Tag Archives: perfect picture book

Perfect Picture Book Friday! I Am Not a Chair! by Ross Burach

1 Apr

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 about speaking up!

I Am Not a Chair!
By Ross Burach
40 pages – ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on February 14, 2017

Theme/Topic- Speaking up for yourself

Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “On Giraffe’s first day in the jungle…
he felt something wasn’t right.

Synopsis from Publisher: “Grab the best seat in the house with this funny, touching picture book about a giraffe who keeps being mistaken for a chair!

From the acclaimed author-illustrator of There’s a Giraffe in My Soup, Ross Burach, comes a curious tale about finding one’s courage and standing up for oneself. Full of vibrant and playful illustrations and hilariously absurd logic, kids will want to read it again and again.

Could there be anything worse for Giraffe? Maybe being sat on by a skunk or smooshed by two hapless hippos, or worst of all—cornered by a hungry lion? No one seems to notice that Giraffe is not standing around just to be sat upon. Will he be able to find his voice and make his friends realize who he really is?”

What I Thought- Ross Burach already showed his prowess with creating picture books with “There’s a Giraffe in My Soup!” (see my review HERE!), and let me tell you – he hasn’t lost anything with his next! I like the whimsy of the story, and how it handles being assertive in a simple way. Kids will laugh at the complete improbable-ness and funny situations, and won’t even realize they are learning! Mr. Burach is a great author who really understands what kids want in a picture book. I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with!

Activities and Resources- There is a great article about why and how to encourage assertiveness HERE at Liveyourlifewithyourkids.com!

There is also a really good list at Momentsaday.com with games you can play to help build assertive qualities for children HERE!

Check out the book’s trailer!

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! There’s a Giraffe in My Soup by Ross Burach

16 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 story.

giraffesoupThere’s a Giraffe in My Soup
By Ross Burach
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on February 23, 2016

Theme/Topic- Humor/Table manners

Genre-  Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “‘Excuse me, Waiter?

There’s a giraffe in my soup!'”

Synopsis from Publisher: “What if you found a giraffe in your soup, an alligator in your entreé, an elephant on the table, or even an ostrich in your dish?

In this debut picture book from author-illustrator Ross Burach, an assortment of hairy, scary animals pop out from under the lid at a restaurant!”

What I Thought- This is a good, classic, everything-goes-wrong-but-in-a-good-way book. It is a hilarious spin off of the “There’s a fly in my soup!” jokes, starting big, and getting zanier as the book progresses. Kids will beg to have the book reread to them, if the fact that I just read the book five times in a row it is that good! The illustrations are perfect for the story. They are zany and fit in with the mixed-up story.  The book is a perfect read-aloud, particularly for two people (or a teacher and their class) to read the boy’s and the waiter’s lines. Funny voices would be perfect too! I can’t wait to read more from this debut author!

Activities and Resources- Because the book takes place in a “fine-restaurant,” you can talk about table manners with your kids, with topic ideas to discuss at Emilypost.com HERE!

If you want to lead into a discussion about manners with activities, at Childfun.com HERE!
Check out the book’s trailer –

You can read a sample of the book at the publisher’s website HERE

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Swatch by Julia Denos

23 Jul

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 visually stunning.

swatchSwatch; The Girl Who Loved Color
By Julia Denos
40 pages – ages 5+

Published by Balzer + Bray on March 15, 2016

Theme/Topic- Art/Creativity

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “In a place where colors ran wild, there lived a girl who was wilder still.

Her name was Swatch, and she was a color tamer.”

Publisher’s Synopsis: “In a place where color ran wild, there lived a girl who was wilder still. Her name was Swatch, and color was her passion. From brave green to in-between gray to rumble-tumble pink . . . Swatch wanted to collect them all. But colors don’t always like to be tamed. . . “

What I Thought- The art in this book is phenomenal! It really does seem as if the colors are alive! It is a very unique idea, and I think one that has several subtle, underlying messages as well, such as it not being right to cage wild animals. Ms. Denos has a great writing style, reminding me of a fairytale. I enjoyed this book very much, and hope to read more by Ms. Denos!

swatch

Activities and Resources- Funathomewithkids.com has a great activity on ways to finger paint with children HERE. I think the activity will go great with the book!

