Perfect Picture Book Friday – Nugget And Darling

Well, you will all be glad to know that, after 2 days in which Central Hudson did not make any money off the folks on Blueberry Hill, the power came back on yesterday!  Woo-hoo!  We were thankful not to have to do a Little House In The Big Woods version of bathing night… 🙂

The pitch pick poll is coming along swimmingly, but if you haven’t had a chance to vote yet, please hop over if you’d like to!  You’ve got until midnight 🙂

In case anyone is interested, the last thing I did before we lost power on Tuesday was update the Would You Read It list so that it now includes all the working titles.  I think it’s ever so much nicer 🙂  (And yes, I know!  PPBF is next – a much bigger job!)

Clearly, I am suffering from power-outage-induced brain fog or something, because I have nothing else to ramble on about today!  Shocking, I know.  The mind reels.  But there’s nothing for it but to get right on to those Perfect Picture Books 🙂

Nugget & Darling
Written By:  Barbara M. Joosse
Illustrated By:  Sue Truesdell
Clarion Books, 1997, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 5-8

Themes/Topics: emotions (jealousy), learning to adjust, sibling rivalry, consideration of others

Opening:  “When Nell was cold, Nugget kept her feet warm.  When she was sad, Nugget pretended he was a jack-in-the-box.  Sometimes they did magic tricks.  Nell wore a swirly purple cape and waved a sparkly wand.  Nugget wore rabbit ears.”

Brief Synopsis:  Nell and her dog Nugget are best buddies – they play together and share secrets, Nugget cheers Nell when she’s sad and Nell scratches him behind his ears, the place he loves best – until one day Nugget finds a little wet kitten.  Nell takes the kitten home, and suddenly Nugget doesn’t feel like top dog any more.

Links To Resources:  I couldn’t find any online resources for this story – not even one!  But though the “child” characters in this book are a dog and a cat, the theme of sibling rivalry is strong, and this story makes an excellent springboard for discussing feelings of jealousy or displacement that might occur in a family with a new sibling, or any other similar situation that gives rise to these feelings.  The book is particularly helpful because it’s about animals, giving kids a little needed distance from a difficult and uncomfortable topic.  Read the story and ask your kids to tell how they think each of the characters – Nell, Nugget, and Darling – feel.  Ask them who they think has the hardest time.  Talk about differences in perspective.  Encourage them to role play the different characters’ parts – how could Nell or Darling have made things easier for Nugget?  How could Nugget have made things easier for himself?  Do they think one character did things “right” and another did them “wrong”?

Why I Like This Book:  This is a lovely story about remembering what’s important.  Nell and Nugget love each other, but after the kitten comes, Nugget feels displaced, which leads to jealousy and dejection.  Nugget has to learn to accept Darling, and also that Nell has room in her heart for both of them.  Nell has to learn that paying too much attention to the new kitten makes her old friend feel sad, and that it’s important to make sure they both feel loved.  This is a wonderful story for children with a new sibling, or for kids whose best friend may be spending a little too much time with somebody new.

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

So now, if all you delightful PPBF bloggers would kindly put your post-specific links into the list below, we’ll all come visit and stock up our reading list for the weekend!  I can’t wait to see what everyone has chosen this week!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and may the force (of fully functioning electricity and modern conveniences such as indoor plumbing and coffee makers) be with you 🙂