Perfect Picture Book Friday – In A Garden

It’s a perfect Perfect Picture Book Friday, and I hope everyone has been enjoying the kind of perfect beautiful spring weather we’ve been having on Blueberry Hill this week! It makes the heart sing! 😊

Before we get to today’s Perfect Picture Book, I’d like to announce that the lucky winner of the giveaway copy of last week’s Perfect Picture Book, LISTENING TO THE STARS, is Carole Calladine! Congratulations, Carole! I know you’ll love Jodie’s wonderful book! Please contact me and let me know your snail mail address so the publisher can send you your book!

Spring has sprung, so today I have a delightful rhyming picture book about nature and gardening, just perfect for picture book aged gardeners and their families at this time of year!

Title: In A Garden

Written By: Tim McCanna

Illustrated By: Aimee Sicuro

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, February 2020, fact-based fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: gardening, nature, community garden, seasonal cycle

text copyright Tim McCanna 2020, illustration copyright Aimee Sicura 2020, Paula Wiseman Books

Opening: “In a garden
on a hill
sparrows chirp
and crickets trill.”

Brief Synopsis: In a community garden surrounded by apartment buildings, life is busy as seeds sprout, plants and flowers grow, and a wide variety of insect and animal life flourish.

text copyright Tim McCanna 2020, illustration copyright Aimee Sicura 2020, Paula Wiseman Books

Links To Resources: the book itself is a resource, detailing the wonder of life and growth in a garden; the end of the book includes back matter about how a garden grows, cool facts about ecosystems and the mutually beneficial interaction between plants and insects; grow a seed in a cup on your windowsill, or plant a little garden of your own and watch nature in action!

text copyright Tim McCanna 2020, illustration copyright Aimee Sicura 2020, Paula Wiseman Books

Why I Like This Book: written in Tim McCanna’s spot-on, lively, such fun to read-aloud rhyme, this delightful book will make anyone want to try growing something 😊 I love that it is set in a community garden in the city, encouraging all kids to experiment with gardening, not just those who live in the country. The garden cycles through the seasons – a robin digging for worms in spring, summer fireflies, cool autumn breezes, and a blanket of snow – showing how life goes around and around. The illustrations are colorful and appealing and show a wide variety of insects, animals, plants, and children. All in all a lovely book!

text copyright Tim McCanna 2020, illustration copyright Aimee Sicura 2020, Paula Wiseman 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 – Listening To The Stars: Jocelyn Bell Burnell Discovers Pulsars PLUS Author Q&A, Special Activities, AND A Giveaway!

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Today I have a special treat for you!

I’m going to share the book first, so you can see what we’re talking about, and then I have a little Q&A with the author that I think writers, teachers, parents, and all readers will find very interesting as well as some activities that she prepared especially for us to do with our children and students! So please see below in the “Links to Resources” section for all that bonus material! (It includes a recipe for Disappearing Crunch Cookies and I know you won’t want to miss that! 😊)

As if all that weren’t enough, the publisher, Albert Whitman, is offering a copy! So if you leave a comment on this post between now and Thursday April 8, you will be eligible for the random drawing that could make you a winner!

Title: Listening To The Stars: Jocelyn Bell Burnell Discovers Pulsars

Written By: Jodie Parachini

Illustrated By: Alexandra Badiu

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company, April 1, 2021, Nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: biography, astrophysics, astronomy, girl power

text copyright Jodie Parachini 2021, illustration copyright Alexandra Badiu 2021, Albert Whitman

Opening: “Does the galaxy have a sound?

Is it loud and full of thunderous booms?
Soft murmurings, whooshing whispers?
Blips and bloops, like laughter and hiccups?

Silent?

When Jocelyn Bell was young,
she never dreamed that she would spend
her life listening to the stars.

