“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

BEFORE I LEAVE

Written and Illustrated by: Jessixa Bagley

Published by: Neal Porter Book – Roaring Brook Press 2016

Ages:   5 – 7 years

Theme: friendship, separation, endurance

Opening Lines: I found out we’re moving. Mom said I needed to pack.

Synopsis: From Amazon – How do you say goodbye to your best friend?

When a little hedgehog’s family tells her they’re moving far away, she and her anteater best friend decide to play one last time, like nothing is changing. And though it’s hard, they discover that while some things have to change, the most important things find a way of working out.

Why I like this: Families move from house to house for many reasons, upgrade, better housing, work, schools etc… and kids will find themselves in this position at some time having to say goodbye to a best friend. When Zelda the hedgehog tells Bagley an anteater that she is moving, she decides they should play just one last time as if nothing has changed. By doing so, they make memories that they can share and remember long after they have moved away. The whole story told in one line sentence per page from Zelda’s thoughts, is incredibly touching and the finer details, the playfulness, and tender moments are all captured in the illustrations. The less than one hundred word text spread through forty pages is accompanied by wistful watercolour illustrations and fine pencil lines. I loved the seesaw page as I don’t think Bagley ever gets to sore through the air like we see Zelda doing. A great book for both home and in school libraries. The message is clear and simple

Resources/Findings: If you wanna catch up with Jessixa her blog is…..   http://www.jessixa.com/about-native/

Some great activity ideas for kids about best friends.   Such as writing down what makes a friend. Or write and draw an activity they love to do with a friend. Here is the website….   https://www.curiousworld.com/blog/projects-for-building-friendships

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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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.
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10 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. This appears to be quite a touching story. I’m intrigued that the author was able to write it in under 100 words. I always seem to need 500… I’m looking forward to checking out this book and learning how to minimize word count and increase meaning at the same time. Thank you for a lovely review.

    • Thank you so much Leslie. I agree, it is very hard to write under 500 words so I was blown away to find this story. One of the beauties I guess is as a writer/illustrator you have that upper hand in being able to reduce word count more with your own illustrations. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend.

  2. Darlene says:

    Children find moving hard so this would be an excellent book for them. A great choice to review!

  3. I lived at home until I was 17, but my husband moved frequently. It was hard on him and his family. Books like these help children and their parents/caregivers address all those complex feelings about friendship, memories, and change. Thanks for highlighting!

    • Your very welcome Jilanne. Yes I agree and I was amazed that Jessixa managed to convey all that in only a few words. While some kids may adapt easier than others this book would certainly be of help in the process. Thanks for stopping by Jilanne.

  4. Moving is hard for many children and this book certainly will help. Read it a while back and fell in love with this sweet story about friendship and change. After school is out, there will be a lot of kids facing moves this summer. Good recommendation.

    • Hi Pat. Thanks so much for your kind words. Yes of course it is coming up to summer break for you while we have had our summer break and now settling in for the Autumn/Winter season. True many shift during summer and this book would help in some small way for kids who will miss the close bond of a best friend.

  5. her illustrations have an extraordinary tenderness to them!

    • Glad you like it Julie. Yes there are lots of sweet moments in the illustrations as well as humour. Like Zelda often sits on top of Bagley’s head. And Bagley’s long tongue swipes Zelda’s ice-cream from out of her cone. Memories are priceless. Have a great weekend Julie.

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