Perfect Picture Book Let’s-Pretend-It’s-Still-Friday 😊 – The Gift Shop Bear

Okay. So technically it’s not Friday. Too much to do the last few days! But I didn’t want to miss the chance to share this lovely book in the last Perfect Picture Book Friday post of the year!

Due to the upcoming Holiday Contest (click here for guidelines if you want to enter!), followed by the holidays themselves, our next official PPBF will be in January. But anyone who posted last week when Thanksgiving eclipsed PPBF for me (sorry about that!) or this week on time (as I did not! 🤣) or who posts in the next couple weeks is welcome to add all their titles to today’s list!

So without further ado, enjoy a peek at this sweet book. I have had my copy for a few weeks, signed by the author/illustrator and ready to go under the tree for my granddaughter 😊

Title: The Gift Shop Bear

Written & Illustrated By: Phyllis Harris

Publisher: Worthy Kids, October 2021, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-6 (from readers), though I think kids as young as 3 and as old as 8 will enjoy, not to mention the “kids” in their 20s-100 😊

Themes/Topics: holiday (Christmas), friendship, love, loyalty

text and illustration copyright Phyllis Harris 2021, Worthy Kids

Opening: “Nestled on the edge of town sat a little gift shop.
Inside the shop, in a dusty attic, in a cozy box. . .
a little bear listened to the frosty wind whistling outside the window.”

Brief Synopsis: All year long, Bear waits in his box in the attic for the first signs of the Christmas season when his friend Annie will come to take him down into Nana’s shop to celebrate the holidays. But this year is different. Nana is retiring and the shop is closing. What will happen to Bear?

Links To Resources: Instead of gingerbread men, why not get a bear-shaped cookie cutter and use this kid-friendly recipe to make gingerbread bears? Kids can have fun mixing the dough, cutting out bear shapes, and decorating any way they like, not just at the holidays, but all year long!

text and illustration copyright Phyllis Harris 2021, Worthy Kids

Why I Like This Book: This is one of those stories that both tugs at your heart and warms it. All year long, Bear waits faithfully in the attic, knowing that when the first snowflakes fall his friend Annie will come and get him and bring him down to the warmth and light, love and laughter, the scent of fresh gingerbread and pine, and his favorite carols in Nana’s gift shop. But this year, when the shop closes on Christmas Eve it is closing for good because Nana is retiring. Bear is put away in his box wondering if he’ll ever get out again. He is tossed in a car and driven away, tossing and tumbling, alone in the dark. How can Annie ever come for him if she doesn’t know where he is? [Spoiler alert – if you don’t want to know the ending, skip a bit 😊] Bear falls asleep, and when he wakes up he hears familiar voices, smells the familiar scent of Christmas, and hears his favorite carol. The box opens and there is Annie, with whom he now gets to spend EVERY day, not just the holidays. At last he has somewhere to belong all year long. The art is SO appealing, soft and engaging. Young readers will want to pick Bear up and hug him. And all readers will be touched by Annie and Bear’s enduring friendship. If you liked ROCKING HORSE CHRISTMAS by Mary Pope Osborne, you will love THE GIFT SHOP BEAR.

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! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Happy Birthday, Christmas Child! – PLUS A Giveaway!

Wow! We haven’t had a Perfect Picture Book Friday in a while, due to Halloweensie.

(In case you’re wondering, all evidence to the contrary, the Halloweensie judging is well underway and we are close to posting the finalists. With a little luck, I’ll get them up before it’s time to post the guidelines for the Holiday Contest, but the way things have been going in my world lately, it’s anyone’s bet! 😊)

Anyway, anyone who has been posting Perfect Picture Books regularly and has books to add, please feel free to put them on today’s list!

I have a lovely book to share with you today, just in time for you all to run out and purchase one as a holiday (or pre-holiday) gift for any wee folks you know 😊

OR, leave a comment on today’s post between now and Thursday, November 24 (hey! that’s Thanksgiving – easy to remember! 😊) and you could be the lucky winner of a copy of this sweet book! (US residents only)

Title: Happy Birthday, Christmas Child!: A Counting Nativity Book (Board Book)

Written By: Laura Sassi

Illustrated By: Gabi Murphy

Publisher: Paraclete Press, October 2022

Suitable For Ages: 1-4

Themes/Topics: Christmas Story, counting

Opening:
One stable on a busy hill
with only ox and donkey ’til…
Tap, tap. “Hello?” Two heads appear.
“The inn is full. Can we stay here?”
“Yes, of course!” squeak three small mice.
“It’s rustic, but the view is nice.”

Brief Synopsis: This is the Christmas Story, told simply in lovely rhyme, with plenty of things for youngest readers to count.

Links To Resources: Today we have a wonderful activity straight from the creative author herself!

Play a HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD Matching Sticker Game

by Laura Sassi

After enjoying the book, little ones might be ready for this book-themed matching game from the free downloadable “Happy Birthday, Christmas Child” activity kit. The sticker templates for the game are found on page six. NOTE: You might also enjoy the other resources there, including cupcake toppers, coloring pages, number sheets and a complete party plan!


Directions: (photos above and below)

  1. Ahead of time, print up two sets of the 12 circular printable stickers found in activity kit and have twenty-four matching cards pre-cut from colored paper.  
  1. Assemble the cards by adhering the stickers to the cards. (Or, if using regular paper, cut out the “sticker” images and adhere using glue.) Decorate an envelope to store them.
  1. Place the cards face down on the “stable floor” (a blanket or quilt) and have the children gather round.  Take turns flipping over two cards at a time. If they match, keep them. If not turn back over.
  1. After playing, the cards can also be used to retell the story or play a hide-and-seek variation of the matching game, where you hide them around the room and go on a hunt for matching pairs. 

Have fun! 

