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.”

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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:

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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!!! 🙂

 

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

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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!

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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 – 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 – 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.

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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!

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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 – The Star In The Christmas Play

Boy!  What with the Halloweensie Contest and Thanksgiving, it’s been awhile since we had a Perfect Picture Book Friday!  And I guess this will be the last one before the holidays, since the Holiday Contest will be running by this time next week!

So what better to share today than a new holiday book?  This is a sweet one I think you and your kids will enjoy!

Star In Xmas Play

Title: The Star In The Christmas Play

Written By: Lynne Marie

Illustrated By: Lorna Hussey

Beaming Books,  October 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: being yourself, holidays (Christmas), finding your place

Opening: “‘I wish I were any animal but a giraffe,’ said Raffi.  Instead of running toward savanna school like usual, he dragged his hooves.

Brief Synopsis: Raffi desperately wants a part in the school Christmas play, but he’s too big to be Baby Jesus, too tall to be Joseph, too heavy to be an angel.  It seems there’s no place for him at all.  But his mother’s loving words to him give him an idea and in the end he finds there’s a perfect place for everyone.

Links To Resources: 30 Easy Ornaments To Make With Kids; 30 Homemade Ornaments For Kids; 10 Star Crafts For Kids

Why I Like This Book: This is a sweet story that many kids will relate to.  We’ve all had moments where we don’t feel comfortable in our own skin, where we wish we were different so we’d have an easier time fitting in.  Raffi the giraffe struggles with being too big, too tall, too heavy to take part in the school Christmas play.  But he’s in a very nurturing environment among both adults and children who try to understand and help.   In the end he comes up with his own solution which is just right and he finds a way to accept himself as the others have accepted him all along.  A lovely message for any time of year, but especially nice at Christmas.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

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

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Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

(Oh, and I’ll give you a heads up now that I have a special extra post, last-minute scheduled for Monday for a couple of writer/illustrator friends, so please plan to stop by!)