Perfect Picture Book Friday – Happy Birthday, Christmas Child! – PLUS A Giveaway!

Wow! We haven’t had a Perfect Picture Book Friday in a while, due to Halloweensie.

(In case you’re wondering, all evidence to the contrary, the Halloweensie judging is well underway and we are close to posting the finalists. With a little luck, I’ll get them up before it’s time to post the guidelines for the Holiday Contest, but the way things have been going in my world lately, it’s anyone’s bet! 😊)

Anyway, anyone who has been posting Perfect Picture Books regularly and has books to add, please feel free to put them on today’s list!

I have a lovely book to share with you today, just in time for you all to run out and purchase one as a holiday (or pre-holiday) gift for any wee folks you know 😊

OR, leave a comment on today’s post between now and Thursday, November 24 (hey! that’s Thanksgiving – easy to remember! 😊) and you could be the lucky winner of a copy of this sweet book! (US residents only)

Title: Happy Birthday, Christmas Child!: A Counting Nativity Book (Board Book)

Written By: Laura Sassi

Illustrated By: Gabi Murphy

Publisher: Paraclete Press, October 2022

Suitable For Ages: 1-4

Themes/Topics: Christmas Story, counting

Opening:
One stable on a busy hill
with only ox and donkey ’til…
Tap, tap. “Hello?” Two heads appear.
“The inn is full. Can we stay here?”
“Yes, of course!” squeak three small mice.
“It’s rustic, but the view is nice.”

Brief Synopsis: This is the Christmas Story, told simply in lovely rhyme, with plenty of things for youngest readers to count.

Links To Resources: Today we have a wonderful activity straight from the creative author herself!

Play a HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD Matching Sticker Game

by Laura Sassi

After enjoying the book, little ones might be ready for this book-themed matching game from the free downloadable “Happy Birthday, Christmas Child” activity kit. The sticker templates for the game are found on page six. NOTE: You might also enjoy the other resources there, including cupcake toppers, coloring pages, number sheets and a complete party plan!


Directions: (photos above and below)

  1. Ahead of time, print up two sets of the 12 circular printable stickers found in activity kit and have twenty-four matching cards pre-cut from colored paper.  
  1. Assemble the cards by adhering the stickers to the cards. (Or, if using regular paper, cut out the “sticker” images and adhere using glue.) Decorate an envelope to store them.
  1. Place the cards face down on the “stable floor” (a blanket or quilt) and have the children gather round.  Take turns flipping over two cards at a time. If they match, keep them. If not turn back over.
  1. After playing, the cards can also be used to retell the story or play a hide-and-seek variation of the matching game, where you hide them around the room and go on a hunt for matching pairs. 

Have fun! 

Why I Like This Book: You have probably guessed (since this is at least the 3rd or 4th… or maybe 5th? book of Laura’s that I’ve reviewed for PPBF 😊) that I am a devoted Laura Sassi fan. This newest book is no exception! It tells the Christmas Story in a way that is accessible and appealing to youngest readers. The story takes us to the stable where Mary and Joseph are welcomed by the animals and eat a simple meal of bread and figs. The baby kicks and moves, reminding everyone that it will soon be born. The joyous angels proclaim the birth and send the shepherds hurrying to greet the newborn babe. Simply told in lovely rhyme, the whole story is presented in a way that is true to the bible’s telling but written for youngest readers to enjoy, with things to count on every page along the way – from 1 stable to 10 tiny toes. 😊

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

Author Laura Sassi
Visit her website!

Laura Sassi has a passion for telling stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of multiple books for young children including the best-selling Goodnight, Ark (Zonderkidz), which was a 2015 Christian Book Award Finalist; Goodnight, Manger (Zonderkidz); Diva Delores and the Opera House Mouse (Union Square Publishing), which was a 2021-2022 Iowa Goldfinch Award Nominee; Love Is Kind (Zonderkidz), which was a 2020 Anna Dewdney Read Together Award Honor Book; Little Ewe: The Story of One Lost Sheep (Beaming Books), Bunny Finds Easter (Zonderkidz), Happy Birthday, Christmas Child (Paraclete Press), her new counting board book, and coming in 2023, from Paraclete Press, My Tender Heart Bible and My Tender Heart Prayer Book.

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific blog 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 – I Want To Be In A Scary Story

Happy last Perfect Picture Book Friday before Halloween, everyone!

I apologize for the late post – family situation hopefully now under control!

Before I share my Perfect Picture Book for today, I just want to mention (apologies in advance for shouting out my own book) that I am honored that Beth Stillborn has very kindly showcased ALPHABEDTIME for her PPBF today, and there’s a little Mystery Interview to go along with it, which I may or may not have had something to do with 😊 I hope you’ll hop over and visit her because she did this specially!

Now, that that dreadful commercial interruption is over 😊, I have a delightful story to share with you today – deliciously scary for Halloween! 😊🎃🧙‍♀️👻 If you have a sensitive or easily frightened little one, have a look at the illustrations below so you can judge if it’s a good choice for your little pumpkin.

Title: I Want To Be In A Scary Story

Written By: Sean Taylor

Illustrated By: Jean Jullien

Publisher: Candlewick, July 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-5

Themes/Topics: humor, scary vs. funny, interactive story (between main character and narrator)

text copyright Sean Taylor 2017, illustration copyright Jean Jullien 2017, Candlewick

Opening: “Hello, Little Monster.
What do you want to do today?
Can I be in a story?”

text copyright Sean Taylor 2017, illustration copyright Jean Jullien 2017, Candlewick

Brief Synopsis: Little Monster wants to be the star of an utterly terrifying scary story. But scary stories . . . well, they can be very scary — especially for their characters! Especially if they involve dark forests and creepy witches and spooky houses . . . Oh boy! Maybe a funny story would be better after all!

text copyright Sean Taylor 2017, illustration copyright Jean Jullien 2017, Candlewick

Links To Resources: how about a “scary” game of hide ‘n’ seek? Hide, and when the seeker gets close, pop out and say, “BOO!”; make up a scary story of your own and tell it to your family or friends in a spooky voice; talk about what makes something scary – different things scare different people – and whether you like to be scared (some people do!) or not (some people don’t!)

text copyright Sean Taylor 2017, illustration copyright Jean Jullien 2017, Candlewick

Why I Like This Book: This book is just the right amount of scary for young readers who like a little scare. Little Monster is adorable (definitely not scary 😊), and like all youngsters, sometimes what he thinks he wants turns out not to be exactly what he wants. He asks the author to put him in a scary story. The author cautions him that perhaps a funny story would be better, but Little Monster is sure! He wants a SCARY story! So the author puts him in a dark and terrifying forest. And, um, that’s a little too scary! As the story continues, the author keeps complying with Little Monster’s wishes and the story gradually becomes less and less scary until it ends up funny, a complete turn-around of what Little Monster originally asked for. But he also turns the tables on the author, which is where much of the humor comes from. The story is a little scary (maybe not for kids who are easily frightened, and maybe not the best choice for bedtime 😊 depending on your child) but it is also a story that explores setting boundaries and feeling safe within them – Little Monster is always in control and can change the rules so he knows he’s never really in danger, and it is a story after all! For writers, this is a fun title to examine. It is written completely in dialogue, and is interactive in that it is a conversation between the author and the main character.

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 blog 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 – Applesauce Day

Hooray for Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I have a wonderful family fall book to share, but first, one quick note:

Perfect Picture Books are meant to be reviewed on people’s blogs and include all the relevant information (title, author, illustrator, publisher, themes, age range of intended audience, review, etc), most importantly, links to resources or ideas of how the book can be expanded on at home or in the classroom, so the links provided must go to people’s blogs. You cannot put an Amazon link to a book title. You cannot put a Goodreads link to a book title. I had to remove about 50 titles that had no reviews by the person listing it and no resources provided. This list is meant to be a resource for parents, teachers, and writers to find great books. The reviews and resources are critical. Thank you all for understanding and following the guidelines!

Now! It’s Applesauce Day! 😊

Title: Applesauce Day

Written By: Lisa J. Amstutz

Illustrated By: Talitha Shipman

Publisher: Albert Whitman (August 2017), fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: autumn, apples, family tradition

Opening: “I spy the big pot on the counter right away.
“Hooray!” I say. “It’s Applesauce Day!”
Hannah cheers.
Ezra bangs his spoon.”

text copyright Lisa J. Amstutz 2017, illustration copyright Talitha Shipman 2017, Albert Whitman

Brief Synopsis: Each fall, Maria’s family has Applesauce Day. All together, they go pick apples. Then they bring them to Grandma’s house and all together they make applesauce in the big pot that has been in their family for generations.

text copyright Lisa J. Amstutz 2017, illustration copyright Talitha Shipman 2017, Albert Whitman

Links To Resources: Make applesauce! It’s easy, fun, healthy, and delicious! HERE is a RECIPE

text copyright Lisa J. Amstutz 2017, illustration copyright Talitha Shipman 2017, Albert Whitman

Why I Like This Book: The text is simple and straightforward, and tells the story of a family doing something they do every year – going apple picking and then heading to Grandma’s house to make applesauce. At first, the child telling the story doesn’t see what’s so special about the pot. It looks like a regular pot to her. But as the family washes and slices the apples, her mother tells her about making applesauce with grandma in that pot, and grandma tells about making applesauce with her mother in that pot. And suddenly, the old pot seems very special because it draws them all together. By the end of the story, when they are driving home, the girl imagines that maybe someday she will have a child and make applesauce in the same pot that she, and her mother, and her grandmother, and her great-grandmother all used. It’s a lovely story of family and tradition, and also about the joy of picking apples and making applesauce in the fall.

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 blog 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! There was a problem with the form earlier. I hope it’s fixed!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Maybe go pick some apples and make applesauce! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Fletcher And The Falling Leaves

It feels like Thursday, but somehow it’s Perfect Picture Book Friday already!

Where did this week go?

Any time there’s a holiday, the whole week just seems to speed by!

Where I live, the leaves are in their full fall finery, so it seems like a perfect day for a picture book about fall.

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.

text copyright Julia Rawlinson 2008, illustration copyright Tiphanie Beeke 2008, Greenwillow Books

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.

text copyright Julia Rawlinson 2008, illustration copyright Tiphanie Beeke 2008, Greenwillow Books

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

text copyright Julia Rawlinson 2008, illustration copyright Tiphanie Beeke 2008, Greenwillow Books

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 – Teddy, Let’s Go!

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Is it just me, or has this been a crazy, busy week?

Also, an exciting week as just yesterday I got my author copies of ALPHABEDTIME! Want to see? 😊

Violet is so excited to have a new book to read!

For anyone who might be in the area, I will be at Warwick Children’s Book Festival on Saturday along with many other fabulous children’s authors and illustrators! And (fingers crossed!) I will hopefully have copies of ALPHABEDTIME, available before the official release date just for Warwick! I hope you’ll join us if you can!

But now, I have a lovely book to show you. It has been a casualty of supply chain issues and so had its release date pushed back, but that just gives you more time to preorder it 😊

Title: Teddy, Let’s Go!

Written By: Michelle Nott

Illustrated By: Nahid Kazemi

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books, December 6, 2022, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: transitional object, new sibling, family, love

Opening: “The wavy-haired woman with love in her eyes pulled me close and whispered in my ear.
Then she wrapped me up. And I floated.”

These are the first words of the story, but it begins earlier with the art, showing Grandma at her sewing machine making Teddy.

text copyright Michelle Nott 2022, illustration copyright Nahid Kazemi 2022, Enchanted Lion Books
text copyright Michelle Nott 2022, illustration copyright Nahid Kazemi 2022, Enchanted Lion Books
text copyright Michelle Nott 2022, illustration copyright Nahid Kazemi 2022, Enchanted Lion Books

Brief Synopsis: My’s beloved Teddy Bear goes with her everywhere. Through her early childhood he is a constant companion and friend. As she grows older, she relies on him less, but he still holds a special place in her heart. So special that when her little brother comes along, she knows just what she must do.

text copyright Michelle Nott 2022, illustration copyright Nahid Kazemi 2022, Enchanted Lion Books

Links To Resources: Make a teddy bear for yourself, a new sibling, a friend, or anyone you love

Why I Like This Book: This is such a sweet story! So many children have transitional objects, those loveys they carry with them everywhere to lend strength and comfort. This little girl has a Teddy who was made with love especially for her by her grandma. From her crib to camp, Teddy goes with her, always listening for her words: “Teddy, let’s go!” And he always goes. As she grows older, he goes less and stays home more. She doesn’t need him all the time, which is as it should be, but she still needs him sometimes. Then things begin to feel different around the house. In the art, preparations are being made. A mom whose shape is changing. A crib with a mobile. And then, one night, a small voice cries, and the girl takes her beloved Teddy to their first bed and tucks him in next to her brand new little brother. (Moms and Dads, I dare you not to tear up 😊) Young readers will relate to this love for a special stuffed animal or blankie, as so many of us have had something like that, to the comfort it brings, and the love with which it is bestowed. And maybe one day some of them will pass their loveys on to a new sibling, too.

text copyright Michelle Nott 2022, illustration copyright Nahid Kazemi 2022, Enchanted Lion Books

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 blog 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 – Brown Is Warm, Black Is Bright

Just a smidge behind with the post this morning (oops! 😊) but woohoo! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a book I thought was gorgeous on this level. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly recommend finding a copy because it is not to be missed!

Let’s have a look, shall we?

Title: Brown Is Warm, Black Is Bright

Written By: Sarah L. Thomson

Illustrated By: Keith Mallett

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers, August 30, 2022, lyrical fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: Brown, Black, natural world, dreams

text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown

Opening: “Brown is crisp. . .
crunch and crackle,
catch me as I fall.
Black is splash. . .
Spray! Splatter!
to send a puddle flying.”

text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown

Brief Synopsis: From the publisher: “Have you ever paused to savor the power and beauty of brown and black? Brown is strong as a tree and sweet as honey in tea; black is the hopeful promise of a seed and the grace of a bird in flight… and the quiet space where dreams begin.”

text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown

Links To Resources: what do Black and Brown (or other colors) mean to you? How do they make you feel? Draw a picture of it, or write a haiku or a poem about it. What do you think of when you think of Black or Brown (or other colors)? Recipes to make? Make them! Flowers or vegetables to plant? Plant them! What is one dream you have? Is it something you’d like to share? Or something to hold in your heart just for you?

text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown

Why I Like This Book: This book is a perfect example of what picture books should be – a beautiful marriage of text and art. It is a celebration of Black and Brown, but also of love and hope and wonder, strength and dreams and play, warmth and safety, and the beauty of the natural world. The words are lyrical and evocative, and the art is warm and lush and gorgeous. It makes you feel the text. And Keith Mallett’s skill with facial expression is remarkable. A lovely read that will create a feeling of calm and safety and encourage children to explore all that the world has to offer outside, and all the dreams they may have inside.

text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown
text copyright Sarah L. Thomson 2022, illustration copyright Keith Mallett 2022, Little Brown

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 blog 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 – I Cannot Draw A Horse PLUS Giveaway Winner!

Hi Everyone!

It’s Friday, so you know what that means!

A fabulous list of Perfect Picture Books just in time for the weekend!

But FIRST! I’m happy to announce the randomly selected winner of last week’s giveaway, Rosanne Kurstedt’s beautiful AND I THINK ABOUT YOU!

ANDREA MACK, come on down! YOU are the lucky winner! Congratulations!!! Please email me (you can use the handy contact form in the menu above if you don’t have my email) and let me know your snail mail address so I can send you the book!

Lovely!

Onward!

Today I have a very entertaining book to share called I CANNOT DRAW A HORSE.

Now, I don’t want to brag, but I actually CAN draw a horse.

Look:

I drew that myself – a Susanna Hill original – no artistic training whatsoever!

I know. It’s a gift.

But for those of you who might need a little instruction, (not to mention a fun story) check out this book!

Title: I Cannot Draw A Horse

Written & Illustrated By: Charise Mericle Harper

Publisher: Union Square Kids, October 11, 2022, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: creativity, imagination, self-belief, art

text and illustration copyright Charise Mericle Harper 2022, Union Square Kids

Opening: “This is my shape.
Hello, shape!
“What am I?” asked the shape.
I am a nothing shape.
You are not a nothing shape.
Look!
I can draw a cat.
I want a horse.

text and illustration copyright Charise Mericle Harper 2022, Union Square Kids

Brief Synopsis: The book has a shape. It can make the shape a cat. The cat wants a horse. The book cannot draw a horse, but it can draw lots of other things to give the cat fun and excitement. But the cat still wants a horse. Can the book find a way to supply one?

Links To Resources: the book itself is a fun art resource. The pages are like graph paper, and all of the images are made from simple, easy-to-copy shapes and lines that kids can have fun trying their hands at. Start by trying the ones from the book, then see what you can make on your own! Topic for discussion: how important is it to believe you can do something? Does believing you can do something make you able to do it? Does believing you can’t make it impossible?

text and illustration copyright Charise Mericle Harper 2022, Union Square Kids

Why I Like This Book: For starters, this book is a clever departure from standard story telling. The book itself plays an important role by creating all the images that appear. It begins with a shape that looks like a gumdrop. When the shape complains it is nothing, the book makes it into a cat. The cat demands a horse, which the book says it cannot draw, but it willingly supplies other friends – a squirrel, a beaver, a bunny, and a dog. It provides fun in the form of a pool for splashing and a skateboard for going fast. The cat, however, will not be happy until it gets a horse. So at last the book grudgingly makes an attempt. I will not give away the ending – you must read it for yourself or it will be spoiled – but it made me laugh out loud! This picture book, which is like an introduction to graphic novels, is sure to have kids giggling, and experimenting with shapes to see what they can draw!

