Perfect Picture Book Friday – Be Quiet!

Woo hoo!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And in my continuing quest for laughs this week, I’ve got a fun one to share! 🙂

be quiet

Title: Be Quiet

Written & Illustrated By: Ryan T. Higgins

Disney-Hyperion, April 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-6

Themes/Topics: humor

Opening: “FINALLY!  I get my very own book to star in.  This is going to be great!
I’m going to make it a wordless book.  They are very artistic.
This book will have NO WORDS at all.  Starting…NOW.”

Brief Synopsis: Rupert the mouse is thrilled at the prospect of creating his very own book!  It will be wordless, because wordless books are so artistic.  But his chatty little friends, Thistle and Nibbs, show up and suddenly a wordless picture book seems way more difficult…and Rupert ends up just as guilty as his friends!

Links To Resources: draw your own wordless picture book; play Cat ‘n’ Mouse (hide ‘n’ seek) and practice being as quiet as a mouse so the cat doesn’t find you!

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 9.09.42 PM

text and illustration copyright Ryan T. Higgins 2017

Why I Like This Book: I like this book because it’s just flat out funny 🙂 and sometimes that’s just what young readers (and grown-up ones 🙂 ) need!  Poor Rupert has a plan (which even he has a little trouble with 🙂 ) to star in a wordless picture book… but his friends,Thistle and Nibbs, intending only to be helpful, foil him at every turn and send Rupert into a frenzy until he’s hopping up and down, anything but wordless!  Thistle and Nibbs are delightfully oblivious in their wish to help out, and young readers will get a kick out of watching the steam of outrage build and build in Rupert until the inevitable explosion.  Like all of Ryan T. Higgins’s books, this one is sure to make you laugh out loud!

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 Leaf Can Be

Happy Friday, Folks!

Remember on Wednesday when I said I was looking forward to daffodils?

Well, guess what?

Yesterday I took my dad to New York City for cataract surgery and in all the little square “gardens” planted around trees along one of the sidewalks on 64th Street there were…

…wait for it…

DAFFODILS!!! 🙂

daffodil

They’re like a little drops of captured sunshine, aren’t they? 🙂

So I chose the perfect picture book to capture feeling springy 🙂

(and yes, I’ve done it before, but I love it and I was pressed for time due to the aforementioned trip to NYC!)

leaf

Title: A Leaf Can Be

Written By: Laura Purdie Salas

Illustrated By: Violetta Dabija

Millbrook Press, February 2012, Fiction based on fact

Suitable For: ages 3-8

Themes/Topics: nature, seasons, poetry

Opening:  “A leaf is a leaf
It bursts out each spring
when sunny days linger
and orioles sing.

A leaf can be a…
soft cradle
water ladle
Sun taker
Food maker…”

Brief Synopsis: a simple rhyming story that shows all the many things a leaf can be.

Links To Resources: the back of the book has lots of facts about leaves, showing how they can be all the things mentioned in the book.  There is also a small glossary.  Take a walk and see how many different kinds of leaves you can find.  What could your leaves be used for?  Leaf Activities.  What else can you look at in different ways?

Why I Like This Book:  The quietness of this book encourages children to really think about all the different things leaves can be and in turn encourages children to stretch their imaginations about how other everyday objects might be used in different ways.  The poetry is gentle with pretty images.  The information in the back adds a lot to the learning potential of the book.  And the art in this book is absolutely luminous.  It just glows.  It is the perfect art for the text making for an altogether magical reading experience.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

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

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

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

(and have some cake on me 🙂 )

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – My Side Of The Car

Good Friday to you, folks!

In case anyone is wondering, it’s snowing again!  I think there’s a trainee in charge of Spring this year who must have misread the job description!

As luck would have it, since it’s snowing, I have to drive to New York City today… which makes me think of cars… which makes me think of this book!  Perfect for cars and inclement weather 🙂

Ready?  Fasten your seat belts because here we go! 🙂

My Side Of The Car
Written By: Kate Feiffer
Illustrated By: Jules Feiffer
Candlewick, April 2011, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: patience, imagination, father-daughter love, optimism

Opening:  “My dad and I are going to the zoo.  We’ve tried to go to the zoo before.  But we never get there.  Something always happens.”

Brief Synopsis:  Sadie and her dad are going to the zoo.  Their plans have been thwarted three previous times, but this time they’re really going.  Except… on the way… it starts to rain.  They can’t go to the zoo in the rain.  But Sadie’s not about to let the fact that her dad sees rain deter her.  I look out my window, and the sun is shining on my side of the car. People are putting on their sunglasses and heading to zoos all over the world on my side of the car.” While her dad sees nothing but rain, Sadie sees people mowing their laws and eating ice cream.  Is it raining or not?  Will Sadie and her dad get to the zoo this time or will they have to wait for another day?

Links To Resources:  Fun Zoo-Related ActivitiesZoo Lessons And Activities, a page in the back of the book tells the true story of what happened (which is always fun :))

Why I Like This Book:  Anyone who has lived with kids knows that their perception of reality is not necessarily the same as yours… especially when they really want something! 🙂  What’s wonderful about this book is both Sadie’s determined optimism and her father’s patience and his loving understanding of how she needs to cope with her disappointment.  This book is also delightful because it’s written and illustrated by a father-daughter team about an incident that actually happened.  I’m not going to tell you whether they get to the zoo or not, though.  You’ll have to go read the book 🙂

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

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

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

Now then.  I’m going to be like Sadie and see nothing but sunshine and daffodils on my side of the car!  No snow! 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Almost Terrible Playdate

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, practically Easter, and soon-to-be April!

That sounds great all around 🙂

May I offer you some jelly beans or a chocolate bunny? 🙂

I realized that I hadn’t updated the master Perfect Picture Book list on my website in a while (er… that was because I totally forgot a) how to do it and b) that I had to do it – I had somehow convinced myself it was automatic! 🙂 ) so anyone who wants to have a look will have the happy surprise that there are now over 900 books on the list instead of the paltry 400 that were there last week 🙂  And thanks to you guys and your excellent form-filling-out abilities, many of them have themes listed!  So feel free to check it out and share it!  Perfect Picture Books (website page) and The LIST itself on google docs (search instructions for those who need them on the Perfect Picture Book page.)

(And I have to apologize for the fact that the “master list” is really only the books listed since I moved to wordpress.  The original couple thousand books from blogger have yet to be added because I never seem to have enough time!  I must make myself add 5 a day until they’re done or something!)

Any hoo…!

I have a tons-of-fun book to share today that I hope you’ll all love!

Title: The Almost Terrible Playdate

Written & Illustrated By: Richard Torrey

Doubleday Books For Young Readers, February 16, 2016, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: friendship, compromise, getting along, imagination

Opening: “What do you want to play?”

“What do you want to play?”

“How about I’m the queen of the universe and my doll, Pippy, is my sister queen, and you visit my castle?”

“Or how about I’m the giantest dinosaur ever and you’re a dinosaur too – but not the giantest – and we stomp around smashing stuff?

Brief Synopsis: A girl and a boy with active imaginations each have very different ideas about what makes a fun game.  Will the afternoon end with two kids playing alone on opposite sides of the room, or will they find something that is fun for both of them?

Links To Resources: Class Compromise Activity for grades 3, 4 & 5 – Planning A Class Party; let your child or student draw a picture of what they think would be a fun game to play; discuss the meaning of compromise and the importance of getting along – what would happen if everyone insisted on getting his/her own way?  Give examples of situations where people might have to compromise and have kids discuss how it could be handled, for example if one child wants to go to the zoo and the other wants to go to the playground, or how to plan a family picnic that will be fun for a variety of interests, etc.

