Tag Archives: perfect picture book friday

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Morris Mole by Dan Yaccarino

17 Nov

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a very nice little story about finding your courage.

Morris Mole
By Dan Yaccarino
40 pages – ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on May 2, 2017

Theme/Topic- Finding Courage
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “There was a mole who lived with his big brothers. Together they dug. They ate. And they slept. The littlest mole was Morris. And he was just a bit different from the rest.

Synopsis from Publisher: “Meet Morris Mole—he has always been a little bit different. When the moles are running low on food, it’s up to clever Morris to save the day. With a little help from an unexpected friend and a lot of digging, Morris learns that even the smallest creatures can do big things.”

What I Thought- This was such a joyous book to find. Dan Yaccarino has created such a simple story with such a huge meaning. I really like how the illustrations intertwine so well with the story, with the above-ground scenes having whimsical details, while the underground scenes have very few details – making it feel a bit dreary.

The subtlety is supreme. Morris is a great character; sweet, and willing to help others no matter what. I really enjoyed the story line, and how it encourages speaking up. This picture book is a sweet look at the good that can come from finding the courage to do what you can do.

Activities and Resources- Livestrong.com has a nice article about teaching kids courage HERE!

To learn more about moles, visit Livescience.com for their article about these little critters HERE!

Check out the Book’s trailer!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Find Me: A Hide-and-Seek Book By Anders Arhoj

20 Oct

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is just a really fun book.

Find Me: A Hide-and-Seek Book
By Anders Arhoj
40 pages – ages 4+

Published by Chronicle Books on September 5, 2017

Theme/Topic- Hide-and-Seek
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Let’s play a game! I’ll close my eyes and you’ll hide.”

Synopsis from Publisher: “This book has eyes—and an irresistible cover! Kids will delight in this innovative seek-and-find picture book that may be read from front to back and from back to front! Two adorable characters embark on an over-the-top game of hide-and-seek through eleven richly detailed scenes, including a lively neighborhood, a bustling shop, an offbeat office space, a festive concert, and more. Open the book from the front to search for one of the characters. Then, open the book from the back to search for the other. It’s two hide-and-seek experiences in one book. As the characters move through each illustrated spread, their colors change, too, adding to the abundant fun.”

What I Thought- This is a very creative picture book. It has both challenging and easy spreads, so readers of many ages will enjoy finding the character. The illustrations are whimsical and full of so many little details – they are perfect for a look-and-find book, but also are just really fun to look at. Arhoj really has created a wonderful book that kids will love.

The book is mostly wordless, with the opening explaining the premise of the book, and then you get wowed by the spreads. One thing I noticed is that at the back, the other character decides to hide, so you flip through again looking for that character – genius! I would never have thought of that, but it also makes perfect sense! I think families will have a nice time trying to find the characters together. This is just a really fun book!

Activities and Resources- 

Play Hide-and-Seek! An awesome – never out of style game!

Enclyclopedia Britanica has a short history of the game including how it is played around the world – click HERE

There is an interview with the author about the book over at Chronicle Books – click HERE

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Confiscated! by Suzanne Kaufman

15 Oct

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a fun book about sharing.

Confiscated!
By Suzanne Kaufman
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Balzer + Bray on August 1, 2017

Theme/Topic- Sharing
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Brooks and Mikey fought over EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. And whenever they did, their mama would take it away.

In other words, it got CONFISCATED!

Synopsis from Publisher: “When Mama hears Brooks and Mikey fighting over yet another toy, it gets CONFISCATED!

(In other words, taken away.)

It’s only when ALL the toys are confiscated that Brooks and Mikey finally learn how to work—and play—together nicely.

(But not before creating a whole heap of trouble . . . )”

What I Thought- Ms. Kaufman has created a wonderful book that showcases the case for sharing. The dinosaurs are impartial to their fighting, fighting over everything. Eventually, when all the toys are gone, they start talking to each other. And learning how they actually like each other. It’s awesome. There are also great illustrations that fit the story well – I really like how you don’t see Mama’s face until the end. I also really like the wide variety of confiscated items – a bike, Mexican wrestling mask, tuba, and even the dog (which, granted, was a little odd). The only thing I didn’t like was that the tuba was actually a sousaphone – the marching band counterpart to the tuba. But that’s just me being a band geek. 😉 This is an excellent picture book about sharing!

