Bad Bye, Good Bye-Perfect Picture Book Friday

I just read another huggable book today! I’m so excited to add it to the Perfect Picture Book Friday list.

BadByeGoodBye

Bad Bye, Good Bye

Written by Deborah Underwood

Illustrated by Jonathan Bean

Ages 4 – 8 years

HMH Books for Young Readers April 2014

Themes: Moving

Synopsis: A boy and his family are packing up their old home, and the morning feels scary and sad. But when he arrives at his new home, an evening of good byes awaits: bye to new friends, bye to glowing fireflies, bye to climbing trees.

Opening:
Bad day
Bad box
Bad mop
Bad blocks

Resources: I found articles on the Internet about preparing a child to move, but most were advice to parents instead of activities to do with the child. I thought of making a scrapbook.
Create in spreads. On the left side have reminders and memories of the current house, yard, park, school, town, etc. On the right side write the title New and leave it blank. Talk with the child about how you will fill it up with new memories when you get to your new home. Hopefully this will create some excitement about the new home as well as acknowledge the importance of the home the child is leaving. Include all members of the family, including pets. You could also add a “planning” part to the scrapbook and let the child create a new house from magazine clippings or drawings instead of leaving it blank. Or do some of both and leave space to add to the book when you get to the new house.

Why I Like This Book: The text is rhyming which is always a bonus for me. And the book tells so much in so few perfectly selected words. I believe the word count is 80! Can you believe that? And those 80 words complete a beautiful story. When I closed the cover on my first read-through, I literally said, “This is magical!” The illustrations add to the magic. As the story took me on a journey with the boy moving to his new home, I felt every emotion. I felt it in the words and I felt it in the art. Do.not.miss.this.one.folks!

And if you have friends who are moving across town or across the country, give them this book to share with their children.

To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book-lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Gruffalo

It’s National Poetry Month AND Perfect Picture Book Friday! What could be better than that, I ask? How about one of my favorite rhyming picture books? Gruffalo

The Gruffalo Written by Julia Donaldson

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Penguin Group 1999

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Language Fun, Humor

Synopsis: This rhythmic read-aloud follows a clever mouse on a walk through the deep dark wood, where he encounters several hungry inhabitants who want to make him their main course. Lacking size or strength as defenses, quick-witted Mouse instead taps the powers of his imagination to create the gruffalo, a “terrible creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in his terrible jaws.” But will Mouse’s frightful description be enough to ruin the appetites of his determined foes? After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. Oh, no??

A clever mouse uses the threat of a terrifying creature to keep from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake–only to have to outwit that creature as well.

Opening: A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good. “Where are you going to, little brown mouse? Come and have lunch in my underground house.” “It’s terribly kind of you, Fox, but no— I’m going to have lunch with a gruffalo.” Resources: HERE are online games, printouts and activities aplenty. HERE is a Pinterest page with Gruffalo crafts and activities.

Why I Like This Book: Julia Donaldson is an absolute genius! I just love her books and this is one of my faves. It’s effortless to read her rhyme and she doesn’t let it dictate her story. As far as the mouse . . . he’s quick on his little brown feet and so clever as over and over again, he evades being “lunch”. And the spread where he meets the Gruffalo . . . “Oh!” . . . his expression is priceless! But he handles it! If you haven’t read this one, it’s a must! If you’re interested, I reviewed a couple of her other books. HERE is my review for What the Ladybug Heard. And HERE is my review for The Snail and the Whale.

To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book-lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.

Bird, Bird, Bird! (A Chirping Chant)-Perfect Picture Book Friday

My word! Look at that bird! I never knew birds could be so entertaining. But you will be sure to be entertained if you read the book I’m reviewing today!

bird, bird, bird

Bird, Bird, Bird! (A Chirping Chant)

by April Pulley Sayre

Illustrated by Gary Locke

Cooper Square Publishing 2007

Ages 5 – 8 years

Themes: Animals, Language Fun

Synopsis: Sixty-three North American birds flit, fly, and dive across the pages of this cheery chirping chant. Bird, Bird, Bird! Is the third book in NorthWord’s famous chant series—all known for tongue-twisting, silly-sounding, say-it-faster fun! Zany caricatures of each bird present these feathered-friends in larger-than-life proportions. (You won’t need your binoculars here!) After readers have mastered the chant, they can turn to the back to get the real scoop on each bird. Sayre takes bird watching to a whole new level!

Opening:
Wandering Tattler,
Timberdoodle,
Teal.
Nutcracker,
Gnatcatcher,
are these real?

