New picture book shares universal feeling: Saudade

New picture book shares universal feeling: Saudade

I’m excited today my friend Ana’s new book Saudade: Our Longing for Brazil is in the world. 

The book has a broad appeal as this emotion is universal whether we’ve called it Saudade or not. 

Saudade: Our Longing for Brazil is illustrated by André Ceolin and published by Neal Porter Books/Holiday House. I read a review copy and it’s lovely. 

Saudade is a Portuguese and Galician word that doesn’t really have a direct translation in English. We’ve all felt it. As the book’s summary says, If your heart has ever ached remembering a place or a person, a smell or a taste, then you’ve felt saudade. 

This is a great book for those who’ve moved away from family and their home — maybe it’s to a different state or country. You may be like the mom and young girl in SAUDADE who have memories of a different home or visits with family. 

André Ceolin’s artwork is perfect as it is realistic with a touch of whimsy as he blends memories with present day. 

While a book birthday is always special for an author, Ana received great news as her picture book Lia & Luís: Puzzled! Written by Ana Crespo and illustrated by Giovana Medeiros (Charlesbridge) won the Colorado Book Award for children’s literature. 

Hopefully you can find a a copy of SAUDADE at your library or bookstore. It’s a quiet book that’s packed with emotion and memories that pull at your heartstrings as both children and adults will think of home and family wherever that is. 

J.P. and the Bossy Dinosaur

J.P. and the Bossy Dinosaur

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:

J.P. and the Bossy Dinosaur
Written By Ana Crespo
Illustrated by Erica Sirotich
Albert Whitman & Company, 2016
Suitable for ages: 4-7
Theme/Topic: Emotions, Sad

Opening Spread: I am JP the dinosaur.

Brief Synopsis: From the Albert Whitman & Company website — In his third adventure, JP is excited to be at the water park with his family. But when the bossy dinosaur says he can’t go down the waterslide with his sister, JP is sad. Using his vivid imagination and a little help from his family and best friend, JP remembers how to have fun again!

Resources: Ana has a variety of resources on her website for the J.P. books, including questions to use while reading.

Why I Like This Book: Enzo gave this one the important “Read it Again!” signal. He doesn’t care that he’s met Ana before (or the real J.P.). He enjoyed the story. I’ve enjoyed reading through the entire My Emotions and Me series with its cute Mood-O-Meter in the upper right-hand corner of the cover.
We love dinosaurs and sometimes we must deal with the emotions of big and little, bossy dinosaurs. The illustrations at a water park area are also a perfect fit. Pools and aquatic centers are filled with sad moments, because children hear “no” a lot. There are rules and disappointments. It can make for an emotionally taxing outing.

For more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog.

The Sock Thief

The Sock Thief

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:

The Sock Thief
Author Ana Crespo
Illustrator Nana Gonzalez
Albert Whitman & Company, 2015
Suitable for: Ages 4-7
Theme/Topic: Resourcefulness, Soccer/Futebol, Portuguese, Brazil

Opening Spread: In a small Brazilian town, Felipe leaves home earlier than usual. He walks a long way to school.

Brief Synopsis: From author’s website: Felipe doesn’t have a soccer ball. So, when it’s his turn to take one to school, he uses a little bit of creativity…and a few socks. Felipe is the sock thief, but finding socks is not that easy and the neighborhood pets make it even harder. “Au, au, au!” a dog barks in Portuguese. Along the way, Felipe leaves delicious mangoes in exchange for the socks he steals. After he swipes each pair, he twists and turns them into an ever-growing soccer ball.

Resources: Instructions on How to make a Sock Ball. Go out and play soccer with your own sock ball. Read the Author’s Note and share a story from your own childhood. A Portuguese glossary is included. Please check Ana’s website as more resources may be added.

Why I Like This Book: I like that Felipe is a bit naughty in his efforts to make a soccer ball. Of course, this sock thief leaves mangoes and even returns the socks. You’ll see at the end, the sock owners know what’s happening to their socks too.
I know Ana through SCBWI. She’s super talented and nice. And, I get to hang out with her and several ladies at a weekly critique meeting. The book has a March 2015 publication date, but I pre-ordered her book (that’s what writers do, right?) and it magically arrived this week. If your library doesn’t have it yet, be sure to put in a request. I did that with our local library.
Ana is giving away several copies of The Sock Thief on Goodreads. Check out the giveaway.

For more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog.