Perfect Picture Book Friday – Baby Bear Discovers The World

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday!

It’s May on Blueberry Hill, and you know what that means:

Baby goslings.

Baby foxes.

Baby snakes.

Baby rabbits.

Baby groundhogs.

And given the black bear you all know was hanging out on my porch last week eating bird seed,  I’m betting there are some baby bears around too, even though I haven’t seen any… which is probably just as well because no one needs an overprotective mama bear too near their house! 😊

In the spirit of baby animals, I have chosen this very delightful book for today.  I dare you and your young reading companions not to love the pictures 🙂

Title: Baby Bear Discovers The World
Written By: Marion Dane Bauer
Photography By: Stan Tekiela
Adventure Publications Inc, 2006, Factual Fiction with great photos

Suitable For Ages: 3 and up

Themes/Topics: wild animals, growing up, independence, nature

Opening: One fine spring morning Baby Bear said to his mama, “Mama, I’m a big bear now.  It’s time for me to go out and discover the world.  Then he kissed his mama so she would know he meant business.”

Brief Synopsis: From the jacket: “Follow Baby Bear’s excursion into the big world as he tries to prove his independence, wandering closer and closer to places he doesn’t belong.  Using twin cubs and the assistance of a handler, Stan [the photographer] succeeded in getting all the photos for this book from the cubs’ natural reactions to their surroundings.  His ability to capture everything from their inquisitive faces to actually tumbling from a log is delightfully documented.”

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Links To Resources:  Everything you need is right here!  The back of the book has a section on bear facts – characteristics, activity, diet, cubs, and hibernation.  It also has a section on how the book was photographed, and another section of “outtakes and bloopers” photos – SO CUTE! 🙂  You can also go for a walk and look for signs of animals – paw prints, nests, etc.  City or country, you’re likely to discover some fun things, just like Baby Bear 🙂

Why I Like This Book:  I just absolutely adore wildlife photography.  This book combines a fun story about learning independence with exquisite photography of lots of animals besides the bears along with the surrounding flora.  It’s fun just to look at the pictures 🙂  The outtakes and bloopers photos are also tons of fun and make the experience of the book even better.  Wait until you see the picture of Baby Bear licking a mouse 🙂

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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 those of you who want to join in the Eenie Meenie Miney Mini Writing Challenge, here’s the link to week #1 for easy access 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Bloom

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday and . . . my youngest’s birthday! 😊

So I’m sharing a book that celebrates May flowers and extraordinary girls 💐🌸🌟💕

Bloom

Title: Bloom

Written By: Doreen Cronin

Illustrated By: David Small

Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, February 2016, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: girl power, appreciation/gratitude, encouragement, believing in yourself

 

Opening: “Once upon a time, in a beautiful glass kingdom, there lived an unusual fairy named Bloom.  Her boots were caked with mud.  There was dirt between her teeth.  Beetles rested in her wings.  Bloom’s magic could spin sand into glass, turn weeds into blossoms, and grow a trickle of rainwater into a racing river.  Bloom was a helpful creature, but her footsteps were HEAVY, and she left a trail of tiny cracks and mud wherever she went.

Brief Synopsis: A glass kingdom is a tough place to be a Mud Fairy. Bloom and her mud fairy magic can turn weeds into flowers and spin sand into glass, but all the people of the kingdom do is complain about the trails of dirt and puddles of mud she leaves behind so, feeling unappreciated, she leaves.  When the kingdom falls into disrepair, the King and Queen search out Bloom, but it takes the most “ordinary” girl in the kingdom to restore the magic.

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Links To Resources:  Here are some resources to get kids outdoors to celebrate earth and gardens.  Plant A Family Butterfly Garden, Big Seeds For Little Hands, Information & Resources For Gardening With Children

Why I Like This Book:  This story has the delightful “Once upon a time” opening that creates the delicious anticipation of a fairy tale about to unfold.  Bloom is an unusual fairy – dirty, willing to work hard, not traditionally “girly”.  Genevieve, the “ordinary” girl whose only job has been to polish the queen’s crystal sugar spoon has never had the opportunity to discover what she’s capable of.  Working alongside Bloom, she learns that she is anything but ordinary and that she can save the kingdom.  Favorite line: “Tell them there is no such thing as an ordinary girl!” said Bloom.

