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 – 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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Folks!

If you live in the northeast, I hope you’re all prepared for the white stuff that’s coming!

Today I have such an amazing book to share with you that we must just jump right in!  With Martin Luther King Day, Black History Month, and Women’s History Month all on the near horizon, this really is a Perfect Picture Book!

g brooks

Title: A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks

Written By:Alice Faye Duncan

Illustrated By: Xia Gordon

Sterling Children’s Books, January 2019, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 5+ (I think maybe a little more on the + side – the basic story is accessible to age 5, but there’s a fair amount of vocabulary)

Themes/Topics: writers/authors/poets, working hard to reach your goals, girl power, creativity, believing in yourself

Opening: “SING a song for Gwendolyn Brooks.
Sing it loud – a Chicago Blues.

Skip to the beat of elevated trains.
They grumble, rumble, and roll real fast.

The year is 1925.
Gwendolyn Brooks is eight years old.

Gray bursts of smoke hide the yellow sun.
Can flowers grow without sunlight?

Gwendolyn leans on the front yard gate.
Gwendolyn is unsure.

gwen 1

text copyright Alice Faye Duncan 2019, illustration copyright Xia Gordon 2019

Brief Synopsis: Gwendolyn Brooks grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the 1920s. She wrote her first poem at age 7, and was nurtured and encouraged by her parents  to cultivate her talent. She ultimately published twenty collections of poetry, two autobiographies, and a novel.  She gave voice to the urban black experience and became the first Black writer to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Links To Resources: this book is a resource in itself, using some of Gwendolyn Brooks’s own poems, including an information-filled author’s note, a timeline of Gwendolyn Brooks’s life and accomplishments, suggested further reading, and a useful bibliography; encourage your students or children to write their own free verse poems about moments and/or details of their own experience.

gwen 3

text copyright Alice Faye Duncan 2019, illustration copyright Xia Gordon 2019

Why I Like This Book: I just love the way this book is written – a mixture of Gwendolyn Brooks’s poetry and Alice Faye Duncan’s.  The text is so lyrical – wonderful to read aloud – and expresses so much in so relatively few words.  Anyone who has ever had doubts – writers in particular – will connect with this story.  My favorite part is:

But sometimes – Gwendolyn doubts her radiance,
When jarring, crashing, discordant words,
Splotch and splatter her notebook paper.

And when RIGHT words don’t crystallize,
Gwendolyn grabs her mother’s garden trowel.

She digs beneath the snowball bush,
And buries her poems in a backyard grave.

Doesn’t that sum up the creative experience well?! The art is mostly warm hues of brown and pink that perfectly suit the mood of the writing.  This lovely book gives us a glimpse into the life and creativity of an incredibly talented writer – a beautiful and interesting read!

gwen 2

text copyright Alice Faye Duncan 2019, illustration copyright Xia Gordon 2019

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 – stay warm and safe!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Business Pig

Welcome back to Perfect Picture Book Friday – the 2019 Edition! 🙂

I have an unusual (but fun) title to share with you today!

business pig

Title: Business Pig

Written & Illustrated By: Andrea Zuill

Sterling Children’s Books, September 4, 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: fitting in/belonging, someone for everyone, being yourself

Opening: “One morning at the Sunshine Sanctuary for Farm Animals, Jelly Bean the sow gave birth to a litter of piglets.
Right away the volunteers noticed something unusual.”

Brief Synopsis: Jasper the pig is different from the other pigs – a suit-wearing, flow-chart-loving, genuine business pig.  The farm animals mostly accept him for who he is.  The trouble is, no one seems to want to adopt him.  It takes a special person to bond with this special pig.

Links To Resources: make your own business model for getting adopted – what are your good points? what are your skills? what makes you lovable and fun to have around? make a poster! 🙂 How To Make Piggy Cupcakes

Why I Like This Book: The premise of this book is familiar – someone longing to be accepted and find his place in the world – but the delivery is delightfully inventive.  Who would think of a business pig being born at an animal sanctuary? 🙂 Jasper applies his considerable business skills to the most important task of all – getting adopted – and proves in the end that there’s someone for everyone – you just have to look in the right place.  The girl who ends up adopting Jasper is perfect 🙂  The art is very engaging, somehow managing to make a pig in a business suit look irresistibly sweet and cute.  Although some kids might not engage with the whole business model, I think many kids will find the originality of this presentation fun and fresh.

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!

Screen Shot 2018-10-24 at 9.47.01 PM

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 – Look At Me! Wild Animal Show-Offs

Yay!  Here we are at Perfect Picture Book Friday!

This week, that means that tomorrow is the annual New York State Sheep and Wool Festival!