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 blog 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! 😊 Practice your horse drawing 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – And I Think About You PLUS A Giveaway!

Howdy, Pardners!

Now that the summer hiatus is over, we’re back to Perfect Picture Book Fridays! And not a moment too soon! I have about 47 books I wanted to share today 😊 Luckily, other PPBF participants are likely to share some of them.

Which reminds me, if you’re one of the dedicated folks who consistently posted Perfect Picture Books all summer, please feel free to add them all to today’s list. That will be wonderful for everyone!

I have a lovely book to share today, one that seems especially appropriate with school just starting. In the story, the mother is at work thinking of her child, and the child is at school thinking of their mom.

AND, as if a glimpse of this beautiful book weren’t enough, we have a giveaway! One lucky person is going to win a copy of AND I THINK ABOUT YOU! All you have to do is leave a comment in the comment section below between now and Wednesday September 14 at 9PM Eastern and you’ll be in the running to be randomly selected. I will announce the winner next Friday.

Title: And I Think About You

Written By: Rosanne L. Kurstedt

Illustrated By: Ya-Ling Huang

Publisher: Kids Can Press, September 20, 2022, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-6

Themes/Topics: family love (mother/child), being apart, reassurance

Opening: “Together we eat breakfast.
I drink my coffee.
You scoop your milk-soaked cereal.”

Brief Synopsis: A mother bear goes through her work day describing what she’s doing while always thinking about her little one, only to come home and discover that her child has been thinking about her too.

Links To Resources:

Special treat! A craft supplied by the author! Thank you, Rosanne!

Why I Like This Book: This book lovingly shows how a mom at work does her job and simultaneously has her child in mind all day long. Though they may be apart, she is always thinking of her little one. The story flows seamlessly between what the mother is doing and thinking and what the child is doing, showing their parallel activities. As the mom reads her emails, she thinks about reading with her child, and on the page turn, her child is in school reading a story. As the mother eats lunch with a friend, she thinks about eating with her child, and on the page turn the child is eating lunch with school friends. This sweet story will reassure any child that whether mom and dad go out to work or work from home, any time they’re separated during the day they are always in their parents minds and hearts. The soft watercolor art captures the tender mood of the story perfectly. A wonderful choice for any bookshelf!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

Author Rosanne Kurstedt

Rosanne L. Kurstedt, Ph.D., has been an educator for over 20 years, supporting learners of all ages. She is the author of several books for teachers, including Teaching Writing with Picture Books as Models and a series entitled 100+ Growth Mindset Comments. Rosanne loves picture books and anything kid-lit so she volunteers as the Assistant Regional Advisor for the New Jersey chapter of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. Her first book Karate Kid (Running Press Kids) was released in 2019 and her second book And I Think About You (Kids Can Press) was released in 2022.

She loves sharing her books and expertise with readers of all ages at various author events (e.g., school visits, festivals, teacher professional development, mom’s groups, etc.)

Rosanne is the founder of The Author Experience (www.TheAuthorExperience.org), a 501(c)(3) organization committed to the transformative power of sharing stories. In collaboration with students, families, and educators, TAE provides sustainable literacy-based experiences that build a culture of literacy—one that elevates connections and delivers lasting impact.

Rosanne lives in New Jersey with her family.

Rosanne’s Social Media:

Web: https://www.rlkurstedt.com/
Twitter: @rlkurstedt
Instagram: @rlkurstedt
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RLKurstedtAuthor

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

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific blog 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 – How You Came To Be

So… I’m a little behind today… Let’s just pretend it’s Friday morning, shall we? 😊

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday (where it is not 8:33 PM 😊)!

First off, I am thrilled and excited to announce the winner of the Starry Forest giveaway last week!

Congratulations to Andi Chitty! You get to have a 20 minute Zoom meeting with Robert Agis, the president of the publishing company, to ask anything you want about publishing and even have a chance to share some of your own pitches! Thank you so much to Starry Forest Books, Robert Agis, and Amy Dixon for visiting us last week and offering such a wonderful opportunity!

And now, I have such a beautiful book to show you!

Title: How You Came To Be

Written By: Carole Gerber

Illustrated By: Sawsan Chalabi

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop, an imprint of Penguin Random House, nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-4 years

Themes/Topics: prenatal development, nonfiction

Opening: “Before you were born,
a wiggly little cell from another
joined with a little round cell from me.
That’s how you came to be.

