Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Summer Nick Taught His Cats To Read

Look at this, dearies!

Summer has arrived!  I know this because the mountain laurel is out.

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So it’s time for a Perfect Picture Book hiatus.

I always feel a little sad to put PPBF on hold for the summer 😦  But summer is a busy time for all of us – hard to keep up with reading and writing blog posts – and I always have grand ambitions of getting lots of other stuff done…

Just because I haven’t managed before doesn’t mean it can’t happen this year! 🙂

We will still be here for Would You Read It Wednesdays, Oh Susanna on the first Monday of the month and Short & Sweets on the third Monday of the month, and there are going to be a couple of VERY exciting blog tours coming up (starring your friends and mine, LION, ELEPHANT, and TRUCKS) as my three new books step out into the world.

So don’t worry!

There will still be plenty of fun (and chocolate!) around here! 🙂

And as we head into summer, I have the perfect Perfect Picture Book to share with you!

Nick Cats

Title: The Summer Nick Taught His Cats To Read

Written By: Curtis Manley

Illustrated By: Kate Berube

A Paula Wiseman Book (Simon & Schuster), July 2016, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics:  reading, perseverance, creativity, imagination

Opening: “Nick had two cats, Verne and Stevenson.
They spent summers doing everything together.
But when Nick sat down with a book, the cats had their own ideas.

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text copyright Curtis Manley 2016, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2016

Brief Synopsis: Nick loves to read.  His cats do not.  Every time Nick opens a book, Verne sprawls across the pages and Stevenson sits on a stack of books scowling and cleaning his paw.  So naturally, Nick decides to share his love of reading with them by teaching them how.  Verne is amenable and learns quickly.  Stevenson shows all the behaviors of a reluctant reader…until Nick finds just the right way to pique his interest.

Links To Resources: read as many books as you can this summer!  Keep a list to show your progress!  Put a star or a sticker beside your favorite titles.  Swap one of your favorite books with one of a friend’s favorites and see if you like the same kind of books or if your friend’s tastes introduce you to something new!  Make your own book club.  Give it a name!  Choose a time and a place and a snack for meetings 🙂  Talk about the books your read with your friends.  Enjoy reading!

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text copyright Curtis Manley 2016, illustration copyright Kate Berube 2016

Why I Like This Book: Curtis is a likable boy with a genuine and infectious love of reading as well as obvious love for his two cats.  I love the silliness of the concept of teaching cats to read…and the fact that they learn 🙂  Verne is an easy-going amenable type who learns quickly and embraces reading as Nick does.  Stevenson, however, is a challenge – one that any reluctant reader will identify with.  But it turns out that Stevenson is an artist!  Nick turns Stevenson’s art into a story about Stevenson…and suddenly reading seems a little more interesting… 🙂  The story is imaginative and fun.  The art is cozy and warm.  This is a delightful book that budding readers, writers, artists…and cat lovers :)…will love.

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 on Monday for Short & Sweets (assuming, of course, that I can think up something fun for you…! 🙂 )

Oh!  And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!!! 🙂

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Lost In The Woods

Happy June, Everybody!

It seems we’ve had rain forever. It’s so bad that the farmers can’t get enough rain-free days in a row to cut the hay, and it’s now well past time for first cutting.  Wednesday evening we had a violent thunderstorm with tornado warnings and hail that turned my porch garden into a cuisinart special.

But yesterday morning, as if to welcome June, we had a gorgeous clear sunny morning – the kind that makes you glad you’re alive to be out in it.

My daughter and I went for a walk.  We saw Mama and Papa Goose out on the pond with their 6-gosling flotilla (I tried to get you a video but they were too far away!)  And upon our return to the driveway we found a tiny fawn – not quite newborn, but pretty close, maybe a couple weeks old.  The fawn and our two dogs came face to face.  They were all the same size, looking at each other, and for a moment no one knew what to do!  Then I called the dogs off (they did not listen!), and the fawn bleated for his mama who was quite nearby and came running, and I panicked lest the dogs hurt the fawn or the mama deer hurt the dogs! and there was a bit of chaos!  But in the end I got the dogs in the house and the fawn and her mama scampered safely off into the green woods.