Why I Like This Book: You have probably guessed (since this is at least the 3rd or 4th… or maybe 5th? book of Laura’s that I’ve reviewed for PPBF 😊) that I am a devoted Laura Sassi fan. This newest book is no exception! It tells the Christmas Story in a way that is accessible and appealing to youngest readers. The story takes us to the stable where Mary and Joseph are welcomed by the animals and eat a simple meal of bread and figs. The baby kicks and moves, reminding everyone that it will soon be born. The joyous angels proclaim the birth and send the shepherds hurrying to greet the newborn babe. Simply told in lovely rhyme, the whole story is presented in a way that is true to the bible’s telling but written for youngest readers to enjoy, with things to count on every page along the way – from 1 stable to 10 tiny toes. 😊

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

Author Laura Sassi
Visit her website!

Laura Sassi has a passion for telling stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of multiple books for young children including the best-selling Goodnight, Ark (Zonderkidz), which was a 2015 Christian Book Award Finalist; Goodnight, Manger (Zonderkidz); Diva Delores and the Opera House Mouse (Union Square Publishing), which was a 2021-2022 Iowa Goldfinch Award Nominee; Love Is Kind (Zonderkidz), which was a 2020 Anna Dewdney Read Together Award Honor Book; Little Ewe: The Story of One Lost Sheep (Beaming Books), Bunny Finds Easter (Zonderkidz), Happy Birthday, Christmas Child (Paraclete Press), her new counting board book, and coming in 2023, from Paraclete Press, My Tender Heart Bible and My Tender Heart Prayer Book.

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! 😊

The 12th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!

Hi Everyone. Posting of finalists is delayed. I’m not exactly sure when they’ll be up, but it will be as soon as possible. Likely another week.

Eye of newt and dragon fang! It’s time for . . .

The 12th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!!!

~ for children’s writers ~

THE CONTEST: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in word count) using the words slither, treat, and scare.

  • Your story can be poetry or prose, scary, funny, sweet, or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words. Get it? Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 😊
  • You can go under the word count but not over!
  • Title is not included in the word count.
  • You may use the words in any form i.e. slithery (yes, it’s a word, we looked it up 😊), treated, scary, etc, etc, whathaveyou 😊
  • You are welcome to enter more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself 😊
  • No illustration notes please!

And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!

POST: your story in the comment section of the Official Contest Post (that’s this one!)( between Right NOW this very second! and 11:59PM Eastern Monday October 31st (So you have 3 full days to post – today, tomorrow, and Monday.)

  • For those of you who would also like to post on your blogs, please feel free to do so! You are welcome to include the link to your blog with your entry in the comment section of the Official Contest Post so that people can come visit your blog, but all entries must be posted in the comment section of THIS Post between right now and Monday October 31st at 11:59PM Eastern.
  • If you have difficulty posting your entry to the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you! [susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com Please place your entry in the body of the email including your title, byline (that means who the story is by – you! – so for example, By Jane Doe) and word count at the top NO ATTACHMENTS! and please do not submit any entries before the official opening of the contest at 12:01 AM Saturday October 29th. They will not be accepted.
  • I know how hard you all work on your entries, and how anxious you are to get them posted, but please try to be a little patient if your entry doesn’t show up immediately. Many comments have to be manually approved, and it sometimes takes me a little while to post entries that come in by email. I promise I will get to everything as soon as I can. I try never to leave my desk during contests, but sometimes it’s unavoidable 😊

THE JUDGING: over the following days, my devoted assistants and I will read and re-read and narrow down the entries to a finalist field of about 12 which will be posted here for you to vote on I hope by Saturday November 5th (though if the judging takes longer than expected it might be a little later – we will do our best! But fair warning I have two school visits that week and a long drive Friday.) The winners will be announced Tuesday November 8th (good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise 😊)

Judging criteria will be as follows:

  • 1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience (ages 12 and under), so we’re looking for stories that children will enjoy and relate to.
  • 2.  Halloweeniness – the rules state a Halloween story, so it must be crystal clear that the story is about Halloween, not just some random spooky night.
  • 3. Use of all 3 required words and whether you came it at 100 words or less.
  • 4. Quality of story – entries must tell a story, including a main character of some kind and a true story arc even if it’s tiny 😊  Entries must not be merely descriptions or mood pieces.
  • 5. Quality of Writing: check your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.  If you’re going to rhyme, give us your best 😊  Use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it, PROOFREADING!
  • 6. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.
  • 7. How well you followed the Submission Guidelines – agents and editors expect professionalism. This is a chance to practice making sure you read and follow specified guidelines. If you don’t follow agent and editor submission guidelines, they won’t even read your submission.

THE PRIZES: So amazing! What wonderful, generous people we have in our kidlit community! Just wait til you see what you can win!

⭐️ Rhyme & Meter Self Study Course – Renee LaTulippe Renée M. LaTulippe is the author of The Crab Ballet (Cameron Kids/Abrams, 2022) and Limelight: Theater Poems to Perform (Charlesbridge, 2024) and has poems published in many anthologies including No World Too BigNight WishesSchool People, National Geographic’s The Poetry of USOne Minute Till BedtimePoems Are TeachersThankU: Poems of Gratitude, and A World Full of Poems.

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (Rhyming or Non-rhyming, Fiction or Nonfiction) with written feedback AND a 30-minute Zoom Chat with children’s author Vivian Kirkfield, author of PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN (Pomegranate, 2019), MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, 2020), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Clarion Books, 2021), and SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING (MoneyPenny Press Ltd, 2010)

⭐️ 30 Minute Zoom Ask Me Anything with Rosie Pova author of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU (Spork, April 2017), SARAH’S SONG (Spork, September 2017), SUNDAY RAIN (Lantana Publishing, March 2021), THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A STORY ABOUT SUCCESS (Yehoo Press, May 2022), and for Middle Grade readers, HAILEY QUEEN PRANKING MAKES PERFECT: THE ALIEN ENCOUNTER (Spork, April 2017) Rosie does a lot of school visits and presentations, should that happen to be of interest for your Ask Me Anything.

