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 – First Snow (And Some Other Odds And Ends!)

Well, you guys are in for it today!

After several brief (for me) posts in a row, I’ve used up my ability to be short-winded and I have so much to tell you today I can’t even believe it.  I’ll try to be succinct 🙂

First, my Perfect Picture Book, because I like that to be at the top on Friday.

First Snow
Written & Illustrated By: Kim Lewis
Candlewick Press, 1993, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: kindness, helping others, friends, pets, farm life, beloved toy, loss

Opening: “Wake up, Sara,” whispered Mommy.  “Daddy’s not very well today.  I’m going to feed the sheep on the hill.  Would you and Teddy like to come?

Brief Synopsis: To help Daddy, Mommy and Sara and Sara’s bear, Teddy, go up the hill to feed the sheep.  It’s a long climb, and while they’re up there, the first snow of the year begins to fall.  Hurrying to get home before they can’t find their way, no one notices that Sara’s beloved Teddy has been left behind.

Links To Resources: The Working Sheep Dog (video), Sheep Herding Demonstration (video), Fun Sheep Facts For Kids, Facts About Border Collies Talk about what you could do for someone that would be nice or help them in some way.

Why I Like This Book:  I love that whole story takes place because Sara and her mom are trying to do something nice for Daddy.  As they hike, you can feel the steepness of the hill, the cold air, the first tentative snowflakes followed by the real snow.  For children who may never have been out in the real country, the book gives them a taste of it.  The sense of wanting to get back to their cottage pulls the reader along, but on the whole it’s a fairly quiet book.  The art is gorgeous.  It’s drawn in colored pencil and the little cottage where Sara’s family lives is so warm and inviting, and the vistas of the English hills so lovely it makes you want to step right into the pages of the book.  The sheep are beautiful, the border collies exceptional.  But maybe the thing I love most about the book is the understanding it shows between a child and her pet.  It is not Mommy or Daddy or Sara who recovers Teddy 🙂

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

Next, two things that kind of go together.  When Beth asked to interview me about Perfect Picture Books I was happy to do it to raise awareness of this resource that we all work so hard on (and because Beth is nice and I like her :)) but I never in a million years expected the kind of response we got.  So I wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful comments.  They meant so much to me.  I really can’t find words to tell you how much… which is bad for a writer!  But it was an unexpected gift for which I am truly grateful, and it just makes me value this wonderful community even more.  I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to print out that post and stick it on my wall to read on days when I feel low 🙂  So thank you.

In the same vein, Randy over at Author In Training very kindly gave me the Addictive Blog Award.

In addition to linking back to him (and I hope you’ll go visit him if you haven’t because he does great writing prods and is currently writing a YA novel that you get to read a bit of every Friday and just has an all around great blog!) I am supposed to list 10 blogs I am addicted to.  But I can’t list only 10.  Especially after being reminded Wednesday of just how wonderful you all are.  So consider yourselves all recipients, and feel free to take the award badge and post it on your blog!

The next item I wanted to mention is that tomorrow, December 1 (a Saturday so I don’t post) marks my 2nd Blogiversary!!!  I can’t believe it’s been 2 years.  I have had so much fun here, getting to know you all and dragging you into all my hair-brained schemes!  Anything that’s good about this blog is good because of you, so please give yourselves all a big pat on the back and a round of applause!  Some confetti would be nice, too.  And of course, I think we should serve Something Chocolate, even though it’s not Wednesday 🙂  I would also like to give you A PRESENT!  Of course, I’d really like to give you ALL a present, but I don’t have the resources, so two (that’s 2!) lucky random commenters today will receive a packet of 5 assorted hand-drawn greeting cards by our own superbly talented  Tracy Campbell!  Here’s a little sample:

copyright Tracy Campbell 2012 used by permission

copyright Tracy Campbell 2012 used by permission

copyright Tracy Campbell 2012 used by permission

Aren’t they gorgeous?  Please click on the link to her blog and explore and you can see many other cards!

Second to last (see? there’s a light at the end of the tunnel :)), I wanted to let you all know ahead of time about a special PPBF.  At the suggestion of Pat at Children’s Books Heal and Vivian at Positive Parental Participation, on Friday December 14, which is the anniversary of the date in 1954 that the UN General Assembly recommended there should be a Universal Children’s Day, we are going to be 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.  For example, Pat plans to post the picture book version of The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.  Beatrice’s Goat and Wangari’s Trees Of Peace are other examples of books in this category (although they’re already on our list.)  Please join us if you’d like to!  But of course, if you’ve already got a book in mind and would like to post a regular PPB that is fine too – all picture books are for children 🙂

FINALLY (here we are! this is the end!) I’m hoping to post the rules for the Holiday Contest on Monday.  Of course, that will depend on whether I make up my mind about what it’s going to be by then 🙂  But here’s hoping 🙂

That’s it!  Go forth!  Run free!  Go see all the wonderful picture books that have been chosen this week!  And have a GREAT weekend! 🙂

(PPBF bloggers, please remember to add your post-specific link below!  And don’t forget, 2 lucky commenters will win beautiful cards, and the winners will be chosen totally by and not at all based on how nice the things you say about me or my blog are :))