“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Horsefly and Honeybee

BOOK HORSEFLYWritten and illustrated by: Randy Cecil

Published by: Henry Holt and Co.1 edition (March 27, 2012)

Ages:   3 – 8 years

Theme: adventure, sharing, friendship

Opening Lines: Honeybee was tired. So she stretched and yawned and plopped down inside a flower for a nap. But Horsefly was already inside.

Synopsis: When Honeybee decides to take a nap in the same flower as Horsefly, trouble ensues! They don’t want to share, and after quarrelling, run away in opposite directions. But it isn’t long until they meet again… They have both been captured by hungry Bullfrog! If Horsefly and Honeybee are to escape before dinnertime, they must find a way to work together.

Why I like this: Beautiful cute illustrations such as the one on the cover in bright colours of blues and greens with touches of pinks and oranges in full page spreads is a delight to look at, especially for little kids. Again another clever text in short punchy sentences this time with refrains. Sometimes in life we don’t realise our true friends until life throws us a curveball. I loved the quote at the end “We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.” -Luciana De Crescenza.

Again I have noticed when reviewing picture books how sparse the text is especially when the author illustrates their own books such as this one. There is so much that is left to the illustrations.

Resources/Findings:  Here is a reading of the book..   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlzR9vR5h10

Randy has a great website for this book. Loaded with activities, research links, nature studies on frogs, bees, flys etc… and games….     http://suzyred.com/pbks2013_Horsefly_and_Honeybee.html

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

 

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Book-Two Little BirdsTwo Little Birds

Written and illustrated by: Mary Newell DePalma

Published by: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 14 Feb 2014

Ages:   3 – 7 years

Theme:  nature, adventure, wonder, growing up

Opening Lines: After much effort two little birds emerged from their eggs. “It’s very bright!” “There’s lots of room!”

Synopsis: Two little birds hatch and grow until one day, they see an amazing sight: hundreds of birds, all flying together in one direction. They decide to join in, and so begins an amazing and sometimes dangerous journey that they never could have imagined. Eventually they return home — and the cycle starts over again.

Why I like this: Beautiful cute illustrations such as the one on the cover in soft hues of blues and greens with touches of bright honey colour in full page spreads is a delight to look at, especially for little kids. With very sparse text in clever rhyme Mary makes use of different fonts to add umph. Mary has also included an Authors note about the migration of birds in the back cover.

One thing I have noticed when reviewing picture books is how sparse the text is especially when the author illustrates their own books such as this one. There is so much that is left to the illustrations.

Resources/Findings:  Book Trailer…     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlQEpRjvuPk  

Mary’s website full of information about Mary and her illustrations and activities….     http://www.marynewelldepalma.com/aboutmarynewelldepalma.html

Here is a great bird craft for kids….   http://www.jugglingwithkids.com/2012/07/summer-virtual-book-club-don-and-audrey.html

More ideas for crafts within the school on pinterest…..    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/118219558939615320/

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

 

 

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

My Bibi Always Remembers

Book - MyBibi Always RemembersWritten by: Toni Buzzeo

Illustrated by: Mike Wohnoutka

Published by: Disney Hyperion Books, New York, Sept 2014

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme:  comfort, security, family love, grandparents

Opening Lines: When Bibi calls, everyone comes – aunties, sisters, Mama – one by one. Step –step. Searching for wet.

Synopsis: When Bibi calls, everyone comes. Bibi is the grandmother elephant and the protector of the herd. She leads the family across the parched savanagh, because she remembers “the way to wet.” Sometimes little Tembo falls behind. Her own happy memories lead her elsewhere, like to the jackalberry tree for tender leaves, or on a lively stork chase. At sunset Bibi calls louder than ever. Could she have finally found water? Tembo’s wanderings cause her family to go looking for her, including Bibi. Amid the dangers lurking in the shadows security is soon re-established.

Why I like this: Another gorgeous cover that instantly says “pick me, pick me.”   Toni uses beautiful rhythm and refrains to build gentle momentum and tension finishing with a loving gentle conclusion. Almost like that of the gentle pounding of a Bibi (the word we are later informed means grandmother elephant) running to assist her young. There is an Author’s Note at the back giving us some information about elephants. The illustrations of Mike Wohnoutka, like that of the cover, are full-page beauties at times giving hints of danger and wonder, a window into the African wild. The theme of that special connection between the very young and their grandparents is beautifully whispered into the text, unspoken. And who doesn’t love elephants?