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (rhyming preferred) with Andrea Denish, author of EVERYONE LOVES A PARADE (Astra Young Readers, March 2020), and THE WAY WE SAY HELLO forthcoming from Starry Forest Books February 7, 2023

⭐️ Picture Book Critique (non-rhyming) with Becky Scharnhorst, author of MY SCHOOL STINKS! (Flamingo Books, July 2021) and THIS FIELD TRIP STINKS! (Flamingo Books, August 2022)

⭐️ Connecting With School Librarians! Fabulous Opportunity for published or soon to be published authors! Winner’s Choice of either a Zoom or phone chat about how to connect with school librarians and get their ear or an Ask Me Anything Zoom or phone chat about K-8th grade author visits from a librarian’s POV from Kathy Halsey. Kathy Halsey is Storyteller Academy’s Community Manager and Ambassador. She enjoys writing picture books, humor, and nonfiction. Kathy’s active in SCBWI and blogs with other kid lit writers on the GROG. She serves on the Choose to Read Ohio Advisory Council and speaks at educational and literary conferences. Kathy’s a former K-12 school librarian and children’s bookseller. She writes monthly author studies for the Reading for Research Month along with Keila Dawson.

Writer, librarian, bookseller, blogger Kathy Halsey

⭐️ 30 Minute Ask Me Anything Zoom Chat (anything relating to writing/publishing) with Penny Parker Klostermann, talented author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (Random House 2015) and A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE (Random House 2017) as well as the forthcoming SPIDER LADY: Nan Songer and Her Arachnid WWII Army (Astra/Calkins Creek 2025) and another as yet unannounced 😊

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (Rhyming) PLUS Zoom Chat from developmental editor Lou Piccolo! Lou studied English Literature, creative writing and teaching at university in South Africa. After working as an EFL teacher in France for twenty years, she studied proofreading and editing before becoming a developmental editor of children’s and young adult’s literature for independent authors. She is a graduate of Renee LaTulippe’s Lyrical Language Lab – Punching Up Prose With Poetry course and Making Picture Book Magic, the in-house writer for Editions Entrefilet’s language-learning magazine ‘Go English Kids’ for children of 8-12 in France, and a traditionally published author of MG and YA fiction with Burlington Books.

Developmental Editor, Lou Piccolo

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique PLUS Zoom Chat with Ellen Leventhal! Ellen is the author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork, 2017), LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork, 2018), HAYFEST: A HOLIDAY QUEST (ABCs Press, 2010), and A FLOOD OF KINDNESS (WorthyKids, 2021)

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (rhyming or non-rhyming) with Kelly Conroy whose poems have been published in 5 anthologies (10.10, wee words for wee ones, October 2021; BETTER THAN STARBUCKS, January 2022; THINGS WE EAT, Pomelo Books, March 2022; THINGS WE FEEL, Pomelo Books, July 2022; WHAT IS A FRIEND, Pomelo Books, October 2022) and also the author of a rhyming board book due out in 2025.

⭐️ 30 Minute Picture Book Zoom Critique Session with Lynne Marie

Lynne Marie is the accomplished author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten – art by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic 2011), Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School – art by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play — art by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares — art by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling 2019 and Scholastic 2019),  Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World — art by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books 2019) and The Three Little Pigs And The Rocket Project — art by Wendy Fedan (Mac and Cheese Press 2022) and American Pie — art by Dea Lenihan (Dancing Flamingo Press, April 12, 2022)

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (Rhyming or Non-rhyming, Fiction or Nonfiction) with a recording of first read-through by children’s author and poet Sarah Meade, contributor to HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING (Pomelo Books, 2020!)

⭐️ 20 Minute Zoom Ask Me Anything with Darshana Khiani, author of HOW TO WEAR A SARI (Versify, June 2021), I’M AN AMERICAN (Viking Books for Young Readers, May 2023), and THE BOYS OF KOH PANYEE (coming Fall 2023)

⭐️ Rate Your Story Speed Pass from Lynne Marie

And maybe I’ll have some extra picture books to add in here and there to sweeten the pie. . . 😊

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for birthday, holiday or other gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazon, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, recommending them for school and library visits, recommending their books for school and library purchases, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

Happy Writing! Happy Reading! And Happy Halloween!

For those of you having trouble commenting, I apologize for the fact that my site is apparently very temperamental! I can suggest the following: if you’re trying to post comments from a phone or tablet, try a computer – sometimes it works better than way. Chrome seems to work better with this site than some of the other browsers, although one dedicated individual, determined to be able to comment, has reported that she finally managed with Microsoft Edge. Thank you for trying – it’s so important for all of you to get to hear from each other!

Now, let the Halloweensie begin!

The 239 entries listed below are linked to where they appear in the comments so you can click on the titles and get right to them! (Assuming WordPress cooperates . . . fingers crossed!) Anyone who feels kind can start at the bottom of the list so those entries get some comments too! 🎃 😊

