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 ๐Ÿ˜Š)

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

Opening:
“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! ๐Ÿ˜Š) 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 ๐Ÿ˜Š)

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

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 blog 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 – Lost In The Woods

It’s time once again for Perfect Picture Book Friday, and I have a story to start things off!

You might remember a few weeks ago I mentioned that I had fenced my yard to keep Violet out of trouble and protect the baby animal population of Blueberry Hill? So, Tuesday morning, I opened my newly gated yard and set off out the driveway with my dogs. I’ve been leashing them (due to the aforementioned baby animals), but hadn’t clipped their leashes on yet because we were still in the driveway.

We got about 100 feet and Scout started barking and Violet went charging into the woods!

Instantly, a doe came charging out at Violet, head down bounding straight toward her, front hooves striking out!

I knew at once the doe had a fawn she was protecting and my dogs were going to be in serious trouble if I didn’t get them away from that doe lickety-split! So I whistled and hollered and they totally ignored me. Scout kept barking, Violet and the doe kept charging each other, and I kept hollering at Scout and Violet. it was quite the scene for 6 AM on a Tuesday morning ๐Ÿ˜Š

Luckily, Violet cottoned on to the fact that she might have taken on more than she bargained for. She hesitated and then came when I called. Scout was quite a bit farther away from the doe, but I was able to catch her too. We went back in the house for a few minutes to let the doe calm down and then braved the gauntlet (leashed this time!) and managed to get past, though the doe was none too happy!

Later on, I went out to run an errand, and as I pulled back in the driveway in the car, I saw the doe with the fawn beside her – absolutely brand new! – the teeniest tiniest little fawn I’ve ever seen trying to stand up on his little toothpick legs. He or she was significantly smaller than Violet. It was amazing!

The doe has apparently decided my front yard is where she’s going to remain, so getting in and out the driveway with the dogs is an ongoing challenge, and I haven’t seen the baby again, but I know s/he’s there ๐Ÿ˜Š And I am thankful for my new fence – without it I wouldn’t be able to let the dogs out of the house at all without their leashes!

So after that, there was no doubt about what Perfect Picture Book I would share today!

I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

Lost In The Woods: A Photographic Fantasy

Written By & Photographed By: Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick

Published By: Carl R. Sams II Photography, June, 2004, Reality Based Fiction

Suitable For: ages 5 and up

Themes/Topics: Animals, Patience, Seasons (Spring), Trust

Opening: “The Spring frogs sing-singing with a thousand trilling voices were silenced by the rising sun. ย New life came into the woods before the sun touched the tops of the trees. ย He slept quietly in the tall grass on the north edge of the meadow where the trees start the forest.”

text copyright Carl R. Sams II 2004, photo copyright Jean Stoick 2004

Brief Synopsis: ย The woodland creatures are worried that a newborn fawn might be lost. ย “Mama said to wait right here,” the fawn whispers. ย “She will come back.” ย But the other animals aren’t convinced and offer their advice and help. ย Does the doe come back? ย What do you think? ๐Ÿ˜Š

text copyright Carl R. Sams II 2004, photo copyright Jean Stoick 2004

Links To Resources: ย The book itself is a resource. ย Page after page of gorgeous photographs of woodland creatures will introduce children to animals and birds they may never have seen, especially if they live in the city. ย The very last page of the book challenges readers to look back through the pictures and see if they can find a number of hidden animals. ย Activity pages, Lesson Plan. ย If you’re lucky enough to live in a rural area, go for a “deer drive” in the evening, cruising slowly along back roads, and see how many different animals and birds you can spot ๐Ÿ˜Š

text copyright Carl R. Sams II 2004, photo copyright Jean Stoick 2004

Why I Like This Book: ย I love this story! ย It’s simple and sweet. ย On the first page where the fawn appears, he is a tangle of fragile limbs. ย His spotted fur helps him blend into the forest floor. ย By the last page, he has mastered those rascally legs and can be seen bounding through the meadow grass with such joy you can’t help but smile at his airs above the ground. ย But the best part is the photography. ย It’s breathtaking. ย Absolutely stunning! ย The fawn’s fur looks like you could reach out and touch it. ย You can see his eyelashes! ย And there are so many other animals pictured – chipmunk, goslings, a tree frog whose camouflage is amazing!, cardinal, red-winged blackbird, raccoon, and many others. ย I know I’m an animal lover (and therefore biased :)) but I think this book is exquisitely beautiful and one that anyone would enjoy!

I hope you like it!

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 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

Oh, and P.S. This might be the last PPBF before the summer. Or I might do one more next week. And I might have one or two during the summer ๐Ÿ˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Baby Blue Cat Who Said No

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, so get out your list-making utensils, whatever they might be (iphone note, broken crayon and old ATM receipt, whatever ๐Ÿ˜Š), and prepare for a trip to the library! There are sure to be any number of books shared this week you’ll want to check out.

I’m sharing one that was a huge favorite with my kids, back in the last millennium when they were little ๐Ÿ˜Š I hope you like it!

Title: The Baby Blue Cat Who Said No
Written & Illustrated By: Ainslie Pryor
Re-issue March 1988, Viking Juvenile, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: behavior (contrariness), humor

Opening: “Have you heard the story of the Baby Blue Cat who said No?
Once there was a Mama Cat and her four baby cats.
Baby Orange Cat,
Baby White Cat,
Baby Striped Cat, and
Baby Blue Cat.
Mama Cat loved all of her baby cats very much.

Brief Synopsis: Baby Orange Cat, Baby White Cat and Baby Striped Cat all behave the way little kittens should, but Baby Blue Cat is feeling ornery. ย No matter what his Mama asks, he says, “No!” ย But when he pushes his Mama too far, he apologizes and behaves… until his contrariness gets the better of him again ๐Ÿ˜Š

Links To Resources: Teaching Children A VocabularyFor Emotions; make cards with different emotions pictured and/or written  – e.g. a smiley face and/or HAPPY – and play emotion charades by letting kids pick a card and act out the emotions for the rest of the class or family and see if the observers can guess; talk about behavior – have you ever refused to do something just to be difficult? Do you sometimes do bad things and then feel sorry? Talk about how to say you’re sorry – resource HERE.

Why I Like This Book: ย The language is fun to read aloud. ย (Years later, we still use the phrase “and here’s your delicious cupcake, YUM YUM” ๐Ÿ˜Š ) ย The line drawings are cute and engaging (right down to the smile on the fish sandwich ๐Ÿ˜Š) ย But mostly, anyone who has ever spent 3 minutes around a toddler will recognize and appreciate Baby Blue Cat’s desire to have some control, and some opportunity to be independent of his mother and siblings. ย As I mentioned above, he’s naughty, but when he goes too far he’s genuinely remorseful. ย Mama Cat loves her baby cats very much, and it is clear that Baby Blue Cat loves his Mama Cat too ๐Ÿ˜Š

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do at our house! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 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 – The Hike

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And that means the weekend is nearly here!!

And that means it’s a perfect time for today’s Perfect Picture Book and a hike!!! (Something I’m always up for ๐Ÿ˜Š)

Title: The Hike

Written & Illustrated By: Alison Farrell

Publisher: Chronicle Books, October 2019, informational fiction

Suitable For Ages: publisher says 3-5, but there’s a lot of information that would appeal to older kids

Themes/Topics: nature, hiking, cooperation, group activities

text and illustration copyright Alison Farrell 2019, Chronicle Books

Opening: “We are going on a hike.”

text and illustration copyright Alison Farrell 2019, Chronicle Books

Brief Synopsis: Three friends and their dog set off on a hike, noticing a lot about nature and having adventures along the way.

text and illustration copyright Alison Farrell 2019, Chronicle Books

Links To Resources: The whole book is a resource – Wren’s notes throughout, and several pages at the end of the story devoted only to her notes and pictures – so there are a lot of resources to be found right there. Take a nature walk. Make your own nature notebook/sketchbook and write and draw the things you see. Go for a hike with your family. How To Make A Nature Journal/Notebook; Video: How To Make A Leaf Collage

text and illustration copyright Alison Farrell 2019, Chronicle Books

Why I Like This Book: I find this book so appealing! The story text is quite simple (hence the 3-5 age range.) But the art is full of birds, animals, plants, and all kinds of other things found in nature that you might see on a hike – tons of little details for young readers to look at and learn about. One of the children in the story, Wren, keeps a sketchbook and draws little pictures and jots down interesting facts. The kids have to follow the trail, using a map (and I love that it’s an actual map and not GPS on a phone!) The kids look like they’re having so much fun outdoors together, doing something real, physically active, and educational as well as entertaining. By the time they get home, the stars are coming out and the art includes phases of the moon and constellations. It’s really just all around delightful!

text and illustration copyright Alison Farrell 2019, Chronicle Books

(from the back matter)

text and illustration copyright Alison Farrell 2019, Chronicle Books

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 blog 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 Go for a hike! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Randy, The Badly Drawn Horse

Howdy, friends!

It’s time for the weekly Perfect Picture Book round-up!

Today I have a wonderful book that manages to combine a meaningful theme with great humor. I hope you will love it!

