Perfect Picture Book Friday – Pysanky Promise

Happy Friday, Everyone!

I know many of you are on school vacation (or have children who are 😊) so I won’t keep you long today!

I have a unique book to share, just in time for Easter!  Have a look!

Pysanky Promise

Title: Pysanky Promise

Written & Illustrated By: Cathy Witbeck

Calico Barn Books, 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 6-10

Themes/Topics: love (grandmother/granddaughter), holidays (Easter), traditions

Opening: “The dancer spun in a flash of colors.  Ribbons flew, and the layers of her skirt flared.  Alena clapped and cheered with her family.  The smell of perogies, cabbage rolls and kielbasa filled the air.  The Ukranian dance festival was just one of the reasons she loved spring.

Brief Synopsis: (from the jacket copy) “When a young girl learns that her grandmother’s hands have grown too shaky to continue making pysanky, she learns the art herself hoping to heal her grandmother’s heart. The book explains the process of how to make pysanky, as well as a bit about the history, symbolism and the tradition behind the art.”

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 8.43.09 PM

text and illustration copyright Cathy Witbeck 2018

Links To Resources: the book itself is a resource, explaining a little of the history of pysanky and how to make them.  The back matter includes samples of borders along with an explanation of what they mean.  There are also a few websites listed:  learnpysanky.com (for hints, tips, egg patterns, and everything else); Ukrainiangiftshop.com (for basic and advanced supplies); pysankyusaretreat.com (for people who want to learn.)

Why I Like This Book: Not only is this a touching story about the relationship between a granddaughter and her grandmother, it is also a very interesting look at the history and craft of making pysanky – Ukrainian Easter eggs.  When Alena sees how sad her grandmother is that her hands have grown too shaky for the delicate work of creating the beautiful pysanky, she asks her aunt to teach her the art so she can make one for her grandmother and show her that the tradition will go on in the family.  It is a lovely and very interesting tale, nicely written for slightly older picture book readers, and I think will inspire children to try their hand at the beautiful art!

I was fortunate to get a little background on the creation of this book from author/illustrator, Cathy Witbeck, who said, “I thought about publishing traditionally, but my mother-in-law posed for reference pics of the grandmother in the story and I wanted her to see the finished product. She turned 90 this year. I took reference photos when my daughter was about 11. She’s 27 now. So you can see why I had to get it done pronto.” The fact that the book is based on real life makes me like it even more! 😊

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 for everyone who celebrates, have a joyous Easter or Passover! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Sonny’s Bridge

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, and this week I have a legitimate perfect picture book to share with you (after last week’s falling down on the job 😊)

Wait until you see this book, due out in May, so you’ll have to wait just a little to read it, but you can pre-order your copy today or request it from your local library!

Sonny's Bridge

Title: Sonny’s Bridge

Written By: Barry Wittenstein

Illustrated By: Keith Mallett

Charlesbridge, May 21, 2019, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 6-9

Themes/Topics: music (jazz), finding yourself

Opening:
Misty night.
Summer night.
East River New York City night.
You hear that?
     Hear what?
That.  THAT!
     Somebody’s playing the saxophone.  So what?
So that’ Sonny Rollins, that’s what.
     Wait.  WHAT? That’s Sonny Rollins? The Sonny Rollins?
     What the heck is Sonny Rollins doing on the Williamsburg Bridge
     this time of night?
Nobody knows, man.  Nobody knows.  ‘Cept Sonny, and
He. Ain’t. Sayin’.

Brief Synopsis: The 1950s was a great time to be a jazz musician.  Sonny Rollins began playing saxophone as a kid in Harlem and rocketed to fame at a young age.  But the demands of two shows a day every day for ten years took their toll, as did the pressure of people’s expectations of greatness.  Sonny took a break from performing, but he couldn’t take a break from music – it was who he was.  He had to find a place to play where he could feel the music and it wouldn’t bother anyone else.  Williamsburg Bridge was the perfect place for Sonny to restore himself, practice and play to his heart’s content, find his own music, until he was ready to return to recording with new self-confidence.

Links To Resources: the back matter of the book is a wealth of resources.  The author tells  about his own experience with jazz; there are “Liner Notes: About The Bridge Album”; there is a timeline of Sonny’s life; quotes from Sonny: and resources for learning more.

