“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

KITE DAY – A Bear and Mole Story

Written and Illustrated by:   Will Hillenbrand

Published by: Holiday House New York 2012

Ages:   3 – 6

Theme: friendship, teamwork, possibilities, fun

Opening Lines: Bear looked at the sky. Could it be? He wondered. He tilted his head up. Whiff. Whiff. Whiff.

Synopsis: Bear pops outside to check on the weather and declares it Kite Day. So with the help of his good friend Mole they construct a kite and set off to fly it. When a storm erupts and the kite string breaks Bear and Mole chase after it only to discover there are more possibilities in flying a kite.

Why I like this: Now if you’re looking to write a kite story and you know that spare text is essential and use of three’s encourages participation and fun, not to mention a little tension to build anticipation with a satisfying unexpected ending. Then this is an ideal book. Will’s simple pencilled coloured drawings of soft colours are beautiful and go hand in hand with the sparse text. With often only two lines a page one is forced to turn the page to see what happens next. I loved the team work of Bear and Mole working to make the kite. A universal theme, an unexpected ending and an eye catching cover this is one kid friendly book to be enjoyed again and again.

Goodness me if Bear and Mole can make a kite and fly it then so can you…. And me!

Resources/Findings: A lovely reading of the book here…     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_2yndbysJg

A great read for Kite day at school.

How to make a simple kite….     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfYeel7L8rU

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 Lonely Giant

Written and Illustrated by: Sophie Ambrose

Published by: Walker Books Ltd 2016

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme: destruction, environmental kindness, friendship and freedom

Opening Lines: In a cave, on top of a crag, in the middle of a huge forest, lived a giant. The giant spent all day, day after day, doing what giants do…

Synopsis: From Amazon…   After inadvertently destroying his home, a well-meaning giant must learn the true value of the natural world.

In the middle of a vast forest lives a giant who spends his days hurling and heaving, smashing and bashing. Over time, the animals flee as their homes vanish, the birdsong dwindles away to silence, and, finally, the forest itself disappears. Now the lonely giant misses the crackling warmth of a fire and the sweet songs of the yellow bird — but will he realize it’s up to him to restore what he loves? Sophie Ambrose debuts with a beautifully illustrated modern fable offering a poignant environmental twist.

Why I like this: This is beautifully illustrated in thick pencil drawing and watercolour giving a warmth background to a lonely giant. I loved the details like the up-close ragged fingernails in a couple of the illustrations. The text moves seamlessly across the page drawing you in. You just had to turn the page to find out if he is ever going to learn what he is doing with his destructive behavour. Unaware that his destroying the environment will cause the animals of the forest to move away it isn’t till the little yellow bird arrives that he eventually realises what he has done and sets about to fix it. It’s that saying “we often don’t know what we had or how good it was, until we lose it.” The giant learns a lesson in freedom, loss of friendship and what happens when the environment is destroyed, and how over time it can be restored with a little kindness. The underlying theme of environmental kindness is a great classroom topic and kids will be encouraged to think of ways they can become environmentally friendly.

Resources/Findings: Here is a great website on all things environmental friendly for kids… From making their own composts, to gardens, ways to travel etc….   http://www.ecofriendlykids.co.uk/

Environmental friendly activites both at home and at school for kids….   http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/go-green.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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Write a story in 50 Precious Words

Hi everyone,

There is a contest going on over at my dear writing friends blog – Picture Books help Kids Soar. Writing a story using 50 precious words.  Hurray along to her blog and check out what you need to do to enter.  You could win one of 21 amazing prizes. Closing date is March 6th at 11.59pm US eastern.  Good luck!

Here is my entry:

Puppy Love

They opened my cage.

I whimpered .

I don’t want to go.

My claws scraped across the floor.

“It’s okay. We’ll look after you.”

Outside small hands hold me tight.

A face buried in my fur.

“Take care of her.”

“I will.”

Gentle caresses.                                   1111116666666

So this is love.

I’m home!

 

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

The First Drawing

book-the-first-drawingWritten and Illustrated by: Mordicai Gerstein

Ages : 4 – 7 years

Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers US (26 Sept. 2013)

Theme: Imagination, Dreams

Opening Lines: Some of the oldest drawings ever found were made more than thirty thousand years ago in a cave in southern France. In that same cave is the footprint of an eight year old child. Alongside it, the footprint of a wolf.

Synopsis: (In Amazon).. In 1994, the Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc was discovered, filled with the oldest known drawings in existence at that time, made 30,000 years ago. In that same cave, prehistoric footprints were discovered: those of an 8-year-old child and a wolf. From these astonishing facts, THE FIRST DRAWING was born.