But sometimes, if you open your mind,
you can hear the universe.”

text copyright Jodie Parachini 2021, illustration copyright Alexandra Badiu 2021, Albert Whitman

Brief Synopsis: A biography of astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who helped build a radio telescope that contributed to her discovery of pulsars, which some scientists consider to be the greatest astronomical discovery of the twentieth century.

Links To Resources: the back of the book includes a glossary and an author’s note; and I have a special treat for you – some activities from author Jodie Parachini!

Welcome, Jodie! Thank you for joining us!

What drew you to this subject?

The first question people ask when I tell them I wrote a book about Jocelyn Bell Burnell, is

“who’s that?”

When I explain that she’s an astrophysicist who discovered an astronomical marvel called pulsars, they ask,

“Why haven’t I heard of her?”

Exactly. Then when I mention that she wasn’t awarded a Nobel Prize for it (it went to her male colleagues), they stare in wonder and say,

“Haven’t I heard this story before?”

Yes, sadly. Women such as Rosalind Franklin (who worked on the structure of DNA with Watson and Crick), Chien-Shiung Wu (who worked on the Manhattan Project), and Lise Meitner (who helped discover nuclear fission), were rarely acknowledged for the incredible contributions they made to science. But one of the reasons I love writing picture books is to get these stories out there. Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s story, like those of so many women who work in the STEM fields, should be read, discussed, treasured, and celebrated.

Which do you prefer writing, fiction or nonfiction?

Great question! But I can’t answer it—it’s like choosing which child is my favorite.

I’m drawn to telling stories and I tend to pounce on whatever idea strikes me at the moment. Which means I usually have a few picture book ideas in progress at once. Sometimes I can’t get a rhyme out of my head and other times I hear a story on the news and think I MUST research it further. I let my haphazard brain lead the way!

The nonfiction appeals to my inquisitive and curious nature, the fiction to my creative side. I’m sure there’s a right brain/left brain comment that could be made about this! Hmmm, Righty wants to go to the Library while Lefty wants to pick daisies… I sense a new picture book idea percolating!

I have four more nonfiction and three fiction books coming out in the next two years, so luckily I don’t have to choose between Righty and Lefty!

Do you have any advice for other writers on getting published?

I do not have a traditional publishing story. Like many writers, I spent years getting rejections (I still do). I’ve never had an agent (ahem, see what I mean about rejections?) but I’ve been persistent about following up every opportunity possible when it comes to my manuscripts. Sometimes that means:

1. Pursuing every lead with editors or publishers you meet (for example, I met an art director at a conference. He didn’t think the first story I pitched was right for his publishing house, but I followed up with another in an email, and that one will be published in 2022. I could have just licked my wounds and retreated after the first rejection but sometimes perseverance is key.)

2. Believe in your work, but be flexible enough to alter it. Editors often know the market better than writers. Sometimes it takes (what feels like) hundreds of rewrites to get to the final product. Why start out with a fixed, single-minded vision when collaboration (with awesome editors and amazing illustrators!) is so much fun!?

3. Most writers jump into querying agents/publishers too quickly. The dream of being published is powerful, but I have found that taking classes or joining writing groups and listening to the advice of teachers and peers when it comes to how to improve my work is invaluable. Learn to tell the difference between a first draft and a polished draft by getting the manuscript in front of readers. Their opinions or critiques can open up a whole world of ideas, and, eventually, make you a better writer.

Thanks for listening, kidlit folks, and I wish all of you success of your own writing journeys!

And now for the activities!!!

I have two artsy-fartsy (my mom’s term) crafts for today—the first is a spinning star…perfect to represent the pulsars that Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered (pulsars are neutron stars that spin and send off radiation, but luckily these ones are just made out of paper). I have to admit, origami and I have never gotten along. I’m more of a modernist, throw-paint-at-the-canvas type of artist so I find folding paper in a structured, precise way quite difficult. That’s why I added the second paper star video, which is much easier and although it’s supposedly a Christmas star, I see no reason why it can’t be made for Easter too! Just grab some pastel paper, scissors, and glue!