So after that, there was no doubt about what Perfect Picture Book I would share today!

I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

Lost In The Woods: A Photographic Fantasy

Written By & Photographed By: Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick

Published By: Carl R. Sams II Photography, June, 2004, Reality Based Fiction

Suitable For: ages 5 and up

Themes/Topics: Animals, Patience, Seasons (Spring), Trust

Opening: “The Spring frogs sing-singing with a thousand trilling voices were silenced by the rising sun.  New life came into the woods before the sun touched the tops of the trees.  He slept quietly in the tall grass on the north edge of the meadow where the trees start the forest.”

Brief Synopsis:  The woodland creatures are worried that a newborn fawn might be lost.  “Mama said to wait right here,” the fawn whispers.  “She will come back.”  But the other animals aren’t convinced and offer their advice and help.  Does the doe come back?  What do you think? 🙂

Links To Resources:  The book itself is a resource.  Page after page of gorgeous photographs of woodland creatures will introduce children to animals and birds they may never have seen, especially if they live in the city.  The very last page of the book challenges readers to look back through the pictures and see if they can find a number of hidden animals.  Activity pages, Lesson Plan.  If you’re lucky enough to live in a rural area, go for a “deer drive” in the evening, cruising slowly along back roads, and see how many different animals and birds you can spot 🙂

Why I Like This Book:  I love this story!  It’s simple and sweet.  On the first page where the fawn appears, he is a tangle of fragile limbs.  His spotted fur helps him blend into the forest floor.  By the last page, he has mastered those rascally legs and can be seen bounding through the meadow grass with such joy you can’t help but smile at his airs above the ground.  But the best part is the photography.  It’s breathtaking.  Absolutely stunning!  The fawn’s fur looks like you could reach out and touch it.  You can see his eyelashes!  And there are so many other animals pictured – chipmunk, goslings, a tree frog whose camouflage is amazing!, cardinal, red-winged blackbird, raccoon, and many others.  I know I’m an animal lover (and therefore biased :)) but I think this book is exquisitely beautiful and one that anyone would enjoy!

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!!! 🙂  I hope to see lots of you at the NJSCBWI Conference!!!  And please tune in Monday for the next installment of Oh Susanna!

Also, just a heads up that we will have 2 more weeks of Perfect Picture Books – Friday June 9 and Friday June 16 – and then go on hiatus for the summer!

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Tuesday Tucks Me In

Good Morning, Everyone!

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday…and it’s the front end of a long weekend (at least here in the US)… and it’s the psychological beginning of summer (which technically goes from June 21 – September 21, but really seems to be more measured by Memorial Day to Labor Day! 🙂 )  So that’s a pretty extra-special good Friday, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

Since it’s Memorial Day weekend, my choice for today is on a more serious topic, but the book is well written – on a level that kids can understand and appreciate without it being scary/upsetting in any way – and I hope you’ll enjoy it and find it a useful addition to your libraries.

Title: Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond Between A Soldier And His Service Dog

Written By: Luis Carlos Montalvan & Bret Witter

Photographs By: Dan Dion

Roaring Brook Press, May 2014, Nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: service/therapy animals, military life, photographic book, love, nonfiction

Opening: “In the morning, every morning, my friend Luis wakes up to . . .   this.”

Brief Synopsis: After tours in Iraq left him wounded and distressed, Captain Luis Montalvan returned home to a life he was no longer comfortable living.  He reached a point where he was afraid to leave his apartment.  But a service dog named Tuesday changed everything for him.  Tuesday helps Luis with daily tasks, and he calms and comforts Luis by always being there for him.  Tuesday has made it possible for Luis to live a rewarding life.

Links To Resources: Facts About Service Dogs for Kids; Wayside Elementary Schools Special Needs Awareness Program (SNAP) (video); discuss how animals make you feel and what they do for you; discuss whether you have veterans in your family,  or members of your family currently serving in the armed forces –  how does that make you feel?

Why I Like This Book:  Every day, men and women risk their lives overseas for our freedom and way of life.  When they return home, it is often difficult to readjust, and to carry on with a life so at odds with what they’ve seen and survived.  This book gives kids a glimpse of the difficulties a soldier might face upon coming home at an appropriate and accessible level.  It also shows how the love and care of a therapy animal has the power to change a life.  It’s written from the point of view of the dog, which makes it friendly and non-threatening.  For kids who have a relative or family friend who is a veteran, this book could be very helpful in understanding what they might be going through and in opening a discussion.  For any child, this book can encourage empathy and understanding.

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 – My Name Is Not Isabella

Let’s see.

Yesterday (according to my reckoning) was Thursday…

Tomorrow is Saturday (I’m pretty certain this is true, because I’m going to be at the Millbrook Literary Festival along with Iza Trapani, Karen Orloff, Nancy Furstinger, and lots of other wonderful authors, illustrators and friends – you should come join us if you’re in the neighborhood! – we’d love to see you!)…

But wait a second…  Where was I?

Oh yeah.  Yesterday Thursday, tomorrow Saturday, calendar currently saying “FRI”… all of which signs lead me to believe that today is indeed Friday!  Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I love Friday, don’t you? 🙂

So here’s my Perfect Picture Book for the day and then it’s officially the weekend and you should feel free to lie in the hammock with a good book and an iced tea and a large plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies while the kids and the dogs run amok and unsupervised because that’s what weekends are for 🙂  (Alternatively, if it’s as unseasonably warm at your house as it is on Blueberry Hill – 92 degrees on May 17 and 18 I kid you not! – feel free to turn on the sprinkler and run amok through it along with the kids and the dogs 🙂 )

Isabella

Title: My Name Is Not Isabella

Written By: Jennifer Fosberry

Illustrated By: Mike Litwin

SourceBooks Jabberwocky, September 2010, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: careers, imagination, dreams, self-identity, girl power

Opening: “‘Good Morning, Isabella,’ the mother said.  ‘It’s time to get up and out of bed.’
My name is not Isabella!‘ said the little girl.
‘Then who has been sleeping in my daughter’s bed?’ asked the mother.

Brief Synopsis: A little girl goes through her day imagining herself as women she admires for different reasons – an astronaut, an activist, a doctor, etc. – and decides by the end that she is herself but possesses some of the qualities of all these women she looks up to.

Isabella 2

text copyright Jennifer Fosberry 2010, illustration copyright Mark Litwin 2010

Links To Resources: the back matter of the book is an excellent resource with information about all the accomplished women Isabella admires as well as definitions of all their careers; discuss what YOU want to be when YOU grow up!; draw a picture of yourself as the person you imagine becoming; write a poem or a story about yourself as the person you imagine being.

Why I Like This Book: I’m very fond of this book because of its strong girl power theme, the women it celebrates, and the encouragement it gives girls to dream big.  I also like it because, years before it was published, I wrote a similar kind of book, though mine was more imaginative and not focused on famous women 🙂  Still, I like to think great minds think alike 🙂  This book is a great introduction for kids to a number of very accomplished women, and the art brings their fields of endeavor visually to life in a very appealing way.  A great read to foster a discussion of “what I want to be when I grow up”! 🙂

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 Giant Jam Sandwich

Today is a big day!

Our little boy is graduating from college!

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One moment he was running around the house in nothing but a diaper singing “Oklahoma” at the top of his 21-month-old voice (yes, I have video footage but I think I’ve embarrassed him enough just by mentioning this 🙂 ), the next he’s a smart, kind, funny, lovable, handsome 21-year-old young man (nope, not at all biased 🙂 ) setting off into the world.

So I though I’d celebrate the day by sharing one of his favorite picture books – possibly THE favorite of all time for him 🙂

I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

giant jam sandwich

Title: the Giant Jam Sandwich

Written & Illustrated By: John Vernon Lord (with verses by Janet Burroway)

HMH Books For Young Readers, April 1987, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: humor/nonsense, teamwork, creative thinking/ingenuity

Opening: “One hot summer in Itching Down,
Four million wasps flew into town.
They drove the picnickers away,
They chased the farmers from the hay,
They stung Lord Swell on his fat bald pate,
They dived and hummed and buzzed and ate…”

Brief Synopsis: When four million wasps come to Itching Down, the villagers must figure out how to get them to leave.

Links To Resources: what kind of pests might come to your town or village?  what would you do to outwit them?  draw a picture of your plan and/or write a poem or a story about how you would defeat the pests!

giant jam sandwich int

Why I Like This Book: It is impossible not to love a book where 4 million wasps come to town and the obvious solution is a giant jam sandwich 🙂  I love that no one thinks of anything violent – they think, what do wasps love?  Strawberry jam, of course!  So let’s make bread that requires a scaffold to slice, tractors and horses to pull, and helicopters to drop.  The nonsensical, fun plan – exactly the kind of thing a child might think up and find perfectly reasonable! – makes for a most entertaining read.  As I can attest.  Since I think I read about 4 million times 🙂

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 – How The Sun Got To Coco’s House

Hey there, picture book peeps!  Happy Friday! 🙂

I have such a lovely book to share with you today!

(It’s just a teensy bit possible that my choice was inspired by the fact that we’ve had nothing but gray skies, clouds, and rain for so long I’ve forgotten what the sun looks like and I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe, the sun will find its way to Susanna’s house 🙂 )

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Title: How The Sun Got To Coco’s House

Written & Illustrated By: Bob Graham

Candlewick, September 2015, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-6

Themes/Topics: nature, writing (personification), language (poetic)

Opening: “It had to start somewhere.  While Coco slept far away, the sun crept up slowly behind a hill, paused for a moment, and seemed to think twice…before it plunged down the other side and skidded giddily across the water.

Brief Synopsis: The sun comes up and takes a poetic journey across the world to Coco’s house.

Links To ResourcesWarmth Of The Sun discussion and activity; Shadow Play classroom activity; measuring solar activity; info about the sun with 17 related links; sun coloring pages; Happy Sunshine Cookie recipeRenewable Solar

Why I Like This Book: How can you not love a book that contains phrases like “skidded giddily across the water”?  The whole story is a gentle, lovely, poetic description of how the sun comes up, travels across the world touching everything in its path with light and warmth, and finally arrives at Coco’s house to spend the day.  It’s a very quiet book, but one that can be enjoyed for the beauty of the language, the deceptive simplicity of the art (wait until you see the pinks and golds), and the feeling of comfort bestowed by the fact that, come what may, the sun rises each morning and makes a new day.

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!  Adding your themes seemed to work pretty well last week – woo hoo! 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

P.S. The general opinion on Wednesday seemed to be in favor of reinstating Oh, Susanna! (your picture book questions answered 🙂 )  Since the first Monday of May happens to be in about 12 minutes, if anyone has a question they’d like to submit for an answer, please send it right along!!!

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Bloom

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Spring is coming – really and truly!  The dogs and I took a ramble around Blueberry Hill yesterday and my little pink beauty is blooming, and tiny purple flowers are poking their heads out from between the rocks, and the trees are putting on their white blossoms.  Look!

(Do not ask me what they are…!  With the exception of the pink one which I think might be a hyacinth I have absolutely no idea! 🙂 )

In addition, tomorrow is Earth Day.

So what better day to celebrate a book about mud?! 🙂

(Tomorrow is also my dad’s birthday, which has nothing to do with mud, but I’d like to take a quick moment to wish a very happy 88th birthday to the best dad I could ever have hoped to have!  Happy Happy Birthday, Dad! 🙂

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That’s my dad on the left – I’m the short one in the middle 🙂

So without further ado, today’s Perfect Picture Book!

Bloom

Title: Bloom

Written By: Doreen Cronin

Illustrated By: David Small

Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, February 2016, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: girl power, appreciation/gratitude, encouragement, believing in yourself

Opening: “Once upon a time, in a beautiful glass kingdom, there lived an unusual fairy named Bloom.  Her boots were caked with mud.  There was dirt between her teeth.  Beetles rested in her wings.  Bloom’s magic could spin sand into glass, turn weeds into blossoms, and grow a trickle of rainwater into a racing river.  Bloom was a helpful creature, but her footsteps were HEAVY, and she left a trail of tiny cracks and mud wherever she went.

Brief Synopsis: A glass kingdom is a tough place to be a Mud Fairy. Bloom and her mud fairy magic can turn weeds into flowers and spin sand into glass, but all the people of the kingdom do is complain about the trails of dirt and puddles of mud she leaves behind so, feeling unappreciated, she leaves.  When the kingdom falls into disrepair, the King and Queen search out Bloom, but it takes the most “ordinary” girl in the kingdom to restore the magic.

Links To Resources:  April is Kids’ Gardening Month (which is a little like playing in mud 🙂 ) so here are some resources to get kids outdoors to celebrate earth and gardens.  Plant A Family Butterfly Garden, Big Seeds For Little Hands, Information & Resources For Gardening With Children

Why I Like This Book:  This story has the delightful “Once upon a time” opening that creates the delicious anticipation of a fairy tale about to unfold.  Bloom is an unusual fairy – dirty, willing to work hard, not traditionally “girly”.  Genevieve, the “ordinary” girl whose only job has been to polish the queen’s crystal sugar spoon has never had the opportunity to discover what she’s capable of.  Working alongside Bloom, she learns that she is anything but ordinary and that she can save the kingdom.  Favorite line: “Tell them there is no such thing as an ordinary girl!” said Bloom.

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!

Oh!  And a short note!  I’ve decided to experiment with letting you guys fill in your themes, so I’ve added a field to the form.  In an effort to keep the theme list tightly focused and not let it get too out of control, I’ve asked that you limit your themes to a maximum of 3 main themes per book.  I thought we could try this for a few weeks and see how it works… 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!!

(And I look forward to seeing any of you who will be at NESCBWI this weekend!!! 🙂 )

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Happy Birthday, Cupcake!

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday and a perfect day for birthday cupcakes! 🙂

Join me, won’t you?

HB Cupcake

Title: Happy Birthday, Cupcake!

Written & Illustrated By: Terry Border

Philomel Books, July 2015, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: birthdays, creativity, friendship, surprise

Opening: “‘Today’s my birthday,” said Cupcake, ‘and I want to share it with friends!  But what kind of party should I have?’

Brief Synopsis: It’s Cupcake’s birthday and she wants to celebrate with a party, but her friend Blueberry Muffin finds problems with every single idea!  What’s a cupcake to do?!

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text and illustration copyright Terry Border 2015

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text and illustration copyright Terry Border 2015

Links To Resources: have a cupcake party! bake your own cupcakes (easy cupcake recipes HERE or use a mix 🙂 ), then provide lots of fun toppings so your friends/family can decorate their own; draw a picture of the perfect cake or cupcake and label all the toppings!; brainstorm a list of party ideas for yourself or your friends or siblings – what’s the craziest or most fun idea you can think of?

Why I Like This Book:  Well, for starters, it’s about a cupcake 🙂 and stars a host of other dessert item characters like Donut, Ice Cream Cone, and Eclair 🙂  But seriously, half the fun of a birthday is planning what kind of party to have – every kid does it!  But it can be hard to come up with an idea that pleases everyone.  This story puts a fun twist on the whole concept, taking the anxiety out of the planning by the sheer silliness of the problems experienced by friends who are food.  And the ending is just right 🙂

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 to all who celebrate!

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Tony

GAH!

