyme which is so fun to read aloud. And the art is delightful – a perfect complement to the story – and filled with fun little details… like what happens to the pies along the way ๐Ÿ˜Š And I love that even in this day and age of planes and trains and automobiles, the whole family ends up arriving by horse-drawn sleigh! ๐Ÿ˜Š

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 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˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Oscar’s American Dream

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, and in the wake of the recent election and Veteran’s Day, I have a wonderful book that celebrates the American Dream!

Title: Oscar’s American Dream

Written By: Barry Wittenstein

Illustrated By: Kristen & Kevin Howdeshell

Schwartz & Wade, October 2020, informational fiction

Suitable For Ages: publisher says 4-8, School Library Journal says 6-10 – I think SLJ is more on target

Themes/Topics: American history, immigration, American Dream, change and opportunity

text copyright Barry Wittenstein 2020, illustration copyright Kristen&Kevin Howdeshell 2020 Schwartz & Wade

Opening: “Oskar Nowicki
arrived at Ellis Island
carrying his life in a cardboard suitcase
and a skinny roll of money in his coat pocket,
a loan from his mother in Poland
for a down payment on his dream.

Brief Synopsis: 20th century American history unfolds on a street corner in New York City as a little shop changes hands and dreams, from a barbershop in 1899 to luxury apartments in 1999.

Links To Resources: an author’s note at the back of the book expands on the history included in the story; trace the history of your home, or of a building in your neighborhood or town that you find interesting (a library, a town hall, a church, etc.): when was it built? who built it? what kind of history has it seen?; design, draw, and/or describe a shop/building that you would like to own that embodies your dream!

text copyright Barry Wittenstein 2020, illustration copyright Kristen&Kevin Howdeshell 2020 Schwartz & Wade

Why I Like This Book: I really enjoyed the idea of seeing history unfold on a street corner. What an interesting way of looking at the passage of time! A succession of people from different backgrounds with different dreams bought the little corner shop, and as a barbershop, a women’s clothing store, a soup kitchen, an army recruitment office, a bodega, and several other incarnations, the little shop saw the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, Civil Rights – all the history of the 20th century – and how the shop played a role in fulfilling the American Dreams of the various owners. The art is a beautiful complement to the text, filled with interesting details, and reflecting the mood of the times.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 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˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Woodland Dreams

Title: Woodland Dreams

Written By: Karen Jameson

Illustrated By: Marc Boutavant

Chronicle Books, October 27 2020, fiction with nonfiction elements

Suitable For Ages: 3-6

Themes/Topics: bedtime, woodland animals

Opening:

“Come home, Big Paws.

Berry picker
Honey trickster
Shadows deepen in the glen.
Lumber back inside your den.”

text copyright Karen Jameson 2020, illustration copyright Marc Boutavant 2020, Chronicle Books

Brief Synopsis: Young readers will be lulled to sleep as woodland animals prepare for bed.

Links To Resources: How To Make A Pinecone Bird Feeder; How To Attract Rabbits to Your Back Yard (safe for you and them); what is your favorite woodland creature? draw a picture, or write a story or poem or even a song! Recipe: Turtle Sugar Cookies ๐Ÿ˜Š ๐Ÿข

text copyright Karen Jameson 2020, illustration copyright Marc Boutavant 2020, Chronicle Books

Why I Like This Book: This is a lovely lullaby of a bedtime book. The rhyming text is lyrical, with such lines as “Meadow hopper clover cropper twilight whispers. Time to furrow. Curl up tight inside your burrow” and “Nectar sipper dizzy dipper stars are twinkling. Flutter. Search. Light upon your leafy perch.” The art is warm, cozy, and inviting, and will make young readers want to curl up and sleep with the woodland animals. As a bonus, elements of nonfiction are included through the animal descriptions and the artistic depiction of their homes/habitat. A sweet, gentle bedtime read!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 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˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Little Kitten

Hi Everyone!

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, and I’m thinking about how much I love October because of all the wonderful autumn and Halloween picture books there are. ๐Ÿ˜Š โ˜ข๏ธ

This one is new this year from talented author/illustrator Nicola Killen and I think you will be as taken with it as I am!

The little Kitten

Title: The Little Kitten

Written & Illustrated By: Nicola Killen

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, July 21 2020, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8 (though I think kids slightly younger would enjoy it too!)

Themes/Topics: seasons (autumn – with a nod to Halloween), kindness, friendship, doing the right thing

Opening: “It was a crisp autumn morning, andย  Ollie was heading outside to play, closely followed by her cat, Pumpkin.