In this beautiful picture book, Caldecott Medal-winning author/illustrator Mordicai Gerstein imagines one possible way drawing was invented. The young boy that stars in this story has such a vivid imagination that he sees images everywhere – clouds, stones and smoke look like animals to him. His parents, however, don’t share his enthusiasm and wish he would be more down to earth. However the boy cannot contain his enthusiasm and one night grabs a smoky stick and “traces” the image he sees on a cave wall. Lo and behold: the world’s first drawing.

Why I like it: I love how the author has picked up on a child’s, or anyone’s for that matter, imagination and dreams. I loved how the young boy could see shapes of real things in clouds and smoke that his family could not or just simply didn’t get. The feeling of frustration is evident in the young child and it is not until he runs from a huge mammoth which had cast shadows over a cave wall that he makes his first lines to prove to everyone what he sees. And so the first drawing was made. Mordicai cleverly uses the text to talk to us, asking the reader to imagine you are back 30,000 years ago. What do you think it was like? What were you wearing? Do you see images in the shapes of stones? The text flows with some great page turns. The illustrations of simple pencilled drawings are expressive bringing drama in the colourful sky blue to the rich golden fire acrylic paint.   The Wall Street Journal best describes it as…   delicate ink over rough colorful acrylics in a visual echo of the way the fineness of artistic sensibility might have arisen in primitive Stone Age culture.

Who made the first drawing? Did you?

There’s a lot to be said for imagination, dreams and creativity… enjoy, live it!

Resources/Findings:

Reading of The First Drawing…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAUvnzbkO3o

Read Mordicai’s interesting bio on his website…   http://www.mordicaigerstein.com/bio.html

This is a tour through the Cave of Lascaux in France….   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPpM_7SB91c

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

COME ON TIGER TOM

come-on-tiger-tom-9781471143878_hrWritten and Illustrated by: Gabriel Alborozo

Published by: Simon and Schuster 2016

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme: Confidence, Learning

Opening Lines: One long, hot summer’s day, Tiger Tom and his mum went out for a walk. Flick, flick, flick! “Got you!” said Tom, batting the end of Mum’s tail.

Synopsis: Tiger Tom is a cute tiger cub taken out by his mother to learn come%20on%20tiger%20tom%20inside-500x500basic survival skills. Kids will connect with this adorable cub when his mind wanders and he is distracted. Each time his patient mother calls him back and moves on to the next lesson. It’s inevitable that his wanderings are going to get him into trouble. But kids will be reassured that mum is never too far away. Gabriel displays rich evocative illustrations that fill each page. As mentioned on amazon, kids will be assured in having confidence and learning new things, and its’ okay if you don’t get them right the first time.

Why I like it:   Beautiful illustrations, cute tiger cub and the focus on its’ okay to make mistakes and learning new things… an adventure in life, are all wrapped up in this lovely story. Tight, easy to read text with great page turns what more is there to love about this story from a major new talent.

Resources/Findings: A visit to the zoo and watching how the animals interact with their young is a very educational outing, as well as fun.

Author/illustrator’s website..   http://www.alborozo.co.uk/books

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 TERRIBLE SUITCASE

book-terrible-suitcaseWritten by: Emma Allen

Illustrated by: Freya Blackwood

Ages : 4- 9 years

Publisher: Omnibus Books from Scholastic Australia 2012

Theme: imagination, disappointment, friendship

Opening Lines: Because I got a terrible suitcase for my going-to-school present instead of the red backpack with yellow rockets and a silver zipper, I was mad. MAD, mad!

Synopsis: A young girl’s first day of school is marred by the new suitcase she received, instead of the backpack she was hoping for. Inside her imagination corner, cardboard box in class, her suitcase becomes an instrument of her imagination.

Why I like it: Kids will love the interaction between the kids in this story as we go through a young girl’s day and her reactions due to her disappointment of having a suitcase instead of a backpack like all the other kids. Isn’t it the pits, to not get what you want. Imagination is a great thing though. The transition between what’s fact and what’s imagination is smooth and cleverly done. The little girl’s imagination and the imagination of the other kids soon show that her suitcase is unique in its own special way. Even so, it is not till you read to the very end that she realizes just how special her suitcase really is. I love the pencil drawings and expressive faces and soft hue colours.

Resources/Findings:

A great teachers aid here with discussions and activities for this story…   http://www.lamontbooks.com.au/media/19191/The-Terrible-Suitcase.pdf

Here are some study notes and more info on the author and illustrator….   http://www.scholastic.com.au/schools/education/teacherresources/assets/pdfs/The-Terrible-Suitcase.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

Oops! I’m late, I’m late. But I do have a lovely picture book to share as we countdown to Christmas Day.

Christmas for a Kitten

book-xmas-kittenWritten by: Robin Pulver

Illustrated by: Layne Johnson

Published by: Albert Whitman & Co USA 2003

Ages:   5 – 8 years old

Theme: fear, loneliness, happiness, belonging

Opening Lines: On a chilly night, in a barn far, far away from the North Pole, a kitten that had never seen or heard of Christmas slept snug against his mother.

Synopsis: When a kitten in a barn is snatched from his mother and dumped by the side of the road in the country, he must survive in the wild on his own. He climbs into the trunk of a car whose owners are bringing a tree home on Christmas Eve. Hiding from the owners and their dog he knocks down some ornaments and climbs the tree. The Santa’s milk and cookies are a treat, but It’s not until a visitor arrives that the kitty is rescued and gets a new lease on life and a name.

Why I like this: I thought this a beautifully illustrated Christmas book for kids. The reader will be captivated by the illustrator’s portrayal of fear and happiness in the eyes of the kitten as it experiences some of the most horrible experiences and the most wonderful experiences within the story. The realistic beginning may be a bit too much for younger readers as the kitten is snatched and put inside a bag as he hears the words “too many cats,” uttered, and then thrown into the forest and left. The author uses this event to set the stage for this kitten to find real happiness in a most unusual place. I am sure kids will be glued to this story from beginning to end as they follow the kitten on its journey to find Christmas. While very realistic in the beginning the ending is unexpected and a treat. And no the kitten does not stay with the family. Hahaha you will have to read it to find out what happens. Gorgeous deep blues and whites of a snowy cold night dotted with Christmas glow on full pages of illustrations is a feast for the eye you will enjoy.

The story was inspired when Robin and her family found a cat while tramping through the snow at a Christmas tree farm.   Layne is a cat lover and has two. It is his water-loving yellow cat that helped him draw the kitten for this book.

Resources/Findings: Here is a video of the beautiful pictures but beware of spoiler alert.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksLoorH8El8

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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As it’s the last of Perfect Picture Book Friday for 2016 I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.  Enjoy the festivities, take care if you are driving long distances.  Look after your pets, they too deserve a Christmas treat, so don’t neglect them.  Whether serving up hot toddies round an open fire in your part of the world or a BBQ at the beach, I hope dear friends you all have fun, love one another and I’ll see you back here soon in 2017.  All the best.

cropped-xmas-tree111.jpg

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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

POOKA

book-pookaWritten by: Carol Chataway

Illustrated by: Nina Rycroft

Published by: Working Title Press, Australia 2012

Ages:   2 – 6

Theme: friendship, dog, companion, lost and found, attachment

Opening Lines: “Someone’s left an old coat on our doorstep,” said Dad. “It’s not a coat,” said Mum. “It moved. Think it’s a lamb.” “It’s not a coat, or a lamb,” I said. “It’s a dog!”

Synopsis: From the moment she is discovered on the doorstep, everyone loves Pooka. She’s the best dog ever! “Don’t go getting attached,” Grandad grumbles. But it’s too late for that!

Why I like it:   This is a very sweet heart felt story of the love between a dog and young boy. It’s obvious the dog belongs to someone as he is so well mannered. Grandad constantly reminds the boy not to get too attached. Someone will come looking for him. The saying – but it’s too late for that, becomes a refrain. Grandad is right of course even though the boy and dog become inseparable. One day a young man comes to claim Pooka and the boy learns that Pooka has a very important job. The boy finds it hard to live without Pooka until one day there is a knock at the door. This story is very realistic and you get the feeling, thanks to Grandad, that something is going to happen and that maybe the story, will not end all that well. Kids will resonate with the boy especially at the heartbreak of having to give Pooka back. Let’s face it, every little kid wants a dog.   I love the beautiful illustrations by New Zealand illustrator Nina Rycroft.  Pooka is a gorgeous book.  It’s cover begs to be picked up and cuddled. Aww just look at that face.

Nina’s website…    http://ninarycroft.com/

 

Resources/Findings:   Great idea for making pretend animals so kids can learn how to look after pets….    http://www.mylittlebookcase.com.au/books/activity-creating-and-caring-for-pretend-pets.

More about pets.  -http://www.caninefriends.org.nz/

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

Rudie Nudie

book-rudie-nudieWritten and Illustrated by:   Emma Quay.

