Night Animals

Night Animals

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:

Night Animals
Written and Illustrated by Gianna Marino
Viking Books for Young Readers, July 2015
Suitable for: ages 3-5
Theme/Topic: Night, Fear, Nocturnal Animals.


Opening Spread: Skunk speech bubble: Hey Possum, what are you doing in there?
Possum: Shhhhhh! I’m hiding.


Brief Synopsis: From Gianna Marino’s website: Something’s out there in the dark!
First Possum hears it. Then Skunk. Then Wolf comes running.
“What could it possibly be?” asks Bat.
“Night Animals!” the animals declare.
“But you are night animals,” Bat informs this not-so-smart crew.
Children will love the funny animals in this twist on a cozy
bedtime book.


Resources: Here’s a lesson plan from a PBS program about nocturnal animals. Who’s Awake at Night activities. Due to the final scene, parents, who like to camp, may want to talk about being among wild animals and how to react to them.


Why I Like This Book: It’s dark! Not in a film noir kind of way, but in a night kind of way. The animals against the black background really sets the tone for a “night animal” book. I love the comedic timing of the story and art. This book proves that night animals aren’t really scary. They are hilarious! Skunk and Possum made me swoon with laugher.


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


I’m loving the PPBF recommendations. We received several books from last week’s list and enjoyed them. Thank you for sharing.


Last week, we drove to Denver to hear Penny Parker Klostermann read There Was An Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight.


Since we already had a copy of Penny’s book, we donated our unsigned copy to Enzo’s school library. When I told Enzo I gave it to the librarian, he said, “I hope a kid picked it.” He wants it to be checked out soon!


Penny’s book is a great read aloud at home and really shines in a group setting, as we were all chiming in at Penny’s direction!

Hoot Owl Master of Disguise

Hoot Owl Master of Disguise

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:

Hoot Owl Master of Disguise
Written by Sean Taylor
Illustrated by Jean Jullien
First U.S. Edition, 2015, Candlewick Press
Text and Illustration copyright 2014
Suitable for: ages 3-7
Theme/Topic: Diligence, Failure, Confidence, Predators


Opening Spread: (Appears before Title page) Watch Out! I am Hoot Owl! I am hungry. And here I come!


Brief Synopsis: (from the jacket flap) Hoot Owl is no ordinary owl. He’s a master of disguise! And he will use his skill at camouflaging himself to trick his unsuspecting prey.


Animals of the night, beware!


But, somehow, Hoot Owl’s prey keeps escaping. Will he ever succeed in catching himself some dinner?


Hilarity, ridiculousness, and costume changes abound in this wildly inventive new title from author Sean Taylor, paired with illustrator Jean Jullien.”


Resources: With Halloween fast approaching, children can dress up to be their own Master of Disguise. If there are any questions about animals being predators, this book could be paired with Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds and Illustrated by Dan Santat (2013). A lesson plan on learning through mistakes. Activity Kit from Candlewick Press.


Why I Like This Book: I found this one via a search of recent owl books. Enzo loved it. An owl, who dresses up to catch his prey? Yes! Hoot Owl is a character — a full blown character. He faces failure, but remains confident. Hoot Owl reminds me of a certain diligent five-year-old who says, “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.” Just like Hoot Owl, some five year olds don’t succeed, but he tries again.


If you are able to find this, I hope you can. Just like a real safari where lions attack zebras aren’t for everyone, some children may not like thinking about Hoot Owl eating a rabbit. This Candlewick book has 48 pages!


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

What If Everybody Did That?

What If Everybody Did That?

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:

What If Everybody Did That?
Author Ellen Javernick
Illustrator Colleen M. Madden
Amazon Children’s Publishing, First Pinwheel Books edition , 2010
Childrens Press, Inc. 1990
(Amazon.com lists the Publisher as Two Lions.)
Fiction
Suitable for: ages 3-7
Theme/Topic: Choices, Consequences, Behavior


Opening Spread: When we went to the zoo, I fed just a little of my popcorn to the bear. The zookeeper waved his broom and said, “What if everybody did that?”


Brief Synopsis: (From the catalog summary) A child learns that there are consequences of thoughtless behavior, from feeding popcorn to a bear at the zoo to dropping an empty can out of a car window.


Resources: Discuss choices and consequences. In each spread, the boy talks about doing “one little thing.” When you study the illustration, you can see what happens when the action is multiplied by many people.  A lesson plan on making good decisions.


Why I Like This Book: I discovered this book via an online search of our library’s catalog. It’s a simple idea with a powerful message. As you go through the book, you can think of all the times you’ve either told a child “What If Everybody Did That?” or maybe you have heard that said to you as an adult. While we had this checked out, Enzo asked for it many nights by name. We liked reading the text and studying all the consequences in the illustrations. I loved the final spread.  I’ll share it with you: “When I came home I gave my mom a hug. What if everybody did that? … (page turn to final page) Everybody should!”


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

Penguin’s Big Adventure

Penguin’s Big Adventure

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:

Penguin’s Big Adventure
Author/Illustrator Salina Yoon
Bloomsbury, 2015
Fiction
Suitable for: ages 4-8
Theme/Topic: Exploration, Friendship


Opening Spread: One day, Penguin had a big idea.
He wanted to do something no penguin had ever done.
He wanted to be the first penguin ever to set foot on the North Pole.


Brief Synopsis: (from back cover) When Penguin decides to visit the North Pole, he discovers that new places can be scary— but sometimes all it takes to feel right at home is a friendly face!


Resources: Exploration lesson plans. Create an adventure map for an “expedition” — consider visiting an unexplored part of your city or neighborhood. If your child is not in school, create a map to your child’s future school and visit the playground. Think about the items Penguin packs in his backpack. Create your own exploration backpack and fill it with supplies you’ll need for an upcoming adventure. (We always pack emergency snacks in our backpacks.) There are activity books for the Penguin and Pincone and Penguin and Pumpkin books.


Why I Like This Book: Penguin’s adventures have continued in a big way since Penguin and Pincone A Friendship Story. This is the fifth book in the series and I remain in love with Penguin. As with each book, Penguin finds a new friend. We meet Polar Bear in this book. My favorite line of the book is “No, but one might be coming in!” You’ll have to read the book to see who said it. Ever since Cathy introduced me to Penguin, I have been hooked.


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

LOOK!

LOOK!

PPBF has returned! Perfect Picture Book Fridays took a summer break and I did too. Now, it’s time to share a few books our family fell in love with over the summer.

LOOK!
Author and Illustrator Édouard Manceau or visit the Publisher’s bio.
Owl kids Books Inc., 2015 (North American)
Published in France under the title Le petit curieux by Editions Milan, 2014
Fiction
Suitable for: ages 3-7
Theme/Topic: Exploration, Concept Book, Interactive


Opening Spread: One day, a curious little kid picked up this book.


Brief Synopsis: (from the back cover) Take a LOOK! And see the world in a new way.


Resources: Use the book. The final spread asks “…What do you see?” Take the book out into the world and write down what you see. Turn to the spread asking you to look through the hole — Look for items that are red, orange, blue, and green? You can also talk about the numbers and letters not mentioned on that page of the book.

Why I Like This Book: I’m so grateful my library carries books by Édouard Manceau (See PPBF posts The Race and Windblown). I found this one while studying recent board books and concept books. Oh, I was delighted. Enzo and I had fun reading this together. The design of the book is fabulous. There is a “viewing hole” where you can see beyond the story when the book is open. The story takes the curious little kid through a series of concepts — colors, location, movement, size, distance, sound, shapes, texture, letters, and numbers. From the first spread to the last spread, LOOK! offers a mash up of concepts, but it isn’t overwhelming.


For more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog.
While I’m not adding this to PPBF, I wanted to share Enzo’s first library check out.

Enzo enjoyed The Magic Gourd by Baba Wagué Diakité. It’s a fable from Mali. I’m volunteering in his school library and love the selection of books for the kiddos.

Discovery: Stretching for a contest

Discovery: Stretching for a contest

So, Susanna Leonard Hill is hosting the 2nd Annual Pretty Much World Famous Illustration Contest for Children’s Illustrators This week.
The rules are here.


The contest is to Draw/Paint/Create a children’s picture book illustration (no text required-art only) the topic for which shall be DISCOVERY.
Not sure why this poked at me. As you know, I’m a writer.


I dabble with paper quilling and wanted to try … so here is my entry:

Eye looking at wonders in the grass to show Discovery.
Discovery


Anyone else stretch when given a challenge vs. just thinking “oh I should try that?”


For this effort, I tried three new-to-me quilling techniques and shredded my own paper. And, since Hubby wondered WHAT I was doing at the kitchen table … I thought I should post it.


To see the entries in Susanna’s contest, visit her site.