Perfect Picture Book Friday – Big Cat, Little Cat

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Oh boy, do I have a gem to share with you today!

Perhaps this lovely book particularly appeals to me because its message of loving, losing, and new beginnings strikes a chord with me right now, but I think anyone and everyone can appreciate what it has to offer!  I wish I could show you the whole thing – every page! – but you’ll just have to trot right out to the library after PPBF! 🙂

Big Cat Little Cat

Title: Big Cat, Little Cat

Written & Illustrated By: Elisha Cooper

Roaring Brook Press, March 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-6 years

Themes/Topics: friendship, cycle of life

Opening: “There was a cat who lived alone.  Until the day a new cat came…”

big cat little cat 2

copyright Elisha Cooper 2017

Brief Synopsis: Two cats become friends and do everything together until one day the older cat has to go…and he doesn’t come back.

Links To Resources:  draw a picture of you and your pet; write a story or poem about your pet; how would you describe your pet to someone who had never met it?  talk about what love means – is love for a pet the same as love for a sibling or friend or parent?  what are some things that let you know you love someone, or that someone loves you?  has a pet you loved ever died?  how did it make you feel?  what did you do to feel better?

Why I Like This Book: I LOVE this book.  It is the most beautiful, perfect, sweet book I’ve read in a long, long time.  186 words of sheer genius.  The kind of book every writer (well, at least this one!) dreams of writing.  A full, emotionally satisfying, complete story arc in less than 200 words.  Simple, yet so evocative.  Wonder and delight, learning and play, joy, contentment, friendship, love, grief, endings and beginnings – it’s all here.  The art is  a perfect complement – simple black and white drawings that convey personality, action, expression, and just enough detail, with one page in gray to show sadness, and a soft glow of pale butternut on just three pages to show warmth and contentment.  The text and art are also thoughtfully spaced to give time and distance where needed.  A lovely book to gently help children understand life, love, loss, new life and new love.  And writers, if you haven’t seen this book, rush out and read it – seriously I am not kidding! – a fabulous example of how to do it right!  Definitely in the “wish I wrote that!” category 🙂

big cat little cat 3

copyright Elisha Cooper 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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Rock Maiden

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today we have a special treat!  Author Natasha Yim is blog touring with her brand new book and she has been kind enough to share her writing inspiration with us!

rock maiden

Title: The Rock Maiden – A Chinese Tale of Love And Loyalty

Written By: Natasha Yim

Illustrated By: Pirkko Vainio

Wisdom Tales, March 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: retold legends/folktales, faith, hope

Opening: “There was once a beautiful maiden named Ling Yee.  She lived in Hong Kong, a fishing village on the southern coast of China.  All the young men in the village wanted to marry her.
But Ling Yee loved Ching Yin, a young fisherman.  She was touched by his kindness.  H often helped the old men pull in their boats and haul in their fish.

Brief Synopsis: From the publisher: “When her fisherman husband fails to come home after a storm at sea, the beautiful maiden Ling Yee is heartbroken. Every morning, she puts her baby on her back and clambers to the top of a cliff looking for any signs of his return. But day after day, she is disappointed. The villagers try to convince her to give up her vigil. “No,” she would say, “He will come home soon.” Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Heavens, takes pity on her grief and turns Ling Yee and her child into stone so that they would mourn no more. The fisherman eventually finds his way home―only to discover that his wife has been transformed into the Rock Maiden. Will the family forever be kept apart? Or will devotion and faithfulness ultimately be rewarded?”

Links To Resources:  The Rock Maiden is a retelling of an old Hong Kong legend.  What favorite folk tale, legend or other classic tale might you retell?  How would you do it?  Write your own!  Draw a picture that represents a favorite moment in one of your favorite folk tales or legends. The story of  The Rock Maiden explains how a certain rock came to be.  Write a story about how something you know of came to be – a specially shaped rock, like in The Rock Maiden, or a mountain range, or a lake or pond, or an ancient tree…

Special Resource!  A glimpse into inspiration and writing – author Natasha Yim shares her thoughts about how she became inspired to write the story of The Rock Maiden:

“The story of the Rock Maiden has been brewing in my head—and my heart— since my adolescent years growing up in Hong Kong. On occasional weekends, to get away from the bustle of city crowds, my parents would take the family to Sha Tin, a region in the New Territories, an area of Hong Kong that in the 1970s was still rural. We referred to it as our “countryside,” even though it was on the outskirts of a city of six million people.