Origami Spinning Star https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq9_tNCGnSA

Here’s the easier “Easter” Star https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NqFYzHDQyg

Double plus, I have to leave you with an amazing recipe for Disappearing Crunch Bars. (So named because as soon as you make them, they disappear completely. Trust me.)

Only 4 Ingredients:

Saltines (a column or two)
Butter (2 sticks)
Light Brown Sugar (1 cup)
Chocolate chips (12 oz semi-sweet, milk/dark/white, whatever you like)

Method:

Preheat the over to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking pan with foil. Place 1 layer of saltines on the foil. Boil the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, then pour the caramelly mixture directly over the saltines and use a baking brush to cover the saltines in the caramel. Place in oven for 7 minutes, then remove and immediately pour the chocolate chips over the pan. Spread the chocolate with a brush as it melts, to coat. Cool in the fridge or preferably freezer. Peel from the foil and break into bite size (or larger J ) bits and keep in the freezer. YUM.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, JODIE!!!

text copyright Jodie Parachini 2021, illustration copyright Alexandra Badiu 2021, Albert Whitman

Why I Like This Book: I love learning about interesting people I previously knew nothing about! Jocelyn Bell Burnell has been a groundbreaker in astrophysics as well as a voice for gender equality in science. When I read about how what should have been her Nobel Prize (at least partly if not completely!) went to two male colleagues I was incensed on her behalf! Jocelyn’s dedication to her research is amazing. She worked her way through 3 miles of paper printout from the radio telescope to discover patterns that would lead her to neutron stars and pulsars. At age 77 she is still contributing to the field of astrophysics and leading the way for girls and women to achieve their scientific goals. She has truly been a pioneer. An inspirational read for all young readers!

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! Go out and look at the stars! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Saturday Evening Back Seat Drivers Edition

Hi Everyone!

So sorry I missed PPBF yesterday!

Busy days of moving my youngest into her new home.

After much time on the road, here is a picture of my backseat drivers to entertain you in lieu of an actual book review 😊

(Don’t worry – I did not take this photo while I was driving – my daughter did 😊)

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 great rest of the weekend, everyone! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Finding Spring

Look at that!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday again!

And just in time, too!

In keeping with my theme for this week (you know, the one where I insist that spring is coming in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary 😊 ) I have the perfect book!

Quick like springtime bunnies before we get to it, though, I want to announce that the winners of the copies of Bindu’s Bindis donated by publisher Sterling Children’s Books (from the PPBF post on February 26) are Sue Heavenrich and Anna Maledon! (because they actually sent two copies so YAY!) Please email me (susanna [at] susannhill [dot] com) with your snail mail address and I’ll send them out to you ASAP!

And now. . .

Finding Spring cover

Title: Finding Spring

Written & Illustrated By: Carin Berger

Greenwillow Books, January 2015, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8 (though I think a lot of 3 year olds would love it too 😊 )

Themes/Topics: seasons (spring), animals (bears), perseverance, patience

Opening: “The forest was growing cold.  Mama said that soon it would be time to sleep, but all Maurice could think about was his first spring.

Brief Synopsis: Mama bear says it’s time to sleep, but all Maurice can think about is spring.  So when Mama goes to sleep, Maurice sets out to find it.  He has never seen spring, however, so he’s not really sure where to look or even what he’s looking for!