Resources/Findings: Take a look at the author’s beautiful website where you can also download a greeting card….   http://www.tonibuzzeo.com/MY_BIBI_ALWAYS_REMEMBERS.html

There are also Teachers guides and theatre scripts for this book on Toni’s website. Both Toni and Mike have collaborated on Stay Close to Mama and Just Like My Papa and Toni has won Caldecott Honor Book and New York Times best-selling for One Cool Friend illustrated by David Small.

Apart from the above books Mike is also best known for illustrations of Jack’s House by Karen Magnuson Beil and Moo! by David LaRochelle .

This is also Mike’s website, pop over and take a look at his sketchbook.   http://www.mikewohnoutka.com/pages/childbks/review.html

(And I just noted on Toni’s website a lovely review on Wendy’s blog Noodling With Words.)

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

 

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

BOOK   lITTLE pENQUIN LOSTLittle Penquin LOST

Written by: Tracey Corderoy

Illustrated by: Gavin Scott

Published by: Little Tiger Press This edition 2012. First published 2011 in UK.

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme:  Loss, comfort, found

Opening Lines: Three little roly-poly penguins were having their afternoon snack. Percy and Posy were eating up nicely. But Plip was too busy playing with his favourite toy.

Synopsis: When Plip the penguin loses his favourite toy, it seems like the end of the world! As the sky grows dark, Plip runs off to find it, all on his own. What will become of poor little Plip, out in the snowy storm?

Why I like this: Once again Tracey writes the kind of story that touches the heart. Sweet, simple theme, with characters with real attitudes. I read this a few times, out loud and found it such fun with playful words such as Plip’s lost “sockybug.” I loved how Plip is shown not only to be sweet and playful, but to be a gutsy, and fearless, determined to find his lost toy. Not to mention the surprise twist at the end.   The cover is just so gorgeous a ‘pick me up and hug me’ illustration, you could not walk past. Don’t you think? Gavin’s gorgeous illustrations throughout are large, simple and fun, complimenting the text. Even his near centre big spread of just the head of Plip with his eyes closed as he cries out three words, tells us how he feels, the heart in the mouth aww moment. You just want to cuddle him. (Again I am reminded of my dear friend Julie Rowan-Zoch’s whispy gorgeous illustrations.) Adults right down to the littlest kid is gonna love this one. I thought of this one for my dear writing buddies in the northern hemisphere suffering through their winter.

Resources/Findings: some facts on penguins for kids….   http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/animals/penguin.html           http://www.theanimalfiles.com/birds/penguins/little_penguin.html

A great thing to do with kids is visit a local zoo. Kids learn so much about the animals, feeding them, watching them play. See our local zoo here…   http://www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/sites/explore-the-zoo/Birds/little-penguin

Here is a way to teach kids to draw a cute cartoon penguin…     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev9BfgsziIo

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

book Peanut ButterPeanut Butter and Homework Sandwiches

Written by: Lisa Broadie Cook

Illustrated by: Jack E. Davis

Published by: G P Putnam’s Sons an imprint of Penguin Group USA Inc. July 2011

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme: Opening Lines: It was Monday, and all Martin MacGregor wanted to do was go to School. Mr Elliott was the coolest teacher ever, and this was the day he was going to bring in his pet – Harriett the tarantula.

Synopsis: All week Martin’s assignments keep getting lost, destroyed, and even blown onto the school roof – no matter how hard he tries to keep them in one piece. Mrs Payne (the substitute teacher) isn’t happy about his mishaps, and Martin is definitely not happy about having to miss recess every day. When Martin’s dog really does eat his homework, Martin gets creative and with a positive attitude, finds his own way to turn homework into fun – and turn it in on time.

Why I like this: Although I am not a lover of spiders this was indeed a fun read. Poor Martin, he really was having a week of it. I could relate to his uneasiness with a substitute teacher when you so enjoy your own teacher. A similar thing happened to me once which ended with me missing my bus and my parents looking for me in the rain after dark. My usual teacher knew my father preferred me to scribble down my homework instructions on a piece of paper and when I was at home my father would draw pencilled lines in my exercise book for me to write it in neatly and with the rest of my homework. But a substitute teacher would not allow it and made me redo it again causing me to miss my bus. Hence a tear-stained frightened girl and anxious parents turned up the next day to have a word with the teacher only to find my usual teacher was back again.   However in this story Martin gets creative with his homework and is delighted when his usual teacher returns. The book is wordy by picture books standard today, but the popping full-page illustrations by Jack would certainly keep children interested with oversized heads, popping eyes and oooh who doesn’t love peanut butter?

