It’s April! It’s April!!!
I love April!
Even though it’s supposed to be about April showers, it makes me think of new spring grass, baby animals, the rich scent of warming earth, shy leaves unfurling, apple blossoms… and birthday cake 🙂
And what do you know? After the hardcover went out of print in January, APRIL FOOL, PHYLLIS! arrived on Kindle on Wednesday – just in time for April Fools’ Day!
I’m so excited I’m running a teensy contest to get the word out. Every time between now and midnight that you share about APRIL FOOL, PHYLLIS on FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram with hashtag #aprilfoolphyllis (so I can keep track and find them all… and it wouldn’t hurt if you tag me on FB!)) you will get an entry to a raffle. The more shares, the more chances to win! Then this weekend I will select at random 1 person who will win a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate, and 5 people who will each win a Kindle copy of APRIL FOOL, PHYLLIS! to be delivered to the person of their choice (yourself, if you’d like it, or a little person in your life who would enjoy it 🙂 ) So please, help me share the good news! 🙂
Although I would never post my own books on Perfect Picture Book Friday (because that is a level of horn-tooting I’m extremely uncomfortable with!), in honor of it actually being April Fools Day on a Perfect Picture Book Friday when a new version just came out bringing my little book back from the land of Out of Print, the lovely and talented Beth Stilborn, who very sweetly reviewed APRIL FOOL, PHYLLIS for PPBF on March 9, 2012, has most kindly and generously given me permission to post her review here on my blog today. Thank you, Beth, for the lovely review and the permission to reprint from your blog. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you’re the cat’s (or maybe in this case the groundhog’s 🙂 ) pajamas!!!
Any of you who don’t know Beth, please go visit her blog! She writes a wonderful one! And she offers copyediting for all levels of fiction through her Flubs 2 Fixes website (www.flubs2fixes.com)
So without further ado…
Title: April Fool, Phyllis!
Author: Susanna Leonard Hill
Illustrator: Jeffrey Ebbeler
Publisher: New York: Holiday House, 2011
Genre: Picture book, fiction
Audience Age: 5-8
Theme: April Fool’s Day, trusting your instincts, respecting other’s advice, changing seasons, treasure hunts, riddles.
Opening Sentences: Phyllis knew everything about the weather.
After all, she was Punxsutawney Phyllis, Weather Prophet Extraordinaire!
So when she woke up on April first, the day of the Spring Treasure Hunt, it took only one whiff of the morning air to tell her something wasn’t right.
Synopsis: Phyllis is certain that there’s a storm brewing, but no-one will believe her, because it’s April Fool’s Day. Everyone is too excited about the Spring Treasure Hunt to pay attention to Phyllis’ continued warnings. The Treasure Hunt provides clues in riddles that children will enjoy guessing along with the young groundhogs in the story. Each riddle leads them closer to the treasure, further from home – and closer to the snowstorm that’s coming. They finally realize that Phyllis was telling the truth about the weather. (Of course she was! She’s Punxsutawney Phyllis, after all!) They do make it home safely – but Phyllis has the last laugh.
Why I liked this book: As in the first of Susanna Leonard Hill’s delightful Phyllis series, Phyllis shows herself to be a spunky and resourceful little groundhog, wise beyond her years, and a lot of fun to be around. The theme of April Fool’s Day jokes is something children can easily relate to, as is the problem of not being taken seriously. The riddles are great fun, as the obvious answer is not the correct answer, so the reader and read-to have to think. The story keeps the reader turning the pages, eager to find out what will happen next, and the illustrations are a delight. Kids will love that Phyllis gets the last laugh on everyone.
Activities/Resources: The author gives a page of information about April Fool’s Day at the back of the book, and has classroom guides and activities on her website .
There’s some history of April Fool’s Day (in kid-friendly text) at Mr. Donn’s resource site.
A to Z Teacher Stuff has lots of April Fool’s activities.
Lesson Planet has lesson plans using riddles as a teaching tool.
Story Arts has a story treasure hunt.
Lesson Planet’s treasure hunt lesson plans include math treasure hunts, map-reading treasure hunts, even a treasure hunt in the school library.
Availability: Readily available in hardcover. (And now for Kindle!)
Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”
Reblogged from Beth Stilborn http://www.bethstilborn.com/april-fool-phyllis-perfect-picture-book-friday/
Thank you all for indulging me and Phyllis in our wild and crazy April Fools’ Day celebrating (and horn-tooting) 🙂
PPBF peeps, please add your post-specific link (post-specific PLEASE!!! not general blog link!) to the list below so we can all come see your fabulous picks for the upcoming weekend (which looks to be a cold/rainy/snowy one perfect for curling up with picture books!)
(And here we go again with this google form/spreadsheet which I feel in my bones I’m going to mess up but don’t worry, if I do I’ll fix it once I get help from my in-house computer genius later in the day!)
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