Perfect Picture Book Friday – Flap Your Wings

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

My house has a little roofed porch over the front door.

We never use the front door, mind you, but the little porch is excellent for hanging Christmas lights on, and it provides two lovely little sheltered spots for bird nests.  For years, every spring, we had bird families raising their babies.

But along came a year when the porch had to be cleaned and painted in August, and the painter removed the empty nests and cleaned the little sheltered spots thoroughly…

…and the birds didn’t come back 😦

For 3 years, there have been no nests in the little porch and I have missed them.

But lo and behold, look who showed up this week 🙂

bird nest

Maybe it’s silly, but it makes me happy to see them again.

So today, for my Perfect Picture Book, I chose a book about a nest 🙂

It’s an older book – one I read as a child so that will give you a hint as to just how old! 🙂 – and is one of my All Time Favorites!

Flap Your Wings

Written & Illustrated By: P.D. Eastman

Random House, 1969, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 3-8

Themes/Topics: assumptions, non-traditional family, unconditional love, responsibility

Opening: (this is actually the first three pages.)

An egg lay in the path.

A boy came down the path.  He saw the egg.  “Someone might step on that egg and break it,” he said.

He looked around.

He saw flamingos and frogs, and turtles and alligators.  “Whose egg is this?” he called.  But no one answered.”

Brief Synopsis:  A little boy finds an egg.  He doesn’t want it to get damaged, so he looks around until he finds the nest and carefully puts it back.  When Mr. and Mrs. Bird come home, they are surprised to find an egg in their nest… it wasn’t there when they left!  But Mr. Bird says that if an egg is in their nest it must be their egg, so they must take care of it.  So they do… with very surprising results!

Links To Resources:  Ideas And Activities For Guided ReadingIncubation & Embryology Activities, use with An Egg Is Quiet (from PPBF link list), talk about what kind of animals, insects and reptiles lay eggs and how the eggs are the same and different.

Why I Like This Book:  This book is fun to read as a picture book, but is also an I Can Read type book that is very accessible to new readers.  The pictures are delightful – Mr. and Mrs. Bird’s expressions are very entertaining.  But I really love the story because it doesn’t go where you would expect.  It’s funny.  And it’s a great example of what agents, editors and reviewers mean when they talk about re-readability.  This book delighted me as a child, and delighted my children in their turn.  I’ve read it so many times that even now, years since I last read it to my kids, I can recite almost the whole book.  It’s fun every time 🙂

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!!! 🙂

(And if you’re in the Millbrook area, come visit the me and all my fabulous author and illustrator friends at the Millbrook Literary Festival! 🙂 )

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Hello Lighthouse

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

Although at first glance this book may appear to have nothing to do with Mother’s Day (coming up the day after tomorrow), if you read it you’ll see that is does indeed have a connection… 🙂

lighthouse

Title: Hello Lighthouse

Written & Illustrated By: Sophie Blackall

Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, April 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: lighthouses, history, family

Opening: “On the highest rock of a tiny island
at the edge of the world stands a lighthouse.
It is built to last forever.
Sending its light out to sea,
guiding the ships on their way.

From dusk to dawn the lighthouse beams.
Hello!
…Hello!
…Hello!
Hello, Lighthouse!

Brief Synopsis: The daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as he cares for a lighthouse that stands on the edge of the world, beaming its light across the waves to keep ships safe through dark, storms, and fog.

Links To Resources: the back of the book is full of interesting additional information about lighthouses and their keepers; read along with The Little Red Lighthouse And The Great Gray Bridge by Hildegard Swift and see how the lighthouses are the same and how they are different; make your own lighthouse;

lighthouse1

text and illustration copyright Sophie Blackall 2018

Why I Like This Book: Any of you who have hung around this blog for any length of time know that I love Nantucket and have visited many times since I was a year old.  I learned to walk there, as a matter of fact 🙂  So it’s probably not much of a surprise that I have a fondness for lighthouses, especially Brant Point, Great Point, and Sankaty 🙂  I love this book because it gives the feel of the courage and loneliness of the lighthouse and its keeper as well as a glimpse of a job that had such historical significance but is now obsolete.  The art is gorgeous and takes you right to the beach and the ocean and the wide open sky, the wind and fog, the sunshine and storms.  I love all the little extras – the undersides of the clouds that look like flying birds, the little seaside knickknacks, the play lighthouse lantern in the child’s hand at the end that is a replica of the real lighthouse in the story.  The text has a lovely cadence to it that is a delight to read aloud.  All around a wonderful 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!