Additional information from a conversation with the author (thank you, Barry 😊): when asked how he’d come to “write in jazz”, Barry answered that he had written and performed poetry in college and always loved the Beat poets.  That combined with his acquired love of jazz made the vibe come naturally.

Why I Like This Book: I loved this book for the history – the information about Sonny’s life and music, the way the title page looks like a vinyl record album with the needle dropping to play, the message that even great artists can succumb to pressure and moments of self-doubt –  but even better was the way the story was told.  Barry literally wrote in jazz.  You can feel it in the opening lines above.  And some of my favorite lines:

Painting rhythms with colors nobody ever seen before.

Now Sonny’s gotta find a place no one goes.
Where he can make notes cry and squeak, beg and plead, 
bend ’em up, bend ’em sideways.

and

Dark shades on to keep the inside from getting out
and the outside from getting in.

All of those lines could just as easily pertain to writers, or artists of any kind – looking for new ways to express themselves, the privacy to experiment, feel and perfect, and a way to hold onto creativity without distraction or doubt creeping in to ruin it.

In addition, Keith Mallett’s art is amazing and absolutely perfect for the book.  Deep blue and purple nighttime scenes, deep orange sunset behind building silhouettes, and brighter day time scenes.  I love this page:

fullsizeoutput_16e8

text copyright Barry Wittenstein 2019, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2019

I apologize – my iphone photo doesn’t do it justice!  The blues and purples are much better than this in real life!

Overall this is an amazing book with a lot to offer educationally and artistically.  A great addition to any classroom, library, or kids’ room shelf!

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!!! 🙂

 

Not Exactly Perfect Picture Book Friday😊

Well folks, it’s Friday, and for me today’s Perfect Picture Book is called Me And My Sister 🙂

Not technically a book…

…but I’ll supply some pictures…

…and it is perfect even though there seems to be a great deal of tomfoolery involved 🙂

Allow me to introduce my partner in crime – the one lying on the floor – trouble if I ever saw it 🙂

fullsizeoutput_d98

Mischievous Grin and New Sidekick

 

Version 2

Up To No Good and Definitely Up To No Good!

 

fullsizeoutput_d97

Miss Innocence and I’ve Got A Dastardly Plan

And even now…

I think it is clear that as a pair we are nothing but monkey business and cannot be trusted to get any work done! 🙂

She is leaving tomorrow – no visit is ever long enough 😦 – but we had a good time even though I didn’t write up a Perfect Picture Book and am now behind on my critiques.  No doubt about it – a visit with my sister is well worth the grind of a weekend of catching up on work!

Tonight we will be joined by our brothers to celebrate my dad’s 90th birthday which is still 2 weeks away, but this was the only day we could all be in the same place at the same time, so you can bet there will be plenty of cake around here!

For the rest of you who are actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing… 🙂

…you can find the complete list of books with resources at 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 – Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have A Horse

Phyllis was kind enough to remind me just now (and I use the term “kind” loosely! 🙂 ) that this is the last Perfect Picture Book Friday before April Fools Day.  In her considered opinion, the featured book here today should be APRIL FOOL, PHYLLIS!

But I had already picked out this book which I really want to share, so I kindly reminded her back that the lovely Beth Stilborn already reviewed APRIL FOOL, PHYLLIS! for PPBF and anyone who wants to can go read about it there! (with the added bonus that they get to go to Beth’s! 🙂 ). Phyllis was not completely convinced this was okay, so to make her happy I put the link to Beth’s in here Five Times! 🙂

And now we will get to the book I picked!

Adrian Simcox

Title: Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have A Horse

Written By: Marcy Campbell

Illustrated By: Corinna Luyken

Dial Books, August 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5 (publisher’s suggestion) – I think 6-7 would like it too 🙂

Themes/Topics: kindness, understanding, friendship, imagination

Opening: “Adrian Simcox sits all by himself, probably daydreaming again.

Brief Synopsis: Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has the best and most beautiful horse in the world.  Chloe knows he is lying! His house is tiny – he has no room for a horse! His shoes have holes – he has no money for a horse! His lies make her angry. Chloe complains about Adrian to her mother, but instead of vindication, she gets marched over to Adrian’s house where her eyes and her heart are opened to something new.