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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!!! 😊🌷

A very happy birthday to my daughter and a very happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there 💕💐💕🐣

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Evie’s Field Day

It’s May! It’s May!
The lovely month of May!
That darling month when everyone goes
Blissfully astray. . .

(Okay, I confess to monkeying about with those lyrics a bit to make them acceptable for this G-rated blog, but you get the idea. . . 😊)

It’s also Perfect Picture Book Friday, and today’s pick is celebrating its Book Birthday today, so HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!! 🎉🎉🎉

It is here just in time for the Field Day season (although unfortunately, due to the current state of the world, a lot of Field Days may be postponed or cancelled this year.)  Kids don’t need Field Day to know about competition, sportsmanship, winning, and losing, though, so Field Day or no Field Day they will enjoy Evie’s story. 😊

Evie's Field Day

Title: Evie’s Field Day

Written By: Claire Noland

Illustrated By: Alicia Teba

Cardinal Rule Press, May 2020, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-7

Themes/Topics: good sportsmanship

Opening: “Evie loved to win.
She could jump the highest,
run the fastest, and hop
the farthest.”

Brief Synopsis: (From the publisher) “Evie loves to run, jump, hop, and win. She even has ribbons and trophies to prove it. So, when the school’s field day comes around, she is sure she will add to her winning collection. When Evie finds herself ahead of the pack, she is faced with an important decision. Does she choose the chance at a trophy or the chance to be a good friend?”

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Links To Resources: Jump Rope Rhymes; Fun active games (that you can play indoors or in your yard while we’re #stayingathome)

Why I Like This Book: This book celebrates competition, teamwork, consideration for others, and being a good sport, while also giving young readers the opportunity to think about how to be a good loser. In addition, since it’s about field day, it models activity and physical fitness.  I like that Evie is a little too competitive, a little too full of herself at the beginning.  It makes her a believable kid and gives her room to learn and grow by the end of the story.  All kids take part in school games, competition, Field Day, and/or sports on some level at some point and will appreciate and benefit from this book. 😊

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – This Book Is Gray

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday and I have such a fun book to share today!

It might look dismal and gloomy but it isn’t – it’s lovely and perfect 😊

I love books that are sweet and books that make me laugh, and this one is both!

This Book Is Gray

Title: This Book Is Gray

Written & Illustrated By: Lindsay Ward

Two Lions, December 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: colors, story-within-a-story, humor

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text and illustration copyright Lindsay Ward 2019, Two Lions

Opening: “I’m going to make the GRAYtest book ever. . .
Once upon a time, a wolf, a kitten, and a hippo lived in a small house by the sea. (Some would describe the house as dismal, bleak, or gloomy.)
But it wasn’t. It was lovely.
And GRAY.
And perfect.”

Brief Synopsis: All Gray wants is to be included. But the other colors are always leaving him out. So he decides to create his own project: an all-gray book.  Gray just knows it’s going to be perfect. But as he tries to write it, the Primary and Secondary colors show up…  Will anyone ever realize that Gray can be interesting too?

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text and illustration copyright Lindsay Ward 2019, Two Lions

Links To Resources: 20 Color Activities for Preschoolers; List of Color Activities; make your own story and/or pictures using only one color!

Why I Like This Book: For starters, it’s funny! 😊 Not only do the Primary and Secondary colors try to shoulder their way into the book, but in guessing at the story line they go off on quite a tangent.  There is also some fun color word play.  But what makes the book even better is that, underlying the story and the humor, is Gray’s heartfelt wish to be appreciated for himself, something all kids (and grown-ups 😊) can relate to.  The other colors, while a little boisterous and pushy, are not unkind, and in the end a solution is found that makes everyone happy!  A delightful way for younger readers to learn about colors and for all readers to enjoy!

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text and illustration copyright Lindsay Ward 2019, Two Lions

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 – Tap The Magic Tree

I’m so excited it’s Friday because I have the best book to share with you today, and it’s perfect for Earth Day next week!