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister

Hurray!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And not a moment too soon! 🙂

Today’s choice is as much for parents and teachers as it is for kids!

And busy, busy life is how I feel this week!, so, the perfect picture book 🙂

ernestine

Title: The Busy Life Of Ernestine Buckmeister
Written By: Linda Ravin Lodding
Illustrated By: Suzanne Beaky
Flashlight Press, October 2011, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 5 and up
Themes/Topics: the importance of play, over-scheduling
Opening: “Each morning, while Ernestine ate breakfast and Nanny O’Dear prepared lunch, Ernestine’s father zoomed out to work and called, ‘Live life to the fullest, Ern!’  And each morning Ernestine’s mother zipped out to catch the bus and said, ‘Make every moment count, E!‘”

Brief synopsis: Ernestine’s parents want her to have every experience she can, so they pack her days with sculpting and tuba,  yoga and yodeling.  It takes Ernestine to show them that one thing she absolutely shouldn’t miss is having time to just play.

Links to resources:  What I really should say here is, “No resources!  Just go play!”  But here are some resources that are also playing 🙂  Coloring Page, and for activities, try making a daisy crown (or any kind of outdoorsy crown), or make clouds out of cotton or shaving cream and see what shapes you see in them, or build a fort out of sticks, or blocks, or an empty cardboard box.  Use you imagination!

ernestine 2

text copyright Linda Ravin Lodding 2011, illustration copyright Suzanne Beaky 2011

Why I Like This Book:  Kids will enjoy Ernestine’s ridiculous schedule, her amusing list of lessons, her teachers’ funny names, the bold bright colors of the pictures, and Ernestine’s inspired solution to her problem.  As a grown-up, I appreciate Ernestine’s message that while organized activities arranged and taught by adults have their place, so too does the unstructured time to be a child and simply play.

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 – Baby Animals

We made it, folks!  TGIF!

So guess what?

It turns out I have actual psychic powers!

Remember that baby horse I said could be born on April 25?

Well, just minutes after midnight (around 12:23 AM) it actually was!

Look how beautiful! – a brand new filly (and for those of you who weren’t raised in a barn, that means a girl 🙂 )

Isn’t she just the cutest thing ever???!!! 🙂

Also big, strong, healthy, and full of beans! – a regular little firecracker sure to keep us (and her mama) on our toes! 🙂

Just wanted to let you know, since I promised I would 🙂

Now then, onto my Perfect Picture Book!  In light of springtime and the new baby in our barn, I thought what better than a book about baby animals?

baby animals

Title: Baby Animals (Explore My World Series)

Written By: Marfe Ferguson Delano

Photography Editor: Lori Epstein

National Geographic Children’s Books, July 2015, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: baby animals, nonfiction

Opening: “Look, a baby!
Some babies snuggle on snowy sheets of ice.”

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 9.54.39 PM

copyright National Geographic 2015

Brief Synopsis:  A look at a day in the life of lots of baby animals – how they move, eat, bathe and sleep, what they’re called, and where they live.

Links To Resources: The book itself is a resource, full of information and gorgeous photographs; make a list of baby animals who live near you (in your yard, or a nearby park); draw a picture of a baby animal; discuss how baby people are like baby animals and how they’re different.

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 9.11.48 PM

copyright National Geographic 2015

Why I Like This Book: The text is simple, interesting, and informative, sure to engage young animal lovers, but it’s the photographs that really sell the book to me 🙂  What’s not to love about gorgeous pictures of adorable baby animals? 🙂

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 – Be Quiet!

Woo hoo!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And in my continuing quest for laughs this week, I’ve got a fun one to share! 🙂

be quiet

Title: Be Quiet

Written & Illustrated By: Ryan T. Higgins

Disney-Hyperion, April 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-6

Themes/Topics: humor

Opening: “FINALLY!  I get my very own book to star in.  This is going to be great!
I’m going to make it a wordless book.  They are very artistic.
This book will have NO WORDS at all.  Starting…NOW.”

Brief Synopsis: Rupert the mouse is thrilled at the prospect of creating his very own book!  It will be wordless, because wordless books are so artistic.  But his chatty little friends, Thistle and Nibbs, show up and suddenly a wordless picture book seems way more difficult…and Rupert ends up just as guilty as his friends!