Finding Spring - interior
text and illustration copyright Carin Berger 2015

Links To Resources: take a nature walk and look for signs of spring; make up a list of signs of spring and check them off as they appear – is spring here yet?; How To Make A Diorama (video); Diorama Crafts For Kids; try making your own diorama about spring; make paper flowers; how to make tissue paper flowers (video)

Why I Like This Book: Every child on earth understands impatience – how hard waiting is, and how much more fun to take action!  Maurice is not deterred in the slightest by the fact that he doesn’t actually know what spring is.  He just looks until he knows he’s found it.  And he can tell he’s found it because it’s the most magical thing he’s ever seen!  Just wait until you see what it is (and no, I’m not telling! 🙂 )  The book is illustrated with dioramas and cut-paper collages and is just gorgeous – a feast for the eyes of kids and grown-ups alike.  A perfect choice for those of us currently longing for spring 🙂

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 enjoy spring which starts TOMORROW!!! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Little Ewe: The Story of One Lost Sheep

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I have a such a sweet and lovely book to share today – one that feels just right for the coming of Spring! AND a special treat – an activity from the author herself!

One look at this cover, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to pick this book right up for a peek inside! And you won’t be disappointed! 😊

Title: Little Ewe: The Story of One Lost Sheep

Written By: Laura Sassi

Illustrated By: Tommy Doyle

Publisher: Beaming Books, February 2021, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: getting lost/found, counting, curiosity, kindness

Opening: “One shepherd opens up the gate.
“It’s time to eat.”
The sheep can’t wait!”

Brief Synopsis: When Shepherd calls his sheep in for dinner, Little Ewe is too busy to listen. Before long, she finds herself lost! What’s a little lamb to do?

text copyright Laura Sassi 2021, illustration copyright Tommy Doyle 2021, Beaming Books

Links To Resources: Today we have a special resource from author Laura Sassi!

A LITTLE EWE BOOK-THEMED GAME: “Where are you, Little Ewe?” “I am here, Shepherd, dear.”

Did you know that sheep recognize the sound of their shepherd’s voice? Likewise, shepherds know their flocks well and recognize their sheep’s “baa-ahs”? In fact, that’s how Little Ewe and Shepherd find each other at the end of the story!
Inspired by this caring connection, here’s a fun variation of the traditional “hot potato” game you can play as part of a LITTLE EWE storytime.  
To play, you will need music that you can turn on and off, a little toy lamb that can be passed around a circle (like the hot potato) and at least six children.

  1. Select one child to be Shepherd. The rest will be the sheep. Have the sheep sit in a circle around the Shepherd, who will sit in the middle.
  1. Show them the little sheep toy. Explain that when the music plays, the Shepherd will close his/her eyes and the sheep will quietly pass “Little Ewe” around the circle.
  1. When the music stops, the Shepherd (eyes still closed) will see if he/she recognizes the the voice of Little Ewe by asking:  “Where are you, Little Ewe?”
  1. The child holding Little Ewe will answer: “I am here, Shepherd, dear.” 
  1. Allow the Shepherd a few guesses, if needed, to identify the sheep’s voice. Then celebrate as a flock with a chorus of baahs.

6. Rotate who gets to be Shepherd until every one has a chance.  
7. At the end of the game marvel together just how wonderful it is that just as sheep have loving shepherds who care for them, we too have shepherds (brainstorm who those might be) who care for us. 

Author Laura Sassi

Laura SassiChildren’s book author and poet
GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, August ’14)
GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz, October ’15)
DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE (Sterling, Spring ’18)
LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, Fall  ’18)
EL AMOR ES BONDADOSO (Vida Zondervan, Fall ’19)
LITTLE EWE: THE STORY OF ONE LOST SHEEP (Beaming Books,  Spring ’21)
BUNNY FINDS EASTER (Zonderkidz, Spring’22)
https://www.facebook.com/LauraSassiTales
http://laurasassitales.wordpress.com/
twitter.com/laurasassitales
https://www.instagram.com/laurasassitales/