So sorry to be late posting Perfect Picture Books!

We had a huge storm yesterday afternoon – icy rain, thunder, lightning – totally weird for early April!  My poor little Jem-dog, who hates thunder!, quivered and shook and pressed herself as close to me and Scouty as she could get.  She expects it in July and August, but not now!

Anyway, the storm took out the internet… for a change… and it only just came back!

So here, a little late!, is my Perfect Picture Book 🙂

Tony

Title: Tony

Written By: Ed Galing

Illustrated By: Erin E. Stead

Roaring Brook Press, February 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-6

Themes/Topics: friendship, days-gone-by/history

Opening: “Tony
that was his name
he was such a wonderful horse

Brief Synopsis: A sweet simple story of a boy and his horse delivering milk and the friendship between them.

Links To Resources: kids, ask your parents and grandparents about things they remember from their childhood – what things were different? what things the same as today?  Do they remember having milk delivered by horse and cart? Getting ice from an ice house? how did they entertain themselves in the days before TV, computers and video games?  Ask them to teach you how to play a game they played as a child.

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Text copyright Ed Galing 2017, Illustration copyright Erin Stead 2017

Why I Like This Book:  This is such a lovely book.  180 words, it was written as a poem.  The story itself is as basic and simple as can be: a boy and his horse go out in the early morning to deliver milk.  But Erin Stead’s illustrations bring it to life in the most beautiful way possible.  The horse’s loving, kind and patient nature shine through.  The companionship and teamwork of the boy and the horse as they set about their daily run at 3 AM comes clearly through the quiet dark when the rest of the world sleeps.  It is obvious how much they value each other and how much the narrator of the story (a man to whom they deliver) loves Tony too.  If you’re looking for a sweet and very quiet book, this is a gem.

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 – Red Sings From Treetops: A Year In Colors

Happy Friday, Folks!

Ok.  So I had another book ready to share today.  But then, while I was writing my post, it started to snow!

Seriously!

On the Very Last Day of March?!  (When, may I remind you, Mother Nature, we’re supposed to be going out like a lamb!)

I consider this unfair, especially as we were only just melting out from the two feet of snow we got two weeks ago.

And the poor little robins just came back the day before yesterday, brave and hopeful!

So I felt it was important to embrace spring today, in open defiance of the dreadful ice/sleet/rain/slush/snow falling out to the sky, and as a result I am re-sharing one of my all-time favorite picture books which is so gorgeous to look at and so beautifully written that it makes me feel spring even though it doesn’t look that way outside at all!

This book is a treasure for readers and for writers!  If you haven’t had a chance to experience it, please!  Treat yourself! 🙂

red sings

Title: Red Sings From Treetops: A Year In Colors

Written By: Joyce Sidman

Illustrated By: Pamela Zagarenski

Houghton Mifflin Books For Children, April 2009, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 5 and up

Themes: Colors, Seasons, Poetry

Opening:

In SPRING,
Red sings from treetops:
cheer-cheer-cheer,
each note dropping
like a cherry
into my ear.

Red turns
the maples feathery,
sprouts in rhubarb spears;
Red squirms on the road after rain.”


(Don’t you just love that?  Can’t you just hear that cardinal singing and see the worms wiggling on the pavement?)


Brief Synopsis:  From the jacket: “Color comes alive in this whimsical, innovative book.”  That pretty much sums it up!


Links To ResourcesJunior Library Guild Activity GuidePoem StartersReaders Guide


Why I Like This Book:  I love the lyrical language of this book.  The author was so creative in her thinking – the way she describes the colors makes you see, feel, hear, touch, and taste Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.  The art is exquisite and perfectly suited to the poetry.  How can you not love lines like,

Green waits
in the hearts of trees,
feeling
the earth
turn.”

I hope you’ll get a chance to read this book, linger over the language, enjoy the images it evokes, maybe challenge yourself or your children to come up with your own descriptions!

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!!! 🙂

I hope spring is coming to your house 🙂