On these weekend outings, we would often lunch or have afternoon tea at a hotel with an outdoor patio. From the patio, one could get a good view of the Amah Rock, a natural granite rock formation shaped like a woman with a baby on her back. In the lobby of the hotel was a plaque that told her story: how a young woman had lost her fisherman husband at sea and her faithful vigil on top of a hill looking for his return. Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Sea, took pity upon her and turned her into stone so she wouldn’t mourn anymore.

This story captured my adolescent romantic fancy and on every outing to Sha Tin, I would gaze at the Amah Rock wondering what happened to this family. As I grew older, this woman and her baby continued to penetrate my thoughts from time to time. I knew that one day, I’d write her story.

Years later, when I did sit down to write this tale, I was writing for children and imagined it as a picture book. However, I thought it was a bit too sad and depressing as a story for kids to have her end up as a rock on top of a hill. So, I re-envisioned the story with a happier ending.

I created the story about twelve years ago, but it’s had a difficult time finding its way to publication. Many of the rejections I received said it was a lovely tale but too “quiet” or that it doesn’t have a child protagonist or that folk tales are a “hard sell” as standalone picture books.

One of the lessons I’ve learned as a writer is that if a story sinks its teeth into me and won’t let go, I must write it. And two, every story has to have a champion to help it find its way into the world. First, the writer who feels compelled to write it, and then the editor/publisher who feels its voice needs to be heard. For this reason, I am grateful to Wisdom Tales Press for their vision, insights, and support of The Rock Maiden.

I hope children around the world will enjoy the story of the Amah Rock as much as I did as a child.”

Why I Like This Book: I love retellings of classic tales – especially tales I’m unfamiliar with.  This one, though sad for a while, is a story of love, faith and hope.  And in Natasha’s retelling, it has a happy ending in which love overcomes all obstacles.  The art is so beautiful – delicate and stunning – a perfect complement to the story!

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!

The other stops on Natasha’s blog tour are listed below, in case you are interested in finding out more about Natasha and her wonderful new book!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

MARCH 3: Jeff Barger, NC Teacher Stuff
MARCH 7: Sheryl Hagan-Booth, Booth Talks Books
MARCH 10: Susanna Hill, Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog
MARCH 14ReaderKidZ, reviewer Nancy Bo Flood
MARCH 20: MaryAnn Scheuer, Great Kid Books
MARCH 22: Pam Margolis, An Unconventional Librarian
MARCH 28: Stephanie Kammeraad, Mama-Lady-Books

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Waiting For Pumpsie

Hey Everyone!

After our weeks off for the Valentiny Contest, it’s finally Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And as I believe I mentioned on Wednesday… and am likely to keep mentioning 🙂 … spring is right around the corner.  (I am choosing to ignore the fact that the weather people in this neck of the woods are predicting a decidedly un-spring-like 8 degrees tonight!)  With spring comes baseball, so what better time for a book about baseball – with some history and civil rights to make it even better?!

I hope you’ll enjoy today’s Perfect Picture Book which comes to us from a talented debut author with more titles coming soon!

waiting-for-pumpsie

Title: Waiting For Pumpsie

Written By: Barry Wittenstein

Illustrated By: London Ladd

Charlesbridge, February 2017,  historical fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: civil rights/race relations, sports (baseball)

Opening: “I’m Bernard, and I’m crazy, crazy, crazy about the Red Sox.  Everybody in Boston is.  It’s just something you get born into.  We’re lucky, I guess.
We always want the Sox to win.  But Mama says we gotta root for all the colored players, no matter what team they’re on.

Brief Synopsis: From the jacket: “It’s 1959.  Bernard lives in Boston, and he dreams about a day when a baseball player who looks like him will play for his beloved Red Sox.  Bernard’s mother says change is coming soon.  Bernard’s father says she’s always right.  But they are all disappointed when no black player is called up from the minors to start the season.”  Will Bernard ever get to see someone like him play for the Sox?

Links To Resources: back matter in the book includes an author’s note with historical information; list of first black players on every MLB team with photos and bios; history for kids – civil rights movements; with your children or students, discuss a time when they were unfairly excluded from something – how did it make them feel? draw a picture of the situation, write a letter to the person who excluded them, or write a poem about how it felt.

pumpsie1

Why I Like This Book: I love books that give young readers a slice of history encapsulated in an engaging story.  One of the best things about this book is Bernard’s voice.  Although he’s a fictional character, he feels real.  He sounds believable.  His enthusiasm for baseball in general and the Red Sox in particular comes through clearly, along with his acute awareness that his team is the only holdout in the major leagues – the only team that has yet to play an African-American.  When at last Pumpsie Green gets his chance, helping the Red Sox to a win, Bernard and his family are there to witness the historic moment.  I think my favorite line in the book is: “The Sox win.  After the game, I stop walking for a minute and turn around.  I look at Fenway and the crowd and tell my eyes to take a picture.”  Isn’t that just wonderful?  Haven’t we all had moments like that when we try to commit every single detail to memory so we’ll never forget?  A wonderful choice for baseball fans, young historians, or anyone who likes a good story!

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 – Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey

Well, folks, the groundhogs have spoken!

And apparently they were not all on the same page!

Punxsutawney Phil said 6 more weeks of winter.

Punxsutawney Phyllis was on the fence at first, but reluctantly ended up concurring with Phil when the sun undeniably came out and cast her shadow in all its beauteous perfection 🙂

Staten Island Chuck (short for Charles G. Hogg VII 🙂 ), who has the best track record of accuracy at 80%, said early spring.  (And you may be pleased to know that the current Chuck is actually a girl… so she’s probably right! 🙂 )

Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam agreed with Chuck.

So as you can see there is some furry headshaking and dispute over what will actually happen.  I guess we’ll all have to just wait and see who is right and who should have stayed in the burrow 🙂

Early spring or no, we can still enjoy Perfect Picture Books!

Although part of me wants to share a cozy fuzzy book today as an antidote to all that’s happening in the world, I think sometimes there’s an important place for more serious books that address meaningful issues in a way kids can manage and appreciate.  So today I have what I consider a very special book to share.

stepping-stones

Title: Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey

Written By: Margriet Ruurs

Illustrated By: Nizar Ali Badr

Orca Book Publishers,  October 2016, nonfiction – bilingual edition English/Arabic

Suitable For Ages: all ages

Themes/Topics: family life, geographic location (Syria), war, hardship, refugees, settling in a new life

stepping-stones-3

illustration copyright Nazir Ali Badr 2016

Opening: “‘Rama, wake up!’
the rooster crowed
every morning when we still lived at home

From my warm bed
I listened as Mama prepared breakfast –
bread, yogurt, juicy red tomoatoes
from our garden.

When I was little, not so long ago,
my brother, Sami, our friends and I
played on sunbaked soil.
We laughed, ran across rocks and sand,
free as birds.

When Papa came in from the fields,
he would sit for a time under the orange tree
and tell stories of our ancestors.

Brief Synopsis: (From the publisher’s description) “Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her mother, father, grandfather and brother, Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe.”

stepping-stones-4

illustration copyright Nazir Ali Badr 2016

Links To Resources: the foreword of the book tells all about how the author discovered the incredible stone artwork of the artist which inspired the story; the back matter gives information on “how you can make a difference”; the book itself is informational and educational

Why I Like This Book: Although this book deals with a very difficult and sensitive topic, one which has the potential to be upsetting to children, the author handles it so beautifully, so gently, with such poetic language, that the story manages to convey a wealth of information and experience in an accessible and palatable way while maintaining enough emotion to be truly meaningful.  It is really masterfully done.  The story is moving.  The art is exquisite.  The message is one everyone – adults and children alike – needs to hear and understand.  Jane Yolen said that “the text would both break and mend your heart.”  I think that describes it well.  An important book that everyone should have the opportunity to read!  The text is bilingual – English/Arabic.

stepping-stones-2

text copyright Margriet Ruurs 2016, illustration copyright Nazir Ali Badr 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!

[Here’s hoping this version will work!  Google forms/spreadsheets does NOT want to cooperate!]

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Goldy Luck And The Three Pandas

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everybody!

Is everyone ready for the Year of the Rooster?  And not just any rooster!  The Year of the Fire Rooster?

The Fire Rooster is characterized by creativity, passion and energy, so I think (hope!) we have a good year ahead!

In celebration of Chinese New Year, I have a terrific book to share.

goldy-luck

Title: Goldy Luck And The Three Pandas

Written By: Natasha Yim

Illustrated By: Grace Zong

Charlesbridge, January 2014, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: retelling of classic tale, holidays (Chinese New Year), taking responsibility

Opening: “When Goldy Luck was born her mother said, “Year of the Golden Dragon – very lucky year.  This child will have good luck.”
“She has a face as round as a gold coin,” said her father.  “This child will bring great wealth.”
But Goldy had neither great wealth or good luck.  In fact, she could never seem to keep money in her piggy bank, and she had a habit of breaking things.”

goldy-luck-1

text copyright Natasha Yim 2014, illustration copyright Grace Zong 2014

Brief Synopsis: Goldy Luck is sent to deliver turnip cakes to the Chan family for Chinese New Year in spite of the fact that she’s sleepy and hasn’t had breakfast yet.  When she arrives, the Chans are not home, so she samples their congee, tries out their chairs, and naps in Little Chan’s bed, leaving chaos in her wake.

Links To Resources: the back of the book includes an author’s note about traditions of Chinese New Year, a diagram and explanation of the Chinese zodiac, and a recipe for turnip cakes; Goldy Luck blog post with activities from 2nd Grade Snickerdoodles

goldy-3

text copyright Natasha Yim 2014, illustration copyright Grace Zong 2014

Why I Like This Book: I love retellings of classic tales, and this is a fun one.  It takes Goldilocks and the Three Bears to China to celebrate Chinese New Year 🙂  Although the story follows the basic format of the original, it departs after the Chans (panda bears in this version :)) come home.  Goldy initially runs away (as she does in the original story) but her conscience gets the better of her and she decides to take responsibility for her actions and returns to the Chans’s home to help tidy up.  The ending makes for a big improvement over the original 🙂  And I love that so much back matter is included, making it so easy to expand on the use of the book.  The art is bright and engaging, ending with a sweet picture of Goldy and Little Chan sharing turnip cake, the rug underneath them a depiction of the Chinese zodiac 🙂

goldy-2

text copyright Natasha Yim 2014, illustration copyright Grace Zong 2014

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 – Fair Cow

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

I realize that since it’s Inauguration Day I should probably have chosen a book on a related topic… but I already reviewed President Squid last March 🙂

Setting one’s sights on the State Fair isn’t SO far off setting one’s sights on the White House… and being pinned with a blue ribbon is kind of like being sworn in as POTUS…

Okay…

Maybe it’s a bit of a stretch 🙂

But this is still a totally fun book and I hope you’ll get a kick out of it!

fair-cow

Title: Fair Cow

Written & Illustrated By: Leslie Helakoski

Two Lions (Amazon’s Children’s Publishing), August 2010, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: believe in yourself, be yourself, having goals

Opening: “Effie dreamed of being a state fair cow.  She loved living on the farm, grazing in the fields, and giving milk every day.  But still…she dreamed of being beautiful, of billowing blue ribbons, and big, bodacious barns.”

Brief Synopsis: Effie dreams of being a state-fair cow.  Petunia the pig gives Effie loads of helpful advice on how to become beautiful and win a ribbon. But in the end, it seems that maybe it’s best for Effie to just be Effie.