Links To Resources: from author’s website: Random Acts Of Kindness sheet; Give Adrian A Horse drawing page; Draw Something You’ve Always Dreamed Of activity page

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 8.16.54 PM

Why I Like This Book: We have all had experiences where imagination helps lift us out of difficult situations or circumstances.  In this poignant, tender story.  Adrian doesn’t have much.  He lives in a tiny, falling-down house.  He has holes in his shoes, and he gets the free lunch at school.  But Adrian is a dreamer and he has the most beautiful horse in the world.  Chloe lives in a nice house and takes it for granted.  She has what she needs, materially.  But she has no imagination…and she isn’t always very nice.  Adrian helps her to see that it is nicer to be kind than cruel, that understanding someone is better than judging them, and that friendship is something to be treasured.  And in the end, Adrian is not the only one with a beautiful horse 🙂 The art is amazing, with the white horse with the golden mane always shown in negative space so she doesn’t necessarily catch your eye immediately, making you wonder if you really see her – a little like imagination itself!  A  beautiful book all around!

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 – Holy Squawkamole!

Woo hoo!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday (and therefore nearly the weekend! 🙂 )

I saw the cover and the premise of the book I’m sharing today and thought I would like it, so I opened it eagerly.  Sometimes in that situation I am disappointed by the outcome, my initial expectation not quite met.  But this one more than lived up to it’s promise!  It turned out to be really fun and well done and I love it, and I hope you guys will all get a chance to read it!

Holy Squawkamole

Title: Holy Squawkamole!

Written By: Susan Wood

Illustrated By: Laura Gonzalez

Sterling Children’s Books, March 5, 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3 and up

Themes/Topics: fractured folktale, hard work, self-reliance, persistence

Opening: “One day, Little Red Hen was hungry for guacamole.  She looked around her cozy cocina.  She had masa and cumin.  She had beans and queso. But she didn’t have any avocados.  And there’s no guacamole without avocados!

71p8RHtO-BL

Brief Synopsis: In a new twist on an old favorite, the Little Red Hen (gallinita roja) is craving guacamole.  She asks her friends Armadillo, Iguana, Coati, and Snake to help her, but none of them are so inclined…though they are all willing to help eat it once it’s made!  Little Red Hen goes quietly about her business, and when the guacamole is ready, she kindly shares it.  But there’s a bit of a surprise for her friends!

Links To Resources: the back of the book includes “The Story of Guacamole”, a recipe so you can try out making your own Holy Sqauwkamole, and a glossary that tells about the animals, the Spanish words used, and any other terms that may be unfamiliar to young readers.

Why I Like This Book: I love that within the familiar framework of The Little Red Hen we get a brand new story.  Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text in such a way as to make them understandable in context (though there is also a glossary in the back just in case.) Just as the original story teaches the reader a little something about what goes into baking bread, this version tells us in a fun way about the ingredients and the process of making guacamole.  While the original story uses farmyard animals, this one introduces us to Armadillo, Iguana, Coati, and Snake.  The art is warm, bright, and inviting – perfect for the story – and gallinita roja’s little surprise at the end (a chili pepper! 🙂 ) will have young readers giggling at the expressions on the friends’ faces as they exclaim, “Holy Squawkamole!” 🙂

HS 1

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 – Little Tiger AND Little Panda!!!

It’s an extra special Perfect Picture Book Friday today, my friends!

Today we’re celebrating a writer who, like so many of us, shows up and does the work, writing stories, practicing and perfecting her craft day after day, month after month, year after year in whatever time she can find between her work as a preschool teacher, her family, and life in general.  And in the kind of happy outcome that inspires us all, her hard work and perseverance are paying off!

I first got to know Julie Abery (bio and links at end of post) when she began entering my writing contests 5 or 6 years ago with one delightful story after another, several of them featuring the Teensy-Weensy Witch 🙂  In March 2015, she took my class and I had the privilege of working with her for a month while she wrote a wonderful story about a Paper Owl.  She started a blog called Little Red Story Shed (doesn’t that just make you want to go there?!) and then in September of 2017 I was thrilled to see the announcement in PW that she had sold her first two books!!!

I am so happy to share them with you today, just three days after their book birthday!

