Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Tooth Mouse

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Spike the Mixed-up Monster by Susan Hood.  (You can find that review HERE.) One of the special things about Spike the Mixed-Up Monsters is that it has Spanish words sprinkled throughout the text. Today, I am excited to be reviewing another of Susan Hood’s books. This one has French words sprinkled throughout the text.

The Tooth Mouse

Written by Susan Hood

Illustrated by Janice Nadeau

Kids Can Press 2012

Ages 3 and up

Themes: Tooth Fairy, Modern Fables

Synopsis: (from Goodreads) This finely rendered fable introduces readers to the Tooth Mouse, France’s version of the tooth fairy, and to Sophie, a sweet young mouse who must prove she is brave, honest and wise enough to take over this important job.

Opening: Once long ago, atop an ancient cathedral in France, there lived a small mouse who would NOT go to bed.
“Shush, chérie,: said the roosting dove. “It’s time to sleep.”
“But I’m not sleepy,” said Sophie. “I want to play Tooth Mouse. Cranky old cats can’t catch me. Watch this!” And Sophie executed a perfect pas de chat.
Then Sophie stopped. She heard a noise.
It started with a scribble-scrabble. Then a scuffle… then a scramble.
With a jump and a jeté, Sophie was away.
She followed the sound down… down…around…and around…
…until she found herself in the great hall of the cathedral, where a crowd of mice had assembled.

HERE is a link to review in the New York Times.

Resources: In the back of the book, there is a list of tooth traditions around the world. HERE a downloadable Tooth Tracker sheet that comes with the Tooth Mouse’s Tips for Tip-Top Teeth! from Susan Hood’s website. HERE is an online tooth mouse coloring page. It can be printed and colored, too. HERE  a unit named, Let’s Talk Teeth with several activities. HERE is a website for writing fables.

Why I Like This Book: Learning about the French version of the tooth fairy is a wonderful way to talk with children about different cultures at a young age. In this sweet story, little Sophie seems the most unlikely of all the candidates to be able to complete three difficult tasks to become the replacement for the old Tooth Mouse. Her bravery, honesty, and wisdom in completing the tasks make the reader root for Sophie to fulfill her desire and become the replacement for the old Tooth Mouse. The ending is especially endearing, but you will have to find that out for yourself. The French words sprinkled throughout give the book a special charm. The illustrations are beautiful and just perfect! The illustrator, Janice Nadeau, is a three-time recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Illustration, Canada’s most prestigious literary prize.

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, or just looking for a great book to read. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed has a link to a review, information about that book, and resources for activities. There is also an alphabetical list.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-Mustache!

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, or just looking for a great book to read. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed has a link to a review, information about that book, and resources for activities. There is also an alphabetical list.

Today I am reviewing a funny tale—

Mustache!

Written by Mac Barnett

Illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Hyperion 2011

Ages 4-8

Themes: Fairy Tales, Humor, Vanity

Synopsis: (from Goodreads) King Duncan is terribly handsome, but a terrible king. His kingdom is in ruins, and when his subjects appeal for help, he only builds more tributes to his handsome face. His subjects are finally ready to stand up for themselves, and they have just the plan to get out of this hairy situation.
A mustache….because sometimes good looks alone just aren’t enough.

Opening: Duncan was a terrible king, but he was terribly handsome. “Don’t I look wonderful?” said King Duncan. “Yes, sire,” said his Royal Advisor. He spent every Royal Day admiring his Royal Reflection, and not doing much else. Which is why is kingdom was such a Royal Mess.

Resources: Before reading, make mustaches out of black construction paper. Glue or tape to Popsicle sticks or pointer finger so that the reader and listeners can all have a fun little prop. HERE is a template for some mustaches. After reading, have students make their own “kingdom” signs modeled after those in the illustrations. Instead of the caption, “I’m great!”, have them make a caption that reflects one of their positive traits. This book is an excellent model for older kids to write their own fairy tale. HERE is a website to get them started.

Why I Like This Book: Mustache! is a funny tale about how vanity can make you lonely. Along with providing a good  starting point to discuss the selfish king’s self-centered behavior, it provides many laughs for children and adults. The illustrations are incredible. One thing you should look for throughout is the juggler…he is on several spreads and the items he juggles become more absurd as the book goes on…. they add a humor of their own….very clever!

Perfect Picture Book Friday-My Little Sister Ate One Hare

Tammi Sauer had an excellent post for PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) this week. She talked about ways to structure a picture book and gave examples of different ways to frame a story. I headed straight to the library with the list of books she gave as examples. One of the structures she talked about is Cumulative-Each time a new event occurs, the previous events in the story are repeated. Today, I am happily reviewing one of her great examples of a cumulative tale.

My Little Sister Ate One Hare

Written by Bill Grossman

Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Random House-Dragonfly 1998

Ages: 3-8

Themes: Counting, Math

Synopsis: (From School Library Journal) A counting book that talks about swallowing slimy creatures, ant’s underpants, and regurgitation, and has outrageous illustrations is a guaranteed success with the primary-grade crowd. The cumulative rhyme has the irreverence of Silverstein or Prelutsky and the art has the rollicking humor of Lane Smith. A young magician, the narrator’s sister, puts on a show, eating one hare, two snakes, etc. She isn’t grossed out by consuming any bat or shrew, but give her nutritious food and watch out.

Opening: My little sister ate 1 hare.
We thought she’d throw up then and there.
But she didn’t.
My little sister ate 2 snakes.
She ate 2 snakes, for heaven sakes!
She ate 2 snakes. She ate 1 hare.
We thought she’d throw up then and there.
But she didn’t.
My little sister ate 2 ants.
She even ate their underpants.
She ate 2 snakes. She ate 1 hare.
We thought she’d throw up then and there.
But she didn’t.

Resources: (from Random House) Have students imagine what she might eat on another day and start a page for the story. 1. Think of another strange and silly thing the little sister could eat. 2. Choose a number (no higher than 20) to describe how many of that animal she will eat. Write the number on top of the paper. 3. Now draw a picture of the little sister surrounded by the correct number of animals you have chosen. (from other sources) A comprehensive Family Literacy Guide HERE. Math activities HERE. Literacy with math Powerpoint HERE.

Why I Like This Book: I am a fan of cumulative, rhyming text and this book gets it all right. It is a counting book that will have kids giggling. This perfect read aloud invites audience participation.The illustrations are hilarious, also. The little sister’s mouth is open WIDE, and her face has a “no big deal that I’m eating bats, mice and shrews” expression that is priceless. As any humorous book should…this book has a special little twist at the end that will bring the biggest laugh of all.

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, or just looking for a great book to read. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed has a link to a review, information about that book, and resources for activities. There is also an alphabetical list.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-Spike the Mixed-up Monster

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, or just looking for a great book to read. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed has a link to a review, information about that book, and resources for activities. There is also an alphabetical list.

Today I am going to review a book that I noticed on display at the library a couple of weeks ago. Yes…I was judging a book by the cover. It was too cute to leave on display. It had to come home with me.

Spike the Mixed-up Monster

Written by Susan Hood

Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books 2012

Ages 4 and up

Themes: Friendship, Kindness, Endangered  Species

Synopsis: (from Susan Hood’s website) Spike was a monster. Or so he thought. He’d shake his spikes, swoosh his tail, and bare his teeth. But el patoel armadillo and el campañol weren’t afraid. All they could do was laugh at Spike. Until one day a real monster appeared…. This book, about the power of kindness, is based on a real endangered Mexican salamander called an axolotl. It includes facts about the animals and a glossary of Spanish words.

Lines From the Book: I usually include beginning lines in my reviews, but I wanted to show how Spanish is incorporated. Notice that Spanish words are italicized in the text of the book.

One look, and the animals knew what to do.
“¡El monstruo!” quacked el pato. “Flap and fly! Flap and fly!”
“¡El monstruo!” cried el armadillo. “Dig and hide! Dig and hide!”
“¡El monstruo!” said el campañol. “Run inside! Run inside!”
Only Spike was left to face el monsturo.

Resources: This book provides a great opportunity to discuss endangered species and follow up with activities  Discuss endangered species and then write Animal Poems (guidelines HERE). Find coloring pages for endangered species HERE. Online matching game for endangered species HERE. Learn more animal names in Spanish HERE and HERE. HERE is an online flashcard activity to learn animal names in Spanish. HERE is a recent article in New York Times about the plight of the axolotl.

Why I Like This Book: This story is a delightful tale of friendship. I love that is has Spanish sprinkled throughout. Not only will kids enjoy the story, they will love learning the Spanish words. Also, at the back is a nonfiction section. It tells about the axolotl, which is an endangered salamander. Spike is an axolotl. The other animals in the book are featured in the nonfiction section, too. Then, there is a Spanish glossary to go along with the words in the book. I thought this was an exceptional format. And I can’t leave out the fact that Melissa Sweet is the illustrator. She brings the text to life with illustrations that are vibrant and beautiful! After all…it is the cover that caught my eye!