Why I Like This Book: This is a delightful story, told completely through dialogue and illustration (a good mentor text for writers who are working on similar stories.)  The writing is spare and there is no written narrative – it’s all a conversation.  The girl is completely sure that her idea is best, her game the most fun…and not surprisingly it gives her the starring role.  The boy is equally convinced that his totally different idea is best, his game the most fun…and not surprisingly it gives him the starring role 🙂  Anyone who has ever spent time around kids will recognize this dynamic.  The children’s imaginative descriptions grow more and more elaborate as they try to convince each other, but it is not to be.  Before long the girl is playing her game, and the boy is playing his.  But they are side by side… sneaking glances at each other… ultimately unable to resist their curiosity about each other’s games and the allure of having someone to play with, not just next to.  The resolution is just right – very believable – and brings young readers full circle.  But one of the best things about this book is the art!  Childlike crayon drawings depicting the imagined games – SO much fun, and not to be missed!

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 Easter and Happy Passover to all who celebrate!

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Happy Friday, All!

Before we get to today’s Perfect Picture Book, I’d like to thank everyone for their enthusiastic response to last week’s book, Diva Delores And The Opera House Mouse, and all the nice comments for author Laura Sassi!

AND…

I’d like to announce the winner of the hot-off-the-presses copy of Laura’s wonderful book!

Chelsea Owens, come on down!  You are the lucky winner of this fabulous prize!  Please email me (susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com) with your snail mail address so Laura can get your book out to you as soon as possible!  Congratulations! 🙂

Now.

In spite of the fact that every time I turn around it is snowing, it IS in fact officially spring!  And what says spring like bugs?

In an effort to encourage spring to show herself, let’s talk about bugs! 🙂

Title: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Written & Illuatrated By: Bob Barner

Chronicle Books, 1999, Non-Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 2-6

Themes/Topics: Bugs

Opening: “Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!  I want to see bugs!  Butterflies that flutter in the sky.  Spotted ladybugs that go creeping by.”  (This is actually the first three spreads.)

Brief Synopsis: Simple facts about familiar bugs in a rhyme.

bugs 1

illustration copyright Bob Barner 1999

Links To Resources:  One back page of the book includes a display of actual-sized bugs so young readers can see how big they are in real life and how they compare with each other.  Another back page compares facts about all the insects mentioned in the book: can it fly, where does it live, etc.  Here are a few activities, and here are a bunch of coloring pages.

Why I Like This Book: This book is delightfully simple.  Easy enough for youngest readers to enjoy, but with enough information in the back to interest slightly older children.  The pictures are bright, colorful, and engaging and do a great job of making bugs look friendly and non-threatening.  I’m not really much of a bug person, but I find this book very appealing 🙂  This is also an interesting example for writers to study.  The author gets across information in a fun way in only 76 words!

bugs 2

illustration copyright Bob Barner 1999

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 – We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

A heartfelt TGIF to everyone this morning!

Here on Blueberry Hill, spring has arrived, as you can clearly see 🙂

IMG_5288 IMG_5290

What a week!

I am more than ready for the weekend and #5’s visit for her spring break this coming week!

What are you all planning for the weekend?

I have a tons-of-fun book to share today – completely different mood from last week’s! 🙂 – and I can’t wait to show it to you… even though it isn’t due out until June so you’ll have to wait a while to read it.  (I was lucky to receive an advance copy.)

Penelope Rex

Title: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Written & Illustrated By: Ryan T. Higgins

Disney-Hyperion, Coming June 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-6

Themes/Topics: first day of school, making friends, humor, perspective, dinosaurs

Opening: “Penelope Rex was nervous.  It’s not every day a little T. rex starts school.

Brief Synopsis: It’s the first day of school and poor Penelope is having a tough time making friends…maybe because she keeps eating her classmates!  It takes a little help from Walter the class goldfish to help Penelope see matters from another point of view 🙂

Links To Resources: class, small group, and individual activities for making friends (including a downloadable board game); discuss what makes a friend?; draw a friendly T Rex 🙂

Why I Like This Book: I love this book, not only because of Penelope’s personality, which oozes from every page, or the humor, which is delightful and unexpected, but also because of the wonderful message of empathy and the importance of seeing things from others’ point of view which is delivered in such a fun and unique way.  I’m not even going to tell you about Walter’s role – you’re just going to have to read the book and see for yourself!  This book is fun from cover to cover and I dare you not to love it! 🙂

I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do when you get a chance to read it.  It will be out in June 🙂

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 Rabbit Listened

So…

On Wednesday you’ll recall I was waxing poetic about March and Spring…

…and apparently we’re supposed to get 8 inches of snow today!

In like a lion, right? 🙂  I guess March is trying to live up to its reputation!

Grab a cup of hot chocolate and forget the snow for a minute, though, because oh my goodness, do I have a book for you today!

By definition, I love every book I post for Perfect Picture Books, but every once in a while one comes along that is truly special.  And when that special book is written and illustrated by a friend, that’s even more wonderful!  If you haven’t read this one yet, you owe it to yourself and your kids to take a trip to the library or the bookstore this weekend!

Rabbit

Title: The Rabbit Listened

Written & Illustrated By: Cori Doerrfeld

Dial Books For Young Readers, February 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-5 (but seriously, this book speaks to all ages!)

Themes/Topics: empathy, emotions/coping with emotions, friendship

Opening: “One day, Taylor decided to build something.
Something new.
Something special.

Brief Synopsis: When something happens to upset Taylor, all the animals try to help.  But none has the right approach until the rabbit, who knows just how to help Taylor feel better.

rabbit 3

text and illustration copyright Cori Doerrfeld 2018

Links To Resources: 5 Circle Time Lessons About Emotions (with activities); Scholastic: My Mini Book Of Feelings (downloadable pdf); talk about how different situations make you feel; talk about how you might help someone who felt angry, sad, or scared, or how you might join in someone’s happiness or excitement; draw pictures of what different emotions mean to you – what does anger look like? or happiness?  or surprise?

Why I Like This Book: Oh my goodness!  What is there not to like – nay, love! – about this wonderful book!  A sweet, simple story told in spare text, with illustrations that shine with emotion, and a situation every child, every person, can relate to.  We have all been upset.  We have all been the recipients of people’s attempts to make us feel better, and we have all done our share of trying to make others feel better.  But how do we know what will help?  Sometimes all someone really needs is quiet friendship and understanding – someone to just listen.  That’s something we can all learn from.  This is definitely one of those “wish I wrote that!” books!  Kudos to Cori for a truly special book!

rabbit 1

text and illustration copyright Cori Doerrfeld 2018

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

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

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

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Here Comes Valentine Cat

Hurray!  It’s Friday!

That means Perfect Picture Books AND…

…that the Valentiny Writing Contest opens tomorrow!!!

I know we all have tons to do (er… it’s possible some of us may not have even given a moment’s thought to their sample entry yet! 🙂 ), so let’s get right to today’s pick!  I’m sure it’s been done before, but I love it so I’m doing it too 🙂

Valentine Cat

Title: Here Comes Valentine Cat

Written By: Deborah Underwood

Illustrated By: Claudia Rueda

Dial Books for Young Readers, December 2015, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-6

Themes/Topics: holidays (Valentines Day), misunderstanding, friendship, humor

Opening: “Hey, Cat!
Any Valentine’s Day plans?”

Brief Synopsis: Cat does NOT like Valentine’s Day. It’s much too mushy, and no way is he making anyone a valentine—especially not his new neighbor, Dog who clearly has no understanding of how to behave!  But maybe it’s Cat who is misunderstanding Dog’s intent!

Links To Resources: make Valentines! 🙂  Use colored construction paper, stickers, glitter and glue, markers and paint, fancy doilies too!  Anything goes!  Write a Valentine poem!  Try starting with “Roses are red, violets are blue” if you need a nudge 🙂

Why I Like This Book:  I love all of Deborah Underwood’s Cat books – they are so funny!  I love Cat’s grumpy personality and sly humor.  And I love Claudia Rueda’s art – especially her skill with facial expression.  This is a story kids will relate to well.  Many kids feel as Cat does that Valentine’s Day is way too mushy 🙂  And haven’t we all been in situations where we misunderstood the actions of others, or had our own behaviors misunderstood?  Cat resolves the problem in this story… but he doesn’t go mushy!  He gets the last word as always 🙂

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!!! 🙂

See you tomorrow for the Valentiny Writing Contest!!!

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Happy Groundhog Day!

Woohoo!

It’s Groundhog Day!