Links To Resources: Amazing Cow Facts For Kids; All About Cows For Kids And Teachers; Cow Coloring PagesShowring Ready: A Beginner’s Guide To Showing Dairy Cattle;

Why I Like This Book: Effie is cute and sassy, determined to make it to the fair, willing to follow Petunia’s (often ridiculous 🙂 ) advice to make her dreams come true.  The theme of the book isn’t new, but the execution is fun and fresh, and I think there’s always room for a book that encourages kids to be themselves and follow their dreams (er… come to think of it, I’ve written one myself, though it’s about groundhogs, not cows 🙂 )  The art takes the fun story to the next level of humor – colorful, fun and engaging, with plenty of silliness and great expressions.  And the repeating line of “Nothing a little {something} won’t fix” is used to great effect 🙂

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Text and illustration copyright Leslie Helakoski 2010

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 Spooky Wheels On The Bus

It’s Friday!  It’s Friday!  The weekend awaits! 🙂

So what are y’all doing this weekend?

Apple picking? Visiting Granny? Washing the dog? Baking pumpkin-related items? Putting finishing touches on costumes? Making sure every flavor in the bag of fun-size candy is as delicious as the manufacturers purport them to be?

That was a test!

The correct answer is “writing my Halloweensie Contest entry!”

Anyone who answered correctly may have one of these 🙂  You have earned it!  (And you’ll need it to give yourself time to write 🙂 )

get

Just a quick housekeeping item (since we’re on the subject of not doing any 🙂 ) which is that next Friday, October 28, there will be no PPBF because we will be all caught up in the excitement of the ongoing Halloweensie Contest which opens Thursday October 27!!!  So instead of posting favorite picture books next week, we will enjoy reading all the contest entries!!!  I seriously can’t wait!!! (PPBF will return on Friday November 11 – I think…!)

Now!  Onto today’s Perfect Picture Book, just in time for Halloween 🙂

spooky-wheels

Title: The Spooky Wheels On The Bus

Written By: J. Elizabeth Mills

Illustrated By: Ben Mantle

Cartwheel Books, July 2010, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: holidays (halloween), concepts (counting)

Opening: “One spooky bus goes RATTLE and SHAKE,
RATTLE and SHAKE, RATTLE and SHAKE.
One spooky bus goes RATTLE and SHAKE
All through the town.

Brief Synopsis: (From Amazon) “Count from One Spooky Bus up to Ten Goofy Ghosts as this Halloween ride races through town picking up a few unsuspecting passengers along the way.”

Links To Resources: Kids’ Halloween Crafts of all kinds!; Kid-friendly Halloween recipes; make up your own Wheels On The Bus song about Halloween, your birthday, or any other holiday!

Why I Like This Book: You can’t really go wrong with a fun Halloween-themed version of this popular song.  Kids can enjoy it as a story, or sing along with it.  In addition to being a story/song with an entertaining cast of Halloween characters, it is a counting book – great for youngest picture book enthusiasts.  The art is bright and warm, colorful and inviting, showing witches and ghosts and spiders in a way that is friendly and engaging and not at all scary.  The town looks like a cozy place to go trick-or-treating.  All-around Halloween fun!

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text copyright J. Elizabeth Mills 2010, illustration copyright Ben Mantle 2010

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 – Sleep Tight Farm

Hurray!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I’m excited because this weekend I’ll be at the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, reading during story time with my author friends Iza Trapani and Nancy Shaw, and signing copies of Can’t Sleep Without Sheep and some of my other books alongside them.

If you’ve never been to Sheep & Wool, I highly recommend it if you’re in the area!  It’s like the fair, only with lovely autumn weather, every kind of sheep under the sun,

llamas and alpacas,

llamas

craft workshops, gorgeous yarns,

yarn

knitting and crochet patterns, beautiful clothing and other gift items made from wool, all kinds of fun activities for kids, AND delicious treats like apple crisp made from local apples! 🙂

I hope you’ll join us!