Published by: Harper Collins (Australian) first 2011 and again in paperback 2014

Ages:   2 and up.

Theme: nudity, playtime, bath-time, bedtime.

Opening Lines: One, two Rudie Nudie, Rudie Nudie in the bath. Squeaky clean and splishing, splashing, sploshing – Rudie Nudie laugh.

Synopsis: From bath to bedtime Author/Illustrator Emma Quay captures the joy, playfulness and highjinks of a little brother and sister preparing for bed.

book-rudie-nudie-2Why I like this: Now before you say “Oh but it’s full of nudity.” So what! The dark pencilled human outlines cleverly concealing the “necessaries” throughout, show a brother and sister playfully enjoying the time between bath and bedtime. Slipping out from their thick towels, rolling on the rug, racing down the passage and out into the back yard, totally ignoring their differences, before mother calls them back inside to help them dress for bed. I loved this.  As a grandparent, or parent, remember the giggles the little ones made when tickled by towel drying or blowing bubbles on their chest. Oh how delicious they smelled, so clean and sweet, and the talc powder spraying through the air. It is such a moment in time, an innocence to treasure. They grow so fast and what a way to capture that but in a picture book. The title is eye catching and the cover illustration entices you to check it out. What this also teaches children is cleanliness, routine, fun and equality. Yes everyone needs a bath and everyone must go to bed at some time. This book certainly brings a smile, see you’re already smiling at the pictures, with its minimal rhyming text and soft warm hue illustrations.

Emma Quay has illustrated some beautiful books such as Goodnight, Me, and the 2010 CBC Early Childhood Book of the Year for ‘Bear and Chook by the Sea’ (written by Lisa Shanahan). Emma lives in Sydney with her husband and two young daughters.

Resources/Findings:

Great trailer for this book.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc-KeMXpRCc

Here are some great ideas for making bath-time fun especially if your child has a sensory disorder… http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/bath-time-fun.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

Nadine, My Funny and Trusty Guide Dog

book-blind-dogWritten by: Carol Chiodo Fleischman

Illustrated by: Stephanie Ford

Published by: Pelican Publishing Company, USA 2015

Ages:   8 – 12 years

Theme: Trust, respect, teamwork

Opening Lines: One morning soon after I came home from the guide dog school, I woke up and stepped down on the cold floor. My foot brushed over a soft lump, so I picked it up. Phew! Were these dirty socks? I guessed right.

Synopsis: (from amazon) In this delightful true story told through a first-person narrative, a sight-impaired young woman describes how her service dog, Nadine, loves to play tricks around the house. From hiding dirty laundry to avoiding her harness, Nadine is quite mischievous! Their first day together as a team is the focus of this story. Through the struggles to get ready, the sheer enjoyment of the winter day, and the scary moments along the way, Nadine proves herself trustworthy and reliable-that is, until they return home and she gets into mischief again!

Why I like this: I love the illustrations of crisp, humorous drawings in wintery colours. This book provides a fascinating glimpse into life with a guide dog. The relationship between a blind person and her canine companion, Nadine, is explored in this charming and informative tale of a playful young dog. This true story set during the onset of a major snow-storm and it demonstrates the mixture of serious work and playfulness of these valuable and beautiful animals.

(from Amazon) Carol Chiodo Fleischman is a professional writer who just happens to be legally blind. Since 1992, she has used a guide dog for mobility, and her articles frequently focus on life as a visually impaired person, especially the joys and challenges of working with a guide dog. Her writing has appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers including the New York Times Syndicate, Guideposts, the Buffalo News, The Simon & Schuster Short Prose Reader, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has been a member of the Association of Professional Women Writers for more than twenty years.

Fleischman volunteers with GuildCare, an active speaker at schools and many international conferences. She and her husband share their home in New York with her trusted guide dog.

Resources/Findings:  

Protecting Pets: Do you have a safety plan for your pet in the event of a disaster. Here is a link that kids may find interesting, create conversation and awareness…     http://protectyourpet.worldanimalprotection.org.nz/?id=K2016W26&gclid=Cj0KEQjwmri_BRCZpaHkuIH75_IBEiQAIG0rIVx94HauYhQgBCVFJP1d5qskHWz8054t-JJ8k4Epys8aAkxB8P8HAQ

Here is a link to the Foundation of the Blind – puppies here in NZ . Maybe you have one in your area….   https://blindfoundation.org.nz/get-involved/guide-dogs/

More facts about guide dogs…   http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/5469575/Wanted-Homes-for-guide-pups

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 , , , , , | 17 Comments