Why I Like This Book: Written in trademark perfect rhyme, this sweet story with its charming illustrations shows a busy youngster caught up in the wonder of the world. Exploring one interesting thing after another, chasing three lizards and watching four spiders, bouncing on five floating logs and splashing with six frogs (note there is also a delightful counting element to this book!) it’s no surprise Little Ewe is too distracted to heed the shepherd’s call. What preschooler hasn’t found her/himself in that predicament!? 😊 When the sky begins to darken, Little Ewe suddenly realizes she’s lost, and oh! what a scary feeling that is! But the shepherd, kind and caring, has of course noticed one of his flock is missing. He goes right back out into the gathering shadows and finds his little lost lamb. Such a comforting resolution that will make every child feel safe and snug. Another gem from Laura 😊

text copyright Laura Sassi 2021, illustration copyright Tommy Doyle 2021, Beaming 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 – Small Walt Spots Dot

Welcome to the first Perfect Picture Book Friday in March!

Here on Blueberry Hill, no one seems to have gotten the memo that it IS March and therefore enough with the snow! It still seems to be snowing every day, at least for a while, even if only flurries. Pretty much not a day goes by when some amount of snow shoveling isn’t required!

So this Picture Book seems Perfect for today – an adorable story of a little snow plow doing his job!

Title: Small Walt Spots Dot

Written By: Elizabeth Verdick

Illustrated By: Marc Rosenthal

Publisher: Paula Wiseman Books, September 2020, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: jobs (plowing, keeping public spaces clear), teamwork, animal rescue, kindness

text copyright Elizabeth Verdick 2020, illustration copyright Marc Rosenthal 2020, Paula Wiseman Books

Opening: “Whoosh! Wind’s howling.
Swoosh! Snow’s flying.
Small Walt and Gus are on the road – and on the job.
They’ve got lots of parking lots to plow.”

text copyright Elizabeth Verdick 2020, illustration copyright Marc Rosenthal 2020, Paula Wiseman Books

Brief Synopsis: Walt and his driver Gus are plowing a parking lot when a blur of fur catches Walt’s eye. It’s cold and snowy. Will Walt and Gus be able to help the stray?

text copyright Elizabeth Verdick 2020, illustration copyright Marc Rosenthal 2020, Paula Wiseman Books

Links To Resources: Small Walt Activity Pages; 3-D Snowplow Craft (my apologies that it says “for boys”!); Snow Printouts, Activities, and Ideas;

text copyright Elizabeth Verdick 2020, illustration copyright Marc Rosenthal 2020, Paula Wiseman Books

Why I Like This Book: I love this book because it instantly reminds me of Katy And The Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton, one of the classics from my childhood, I think because of the style of the art as much as the fact that it’s about a snow plow. 😊 Small Walt is such an earnest, careful, and responsible little plow, able to get into those smaller spaces where the big plows can’t. He and his driver, Gus, take their job seriously. It is important and they do it well. But Walt also has his eye out for the community, and when he spots a stray dog, he knows he has to help. Together with the policewoman, Walt and Gus manage to catch the shivering stray and take her to the animal shelter. I like that the police person is a woman, and that she is not white (as well as that there is diversity in several of the illustrations.) And (spoiler alert!) I always like books that show animals being adopted from shelters. With its sweet story and engaging illustrations, this book will please the truck lovers and the dog lovers in your house or classroom!

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 – Bindu’s Bindis

It’s another Perfect Picture Book Friday, and not only do I have a wonderful book to share, I also have a giveaway thanks to Sterling Children’s Books!

Leave a comment on this post to be entered in the random drawing and you could be the lucky winner of a hot-off-the-presses copy of Bindu’s Bindis when it releases March 16!