And you know what that means!!! 🙂

Punxsutawney Phyllis herself will be up and at ’em as soon as it’s light to make her prediction about whether we’ll have 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring!  (Fingers, toes, eyes, paws, etc. crossed for the latter! 🙂 )

As it happens, however, Phyllis and I are off to an all-day school visit the second she’s made her prediction, so you’ll have to wait to find out what she says!  And we are not here to participate actively in PPBF…

…so at the risk of tooting our own horn, Phyllis and I would like to direct you to Beth Stilborn’s Perfect Picture Book blog post on Punxsutawney Phyllis for today’s Perfect Picture Book.

punxsutawney_phyllis_cover-b

We hope you will read Beth’s post and then enjoy our book with all your friends and relations, human and groundhog!

Also, Phyllis being Phyllis, she would love fan mail in the comments, so feel free to write to her 🙂

I’m skipping most of the PPBF categories because they’re on Beth’s post, just making sure everyone sees the accompanying resources!

Links To Resources: coloring pages and activities (scroll down to Punxsutawney Phyllis to make your selection); classroom guides (scroll down to Punxsutawney Phyllis to make your selection); Groundhog Day Cupcakes

Why I Like This Book: I think I’m probably too biased to answer that question 🙂  See what Beth has to say 🙂

I hope you enjoy it as much as Phyllis and I do 🙂

Before we go, Groundhog Day Cupcakes, anyone???!!!

Groundhog Day Cupcakes

Recipe HERE at Bakerella

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!

Happy Groundhog Day, enjoy the cupcakes, and have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Bagel In Love

Woohoo!  It’s PPBF!  Come join the fun and share your books!

Speaking of sharing books, have you ever heard of Bookroo?

I hadn’t, but it’s a really cool kids book club subscription where the books arrive wrapped up like presents to make them even more fun.  They were kind enough to feature WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES in their January Board Book Boxes, and to interview me on their blog, and I know they’d appreciate some visitors.  They use recycled and recyclable packaging and help kids who don’t have access to enough books through Reach Out And Read – very cool.  So if you have a sec, hop over and check them out – especially if you have a little person in your life who might enjoy belonging to the book club!

My PPBF pick for the week is tons of fun 🙂  I love bagels.  Also donuts and cupcakes.  This book has them all!  And they dance!  What’s not to love? 🙂

Bagel In Love

Title: Bagel In Love

Written By:  Natasha Wing

Illustrated By: Helen Dardik

Sterling Children’s Books, January 2018, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: language fun (puns and word play), perseverance, dancing

Opening: “Bagel loved to dance.  It made him happier than a birthday cake!  He never felt plain when he was spinning and swirling, tapping and twirling.  But he didn’t have a partner, so he couldn’t enter the dance contest.

Brief Synopsis: (From the jacket): “Bagel loved to dance. It made him happier than a birthday cake! And more than anything, he wants a partner who will spin and swirl, tap and twirl with him in the Cherry Jubilee dance contest. But Pretzel sniffs that he doesn’t cut the mustard, Croissant thinks his moves are stale, and Doughnut’s eyes just glaze over. Can a cute cupcake save the day for our would-be Fred Éclair? Witty and pun-filled, this picture book really takes the cake.”

Links To Resources: 5 Fun Dance Games For Kids; Easy, Healthy Breakfast and Lunch Bagel Ideas for Kids; Word Play For Kids

Why I Like This Book: How can you not love a dancing bagel? 🙂  Bagel is so sincere in his desire to dance in the contest, and he tries so hard to find a partner.  Even though one after another leaves him disappointed, he keeps trying.  You’ve got to admire his perseverance and dedication to his mission!  In the end, his determination pays off in even better ways than he could have imagined.  Although some of the word play may be lost on younger readers, there’s lots of it and it’s fun and can provide a platform for discussion of puns.  The art is bright and engaging.  An enjoyable read!

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!!! 🙂  Go trip the light fantastic!  And then have some bagels for Sunday breakfast 🙂  AND (this is important!) tune in tomorrow (Saturday!) for a special post you writers will NOT want to miss!!!  I’m serious! 🙂