For a full preview of the book, visit the HarperCollins website HERE.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Can I Tell You a Secret? by Anna Kang

18 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 good story about facing your fears.

secretCan I Tell You a Secret?
Written by Anna Kang
Illustrated by Christopher Weyant
40 pages – ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on May 31, 2016 

Theme/Topic- Facing your Fears

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Pssst!

Yes, you.
Hi.
Could you come here for a sec?”

Publisher’s Synopsis: “From the author-illustrator team of You Are (Not) Small, winner of the 2015 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, comes an adorable picture book featuring Monty.

He’s a little frog with a BIG secret that he’s ready to share. Monty learns how to face his fears with some help from his new friend—YOU!”

What I Thought- This is a really cute book. It’s by the same people as those that wrote You Are (Not) Small (Review HERE), and the art and writing style collaboration is perfect for the book. I was glad to see another book by them. The book has a good message on how to handle fears, without sounding preachy, as the reader is “helping” Monty out with his fears. It’s a nice story that kids will enjoy reading, and learn a little without realizing it. The illustrations are simple. The white space on the page draws the reader’s eye to the illustration, giving it nice emphasis.
secret1

secret2

 

 

 

 

 

The book also shows that it is a good idea to talk with someone about something you are afraid of and not keep it inside.

Activities and Resources- 

Check out a sample of the book at the publisher’s website HERE.

Family Education has a good article on how to face fears objectively, found HERE.

StressFreeKids.com has an article about how to ease your child out of fear, found HERE.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! My Little Sister and Me by Maple Lam

10 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 really captures the relationship of siblings.

littlesisterMy Little Sister and Me
By Maple Lam
40 pages – ages 5+

Published by HarperCollins on May 10, 2016

Theme/Topic- Siblings

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “For the very first time, Mom asks me to take my little sister home from the bus stop – all by myself!”

Publisher’s Synopsis: “It’s a big job when a big brother gets to take his little sister home from school for the very first time. In debut author-illustrator Maple Lam’s charming story, she celebrates the incredible relationship between a little boy and his younger sister. Similar to books like I’m a Big Brother by Joana Cole and What Brothers Do Best by Laura Numeroff, this book is perfect to read with both older and younger siblings, as well as with youngsters getting ready for back-to-school!”

What I Thought- This is a really sweet book. It shows the care and affection siblings have for one another perfectly. It is also incredibly realistic, because even though they love each other, they may not understand each other – such as when the sister is picking up trash to look at it, and the brother says “Ewwwww.” The book is simple, but funny, as the sister runs off after whatever catches her eye, and her brother tries to keep her on track (wow – that pretty much sounds like my sister and me). The illustrations go perfectly with the book, the watercolors create a feeling of soft love. This is a fabulous debut!

Activities and Resources- Sheknows.com has a good article about things you can do to reduce friction in sibling relationships HERE.

Handsonaswegrow.com has great ideas for strengthening the sibling bond HERE.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Bob The Artist by Marion Deuchars

27 May

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 unique take on the traditional “bully book”.

bobBob The Artist
By Marion Deuchars
32 pages – ages 6+

Published by Laurence King Publishing on April 26, 2016

Theme/Topic- Bullies / Expressing Yourself

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “‘What a beautiful day for a walk on my FINE legs,’ said Bob.”

