“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

The Great ZOO Hullabaloo

Written by: Mark Carthew

Illustrated by:  Anil Tortop

Published by: New Frontier Publishing Pty ltd, Australia 2017

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme: animals, music, mystery

Opening Lines: When Jess and Jack opened the gates to the Zoo, it was strangely deserted. Nobody said BOO!

Synopsis: (From back of book) When Jess and Jack opened the gates to the Zoo, it was strangely quiet and deserted. Can Jess and jack discover the mystery of the missing animals?

Why I like this: This magical picture book by award-winning author Mark Carthew, brought to life by Anil Tortop’s illustrations, evokes the spirit of adventure in enchanting rhyme. It turns out the animals would rather play instruments and celebrate the birth of a new kangaroo than spend time in the zoo. The simplicity of the story in matter-of-fact, sing-song rhyme will certainly appeal to young children. While characters seem cartoonish the beautiful illustrations including a couple of birds-eye-views give readers eye appeal in rich colours. A must for both school and home it will open up discussions about animals and music.

Resources/Findings: Book trailer….     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ5xXNMWUDY

Mark Carthew has a great website here dedicated to this book with some illustrations, Study Notes, Activities and more. …     http://www.markcarthew.com.au/teachers/The_Great_Zoo_Hullabaloo_Teachers_Notes.pdf

Here is a Youtube piece from Anil Tortop….       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsUidqVDaeE

A reading of the book by the author Mark is scheduled for July 6th at the Melbourne Zoo. See info here….   http://www.markcarthew.com.au/   and if you can’t go you can download a poster from this website.

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

Holly’s Day at the Pool

Written and Illustrated by: Benson Shum

Published by: Disney – Hyperion 2017

Ages:   3 – 8 years

Theme: fear, swimming,

Opening Lines: When Piggy Wig is stuck in a tree, Holly is the only one who can save him. Piggy Wig is Dottie’s favorite toy.

Synopsis: “NOOOOOOO! I don’t want to go to the pool. What if . . . the water is too cold?” says Holly.

Holly the hippo imagines the worst: icebergs and icy water, penguins and seals! Her imagination bursts at every turn, making it harder and harder for her to step foot in the pool.

Until she get the chance to be a hero. Holly may be scared, but she is a very brave girl.

Why I like this: Beautifully illustrated in bright fresh colors. This is a Walt Disney Studio Artist Showcase book and one can easily see why. Cute overload this story has great value on helping kids who fear water. Holly has the “what if…” fear but deep down she is a brave girl and learns to overcome her fear of the water. Kids will relate to Holly and I’m sure many parents are baffled at how to help them overcome their fear of the water.    I know one of my brothers was scared of the water and it was because he had been struck by a wave, me on the other hand loved the water.  This is so adorable and a great gift for mums with toddlers, and young children.

Resources/Findings: This is Benson’s website showing clips and processes on such other projects he has worked on such as Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Moana to name a few. …     http://bensonshum.com/contact-us/

Great ways of overcoming a child’s fear of the water….   http://www.wikihow.com/Ease-a-Child%27s-Fear-of-the-Water

Getting kids used to water can start in the backyard with games such as water pistols and small paddling pools and blowing bubbles. This gets kids used to water and having water over their faces which is often one of the main reasons they don’t like to get into a pool. The fear of water in their eyes or nose.         https://www.popsugar.com/moms/6-Tips-Helping-Kids-Overcome-Fear-Water-27331161

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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A MOUSE SO SMALL

Written by: Angela McAllister

Illustrated by: Caroline Pedler

Published by: Little Tiger Press 2015

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme: size, friendship, caring

Opening Lines: A cold wind rustled through the wood. “Autumn is nearly over,” Bear told Millie Mouse. “It’s time for my long winter sleep.” Millie gave Bear a hug. His tummy rumbled. “Are you hungry?” she asked.

Synopsis: It’s time for Bear to go to sleep for the winter, and even though he’s hungry, he doesn’t have time to eat first. His best friend, Molly, wants to help him and decides to gather food for him — a task that proves to be very tricky for a small mouse! She might be small but she has a BIG heart.

Why I like this: Caroline’s soft coloured pencil and watercolour illustrations are gorgeous adding a whimsical touch to an already very cute story. The story has everything, heart; right from the first page little Molly the mouse gives Bear a hug and shows concern for her big burly friend. An unlikely friendship; no matter size, shape or colour, friendship knows no bounds. The rule of three’s appearing; in Molly’s attempt to pick the blackberries, then the offers of help from three friendly critters. Her attempts to get the fruit to Bear before he takes his winter nap and there are even three blackberries. The tension builds when she loses the fruit down the hill and Molly learns it’s the thought that counts. Such an awe ending and a cover that you just have to pick up, kids will love this.

Resources/Findings: Angela McAllister is a published adapter, author (over 30 books), illustrator, and a narrator of children’s books. Some of the published credits of Angela McAllister include Blue Rabbit, Jack and Lily, Adventures of Little Wombat, and Digory and the Lost King. A link to other books you may wish to locate…   https://www.jacketflap.com/angela-mcallister/8234

A great link on how to be a good friend, what to do and not do…   http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetailsKids.aspx?p=335&id=1636&np=286

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

At 12.51 pm on the 22nd February 2011 a magnitude 6.30 earthquake struck Christchurch.  Five months previously a magnitude 7.1 quake rocked the city and the Canterbury region.  The children of Christchurch and of Canterbury have suffered greatly as a result of these earthquakes and this book is dedicated to them.   Royalties from this book will be donated to support the Save the Children Journey of Hope Programme in Christchurch and other related New Zealand projects.

The above notation is from the inside front cover and back of the following book written by a Nelson (NZ) woman who wanted to do something to help the children of Christchurch.

The Butterfly and the Earthquake

Written by: Carol McKeever

Illustrated by: Ned Barraud

Published by: First Edition Ltd 2011

Ages:   2 – 6 years

Theme: earthquake, fear, butterflies, hugs, awareness

Opening Lines: Tuesday morning was a very ordinary morning except that Tom was not at school. He had the chicken pox and even though he was feeling fine, he wasn’t allowed back to school.

Synopsis: Tom’s experience of the Christchurch Earthquake leaves him feeling frightened, angry and sad, but with the help of his parents he knows that he will be okay. The story is designed to be read to children by a supportive adult who can help with any memories or emotions that may arise as a result of the story.

Why I like this: In a clear, no-nonsense way this story unfolds of Tom’s day. Ordinary except that he had chicken pox so had to stay home from school. His sister went off to school his Dad to work in the city. His Mum was in the kitchen and Tom decided to check on his swan plants which were being stripped bare. There were some cocoons attached and he was sitting watching a Monarch butterfly flying about when it suddenly dropped to the ground. An earthquake erupts. What appears as only a minute to an adult can feel like hours to a child. Tom remembers what he had learnt at school in the event of an earthquake. I loved how it showed that in the moment Tom is brave and together, comforting his mum, going with her to pick up his sister and checking on a neighbour. It’s only later while checking on the Butterflies that his real feelings surface and his Dad knows what to do to make him feel safe. Adults will pick up on the analogy with the Butterfly that life does go on   The big bold illustrations in soft pencil colours are full page, again depicting the simplicity of this story with a strong message.

Resources/Findings: Throughout New Zealand in schools, the workplace and in the home we are encouraged to have a container of emergency supplies in the event of an earthquake. Do you have one?

Here are five fun ways to help small kids prepare for an earthquake…. http://storethisnotthat.com/5-ways-prepare-children-earthquake/

Here is a great little video for kids in class to watch…..     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmFHOgP35vo

This is a lovely post about the author Carol McKeever why she wrote the story and in how she felt it was important for adults to know their role is in ensuring a child feels safe and overcomes the experience of an earthquake.  Also this book maybe out of print now, but there is a further link within this post where you may be able to obtain a copy.    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1110/S00046/childrens-book-released-the-butterfly-and-the-earthquake.htm

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 thought it was about time I reviewed and shared another lovely kiwi picture book. This is true kiwi fun.

A Hippo Lives in Havelock

Written by: Brett Avison

Illustrated by: Scott Tulloch

Published by: David Bateman Ltd, New Zealand 2015

Ages:   2 – 6 years

Theme: fitting in, being accepted.

Opening Lines: When the hippo came to Havelock, no one quite knew what to do. There are no hippos in New Zealand. Well, only in the zoo.

Synopsis: Imagine the reaction when a hippo comes to live in the little South Island town of Havelock!

Brett Avison’s witty text and Scott Tulloch’s (no relation) irresistible illustrations reflect the small-town life we Kiwis are familiar with – the postie on a bike, our wildlife and seashells, the town hall and community gardens – making it a quintessential New Zealand story.

