Perfect Picture Book Friday – Phoebe Dupree Is Coming To Tea!

This is it, darlings!

The last Perfect Picture Book Friday for the summer!

(except for maybe one or two I might do randomly in July 😊)

So what’s better for a summer read then learning how to host the perfect tea party?

Title: Phoebe Dupree Is Coming To Tea!

Written By: Linda Ashman

Illustrated By: Alea Marley

Publisher: Candlewick, June 1, 2021, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: making the best of things, friendship

“Have you met Phoebe – Miss Phoebe Dupree?
Phoebe’s as perfect as perfect can be.

Phoebe is speedy.
Phoebe is smart.
She’s equally brilliant at science and art.

She sings like a bird (she’s never off-key),

And Phoebe Dupree is coming to tea!”

text copyright Linda Ashman 2021, illustration copyright Alea Marley 2021, Candlewick

Brief Synopsis: Abby wants her tea party to be as perfect as the guest of honor, but things don’t go quite the way she planned!

Links To Resources: Host your own tea party! Decide on a day and time, make and deliver invitations, dress up, decorate for the party, prepare food and beverages, serve the “tea”, and enjoy!

text copyright Linda Ashman 2021, illustration copyright Alea Marley 2021, Candlewick

Why I Like This Book: This story is charming from start to finish! Abby is so earnest in her desire to put on the perfect tea party for Phoebe, so anxious to do things just right. She plans every detail and it all starts so well! But then one thing leads to another (as often happens in life! 😊) and suddenly her perfect tea party is in chaos. Things have a way of working out if you’re willing to go with the flow, though, so it all turns out unexpectedly well. The art is adorable and just right for the story. The rhyme is signature Linda Ashman – flawless to read aloud. An all-around fun book that young readers will really enjoy (and that grown-ups won’t mind reading a million times 😊)

text copyright Linda Ashman 2021, illustration copyright Alea Marley 2021, Candlewick

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 blog 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! 😊

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Hope Lim!

Roll out the red carpet! It’s time for another Tuesday Debut!

Today I’m delighted to introduce a graduate of Making Picture Book Magic! I am always so proud when one of my students gets published! Not that I have that much to do with it – it is all their own talent, creativity, commitment to their craft, and hard work! But still. . . 😊

So without further ado, let’s welcome Hope Lim and have a look at her beautiful picture book, I Am A Bird!

written by Hope Lim
illustrated by Hyewon Yum
Candlewick, February 2, 2021
Fiction. Age for 3-7.

On her daily bike ride with her dad, a bird-loving little girl passes a woman who frightens her—until she discovers what they have in common.

SUSANNA: Welcome, Hope! Thank you so much for joining us today! We are eager to hear all about your journey to publication! Where did the idea for this book come from?

HOPE: The idea for I AM A BIRD started after an encounter with a stranger in Golden Gate Park. I thought she was strange at first, but I immediately recognized my perception was unfair and started to reflect on our innate fears and biases toward each other. When I came home, my husband told me about how my daughter made joyful birdcalls on their way to school on the back of his bike. I was struck by the contrast between my daughter and my simultaneous experiences. At that moment, I knew I had to write a story about exploring the fear of the unknown and combined it with my daughter’s soaring spirit. That’s how I AM A BIRD was born – a story of celebrating kindred spirits discovered unexpectedly, all told from a child’s perspective.

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

HOPE: To answer this question, I looked back at the folder of I AM A BIRD on my computer. The first draft was written in October 2015. I distinctly remember the moment when I felt the urge to work on this story. It was after finishing two poetry books, BOOK OF NATURE POETRY and WINTER BEES. I had already started a draft, but after reading these books, the lines started to pour out of my heart and I simply transferred them onto paper. I realized again the importance of reading poetry for picture books, especially when your mind is still fresh with a story idea. After that first draft, I wrote 14 revisions in the next three months. Over the following year, I revised it several more times while working on other projects.

Hope’s work space

SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?

HOPE: A resounding yes. I went through many revisions. First on my own, then with my CPs, then with my agent, and finally with my editor. The most dramatic revision was with my editor who encouraged me to look for another way to strengthen the connection between the girl and the woman. Up until then the main focus of the revision was mostly polishing language. It was the first time for me to work with an editor whose vision clearly guided me to look at the story from a new perspective. The moment I discovered another critical connection (the bird calls) felt so exuberant.

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

HOPE: This question has always vexed me. First, do what it takes to get the story ready, such as sharing it with CPs, revising, putting it away and revising and sharing again. Second, when it feels as polished as possible, I put it away for at least two weeks. When you read it with fresh eyes and feel something, either joy, sadness, humor, or the emotion you hope your story will evoke, then the story is ready for submission. Once, Mem Fox said, “…the thing that I look for most in a book is something that will change the emotional temperature of the children who are listening.” I use that as a final gauge for each of my stories to see if they are ready or not.

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

HOPE: I submitted to agents, mostly, until I found my current agent. I entered a contest once and submitted manuscripts for critiques at a local conference and the LA summer conference. Early on, when I was blissfully ignorant about the publishing industry, I submitted to a few publishing houses directly, which I wouldn’t have done if I knew then what I know now. At that time, my story wasn’t ready, and I had no idea what it takes to get an agent or get a story published. What worked for me was to submit the strongest story widely. Chose the one that represents who you are as a person and a writer. For me, it was MY TREE and when I started to attract positive responses, I knew it was my strongest one and submitted it widely. MY TREE landed me an agent and my first book deal. I think you should have three or four complete and polished manuscripts, in addition to the one you are submitting.

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”?  (Best moment ever! )

HOPE: My experiences with submissions have been very different and each story has had a unique journey to find the perfect home. For I AM A BIRD, fortunately, the initial interest came quickly and it ended up having two houses with serious interest. My agent and I decided to go with the first house, for her thoughtful comments helped me see my story in a new way. It was like discovering something buried in the story that I hadn’t thought of before. She didn’t ask for a revision, but I had already revised the story based on her comments and after we sent the revision, we got the call immediately.

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

HOPE: I shared the news with family and seeing them happy and excited was a celebration itself. That same week, good friends visited from the east coast and we had champagne before dinner at a great place in San Francisco. Little did I know how precious that moment would be given the new norm brought by COVID-19.

SUSANNA: Can you please tell us a little about the editorial process?

HOPE: I remember I was taken aback when I received comments from my editor on I AM A BIRD. The text was already very spare, but she removed a few lines, which I thought were essential for raising tension. After trying to see the story from her perspective, I accepted her most of suggestions, but kept some lines in the text. My editor allowed me to keep those lines until I came to realization that they could go after seeing the text with the illustrations. It was an eye-opening experience for me to learn about how illustrations can sometimes effortlessly replace what the text tries to deliver in PBs.

SUSANNA: What can you tell us about your experience of the illustration process?

HOPE: My experiences with the illustration process have been very rewarding. Trust and respect for the vision of my editor and illustrator is critical, as the author may not be able to influence the final outcome. Still, I believe that my editors get an understanding of my vision through our conversations. I have been involved in that my editor has sent draft sketches and proofs as they became available. I have known from early on that an illustrator will bring depth and layer to a story beyond what is written in the text. I have other books scheduled for publication and the draft illustrations fully evoke the emotions as described in the story. I am thrilled to provide the foundation on which beautiful art can be created.  

text copyright Hope Lim 2021, illustration copyright Hyewon Yum 2021, Candlewick
text copyright Hope Lim 2021, illustration copyright Hyewon Yum 2021, Candlewick

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc. ? What was that like?

HOPE: My editor emails me advance reviews whenever they are available, and Kirkus gave a starred review to I AM A BIRD.

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

HOPE: I received the offer for I AM A BIRD in July 2018 and the first copy on the first week of November 2020!

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

HOPE: Joining a debut picture book group was very helpful in terms of sharing information and supporting each other. I have done several blog interviews, including yours. and I have found them helpful by keeping the momentum going.

SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

HOPE: I wrote solo for a year before I realized I had no idea how to improve my stories. That’s how I found your class in 2014 and afterward joined 12×12. I signed with my agent in November 2016, who sold my first book, MY TREE, to Neal Porter in July 2017.

SUSANNA: Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?

HOPE: Keep dreaming and reading and writing. And enjoy the process before you land an agent. I call that period your time in the cocoon, as you are making something beautiful on your terms, with no time demands.  For that reason, it can be cozy and comfortable without worrying about the realities of the publishing industry. Try to focus and be productive in that time and you will be rewarded later with your hard work.

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this series and paying it forward to other writers, Hope! We so appreciate your time and expertise! I know I speak for everyone when I wish you the best with this and future titles!

Author Hope Lim


Readers, if you have questions for Hope, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Hope’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)


We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:

– purchasing their books

– recommending their books to friends and family

– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians

– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores

– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

Thank you all for stopping by to read today!  Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday!  Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 😊

Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts?  Check them out!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way To Win

Sharon Giltrow – Bedtime, Daddy!

Gabi Snyder – Two Dogs On A Trike

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

Vicky Fang – Invent-a-Pet

Lisa Katzenberger – National Regular Average Ordinary Day

Pam Webb – Someday We Will

Abi Cushman – Soaked!

Teresa Krager – Before Your Birth Day

Lindsay H. Metcalf – Beatrix Potter, Scientist

Nancy Roe Pimm – Fly, Girl, Fly! Shaesta Waiz Soars Around The World

Jolene Gutiérrez – Mac And Cheese And The Personal Space Invader

Julie Rowan-Zoch – Louis (picture book illustration debut!)

Janie Emaus – Latkes For Santa

Amy Mucha – A Girl’s Bill Of Rights

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 🙂 )


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:


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!!! 🙂