  1. Apparition Preparation For A Scary Halloween – Royal Baysinger
  2. Attack Of The Zornaks – Royal Baysinger
  3. Down In the Halloween Cave – Royal Baysinger
  4. Sisters – Sara Kruger
  5. Halloween Nightmare – Helen Lai
  6. The Follower – Marla Yablon
  7. A Frightfully Fun Time – Susan E. Schipper
  8. The Halloween Dream Team – Jenna Elyse Johnson
  9. Skeleton Sam Settles The Score – Jennifer Cowan
  10. Slug Slime – Vashti Verbowski
  11. Ghost Recipes – Julia Pierre Hammond
  12. Rainforest Halloween – Heather Kinser
  13. On Snail-O-Ween – Heather Kinser
  14. The Frightful Fugitive – Anne Lipton
  15. Little Witchy – Elizabeth Myer zu Heringdorf
  16. Get Your Glow On – Corine Timmer
  17. Sally The Slug Has A Sweet Tooth – Eleanor Ann Peterson
  18. In The Middle Of A Snack – Bridget Magee
  19. Coming Around – Emily Durant
  20. Piper’s Pickle – Colleen Murphy
  21. Safe From Scares – Sarah Meade
  22. Claudia Maude Clickerticker’s Costume Shop – Sarah Meade
  23. What Do Witches Eat? – Kelly Clasen
  24. Ghouldilocks And The Three Shares – Claire Blumenfeld
  25. Closer – Reed Hilton-Eddy
  26. SSSSSScary – Jen Subra
  27. A Shady Halloween – Jennifer Lowe
  28. Help! – Elizabeth James
  29. Arabella’s Halloween Treat – Colleen Fogarty
  30. Trick Or Treat? – Corine Timmer
  31. The Coolest Halloween Costume – Carmen Castillo Gilbert
  32. Green Goulash Stew – Claudine Pullen
  33. The House With The Good Candy – Vanessa Konoval
  34. The House Creatures’ Halloween – Lauri Meyers
  35. When Good Luck Struck – Molly Ippolito
  36. The Haunted House Halloween Challenge – Marty Bellis
  37. Demon On The Line – Laura Polasek
  38. The Spooky Halloween Parade – Janet Krauthamer
  39. Mrs. Cleary’s Cats – Susan Eyerman
  40. A Halloween Twist – Cheryl Simon
  41. Wilhelmina The Witch – Ashlee MacCallum
  42. Halloween Hater – Blaire Moore
  43. The Halloween Bake-Off – Rose Cappelli
  44. Trick-Or-Treat, Shoes To Eat – Ashley Sierra
  45. Tricks Before Treats – Danielle S. Hammelef
  46. Happy Halloween – Stephanie R. Mena
  47. A Batty Halloween – Melissa Chupp
  48. Who Whispers In The Dark? – Erika Romero
  49. Interview With The Vampire – Helen Lai
  50. Slug Life – Kim Wagner Nolan
  51. Sapling’s Halloween – Lori Sheroan
  52. Nothing Scared Alicia Bones – Christine Evans
  53. The Mask – Su Ko
  54. DON’T FLUSH YOUR GOLDFISH DOWN THE TOILET OR HE WILL COME BACK TO GET YOU ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT – Sue Ko
  55. Going As Myself – Marianna Sacra
  56. Halloween Snack – Debra Daugherty
  57. Halloween-ing – Lori Himmel
  58. Something Wriggling This Way Comes – Amy Chini
  59. Edgar Allen Crow – Kathleen Jacobs
  60. Queen Slug’s Halloween – Kelsey E. Gross
  61. Pull Of The Moon – Darla Christie
  62. There’s One In Every Class – Linda Staszak
  63. Snollooween – Katie McEnaney
  64. A (little) STEM Halloween – Jilanne Hoffman
  65. Trick For Treat – Linda Starszak
  66. Mattie, The Scaredy Tabby Cat – Janet Parkinson Bryce
  67. Nothing Scares Me – Karen Condit
  68. ‘Twas Halloween Night – Sharon Coffey
  69. A Hotdog Halloween Hullabaloo – Sharon Coffey
  70. Their Trick, My Treat – Carol Van Gorp
  71. Interview With The Vampire – Helen Lai
  72. Halloween Night Light – Daniella Kaufman
  73. Do Goblins Gobble? – Sally Yorke-Viney
  74. Witchy-licious Stew – Charlotte Dixon
  75. The Ghouliest Ghouls – Marta Cutler
  76. The Scariest Bear – Marta Cutler
  77. Halloween Is Different This Year – S.S. Lee
  78. The Rattlesloth – Russell Wolff
  79. The Eyes Have It – Marta Cutler
  80. A Scare Affair – Lori C. Evans
  81. Halloween Haul – Stephanie Maksymiw
  82. Halloween Is Magic – Kristen Littlefield
  83. Command Performance – Jamie Donahoe
  84. Zombie In The House – Isabel Rodriguez
  85. A Wise Disguise – Jill Purtee
  86. Truck-Or-Treat – Mia Geiger
  87. The Halloween Dare – Marty Findley
  88. Witch’s Brew – Marty Findley
  89. A Halloween Tail – Katie Lee Reinert
  90. Creepy People – Sharon McCarthy
  91. Happy Halloween – Elaine D’Alessandro
  92. Scared Sssssilly – Julie Lerczak
  93. A Spooky House – Gail Hartman
  94. A Halloween Smile – Tonnye Fletcher
  95. A Scary Dare – Mona Pease
  96. Stop Your Bellyaching Soup, A Jump Rope Song – Debbie Meneses
  97. A Spell Of Transformation – Meagan T. Gentry
  98. First Flight – Paul Kurtz
  99. I Scare You, You Scare Me – Paul Kurtz
  100. Spiders vs. Snakes – Linda Schueler
  101. Pot Of The Witch – Reed Ambrose
  102. Snake In The Grass – Judy Sobanski
  103. Beware Or Be Scared – Norah Colvin
  104. Bat’s First Halloween – no author listed
  105. Children Of The Bog – Melissa Miles
  106. In Through My Window – Eric Sondergeld
  107. A Squishy Scare – Stephanie Henson
  108. The Last House – Janet Smart
  109. Jack-O-Lantern – Darcee A. Freier
  110. Beak-A-Boo! – Jill Lambert
  111. Jackie Saves Halloween – Brittany Richman
  112. The Treat – S. E. Cottrill
  113. Little Vampire’s First Halloween – Sharon Dalgleish
  114. Franny Fruit Bat’s Friendly Halloween – Amy LaMae Brewer
  115. Chicken’s First Halloween – Emma Hay
  116. Moldy Mayhem – Sue Lancaster
  117. Sea Monster – Patricia Nozell
  118. A Halloween Lullaby – Brigid Finucane
  119. Tricky Treats – Lisa Lowe Stauffer
  120. KA-RUNCH! – Donna Kurtz
  121. Scary-Fairy – Donna Kurtz
  122. Halloween Hop – Carole Gerber