Why I like this: I couldn’t help but giggle at the idea of a hippo strolling into town anywhere in New Zealand let alone the small country town of Havelock. The rollicking rhyming text with typical kiwi humour and yes we can even make use of hippo poo. And although we might complain a little, kiwis are known for having everyone’s best interest at heart and hippo becomes a part of the community, even the tourists join in Scott Tulloch’s detailed illustrations depict things us Kiwis are familiar with: the NZ Post postie on a bike, camping scenes, the Cook Strait ferry, campervans, our wildlife and seashells, colonial wooden buildings, town halls and community gardens. Brett Avison is the author of bestselling children’s titles – A Bigger Digger, Stuck in the Muck and Ducks to Water. He lives in Havelock with his wife, cat and dog. This is a great book for kids and reading in class.

Resources/Findings: http://www.fishpond.co.nz/Books/Hippo-Lives-Havelock-Brett-Avison-Scott-Tulloch-Illustrated-by/9781869539313?gclid=CjwKEAjwr_rIBRDJzq-Z-LC_2HgSJADoL57HkC0aHg2-jJMBJzA-bgRx9sMCiQQNZOBfdAiScdsrShoCbCfw_wcB

Illustrator’s blog…   http://scottlucyt.wixsite.com/scotttulloch

Ask the kids to write down a favourite animal they would like to come and live in their town and why? Now write how that animal would be able to help their community.

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

Charley’s First Night

Written by: Amy Hest

Illustrated by: Helen Oxenbury

Published by: Walker Books Ltd 2012

Ages:   3 – 7 years

Theme: pet, responsibility, home

Opening Lines: It was snowing that night and Charley wanted me to carry him home.

Synopsis: From Amazon…   Two of our most beloved picture book creators team up to tell a classic story of a child, his new puppy, and a first night home.

On Charley’s first night, Henry carries his new puppy in his old baby blanket all the way to his house. He shows Charley every room, saying, “This is home, Charley.” He says that a lot so that Charley will know that he is home. Henry’s parents are very clear about who will be walking and feeding Charley (Henry will, and he can’t wait). They are also very clear about where Charley will be sleeping: Charley will be sleeping in the kitchen. But when the crying starts in the middle of the night, Henry knows right away that it’s Charley! And it looks like his parents’ idea about where Charley is going to sleep may have to change. With warmth, humor, and endearing simplicity, Amy Hest tells a tale familiar to everyone who has loved a puppy, while Helen Oxenbury renders each tender gesture and charming detail in a beauty of a book that children will be eager to take home.

Why I like this: In a word – Timeless. The gorgeous soft coloured illustrations, the simple text of a boy and a dog’s first night are touching. Children will love this story. They can see themselves in this. (if they don’t already have a puppy they are gonna be asking for one.) I loved that it gently teaches responsibility and rules. Although, there may be exceptions. Who can resist the cute expressions and realistic actions of Charley Right to the end you will be saying aww…

Resources/Findings:

Here is a reading of the book….   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg3gGJHn6jY

Puppy’s first night home tips….     https://www.puppyspot.com/content/2016/04/18/make-puppy-feel-at-home/

Good training tips with new puppies… http://www.perfectpaws.com/frstwk.html#.WRYtK8u1tjo

Teaching preschool children how to make 3D pets…   http://www.brighthubeducation.com/preschool-crafts-activities/39784-preschool-pet-crafts-make-a-3d-pet-and-a-pet-bulletin-board-for-your-preschoolers/

In my researching I came across a lovely review from my buddy Joanna, (we both love animals)…   http://joannamarple.com/2013/01/11/charleys-first-night-perfect-picture-book-friday/

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 Little Piano Girl

Written by: Ann Ingalls and Maryann Macdonald

Illustrated by: Giselle Potter

Published by: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children 2010

Ages:   5 – 8 years

Theme: music, jazz, acceptance, non-fiction,

Opening Lines: The night she left Georgia, Mary couldn’t see anything but lights out the train window…but she could hear. She listened to the train and clapped out its sound on her knees. She sang the sound of its whistle. “Chug-ga, chug-ga, chug-ga…Toot! Toot!”

Synopsis: From Amazon – What if you loved music more than anything? Suppose you had just learned to play the piano. Imagine that your family has to move to a new city and you have to leave your piano behind. People don’t like you in the new city because of what you look like. How will you make yourself feel better? Mary Lou Williams, like Mozart, began playing the piano when she was four; at eight she became a professional musician. She wrote and arranged music for Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and was one of the most powerful women in jazz. This is the story of Mary Lou’s childhood in Pittsburgh, where she played the piano for anyone who would listen.

Why I like this: This is a beautiful story about the music legend Mary Lou Williams. Her love of Jazz, especially at a very young age, shifting from home to home and being accepted. I loved how the story concentrates on her childhood (as one reviewer on amazon put it… the story is upbeat and there is no unnecessary background information) showing how the piano was her life, it made her happy when she was sad. It brought people into her life, and helped her through difficult times as a child. She realized how powerful music was and enjoyed playing to anyone who would listen. A small Afterword near the back of the book gives a brief overview of Mary Lou Williams music career. Giselle’s illustrations of the doll-like figures and patterned background give a period look in deep colours. This is an excellent book for use in the classroom giving children an introduction to Jazz music and accepting others of diverse backgrounds. The authors  of this book are sisters and love music.

Resources/Findings:  Hear the story being read here…   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrEnqpZvHig

A Teachers guide in first lessons in teaching beginner piano players…   http://www.alfred.com/img/pdf/Piano/8889_TchGde_PrepA.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

THAT’S WHEN I KNEW A Big Sister’s Tale

Written and Illustrated by: Claire Alexander

Published by: PaRragon Books; 1st edition (December 13, 2013)

Ages:   3 – 6 years

Theme: Siblings, Connection, new baby

Opening Lines: My name is Poppy, and I am the smallest bunny in my family. Everyone called me Baby until…

Synopsis: From Amazon – All the family loves the new baby. But Poppy isn’t sure … Her baby brother just sleeps and eats and cries and cries! But one night his crying suddenly stops: Poppy’s baby brother reaches out to her and, holding him close, she realizes something very special … A sincere and tender celebration of sibling love.

Why I like this: Oh this is such a cute story. The soft colourful fluffy illustrations are perfect for the text. The youngest member of the family is a little unsure of the new arrival especially when everyone’s attention is focused on the bundle that won’t stop crying. But then there is a moment, a connection….   This will appeal to kids and adults alike. A great read aloud.

(This story so resonated with me. As an older sister devastated the new baby wasn’t a sister at first, I suddenly had this connection. I could get him to smile at the right time, go to sleep at the drop of a hat and he would run to me for a cuddle or be picked up. Through nappy changes and feeding times we grew up very close.)

Resources/Findings: I found some websites regarding preparing your child for the new arrival….     http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sibling-prep.html

http://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler/preparing-for-a-new-baby-sibling

Such cute pictures of siblings with the new arrival… https://nz.pinterest.com/explore/newborn-sibling-pictures/?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

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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“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

The Green Umbrella

Written by: Jackie Azua Kramer

Illustrated by: Maral Sassouni

Published by: North South Inc 2017

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme: Imagination, Friendship, Sharing, Adventure

Opening Lines: One rainy day an Elephant was taking a walk with his green umbrella. Along came a Hedgehog.

Synopsis: From Amazon – When Elephant takes a peaceful walk with his green umbrella, he’s interrupted by Hedgehog, Cat, Bear, and Rabbit—all claiming that they’ve had exciting adventures with his umbrella. After all, it is an umbrella, and it certainly hasn’t been on any adventures more exciting than a walk in the rain. Or has it?

Why I like this: I don’t just like it. I love this gorgeous story, a debut between Jackie and Maral of imagination, sharing and friendship. Firstly the cover is gorgeous and I first giggled thinking the elephant was flying with his green umbrella. With colourful illustrations of animals with such cute expressions, there is a magical feel right down to the “Mary Poppin-like” umbrella in the umbrella stand. Jackie uses imagination to the max as Elephant comes across Hedgehog, Cat, Bear, and Rabbit on his walk with his umbrella. Each tries to explain that the umbrella is theirs and the adventures they have had with his umbrella. But Elephant is not so easily fooled. Things aren’t always what they seem in this charming tale and fun read aloud.

Resources/Findings: Here is a beautiful animated trailer of the book….   https://vimeo.com/198642637

Jackie’s website – learn more about Jackie and The Green Umbrella…     https://www.jackieazuakramer.com/new-page-c18i6

It wasn’t till I was about to post this on my blog that I remembered where I had first seen this story and the lovely Q and A with the author. Oh well I couldn’t resist reviewing it too…   Here she chats with Joanna on Miss Marple’s Musings… http://joannamarple.com/2017/02/07/q-a-with-jackie-azua-kramer-and-maral-sassouni/

Great video on making paper elephants… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t-c5w3ux2U

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