Publisher’s Synopsis: Bob the bird is just like all his friends, apart from his skinny legs. When Bob is teased, he decides to try to change himself to fit in. But little does he know where all his efforts will lead him…

What I Thought- This is a nice book with a neat take on a bullying problem – Bob has skinny legs and they make him self-conscious after hearing some of the things to other birds say.

bob2

After realizing he can’t change his legs, Bob tries a different approach to divert attention away from his legs. That’s a really smart plan, and it leads into discussions about expressing yourself. It’s a neat book, with an interesting shape, and sized paper – another testimony to expressing yourself.

bob3

The illustrations looked like they were done with a fountain pen (or a dip pen) – giving it a nice feeling as you read it. I really enjoyed this nontraditional bully-book!

Activities and Resources- I’ve found a few websites with lesson plans for teachers about their kids expressing themselves. One at The Teacher’s Lounge, another at Treasures, and one more at Education.com.

 

I think some art lessons could go along with the book too. Bob painted his beak in style of Matisse and Jackson Pollock. That could lead to a discussion of artwork from these artists.

You can see Henry Matisse’s artwork at www.henri-matisse.net

and Jackson Pollock art work at www.jackson-pollock.org

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Wolf Camp by Andrea Zuill

20 May

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 funny story.

wolfcampWolf Camp
By Andrea Zuill
40 pages – ages 5+
Published by Schwartz & Wade on May 3, 2016

Theme/Topic- Going to camp / Being your true self

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening:My name is Homer. I am a dog…

but sometimes I am very wolfish.

Synopsis:  Homer is a dog . . . but he also secretly fancies himself part wolf. So when an invitation to attend WOLF CAMP (“Where every dog can live as a wolf for a week”) falls out of his kibble bag one morning, he’s determined to go. After his people finally agree, Homer boards the bus bound for Wolf Camp, along with fellow campers Trixie* and Rex. They’re greeted on the other end by wolf counselors Fang and Grrr (“they seem nice”), and what follows is an array of wolf activities, including learning to howl, mark, and hunt. Of course, Homer’s a little homesick at times, and the food isn’t very good, but that just makes heading home all the sweeter.

*Typo – actually Pixie

What I Thought- This book is pure humor! I like how the illustrations show what is really happening, and the writing tells it from Homer’s perspective. Ms. Zuill has a definite eye for the funny, and it was nice seeing her interpretation of how dogs would live with wolves for a week. The book is a great read-aloud, and would make kids giggle and smile.The illustrations are funny, and have a sort of water-color doodle type of feel. I really enjoyed looking at them.

wolfcamp2

Homer is a nice character – behaving as most (intelligent) dogs would. This is a great debut!

Activities and Resources- You can visit Care.com for some good home-made summer camp activities. The full list is HERE.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Night Parade by Johnny DePalma

13 May

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 rhyming picture book.

nightparThe Night Parade
by Johnny DePalma
Illustrated by Kyle Brown
42 pages – ages 6+
Published by Umbrelly Books on September 14, 2015

Theme/Topic- Dreaming/following your dreams

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “There’s a man who travels ’round the world
each and every night.
You’ll hear him marching down the street
just slightly out of sight.”

Synopsis:  “DePalma’s latest rhyming masterpiece, The Night Parade, has the distinct feeling of an instant classic. With stunning illustrations by Kyle Brown that beautifully capture and blend the orchestrated chaos and whimsy of a world where dreams and nightmares run free. This simple, yet elegant tale reminds both the young, and the young at heart, that our dreams are always out there, waiting for us to find them.

What I Thought- This was a nice picture book, and I liked the fantastical sense created by the illustrations. It makes it all seem surreal. I enjoyed Mr. DePalma’s rhyme, and thought it flowed rather well. I enjoyed the message it also (subtly) relayed – about following our dreams. It is a good book for a read-aloud, and would be great for a classroom or a bedtime-story. The illustrations enhance the quiet whimsical story, and kids will like to look at them while reading. I think that the book is unique in its idea, and is executed flawlessly. It is a slightly longer picture book, but that just gives you more time to enjoy the story.

