“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

It’s the last day of Perfect Picture Book – Friday for a while, as it closes for the northern summer.  Sad, I know, I do love the series, the company that passes my blog to read my reviews and the joy I get out of visiting others.  Spear-headed by the fun-loving Susanna Hill.  I was so torn wandering through my local library, wondering which book I should pick for this weeks review, and I just couldn’t decide between these two.  They each have their own special message, depicting the kind of writing one dreams of.   Forgive me for being greedy and posting two reviews  (I did miss last weeks), but I think you will find them just as special, as I did.

River Song  with the Banana Slug String Band

RIVER_COVER2Author:  Steve Van Zandt

Illustrator:  Katherine Zecca

With the:   Banana Slug String Band

Published by:   Dawn Publications, USA.

Ages:   6 years and over

Themes:   Nature, animals, seasons, music

Opening lines:  It happened one day on the mountain so high,  a river was born from out of the sky.  The rain and the snow came falling down, and started to run as they hit the ground.

Blurpah pa-shoosh rumbly pound, a white rapid river makes a wonderful sound.

Synopsis:  From the front flap..    Rivers make beautiful music –  from the trickle of snowmelt to the roar of a waterfall – and here it is joined by the music of the Banana Slug String Band “River Song” celebrates rivers as a fascinating, ever-changing source of life and joy.  The attached CD presents the Slug’s vibrant rendition of “River Song,” accompanied by bluegrass-country singer (and “river rat”) Laurie Lewis and “folk-cellist” Barry Phillips.

Why I like this:  Katherine’s beautiful big pictures, capturing nature in every season moves the enchanting story along.  From the clouds above snow-capped mountains we are swept on a journey through ice rivers, over rapids, river stones, through still lakes of autumn, down waterfalls to the sea below. Throughout we are treated to the delights of wildlife and learn the wonder of nature in an ever-changing season.  The text beautifully glides along on a song!  The accompanying CD is a treasure and I found myself stopping to listen and singing along with the book many times.  Kids will love this.  I loved also that the last page actually takes us back to the beginning of how the river is formed, a never-ending cycle…   Very cleverly done.    A must for young and old!

Resources:   Arr well this book is full of resources in itself;  with a page of definitions of terms,

a list of websites full of fun and learning such as www.projectwet.org  and www.wetland.org/wowteacher.html

a list of other Creative Non-fiction Books that Encourage-Appreciation for Nature,  such as  The Award-winning Habitat series by Anthony Fredericks  and John Denver and Kids Series by John Denver, plus many more.

Also some of the music and words are written in the back of the book along with detailed bio’s of the author, illustrator and the Banana Slug String Band.

Also here is their website for you to listen and join in the singing, complete with the words… http://bananaslugs.bandcamp.com/track/river-song


Wherever You Are  my love will find you

Wherever you arecoverAuthor/Illustrator:   Nancy Tillman

Published by:   Feiwel and Friends, New York, 2012

Ages:   All ages

Theme:   Love

Opening Lines:   I wanted you more than you ever will know,  so I sent love to follow wherever you go.

Synopsis:   from the front flap…   Love is the greatest gift we have to give our children.  It’s the one thing they can carry with them each and every day.  If love could take shape, it might look something like these heart-felt words and images from the inimitable Nancy Tillman.  Here is a book to share with your loved ones, no matter how near or far, young or old, they are.

Wherever2thumb__V198825490_Why I like this:   It is true, after I read this book and then re-read the front flap, this is indeed for anyone, no matter how young or how old.   Beautiful words, sometimes only a line on a page, well-selected, reaching from heart to heart, it is both comforting and warm wrapped in delicate illustrations, yet it sings right off the page.  Cute, colourful pictures of a boy cavorting across hue landscape with wild animals, makes this a magical book.  Cuddle up with your young one, and tiptoe through this delightful book.  It could be given as a birthday gift, for a new baby, from grandparent to grandchild or from child to parent.

Resources:   Nancy’s website allows us to view some of the beautiful illustrations..   http://www.nancytillman.com/books/wherever/

Here’s a lovely website of gift cards kids could make and write messages of love on…    http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/Card-Crafts-for-Kids.html

Some lovely notes to giggle over…    http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/kids-who-are-better-at-romance-than-you

For more books with resources please head on 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 the books reviewed by many authors.


About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
This entry was posted in Children's literature, Picture book, Picture Book Review, Reading Aloud and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. Catherine Johnson says:

    I love water books this sounds fab! I’ve got the other one and how funny I nearly did a bear book today too.

    • I love the soothing feeling from the water books. Funny how you nearly did a bear book, but that is only one picture in that book, he is found with many different animals from the wildlife. Have a great summer!

  2. OOH- I love the idea of a book full of river sounds. And who can resist the Banana Slug Band? Thanks.

  3. What a lovely choices with both River Song and Where Ever You Are. The sound of water is always so calming. Nice idea to include a CD. And, your Tillman selection sounds like a beautiful book about uncondiitional love. Great to help kids with separation.

    I know I’m cutting back this summer, but we can continue to publish PB reviews on Friday.

  4. Jarm Del Boccio says:

    Both books have lovely illustrations. . .good choices! I didn’t realize until after I had posted for PPBF, that it was the last for the summer. Hope you have a memorable one!


    • Thank you, Jarm. It has come around very quickly this year. (might have something to do with me being away so much… ;)) I will be wrapping up warm and wishing I was in your part of the world… lol. Have a great summer.

  5. Yay for a picture book meant for any age! Will be putting both on my list though!

  6. Oh wow! How cool, Julie. Happy sketching!

  7. Thanks for the bonus review! I’m going to use the summer break to try to read all the PPBF books I’ve missed.

  8. I like both openings! Both books have a great message! I love the picture of the dancing bear on the one cover!

  9. I love love love my river! and books about rivers are always at the top of my list. Rivers DO sing and dance. I am going to have to find this river book! And with a CD! We’re going to be doing some dancing! We have the other book and love love love it as well! Good choices! Thanks!

  10. Darlene says:

    Two adorable books. Any book that reminds a child he/she is loved is special.

  11. cassam101 says:

    These books sound lovely especially the second one.

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