Resources/Findings: Here is a reading of the story…   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or762Ia9-Sc

Lisa’s website and inspirations for her books…. http://www.lisabroadiecook.com/author_website/Welcome.html

Here are some tips for classroom discussions and exercises….   http://dayinthelifeofschoolcounseling.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/peanut-butter-homework-sandwiches.html

Lesson for classroom or homeschooling. Scroll down to Peanut Butter and Homework Sandwiches….   http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.maslonline.org/resource/resmgr/Orders/2013-2014_Show_Me_Reader_Pac.pdf

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

The Moon Dragons

Book Moon DragonsWritten and Illustrated by: Dyan Sheldon

Published by: Gary Blythe

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme: preserving, secrets, wonder

Opening Lines: A traveller once told a king a tale: “Long ago, when even trees had dreams, moon dragons flew through the night sky. Their scales shone silver as stars, and they filled the dark with songs as old as time.”

Synopsis: When a king is told the story that there are still ancient, singing moon dragons high up on the mountainside. He offers a room full of gold to anyone who can bring one to him. When everyone scoffs at Alina, the young girl manages to find the place of the Moon Dragons, when everyone else had failed.

Why I like this: Both Dyan and Gary are already, creators of the bestselling, Kate Greenaway Medal winner, The Whales’ Song, and together they have produced another masterpiece in The Moon Dragons. From the gorgeously haunting illustrations, with such life-like facial expressions, as the dramatic cover, combined with lyrical, mystical text as the opening paragraph, one is swept into a world of enchantment. The illustrations are all full spreads giving added drama. I loved the message that this story delicately leans in that the heart wins out over greed.

Resources/Findings: Gary Blythe’s illustrations are out of this world. Here is his portfolio…. http://www.artistpartners.com/portfolios/gary_blythe/general/index.html

I love Dylan’s welcome page on her blog. Her view of a writer, writing about things you love, hate and everything in between. It should and will turn up in your stories J ….   http://www.dyansheldon.co.uk/index.html

I couldn’t find any resources for this book but a lovely idea would be to have kids draw what they think a moon dragon looks like. Write their own short story about the Moon Dragon. Where does it live? What does it eat?  How many toes does it have? Does it have ears and where are they? If you caught one how would you look after it? What would be it’s friend?

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

 

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BOOK LOVE – A Blog Hop

I was deciding what to post this week when my dear writing buddy Carrie tagged me in a BOOK LOVE  of a blogging kind. booklovebadge Don’t you just love  the adorable badge that Dana Carey designed for this?  As Carrie points out we often review books we love for one reason or another on our blogs or on Facebook but never give the author and the book the credit it really deserves on public media such as Amazon, or Goodreads, or twitter.  Carrie came up with the idea of playing cupid for a month, February – the month of Love- with Valentines Day on the 14th, it seemed fitting to share some book love.  I’m joining Carrie and my other lovely writing buddies in posting a review or two of books I have loved reading and tagging some friends to join in.   If you wish to play along check out the instructions on Carrie’s blog by clicking on the Book Love – Blog Hop picture in my side bar and you can link your post back to her. Here are a few books I have enjoyed and reviewed on Amazon..

Book -Catch that PlaneBy NZ author Sally Sutton.

Book Just Right for TwoBy Tracey Corderoy

Book Amandaby Darlene Foster

Book Easter Eggs for Anya

By Virginia Kroll

Like Carrie I would like to tag a few friends to join in the Book Love – Blog Hop, you are welcome to join in if you wish…. Joanna Marple,  Darlene Foster, Donna Martin, and Julie Rowan-Zoch

Come and join us and spread some Book Love!  Isn’t it a wonderful idea?

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

CLEMENTINE’S WALK

Book  Clementines WalkWritten and Illustrated by: Annie White

Published by: New Frontier Publishing Pty Ltd, in Australia 2013

Ages:   2 – 5 years

Theme: patience, persistence, loyalty

Opening Lines: Clementine was very bored, with nothing left to do. Then looking up she saw her lead, and that gave her a clue.

Synopsis: Clementine is intent on finding someone to take her for a walk, but everyone is just too busy. When they finally find the time, Clementine is nowhere to be found.

Why I like this: Simplicity, beautifully done. The text, rhyming, and theme of a natural situation wrapped in gorgeous clean colourful fun illustrations kids will adore. This playful puppy will unknowingly teach children about patience and persistence. The book itself is an excellent tool for kids to learn about the behaviours of puppies, and a great intro into learning about how to look after a pet and generate story ideas kids can write. I loved this book.