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text and illustration copyright Nicola Killen, 2020, Paula Wiseman Books

Brief Synopsis: Ollie and her cat Pumpkin come upon a tiny kitten shivering in a pile of fallen leaves. Ollie warms the kitten up and the three become fast friends, but when Ollie sees โ€œLost Kittenโ€ posters she knows she has to help her new friend get home.

Links To Resources: Make Your Own Kitty Pumpkin 1; Make Your Own Kitty Pumpkin 2; Kitty Pumpkin Cookies (the recipe shows other kinds of faces, but you can add ears and whiskers ๐Ÿ˜Š); write a haiku about autumn (examples to inspire you on the link)

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text and illustration copyright Nicola Killen, 2020, Paula Wiseman Books

Why I Like This Book: I know quiet books are notย  the “in” thing, but I love them ๐Ÿ˜Š This book is so sweet and lovely, such a gentle story about friendship and caring on a crisp autumn day.ย  Ollie, dressed in her cat costume, her cat Pumpkin, and the Little Kitten are three of a kind – perfect playmates.ย  Ollie’s distraction with the kitten (which makes her lose track of her beloved Pumpkin) is very believable.ย  Her kind heart helps her get the kitten to its rightful home.ย  And the moment when she can’t find Pumpkin is touching and saved from being too tearful by Pumpkin’s happy reappearance.ย  The art is what really makes this story special, though.ย  Little die-cut windows allow for an interactive experience on some of the pages.ย  Other pages shine with foil leaves.ย  The simple color palette lets the warm orange really stand out.ย  And the combination of text and art makes for a quiet, comforting story about everyone ending up where they’re supposed to be.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ˜Š

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text and illustration copyright Nicola Killen, 2020, Paula Wiseman Books

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˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Little Boo

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! And now that it’s October, I feel justified in breaking out the Halloween picture books!

How cute is this one? ๐Ÿ˜Š

Title: Little Boo
Written By: Stephen Wunderli
Illustrated By: Tim Zeltner
Henry Holt & Company, August 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: Holidays (Halloween), Emotion (patience/impatience), Nature (lifecycle of a seed), Common Childhood Experiences (wanting to be bigger/older)

Opening: “The wind blew, the leaves fell, and a tiny seed hid in the garden.
“Boo,” the seed said to a leaf rolling by.
“You’re not scary at all,” the leaf said.

illustration copyright Stephen Wunderli 2014

Brief Synopsis: A little pumpkin seed tries hard to be scary but he just can’t seem to scare anyone – not the leaves or the grubs, not the snowflakes in winter or the bees in spring!  “Be patient,” the wind tells him, “you’ll be scary soon enough.”  But it’s awfully hard to wait!

Links To Resources: plant a seed and watch it grow – indoors in a container or outdoors in a garden; 40 Things For Kids To Do With Pumpkins9 Easy Pumpkin Recipes For Kids

illustration copyright Stephen Wunderli 2014

Why I Like This Book: ย It’s just so cute! ย Look at that little pumpkin seed face – how can you not love it?! ๐Ÿ™‚ ย The story is simple but so relatable for kids who always seem to want to grow up faster than nature allows. ย And within the sweet story we also get a nice little glimpse of the life cycle of a seed – so cleverly slipped in there! ย To top it off, the art is absolutely gorgeous – ย colorful and warm and so appealing! ย This is a wonderful one to add to your Halloween book shelf ๐Ÿ˜Š

illustration copyright Stephen Wunderli 2014

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Enjoy the long Columbus Day weekend, everyone!!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Rosie And Rasmus

Hurray! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I’m afraid it’s been a rather challenging week, so I’m posting a book I’ve posted before because I have no time. But also because I really really love this book and think everyone should read it ๐Ÿ˜Š And it’s about love and friendship which seem especially important right now.

Rosie

Title: Rosie And Rasmus

Written & Illustrated By: Serena Geddes

Aladdin, April 2 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: friendship

Opening: “This is Rosie.
She lives in a little village with cobblestone streets, a water fountain, and an ice cream stand.
Every day Rosie watches and wishes.
She watches as the others play.
She wishes someone would see her.

Rosie 1
Rosie 2

Brief Synopsis: Rosie, a lonely little girl, meets Rasmus, a lonely little dragon, and they discover the extraordinary magic and power of friendship.  When Rasmus has to leave, Rosie finds she has learned more than she realized about making friends.