Activities and Resources- There is a good list of sharing activities from Care.com HERE.

There is also some more sharing activities from Powerfulmothering.com HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Blog Tour AND Perfect Picture Book Friday! It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk by Josh Funk

6 Oct

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I was asked to be part of a blog tour for this book, but after reading it, I chose to review it as a perfect picture also! It is an awesome story about being yourself, and not worrying about what others want you to be like.

It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk
Written by Josh Funk
Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
40 pages – ages 5+

Published by Two Lions on September 19, 2017

Theme/Topic- Being Yourself
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “”Once upon a time, Jack lived in a tiny cottage in a dreary village. He always dreamed that someday he would find his fortune.”

Synopsis from Publisher: “Jack is not fond of the bossy narrator of his fairy tale! When Jack is told to trade his beloved cow Bessie for some magic beans, throw the beans out the window, climb the ENORMOUS beanstalk that sprouts overnight, and steal from a GIANT, he decides this fairy tale is getting out of control. In fact, he doesn’t want to follow the story line at all. Who says Jack needs to enter a life of daring, thievery, and giant trickery? He takes his story into his own hands—and you’ll never guess what happens next!”

What I Thought- I absolutely loved this book! The narration is top-notch, with lots of humor, and it really suits the story. Funk really wrote an excellent book about being true to who you are, and not letting others decide your fate. Taylor follows the fun-ness of the story with bright illustrations that complement the story, filled with wacky characters and awesome details. I also really like how there are speech bubbles they characters talk with – it gives the book a fun vibe to it, like a comic book. 

The illustrations take on a life of their own…

They are really a feast for your eyes adding so much more to the already wonderful text.

 I also love how Funk put in references to other fairy tales, fables, and other such things into the backgrounds – I’ve seen the Cricket and the Ant (Aesop’s Fable) and the Cat with the Fiddle (Nursery Rhyme) amongst other things. You could probably find even more! I really enjoyed reading this book and I think kids will too!

Activities and Resources- There is a great list of picture books about being yourself from Notimeforflashcards.com HERE!

There is also a great article about raising kids to be unique from Kcedventures.com HERE!

If you visit Josh Funk’s website, you can also print out coloring pages! Check it out HERE!

 

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

About the Creators:

Like Jack, Josh Funk loves telling his own stories. He is the author of the popular picture books Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast and its sequel, The Case of the Stinky Stench, illustrated by Brendan Kearney; Dear Dragon, illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo; and the upcoming How to Code a Sandcastle illustrated by Sara Palacios in partnership with Girls Who Code. Josh lives in New England with his wife and children. Learn more about him at www.joshfunkbooks.com, and follow him on Twitter @joshfunkbooks.
Edwardian Taylor currently works as a visual development artist and character designer for TV and animation feature film. His work can also be seen in mobile games, films, and commercials. He is the illustrator of the picture book Race!, written by Sue Fliess. Edwardian lives in Texas with his partner, their three dogs, and seven chickens. Learn more about him at www.edwardiantaylor.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @edwardiantaylor.
 

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Give Me Back My Book! by Travis Foster and Ethan Long

29 Sep

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a fun book about sharing and teamwork.

Give Me Back My Book!
Co-Written and Co-Illustrated by Travis Foster and Ethan Long
56 pages – ages 4+

Published by Chronicle Books on September 5, 2017

Theme/Topic- Sharing/Teamwork/Reading
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Hey, wait a second, Redd. That’s MY book.” “I beg your pardon, Bloo, but this book is mine.”

Synopsis from Publisher: “This book is full of wonderful WORDS and beautiful PICTURES! And it’s EXCITING! And it’s FUNNY! It might be the BEST BOOK EVER—if we could decide whose book it is. Redd and Bloo explore the way a book is made and accidentally build a friendship, too, in this tale told only in dialogue. Travis Foster and Ethan Long offer a hilarious story about the joy of reading, which brings people together in unexpected ways, proving that each book truly belongs to . . . the people who love it.”