Although board books and not technically picture books, sometimes it’s fun to share books and activities for youngest readers – the early preschool crowd 🙂 So let’s dive in and have a look at these delightful little books! 🙂

Little Tiger Cover Little Panda Cover

Title: Little Tiger / Little Panda

Written By: Julie Abery

Illustrated By: Suzie Mason

Amicus Ink, March 12 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: Little Tiger: baby jungle adventure, mother/child love, language fun (rhyme); Little Panda: baby snow adventure, mother/child love, language fun (rhyme)

Opening:

Little Tiger:
Little Tiger
waking,
shaking,
in the morning sun.”

Little Panda:
Little Panda
winking,
blinking,
spies a snowy day.”

Brief Synopsis: Both stories are “day-in-the-life” adventures in which the little one romps and plays and experiments… but mama is always close by to watch over and keep them safe.

Links To Resources: Special Resources straight from the author!!!

Hi Susanna.

Thank you so much for inviting Little Tiger and Little Panda to Blueberry Hill. We have been looking forward to visiting you on Perfect Picture Book Friday for sucha long time!

We are so happy that you and your granddaughters loved our books sooo much! How about a little painting fun to go with the books.

Little Tiger and Little Panda handprints…

Pandahand         tigerhand

They are TIGER-ific!

Fun and easy to make, just don’t forget to have a bowl of soapy water to wash those paint-covered hands.

Or, how about making bookmark corners? We discovered these origami corners on the RedTedArt website, here is the link on how to make the panda version (https://www.redtedart.com/panda-bookmark-corner/?cn-reloaded=1)

This is me learning how to fold the origami bookmark corner.

And this is what the finished article looks like.

pandacorner

How stu-PANDAS is that!

We hope that you enjoyed the Little Tiger and Little Panda craft time. And we are happy to announce that there will be two more books in the Little Animal Friends series publishing with Amicus Ink same time next year!

Thank you so much for taking time to stop by and share these wonderful activities with us, Julie!!!

Why I Like These Books: the stories are sweet, engaging, and accessible to youngest readers/listeners.  The rhyme is fun to read aloud, with perfect rhythm and fun internal rhyme as well as end-of-line-rhyme (e.g. “Little Panda winking, blinking spies a snowy day.  Little Panda stumbling, tumbling, bumbles out to play.”) Both stories let us play and explore along with baby animals, always feeling the safety of mama’s watchful eye and the warmth of her love. Lovely, gentle reads, perfect for bedtime or any time!!!

I hope you enjoy them 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!!! 🙂

julieabery-2

Julie Abery is a children’s author and Pre-K teacher. Originally from England, she has spent half of her life living in Europe, bringing up her three (now grown up) children and experiencing new languages and cultures. She now calls Switzerland home.

Julie is looking forward to welcoming; her debut board books Little Tiger and Little Panda publishing in Spring 2019 with Amicus Ink with a further two in the Amicus Little Animal Friends series publishing in Spring 2020 ; a nonfiction picture book biography entitled Yusra Swims from Creative Editions (TBA); a true story Mr. Joao and Dindim the Penguin, Kids Can Press (Fall 2020) and nonfiction picture book Sakamoto and the Sugar-Ditch Kids from Kids Can Press (Spring 2021).

She is represented by Essie White of Storm Literary Agency.

 Website: https://littleredstoryshed.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @juliedawnabery

Facebook: @julieabery

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Rosie And Rasmus

Golly!  It seems like forever since we did Perfect Picture Book Friday, what with all the Valentiny Contest excitement!

But here we are, back again today and I have such a sweet, beautiful book to share with you!  I can’t wait for you to see it!

Just a quick note – for anyone who has been faithfully posting PPBF every week, please feel free to add all your recent book review links to today’s list if you like!

And now, prepare for a truly Perfect Picture Book! 🙂

Rosie

Title: Rosie And Rasmus

Written & Illustrated By: Serena Geddes

Aladdin, April 2 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: friendship

Opening: “This is Rosie.
She lives in a little village with cobblestone streets, a water fountain, and an ice cream stand.
Every day Rosie watches and wishes.
She watches as the others play.
She wishes someone would see her.

Rosie 1

Rosie 2

Brief Synopsis: Rosie, a lonely little girl, meets Rasmus, a lonely little dragon, and they discover the extraordinary magic and power of friendship.  When Rasmus has to leave, Rosie finds she has learned more than she realized about making friends.

