“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

The Second Sky

Written by: Patrick Guest

Illustrated by: Jonathan Bentley

Published by: Little Hare Books   2017

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme: dreams, limitations, discovering oneself.

Opening Lines: Gilbert peeked out from his egg and saw the sky for the first time. The moon glowed. The stars sparkled. The birds wheeled. And Gilbert knew where he wanted to be.

Synopsis: The first thing Gilbert sees when he hatches from his egg is the sky. It is love at first sight and from that moment on Gilbert longs to fly like other birds.

But Penguins don’t fly, they waddle, and so begins Gilbert’s quest to find his place in the world.

Great things happen when you reach for the sky.

Why I like this: I don’t just like it, I love it! Isn’t that fella just sooooo cute. You could hug him! Gorgeous double spread illustrations From the first page as we, like Gilbert peer out at the moon from the opening in his shell. The watercolour hues of blues and greys from the sky to the slippery ice , the snowy landscape and underwater world are beautifully depicted on full double page spreads. The author uses three’s to show emotion, and dramatic short sentences to build to a climax. And then without even telling us we are drawn into… The Second Sky! You can almost feel yourself flying.

This book has been shortlisted by The Children’s Book Council of Australia for the 2018 Early Childhood Book of the Year.

Both Patrick and Jonathan live in Australia.

Resources/Findings:   Teachers aid/notes…   http://www.lamontbooks.com.au/media/102320/publishers-notes-the-second-sky.pdf

 

Draw a view of what a bird would see above land and what a penguin would see under the ocean.   How similar and how different are they?

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

FUZZY DOODLE

Written by: Melinda Szymanik

Illustrated by: Donovan Bixley

Published by: Scholastic, New Zealand June 2016

Ages:   3 – 7 years (but could be for any age)

Theme: Birth, Growth, Imagination

Opening Lines: Fuzzy started as a scribble, just a scrawly little doodle, a smudgey sort of something, at the bottom of the page.

Synopsis: The metamorphosis of a caterpillar, the metamorphosis of a creative idea, and the magic of creativity are all explored in this picture book.

Why I like it: Oh wow! Imagine a fuzzy little doodle at the bottom of the page, nibbled, chomped and gobbled scrumptious words and tasty colours which made Fuzzy grow and grow and GROW… Hello!   How creative is this! This smudgy little squiggle comes to life and we follow it from page to page watching it grow munching on words and grow into…. Well you have to get the book to see what happens. But lines like… “First he nibbled at a comment, and then he chomped some tasty jottings. He found the writing scrumptious as he hoovered up the text,” a poetic treat. Oh my! This is so clever and creative about a scribble that transforms into something wonderful and one can’t help turn the pages to see how or what he has grown into. The illustrations are amazing with the blending watercolour, the shiny, tactile branch made from various cursive words, the charcoal sketched fuzzy thing that looks right at you with a smile. What exactly is a Fuzzy Doodle? Imagine reading this book in a classroom. Kids will love it and want it read again and again.

Melinda is a New Zealand award winning author and ‘Fuzzy Doodle’ was a 2017 Storylines Notable book, finalist in the 2017 NZ Children’s and Young Adults Book Awards and a 2017 White Raven selection.

Award winning illustrator Donovan also lives in New Zealand by the crater lake of Taupo and you can find out more about him on his interesting blog…   http://www.donovanbixley.com/?pagename=biography

Resources/Findings:   Ask kids what they think a Fuzzy Doodle is?

How do you make a Fuzzy Doodle?

Ask kids to make their own Fuzzy Doodle and write a story about it.

Here is Melinda’s blog where you will find a PDF Teachers notes for the classroom on Fuzzy Doodle ….   http://melindaszymanik.blogspot.co.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

MY OLD PAL, OSCAR

Written by: Amy Hest

Illustrated by: Amy Bates

Published by: Abrams Books for young readers, New York 2016

Ages:   4 – 7 Years

Theme: Friendship, Loss, Grief, New beginnings

Opening Lines: Hello, you. Who are you? No tags? No name? You sure are little. Except for those feet. Those four big feet making footprints in the sand.

Synopsis: When a boy meets a stray puppy on the beach, he does not want to make a new friend. He still misses his old pal, Oscar, a beloved pet. When the cute little black and white puppy shadows him resisting the boy’s gentle rejections it begins to rain. The boy begins to open his heart to a new friend and makes peace with the past.

Why I like this: Oh my this is all heart. Tears welled up when reading this story. Simply told with a cute relatable voice this will be a story many will remember. Even though he tries to ignore the little puppy the boy is forced to cradle it during a rain storm and races to home and safety where he shares a picture of his beloved pet, Oscar. Who could resist this cute puppy with the adorable face. He looks so fuzzy and cuddly. Mischievous too! Amy Bates illustrations are cleverly done revealing life at the beach at a child’s eye level. This would be a lovely book for home and in the classroom encouraging discussions when looking at adding a pet in the family especially after the recent loss of a much loved pet.

Resources/Findings: This is a great little video of Amy Hest giving some writing tips on Characters….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gWkLr2oduk

Great tips from Amy for young writers….   https://www.amyhest.com/for-writers

Fun facts about Amy and more…   https://www.amyhest.com/about

How to help your child with the loss of their pet….   https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/03/02/helping-your-child-grieve-the-loss-of-a-pet.aspx

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 Picture Book review today is in respect of Mothers’ Day this Sunday.  What are you doing for Mothers’ Day?

LOVE IS

Written by: Diane Adams

Illustrated by: Claire Keane

Published by: Chronicle Books LLC 2017

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme: Giving and receiving, an ode to motherhood.

Opening Lines: Love is holding something fragile, tiny wings and downy head. Love is noisy midnight feedings, shoe box right beside the bed.

Synopsis: A girl and duckling share a tender, funny year as they grow together, care for each other, and learn that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Children and parents together will adore this fond exploration of growing up while learning about the joys of love offered and love returned.

Why I like this: I have reviewed some special books recently but this one tops them all.   With beautiful, tender illustrations with such expressions and heartfelt, poetic text, it delivers a huge message of love to hold and love letting go. This sweet story is sure to be a classic. The illustrations are cute, full of expression from the big soulful eyes, to the everyday kid’s clothes and humorous antics the duckling gets up to. The sparse text trips across the pages as does the days and seasons and tells us so much yet never mentions the duckling until near the end. (Something to be said for art-notes) Love some of the lines like – “Love is in familiar voices, feeling lost, and being found. It’s in the struggles, growing muscles.”    There is so much to LOVE about this book.

Resources/Findings:   Here is text with pictures on how to look after ducklings….   https://www.wikihow.com/Take-Care-of-Ducklings

Fun facts about ducks for kids…     https://study.com/academy/lesson/duckling-facts-lesson-for-kids.html

Fun facts and activities worksheet for teachers…   http://www.kiddyhouse.com/Farm/ducks.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

Little Blue Chair

Written by: Cary Fagan

Illustrated by: Madeline Kloepper

Published by: Tundra Books, division of Random House. Jan 2017

Ages:   3 – 7 Years

Theme: repurposing, travel, uses.

Opening Lines: Boo had a favorite chair. It was little. It was blue. He liked to sit on it while ate his breakfast and his lunch and his dinner.

Synopsis: From Amazon:- Boo’s favorite chair is little and blue. He sits in it, reads in it and makes a tent around it…until the day he grows too big for it. His mother puts the little blue chair out on the lawn where a truck driver picks it up. The truck driver sells it to a lady in a junk store where it sits for many years until it’s sold and put to use as a plant stand. In the years that follow, the little blue chair is used in many other ways — on an elephant ride, in a contest, on a Ferris wheel, in a tree…until the day it flies away, borne aloft by balloons, and lands in a garden of daffodils where a familiar face finds it.

Why I like this: A sweet whimsical story following the journey of a little blue chair as it changes hands and uses. The text glides along taking us through the years and various people who come in contact with the chair, seamlessly. I loved the page turns in looking to see who has the chair next or what they intend to use it for. Years later it brings us full circle and Boo is now a young man. You will have to get the book to see what Boo does with it next. 😉 The ink and pencil drawings give this picture book a beautiful, simple, and sweet look.

Resources/Findings: This is a great website on reuse for kids at school and in the home….   https://your.caerphilly.gov.uk/kidsgogreen/info-zone/tips-fighting-waste/reuse

Teaching children for earth day and the four R’s. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rebuy…     https://www.everydayhealth.com/green-health/earth-day-teaching-kids.aspx

A teacher tool kids will love ….   http://www.ecokidsusa.org/3rs.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

PUPPY LOVE The Story of Esme and Sam

Written by: Gillian Shields

Illustrated by: Elizabeth Harbour

Published by: Simon & Schuster Books New York USA 2009

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme: love, opposites, friendship

Opening Lines: This is the city and this is the park, where dogs run and play with a yap and a bark. Here is the dog called Esme Lamour, who lives in a penthouse on the top floor. And here is the dog called Samuel Bloom, who lives in a crowded tenement room.

Synopsis: From front flap:   When posh pooch Esme Lamour finds herself lost in the park at night, she’s terribly frightened. That’s until Samuel Bloom, a downtown dog, comes to her rescue. It’s the beginning of an adventure and a great romance. But when the canine couple is torn apart, will Esme be brave enough to face the big city and find her true love?

Why I like this: With rhyming text of adventure and a love story complimented with soft pastel coloured full page illustrations, what is there not to like? This is a cleverly told story of two dogs, of how opposites attract friendship and love. And even when they were apart you were made very aware of both dogs within the rhyming text. A lovely read.

Resources/Findings:

Pet care for kids….     http://www.petdoctors.co.uk/pet-advice/pet-care-for-kids/

Teaching kids about opposits attract…     http://www.jumpstart.com/common/opposites-attract

Learning about dogs…   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZplybWvLOg

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

Each Kindness

Written: Jacqueline Woodson

Illustrated by: E. B. Lewis

Published by: Nancy Paulsen Books, 7th Print edition of Penguin Group 2 October 2012

Ages:   4 to 8 years.

Theme: Friendship, opportunity lost.

Opening Lines: That winter, snow fell on everything, turning the world a brilliant white. One morning, as we settled into our seats, the classroom door opened and the principal came in. She had a girl with her, and she said to us, This is Maya.

Synopsis: from Amazon;- Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.

Why I like this: Wow! Simplicity with a punch! Winner of a CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR and THE JANE ADDAMS PEACE AWARD! This award winning team have created an unforgettable book with a powerful message that will resonate with readers long after they’ve put it down. Packed full of life lessons we never know the full extent of damage done to Maya by the rejection of Chloe and her classmates as she eventually moves away. It is only when the teacher shows the class how a ripple effect of kindness can change the world does Chloe become aware of her own hurtful behavior. She is never able to make amends. Not a happy ever-after story but one that is sure to bring much discussion in classrooms regarding bullying, kindness, and empathy. The sentence – “Each kindness, makes the world a little bit better” couldn’t be truer. Just a smile, a hello, it doesn’t take much. Don’t lose that opportunity…

Resources/Findings:   The story read aloud on youtube…     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGKteT5KiSE

Love this teachers aid about random acts of kindness…. Such as a kindness act written on paper and each day pass one on to the next person. Or have a Kindness Day at school… https://www.pinterest.nz/pin/283445370270912662/?lp=true

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 Snow Lion

Written: Jim Helmore

Illustrated by: Richard Jones

Published by: Simon & Schuster, London, Uk. September 2017

Ages:   2 years and over.

Theme: Friendship, courage.

Opening Lines: Caro and her mum went to live in a new house at the top of a hill.

Synopsis: from Amazon;-

When Caro and her mum move to a new house, Caro becomes lonely. There’s only so much exploring she can do by herself! It’s not long though before she makes a new friend – The Snow Lion. He’s as white as snow, and together they have fun playing hide and seek, chasing and sliding. However, it’s soon time for Caro to venture out on her own

Why I like this: This is a beautiful timeless story that will touch your heart. Caro feels lonely and shy when she moves to a new house. But a snow lion that appears in the white walls of the house helps her overcome her shyness and encourages her to venture out. When her friends come over and help paint the walls in different colours the snow lion disappears, or has he? A classic story, with a touch of magic. Jim’s simple few lines of text on full page illustrations make this a treasure for all the family.

Resources/Findings:  I found this book along with other books by Jim Helmore on this Teachers Aid Blog with activities for kids 2 years and over…   http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/author-resources/jim-helmore-banner

This story took me back to primary school when I used to look after a younger class before my class started and I would draw lions (the only thing I knew how to draw back then) on the blackboard while we waited for the teacher to arrive. The kids loved it. So did the teacher. Here is a website on how to draw lions…     http://www.yedraw.com/how-to-draw-lion-for-kids.html#.Wr58essh3IU

Cool facts for kids about lions…   https://www.kidsplayandcreate.com/fun-cool-lion-facts-for-kids/

A lesson aid for teachers       https://study.com/academy/lesson/white-lion-facts-lesson-for-kids.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

I’ve missed a few weeks of PPBF due to visitors and life getting in the way, but I’m glad to be back and sharing this wonderful find….

PERFECTLY NORMAN

Written and illustrated by: Tom Percival

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc UK 2017

Ages:   4 – 8 years.

Theme: different, unique, individuality

Opening Lines: Norman had always been normal – perfectly normal. Until one day…

Synopsis: From Amazon: Norman had always been perfectly normal. That was until the day he grew a pair of wings! Norman is very surprised to have wings suddenly – and he has the most fun ever trying them out high in the sky. But then he has to go in for dinner. What will his parents think? What will everyone else think? Norman feels the safest plan is to cover his wings with a big coat. But hiding the thing that makes you different proves tricky and upsetting. Can Norman ever truly be himself? A poignant yet uplifting story about individuality, with stunning artwork in a striking minimal palette from the author/illustrator of Herman’s Letter. Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Benj Davies, will love it.

Why I like this: This book has a very clear simple universal message. To be yourself, no matter what. In very few words Tom puts across a compelling story of a moment of joy and discovery to one of shame, doubt, fear of what others think and feeling miserable. Kids will relate to Norman. Especially when attending a new school or play group, or find it hard to fit in or to be accepted. The bold clean line illustrations with light touches of colour only add to the clear universal message that it’s okay to be different. I loved the touch of humour, such as having a bath with the coat on, and the sweet faithful dog that is added in the illustrations. Tom uses illustrations to show emotion and details. With mostly full page illustrations Tom uses minimal text, with rule of threes and great page turns. This is a great book for a parent to read to their child and also a wonderful tool for in the classroom opening up discussions on what is normal and being unique.

Resources/Findings:  Here is Toms website….     http://tom-percival.com/     with some yummy books of his.

Here is an interview with Tom about his illustration work….   https://design.tutsplus.com/articles/interview-with-illustrator-tom-percival–vector-5573

Here are some ideas on how to teach kids to be unique….   https://www.kcedventures.com/blog/teaching-kids-to-be-themselves-be-unique

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

SOMEONE LIKE ME

Written by: Patricia MacLachlan

Illustrated by: Chris Sheban

Published by: Roaring Brook Press July 2017

Ages:   4 – 8 years.

Theme: Thoughts, wonder.

Opening Lines: If you were a little girl who listened to stories over and over and over –

Synopsis: From Amazon: If you were a little girl who listened to stories

over and over and over;

and who read books every night, every day,

even as her mother led her across the street,

You might be me,

a writer.

Why I like this: Oh my!   What is there not to LOVE about this book. Beautifully written by acclaimed writer Patricia MacLachlan it is a semi biographical picture book of around two hundred and fifty nine words. The reader is taken on a journey with the author following herself as a young girl who read constantly, climbed trees, and tried “to teach her dog to talk by moving his lips like hers”―to see what made her the person she became. Like many of her books for children there is a thread of her own life running through them. I love the watercolour; coloured pencil and graphite illustrations by Chris. He uses light and shadow to give each page a warm, earthy glow. The images are soft and dreamlike in their gentleness, as if veiled by a scrim with an invitation to come and look closer. “You might be someone like me – A writer.”   I’ve already asked to have my time with this book extended from the library.

Patricia MacLachlan a Newberry Medial has won many awards for her books. She lives in Massachusetts and is also on the board of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance.

Resources/Findings:  This is a beautiful enlightening talk from Patricia of how her books evolved and how she came to write.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef1O6v0Wdf8

I can see this book being used in classrooms with teachers asking to list what actually had direct influence towards the girl becoming a writer.

Ask children to write what they would like or hope to become or do after leaving school and list what they can do now to influence/help that decision.

Maybe they could interview a member of their family or family friend who works and ask and list what they did that shaped their career. Was there anything they did as children that may have influenced the outcome.

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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