Resources/Findings: Annie is best known for her beautiful illustrations. Here you can see a couple from this book along with her other illustrations…   http://anniewhite.com/illustrations

Here is a beautiful teachers aid, on Clementine’s Walk done by the Little Book Club…   http://www.thelittlebigbookclub.com.au/sites/thelittlebigbookclub.com.au/files/files/title_resource/learningtime_clementineswalk_45_september_2013.pdf

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Happy New Year Everyone, after coming back from our brief trip to spend Christmas with family and the mention of possibly the youngest nephew flying down to visit later in the year, I thought of this great book to review, from our very own New Zealand team, Sally and Sylvie.

Catch that Plane

Book -Catch that PlaneWritten by: Sally Sutton

Illustrated by: Sylvie Currin Korankova

Published by: Walker Books, Australia Pty Ltd

Ages:   2 – 5 years

Theme: travel, airport

Opening Lines: Rushing to the airport, what do I see?

Synopsis: A young boy races us through the airport to get to the plane on time, showing us who and what we may meet along the way.

Why I like this: Sally cleverly shows us through the eyes of a young boy, the process one has to go through at the airport when travelling by plane. The short rhyming text gives it the fast pace and excitement as the boy races though bag check-in and security. You can almost hear him puffing as he jogs down the aerobridge to the plane with his little sister. I also loved Sylvie’s pencil drawings and the illustrations will keep kids amused for some time.  An excellent book for a small child about to embark on his/her first plane flight. A great read while waiting in the departure lounge with Sally’s fact note and list of things to look for activity, in the back of the book.

Both Sally and Sylvie live in Auckland New Zealand.

You can find Sylvie here… http://www.illustration.co.nz/korankova.html

And here is Sally’s website:   http://www.sallysutton.co.nz/

Resources/Findings:

List of things to do on a plane flight…. https://www.listplanit.com/2011/06/list-of-things-to-entertain-kids-on-an-airplane/

Some more activities….   http://www.pinterest.com/explore/airplane-travel-activities/

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

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The Handkerchief Quilt

The Handkerchief Quilt

Book The Handkerchief QuiltWritten by: Carol Crane

Illustrated by: Gary Palmer

Published by: Sleeping Bear Press 2010

Ages: 6 and up

Theme: community, coming together, raising funds, helping those in need.

Opening lines: The town always started its day with the 7am factory whistle. Its long, shrill blasts hung as if suspended in air, and then, just for a moment, everything was quiet before the world of work started.

Synopsis: From front cover- For many years Monday through Friday, Miss Anderson has walked to Parkland School, eager to begin her day’s work in her classroom. She is a devoted teacher, beloved by the many children she has taught over the years. The school and her students mean everything to her.

After one holiday weekend, Parkland School suffers a devastating flood. Burst pipes send water pouring into classrooms and the library. The school must close for repairs. But it’s not just the building that has been damaged. New supplies and materials, especially books, are needed. But there isn’t enough money to do it all.

Miss Anderson cannot bear to think of her beloved school closed and her students left without materials. What can she do to help? And when the answer comes to her, Miss Anderson knows what to do and whom to ask for assistance.

Why I like it: This is a lovely story with so many themes. Immediately when I read this I thought of how it reminded me of the earthquakes we have had, not only here but around the world. Or even small disasters that happen, even within our own towns, cities or villages. How like in this book people come together to help, a community responds in creative ways to help themselves and others. It also showed how one creative gesture no matter how small can become such a lifesaving opportunity. The text is lyrically written and what is even more interesting is that it is based on a true story of Carol’s mother. Set in the 1950’s the soft watercolour illustrations give it that period feel and charm. Both; Carol, who has written over 14 books for Sleeping Press, and Gary who is a freelance illustrator, live in North Carolina.

Resources/Findings:  This is a great resource from the book in getting kids involved in fund-raising, cooking, how to report or write-up a disaster news, etc…   http://www.teachingbooks.net/media/pdf/SleepingBearPress/HandkerchiefQuilt_Guide.pdf

How to make a Handkerchief Quilt..   http://www.ehow.com/how_2077800_make-handkerchief-quilt.html

Here is another neat craft idea…   http://www.planetfun.co.nz/Rainbow-Loom_515.aspx?gclid=CMr28vbkr8ICFYmVvQodAYkAbg

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.

Posted in Children's literature, Picture Book Review | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments