Perfect Picture Book Friday-Splat the Cat

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book on her blog on Fridays. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and mainly just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed is a link to information about that book. It is very handy. This week, I have chosen Splat the Cat  for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Splat the Cat

Written and Illustrated by Rob Scotton

HarperCollins 2008

Ages 3-7

Themes: First Day of School, Humor, Friendship, Animals

Brief Synopsis: (from Barnes and Noble) It’s Splat’s first day of school and he’s worried. What if he doesn’t make any new friends? Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do (they chase mice!), Splat’s worried again. Maybe now he’ll lose all his friends, old and new! Just in time, wise Mrs. Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson. Maybe Cat School is going to be okay after all!

Resources: Splat the Cat Coloring Sheet, Song (Tune: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush), Reading Activites, Printables from Harper Collins

Why I Like This Book: Splat is so cute that you wish you could grab him out of the book and hug him. His tail is a work of art. And speaking of art, Rob Scotton’s illustrations are whimsical and perfect. His story telling makes you look forward to every page turn. Children will see that school isn’t so scary and that making new friends will be fun. After you read this book, you will want to read all the Splat books! Check out the other titles on Rob Scotton’s website.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-Mostly Monsterly

Yea! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. Today I am going to tell you about the book I have read more times than any other picture book.

 Mostly Monsterly
Written by Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (August 31, 2010)
Ages 5-8
 Themes: Differences, Being Misunderstood, Individuality, Humor

Opening Lines: “On the outside Bernadette was mostly monsterly. She lurched. She growled. She caused mayhem of all kinds. But underneath the fangs and the fur, Bernadette had a deep…dark…secret.”

Brief Synopsis: (from Amazon) Bernadette might seem like an ordinary monster, but sometimes she likes to do some very unmonsterlike things, like pick flowers. And pet kittens. And bake. When the time comes for Bernadette to go to Monster Academy, she’s just a teensy bit nervous. Her classmates just don’t understand her. They’d rather uproot trees than sing friendship songs. And they prefer fried snail goo to Bernadette’s homemade cupcakes with sprinkles. Can Bernadette find a way to make friends at school and still be herself?

Resources: Although, I didn’t find any resources for teachers, I did find the special recipe for Cupcakes With Sprinkles from Tammi’s website. Also, I believe a teacher could use Bernadette’s cards as fun examples for a Halloween project. Believe me (as a retired teacher)…if a teacher reads this book,  ideas will come. Maybe one of you will come up with some activities to share on the Internet.

Why I Like This Book: It’s monstrously fun. It’s monstrously cute. It’s monstrously, cleverly written and illustrated. But, on to why I like the story….Bernadette is too sweet for a monster. This is evident as she makes numerous attempts at friendship with her monster classmates. They don’t understand Bernadette and she doesn’t understand them. But  Bernadette is a smart little monster, too, and watches them at recess. “They’re acting like total monsters.” said Bernadette. That is when she has her “Ah Ha!” moment. She goes right to work and comes up with a monstrously, monsterly idea. When all is said and done, Bernadette finds a way to be friends but still stays unique and “mostly monsterly.”

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book on her blog on Fridays. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and, mainly, just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed is a link to information about that book. It is very handy.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book on her blog on Fridays. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and, mainly, just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed is a link to information about that book. It is very handy.

I love Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems and chose it for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Naked mole ratNaked Mole Rat Gets Dressed

Written and Illustrated by Mo Willems

Hyperion Books for Children 2009

Ages 5-8

Themes: Differences, Peer Pressure, Acceptance

Opening Lines: “There is so much to learn about the fascinating little creatures known as naked mole rats. But, for this story, you only need to know three things:
1. They are a little bit rat. 2. They are a little bit mole. 3. They are all naked…”

Brief Synopsis: Unlike other naked mole rats, Wilbur likes to get dressed. But Grand-pah, the oldest, wisest, and most naked Naked Mole Rat ever, finds out. Everyone shows up for Grand-pah’s “proclamation”. What will happen? (And even more important…What, if anything, should Wilbur wear?…this really isn’t the most important part, but I couldn’t resist.)

Resources: I was afraid that I couldn’t find any resources for anything naked…but HERE is a wonderful Activity Guide from The Pigeon 🙂 And another equally wonderful guide from Junior Library Guild, HERE.

Why I Like This Book: Early on kids have to deal with times when they feel they are different or don’t fit in. Wilbur is obviously very different. Mo Willems doesn’t sugarcoat the reactions of the other mole rats. They make fun of Wilbur. They are sarcastic to Wilbur. And they tattle on Wilbur. Kids will relate! There is plenty of humor as Wilbur shows his courage and remains true to himself. Naked mole rats are far from furry, cuddly, little guys, but Mo Willems’s artist talent made me want to go to the nearest naked mole rat store and bring Wilbur home. I could go on and on…. But, for this book, you only need to know three things:
1. You need to read it. 2. You will want to read it again and again. 3. You will all love it.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book on her blog on Fridays. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and mainly just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed is a link to information about that book. It is very handy.

I recently read The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray and chose it for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School

Written by Laura Murray

Illustrated by Mike Lowery.

Putnam Juvenile 2011

Ages 5-8

Synopsis: (From Laura Murray’s Website): “They mixed him and baked him with love, but when the teacher called ‘Recess!’ the class left their Gingerbread Man behind. Certain there’s been a mistake, this smart cookie sets out to find them in this humorous romp through the school. Book includes a poster with fun activities!”

Opening Lines:

“I began in a bowl. I was not myself-

just a list of ingredients pulled from a shelf,

chosen by children who measured and mixed

my smooth, spicy batter while sneaking quick licks…

A sprinkle of ginger, some cinnamon too,

molasses, soft butter, and eggs as my glue.

Then in their classroom, the children began

to roll me and mold me to look like a man.”

Themes: folktale, friendship, first of school

Brief Synopsis from Laura Murray’s Website: The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School is a fresh twist on a classic tale, told by the Gingerbread Man himself. But this time, he isn’t on the run, he’s sliding down handrails, hiding in lunch bags, and spinning in the Principal’s chair—all on the quest to find the children who made him. On his romp through the school, he meets helpful school staff, but just misses his class every time. Finally after spotting himself on a “MISSING” poster in the Principal’s office, he realizes that his class has been searching for him too. A deliciously sweet ending is served up for both the Gingerbread Man and the children who made him.

Links to Resources: Classroom Gingerbread Man Extension Ideas and Activities, Gingerbread Hunt Clues, Gingerbread Hunt Printable Clues, Teacher’s Guide for “The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School”, Gingerbread Teaching Theme, The Gingerbread Man

Why I Like This Book: First of all…who doesn’t love a gingerbread man? They are adorable. Laura’s original and fun twist on a familiar tale makes for plenty of smiles and chuckles as you read. I am a retired teacher who remembers many classes of excited kindergarteners coming to my classroom looking for the gingerbread man. I love the fact that now the gingerbread man is looking for them. Children will catch the clever humor. I can just see the smiles on their little faces…and isn’t that what picture books are about!! This is a great book for teachers. The illustrations are adorable.  And the rhyme is genius!

12 x 12 in 12

I am participating in 12 x 12 in 12. This means I have committed to write one picture book draft per month for each of the twelve months of 2012.  Julie Hedlund is the creator. Thank you Julie. Head on over to her blog and read all about it.

When I saw the challenge, I didn’t think twice about whether or not I should participate. I just said “Yes! Yes! Yes!.” I could have talked myself out of it….but, I know how seriously I take commitments and how much of a “rule follower” I am, so I committed. I need this challenge. I have a tendency to dilly-dally if I don’t have accountability. This challenge is accountability. Now it’s January 1. Am I glad I signed up??? I am thrilled! Why am I so thrilled that I have made this huge commitment of time and energy? Well, let’s see:

#1 Just look at the badge I get to put on my blog. It’s a reason in itself. A huge bonus. It was designed by Linda Silvestri. If you want to be completely blown away, just visit her blog, sketched out, and soak up the beautiful creativity. It is an experience that will add happiness to your day.

#2 This will give me the perfect opportunity to choose twelve ideas from the list I came up with when I participated in PiBoIdMo in November 2011. It was wonderful-30 ideas in 30 days! And what an awesome 30 days. Tara Lazar created PiBoIdMo and did the most amazing job. You should pop on over to her blog and read the list of guest bloggers and see the list of wonderful prizes that were won.

#3 I take myself seriously as a writer. I dream of being published. This is such an important step. I will be writing! writing! writing! And that is what writers do!

#4 At the end of December 2012, I will have 12 picture book drafts! Whoa! Really? Incredible! I love reading those words….At the end of December 2012, I will have 12 picture book drafts completed!

Ok, you may have thought that since we are talking in twelves that I would have 12 reasons! I imagine I could think and think and think and come up with twelve…but let’s face it. I would spend way too much time thinking, and all of you would be way too bored!!! So just multiply my four reasons times three and you will have done some easy math and come up with the number twelve which is what this is all about!

Happy writing!