Activities and Resources- There is a good collection of activities HERE at LifeDreams, which is a part of Legacy Project. It encourages/supports following your dreams and other personal development.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Opposite Zoo by Il Sung Na

1 May

It’s Perfect Picture Book FRIDAY Sunday! Okay – I am super late with posting this but I had a bunch going on at the end of the week so I figure better late than never right? 🙂

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 of opposites.

oppositeThe Opposite Zoo
By Il Sung Na
24 pages – ages 4+

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers March 8, 2016

Theme/Topic- Opposites / Animals

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “The sky is DARK and the Opposite Zoo is CLOSED.

But the monkey’s door is OPEN!
Time to explore…”

Synopsis:  “Follow the monkey as he visits all the animals in the zoo: fast and slow, big and small, noisy and quiet, soft and prickly! Filled with energetic illustrations, friendly animals, and a clear, simple text—all wrapped up in a gorgeous package—The Opposite Zoo is a fun and lively introduction to animals and opposites for the youngest picture-book audience.”

What I Thought- This is a nice, simple book about a monkey going around the zoo and seeing all of the opposites there. There are minimum words (one spread only says “Tall short”), and make it an easy book for kids to try to read. Families could have a nice time reading this book together, and it really helps if you read the opposites in funny voices out-loud 🙂 . Mr. Na’s illustrations really exhibit the opposites – they have a good contrast quality to them. They are also whimsical and very pleasant to look at. Kids will like looking at them while reading the book.

Activities and Resources- After reading the book, try to find more opposites in the pictures. With the illustration on the cover the animals can be big and small or smooth and rough.

The Guru Parents blog has a great list of teaching opposite activities listed in THIS POST – CLICK HERE TO GO THERE!

Scholastic has a fun opposite dance you can do – CLICK HERE!

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Coyote by Lee Harper

17 Apr

It’s PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY SUNDAY!

So – I know I am VERY late in publishing this, but I had an unexpected trip to Washington DC pop up. I was invited to cover the USA Science and Engineering Festival for Scholastic News (I am a Scholastic News Kid Reporter) and it was an opportunity I wanted to do. With a little convincing that had to be done for my mom, I got to take that invitation! I will link up to the article when it is published. It was a great event but I was out of town for a couple days and fell behind on my blog. I really wanted to get this PPBF book out there because it’s been on my list for a while and I really was impressed with this book and the story behind it.

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 good book to breach the topic of losing a loved person in one’s life.

coyoteCoyote
By Lee Harper
pages – ages 5+
Published by on

Theme/Topic- Death / Losing a friend / Losing a loved one

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “It’s Saturday!!

I hop on my bike and go  for a ride.”

Synopsis: From the author- “Author’s Note: COYOTE is based on the real events of the morning I learned of my brother Chase’s unexpected death — a morning when I actually saw and rode with a coyote — then returned home to learn that Chase was gone. Retold through the eyes of a child, COYOTE is a gentle and lyrical picture book dealing with the subject of loss. It is my hope that COYOTE will help children talk about loss and to show how art can be used to help heal the hurt of losing someone you love. In Chase’s memory, my wife Krista and I will donate our share of the proceeds to help the children of Sandy Hook. ~Lee Harper”

What I Thought- This was a simple book with a lot behind the words. The book itself is just about the boy and his bike ride with the coyote, which he never sees again. Enter the symbolism. The book was written as a tribute after the sudden passing of Mr. Harper’s brother. The book shows Mr. Harper’s love for his brother, and his shock at no longer being able to see him. I saw Mr. Harper at a book-festival, and asked why the book was self-published, instead of by a traditional publisher – he said that he didn’t want an editor to try to rewrite the book because it was just the tribute he wanted for his brother. That really touched me. The book is illustrated in gorgeous water-colors, adding a little bit of surreal-ness to the book. I think that this book will be a necessary read for children who have lost a loved one.

Activities and Resources- Here is a good PDF Teacher’s Guide from Scholastic for kids dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Here is another link to a good post with a teacher’s guide on dealing with grief.

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

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