Let’s have a look at this wonderful book! 😊

Title: Bindu’s Bindis

Written By: Supriya Kelkar

Illustrated By: Parvati Pillai

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books, March 16, 2021

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: family, tradition, culture, courage

Opening: “Every month Bindu’s nani sent her a new set of bindis from India.
Bindu adored her bindis.
She wore them to the temple.
She wore them on holidays.
She wore them at home
.”

text copyright Supriya Kelkar 2021, illustration copyright Parvati Pillai 2021, Sterling Children’s Books

Brief Synopsis: Bindu loves her family, especially her nani, and she loves the bindis that nani sends her. But sometimes, she feels different in a way that doesn’t feel good. But with her nani beside her and a lightning bolt bindi for courage, she finds she’s able to embrace who she is even if others sometimes find her differences strange.

text copyright Supriya Kelkar 2021, illustration copyright Parvati Pillai 2021, Sterling Children’s Books

Links To Resources: an author’s note at the end offers wonderful information and details about bindis; we are all unique – what are some things about you that others might find different, strange, or hard to understand about you even though they seem completely normal in your family?; we all have things in common – what are some things you share with people who seem different in some ways?; Bindu chooses certain bindis to match her mood/emotional state – a lightning bolt for feeling brave, an oval for pride, squiggly lines for feeling unique. Would you choose as Bindi does? What shapes would you choose to match feeling shy? Fierce? Uncertain?

text copyright Supriya Kelkar 2021, illustration copyright Parvati Pillai 2021, Sterling Children’s Books

Why I Like This Book: Bindu is a delightful and charming main character who bounces believably between exuberant self-confidence and sudden worrying uncertainty, but no matter what she faces she feels surrounded by and grounded in the love of her family, especially her beloved nani. I love the warm feeling of family, Bindu’s deep connection to nani, and the way culture and tradition come through as a natural part of the story without feeling forced or contrived. The bright, colorful art is a perfect complement to the brighter moments of the story, dimming to more subdued colors on the pages where Bindu’s confidence and security are challenged, and rising to a swirl of bright pink dress in the purple background of the stage when Bindu finds the courage to join nani. A lovely book that will introduce young readers to the meaning and importance of bindis.

text copyright Supriya Kelkar 2021, illustration copyright Parvati Pillai 2021, Sterling Children’s 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!

Don’t forget to leave a comment to get entered in the random drawing to win a copy of this lovely book!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – In My Heart: A Book Of Feelings

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

With Valentines Day on the horizon (and the Valentiny Contest fast approaching!) I thought today was a good day for this lovely book about feelings!

Title: In My Heart: A Book Of Feelings

Written By: Jo Witek

Illustrated By: Christine Roussey

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed, October 2014, informational fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-4 (but I think up to 6 would like!)

Themes/Topics: emotions

Opening: “My heart is full of feelings. Big feelings and small feelings. Loud feelings and quiet feelings. Quick feelings and slow feelings. My heart is like a house, with all these feelings living inside.

Brief Synopsis: Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness . . . hearts can feel so many things! Some make us feel as light as a balloon, others as heavy as an elephant. How does your heart feel?

text copyright Jo Witek 2014, illustration copyright Christine Roussey 2014, Abrams Appleseed

Links To Resources: make a collage of different colored hearts to represent your emotions/how you feel; draw a picture of what happy, sad, angry, brave, hopeful, shy, or any other emotion looks like to you; write a haiku or poem about being happy, sad, angry, brave, hopeful, shy, or any other emotion; make heart cookies (recipe HERE) and color the icing so you have a rainbow of emotions!

text copyright Jo Witek 2014, illustration copyright Christine Roussey 2014, Abrams Appleseed

Why I Like This Book: Emotions can be tricky even for adults. For kids, who have less experience of the world and a harder time understanding and articulating emotion, it’s wonderful to have a book like this that describes and shows the feel and the look of different basic emotions. The words are lovely, describing how different emotions feel in lyrical and accessible language (e.g. “Sometimes my heart feels as heavy as an elephant. There’s a dark cloud over my head, and tears fall like rain. This is when my heart is sad.“) And the art enhances the words by showing even further what the emotion looks like. The book is beautifully done, with heart cut-outs that run through the center of the book growing smaller on each page, and I think would be an asset to any library! 😊

text copyright Jo Witek 2014, illustration copyright Christine Roussey 2014, Abrams Appleseed

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 – A Friend Is. . .