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,
picture that!
Chachalaca,
Chickadee,
Chat, Chat, Chat!

Why I Like This Book: This book is a blast to read aloud. It is entertaining and informative. The artwork features caricatures of each bird that resemble the real birds but have been adorned with human-like accessories and features. For instance, the kingbird is wearing a majorly bejeweled crown. The kingfisher’s crown isn’t quite so big or bejeweled but you oughta see the size of his fishing pole! And the loons definitely look like they just came from the loony bin! So the delightful text matched with the amazingly fun illustrations kept me smiling and turning pages.

Resources: The back of the book features facts on the birds. You will find plenty of ideas for activities by using the English/Language Arts and Science Standards that I found HERE on April Pulley Sayer’s site.

To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book -lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.

If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!-Perfect Picture Book Friday

I know we are all tired of this incredibly severe winter, but since lots of people are getting lots of snow . . . why not have a little fun with it? Ready?

If it's snowy

If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!

Written by Kim Norman

Illustrated by Liza Woodruff

Sterling Children’s Books 2013

Ages 3-7

Themes: Seasons-Winter-Snow, Language Fun

Synopsis: (from publisher’s website) This humorous variation on the classic song “If You’re Happy and You Know It” introduces a group of adorable animals playing joyfully in the snow. They tumble on the tundra, catch snowflakes on their tongues, sculpt snowcritters, and make a frosty fort. But can they go with the flow when their wild adventure drifts in a surprising direction? Young readers will laugh and sing along!

Opening:
If it’s snowy and you know it, clap your paws.
You can tumble on the tundra, just because.
If it snowy and you know it,
roll a snowball up and throw it.
If it’s snowy and you know it  . . .
. . . clap your paws!

♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫ I hear you all singing! ♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫

Wait!
What?
You’re going to buy the book?
And you’re going to the library to check it out?
Well could you read the rest of the review before you head out?
Ahhh! You’re back in your chair. Thanks!

Resources:

  • Definitely sing this book to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands. In fact, I dare you to read this book and not be singing the song for the rest of the weekend! (I couldn’t help myself!)
  • Pick another season and have kids pick animals and brainstorm activities those animals could be doing for that season. Create a stanza or two of the song.
  • For those who are feeling especially industrious, I found the link to this Multi-Colored Igloo on the If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws Facebook Page. I realize building the life-size igloo would probably be too much, but building a small version would be a fun winter project for kids at home in a snowy backyard.
  • Have kids come up with hand motions for each stanza in the book. Sing through with hand motions.

Why I Like This Book: The same reason why y’all were jumping up to go get the book! The rhyme is sublime! It is playful and fun and begs to be read aloud or sung. I was singing and smiling with every page turn. The illustrations complement the text perfectly and add humor. This one is a keeper for reading to your kids at home and for sharing in the classroom. Hat’s, mittens, and earmuffs off to Kim Norman and Liza Woodruff!

To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book -lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.

What Floats in a Moat?-Perfect Picture Book Friday

This book is perfect mix of science and slapstick! The title caught me right off and the story did not disappoint. In fact, it delighted!

What floats in a moat

What Floats in a Moat?

Written by Lynne Berry

Illustrated by Matthew Cordell

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers 2013

Age range: 5 – 8 Years

Themes: Science, Determination

Synopsis: Archie the Goat and Skinny the Hen have a delivery for the castle. But when they come to a moat, Archie is stumped. Skinny suggests the drawbridge, but Archie suggests Science! With fun text and illustrations, Archie and Skinny reenact the Archimedes Principal in order to successfully cross the moat.

OpeningArchie the Goat stopped short at a moat. He measured and mapped. He doodled and drew. He sketched and scribbled and scrawled.
“Aha! To cross the moat,” pronounced the goat, “we build a contraption to float!”
“Or,” said Skinny the Hen, “we could just take the drawbridge.”
“Bah,” said Archie,” drawbridge, straw-bridge.”
“This is no time for a drawbridge. This is a time for science!”
“Right!” said the hen. “Science!”

(Want a little more? Click on the cover above to see a few pages.)

Resources:
An author’s note at the back of the book explains Archimedes’ Principle.
At the How Stuff Works website, I found a helpful page HERE on How Sailboats Float. There is an interactive activity on buoyancy.
Click HERE for some experiments and HERE for more.

Why I Like This Book: This book is full of humor and fun word play. There are sprinkles of rhyme throughout that added personality. Goat, moat, float…see? Fun! I feel like Berry nailed the characters. Archie, ever the science buff, simply ignores the obvious drawbridge and Skinny, the skeptical side-kick, goes along with Archie’s antics. Even though it’s silliness to ignore the easy solution, the characters were believable and endearing. I, also, like the fact that this can be easily used in the classroom for spicing up a science lesson. Of course, it’s no surprise that Cordell’s illustrations add that “extra special” to the text. He never disappoints in my opinion.

To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book -lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Kite Princess

Today I am flying high! Yes…up in the air! Why? Because I’m reviewing . . .

The Kite Princess

Written by Juliet Clare Bell

Illustrated by Laura-Kate Chapman

Barefoot Books 2012

Audio CD by Imelda Staunton

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Individuality, Being yourself

Synopsis: (from Barnes & Noble) Princess Cinnamon Stitch is a tomboy who has no interest in courtly life. To her parents’ dismay, she cartwheels through puddles and dances with flea-ridden cats. Discover how she succeeds in teaching the king and queen that there are more important things in life than decorum and show. Laura-Kate Chapman’s eye popping artwork makes this rhythmic text soar.

Opening: There once was a princess called Cinnamon Stitch.
Her parents were stuffy and terribly rich.
They liked to parade her around their fine land,
With Cinnamon looking exceedingly grand.

They thought if they bought her  best clothes and pearls,
Their daughter would be the most happy of girls.
They gave her fine ribbons and dresses galore…
Then called for the seamstress, who made her some more.

Resources: In the back of The Kite Princess are instructions for building your own kite. I found a Kite Themed Mini Unit at First Grade with Miss Snowden has activities for everything from contractions to fact families…pages of activities with a kite theme. HERE are some activity sheets created by the author, Juliet Clare Bell.

Why I Love This Book: First of all, the Kite Princess is written in rhyme and you know how I love a good rhyming picture book 🙂  I fell in love with Cinnamon Stitch (is that not the cutest name?) and her tomboy ways. I like how she remains a dreamer even the king and queen think she is conforming. The story ends perfectly as Cinnamon’s influence rubs off her parents and they trade in their stuffiness for a little fun!

The book is accompanied by a CD of the story, read by Oscar-nominated actress, Imelda Staunton.

To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book -lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-123 versus ABC

OK! Raise your hand if you love counting books! Now raise your hand if you love alphabet books! Wait! You raised your hand both times. Don’t you have a favorite? OK! Let’s try again. Counting. Alphabet. You did it again. Well, if you can’t choose then you’re going to double-love . . .

123 vs abc123 versus ABC

Written and Illustrated by Mike Boldt

HarperCollins 2013

Ages: 4-8
Themes: 123! No, ABC! No, 123! No, ABC
“Now, stop it you two! I am in charge of this blog!” said Penny.
Themes: Numbers AND letters!

Synopsis: (from publisher’s website) Numbers and Letters both want to be the stars of this book! And when one alligator (that starts with an A!) and two bears (2 of them!) and three cars (1, 2, 3! A, B, C!) begin to show up, the havoc that ensues is as joyous a romp as a counting book . . . that is, an ABC book . . . has ever been. With vivid illustrations from author-illustrator Mike Boldt, this fresh and funny picture book plays with numbers and letters in the most imaginative way.

Instead of posting the opening text of the book, I have the book trailer. It includes the opening text and will surely lure you to the library or the bookstore.

Resources: ABCya.com is an excellent site for practice with numbers and letters. Just click on a grade level and you’ll find the game categories. With these ABC coloring pages  and these number templates, kids could make their own 123 versus ABC book. And…this would be wonderful for a classroom book. Each student could be assigned a number and letter (just like in the book 1 would go with A, 2 would go with B, etc.) and design their page. Then all the pages could be bound together as a big book for the classroom. I found the blog of a first grade teacher who has a lot of posts about classroom books. HERE is the link.

Why I Like This Book: I know you couldn’t see…but I raised BOTH hands to counting books and BOTH hands to alphabet books. I do love them both. Let’s face it, number and letter books have been done over and over again and there are a lot of choices out there. So in order to rank among my favorites, they have to be unique. Mike Boldt nailed unique and made 123 AND ABC stars of this funny and entertaining book. His illustrations are colorful and lively. The expressions on the faces of the numbers and letters add such personality. I love the way he used blue to denote number-related text and orange to denote letter-related text. So clever! Bottom line…I double-love this book and I think you will, too!

To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book -lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.