Perfect Picture Book Friday – Red And Lulu

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, and not a moment too soon!

Have you looked at the weather forecast for today and tomorrow? There could be no better way to spend the next two days than with a pile of perfect picture books and a cup of cocoa and your favorite little readers (or your favorite little or not-so-little writers. . . yes, you. . . who are reading perfect picture books to learn from the masters 😊)

Today’s Perfect Picture Book is so pretty and so touching I know you’re going to love it!

Title: Red And Lulu

Written & Illustrated By: Matt Tavares

Candlewick, September 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: holidays (Christmas), devotion, perseverance

Opening: “In the front yard of a little house,
on the branches of a mighty evergreen,
there lived a happy pair of cardinals
.”

text and illustration copyright Matt Tavares 2017, Candlewick


Brief Synopsis: [from the book jacket] “Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree.  But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Luckily, it’s just the season for miracles. . . . “

Links To Resources: the afterword contains a brief history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree tradition; what are some holiday traditions in your family? draw a picture, write a story or poem, or make up a song about a special holiday tradition in your family; in the story, the cardinals’ favorite Christmas carol is O, Christmas Tree, which was originally sung in German as O, Tannenbaum. Do you have a favorite Christmas or other holiday carol/song? Was it originally in English, or did it come from another language? Which one?

text and illustration copyright Matt Tavares 2017, Candlewick


Why I Like This Book: This is a such a sweet and lovely story – one of those stories that tug at your heartstrings and make it a little hard to read aloud in some parts past the lump in your throat 😊 Red and Lulu are so happy in their tree, and when the tree is taken, with Lulu still in it, Red flies as fast and as far as he can, determined not to lose Lulu. But a bird cannot fly as fast as a truck can drive. . . I love Red’s devotion and determination which clearly show his love for Lulu. I don’t want to give away the ending. . . so I won’t!😊. . . but it’s just right. The watercolor-and-gouache illustrations are full of detail – so pretty! Don’t miss this heartwarming 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 – Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away

Hi Everyone!

TGIF! Perfect Picture Book F 😊

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 Daniela’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 it’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 😊

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 – Marilyn’s Monster

Woo hoo!  It’s Friday!!!

And you know what that means, boys and girls…

It’s time for Perfect Picture Books!

(Although truth be told, I’m not even here today!)

I can’t say today’s choice relates to the time of year or anything that’s going on.  I just loved this book from the opening sentence, and I hope you will too!

Title: Marilyn’s Monster
Written By: Michelle Knudsen
Illustrated By: Matt Phelan
Candlewick, March 2015, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: patience/waiting, monsters, doing what you know is right

Opening: “Some of the kids in Marilyn’s class had monsters.  It was the latest thing.  Marilyn didn’t have a monster.  Not yet.  You couldn’t just go out and get one.  Your monster had to find you.  That’s just the way it worked.”

Brief Synopsis:  Marilyn longs for her monster to find her.  She tries to be patient and be the kind of girl no monster can resist.  But the longer she waits, the harder it gets, until finally Marilyn takes matters into her own hands.  And it’s a good thing she does!

Links To Resources: Marilyn’s Monster Story Time Kit; Q&A with Michelle Knudsen and Matt Phelan

Why I Like This Book: Oh, gosh!  Where to begin?  The story is wonderfully original and entertaining, and relates to a theme all kids can understand – having to wait for things!  Marilyn is so believably child-like in her behaviors and emotions.  The art is delightful, full of wacky monsters that are tons of fun to look at, and Marilyn’s face and body language are so expressive.  Marilyn goes against expectation without being disobedient or breaking any rules, so it’s a nice way to model doing what you know is right, or being true to yourself.  And the resolution is surprisingly sweet.  Across the board, this one is a winner!

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!!! 🙂

And wish me luck at today’s school visit!  New presentation. . . little bit o’ shaking in my astronaut boots. . .! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – My Side Of The Car

Good Friday to you, folks!

In case anyone is wondering, it’s snowing again!  I think there’s a trainee in charge of Spring this year who must have misread the job description!

As luck would have it, since it’s snowing, I have to drive to New York City today… which makes me think of cars… which makes me think of this book!  Perfect for cars and inclement weather 🙂

Ready?  Fasten your seat belts because here we go! 🙂

My Side Of The Car
Written By: Kate Feiffer
Illustrated By: Jules Feiffer
Candlewick, April 2011, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: patience, imagination, father-daughter love, optimism

Opening:  “My dad and I are going to the zoo.  We’ve tried to go to the zoo before.  But we never get there.  Something always happens.”

Brief Synopsis:  Sadie and her dad are going to the zoo.  Their plans have been thwarted three previous times, but this time they’re really going.  Except… on the way… it starts to rain.  They can’t go to the zoo in the rain.  But Sadie’s not about to let the fact that her dad sees rain deter her.  I look out my window, and the sun is shining on my side of the car. People are putting on their sunglasses and heading to zoos all over the world on my side of the car.” While her dad sees nothing but rain, Sadie sees people mowing their laws and eating ice cream.  Is it raining or not?  Will Sadie and her dad get to the zoo this time or will they have to wait for another day?