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Given that a bitterly cold weekend is on its way in, what better activity than reading a pile of picture books snuggled up in a cozy blanket with a cup of hot cocoa? 😊

My pick for today is an absolutely charming picture book about friendship, something it’s always nice to be reminded to cherish and celebrate. And to make it even better, it was written and illustrated by my friend, Lisa! Wait until you see the art!

Title: A Friend Is. . .

Written & Illustrated By: Lisa Thiesing

Publisher: Aladdin

Suitable For Ages: 4-8 (though I think many 3 year olds would enjoy as well)

Themes/Topics: Friendship

Opening: “A friend is. . . for making.
A friend is. . . for skating and for catching. . .

text and illustration copyright Lisa Thiesing 2020, Aladdin

Brief Synopsis: [from the publisher] For many reasons and through many seasons, people need friends in their lives. Whether sniffing a sweet flower or star gazing, building a snowman or jumping into a pile of leaves, ice skating or playing hide and seek…who better to share everything with than a friend?

Links To Resources: preschool friendship activities; ideas for lots of friendship crafts, activities, and games; video – Sesame Street: Elmo and Rosita Teach Friendship

text and illustration copyright Lisa Thiesing 2020, Aladdin

Why I Like This Book: This book is so charming! In simple text and delightfully appealing and engaging pictures it celebrates all the many wonderful things about having and being a friend. Friends are for singing and giggling, sharing and listening, playing, and wondering. Friends are always, always there. The story not only shows the joys of friendship, but also serves as a model for how to be a good friend. And I can’t say enough about the art – so sweet! I literally cannot decide which page is my favorite, although singing, giggling, growing, wondering, and the last page are top contenders 😊 Share this lovely book with all your little friends!

text and illustration copyright Lisa Thiesing 2020, Aladdin

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 – Ellie

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

As I’ve been under the weather for more than a week, I’m totally cheating and sharing a book I’ve shared before because I don’t want to miss another PPBF. (My sincere apologies for missing last week!) Also, I think this book with its storyline of working together to save something precious is a good one as our new administration rolls up its sleeves and prepares to do the same thing. 😊

I hope you’ll like this book as much as I do 😊

Title: Ellie

Written & Illustrated By: Mike Wu

Disney-Hyperion, May 2015, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: art, helping others, finding your own talents, animals (elephants)

Opening: “On a bright winter day, when Ellie was just finishing her lunch, the zookeeper came by with an announcement.

“Gather ’round!” Walt called.  “I have some news.

“It is a sad day,” he said.  “The zoo is closing.”

Brief Synopsis: The animals are heartbroken when they find out their zoo is closing.  They wonder if there’s any way they can help prevent it.  Perhaps they can spruce the place up?  Lucy the giraffe prunes the trees.  Gerard the gorilla tidies the path.  But Ellie the baby elephant isn’t tall enough to prune trees or strong enough to move rocks.  Is there anything she can do to save her beloved home?

text and illustration copyright Mike Wu 2015, Disney-Hyperion

Links To Resources:  YouTube video of real elephants who paint; fun facts about elephants; elephants work together to problem solve (videos) – help baby cross road, save baby stuck in the mud; preschool elephant activities and crafts

Why I Like This Book:  This is a sweet story about friendly animals pitching in to try to save their home.  Ellie wants so much to help, but at first she doesn’t think she has any skills that will serve.  Quite by accident, she discovers a talent that will not only help, but be the driving force behind saving the zoo, and the story comes to a satisfying ending.  The art is gorgeous and so appealing, starting off in soft greens and grays and becoming brighter and bolder as Ellie’s talent develops and her self-confidence grows.  And Ellie is such an endearing character she’s hard to resist 🙂  The story is loosely based on a relatively recent headline about elephants who paint, so has some grounding in fact 😊

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 your delightful picks for this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone, and stay well!!! 😊