It’s one of those “man-I-wish-I’d-thought-of-that!!!” books 😊

Are you ready?

Tap The Magic Tree

Title: Tap The Magic Tree

Written & Illustrated By: Christie Matheson

Greenwillow Books, August 2013, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8 (according to pub. – I think kids as young as 3 would love it.)

Themes/Topics: following directions/listening, magic, seasons, nature

Opening: “There’s magic in this bare brown tree.  Tap it once.  Turn the page to see.”

Brief Synopsis: The seasons change as if by magic, all at the reader’s touch!  From spring, to summer, to autumn and winter, with a lovely little surprise at the end 🙂

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Links To Resources: Classroom activities, draw pictures of different kinds of trees – apple trees, pine trees, what else can you think of and how can you make them look different from each other?  Talk about what trees wear in different seasons (and how some trees (deciduous) lose all their “clothes” and others (conifers) don’t) and compare to what you wear in different seasons.  Project Plant It: Trees For Kids And Their Communities.

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Why I Like This Book:  Who needs an app for interactivity?  This book has it all.  Tap the tree to make the leaves come out.  Rub the tree to make it warm so it blossoms.  Jiggle the tree and wiggle your fingers to make a rain of petals.  Brush the petals away and blow the tree a kiss to make apples form.  The reader is in charge and gets to do all the activities.  So clever and fun!

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 – Except If

Hi Everyone!

Time for another week’s round-up of fantastic picture books!

As you can tell by the age of the last few books I’ve reviewed, I am calling on my personal library for choices during this time when visits to the bookstore and local public library are impossible.  Luckily, I have so many gems! 😊

With Spring in the air, and Easter this weekend, it seems like a perfect time for a perfect picture book about eggs!  This book is an amazing example of how much story you can convey with only 125 words!

Except If

Title: Except If

Written & Illustrated By: Jim Averbeck

Atheneum Books For Young Readers, January 2011, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-8

Themes/Topics: imagination, potential, unexpected outcomes

Opening: “An egg is not a baby bird
but it will become one
except if
it becomes a baby snake.

Brief Synopsis: From the Amazon book description: “In this young, clever, and whimsical picture book in the spirit of Not a Box and First the Egg, an egg is not just an egg, but a symbol of the potential a child’s imagination holds. As each image melds smoothly, but unexpectedly, into the next, readers are invited to stretch the limits of their imagination.”

except if int.

text and illustration copyright Jim Averbeck 2011 Atheneum Books For young Readers

 

Links To Resources: Chick Hatching Activity including video, craft, song, snack idea, and more! And to make it even more fun, you could let kids put whatever they want inside the egg – frog, turtle, snake, dinosaur, etc…!

Why I Like This Book: I love this book because the first time I read it it stretched my imagination!  I turned the pages wondering where would the author go next? How could he keep the surprises going? As a writer, it’s a great example of giving your imagination free rein and letting it take you to unexpected places, as well as how much story you can tell in very few words.  As a reader (child or adult 😊), it gives just enough hints to make you think you might know what comes next…only to discover it’s something else!  For teachers, it’s a great model of how you could encourage students to explore their own concepts/ideas in a story form in an unexpected way.  The book is deceptively simple, a fun read for youngest readers, but just as intriguing for older ones!

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!!!  Happy Passover and Happy Easter to those who celebrate! 🙂

Easter eggs

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Big Friends

Hooray!

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And what could be better under these stuck-inside circumstances than a new list of fantastic books with hopefully very time-consuming  😊 fun, entertaining activities to go along with them? (that will hopefully keep the little darlings busy for a loooooong time!) (oh, I’m sorry, did I say that out loud?! 😊)

You know how Christmas and birthdays with babies, toddlers, and young children often make you feel that you could have foregone the gifts…because all they want to do is play with the box?

I figured, what with all of us holed up in our homes (possibly feeling like we’re IN a box! 😊) this would be a good day to have a story about friendship and boxes and activities that are all kinds of things you can do with a cardboard box!

Big Friends

Title: Big Friends

Written By: Linda Sarah

Illustrated By: Benji Davies

Henry Holt & Co, January 2016, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: friendship, loneliness, imagination, play

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Opening: “Two cardboard boxes, big enough to sit in, hide inside.  Birt and Etho take them out each day, climb Sudden Hill, and sit in them.