  123. Halloween Treat – Krista Legge
  124. Sara’s Hairy Halloween – Jesse Anna Bornemann
  125. Scary Goat Scam – Elenore Byrne
  126. Goulentine – Michelle S. Kennedy
  127. My Teacher Is A Creature – Mary Ann Cortez
  128. The Haunted House – Karen Morgan
  129. Trick or Treat: A Forest Halloween – Sarah Marhevsky
  130. Shadows Come Crawling – Marlee Fuller-Morris
  131. Slithering Snake – Deborah Hunt
  132. Jack-oh-no! – Pollu Mendoza
  133. Jack’s Lament – Steve Jankousky
  134. Sense The Way – Sarah Hetu
  135. A Costume For Sandy The Snake – Susan R. Waide
  136. Slither and Hiss: Trick or Treat? – Cathrene Youngquist
  137. Pumpkin Jack – Jennifer Weingardt
  138. The Peanut Butter Cup Song – Hannah Roy LaGrone
  139. Gregory’s First Halloween – Morgan Lau
  140. Scary Treats – Ken Major
  141. Super Scary Sausages – Chris James
  142. Midnight Snack – Deborah Foster
  143. How To Trick-or-Treat If You’re A Snake – Abigail Mumford
  144. Scarecrows Of Halloween – Helen Ishmurzin
  145. Sneaky Snake – Jan Suhr
  146. Who’s There? – Dawn Renee Young
  147. Space Rangers And Skeletons – Cynthia Mackey
  148. A Halloween For Willard – Krista Harrington
  149. On Halloween Night – Amanda Flinn
  150. Early Worm’s Halloween Birthday Wish – Curtis King
  151. Sweetie The Parrot – Barbara DiMarco
  152. The Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest – Laura Straut
  153. Boo – Jean Martin
  154. Pete The Smallest Pumpkin – Tiffany Hanson
  155. Candy Corn’s Revenge – Tiffany Hanson
  156. A Martian’s Halloween – Angela Calabrese
  157. Candy Monster – Patricia MacMillan
  158. Igor’s First Halloween – Danna Zeiger
  159. You Can’t Scare Me – Danna Zeiger
  160. Pumpkin, Skeleton, Wolverine – Brenna Jeanneret
  161. Tricky Treats – Ashley Sutphen Delaney
  162. Little Sister Saves The Night – Laurie Kaiser
  163. The Sweetest Treat – Christina Shawn
  164. All Hallows’ Eve – Sasha Sirisena-Green
  165. Pumpkin Cat’s Turn – Bru Benson
  166. Frankenslug – Ryann Jones
  167. The Costume – Nina Nolan
  168. The Best Halloween Ever – Dianne Borowski
  169. Tricked – Geraldine V. Oades-Sese
  170. Trista’s Treat Or Trick? – Krissy Massey
  171. The Scariest Costume Of All – Abby N. Wooldridge
  172. Halloween is the BEST, but. . . – Andi Chitty
  173. It’s A Tricky Afterlife – Katie Schwartz
  174. Spider’s Halloween – Cassy Clarcq
  175. Slimon’s Halloween – Imelda Taylor
  176. The Zombie Flop – Liz Kehrli
  177. Melanie Monster – Lindsey LeBlanc
  178. Switch Witch Swap – Julie Fruitticher Schroeder
  179. S-S-Selma – Nancy Forbis-Stokes
  180. A Halloween Adventure – Gregory E. Bray
  181. Enter If You Dare – Trista Herring Baughman
  182. Snake’s Sweet Treats – Nadia Ali
  183. Costume Crisis – Keatley Eastman
  184. Tricked By The Treats – Elizabeth Muster
  185. Halloween Friend – Thelia Hutchinson
  186. My Dreadfully Dangerous Walk – Susan Twiggs
  187. Slither, Treat, Scare: A Halloween Story – Lynn Greenway
  188. I’m Not That Scared – Allison Gray
  189. The Halloween Prize – Mary Rudzinski
  190. Portia Pumpkin Proclaims – Judy Caldwell Hughes
  191. Pookie The Pomeranian’s Halloween Wish – Stephanie Jackson
  192. Boo The Ghost Gets Beaten – Stephanie Jackson
  193. Costume Drama – David Cobb
  194. Slither Spook – Jessica Milo
  195. Samira’s Potion – Jessica Milo
  196. Sabrina Squirrel Does Not Scare Easily – Liz Gill
  197. Snake’s Stealthy Solution – Kira Barrett
  198. What Did You See? – Kathleen Mazurowski
  199. Father Knows Best – Janice Kay
  200. The Costume – Amy Duchene
  201. Trick Or Treat – Laura Seely-Pollack
  202. Many Happy Resquirms – Diana Webb
  203. Theodore Turkey’s Halloween Hunt – Mary-Catherine Amadu
  204. Ghost Finds His Groove – Cindy Greene
  205. Weird Halloween Treats – Una Belle Townsend
  206. The Jabberwocks Of Halloween – Jenny Bowman
  207. Sooner And Sooner Every Year! – Stephanie Henson
  208. A Slimy Halloween: Halloweenie Competition – Erin Buhr
  209. Candy Night – Anne Weaver
  210. Growing Candy Apples – Hannah Roy LaGrone
  211. Sister’s First Halloween Night – Linda Hofke
  212. Calling All Campers to the Camp Spooky Halloween Campfire – Jamie Rodarte
  213. A Pumpkin Named Rattlesnake Pete – Pat Finnegan
  214. Pumpkin Pride – Pat Finnegan
  215. Gardenia Ghost – Katie Walsh
  216. I Am Always a Cat – Amanda Littlefield
  217. Scaredy Snake – Kathy Hill Crable
  218. Classroom Costume Conundrum – Cynthia Reeg
  219. A Beckoning Spell – Les Degnan
  220. Halloween Eve – Tarsia Rhyne
  221. Which Witch Will Win? – Lucretia Schafroth
  222. The Spider Web House – CJ Penko
  223. The Monster of Barlow’s Bakery – Jill Burns
  224. A Candy Break For Mongoose And Snake – Katie Schwartz
  225. Kid Cobra’s Halloween – Denise Seidman
  226. Costume Not Required – JC Kelly
  227. Lucinda Blackletter – Karen Pickrell
  228. Candi Corn – Liz Kehrli
  229. Glass Lizard Halloween – Maria Marshall
  230. Scaredy Cat And The Haunted Hunt – Samantha Cora Christian Haas
  231. Graduation Night – Naz Alibhai
  232. New Friends – Sarah Hawklyn
  233. Sam Wasn’t Afraid – T. May LeGrys
  234. Black Cats Get A Bad Rap – Colleen Dougherty
  235. Dad’s First Trick or Treat – Annette Bethers
  236. Skeletons Need Teddy Bears Too – Sharon Jackson
  237. Sam And Dusty Trick Or Treat – Julianna Helt
  238. Lost – Brenda Covert
  239. The Snakertons – Emily Holewczynski