Links To Resources: Easy Friendship Bracelets; Preschool Bead Friendship Bracelet; Slightly Harder Friendship Bracelet; draw a picture of yourself and a friend doing something together; talk about what friendship means.

Rosie 3

how cute is this dragon?! 🙂

 

Why I Like This Book: To me, this book is just the definition of a perfect picture book! Sweet, simple text that conveys a moving and lovely message about friendship, and enormously appealing art in soft colors with beautiful expression.  Any of us who have ever known (or been) a shy and lonely preschooler can relate to Rosie’s longing for a friend.  You just have to see the page where she and Rasmus meet.  He’s hidden up in a tree, and she’s sitting forlornly on the ground below, and out of the tree comes his tail – only his tail – offering her a flower 🌸   So incredibly sweet!  Rasmus has his own problems.  He can’t fly.  So Rosie does everything in her power to help him.  When his wings finally grow and he has has to fly off and do dragon things, they say a tearful goodbye.  Rosie goes back to her village, once again watching the other children and wishing for a friend.  But this time, she knows what to do.  And I’m not going to tell you, because you just have to read this book and see for yourself!

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 Duchess And Guy: A Rescue To Royalty Puppy Love Story

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, and with less than a week to go until Valentine’s Day, I have the perfect puppy love story to share with you.

Not only is it a wonderful story, it was written by my good friend, talented author Nancy Furstinger, and a good book by a good friend is always extra special!

I hope you like it 🙂

Duchess

Title: The Duchess And Guy: A Rescue To Royalty Puppy Love Story

Written By: Nancy Furstinger

Illustrated By: Julia Bereciartu

HMH Books For Young Readers, January 8 2019, fact-based fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-7

Themes/Topics: being yourself, animal adoption/rescue, pets, true story

Opening: “Once upon a time, a happy-go-lucky beagle named Guy found himself without a family or a place to call home.
He blinked his puppy dog eyes and begged for someone to take him home.
But he didn’t have much luck . . .

Brief Synopsis: A beagle puppy named Guy waits in a shelter, hoping and hoping for a forever home.  When Meghan adopts him, he has no idea that home is going to be Buckingham Palace.  Can a shelter dog of uncertain beginnings find a way to fit in among royalty?

Links To Resources: back matter includes “Guy’s True Rescue-to-Royalty Tale” including photographs, and a section on “Adopting A Dog Like Guy”

And we are lucky enough to get to hear directly from talented author, Nancy Furstinger, about how she got the idea to write this book as well as some crafts and activities you can do to go along with the book!

For how I got the idea to write GUY:
My agent emailed to ask if I was a “royal watcher.” And, to his disappointment, I had to admit that I had zero interest in the royal wedding and hadn’t watched Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot (apparently everyone in his office was “obsessed”). But my ears perked up when my agent attach an article about Meghan’s rescued beagle, Guy, and to ask me if I wanted to “whip up a PB text pronto.” Did I ever! Rescued dogs are near and dear to my heart—I’ve written books about them, volunteer with them at my local SPCA, plus I adopted my own two: Bosco and Rosy. So I “whipped up” a manuscript; my agent submitted it to a select group of editors; and we received a prompt response from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (which had published two of my middle-grade nonfiction books that also focus on animals) saying that they had been discussing a picture book about Guy, but didn’t have a writer attached—I enthusiastically became that writer! I did rewrite the ms (twice!), but my editor, who is also passionate about pooches, gave feedback/comments/edits that strengthened GUY’s story!

For the extensions that parents, teachers, and librarians can use with the book:

Here is a fun beagle mask craft (also a corgi plus other breeds) for kiddos:
And if you scroll to the bottom of my GUY webpage, there’s free activity sheets to download (coloring pages, mazes, a matching game, and spot the differences):

Thank you, Nancy!!!

