“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

SNOW

Book-SnowWritten and Illustrated by: Sam Usher

Published by: Templar Publishing 2014

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme: Patience, eagerness, prepared

Opening Lines: When I woke up this morning it was snowing! I couldn’t wait to go to the park.

Synopsis: One little boy wants desperately to race out to enjoy the snow. His Grandad is taking so long to get ready and reminds the little boy to be dressed appropriately. Finally they set off for the park through the snow which has now been churned up by all his friends and animals. But the joy, games, and fun are still to be had no matter what time of the day.

Why I like this: Wow! This is a beautiful book in so many ways. The huge sparse cool drawings imitate snow that even on a summer’s day made me shiver, thinking of my northern hemisphere friends. The short sharp text had me hooked in the little boy’s anticipation and foot hopping eagerness to get out and enjoy the snow. Grandads’ do take a long time when getting ready for anything in little kids eyes. The anxious stares out the window, pouncing up and down on the doorstep, come on Grandad. Waiting is for-e-v-e-r! Finally they arrive at the park and what fun there is. I love the soft colours used in the cool scenes of the snow and the warmth that oozes through the connection between Grandad and the little boy, told in first voice. There is also cleverly hidden lessons to be learned for kids such as making sure you are wrapped up warm wearing the right clothes, and having patience, the old saying -all good things come to those who wait. And there is always tomorrow. There is no mention of Christmas so this book is a year-round delight to read. Kids and adults will love this. Even Grandad wins a snowball fight. J

Resources/Findings: I love his philosophy for writers and I also smiled at his –being content at failing at everything you do, it’s then a nice surprise when something works. https://www.youngwriters.co.uk/guest-author-interviews.php?page_id=sam%20usher

Here are some snow activities for kids….     http://britton.disted.camosun.bc.ca/snow/snow.html

Here are some lovely videos for kids to watch ….   http://www.fantasticfunandlearning.com/cool-snowflake-videos-kids.html

This was a great review of the book with an activity to do with molded snow…   http://www.playingbythebook.net/2014/11/20/some-things-are-worth-waiting-for-snow-by-samuel-usher/

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, Picture Book Review | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Sally goes to Heaven

book- Sally goes to HeavenWritten and Illustrated by: Stephen Huneck

Published by: Abrams Books for young Readers an imprint of Abrams 2014

Ages:   5 – 7 years

Theme: Death, heaven, joy

Opening Lines: Sally wakes up when she hears the front door close. She rises slowly from her bed, careful not to strain her aching joints.

Synopsis: (from the flap) Sally the black Labrador has had many wonderful adventures over the years. But now she is tired and ready for a rest. After falling asleep Sally opens her eyes and discovers she’s in heaven. She’s sad to leave her family behind but soon finds that heaven is filled with new and exciting places to explore. There are lots of friends to make, meatballs grow on bushes, and – best of all – there are no leashes!

Why I like this:   A beautiful tender story from a dogs view of life after death. A wonderful way to reassure children that their dog or pet would find happiness, no pain and enjoy so much when they have gone from this life. Sally finds she is able to bounce around no longer feeling the bangs of old age and she can eat all her favourite food like ice-cream.   It is lovely how the author also includes that Sally hopes the family she has left behind will find another dog to play with and look after them, and in doing so teaches that life does go on.

Stephen, author, artist, and sculpture, had such dedication, love and respect towards dogs and wrote beautiful books for children of everyday life based on his own dog, eventually built a chapel for dogs and dog owners so the dead could be remembered. He himself took his own life in 2010 and his wife who tried to keep his legacy going died three years later.

Resources/Findings:

https://www.paperplus.co.nz/author/stephen-huneck-309549

Interesting story about the author/artist who died in 2010 and his wife who died 3 years later.…    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/01/arts/design/01huneck.html?_r=0

A video with the author a year before he died…   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0jj0Fg2LA4

This is Dog Mountain website….   http://www.dogmt.com/

Also a video of the chapel for dogs and owners….     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ty4kQSfm3s

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 Picture Book Review, Reading Aloud | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

BAGGY BROWN

Book Baggy BrownWritten and Illustrated by: Mick Inkpen

Published by: Hodder Children’s Books, Australia 2007

Ages:   2 – 6 years

Theme: Love lost and found, friendship

Opening Lines: Princess Sophinyiniannia, (Sophie for short), also started out well, as you can imagine. To give you some idea, this is just the top of the pile of cuddly toys that arrived for her the very day she was born.

Synopsis: No.1 bear is priceless, the first of a thousand special bears made to celebrate the first birthday of the daughter of the King and Queen of Thingland, and the only bear to be presented to the Princess. But when the big red teddy bear machine at Better Bears Ltd chews him up and spits him out he takes a very different route to the Palace, and along the way finds his real name. A beautifully told story from the award-winning creator of Kipper and Wibbly Pig.

Why I like this: This is such a huggable story with a whimsical feel. A simple heart-warming story with warm colourful illustrations. A story that reminds children that the best loved toys are the oldest and shabbiest. Like well-worn pages of a book sometimes the scruffiest is a sign of being loved. When Alfie realises the bear is not his, he returns it to the princess and in doing so makes a life-long friendship and eventual love of heart.

Resources/Findings:     At this Christmas time of year and indeed any time of year there are many children in needy families who go without any toys. Infact many do not think of presents or a Christmas turkey.  This is a great time for children to offer toys they have grown out of for charities who arrange collections. Look for one in your area.

Here are a couple of charities …   http://www.toysfortots.org/default.aspx

https://www.toybox.org.uk/

Here are some more charities listed in many other countries…   http://www.allthingschristmas.com/christmas-charity.html

This is also a great time for kids to use their creative talents to make toys, cards and decorations which could be given to charities, old folk homes and needy families.   Why not put on a Christmas show complete with carols.   Put together little Christmas food parcels or gifts to take to a local old folks home or children’s hospital. There are endless things kids and adults could do to make Christmas a special time of year for someone less fortunate.

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 Picture Book Review | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

With the news this week of one of New Zealand’s sporting legend’s death at the young age of 40 years, Jono Lomu was known around the world as a Rugby great…  It is a time of remembering and reflecting on a big guy with an even bigger heart. (he popped into my shop a few times over the years) http://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/34853536

I thought this was a poignant picture book to share…

Grandad’s Island

Book Grandad'sWritten and Illustrated by: Benji Davies

Published by: Simon and Schuster in Great Britain 2005

Ages:   3 – 7 years

Theme: loss, death, memories, bonding, adventure

Opening Lines: At the bottom of Syd’s garden, through the gate and past the tree, was Granda’s house. There was a key under the flowerpot and Syd could let himself in any time that he liked.

Book grandadisland

Synopsis: (from the back of the book and amazon) Syd loves Grandad, Grandad loves Syd. And that will never change. A beautiful and comforting book that shows how those who are dear to us remain near to us,- however far away they may seem it is tenderly told by the award winning author of The Storm Whale.

Why I like it: This is a gorgeous book with bright colourful artwork dealing tenderly with a difficult subject to explain to small children. The friendship and bond between Syd (the grandchild), and his grandfather is obvious within the first couple of sentences. He’s allowed to pop in to visit his Grandad whenever he wishes and Grandad is quite the adventurer and loves spending time with his grandson. As a reader we are taken along on a journey through his attic on a ship to an island. Yes you read this right. We find ourselves caught up in their whimsical adventure through bright coloured jungle scenes and laugh and delight in the fun they have spending time together. Eventually it is time to return; only Grandad will not be returning. A lump in the throat moment and a surprise, yet tender ending, has you closing the book with a smile. Death is never mentioned but it’s there and I guess Grandad’s know how best to say goodbye.

It’s not so much the limited time we have together but being thankful for the memories we have.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate at this time of year.

Resources/Findings:   …   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ-wFuPmS6o

Author/illustrator’s website;   http://www.benjidavies.com/blog/

And…   http://brightliteraryagency.com/benji-davies/

A great interview with Benji on my good friend Joanna’s blog…   http://joannamarple.com/2015/02/illustrator-interview-benji-davies/

Catch up with what Benji is doing on his facebook page…   https://www.facebook.com/benjidaviesdraws/

This is an interesting blog I came across, interesting notes further down….     http://www.healingcenterseattle.org/children/grieving-children/

Another great blog with some books and resources on grief for children by another friend, Patricia Tilton.. http://childrensbooksheal.com/tag/grief/

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 Picture book, Picture Book Review, What moves me | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Room on the Broom

Book Roomon the BroomWritten by: Julia Donaldson

Illustrated by: Axel Scheffler

Published by: Dail Books for Young Readers, Divison of Penguin Young Readers NYC, USA 2001

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme: Friendship, Adventure,

Opening Lines: The witch had a cat and a hat that was black, And long ginger hair in a braid down her back. How the cat purred and how the witch grinned, As they sat on their broomstick and flew through the wind.

Synopsis: The witch and her cat couldn’t be happier, flying through the night sky on their broomstick – until the wind blows away first the witch’s hat, then her bow, then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items and all they want in return is a ride on the broomstick. But is there room on the broom for so many new friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from the clutches of a hungry dragon? From the award=winning creators of The Gruffalo, this enchanting story of quick wits and friendship is full of humor and adventure – and just the right amount of spookiness.

Why I like this: This is a fun story, very appropriate I thought for this time of year. Right from the get-go the whimsical rhyming text that is both catchy and bold and along with the colourful illustrations certainly does knock your socks off. As I turned the page eager to see what happens next I could not help smiling and laughing at the antics they got up to. The witch was very comical looking which made it very kid friendly I thought. There are comical lines, lots of action and repetition which makes it easy for kids to read and a fun read aloud. You’ve gotta get this one!

Resources/Findings: Here is a reading on youtube….    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWB0goTWZic

It’s Halloweensie contest time again at Susanna Hills blog… get yourself over there asap to join in the fun. Instructions are in this link…   http://susannahill.blogspot.co.nz/2015/10/its-about-that-time.html

Here is a blog with some ideas for kids on Halloween…   http://pathways.org/blog/great-family-halloween-activities-beyond-trick-or-treating/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwtaexBRCohZOAoOPL88oBEiQAr96eSKietwk-bUS5idItFK7IA_IuabRtdkQrKx5FapPWReEaArtH8P8HAQ

Here are some more crafts, activities, colouring pictures and videos to enjoy for Halloween…   http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/Halloween

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.

It’s also Labour Weekend for us here down in New Zealand.  So we are enjoying a long relaxing time away from work though the weather has been a bit miserable for the start of the weekend it promises to turn warm and sunny later.   Have a great weekend everyone and see you over at Susanna’s blog for Halloween.  :)

Posted in Children's literature, Picture Book Review, Susanna' s contests. | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Titbits of information for Writers

Hi,

I’ve been missing in action here on my blog for a while so thought I would share some writing resources, titbits of information and some exciting news.

In the world of writing it is as I have come to know not such a lonely place as some believe, with all the workshops, webinars, Facebook groups and blogs, not to mention conferences and retreats to attend.  There is always new information, lots to learn and help you to hone your craft.  Many share their wisdom, resources and always they encourage and share their experiences with you.  It is a wonderful community that is open twenty-four-seven around the world.

One author/writer entrepreneur I first met online back in 2011 is the amazing Katie Davis who runs the Brain Burps about Books Podcast, also her programs and tools  from How to create Author Platform to Video Idiot Boot Camp and Marketing Solutions to promote your book among others click here.  The vivacious Katie loves to support her fellow writers. Check out her latest interview on my friend Vivian Kirkfield’s blog.

I also met up with Tara Lazar in 2011, author and instigator of the fun-filled month-long PiBoldMo held in November every year.  It is a free  month-long  writing Picture Book idea challenge for the month of November for writers. Check out her blog and join in the fun meeting other writers.  There is guest appearances from editors, authors and agents and giveaways.  Last year  there were over 1300 registered participants.  Come and join in the fun registration opens on 25th October.

Another writer/author who I owe a great deal to is the lovely Julie Hedlund founder of the 12×12 Challenge and she is also the founder of the Writers Renaissance Retreat held in Italy for writers.   Like Julie after the November PiBoldMo ended in 2011 I wondered what to do with all these ideas I had.  Julie decided to invite anyone to join her in a challenge to turn at least twelve of these ideas over the next twelve months into manuscripts albeit rough drafts but at least a step further towards our goal of publication. By the end of 2012 around fifty people had joined her.  Last year over 750 members registered and the 12×12 Challenge is now a thriving community of authors and writers with guest agents and editors who inspire, encourage and call ourselves “family.”  Why don’t you pop along to Julie’s Blog and check out her resources and the success stories for yourself.  You will be amazed.

I could not end this blog post without mentioning the amazing Emma Walton Hamilton with whom I first stepped into the internet world of the writer after taking her “Just Write for Kids, How to Write a Picture Book” course and I never looked back.   An actor, author, editor and writing coach her blog is chock full of resources from School Visit Wizard, to Ultimate Guide to Picture Books, and Editor in a Box, not to mention her Writing Courses on Middle Grade and YA.   Emma also offers an Editing service and One on One Coaching to the serious writer.  Take a look there is something there for everyone.

And the exciting news I have to share is a dear friend/author and writing buddy, Vivian Kirkfield  has secured agent Essie White of Storm Literary Agency.  Well done and congratulations.  Vivian is a beautiful writer who enjoys sharing her insights and works tirelessly at her craft and I am inspired by the hours she puts in.  Vivian’s blog is also one filled with lovely resources, information and crafts,  along with guests appearing in her famous “Will Write for Cookies” posts which is usually complete with delicious recipes shared by her guests.  Pop over and enjoy.

Join me again when I share more of my wonderful writing friends and their blogs.

Posted in 12x12, Julie Hedlund, PiBoldMo, Platform-Building Campaign, SCBWI, Tara Lazer, Writers Campaign | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Yay!!!   So Perfect Picture Book weekly postings on the lovely Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog is back in full swing and I so love joining the others and meeting up with new bloggers and enjoying their Picture Book choices.   Yeah I know I am a little slow getting into the swing of it but I have finally thawed from our winter downunder and spring is now in full swing.  Here is my choice this week…

The Seeds of Friendship

Book SeedsWritten and Illustrated by: Michael Foreman

Published by: Walker Books, London 2015

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme:  friendship, immigration, hope

Opening Lines: Adam loved his new home. It was high, high in a tall tower in the city. It was exciting. He was living in the sky.

Synopsis: (from back cover) Adam felt alone in the strange new city. He missed the colors and friendships of his faraway home. But when a teacher at school gives him a few seeds, she plants an idea in him – an idea that will transform his grey world forever. Michael Foreman’s new story is a powerful fable of how friendship can grow in our world.

Why I like this: This is a beautiful simply told story of a young child settling in a new city. The illustrations show he is from a different country and lifestyle and thanks to a teacher giving him some seeds to plant, an idea springs to mind. Adam sees the world as grey, vastly different from what he is used to but with the help of his new friends and the seeds he learns to change this. A great story which can be read in school, teaching children about immigration, friendship, teamwork, and gardening. It also lends itself to discussions on how people view the world. The full page illustrations in soft colours give a fresh gentle touch to the story. I loved this.