Links To Resources: Easy Friendship Bracelets; Preschool Bead Friendship Bracelet; Slightly Harder Friendship Bracelet; draw a picture of yourself and a friend doing something together; talk about what friendship means.

Rosie 3
how cute is this dragon?! ๐Ÿ™‚

Why I Like This Book: To me, this book is just the definition of a perfect picture book! Sweet, simple text that conveys a moving and lovely message about friendship, and enormously appealing art in soft colors with beautiful expression.  Any of us who have ever known (or been) a shy and lonely preschooler can relate to Rosie’s longing for a friend.  You just have to see the page where she and Rasmus meet.  He’s hidden up in a tree, and she’s sitting forlornly on the ground below, and out of the tree comes his tail – only his tail – offering her a flower ๐ŸŒธ   So incredibly sweet!  Rasmus has his own problems.  He can’t fly.  So Rosie does everything in her power to help him.  When his wings finally grow and he has has to fly off and do dragon things, they say a tearful goodbye.  Rosie goes back to her village, once again watching the other children and wishing for a friend.  But this time, she knows what to do.  And I’m not going to tell you, because you just have to read this book and see for yourself!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š ) 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˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away

Hi Everyone!

TGIF! Perfect Picture Book F ๐Ÿ˜Š

I love the book I’m sharing today. It portrays friendship so believably, and the moment of separation with such tenderness. If you’re a writer, this is a wonderful example to study of how to create emotion with simple text and few words.

Title: Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away

Written By: Meg Medina

Illustrated By: Sonia Sanchez

Candlewick, September 2020, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-7

Themes/Topics: friendship, moving, separation

Opening: “Evelyn Del Rey is my mejor amiga, my numero uno best friend.
“Come play, Daniela,” she says, just like she always does.
Just like today is any other day.

text copyright Meg Medina 2020, illustration copyright Sonia Sanchez 2020 Candlewick

Brief Synopsis: Evelyn Del Rey is Danielaโ€™s best friend. They do everything together and even live in twin apartments across the street from each other. But today Evelyn is moving away. Putting off the moment as long as they can, the girls play until itโ€™s time to say goodbye.

Links To Resources: Activity Guide for Families (lots of great activities!)

text copyright Meg Medina 2020, illustration copyright Sonia Sanchez 2020 Candlewick

Why I Like This Book: Like all the best picture books, this book evokes deep emotion with a simple, beautifully crafted and well written story in very few words. Anyone who has ever had to leave someone they love, even for a little while (and I think we’ve all had that experience!) will relate to this story and be touched by it. The colorful art shows the girls’ urban neighborhood and so many little details of their shared experience – holding hands, the string that runs between their bedroom windows so they can pass things back and forth, the stickers they put on each others’ cheeks. And we are left in no doubt at the end about the place each will always have in the heart of the other, even if things have changed and Evelyn will no longer be right next door. Nothing can take the place of your very first best friend.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 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˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Home In The Woods

Hi Everyone!

Welcome back to Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I have a wonderful book to share today that I hope you will all really enjoy!

(Also, as a totally unrelated aside, I am hacking my way through working with the new version of wordpress and pretty much have no idea what I’m doing, so I hope everything will look and work the way it’s supposed to!)

Title: Home In The Woods

Written & Illustrated By: Eliza Wheeler

Nancy Paulsen Books, October 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: making the best of things, family, the meaning of home, history (Great Depression)

Opening: “This is my family.
Marv (8), Rich (10), Ray (14), Mum (34), Eva (3 mo), Bea (12), Dal (2), Lowell (4), and me (Marvel, 6)”
Dad lives with the angels now,
and we need to find a new home
.”

text and illustration copyright Eliza Wheeler 2019, Nancy Paulsen Books

Brief Synopsis: After Dad dies during the Great Depression, Marvel, her mum, and her 7 siblings make their way to a new home – a tar paper shack deep in the woods of Wisconsin. At first it doesn’t feel like home, but as the seasons pass, the family starts to see what could be. They find great joy in being together, discovering the blessings of this new place, and slowly the little shack begins to feel like a home – warm, bright, and full of love.

Links To Resources: An author’s note at the end gives the family history that the story is based upon; draw a picture of your family; ask your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to tell you the stories of their childhoods; try writing them down as stories or poems; write your own childhood story ๐Ÿ˜Š

text and illustration copyright Eliza Wheeler 2019, Nancy Paulsen Books
text and illustration copyright Eliza Wheeler 2019, Nancy Paulsen Books

Why I Like This Book: This book is based on the true story of the author’s grandmother’s childhood, and gives a glimpse of some of the challenges faced by families during the Great Depression in a way that is sensitive, loving, and filled with hope. The sense of family comes through so strongly – the way they all pull together to do what they can and make the best of things, from figuring out how to make delicious meals from whatever they could gather to making up their own games and stories in a home where there were no toys or books. The book beautifully illustrates how much can be accomplished with optimism, working together, inventiveness, and a sense of purpose. The text is spare and poetic, and the watercolor illustrations are lovely. An uplifting story all ages will enjoy!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 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˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Sandcastle That Lola Built

Tomorrow is the first day of summer, which means vacation for Perfect Picture Book Friday until September.

What better way to kick off summer than with a wonderful beach story?!

sandcastle

Title: The Sandcastle That Lola Built

Written By: Megan Maynor

Illustrated By: Kate Berube

Knopf Books For Young Readers, May 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: seasons (summer), cooperation, perseverance, cumulative tale

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text copyright Megan Maynor 2028, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2018, Knopf

Opening: “This is the sandcastle that Lola built.

Brief Synopsis: Lola is building a sandcastle. One challenge after another is surmounted by resourcefulness and cooperation.ย  Until the wave…! Will Lola ever get that sandcastle built?

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text copyright Megan Maynor 2028, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2018, Knopf

 

Links To Resources: design and build your own sandcastle at the beach, playground, or your own back yard! Draw a picture of what you think would be the perfect sandcastle.ย  Write your own cumulative tale about something that gets bigger and bigger, or more and more complicated, or crazier and crazier!

Why I Like This Book: I love this book because the story is cheerful and friendly and theย  illustrations are sunny and fun.ย  Lola is trying to build a sandcastle to signal mermaids, but first a foot kicks it over, than a bulldozer digs into it, then a bucket of shells falls on it… In each case, Lola cheerfully invites the newcomer to join in, recruiting them to build protective walls, dig a surrounding moat, lay a pathway of shells… and the sandcastle becomes better and better the more children join in.ย  When the wave comes along and washes Lola’s beautiful castle out to sea she despairs of ever seeing the mermaids (who appear in the clouds above her), but her new friends encourage her and are keen to try again.ย  It’s a lovely story of determination, friendship, and cooperation all at the beautiful, sunny, summer beach!ย  You’ll want to pack a copy in your beach bag ๐Ÿ˜Š

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ˜Š

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text copyright Megan Maynor 2028, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2018, Knopf

 

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˜Š ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a fantastic summer, everyone!!!ย  There will be sporadic posts here during the rest of June and July – mostly a few Tuesday Debuts unless anyone signs up for Would You Read It, or I get the hankering for another hare-brained scheme ๐Ÿ˜Š, but a bit of a blog vacation so enjoy reading and writing and sunning and funning! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Will You Be Friends With Me?

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

I have a sweet and lovely book to share with you today.ย  It is technically a board book, not a picture book, but its message of acceptance, tolerance, and appreciating differenceย  seemed so apt and so timely in the midst of current events that I wanted to share it.ย  We can all use a friend ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’•

Will You Be Friends cover

Title: Will You Be Friends With Me?

Written By: Kathleen Long Bostrom

Illustrated By: Jo de Ruiter

WorthyKids, July 7, 2020, fiction

Suitable For Ages: Baby – 3

Themes/Topics: friendship, appreciating difference, acceptance

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text copyright Kathleen Bostrom 2020, illustration copyright Jo De Ruiter 2020, WorthyKids

Opening: “I wake early.
You sleep late.
My hair’s curly.
Yours is straight.
I say, “Now!”
You say, “Wait?”
Will you be friends with me?

Brief Synopsis: We’re all different but life is more fun that way! Anyone can be a friend!

Links To Resources: draw a picture of yourself and a friend doing something you both enjoy; write a poem about what makes a good friend; make friendship bracelets for your friends Easiest Friendship Bracelets; host a baking party where each child brings an ingredient and make Friendship Cookies; Friendship Keychains; Friendship Flowers

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text copyright Kathleen Bostrom 2020, illustration copyright Jo De Ruiter 2020, WorthyKids

Why I Like This Book: This book is simple and sweet and shows youngest readers that embracing difference is a good thing.ย  Kids can be different from each other in many ways, but that’s part of what makes life interesting and fun.ย  Friends are everywhere. The rhyme flows smoothly and is a pleasure to read, and the art is engaging and sweet, depicting a pleasantly diverse array of children. A lovely choice for any little one’s library, especially now.

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™‚