I love this festival, and highly recommend it to anyone who does any type of craft with yarn – so much gorgeous yarn to choose from! plus classes and exhibitions on how to  knit, crochet, weave, shear sheep, spin, etc, and tons of beautiful gifts – or to anyone who really likes hanging around with sheep, alpacas, and llamas and enjoys indulging in fall fair food 🙂

I will be signing copies of my books courtesy of Merritt Bookstore in Building B all day Saturday and Sunday.  If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by and say hi!  My good friend and fellow author, Iza Trapani, will be there too with all of her wonderful books!

Anyway, on to Perfect Picture Books!

Quite by accident, I chose nature-oriented nonfiction books for older picture book readers two weeks in a row!  This is a beautiful one that I think you’ll really like!

look at me

Title: Look At Me! Wild Animal Show-Offs

Written & Illustrated By: Jim Arnosky

Sterling Children’s Books, September 4, 2018, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 6-10

Themes/Topics: animals, nonfiction

Opening: From the introduction written by the author: “Whenever I view a distant bird up close through my camera’s telephoto lens or hold a glistening trout in my hands as I release it back into the water, I am awestruck by their beauty.  Why are wild animals so stunningly beautiful?

From the first section: Fanned Tails: “Behold the glorious peacock! When fully displayed, a peacock’s spectacular tail is four feet wide and two feet high. That’s eight square feet of tail! Combined with the bird’s loud, raucous call, a displaying peacock gets plenty of attention.

Brief Synopsis: From the publisher’s summary: “Meet the show-offs! With their wacky eyebrows, beautiful patterns, and bright feathers and scales, many animals seem to be saying: “Look at ME!” That behavior certainly won’t protect them from predators, so why do they do it?  Jim Arnosky explores a multitude of creatures from across the globe to reveal the reasons behind their attention-grabbing behavior.”

Links To Resources: the book itself is an incredible resource.  Full of interesting facts, and amazingly detailed illustrations. An author’s note at the back gives a glimpse into the author’s experience and process of writing the book.  A useful bibliography of further resources is also included.  Draw a bird, animal, or reptile and decorate with your own feathers, textures, sequins, etc.  Make it as realistic as possible or invent your own creature and make it as fanciful as you like!

Why I Like This Book: I love learning about animals and nature, and this book is terrific for that.  The information presented is interesting and accessible, but actually, I truly love this book for the art!  The illustrations are exquisite!  Most of the pages fold out so that the illustrations are the size of 4 pages.  The colors and attention to detail are incredible.  This is an excellent choice for the animal and/or nonfiction-loving young reader and would make a great addition to classroom, library, or home bookshelves!

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Look at the detail!

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And here’s one of the fold out spreads that is 4 pages wide

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 – Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story PLUS The Love Is Kind Giveaway Winner!!!

Woo hoo!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And you know what that means . . .

The weekend is (for all intents and purposes) HERE!!!

Autumn weekends are the best, aren’t they?

Apple picking…cider donuts…fall foliage…cider donuts…pumpkin picking…cider donuts… hiking…cider donuts…I’m sure you get the point…cider donuts 🙂 )

Today, I’m sharing a book about nature – well, really about a person who truly loved and appreciated it – even though not specifically about autumn.  (And not at all about cider donuts – although I’m sure the book would be even more enjoyable with a plate of them to munch on 🙂 ) Have a look!

Gwen Frostic

Title: Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story

Written By: Lindsey McDivitt

Illustrated By: Eileen Ryan Ewen

Sleeping Bear Press, July 2018, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 6-9

Themes/Topics: nature/environment, overcoming disabilities, girl power, artists

Opening: “Gwen followed her brothers and sisters everywhere, like a small fawn follows its herd.  They roamed the woods and fields near Croswell – their tiny town tucked into the thumb of Michigan.  Gwen played and picked wildflowers.  But her hands were weakened from an illness as a baby.  Her speech was slurred, one small foot dragged, and she fell down often.  
     She bumped her shins.
          She bruised her knees.
               She banged her elbows.
“Gwen doesn’t need your help, Helen,” Mama called from the porch.  Mama knew Gwen could do whatever she put her mind to.

Brief Synopsis: A picture book biography of lesser-known environmental pioneer, artist, and businesswoman, Gwen Frostic, who rose above the challenges caused by a debilitating childhood illness to create nature-based artwork, help build WWII bombers, create her own printmaking business, and encourage people to appreciate, protect and cherish nature.

Links To Resources: the book itself is a resource, including back matter with additional biographical information on Gwen Frostic and a print-making art/nature activity; make your own leaf rubbings

Why I Like This Book: Most picture books are for kids up to age 8.  I love when the occasional one comes along that is intended for slightly older kids because, let’s face it – they love picture books too!  Educational and/or biographical information is so much more palatable in picture book format! :). This book is beautifully written, placing the emphasis on Gwen’s intelligence and determination to succeed in art, environmental protection and business, in spite of dire warnings in her youth that she’d never be able to write (never mind draw or carve) because her hands weren’t strong enough to hold a pencil and the fact that her physical disabilities made getting around difficult.  The repeated phrase that Gwen knew she could do whatever she set her mind to is inspirational and motivational for young readers.  I also love that Gwen was ahead of her time, doing things that women didn’t typically do.  Very empowering for young readers.  All around a very interesting book about a person I hadn’t heard of before!

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!!! 🙂

Oh, and if you missed the Halloweensie Contest announcement and want to work on your story this weekend, click HERE for the guidelines!!!

OH!  And I almost forgot to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway!  Laura Sassi and her generous publisher, Zonderkidz, offered a copy of LOVE IS KIND to one lucky commenter.  And the winner is . . .

DUHN DUHN DUHN . . .

Becky Scharnhorst!!!

So, Becky, give me a holler and I’ll put you and Laura in touch with each other so you can get your book!!!

Many thanks, Laura and Zonderkidz!

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Love Is Kind with a GIVEAWAY!

Today is a special day!

Not only is it Perfect Picture Book Friday, it’s the day author Laura Sassi is stopping at my little blog on her blog tour!  (Thanks so much for joining us, Laura, and including us in the launch of this wonderful book!)

As a result, we have a great book to share as well as FANTASTIC activities from the author herself!

Let’s get right to it, shall we? 🙂

thumbnail_loveiskindcover

Title: Love Is Kind

WrittenBy: Laura Sassi

Illustrated By: Lison Chaperon

Zonderkidz, August 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: love, kindness, doing the right thing

Opening: “Little Owl jingled the coins in his pocket.  It was Grammy’s birthday.  And, finally, he had enough money to buy her something special – a heart-shaped box of chocolates.
He took out the coins – so shiny and new – and ready to spend.  But then. . .

Brief Synopsis: Little Owl has planned a special gift for Grammy’s birthday, but one thing after another goes wrong.  He perseveres, doing the right thing even when it is difficult, and ends up giving Grammy an unplanned but even more wonderful gift.

Links To Resources: Today we have wonderful, special resources straight from the author!  Take it away, Laura! 🙂

(With apologies from me that the text is so crunched together – I  could not get this to format properly no matter what I did!)

Little Owl’s Tea Party: FIVE TIPS for Pairing Picture Books with a Tasty Treat
by Laura Sassi
Today I’m delighted to share with you a sweet baking activity created by French illustrator Lison Chaperon, with a little collaboration from the author (me!) to adapt the recipe to US measurements. Click HERE to download a high quality at scale version for better printing. I hope you enjoy it!
 
thumbnail_Little Owl Tea Party 1
thumbnail_Little Owl Tea Party 2
In addition to being absolutely delicious, this LOVE IS KIND-inspired baking activity has gotten me thinking about how wonderful it is when we pair picture books with a tasty book-themed treat. In doing so, not only are we giving our kids the opportunity to learn some baking/cooking skills, we are helping them to connect to the story in a new and fun way.  As we nibble and chat about the book, we’re also instilling in them a framework to talk about the stories we read and an opportunity to think about how picture books relate to our lives and the world. Finally, we’re fostering good critical thinking skills as we converse with our little ones about what treat would be best paired with a particular picture book.
With all these benefits in mind, here are FIVE tips for PAIRING PICTURE BOOKS with TASTY TREATS.

1. Pick any picture book.  (Better yet, let your child pick the book.)

2. Pre-read the story so you can gather your ingredients. Once you’ve selected your picture book, take a few minutes a day or two ahead of time so that you can anticipate what types of treats you and your child might want to create to pair with the story.  This way you can be sure to have the ingredients in stock for a seamless and tasty brainstorming to baking to eating experience. 
3. As you read with your child, ponder the treat-making possibilities. It’s most beneficial (and engaging) to your budding critical thinkers if you include them in the process of deciding what book-themed treat to create, though it’s perfectly acceptable, in my opinion, to gently lead them towards the ingredients you have on hand (see step two). As you are pondering, the treat might be obvious. For example, in my third book DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE, Fernando the mouse loves gumdrops, popcorn, and cheese on try toast, so those would be obvious picks. 
But…
4. Sometimes you will have to be creative!  Some picture books, however, won’t have such obvious choices. My recommendation, in these instances, is to pick a character or a defining element of the story and create a treat inspired by that.  For example, on her blog, Easy Elegant Entertaining™, trained chef and cookbook author (and mom to an adorable young budding reader), Addie Gundry, uses the concept of tails in GOODNIGHT, ARK to create an adorable book-themed treat. http://addiegundry.com/theblog/2018/3/21/tails-on-the-ark-two-by-two 
You can also create character-based cookies for almost any book, as my daughter did for Tara Lazar’s THE MONSTORE and my GOODNIGHT, ARK.
thumbnail_loveiskindcookies

Tiger Cookies for Goodnight Ark

5. Have fun!  (Need I say more?) 

 

Thank you, Laura!  What a fun activity!

Why I Like This Book: The story is sweet with a beautiful message about what love really is (from 1.Corinthians.13). While the story unfolds, the lovely words from the Bible verse appear in dreamy lettering in the background – on the breeze, in a rainbow, etc.  Not at all heavy-handed, but beautifully woven into the story.  Little Owl’s behavior and reactions are realistic and believable – frustration, disappointment, envy, sadness – but he doesn’t give in to his negative emotions, choosing instead to be a good person.  He shows up at Grammy’s empty-handed and unhappy, only to find that by being himself he has given her the best gift of all.  The art is warm and appealing, and Little Owl is adorable 🙂

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

Here’s the book trailer in case you’d like a further glimpse of the book!

Laura Sassi with Sunflowers

Children’s Author Laura Sassi

Laura Sassi
Children’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)

twitter.com/laurasassitales

The publisher has generously offered a giveaway of one copy of LOVE IS KIND to one of our readers. To qualify, you must be a U.S. resident with a street address (as opposed to a P.O. Box) and at least 18 years old to enter.  If you wish to be considered, please leave a comment below indicating your interest by Monday October 8 at 9PM Eastern and we will randomly select a lucky winner!

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 don’t forget to enter the giveaway if you’re interested!)

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Garden Party: A Counting Adventure Book

Hurray!  It’s Friday!

Every Perfect Picture Book Friday is fun because I get to share a book I really like with all of you and see what books you’re all loving this week.

But PPBF is especially fun when I get to share a book I love that happens to have been written by a friend!  (A friend who, coincidentally, I got to have coffee and blueberry muffins and a lovely chat with yesterday morning 🙂 )

As this book involves a garden, you could work it into any seasonal discussion or classroom unit (spring planting, summer growing, winter dormant) but since it’s harvest time, why not read it and share it right now? 🙂

Garden Party

Title: Garden Party: A Counting Adventure Book

Written By: Tania Guarino

Illustrated By: Emma Allen

Spork (Clear Fork Publishing), September 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-6

Themes/Topics: concept (counting), animals, language fun (rhyme), nature/gardens

Opening: “One (1) bunny in a burrow on Farmer Dale’s trail,
wakes with a shake and a wiggle of her tail.
She starts with a hop by an old tin pail,
wiggle, hop, wiggle…down Farmer Dale’s trail.”

Brief Synopsis: One after another, the woodland friends join the group heading down Farmer Dale’s trail, following the bunny who may be the only one with a plan 🙂

Links To Resources: author’s website coloring pages and activities; 10 different animals are mentioned in the story. What other animals can you think of who could join the garden party?  Draw one (or more!), and describe how they would move or sound (e.g. “swishy swoosh swoosh”); which of the animals mentioned in the book do you think Farmer Dale would be most unhappy about having in his garden? Why?  Which ones might he be glad to have? Why? Easy Recipe for Carrot Cake

Why I Like This Book:  There are so many things to love about this book!  Where to start?  At the beginning, I guess :). The bunny who sets the whole adventure in motion clearly has a plan (the illustration shows the stockpile of carrots she has already gathered in her burrow.). She heads off toward the garden for more and is joined by 2 skunks, 3 fawns, 4 foxes, etc on her counting adventure.  Midway through the story, the rollicking rhythm of the adventure is beautifully paused by the arrival of the 5 snails, who bring the whole crew to a screeching halt.  But before you know it they’re all on their way again, the snails hitching a ride on the faster animals 🙂 I won’t give away the ending – you’ll have to read the book!  The rhyming story is nicely written and fun to read aloud.  Kids will enjoy the different sounds and movements used to describe the animals’ way of going (e.g. “wiggle, hop, wiggle” and “swishy, swoosh, swoosh”) and being able to chime in on the anticipated repetition of “down Farmer Dale’s trail!”.  The art is bright, colorful, and lively, and young readers will have a great time searching the illustrations to find all the snails!

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text copyright Tania Guarino 2018, illustration copyright Emma Allen 2018

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!!! 🙂