Resources/Findings: Here’s a wonderful site full of links to teach kids about seeds from making ceramic seed ornaments to making their own little pot garden. http://www.fantasticfunandlearning.com/35-seed-activities-for-young-kids.html

Michael’s stories seem to grip you and his illustrations draw you in. Here are some works of his previous books. Mia’s story and War Boy are two I must look for……   http://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2010/feb/11/michael-foreman-army-museum

Here is another website that has links to view for activities in building friendship and self esteem in kids….   http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/friendship-games-kids-play-11803.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.

 

Posted in Literature | 15 Comments

“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

How Robin Saved Spring

BOOK How Robin Saved.Written by: Debbie Ouellet

Illustrated by: Nicoetta Ceccoli

Published by: Christy Ottaviana Books, Henry Holt and Co, New York USA, 2009

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme:  changing seasons, persistence,

Opening Lines: Long ago, in a little cottage, there lived two sisters, Lady Winter and Sister Spring. The day came, as it had every year since the beginning of time, for Lady Winter to step aside.

Synopsis: (from the jacket flap)- If Lady Winter has her way, the world will stay covered in blankets of snowy white and icy blue. Sister Spring will slumber forever and the winter will never end. Can Lady Winter really keep spring from coming, or is there something the animals might do to help? Led by harbinger Robin, the animals are determined to wake Sister Spring, but what price will they each have to pay? Through beautiful words and pictures, this enchanting tale about the battle of the seasons highlights one special bird who saves more than just the day.

Why I like this: The cover alone is a scene stopper. Nicoletta an award winner of the Silver medal by the Society of Illustrators and recipient of the Andersen Prize, honouring her as the best children’s book illustrator in Italy (no wonder), where she lives, gives this beautiful story its romantic, lush, whimsical feel. Soft edged rich colours abound in this, what could be called a folk tale. Some of the illustrations even made me think of the movie, Frozen. Debbie cleverly combines Winter’s plot to keep Spring from waking up so the world will stay white and cold for ever, with the failed attempts of the forest animals to wake her, leading to their natural hibernation and price they must pay. Eventually the little brown Robin comes up with a plan and why today we see little red-breasted robins singing in the morning sun. This is Debbie’s first picture book and I became aware of her good use of three’s in sounds and use of animals and lyrical text. While there are some full-page spreads most of the text is on the left page and the beautiful illustrations on the right. Debbie lives in Ontario, Canada.

Resources/Findings: Here is Debbie’s website and info about her writing and other projects…   http://www.debbieouellet.com/howrobinsavedspring.htm

Here is a link to Nicoletta’s world of exquisite work. I love that often the expressions are very moody….   http://www.nicolettaceccoli.com/index.php

This is the final in Picture Book reviews for a short while, while the northern hemisphere have their summer break.  I thought this was a fitting choice as they now enjoy spring and early onset of summer, while I wrap up warm in front of the fire and enjoy a good book.

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 , , , , , | 24 Comments

“SHOW ME HOW!”

Hi Everyone,

After a hectic few weeks it has been lovely taking time out to relax away from work, catch up on some revision and even draft a new picture book story for my June 12×12 group. Also I have managed to read some (not all yet) of a wonderful, fun, resource full book I received recently by the wonderful author and writing buddy of mine, Vivian Kirkfield,

‘Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.’

BOOK   Show me how

Oh how I wish this book had been around thirty years ago. When I was first married our young neighbours next door had two little kids (a girl and boy) who loved coming over to our place to play with our little Cavalier King Charles spaniel, play hairdressing with my long hair (at that time, and you can only imagine the pigtail etc that was created) *roll eyes* or join me in the kitchen standing on chairs making chocolate chip cookies, little sponge butterfly cakes, and a biscuit chocolate log that required no baking but lots of fun decorating and licking of the bowl afterwards. Vivian’s book would have been a gold-mine for me giving me so many more choices and more, in activities such as crafts as well as simple cooking recipes and there is over a hundred reading suggestions to choose from. This book is a wonderfully creative resource for every adult who loves to spend time with young children. The stories, craft and cooking projects, not only give the child a sense of achievement, but also to recognise their own potential in a fun way, learn by mistakes and build confidence and self-esteem. I know from experiencing it with my little nephews when they came to stay how during our time cooking or doing a craft how open they are to chatting about whatever is on their minds. How creative and confident they were and having our total attention brought such excitement for both them and us. I loved those special times.