Together, these two tiny cells formed
one brand-new cell
that would become YOU.”

Brief Synopsis: From the publisher: “A mother lovingly describes the sizes and stages of her baby’s month-by-month development inside the womb, and the amazement of experiencing it from the outside.”

text copyright Carole Gerber, 2022, illustration copyright Sawsan Chalabi, 2022, Rise x Penguin Workshop

Links To Resources: there is some very nice back matter in the book with “Helpful Words To Know”, “What Unborn Babies Do”, and “How Babies Are Born”, as well as a Selected Bibliography. The book itself is a wonderful resource.

text copyright Carole Gerber, 2022, illustration copyright Sawsan Chalabi, 2022, Rise x Penguin Workshop

Why I Like This Book: I love this book. It is so beautifully and lovingly written, in a way that is so perfectly accessible to young readers. Instead of focusing on any of the mechanics of conception, which I think would be pretty hard to make appropriate for very young readers, it shows children, in concrete images they can easily envision, how big they were at 1 month, 2 months, etc. By personalizing growth and development, almost in the form of a love letter to the child, it feels immediate and relatable.
Every day you doubled in size.
Soon, you were as big as a pea.
Your heart began to develop
and to beat very quickly.

Children will be captivated by imagining themselves that small, and if they have a sibling on the way, it may help them to feel their soon-to-be-brother-or-sister is more real. If you’re looking for a book that will answer questions about babies without going into the kinds of details you’d like to hold off on until your children are a little older, or if you just want a lovely book that explains a lot about babies in simple, highly appropriate, easy-to-understand words and pictures, this is the perfect choice!

text copyright Carole Gerber, 2022, illustration copyright Sawsan Chalabi, 2022, Rise x Penguin Workshop

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 blog 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 – Butterfly Inn

Welcome to today’s edition of Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I have the most gorgeous book to share!

I love butterflies, and although I’m not nearly as informed and well-organized as the wildlife biologist author of this book or the people in it, I do plant several of the flowers butterflies like, and I am careful never to cut down milkweed!

This book is wonderful both for its showcasing of beautiful butterflies and flowers and for its modeling of what kids can do to encourage butterflies to frequent their yards or windowsills and take care of butterflies so they’ll be around for future generations.

(And I apologize in advance for the picture quality of the interior shots – they look better in real life!😊)

Title: Butterfly Inn

Written & Illustrated By: Nancy Derey Riley

Publisher: Rolling Prairie Publishing, LLC, May 25, 2022

Suitable For Ages: 4-8, though there is a lot of informational back matter that older children will find interesting!

Themes/Topics: butterflies, nature, species protection

Opening: “We hop off the bus, then
we file through the door,
and enter the world
that we’ve come to explore.”

text and illustration copyright Nancy Derey Riley, 2022

Brief Synopsis: From the publisher: “When the class discovers that butterflies need help, they build a butterfly garden at their school. As the butterflies come to the BUTTERFLY INN, the children watch the life cycle of the butterfly from hungry caterpillars through metamorphosis into adults.”

Links To Resources: the book itself is a tremendous resource. The back matter includes a glossary, the sheet music for a song made up of all the text in the book, “Butterfly Basics”, “Butterfly or Moth?”, “Caterpillar Chow”, “Nectar Needs”, “What Makes A Home”, “Do I Stay Or Do I Go?”, “Threats”, “What Can You Do?”, and a selected bibliography and additional resources. If sheet music isn’t your strong suit and you’d like to learn the tune to the song, Nancy has a clip of the first verse on her website HERE!

text and illustration copyright Nancy Derey Riley, 2022

Why I Like This Book: A class field trip to a butterfly pavilion is the impetus behind the class planning and planting their own butterfly garden to help the sustain the butterflies in their part of the world. Extensive back matter gives a wealth of further information for kids who are interested in learning and doing more. The story does a lovely job of introducing young readers to many kinds of butterflies and the plants they need to flourish, the life cycle of the butterfly, and ways to help these beautiful, important creatures who are threatened by pesticides and habitat loss. Written in enjoyable rhyme which is fun to read aloud (and sing to the supplied music!), the text is both informational and entertaining. Much of it is also lovely, for example: “A shimmer of gold/and a glimmer of blue,/a splatter of spots/in a silvery hue.” The art is friendly and beautiful, and the class is nicely diverse. A great choice for home, classroom, and library!

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 blog 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! 😊