Perfect Picture Book Friday – I Want To Be In A Scary Story

Happy last Perfect Picture Book Friday before Halloween, everyone!

I apologize for the late post – family situation hopefully now under control!

Before I share my Perfect Picture Book for today, I just want to mention (apologies in advance for shouting out my own book) that I am honored that Beth Stillborn has very kindly showcased ALPHABEDTIME for her PPBF today, and there’s a little Mystery Interview to go along with it, which I may or may not have had something to do with 😊 I hope you’ll hop over and visit her because she did this specially!

Now, that that dreadful commercial interruption is over 😊, I have a delightful story to share with you today – deliciously scary for Halloween! 😊🎃🧙‍♀️👻 If you have a sensitive or easily frightened little one, have a look at the illustrations below so you can judge if it’s a good choice for your little pumpkin.

Title: I Want To Be In A Scary Story

Written By: Sean Taylor

Illustrated By: Jean Jullien

Publisher: Candlewick, July 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-5

Themes/Topics: humor, scary vs. funny, interactive story (between main character and narrator)

text copyright Sean Taylor 2017, illustration copyright Jean Jullien 2017, Candlewick

Opening: “Hello, Little Monster.
What do you want to do today?
Can I be in a story?”

text copyright Sean Taylor 2017, illustration copyright Jean Jullien 2017, Candlewick

Brief Synopsis: Little Monster wants to be the star of an utterly terrifying scary story. But scary stories . . . well, they can be very scary — especially for their characters! Especially if they involve dark forests and creepy witches and spooky houses . . . Oh boy! Maybe a funny story would be better after all!

text copyright Sean Taylor 2017, illustration copyright Jean Jullien 2017, Candlewick

Links To Resources: how about a “scary” game of hide ‘n’ seek? Hide, and when the seeker gets close, pop out and say, “BOO!”; make up a scary story of your own and tell it to your family or friends in a spooky voice; talk about what makes something scary – different things scare different people – and whether you like to be scared (some people do!) or not (some people don’t!)

text copyright Sean Taylor 2017, illustration copyright Jean Jullien 2017, Candlewick

Why I Like This Book: This book is just the right amount of scary for young readers who like a little scare. Little Monster is adorable (definitely not scary 😊), and like all youngsters, sometimes what he thinks he wants turns out not to be exactly what he wants. He asks the author to put him in a scary story. The author cautions him that perhaps a funny story would be better, but Little Monster is sure! He wants a SCARY story! So the author puts him in a dark and terrifying forest. And, um, that’s a little too scary! As the story continues, the author keeps complying with Little Monster’s wishes and the story gradually becomes less and less scary until it ends up funny, a complete turn-around of what Little Monster originally asked for. But he also turns the tables on the author, which is where much of the humor comes from. The story is a little scary (maybe not for kids who are easily frightened, and maybe not the best choice for bedtime 😊 depending on your child) but it is also a story that explores setting boundaries and feeling safe within them – Little Monster is always in control and can change the rules so he knows he’s never really in danger, and it is a story after all! For writers, this is a fun title to examine. It is written completely in dialogue, and is interactive in that it is a conversation between the author and the main character.

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! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Applesauce Day

Hooray for Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I have a wonderful family fall book to share, but first, one quick note:

Perfect Picture Books are meant to be reviewed on people’s blogs and include all the relevant information (title, author, illustrator, publisher, themes, age range of intended audience, review, etc), most importantly, links to resources or ideas of how the book can be expanded on at home or in the classroom, so the links provided must go to people’s blogs. You cannot put an Amazon link to a book title. You cannot put a Goodreads link to a book title. I had to remove about 50 titles that had no reviews by the person listing it and no resources provided. This list is meant to be a resource for parents, teachers, and writers to find great books. The reviews and resources are critical. Thank you all for understanding and following the guidelines!

Now! It’s Applesauce Day! 😊

Title: Applesauce Day

Written By: Lisa J. Amstutz

Illustrated By: Talitha Shipman

Publisher: Albert Whitman (August 2017), fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: autumn, apples, family tradition

Opening: “I spy the big pot on the counter right away.
“Hooray!” I say. “It’s Applesauce Day!”
Hannah cheers.
Ezra bangs his spoon.”

text copyright Lisa J. Amstutz 2017, illustration copyright Talitha Shipman 2017, Albert Whitman

Brief Synopsis: Each fall, Maria’s family has Applesauce Day. All together, they go pick apples. Then they bring them to Grandma’s house and all together they make applesauce in the big pot that has been in their family for generations.

text copyright Lisa J. Amstutz 2017, illustration copyright Talitha Shipman 2017, Albert Whitman

Links To Resources: Make applesauce! It’s easy, fun, healthy, and delicious! HERE is a RECIPE

text copyright Lisa J. Amstutz 2017, illustration copyright Talitha Shipman 2017, Albert Whitman

Why I Like This Book: The text is simple and straightforward, and tells the story of a family doing something they do every year – going apple picking and then heading to Grandma’s house to make applesauce. At first, the child telling the story doesn’t see what’s so special about the pot. It looks like a regular pot to her. But as the family washes and slices the apples, her mother tells her about making applesauce with grandma in that pot, and grandma tells about making applesauce with her mother in that pot. And suddenly, the old pot seems very special because it draws them all together. By the end of the story, when they are driving home, the girl imagines that maybe someday she will have a child and make applesauce in the same pot that she, and her mother, and her grandmother, and her great-grandmother all used. It’s a lovely story of family and tradition, and also about the joy of picking apples and making applesauce in the fall.

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! There was a problem with the form earlier. I hope it’s fixed!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Maybe go pick some apples and make applesauce! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Fletcher And The Falling Leaves

It feels like Thursday, but somehow it’s Perfect Picture Book Friday already!

Where did this week go?

Any time there’s a holiday, the whole week just seems to speed by!