Sometimes they’re kings, soldiers, astronauts.  Sometimes they’re pirates sailing wild seas and skies.

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Brief Synopsis: (From the jacket copy) “Birt and Etho are best friends. Together they play outside in big cardboard boxes. Sometimes they’re kings, soldiers, astronauts. Sometimes they’re pirates sailing wild seas and skies. But always, always they’re Big friends. Then one day a new boy arrives, and he wants to join them. Can two become three?”

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Links To Resources: 31 Things To Do With  A Cardboard Box (yes it’s a Buzzfeed link, but there are photos and how-to tutorials for all 31 and they’re so much fun!!!); 101 Things To Do With A Cardboard Box (never mind 31! :)); Make Your Own Friendship Bracelets (video tutorial)

Why I Like This Book: This is a lovely book, filled with the friendship and imaginative play of two boys who get along and understand each other… until a third boy shows up and threatens the balance not because he’s difficult or unpleasant – quite the opposite – but because he’s new and changes the dynamic.  It’s a story about struggling to incorporate someone new without losing the old.  It is not sentimental or sappy in any way, but I promise you will say “Aw!” on the last page 🙂  It’s an important story because integrating new friendships is a skill and a struggle that every child faces at some point.  The pull toward someone new and fun that calls to one member of a friendship, the jealously that threatens the other… or sometimes just the fear that things will change, a true friend will be lost, the friendship will not be the same.  Don’t miss this one!

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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 stay well!!! 😊🌷🌸😊

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street

Woo hoo!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today, we’re going to travel back in time to a book I loved back in my misspent youth in about 1969 😊

Stuck in our houses as we all are under the circumstances, what a perfect time to look out the window and see what we can see!

And maybe improve on what we actually see with a little imagination. . . 😊

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Title: And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street

Written & Illustrated By: Dr. Seuss

Vanguard Press, Inc.,  1937, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-9

Themes/Topics: Imagination/tall tales, language fun (rhyme)

Opening: “When I leave home to walk to school,
Dad always says to me,
“Marco, keep your eyelids up
And see what you can see.”

But when I tell him where I’ve been
And what I think I’ve seen,
He looks at me and sternly says,
“Your eyesight’s much too keen.

“Stop telling such outlandish tales.
Stop turning minnows into whales.”

Now what can I say,
When I get home today?

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Brief Synopsis: Charged with keeping his eyes open and reporting back on what he sees on his way home from school, Marco simply can’t tell his father that all he saw was a plain horse and wagon on Mulberry Street!  So as he walks along, he think of how he could jazz it up a bit… 😊

Links To Resources: Look out the window of your house or car, or take a little walk, and see what you can see, then imagine it into a grander version and draw a picture of what you imagine, or write or tell a story about it!  You can also see how many things you can see that start with the letter A (or any other letter), or count how many flowers (or other objects) you can see.   Construction paper little red wagon; Bumping Up And Down In My Little Red Wagon (song)

Why I Like This Book: This is Dr. Seuss’s very first book for children, and as you can tell by the condition of the book in the photo above, it was one of my very first books – much loved by me and my siblings back in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and much loved by my children a couple decades later.  It is the classic cumulative tale, beginning with a plain horse and wagon and getting more and more embellished until he’s got a brass band with a man in a little house hitched on behind being pulled by an elephant ridden by a rajah and flanked by two giraffes… until he has a story that no one can beat – and to think that he saw it on Mulberry Street!!  I’m sure we’ve all felt the urge from time to time to make a story a little more interesting by adding a few details here and there. . . certainly kids like to do it. . . sometimes to see how far they can get and what people will believe!  But the end result in this story is that, despite the fun he had with his imagination, Marco tells the plain truth – dull as it may seem in comparison to his active imagination 😊

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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 stay safe and well!!! 🌷

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Storybook Knight

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday and it’s officially SPRING!!!

Woo hoo!

I think that calls for a little kicking up our heels, don’t you? 😊

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SQUEEEEE!!!!! 😊

After all that frolicking I suppose I should be sharing a book that celebrates cavorting… I didn’t quite manage that, but I’ve got one that celebrates adventure. . . 😊 🐉

storybook knight

Title: The Storybook Knight

Written By: Helen Docherty

Illustrated By: Thomas Docherty

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, September 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: reading, being true to yourself, standing up for what you love

Opening: “Leo was a gentle knight
in thought and word and deed.
While other knights liked fighting,
Leo liked to sit and read.

He was kind to every creature.
He wouldn’t hurt a fly.

When Mom and Dad said,
“Knights must FIGHT!”
he couldn’t quite see why.”

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text copyright Helen Docherty 2016, illustration copyright Thomas Docherty 2016 Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Brief Synopsis: Leo is a small knight who is fond of adventures—at least the ones found in his books. His parents hope that the challenge of fighting a dragon with his new shield and sword will turn him into a brave, dragon-fighting knight. But Leo finds his own way to tame the dangerous beasts he comes across on his quest! 😊

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text copyright Helen Docherty 2016, illustration copyright Thomas Docherty 2016 Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Links To Resources: Easy Dragon Crafts for Kids; waffle dragon (recipe); dragon songs ; read with There Was An Old Dragon Who Swallowed A Knight by Penny Parker Klosterman

Why I Like This Book: fun read-aloud rhyme, active, engaging illustrations, and a fun story – what’s not to love? 😊 But one thing I especially love is how distinctly all the characters come across.  Leo is so appealing.  It’s wonderful to see his confidence in himself, and how he uses what he loves and believes in to solve the problems he comes across.  It’s a good message for all of us to use the tools we have 😊

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text copyright Helen Docherty 2016, illustration copyright Thomas Docherty 2016 Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

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 stay safe and healthy!

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Jamie O’Rourke And The Big Potato: An Irish Folktale

Hurray!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to share an Irish folktale that my kids loved when they were little.  It’s not about St. Patrick’s Day, but it does have a leprechaun in it 😊

Jamie O'Rourke

Title: Jamie O’Rourke And The Big Potato: An Irish Folktale

Written & Illustrated By: Tomie de Paola

A Paper Star Book, The Putnam & Grosset Group, 1997, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: folktale (Irish), laziness, luck, making assumptions, humor

Opening: “Jamie O’Rourke was the laziest man in all of Ireland.
He would do anything to avoid working, especially if it had to do with growing potatoes.”

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text and illustration copyright Tomie dePaola 1997 Putnam&Grosset Group

Brief Synopsis: Jamie O’Rourke is so lazy he makes his wife do all the work.  When she hurts her back, he figures they’ll starve so he goes to confess his sins.  On his way to church he comes upon a leprechaun who offers a solution – a seed to grow the biggest potato in the world.  The leprechaun thinks he’s tricked Jamie, but in the end, it is Jamie who wins!

Links To Resources: Leprechaun Crafts; Leprechaun Coloring Pages; Easy Shamrock Pretzel Pops (recipe)

Why I Like This Book: I love the folktale language and rhythm of this story.  Jamie is delightful in his laziness.  When his wife hurts her back, he assumes they will starve (because he’s not going to work!) so he goes to confess his sins to Father O’Malley.  In an Irish twist on Jack and the Beanstalk, Jamie comes upon a leprechaun and accepts a seed that will grow the biggest potato in the world instead of the leprechaun’s pot of gold.  The potato grows so big it takes the whole village to dig it up, and then, as things tend to happen in folk tales 😊 it rolls down the hill and blocks the only way into or out of town.  The end result? The whole village gets enough potato to last them through the winter but when spring comes they are SO TIRED of eating potato that they bargain with Jamie: if he promises not to plant another giant potato, they will gladly make sure he and his wife always have enough to eat.  So lazy Jamie wins the day!  This ending – a reversal of expectation (you’d assume that Jamie would learn to do an honest day’s work) gives a great opportunity to talk about making assumptions, what a more deserving solution might have been, and surprise endings.  A fun story all around. 😊

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

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illustration copyright Tomie dePaola 1997 Putnam&Grosset Group

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!!! 😊☘️