Why I Like This Book: If you’ve spent any time around this blog, you know I love dogs – rescue dogs in particular since I have two and they’re the best dogs in the world!  So I was predisposed to like this book 🙂 I love that it presents a true story to kids so they learn about something that really happened in a fun and entertaining way.  I also love that it models shelter adoption as a great way to get a wonderful pet.  If a real duchess can get her dog from a shelter, you can too!  But I really love how the book shows that everyone can sometimes feel that they have a little trouble fitting in and finding their place, especially in a new situation.  That is a concept that I think all of us can relate to, and one that really speaks to kids.  This is my favorite page:

fullsizeoutput_159e

text copyright Nancy Furstinger 2019, illustration copyright Julia Bereciartu 2019

And in case you can’t read the wise words:

…Meghan gave him an encouraging scratch behind his ear.
‘I wasn’t sure I’d ever fit in here either,’ Meghan told her pup. ‘But if you just be yourself, you’ll be part of the family in no time.’

And the back of the book states that “The publisher has made a donation to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter to help other shelter dogs like Guy.”  Isn’t that wonderful?

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 – Groundhug Day

Hey, Everyone!

Welcome to February and another fun-filled edition of Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Before I share today’s book, I want to take a quick moment to remind everyone what Perfect Picture Book Friday is all about.

The purpose of Perfect Picture Books is for us to share picture books we highly recommend, that we feel other readers will genuinely enjoy, and to provide resources for teachers and parents that will allow then to expand on the use of the books in their classrooms and homes.  The resources are what set our reviews apart from the many other reviews out there on the internet.

Recently it has come to my attention that a number of people who are listing their book reviews on the Perfect Picture Book link have not included resources.  If teachers and parents visit those sites and are disappointed, it detracts from the credibility of the whole list and potentially discourages people from using it, thereby potentially decreasing our readership.

The guidelines for Perfect Picture Books are clearly posted HERE (please scroll down to How To Participate In Perfect Picture Book Fridays), and I respectfully ask that anyone who contributes to our weekly list be sure to include resources so our list can continue to be one of value to teachers, parents, and librarians, as well as writers.

Many thanks!

Now then! A fun Groundhog Day/Valentine book for today!!! 🙂

groudhugday

Title: Groundhug Day

Written By: Anne Marie Pace

Illustrated By: Christopher Denise

Disney-Hyperion, December 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-6

Themes/Topics: spring holidays (Groundhog Day, Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter), friendship, teamwork, acceptance

Opening: “Valentine’s Day was only two weeks away, and Moose was planning a grand party.

screenshot2019-01-31at5.30.25pm

text copyright Anne Marie Pace 2017, illustration copyright Christopher Denise 2017

Brief Synopsis: “Moose is having a Valentine’s Day party, and all his friends are so excited! Everyone except Groundhog, that is. If Groundhog sees his shadow outside, he’ll hide in his hole for six more weeks and miss the party!  Determined to help their friend join them, Moose, Squirrel, Bunny, and Porcupine put their heads together and come up with a plan. But will it be enough to get Groundhog out to play?” (from the publisher description)

Links To Resources: How To Make Shadow Puppets With Your Hand (video); How To Make Heart-Shaped Valentine Animals

Why I Like This Book: Well, for starters, you all know what a Groundhog Day fan I am 🙂  But that aside, I love the warm friendship of this story, the way all the animals work together to find a solution, their acceptance of each other (Groundhog has reasons for missing the Valentine’s Day party, but later when he suggests a St. Patrick’s Day party everyone understands why Bunny can’t make it 🙂 ), the kindness with which they treat each other, and the humor (Moose’s solution to keeping Groundhog from seeing his shadow is to sit on the entrance so he can’t come out 🙂 ). And I love the art – warm and soft and appealing – just beautiful! I think most kids will like this one!

screenshot2019-01-31at5.29.57pm

text copyright Anne Marie Pace 2017, illustration copyright Christopher Denise 2017

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 Groundhog Day from Phyllis!  Anyone want to take bets on six more weeks of winter or early spring???!!!

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Dragon Night

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Wait ’til you see the gorgeous book I have to share with you today!  I dare you not to love it! 🙂

dragon night

Title: Dragon Night

Written & Illustrated By: J. R. Krause

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

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

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

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

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 4.23.29 pm

text and illustration copyright J.R.Krause 2019

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

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

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

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 4.24.16 pm

text and illustration copyright J.R.Krause 2019

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

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 4.24.43 pm

How endearing is this? 🙂                                                                                                                              (text and illustration copyright J.R.Krause 2019)

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

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!!! 🙂