Where I live, the leaves are in their full fall finery, so it seems like a perfect day for a picture book about fall.

Are you ready for just about the cutest fall picture book ever written?  Have a look at this truly Perfect Picture Book!

fletcher
aren’t you just already in love with that little fox?! 🙂

Title: Fletcher And The Falling Leaves

Written By: Julia Rawlinson

Illustrated By: Tiphanie Beeke

Greenwillow Books, August 2008, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: seasons (autumn/winter), nature (changing seasons), love

Opening: “The world was changing.  Each morning when Fletcher bounded out of the den, everything seemed just a little bit different.  The rich green of the forest was turning to a dusty gold, and the soft, swishing sound of summer was fading to a crinkly whisper.  Fletcher’s favorite tree looked dull, dry, and brown.
Fletcher was beginning to get worried.

text copyright Julia Rawlinson 2008, illustration copyright Tiphanie Beeke 2008, Greenwillow Books

Brief Synopsis: When the leaves on Fletcher’s favorite tree turn brown and begin to fall, Fletcher thinks something is terribly wrong.  “Don’t worry,” his mother tells him.  “It’s only autumn.”  But Fletcher is worried.  He does his best to catch the falling leaves and reattach them, but in spite of his efforts the last leaf finally falls.  He promises the tree he’ll keep the last leaf safe and he takes it home to bed, still worried.  To his surprise and delight, though, he wakes in the morning to a magical sight that convinces him everything is all right.

text copyright Julia Rawlinson 2008, illustration copyright Tiphanie Beeke 2008, Greenwillow Books

Links To Resources: Scholastic Classroom Guide; Teachers Guide (from The Picture Book Teacher’s Edition); 15 Fabulous Fall Leaf Crafts For Kids

text copyright Julia Rawlinson 2008, illustration copyright Tiphanie Beeke 2008, Greenwillow Books

Why I Like This Book:  Oh my goodness!  What is there not to like?!  The story is so sweet.  Fletcher is so earnest in his desire to help his tree, so dedicated to saving it, and so worried on its behalf since he’s unable to understand from his child’s-eye-view the concept of autumn, changing seasons, and the cycle of life.  He doesn’t know that it’s natural for leaves to fall and that his tree is just fine and will green again come spring.  It takes the magic of icicles glimmering in the morning sun to show him that his tree is beautiful (and okay!) in every season.  The art is such a perfect match for the story – impressionistic water colors in soft, hazy tones of autumn brown and orange that give way to the cool blue/green and white tones of winter, and Fletcher himself is so endearing.  As adults, we often take the change of seasons for granted, but this book is a gem for the way it shows the wonder of changing seasons as a child appreciates them.

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 – Teddy, Let’s Go!

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Is it just me, or has this been a crazy, busy week?

Also, an exciting week as just yesterday I got my author copies of ALPHABEDTIME! Want to see? 😊

Violet is so excited to have a new book to read!

For anyone who might be in the area, I will be at Warwick Children’s Book Festival on Saturday along with many other fabulous children’s authors and illustrators! And (fingers crossed!) I will hopefully have copies of ALPHABEDTIME, available before the official release date just for Warwick! I hope you’ll join us if you can!

But now, I have a lovely book to show you. It has been a casualty of supply chain issues and so had its release date pushed back, but that just gives you more time to preorder it 😊

Title: Teddy, Let’s Go!

Written By: Michelle Nott

Illustrated By: Nahid Kazemi

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books, December 6, 2022, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: transitional object, new sibling, family, love

Opening: “The wavy-haired woman with love in her eyes pulled me close and whispered in my ear.
Then she wrapped me up. And I floated.”

These are the first words of the story, but it begins earlier with the art, showing Grandma at her sewing machine making Teddy.

text copyright Michelle Nott 2022, illustration copyright Nahid Kazemi 2022, Enchanted Lion Books
text copyright Michelle Nott 2022, illustration copyright Nahid Kazemi 2022, Enchanted Lion Books
text copyright Michelle Nott 2022, illustration copyright Nahid Kazemi 2022, Enchanted Lion Books

Brief Synopsis: My’s beloved Teddy Bear goes with her everywhere. Through her early childhood he is a constant companion and friend. As she grows older, she relies on him less, but he still holds a special place in her heart. So special that when her little brother comes along, she knows just what she must do.

text copyright Michelle Nott 2022, illustration copyright Nahid Kazemi 2022, Enchanted Lion Books

Links To Resources: Make a teddy bear for yourself, a new sibling, a friend, or anyone you love

Why I Like This Book: This is such a sweet story! So many children have transitional objects, those loveys they carry with them everywhere to lend strength and comfort. This little girl has a Teddy who was made with love especially for her by her grandma. From her crib to camp, Teddy goes with her, always listening for her words: “Teddy, let’s go!” And he always goes. As she grows older, he goes less and stays home more. She doesn’t need him all the time, which is as it should be, but she still needs him sometimes. Then things begin to feel different around the house. In the art, preparations are being made. A mom whose shape is changing. A crib with a mobile. And then, one night, a small voice cries, and the girl takes her beloved Teddy to their first bed and tucks him in next to her brand new little brother. (Moms and Dads, I dare you not to tear up 😊) Young readers will relate to this love for a special stuffed animal or blankie, as so many of us have had something like that, to the comfort it brings, and the love with which it is bestowed. And maybe one day some of them will pass their loveys on to a new sibling, too.

text copyright Michelle Nott 2022, illustration copyright Nahid Kazemi 2022, Enchanted Lion Books

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! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Brown Is Warm, Black Is Bright

Just a smidge behind with the post this morning (oops! 😊) but woohoo! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a book I thought was gorgeous on this level. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly recommend finding a copy because it is not to be missed!

Let’s have a look, shall we?