Links To Resources:  Fun Zoo-Related ActivitiesZoo Lessons And Activities, a page in the back of the book tells the true story of what happened (which is always fun :))

Why I Like This Book:  Anyone who has lived with kids knows that their perception of reality is not necessarily the same as yours… especially when they really want something! 🙂  What’s wonderful about this book is both Sadie’s determined optimism and her father’s patience and his loving understanding of how she needs to cope with her disappointment.  This book is also delightful because it’s written and illustrated by a father-daughter team about an incident that actually happened.  I’m not going to tell you whether they get to the zoo or not, though.  You’ll have to go read the book 🙂

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!

Now then.  I’m going to be like Sadie and see nothing but sunshine and daffodils on my side of the car!  No snow! 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – How The Sun Got To Coco’s House

Hey there, picture book peeps!  Happy Friday! 🙂

I have such a lovely book to share with you today!

(It’s just a teensy bit possible that my choice was inspired by the fact that we’ve had nothing but gray skies, clouds, and rain for so long I’ve forgotten what the sun looks like and I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe, the sun will find its way to Susanna’s house 🙂 )

4350b-coco

Title: How The Sun Got To Coco’s House

Written & Illustrated By: Bob Graham

Candlewick, September 2015, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-6

Themes/Topics: nature, writing (personification), language (poetic)

Opening: “It had to start somewhere.  While Coco slept far away, the sun crept up slowly behind a hill, paused for a moment, and seemed to think twice…before it plunged down the other side and skidded giddily across the water.

Brief Synopsis: The sun comes up and takes a poetic journey across the world to Coco’s house.

Links To ResourcesWarmth Of The Sun discussion and activity; Shadow Play classroom activity; measuring solar activity; info about the sun with 17 related links; sun coloring pages; Happy Sunshine Cookie recipeRenewable Solar

Why I Like This Book: How can you not love a book that contains phrases like “skidded giddily across the water”?  The whole story is a gentle, lovely, poetic description of how the sun comes up, travels across the world touching everything in its path with light and warmth, and finally arrives at Coco’s house to spend the day.  It’s a very quiet book, but one that can be enjoyed for the beauty of the language, the deceptive simplicity of the art (wait until you see the pinks and golds), and the feeling of comfort bestowed by the fact that, come what may, the sun rises each morning and makes a new day.

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!  Adding your themes seemed to work pretty well last week – woo hoo! 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

P.S. The general opinion on Wednesday seemed to be in favor of reinstating Oh, Susanna! (your picture book questions answered 🙂 )  Since the first Monday of May happens to be in about 12 minutes, if anyone has a question they’d like to submit for an answer, please send it right along!!!

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – E-I-E-I-O How Old MacDonald Got His Farm [with a Little Help from a Hen]

Happy Friday, Folks!

While I was writing up this post, my ever-vigilant dogs suddenly roused themselves from a sound sleep to bark and snarl and hurl themselves at the french doors that look out on the back yard.  Assuming such behavior could only mean an invasion of some type, I went to investigate.  Was the bear up from his long winter’s nap?  Had a pack of hungry coyotes dared to breech The Perimeter?  Were we being attacked by giant meatball-headed spaghetti people from Mars?

Shockingly, no!

Here was the cause of the alarm:

IMG_0755

Yes.  A squirrel.  Clearly a Maximum Security Threat.

My dogs take their duty as Protectresses of the Family Homestead a little too seriously sometimes 🙂

I did not let them out.  I figured this little critter could use a mouthful of birdseed.  So he snacked and the Protectresses sulked and I went back to writing this post.

This is just a little sample of the kind of action-packed, emotionally-charged, wild and crazy life we live up here on Blueberry Hill 🙂

Although it snowed last night, I insist on believing spring  is coming, and I have a fun, spring-appropriate title to share with you all today which is especially fitting in view of the wildlife on my lawn that makes this place feel like a farm (of sorts :))!  (And no jokes about the funny farm! :))

Title: E-I-E-I-O How old MacDonald Got His Farm [with a Little Help from a Hen]

Written By: Judy Sierra

Illustrated By: Matthew Myers

Candlewick, February 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: composting, gardening, perseverance, innovation

Opening: “Old MacDonald had a house E-I-E-I-O!  Around that house there was a yard MOW MOW MOW MOW MOW!  MacDonald said, “I love my yard, but mowing grass is mighty hard.”  So off he went to get a goat E-I-E-I-O!

Brief Synopsis: In case anyone was wondering how Old MacDonald got his farm, it all started with too much mowing.  Old MacDonald’s solution? Get a goat.  But the goat only ate the edges and then chewed a hole in MacDonald’s hedges.  Luckily, a smart little red hen came along and taught Old MacDonald a thing or two about sustainable farming 🙂

Links To Resources: Do The Rot Thing: A Teacher’s Guide To Compost Activities, all about Worms, Recycling and Composting, How To Plant Seeds With Kids

Why I Like This Book:  I always love new twists on familiar stories.  Judy Sierra has taken Old MacDonald to a whole new level.  The story is humorous (and so is the art – be sure to read the hen’s diplomas and all the picket signs :)) and young readers will learn about composting and growing a garden right along with Old MacDonald.  This is a great story for spring, and a wonderfully fun way to introduce kids to the concept of green farming.

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

PPBF peeps, please leave your post-specific links in the we’re-using-this-linky-list-for-the-time-being-until-I-think-of-something-better list below so we can all come see what fabulous books you’ve chosen this week!

And everyone: whether you have a book to add to the list or not, you must click the “click here” link to see the list!!!

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Have a great weekend, everyone!!! 🙂