Meanwhile, today’s Perfect Picture Book fits rather nicely with the sheep and wool theme since it’s all about farming and getting ready for winter!  Have a look!

sleep-tight-farm

Title: Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares For Winter

Written By: Eugenie Doyle

Illustrated By: Becca Stadtlander

Chronicle Books, August 2016, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: publisher says 2-5 but I think 3-7 is equally doable

Themes/Topics: nature, seasons (fall/winter), farming, jobs/careers

Opening: “The December days shorten and darken.  We are busy putting the farm to bed.”

Brief Synopsis: This peaceful book shows a family getting their farm ready for winter after the cycle of spring growth, summer heat, and fall harvest.  Beautiful and informative.

Links To Resources: author’s note at the end describes her life on the farm; extensive list of Autumn Lesson Plans from Scholastic; fun Fall & Harvest-Themed Lesson Plans from Bright Hub Education; 10 Easy Steps To Making Homemade Jam With Your Kids; draw a picture of a farm; draw the fruits and vegetables you would like to grow and pick!

Why I Like This Book: This is a very quiet book.  It shows a family harvesting the fruits of their year-long labor – fruits and vegetables, honey from the beehives, wood to warm their home – and tucking their farm in for the winter.  The harvest is pictured ripe and colorful.  The indoor scenes of home and barn are cozy and filled with warm, bright colors, animals and loving family.  By the last page where the light is blue and silver and the snow is falling gently you feel just as tucked in as the farm 🙂  But in addition to being a calm and cozy read, it is extremely informative about how the things we eat are grown and harvested, so young readers will get a sense of where their food comes from.  A pleasant and educational read!

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text copyright Eugenie Doyle 2016, illustration copyright Becca Stadtlander 2016

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text copyright Eugenie Doyle 2016, illustration copyright Becca Stadtlander 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!!!  Work on your Halloweensie entries!!!  🙂  Come to NYS Sheep & Wool if you can!!! 🙂

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Fletcher And The Falling Leaves

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Today is especially awesome for several reasons:

First, it’s Friday, which is a delight all on its own.

Second, it is the first Friday upon which I am experimenting with a new Friday FB feature which I’m hoping will be tons of fun and not fall flat on its face as some other of my genius ideas have been wont to do! 🙂  Assuming all goes according to plan, it will post at 10:30 AM Eastern and I hope you will all go check it out!  (Link to Susanna’s FB page)

Finally, this happy Friday, many folks have a long weekend for Columbus Day… the day upon which (with luck and a following wind) I shall post the guidelines for the 2016 Halloweensie Writing Contest!!!  (I can hear you!  Snickering in the back row!  Just because it sometimes takes me a little longer than I intend to get things organized is no reason to guffaw!  I’ll get to it, my pretties… all in good time! 🙂  And I hope you were suitably impressed just there by my spot-on impression of the Wicked Witch of the West!  Very fitting for Halloweensie, don’t you think? 🙂 )  So stay tuned for the Halloweensie posting… but maybe don’t hold your breath… 🙂

So are you ready for just about the cutest fall picture book ever written?  Have a look at this truly Perfect Picture Book!

fletcher

aren’t you just already in love with that little fox?! 🙂

Title: Fletcher And The Falling Leaves

Written By: Julia Rawlinson

Illustrated By: Tiphanie Beeke

Greenwillow Books, August 2008, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: seasons (autumn/winter), nature (changing seasons), love

Opening: “The world was changing.  Each morning when Fletcher bounded out of the den, everything seemed just a little bit different.  The rich green of the forest was turning to a dusty gold, and the soft, swishing sound of summer was fading to a crinkly whisper.  Fletcher’s favorite tree looked dull, dry, and brown.
Fletcher was beginning to get worried.

Brief Synopsis: When the leaves on Fletcher’s favorite tree turn brown and begin to fall, Fletcher thinks something is terribly wrong.  “Don’t worry,” his mother tells him.  “It’s only autumn.”  But Fletcher is worried.  He does his best to catch the falling leaves and reattach them, but in spite of his efforts the last leaf finally falls.  He promises the tree he’ll keep the last leaf safe and he takes it home to bed, still worried.  To his surprise and delight, though, he wakes in the morning to a magical sight that convinces him everything is all right.

Links To Resources: Scholastic Classroom Guide; Teachers Guide (from The Picture Book Teacher’s Edition); 15 Fabulous Fall Leaf Crafts For Kids

Why I Like This Book:  Oh my goodness!  What is there not to like?!  The story is so sweet.  Fletcher is so earnest in his desire to help his tree, so dedicated to saving it, and so worried on its behalf since he’s unable to understand from his child’s-eye-view the concept of autumn, changing seasons, and the cycle of life.  He doesn’t know that it’s natural for leaves to fall and that his tree is just fine and will green again come spring.  It takes the magic of icicles glimmering in the morning sun to show him that his tree is beautiful (and okay!) in every season.  The art is such a perfect match for the story – impressionistic water colors in soft, hazy tones of autumn brown and orange that give way to the cool blue/green and white tones of winter, and Fletcher himself is so endearing.  As adults, we often take the change of seasons for granted, but this book is a gem for the way it shows the wonder of changing seasons as a child appreciates them.

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 – Because Of An Acorn

By golly, it’s Perfect Picture Book Friday again!  Woo hoo!!!

I must admit, I am not sorry to see the back end of this week.

Some philosophical proverb spouter said that into every life a little rain must fall.  There is both truth and beauty in that statement (…also potentially a picture book! 🙂 )  In nature rain is life-giving, restorative and essential, and in life the metaphorical rainy days help us appreciate the sunshine all the more when it returns.  But it can be a little hard to remember that when you’re standing bare-headed in the downpour 🙂

Be that as it may, the weekend approacheth with sunshiny promises of family time, maybe a hike if it doesn’t rain, maybe a movie if it does, and at least a few minutes curled up with a good book and a cup of tea (I’m finishing Laini Taylor’s YA Daughter of Smoke And Bone trilogy which I highly recommend if you haven’t read it yet! and if you haven’t tried Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice I highly recommend that as well as the books – I’m a die-hard coffee drinker but this tea has me questioning my long-standing allegiance 🙂 )

Anyone else read a great book recently that they’d like to share here?  (and for this purpose it doesn’t have to be a picture book 🙂 )  Or has anyone been to the movies lately or planning on going this weekend?  What do you recommend?  Please share in the comments!!!  We’re getting to that time of year where a stockpile of good books and movies is oh-so-lovely to have 🙂  My daughter and I saw Bridget Jones’s Baby last weekend and what can I say?  I love Bridget Jones no matter what she’s doing 🙂

Anyway, speaking of nature and sunshine and rain, have a look at today’s Perfect Picture Book – an absolute delight of simplicity and beauty!

acorn

Title: Because Of An Acorn

Written By: Lola M. Schaefer & Adam Schaefer

Illustrated By: Frann Preston-Gannon

Chronicle Books, August 2016, fiction based on fact

Suitable For Ages: 3-6

Themes/Topics: nature, animals, ecosystem, environmental preservation

Opening: “Because of an acorn, a tree.”

Brief Synopsis: (from Amazon) “Because of an acorn, a tree grows, a bird nests, a seed becomes a flower. Enchanting die-cuts illustrate the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem in this magical book. Wander down the forest path to learn how every tree, flower, plant, and animal connect to one another in spiraling circles of life. An acorn is just the beginning.”

Links To Resources: the book itself contains back matter about white oak trees, the ecosystem, and the importance of forest, as well as a “What You Can Do To Help” section; Acorn Crafts For Kids

Why I Like This Book:  This book is so simple and accessible, but explores so beautifully the vital interconnectedness of all things in an ecosystem.  Everything exists within the context of everything else, and all are interdependent.  In addition, it shows how something small can be the beginning of something big – a concept all children can appreciate 🙂  The art is enchanting – so inviting and appealing – just drawing you into the world of the forest (no pun intended 🙂 ).  A wonderful choice for the young naturalist in your home or classroom! 🙂

acorn-int

text copyright Lola and Adam Schaefer 2016, illustration copyright Frann Preston-Gannon 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!!! 🙂