What I Thought- This is a really great book! I really like how the two creatures are quite polite to each other (“I beg your pardon”), at least until it escalates of course. That really gives parents a chance to discuss correct and incorrect ways to settle a disagreement – a really nice touch! I enjoyed how the two characters eventually work together and forget about their squabbles. They don’t try to just solve the problem by revenge – they make a trade, skills which could also be pointed out by parents and teachers. The illustrations are bright and fun to look at. The text is simple for young readers. Long and Foster have created a wonderful picture book – one that is fun for kids, and one that can be used by parents. I really hope to see more from this duo!

Activities and Resources- There is a good list of team-building activities from Ventureteambuilding.co.uk HERE.

There is also some great reading/writing activities for different age groups from Readingrockets.org HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Love You Always by Eileen Spinelli

22 Sep

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a sweet book about a family’s love for their children.

Love You Always
Written by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Gillian Flint
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by WorthyKids/Ideals on September 19, 2017

Theme/Topic- Love/Family

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Seasons come and seasons go. Mama loves you always.”

Synopsis from publisher: “A child is a treasured leaf on a family tree, surrounded by love from mom, dad, doting grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends too. This sweet, reassuring picture book from Eileen Spinelli acknowledges the whole tree — the many who are invested in a child’s life — with expressions of unconditional love from each.”

What I Thought- This is a really sweet book about how family always loves you, no matter what. Spinelli is a master at crafting poetry infused with messages of caring and kindness and then making it accessible to younger readers. Her picture books always make me feel better. I think other readers get that impression as well. One of the things I love about this quiet book is how it not only has a positive message, but the illustrations help share the message.

Flint reflects the soft tone of Spinelli’s writing with soft toned illustrations, being pleasant on the eyes, and making the book perfect for bedtimes.

I really think that this amazing picture book pair has an excellent chemistry, and I would definitely be interested in seeing more from the two of them!

Activities and Resources- Momentsaday.com has great activities to teach about love HERE.

Oureverydaylife.com has a great article about teaching family love to your children HERE – it also includes games you can play as a family and other activities!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Bad Seed by Jory John

15 Sep

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a nice book about trying to be the best you can be.

 

The Bad Seed
Written by Jory John
Illustrated by Pete Oswald
40 pages – ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on August 29, 2017

Theme/Topic- Being kind/Change
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “I’m a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaaad seed.”

Synopsis from Publisher: “This is a book about a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaad seed. How bad? Do you really want to know? He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember!”

What I Thought- I really enjoyed this book – I like how it shows us how the seed is bad, then it tells us why he became bad, and finally how he came to the decision to be nicer. I also really appreciate how the book shows readers that it’s okay not to be perfect as soon as you decide to change; it makes sure kids know it takes time, and you just need to keep trying. It really is a great book. The illustrations are nice, simple, and have a way of drawing your eye across the page, using muted colors and stark contrast. I really enjoyed all the parts of this book!

Activities and Resources- I found a nice article with 35 seed activities HERE from Fantasticfunandlearning.com!

Check out the book’s trailer!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli

8 Sep

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a wordless story (and I love well-done wordless stories!) about enjoying one’s life.

Professional Crocodile
Written by Giovanna Zoboli
Illustrated by  Mariachiara Di Giorgio
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Chronicle Books on August 1, 2017

Theme/Topic- Appreciation of every day moments? I don’t know. It’s really good though!
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: [Wordless Picturebook]

Synopsis from Publisher: “Mr. Crocodile loves his job. Every morning he gets up with an alarm. He brushes his teeth. He chooses the right tie to match his outfit, eats a quick slice of toast, and heads off to work on a crowded train. But what exactly is his job? The answer may surprise you!”