Title: Randy, The Badly Drawn Horse

Written & Illustrated By: T. L. McBeth

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co, August 2020, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: metafiction, unconditional love, humor, expectations

Opening: “‘Mom! Look!
I drew a beautiful horse!’

‘He is beautiful! Great job, dear!’

I am a beautiful horse! Everyone loves me.”

text and illustration copyright T. L. McBeth 2020, Henry Holt

Brief Synopsis: Randy knows heโ€™s a beautiful horseโ€•everyone says so. From his flowing mane to his long, elegant legs, to his perfect smile that lights up the sky! But while on a grand adventure, he catches sight of himself and suddenly he’s not so sure…

text and illustration copyright T. L. McBeth 2020, Henry Holt

Links To Resources: 7 Imagination Activities For Kids; 10 Hands-On Activities To Teach Kids About Love; draw a picture of something you love and make up an adventure

text and illustration copyright T. L. McBeth 2020, Henry Holt

Why I Like This Book: I love the creativity and imagination of the child drawing Randy and then sending him on an adventure, and the humor of Randy’s responses to having to deal with the situations he’s put in (cleaning up the mess when the child makes him a great chef, pulling himself out of the crevasse (which is actually the spine of the book), dragging his thirsty self along when he ends up in the desert. His whole vision of himself is based on the child’s initial description of him as beautiful and the mom’s agreement, so when he sees his reflection he is taken aback, suddenly unsure of himself. But unconditional love wins out and Randy understands that to his child creator (and therefore to himself) he truly is beautiful. This is a delightful book that will have kids laughing out loud, but also empathizing with Randy’s moment of self-doubt. . . because we’ve all been there.

text and illustration copyright T. L. McBeth 2020, Henry Holt

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 blog 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 – Dragon Night

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Wait ’til you see the gorgeous book I have to share with you today!  I dare you not to love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

dragon night

Title: Dragon Night

Written & Illustrated By: J. R. Krause

G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers, January 22 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: friendship, kindness, childhood fears (nighttime), word play

Opening: “Georgie is afraid of the night.
It’s too dark with the lights off.
Too quiet with everyone asleep.
And being alone makes everything worse.”

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 4.23.29 pm
text and illustration copyright J.R.Krause 2019

Brief Synopsis: Georgie is afraid of the night.  The dragon is afraid of the knight.  The dragon knows just how to help Georgie overcome his fear, and the two set off on a unforgettable adventure. But when the morning comes, Georgie feels better about the night, but the dragon is still afraid of the knight. How can Georgie help his friend?

Links To Resources: Make Your Own Night Light; write your own story for the dragon the way Georgie does – what items would you include? what setting? Make Dragon Egg Sugar Cookies! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Why I Like This Book: Lots of kids are afraid of the dark and the night, so this charming story is sure to be relatable and I think any child will find it comforting.  It’s a lovely story for bedtime.

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 4.24.16 pm
text and illustration copyright J.R.Krause 2019

The combination of text and illustration hits the exact magical note that makes a picture book truly perfect. Both Georgie and the Dragon are appealing characters (I hope no one misses that his name is Georgie ๐Ÿ˜Š ), and the story is one of kindness, empathy, and understanding.

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 4.24.43 pm
How endearing is this? ๐Ÿ™‚                                                                                                                              (text and illustration copyright J.R.Krause 2019)

My favorite part, aside from the lovely relationship that develops between the two, and getting to see the knight from the dragon’s point of view, is the fact that Georgie’s solution involves creative writing – what a great model for young readers! 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˜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 – A Flood Of Kindness

Hurray! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday again!

I don’t know about you, but there are so many great books out lately that it’s hard to pick just one each week!

But I had no trouble picking this one. Such a beautiful story, and so well written!

Have a look!

Title: A Flood of Kindness

Written By: Ellen Leventhal

Illustrated By: Blythe Russo

Publisher: WorthyKids, April 13, 2021, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: hardship, kindness, resilience

Opening: “The night the river jumped its banks, everything changed.”

text copyright Ellen Leventhal 2021, illustration copyright Blythe Russo 2021, WorthyKids

Brief Synopsis: When Charlotte’s home is made uninhabitable by flood waters, she must go to a shelter and rely on the kindness of others for food, clothing, and shelter. It is uncomfortable, scary, and unfamiliar, and Charlotte is assailed by a flood of emotions – fear, anger, sadness, and loss. Eventually, the kindness shown to her by others allows Charlotte to pass kindness on.

text copyright Ellen Leventhal 2021, illustration copyright Blythe Russo 2021, WorthyKids

Links To Resources: Kindness Lessons and Activities; 28 Kindness Activities for Preschoolers;

text copyright Ellen Leventhal 2021, illustration copyright Blythe Russo 2021, WorthyKids

Why I Like This Book: As writers, we all believe that every child should have the opportunity to see him/herself in a book, to know that whatever they may be experiencing, others have experienced it too and they’re not alone. Although this story specifically relates to a flood, it’s a story that any child who has ever experienced displacement or loss will feel understood and seen by. The text is powerful in its spareness, using just the right words to tell the story so the reader can experience the emotions along with Charlotte. And the ending is poignant, sweet and hopeful, and shows that kindness multiplies. A wonderful book to show kids the importance of paying it forward.

text copyright Ellen Leventhal 2021, illustration copyright Blythe Russo 2021, WorthyKids

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 blog 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 – Sloth And Squirrel In A Pickle

Woo hoo! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And what could be more perfect on a Perfect Picture Book Friday than the announcement that, although the voting time isn’t quite up yet, it appears the prevailing opinion is that we SHOULD run the Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge again this year! Who knows what Perfect Picture Books that might lead to?!

So I guess I’d better get my thinking cap on and start cogitating on possible challenge prompts! And in the spirit of teamwork, embodied in today’s Perfect Picture Book, anyone who has a great idea for prizes and/or wants to donate one should feel free to email me (you can use the handy-dandy website contact form) and earn my everlasting gratitude ๐Ÿ˜Š as well of that of the participants who will end up benefiting!

Now, let’s have a look at this delightful book!

Title: Sloth And Squirrel In A Pickle

Written By: Cathy Ballou Mealey

Illustrated By: Kelly Collier

Publisher: Kids Can Press, May 4, 2021, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: teamwork, perseverance, initiative, friendship

text copyright Cathy Ballou Mealey 2021, illustration copyright Kelly Collier 2021, Kids Can Press

Opening: “‘Sloth, I want a bike,” said Squirrel. “I want a bike just like that. We could go FAST!’
Sloth nodded s-l-o-w-l-y.
‘Let’s go to the store!’ said Squirrel.”

Brief Synopsis: Squirrel wants a bike, but it turns out they cost more than he thought. To earn money, he and Sloth get a job at a pickle packing factory. But that turns out not to be as easy as he thought. When they end their first (and only) day of work at the factory, Sloth uses his money to buy them treats. But that doesn’t work out as well as he thought. Until Squirrel recognizes Sloth’s accidental genius and they finally get their bike. Which turns into something neither of them thought… ๐Ÿ˜Š

text copyright Cathy Ballou Mealey 2021, illustration copyright Kelly Collier 2021, Kids Can Press

Links To Resources: think of something you want – how might you and a friend work together to earn money to buy it? draw a picture or write a story of the item you want and what you’d do to earn it; some games require teamwork – try having a three-legged race or building a marshmallow tower; work together to complete a scavenger hunt – here are 8 Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

Why I Like This Book: The friendship between this unlikely pair of buddies shines out from the first lines of the story. They are a team! They see each others’ good qualities. When they make mistakes, there is no blame – they help each other out. When Sloth, in an act of kindness, unknowingly comes up with an idea that will solve their problem, Squirrel recognizes the possibilities and unselfishly gives him the credit. And when they get what they set out to get, Sloth surprises everyone by by showing he and Squirrel have more in common than it might have at first appeared. This hilarious story will have young readers laughing at Sloth and Squirrel’s antics, and discovering with delight all the little details in the fun and lively (and pickle-juice hued ๐Ÿ˜Š) illustrations. An all-around entertaining story that celebrates friendship, teamwork, and taking the initiative to make things happen!

text copyright Cathy Ballou Mealey 2021, illustration copyright Kelly Collier 2021, Kids Can Press

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 blog 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 – The Mess That We Made

Welcome to the Day-After-Earth-Day edition of Perfect Picture Book Friday!

To celebrate Earth Day, I have an absolutely wonderful book to share – one I think you’ll all enjoy and appreciate! (It is one of those wish-I’d-written-this! books ๐Ÿ˜Š)

Title: The Mess That We Made

Written By: Michelle Lord

Illustrated By: Julia Blattman

Publisher: Flashlight Press, January 2020, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-7

Themes/Topics: environmental issues – importance of awareness and change

Opening: “THIS is the mess that we made.

These are the fish that swim in the mess that we made.

This is the seal
that eats the fish
that swim in the mess that we made.”

text copyright Michelle Lord 2020, illustration copyright Julia Blattman 2020, Flashlight Press

Brief Synopsis: [From the publisher] “The Mess That We Made explores the environmental impact of trash and plastic on the ocean and marine life, and it inspires kids to do their part to combat pollution.”

Links To Resources: The Mess That We Made Word Search; book back matter Includes facts about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, ocean pollution, and Calls to Action for kids and grownโ€‘ups to share.

Why I Like This Book: In the cumulative tale tradition of This Is The House That Jack Built, this rhythmic, sometimes rhyming story shows kids in an age-appropriate way how human behavior is affecting the ocean ecosystem. The vibrant art shows what is happening to the ocean water and the creatures who live there without being so explicit that it would be upsetting. As the story progresses, the illustrations show more and more garbage in the water, building to a full page spread with the very simple text: “Look at the mess that we made.”

text copyright Michelle Lord 2020, illustration copyright Julia Blattman 2020, Flashlight Press

This spread invites readers to pause and really look at and think about what we, as humans, are doing to the world. But the story does not end on that distressing note. Instead, it turns a corner and begins to show all the things we can do to make things better, until it ends on a positive note:

text copyright Michelle Lord 2020, illustration copyright Julia Blattman 2020, Flashlight Press

The book has an important message, handled deftly, so that young readers understand the necessity of change and feel empowered to make it. The back matter includes additional interesting and educational material. A wonderful choice for every library!

In case you’d like to see more, here is the book trailer:

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 blog 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 – The Color Collector

It’s another beautiful (I’m ignoring the mid-April snow!) Perfect Picture Book Friday, and I have a wonderful book to share with you today!

I was lucky enough to get to “talk” briefly with the author, Nicholas Solis, and he kindly shared his inspiration for the book which I think you’ll all be interested in hearing. I have added his thoughts below in the “Links To Resources” section.

But let’s start by having a look at this gorgeous book!

Title: The Color Collector

Written By: Nicholas Solis

Illustrated By: Renia Metallinou

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press, fiction, April 15, 2021

Suitable For Ages: 6-9 years

Themes/Topics: friendship, kindness, empathy

text copyright Nicholas Solis 2021, illustration copyright Renia Metallinou 2021, Sleeping Bear Press

Opening: “She was new.
She was quiet.
I think she was lonely.

That was the day I met Violet.

I was new once.
I said hello.

She smiled a little, I think.
But she was quiet.”

Brief Synopsis: A boy offers a kind word to a lonely new girl, and as the days pass and they walk home together, he notices all the colorful things she picks up and wonders why. She shares a little of her life with him, and their friendship blossoms, a wonderful thing for both of them.

Links To Resources: activities provided by author Nick Solis:

I asked Nick about his inspiration for writing this beautiful book and this was his reply:

“I was inspired by a piece of art by Grahamย Franciouse. The painting is of a little girl collecting leaves, and she had the saddest eyes I had ever seen.ย 

This story speaks to me in so many ways, but the main impact is that idea that even a kind word from one person can change another person’s entire life. My parents divorced when I was young and we moved around a lot. In the middle of 7th grade, I had to start a new school. Middle school is tough for anyone, but an overweight, shy kid starting in the middle of the year didn’t have a chance. The rest of that year was tough for me, and I was determined to go live with my father after 8th grade. But at the beginning of the school year one kid said hi to me. He invited me into his conversation with him and his friends and it changed my life. I became more open, funny, and creative. I made a ton of friends that year and stayed with my mom throughout middle school and high school. Most of the kids I met in high school are still my closest friends 25 years later. So all it takes is just one person to show a little kindness and their world can change. That’s what I hope to share with this book.”ย 

Why I Like This Book: This poignant story of friendship, beautifully told with an economy of words but with a real depth of emotion, shows just how much power we all have to make a difference in someone’s life with nothing more than a kind word or gesture. You can never know how much a kindness might mean to someone. The story is simple and lovely, and the art is gorgeous and complements it perfectly. I love how the opening spread is all shades of gray (please see above) and the last spread with both children in it (which is the second to last in the book) has come to life with color.

text copyright Nicholas Solis 2021, illustration copyright Renia Metallinou 2021, Sleeping Bear Press

In between, at the moment when their friendship really begins to take shape, Violet shows the boy the color and beauty of the life she left behind, which is how he begins to understand her.

text copyright Nicholas Solis 2021, illustration copyright Renia Metallinou 2021, Sleeping Bear Press

And the very last page shows how he has taken her words and experience to heart and begun to see how he can find the colors in his own world.

text copyright Nicholas Solis 2021, illustration copyright Renia Metallinou 2021, Sleeping Bear Press

It is a touching story of kindness and friendship that all young readers will relate to, an absolutely lovely book, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! ๐Ÿ˜Š