Mmm… just made myself a Child-friendly Egg-in-the-Nest for lunch. It’s on page 99. That’s after reading choice of- David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon, and the Floating Boat soap craft. Also after each reading suggestion is Parental Participation notes and room for you to make some notes also. The book is broken into six chapters such as “I Can Do it Myself!” “I’m Special!” and “I’m Afraid!” Each chapter lists picture book suggestions to do with that theme followed by a craft and suitable, simple cooking recipe. I love the introduction ‘One Picture (book) is Worth a Thousand Words’, where Vivian offers true-life experience, and explains her themes and how powerful picture books are. In the back of the book is an hourly routine Vivian has used. Children thrive on routine, knowing what is happening next causes less stress and they look forward to each new day. Vivian has not left anything out when she carefully researched, taken from her own life and produced this extraordinary resource.

I am so lucky in that Vivian gave me another copy of this book which I am donating to our local library as I am sure it will be snapped up and become a very sort after resource for both, child minder, teachers and parents. I have a couple of young friends who have little ones and would value this book so I will be buying some copies for Christmas gifts this year, that’s for sure.  Make sure you obtain one, you will not be disappointed.

You can obtain this book from Amazon…   http://www.amazon.com/Self-Esteem-Crafting-Positive-Parental-Participation/dp/0967014751

A post from 2013…   http://viviankirkfield.com/2013/01/19/sunday-post-simplicity-children-need-less-stuff/#comments

Want to know more here is Vivian’s website…   http://viviankirkfield.com/

Meet Vivian on youtube…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObgrDLEmWpI

Catch her on….   https://www.facebook.com/vivian.kirkfield?fref=ts

Posted in 12x12, ideas for writing, Picture book | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Laundry Day

Book Laundry DayWritten and Illustrated by: Maurie J Manning

Published by: Clarion Books, Imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co 2012

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme:  diversity, honesty, adventure

Opening Lines: “Shoeshine, mister?” “Scuse me. Shoeshine?” “Would you like a shoeshine lady?”

Synopsis: (From Amazon) – A shoeshine boy is surprised when a piece of red silk falls from the sky. Trying to find its owner, he ventures up and down fire escapes, back and forth across clothes-lines, and into the company of the colorfully diverse people who live in the tenement. Lively pages laid out in multiple panels, with a few words of text in dialogue balloons, capture the exhilarating action. There is a cheerful side to a neighbourhood packed with people of different origins—the opportunity to make friends across race lines, culture lines, and clothes-lines!

Why I like this: The style is similar to a comic book, with a series of panels on each page, showing the action progressing is really fun. I love the way how the young boy ambles up the fire escape, tiptoes, balancing across the clothesline into the lives and different languages of his neighbourhood. The illustrations lend it a feeling of the turn of century New York. Colours are mostly muted (browns and black & white and pale blues) so that the reds, which play into the heart of the story stand out. The back page has a small glossary of language definitions. Kids will love rereading this if only to check out what they missed in the illustrations the first time. With such minimal text there is ample opportunity for discussion and one’s own interpretation.

Resources/Findings: Download a pdf of the story….   http://freebookspot.tk/13202081/laundry-day.html

Some questions to ask the class to write down are… How many uses could the scarf be used?   How many different countries/languages were mentioned?   How many Siminski girls were there?   How many children did Fanny Finnigan have? What colour are Rabbi Shulevitz prayer shawls?

Fun things for kids to do in NYC…     http://www.travelforkids.com/Funtodo/New_York/new-york-city.htm

Information on NYC for kids….     http://encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/ne/New_York_City

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 , , , , | 8 Comments