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:

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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 – Little Blue Truck’s Halloween

Happy Friday, Folks!

Tomorrow is the opening of the 8th Annual Halloweensie Contest! (If you haven’t written your entry yet, click on that link to read the guidelines and get right to it – there’s still time! 🙂 And the prizes are worth it!!! )

I totally can’t wait (…except I haven’t written my sample yet so I’m a little worried about that…!) but I’m SOOOO looking forward to reading all of the stories you’ve written which I am sure, based on past experience, will be absolutely fabulous!

Since we all have last-minute writing to get to, I will jump right into today’s Perfect Picture Book, which is technically a board book – a lift-the-flap, actually! – but is so cute I couldn’t resist.  Plus, I really wanted something Halloween for today, since it’s the last PPBF before that spooky night! 🙂

Little Blue

Title: Little Blue Truck’s Halloween

Written By: Alice Schertle

Illustrated By: Jill McElmurry

HMH Books For Young Readers, July 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-5

Themes/Topics: Holidays (Halloween), costumes

Opening: “Little Blue Truck
and his good friend Toad
are going to a party
just down the road.

“BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!”
says Little Blue.
“It’s Halloween!”
You come, too!

Brief Synopsis: It’s Halloween! Little Blue Truck is picking up his animal friends for a costume party. Lift the flaps to find out who’s dressed up in each costume! Will Blue wear a costume too?

Links To Resources: make your own lift-the-flap: draw an animal, then, on another piece of paper, draw the same animal disguised in a costume.  Paste the costume picture over the animal picture, fastening only the top so you can lift it.  See if your friends can guess who it is, then let them lift the flap to see if they’re right!

Why I Like This Book: As you probably all know, I am a fan of Little Blue Truck 🙂 So I was of course thrilled to discover his Halloween adventure!  This is a sturdy board book with lift-the-flaps.  On each page, Alice Schertle’s trademark catchy rhyme is a joy to read aloud, and one of Little Blue’s animal friends is dressed in costume…and you can lift the flat to discover who it is that’s dressed up.  Does it get more fun than that?  Why yes!  Because it’s just possible that Little Blue has a costume too!  But you’ll have to read the book to find out 🙂  Beautiful fall colors and a whole cast of woodland trick-or-treaters are featured in the illustrations.  All around, a delight!

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text copyright Alice Schertle 2016, illustration copyright Jill McElmurry 2016

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

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

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

Now!  Last minute finishing touches on your Halloweensies and I will see you all tomorrow for the festivities!!! 🙂

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Noah Webster And His Words

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday and – can you believe it? – the official last day of summer 2018!

I love the crisp air, the jeweled colors, and the cider donuts of autumn, but I feel like summer went by in a blink!

I hope all your falls get off to a lovely start this weekend with some family apple picking, or an outdoor music festival…or maybe a trip to Princeton Children’s Book Festival – that’s where I’m headed! 🙂

For today’s Perfect Picture Book I decided to go the educational route… but it’s also tons of fun!  Have a look!

Noah Webster

Title: Noah Webster And His Words

Written By: Jeri Chase Ferris

Illustrated By: Vincent X. Kirsch

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books For Young Readers, 2012, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages:  3-7

Themes/Topics: American history, vocabulary/language, dictionaries, biography, nonfiction

Opening: “Noah Webster always knew he was right, and he never got tired of saying so (even if, sometimes, he wasn’t).  He was, he said, “full of CON-FI-DENCE” [noun: belief that one is right] from the very beginning.

Brief Synopsis: This book tells the story of Noah Webster’s life and how he wrote the first American dictionary in an effort both to educate and to help unite the new United States.

Links To Resources: The book itself is a resource as it teaches the life of Noah Webster and the period of American history is was part of. There is a useful timeline in the back matter as well as a section entitled “More About Noah Webster” and a helpful bibliography.  For a fun classroom game, play Dictionary (where one student chooses a word from the dictionary and writes down the correct definition and everyone else writes down a made up definition.  All definitions are read aloud and the class votes for which is the real one…and you see if the real one wins or one of the made up ones!)

Why I Like This Book: Not only is this book interesting – full of information about Noah Wester and his creation of the first American dictionary – it’s fun!  There is a surprising amount of humor, both in the text and in the illustrations.  I also love the clever way some of the vocabulary words in the text are woven in like dictionary entries!  The book brings Noah Webster to life in a way that illuminates his personality.  It’s a perfect example of how to write nonfiction so that young readers enjoy the learning experience.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

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

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

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

Hope to see anyone who is in the neighborhood at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival tomorrow! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Giant Jam Sandwich

Today is a big day!

Our little boy is graduating from college!

Scan 157

One moment he was running around the house in nothing but a diaper singing “Oklahoma” at the top of his 21-month-old voice (yes, I have video footage but I think I’ve embarrassed him enough just by mentioning this 🙂 ), the next he’s a smart, kind, funny, lovable, handsome 21-year-old young man (nope, not at all biased 🙂 ) setting off into the world.

So I though I’d celebrate the day by sharing one of his favorite picture books – possibly THE favorite of all time for him 🙂

I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

giant jam sandwich

Title: the Giant Jam Sandwich

Written & Illustrated By: John Vernon Lord (with verses by Janet Burroway)

HMH Books For Young Readers, April 1987, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: humor/nonsense, teamwork, creative thinking/ingenuity

Opening: “One hot summer in Itching Down,
Four million wasps flew into town.
They drove the picnickers away,
They chased the farmers from the hay,
They stung Lord Swell on his fat bald pate,
They dived and hummed and buzzed and ate…”

Brief Synopsis: When four million wasps come to Itching Down, the villagers must figure out how to get them to leave.

Links To Resources: what kind of pests might come to your town or village?  what would you do to outwit them?  draw a picture of your plan and/or write a poem or a story about how you would defeat the pests!

giant jam sandwich int

Why I Like This Book: It is impossible not to love a book where 4 million wasps come to town and the obvious solution is a giant jam sandwich 🙂  I love that no one thinks of anything violent – they think, what do wasps love?  Strawberry jam, of course!  So let’s make bread that requires a scaffold to slice, tractors and horses to pull, and helicopters to drop.  The nonsensical, fun plan – exactly the kind of thing a child might think up and find perfectly reasonable! – makes for a most entertaining read.  As I can attest.  Since I think I read about 4 million times 🙂

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 – Waiting For Snow

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

You know, there’s nothing the WeatherFolk like better than drama!

They are never happier than when they can use words like “hurricane”, “tornado”, and “polar vortex”!

They love prompting you in urgent tones to make sure you’re stocked up on batteries, bottled water, canned goods, flashlights, and toilet paper 🙂  (I don’t know why they never mention chocolate… seems to me that should be right up there at the top of the list!)

They love predicting that holiday travel will be nightmarish.  It warms them to the cockles of their weather-beatin’ little hearts 🙂

So, in  my neck of the woods, the headlines for the next couple days read:

SNOW IN NORTHEASTERN US AS TEMPERATURES PLUNGE UP TO 50 DEGREES THIS WEEKEND!!!

As writers, we can all appreciate the WeatherFolks’ use of exaggeration evocative verbiage 🙂  I believe the content of the article suggests that some places may see a dusting of snow and it’s going to be a wee bit colder over the weekend than it was this unusually warm past week 🙂  But it just sounds so much more interesting when they say the temperature is going to “plunge 50 degrees,” doesn’t it? Kinda makes you want to stock up on toilet paper… in case you need to wrap yourself in it to stay warm… 🙂

Anyway, speaking of snow, look at this wonderful book!

waiting-for-snow

Title: Waiting For Snow

Written By: Marsha Diane Arnold

Illustrated By: Renata Liwska

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 1, 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: publisher says 4-7… I think 3-6/7

Themes/Topics: patience, seasons (winter), snow, friendship

Opening: “Hedgehog found Badger staring at the sky.
“What are you doing, Badger?”
“Waiting for snow.  It’s winter and I haven’t seen one snowflake.”

Brief Synopsis:  Poor Badger is desperate for snow, but no matter what he does the weather won’t cooperate.  Hedgehog assures him that everything comes in its own time, but oh! it’s so hard to wait!!!

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text copyright Marsha Diane Arnold 2016, illustration copyright Renata Kiwska 2016… a glimpse of ways the friends try to pass the waiting time… 🙂

Links To Resources: waiting is hard, and kids have to do a lot of it!  Have your kids/students make a list of things they have to wait for, or draw a picture of something they’re waiting for;  10 Ways To Play With Kids While You’re Waiting; 12 Games To Play While You Wait

Why I Like This Book: If you’ve ever had a kid… or been a kid… or, well, you’re anyone living life on this earth 🙂 you’ve had to wait for things and you know how hard it is!  (er, ahem, writers… agency and/or publishing contracts…!  Am I right? 🙂 )  This sweet, funny, and beautiful book is about a little badger who is waiting for snow.  He and his friends try everything they can think of to hurry it along but, as is so often the case when you really want something to happen, nothing works.  What he learns in the meantime is the value of good friends.  What he learns in the end is that everything happens in its own time.  I think we can all take a lesson from Badger’s experience 🙂  The soft, fuzzy art is the perfect complement to the text – endearing, engaging, sweet!

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-3-40-43-pm

text copyright Marsha Diane Arnold 2016, illustration copyright Renata Kiwska 2016

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 – Before Morning

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Oh my goodness do I have a beauty for you today!

I read a lot of picture books.

Many of them are excellent.

But every now and again I read one that is just so perfect, so magically written and illustrated, that it takes my breath away, knocks my socks off, and makes me whisper to myself, “Man!  I wish I’d written that!”

Today’s selection is one of those 🙂

The Halloweensie Contest is over.

Thanksgiving is coming.

And that means, before you know it, the skies will be swirling with flurries of snow!

My Perfect Picture Book today is all about that most coveted of childhood days – the peaceful, happy, special perfection of snow days 🙂

before-morning

Title: Before Morning

Written By: Joyce Sidman

Illustrated By: Beth Krommes

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 4 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-7

Themes/Topics: seasons (winter), snow, snow days, invocations, language fun (rhyme, word choice)

Opening: “In the deep woolen dark, as we slumber unknowing, let the sky fill with flurry and flight.” (These few words actually cover 5 spreads, some of which are wordless.)

Brief Synopsis: Although there is much going on in the busy, busy world, a small child wishes for just one day to be a delightfully snow-covered pause.

before-morning-2

Links To Resources: the final page of the book explains invocations and invites young readers to come up with their own; make paper snowflakes; snow recipes; make your own snow!

Why I Like This Book: Oh my goodness!  What’s not to love?  This book is beautiful in every way!  The rhyming text is written by Joyce Sidman (you know what a huge fan I am of Red Sings From Treetops!) and it is gorgeous and poetic and spare.  How can you not love a book that begins “In the deep woolen dark”?! 🙂  The entire book is 66 words, so expertly chosen and crafted together that as a writer I can only feel awe.  And the art is scratchboard and watercolor, exquisitely done, showing the little girl’s hopes that while she sleeps the world will turn white, allowing for a hushed, snow-covered morning that keeps her family home for a leisurely breakfast, some extra time together, the chance to go sledding and make snow angels, and come home to dry wet mittens.  It is everything we all love about snow days, and every child’s prayer for one to come to their house!

before-morning-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!!! 🙂

P.S. One little side note: my email service is msn, which has recently switched its Outlook mail platform.  I am having TERRIBLE trouble getting my email!!!  So for people who have contacted me about the Halloweensie Prizes, or people who are in my writing class, or anyone else who may be emailing me, if I don’t get back to you right away, that’s why!  I can’t receive, read, or send email with any kind of reliability.  A serious problem in the world we currently live in!  If anyone else has experienced this problem and found a work-around, PLEASE let me know!!!