What I Thought- Zoboli and Di Giorgio have created an awesome silent picture book. The illustrations draw a lot of attention to daily life, and I like how Mr. Crocodile is not only reacted to as a human, but as a crocodile too (some people are a bit unsure of his presence, but it is generally accepted that he is a regular guy). The illustrations are immensely pleasant to look at! The muted tones play along with the setting. The illustrations have so much feeling and emotion to them. Just take a look –

The story is simple, with a delightful twist at the end. I really like how everything builds up to the ending, so that even if it is unexpected, it is still satisfying, because it all makes sense. I loved this book, and I really want to see more from this pair!

Activities and Resources- Take a bit of time to think about your daily routine and what makes it special. Think about as many of the parts as you can, and think about how you can appreciate what you do every day even more. This is best done as you are doing your routine, in my opinion.

There are also some nice crocodile activities from Childcarelounge.com HERE!

I think a cool activity is to cut out some pictures from magazines or maybe even use some photographs and arrange them to make your won wordless story! I think I am going to try that one myself! 😉

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by Kimberly and James Dean

16 Jun

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a nice story about forgiving others!

Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes
By Kimberly and James Dean
40 pages – ages 3+
Will be Published by Chronicle Books on May 9, 2017

Theme/Topic- Forgiving
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Pete and Gus were as busy as could be. They were getting ready for the cupcake party. It started at three!”

Synopsis from Publisher: “Pete makes the best cupcakes!

Join Pete the Cat in a brand-new story and help him and his friends find the missing cupcakes! Pete the Cat and his friends are busy as can be baking cupcakes for a cupcake party, and Pete can’t wait to perform with his groovy band. But some of the cupcakes have gone missing. Who could have taken them? In this latest Pete the Cat picture book adventure, by New York Times bestselling authors James and Kimberly Dean, Pete and the gang solve the mystery of the missing cupcakes and learn that it’s cool to be kind.”

What I Thought- The Pete the Cat books are always top-notch, introducing great themes while having a great story and a groovy rhyme!  The Deans work well together, having created a nice book that talks about how you should always give others a second chance. The illustrations are the trademark groovy images that are always present in the Pete the Cat books, full of bright colors and funky patterns. I like that even though the cupcake thief is guilty, and knew not to eat the cupcakes, the other characters were a bit mad/upset, but then realized to give the thief another chance. It’s a great message, and it’s nice that the cupcake thief feels and looks happy after being forgiven. This is a really great series, and I cannot wait to see what else the Deans come up with!

Activities and Resources- Carmelmountainpreschool.com has a cute Pete The Cat cupcake craft HERE!

There are some cool cupcake coloring sheets at the Pete The Cat website – click HERE!

Check out the book’s trailer!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story by Tara Lazar

3 Jun

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a fun story involving numbers and word play!

7 Ate 9: The Untold Story
Written by Tara Lazar
Illustrated by Ross MacDonald
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 16, 2017

Theme/Topic- Numbers
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “I was dozing in my chair when an urgent banging on my office door bolted me awake.

‘7 is coming to get me,’ said 6.”

Synopsis from Publisher:

 “6 has a problem.

Everyone knows that 7 is always after him. Word on the street is that 7 ate 9. If that’s true, 6’s days are numbered. Lucky for him, Private I is on the case. But the facts just don’t add up.
 
It’s odd.
 
Will Private I put two and two together and solve the problem . . . or is 6 next in line to be subtracted?”

What I Thought- This is a great picture book collaboration from two great picture book creators! Lazar has a wacky sense for writing scenes kids will love, and MacDonald knows just how to bring those scenes to life. Lazar cleverly weaves the story with plenty of fun play-on-words, puns, idioms, irony, etc.  The illustrations utilize a lot of white-space, creating an old-timey feel; perfect for the detective-themed book.

The end pages are even really cool.

The story could teach kids a little bit about identifying numbers, and could introduce them to detective/private-eye stories too! The story is fun to read and I think adults will get a chuckle out of it as well as kids. I really like this picture book, and hope to see more from this great duo!

Activities and Resources- Handsonaswegrow.com has a nice list of number-activities for preschoolers HERE!

Learning4kids.net also has a good list of number activities HERE!

Check out the book’s trailer!

Want to learn more? Visit Tara Lazar’s website!
 

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

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