Links To Resources: draw your own wordless picture book; play Cat ‘n’ Mouse (hide ‘n’ seek) and practice being as quiet as a mouse so the cat doesn’t find you!

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 9.09.42 PM

text and illustration copyright Ryan T. Higgins 2017

Why I Like This Book: I like this book because it’s just flat out funny 🙂 and sometimes that’s just what young readers (and grown-up ones 🙂 ) need!  Poor Rupert has a plan (which even he has a little trouble with 🙂 ) to star in a wordless picture book… but his friends,Thistle and Nibbs, intending only to be helpful, foil him at every turn and send Rupert into a frenzy until he’s hopping up and down, anything but wordless!  Thistle and Nibbs are delightfully oblivious in their wish to help out, and young readers will get a kick out of watching the steam of outrage build and build in Rupert until the inevitable explosion.  Like all of Ryan T. Higgins’s books, this one is sure to make you laugh out loud!

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 – A Leaf Can Be

Happy Friday, Folks!

Remember on Wednesday when I said I was looking forward to daffodils?

Well, guess what?

Yesterday I took my dad to New York City for cataract surgery and in all the little square “gardens” planted around trees along one of the sidewalks on 64th Street there were…

…wait for it…

DAFFODILS!!! 🙂

daffodil

They’re like a little drops of captured sunshine, aren’t they? 🙂

So I chose the perfect picture book to capture feeling springy 🙂

(and yes, I’ve done it before, but I love it and I was pressed for time due to the aforementioned trip to NYC!)

leaf

Title: A Leaf Can Be

Written By: Laura Purdie Salas

Illustrated By: Violetta Dabija

Millbrook Press, February 2012, Fiction based on fact

Suitable For: ages 3-8

Themes/Topics: nature, seasons, poetry

Opening:  “A leaf is a leaf
It bursts out each spring
when sunny days linger
and orioles sing.

A leaf can be a…
soft cradle
water ladle
Sun taker
Food maker…”

Brief Synopsis: a simple rhyming story that shows all the many things a leaf can be.

Links To Resources: the back of the book has lots of facts about leaves, showing how they can be all the things mentioned in the book.  There is also a small glossary.  Take a walk and see how many different kinds of leaves you can find.  What could your leaves be used for?  Leaf Activities.  What else can you look at in different ways?

Why I Like This Book:  The quietness of this book encourages children to really think about all the different things leaves can be and in turn encourages children to stretch their imaginations about how other everyday objects might be used in different ways.  The poetry is gentle with pretty images.  The information in the back adds a lot to the learning potential of the book.  And the art in this book is absolutely luminous.  It just glows.  It is the perfect art for the text making for an altogether magical reading experience.

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!!! 🙂

(and have some cake on me 🙂 )

 

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 – The Almost Terrible Playdate

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, practically Easter, and soon-to-be April!

That sounds great all around 🙂

May I offer you some jelly beans or a chocolate bunny? 🙂

I realized that I hadn’t updated the master Perfect Picture Book list on my website in a while (er… that was because I totally forgot a) how to do it and b) that I had to do it – I had somehow convinced myself it was automatic! 🙂 ) so anyone who wants to have a look will have the happy surprise that there are now over 900 books on the list instead of the paltry 400 that were there last week 🙂  And thanks to you guys and your excellent form-filling-out abilities, many of them have themes listed!  So feel free to check it out and share it!  Perfect Picture Books (website page) and The LIST itself on google docs (search instructions for those who need them on the Perfect Picture Book page.)

(And I have to apologize for the fact that the “master list” is really only the books listed since I moved to wordpress.  The original couple thousand books from blogger have yet to be added because I never seem to have enough time!  I must make myself add 5 a day until they’re done or something!)

Any hoo…!

I have a tons-of-fun book to share today that I hope you’ll all love!

Title: The Almost Terrible Playdate

Written & Illustrated By: Richard Torrey

Doubleday Books For Young Readers, February 16, 2016, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: friendship, compromise, getting along, imagination

Opening: “What do you want to play?”

“What do you want to play?”

“How about I’m the queen of the universe and my doll, Pippy, is my sister queen, and you visit my castle?”

“Or how about I’m the giantest dinosaur ever and you’re a dinosaur too – but not the giantest – and we stomp around smashing stuff?