Title: Brown Is Warm, Black Is Bright

Written By: Sarah L. Thomson

Illustrated By: Keith Mallett

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers, August 30, 2022, lyrical fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: Brown, Black, natural world, dreams

text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown

Opening: “Brown is crisp. . .
crunch and crackle,
catch me as I fall.
Black is splash. . .
Spray! Splatter!
to send a puddle flying.”

text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown

Brief Synopsis: From the publisher: “Have you ever paused to savor the power and beauty of brown and black? Brown is strong as a tree and sweet as honey in tea; black is the hopeful promise of a seed and the grace of a bird in flight… and the quiet space where dreams begin.”

text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown

Links To Resources: what do Black and Brown (or other colors) mean to you? How do they make you feel? Draw a picture of it, or write a haiku or a poem about it. What do you think of when you think of Black or Brown (or other colors)? Recipes to make? Make them! Flowers or vegetables to plant? Plant them! What is one dream you have? Is it something you’d like to share? Or something to hold in your heart just for you?

text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown

Why I Like This Book: This book is a perfect example of what picture books should be – a beautiful marriage of text and art. It is a celebration of Black and Brown, but also of love and hope and wonder, strength and dreams and play, warmth and safety, and the beauty of the natural world. The words are lyrical and evocative, and the art is warm and lush and gorgeous. It makes you feel the text. And Keith Mallett’s skill with facial expression is remarkable. A lovely read that will create a feeling of calm and safety and encourage children to explore all that the world has to offer outside, and all the dreams they may have inside.

text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown
text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown

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! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Little Bear

Hi, Everyone!

Are you ready for this week’s list of Perfect Picture Books? I am! And I have such a sweet one to start you off with!

Title: The Little Bear

Written & Illustrated By: Nicola Killen

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, June 28, 2022, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: first day of school, apprehension

Opening: “It was the night before school started and Ollie was feeling nervous.
She filled her little bear backpack, ready for the morning, and had one last practice lesson on the way to bed.”

text and illustration copyright Nicola Killen 2022, Paula Wiseman Books

Brief Synopsis: [From the publisher] “The end of summer can be a bittersweet time, and Ollie isn’t sure if she’s ready to go back to school. But the night before her first day back, Ollie dreams about a magical schoolhouse in the woods full of friendly little animals who make learning an adventure. When Ollie wakes up, she can’t wait to go to school!”

text and illustration copyright Nicola Killen 2022, Paula Wiseman Books

Links To Resources: 15 Fabulous Icebreaker Games for Preschoolers; 20 Creative Friendship Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers; if you were going to write a recipe for friendship, what would it be? A teaspoon or kindness? a sprinkle of fun? two heaping cups of great ideas? What do you think are the essential ingredients of friendship?

text and illustration copyright Nicola Killen 2022, Paula Wiseman Books

Why I Like This Book: I am such a fan of Nicola Killen’s books. They are all lovely, sweet, friendly, and comforting, and this one is no exception. Ollie is excited about school, but a little nervous. The night before school begins, she dreams that she follows an owl on a magical journey into the woods, where she finds a little school house filled with friendly animals. A little bear is standing outside looking nervous. Knowing exactly how he feels, Ollie suggests they go in together. One fun activity follows another and everyone has a wonderful day. When Ollie awakens in the morning, she is excited and ready for her first day! The story makes school look so fun and friendly that any young reader who is feeling anxious about school will feel encouraged to give it a try with a positive attitude. The art is charming – so appealing! – with a little cut-out like a magical door at the beginning and end of the journey, and highlights of shiny foil here and there to add sparkle. A sweet, quiet read that will reassure anyone who is apprehensive about their first day of school.

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! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – I Cannot Draw A Horse PLUS Giveaway Winner!

Hi Everyone!

It’s Friday, so you know what that means!

A fabulous list of Perfect Picture Books just in time for the weekend!

But FIRST! I’m happy to announce the randomly selected winner of last week’s giveaway, Rosanne Kurstedt’s beautiful AND I THINK ABOUT YOU!

ANDREA MACK, come on down! YOU are the lucky winner! Congratulations!!! Please email me (you can use the handy contact form in the menu above if you don’t have my email) and let me know your snail mail address so I can send you the book!

Lovely!

Onward!

Today I have a very entertaining book to share called I CANNOT DRAW A HORSE.

Now, I don’t want to brag, but I actually CAN draw a horse.

Look:

I drew that myself – a Susanna Hill original – no artistic training whatsoever!

I know. It’s a gift.

But for those of you who might need a little instruction, (not to mention a fun story) check out this book!

Title: I Cannot Draw A Horse

Written & Illustrated By: Charise Mericle Harper

Publisher: Union Square Kids, October 11, 2022, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: creativity, imagination, self-belief, art

text and illustration copyright Charise Mericle Harper 2022, Union Square Kids

Opening: “This is my shape.
Hello, shape!
“What am I?” asked the shape.
I am a nothing shape.
You are not a nothing shape.
Look!
I can draw a cat.
I want a horse.

text and illustration copyright Charise Mericle Harper 2022, Union Square Kids

Brief Synopsis: The book has a shape. It can make the shape a cat. The cat wants a horse. The book cannot draw a horse, but it can draw lots of other things to give the cat fun and excitement. But the cat still wants a horse. Can the book find a way to supply one?

Links To Resources: the book itself is a fun art resource. The pages are like graph paper, and all of the images are made from simple, easy-to-copy shapes and lines that kids can have fun trying their hands at. Start by trying the ones from the book, then see what you can make on your own! Topic for discussion: how important is it to believe you can do something? Does believing you can do something make you able to do it? Does believing you can’t make it impossible?

text and illustration copyright Charise Mericle Harper 2022, Union Square Kids

Why I Like This Book: For starters, this book is a clever departure from standard story telling. The book itself plays an important role by creating all the images that appear. It begins with a shape that looks like a gumdrop. When the shape complains it is nothing, the book makes it into a cat. The cat demands a horse, which the book says it cannot draw, but it willingly supplies other friends – a squirrel, a beaver, a bunny, and a dog. It provides fun in the form of a pool for splashing and a skateboard for going fast. The cat, however, will not be happy until it gets a horse. So at last the book grudgingly makes an attempt. I will not give away the ending – you must read it for yourself or it will be spoiled – but it made me laugh out loud! This picture book, which is like an introduction to graphic novels, is sure to have kids giggling, and experimenting with shapes to see what they can draw!

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! 😊 Practice your horse drawing 😊