Brief Synopsis: A girl and a boy with active imaginations each have very different ideas about what makes a fun game.  Will the afternoon end with two kids playing alone on opposite sides of the room, or will they find something that is fun for both of them?

Links To Resources: Class Compromise Activity for grades 3, 4 & 5 – Planning A Class Party; let your child or student draw a picture of what they think would be a fun game to play; discuss the meaning of compromise and the importance of getting along – what would happen if everyone insisted on getting his/her own way?  Give examples of situations where people might have to compromise and have kids discuss how it could be handled, for example if one child wants to go to the zoo and the other wants to go to the playground, or how to plan a family picnic that will be fun for a variety of interests, etc.

Why I Like This Book: This is a delightful story, told completely through dialogue and illustration (a good mentor text for writers who are working on similar stories.)  The writing is spare and there is no written narrative – it’s all a conversation.  The girl is completely sure that her idea is best, her game the most fun…and not surprisingly it gives her the starring role.  The boy is equally convinced that his totally different idea is best, his game the most fun…and not surprisingly it gives him the starring role 🙂  Anyone who has ever spent time around kids will recognize this dynamic.  The children’s imaginative descriptions grow more and more elaborate as they try to convince each other, but it is not to be.  Before long the girl is playing her game, and the boy is playing his.  But they are side by side… sneaking glances at each other… ultimately unable to resist their curiosity about each other’s games and the allure of having someone to play with, not just next to.  The resolution is just right – very believable – and brings young readers full circle.  But one of the best things about this book is the art!  Childlike crayon drawings depicting the imagined games – SO much fun, and not to be missed!

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!!! 🙂  And Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all who celebrate!

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Happy Friday, All!

Before we get to today’s Perfect Picture Book, I’d like to thank everyone for their enthusiastic response to last week’s book, Diva Delores And The Opera House Mouse, and all the nice comments for author Laura Sassi!

AND…

I’d like to announce the winner of the hot-off-the-presses copy of Laura’s wonderful book!

Chelsea Owens, come on down!  You are the lucky winner of this fabulous prize!  Please email me (susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com) with your snail mail address so Laura can get your book out to you as soon as possible!  Congratulations! 🙂

Now.

In spite of the fact that every time I turn around it is snowing, it IS in fact officially spring!  And what says spring like bugs?

In an effort to encourage spring to show herself, let’s talk about bugs! 🙂

Title: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Written & Illuatrated By: Bob Barner

Chronicle Books, 1999, Non-Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-6

Themes/Topics: Bugs

Opening: “Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!  I want to see bugs!  Butterflies that flutter in the sky.  Spotted ladybugs that go creeping by.”  (This is actually the first three spreads.)

Brief Synopsis: Simple facts about familiar bugs in a rhyme.

bugs 1

illustration copyright Bob Barner 1999

Links To Resources:  One back page of the book includes a display of actual-sized bugs so young readers can see how big they are in real life and how they compare with each other.  Another back page compares facts about all the insects mentioned in the book: can it fly, where does it live, etc.  Here are a few activities, and here are a bunch of coloring pages.

Why I Like This Book: This book is delightfully simple.  Easy enough for youngest readers to enjoy, but with enough information in the back to interest slightly older children.  The pictures are bright, colorful, and engaging and do a great job of making bugs look friendly and non-threatening.  I’m not really much of a bug person, but I find this book very appealing 🙂  This is also an interesting example for writers to study.  The author gets across information in a fun way in only 76 words!

bugs 2

illustration copyright Bob Barner 1999

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 – Diva Delores And The Opera House Mouse PLUS 5 Fun Facts From The Author AND A Giveaway!

Hurray!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, and boy do I have a treat for you today!

It’s Diva Delores’s debut!

diva-1.jpeg

Isn’t she gorgeous?! 🙂

You’re going to get to see this beautiful book AND hear from the author AND the publisher is generously doing a giveaway, so one lucky commenter from the US or Canada will be chosen at random to receive a copy of the book!

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

First, a look at the book!

IMG_5301

Title: Diva Delores And The Opera House Mouse

Written By: Laura Sassi

Illustrated By: Rebecca Gerlings

Sterling Children’s Books, March 2018, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: friendship, manners, opera

Opening: “Fernando loved chocolate
and cheese on dry toast,
and popcorn and gumdrops,
but what he liked most . . .

was feasting on Mozart,
Puccini, and Strauss,
and lending a paw
at the Old Opera House.

Brief Synopsis: Fernando the mouse loves everything about opera.  He wants to help Delores with her debut, but the diva thinks she deserves bigger and better help!  It takes a few opening night jitters to get Delores to truly appreciate her helpful little friend.

Links To Resources: Teacher Approved: Seven Things Kids Can Learn From Diva Delores; Opera Facts For Kids; discuss what it means to be a “diva” and dress up one of your stuffed animals as a diva!  (AND, you can use the 5 Fun Facts from the author below as bonus material to go along with the book! 🙂 )

Why I Like This Book:  The fun of this book is in the setting – an opera house – and the main characters – who both love opera!  Although the story is really about friendship, manners, and appreciation, the fact that it takes place in an opera house and involves operatic performance makes it educational as well as original and fun.  (Picture books writers – this is how you make a theme like friendship original, fresh and fun by putting your own twist on it!  Add this to your mentor text list 🙂 )  The story is told in fabulously-written rhyme which makes for a fun read-aloud, and artist Rebecca Gerlings does a gorgeous job of capturing both the feel of an opera house and the personalities and expressions of our heroes 🙂

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

As an added bonus, I thought it would be fun to learn a little about the story behind the story and Laura’s writing process/path to publication with this book, so I asked her to share five fun facts about writing this delightful, creative, and original story.

Here’s what she had to say:

FIVE FUN FACTS ABOUT WRITING DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE

FACT #1 The journey from spark to publication took seven years.

I got the original idea for my story while participating in Tara Lazar’s wonderful STORYSTORM challenge, or Picture Book Idea Month as it was called back in 2011.  I then worked on the story off and on for five years. I played with plot, rhyme, character development – everything but setting, really – until finally it was ready to sub in 2016. It was acquired by Sterling Children’s Books that spring and took another two years to be published, which is typical for picture books.

FACT #2  Diva Delores wasn’t always a seal.

Originally, I imagined everyone at the opera house, including Diva Delores, as human, except of course, for Fernando the mouse. The team at Sterling , however, felt that mixing humans with a talking mouse might be problematic so early on we decided that all the characters in the opera house world would be animals. Early ideas for Delores included a hippo and an ostrich. Ultimately, illustrator Rebecca Gerlings used her wonderful talent and imagination to create the delightful seal Delores who we now know and LOVE!

FACT #3 I chose an opera house setting, because an opera, IMHO, is a lot like a picture book.

Both tell a full story in very few words with magnificent characters. Because there are so few words each word/note must work charmingly to move the story forward. Finally, both are gorgeously illustrated – one with stunning sets and props and the other with delightful painted spreads.

FACT # 4 I didn’t attend my first opera until I was in college.

I attended university about 90 minutes from Manhattan and my freshman year signed up for a special bus-excursion field trip to the Met to see TURANDOT!  I loved everything about the evening.  It was a magical introduction to opera, which I hope my book is too.

FACT #5 According to my kids, I am hard to be around when I am working on a rhyming manuscript.

This is because I click and tap to the beat as I write. I also, apparently, talk to myself in rhyme as I am writing. Worse yet, I sometimes even do this in public places, like if I’m out walking the dog or if I’m working at a coffee shop. This is mortifying to my children, but it works for me. And isn’t part of a mother’s job to embarrass her children?

Thanks for having me, Susanna!

Thank YOU so much for joining us, Laura, and for sharing all that interesting back story!  I am the first to admit that, although I love music, I know absolutely nothing about opera, so I love the whole concept!  (Also, Delores and Fernando are darling 🙂 )

Diva 2
BIO:  Laura Sassi has a passion for telling humorous stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, 2014)and GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz, 2015), DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE (Sterling, 2018) and LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie.

Links:
blog:http://laurasassitales.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraSassiTales
Twitter: twitter.com/laurasassitales
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laurasassitales/

To join Laura on the rest of Delores’s Blog Tour, please stop off and visit these other fabulous blogs:

Diva 3

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!

Don’t forget, Sterling has offered to do a giveaway. They will send one book to one lucky winner in the US or Canada. It will not be signed because they are sending but it will be fresh off the press!  Just leave a comment below by Tuesday March 20 at 5 PM Eastern to get yourself in the running for the random drawing!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