What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'perfect picture book fridays')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: perfect picture book fridays, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 21 of 21
1. Perfect Picture Book Friday - Extraordinary Jane

Woo-hoo!  It's Friday!

Doesn't Friday just automatically make you happy?

I think Fridays are just a little bit magic and have an advantage over the other days of the week :)

My plan for this weekend includes baking birthday cake for my step-daughter and babysitting for my granddaughters so she and her husband can have a little much-deserved-no-kids-couple-time.  Lucky me - I totally win out!  I see acorn and stick collecting, painting, play-doh, sidewalk chalk, tea parties, hide-and-seek, and being a pony in my weekend :)

And I'm thinking I will share this book - my PPBF pick for this week - because it is so cute and sweet!

Title: Extraordinary Jane
Written & Illustrated By: Hannah E. Harrison
Dial, February 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: being yourself

Opening: "Jane was ordinary in a world that was extraordinary."

Brief Synopsis: Jane is a little dog who lives at the circus.  She's not graceful like her mother, mighty like her father, daring like her brothers, or fearless like her sisters.  She's just Jane.  But you don't have to be graceful or mighty or daring or fearless to be special.

Links To Resources: together with your child or class, make a list of things you think everyone would agree are extraordinary, like being brave or strong.  Do you have any of those qualities? Does your child or the members of your class?  Talk about what extraordinary really means.  Make a new list of things that could be considered extraordinary, like helping an elderly neighbor take out the recycling, or being kind to the new kid in class.  Who has these qualities?  Talk about what makes you like people - probably things like they're nice, or they make you laugh.  Can those things be considered special?  What can you do today to make the world a better place just by being you?  Would pair nicely with Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson.

Why I Like This Book: This is one of those delightfully simple and sweet books that I just love!  Let's face it - lots of us feel ordinary.  So many kids can relate to the idea of worrying that they might not measure up in today's world of high expectations.  This sweet story reminds us - kids, parents, and teachers alike - that we are all extraordinary in our own way, and that we are all special to somebody.  The art is bright and colorful.  Some of the spreads are humorous (in particular the balancing ball incident  and the page after it :)) and the last one is guaranteed to make you say "Aww!" :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

So what are you all planning for this weekend (besides a trip to the library to read all the great books that are sure to show up on this week's PPBF list)?

PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific links on the list below so we can all come visit and make our library lists :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!!! :)

0 Comments on Perfect Picture Book Friday - Extraordinary Jane as of 4/11/2014 4:39:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. Perfect Picture Book Friday - Sparky

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

It's been a couple weeks!

What with the March Madness Writing Contest and all the long posts for the finalists and the winners, etc., I think we could all use a break.  So today I'm going to do my best to be brief :)

I hope you all enjoy this picture book as much as I do :)

Title: Sparky
Written By: Jenny Offill
Illustrated By: Chris Appelhans
Schwartz & Wade Books, March 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: age 3-8

Themes/Topics: pets, being yourself

Opening: "I wanted a pet. A bird or a bunny or a trained seal.  My mother said no to the bird.  No to the bunny. No no no to the trained seal."

Brief Synopsis: A little girl's mother says she can have any pet she wants as long as it doesn't need to be walked or bathed or fed.  So the little girl finds just the pet to fit the requirements... A sloth... whom she names Sparky :)

Here the girl plays with Sparky and introduces us to Mary Potts

Links To Resources: Talk about what makes a good pet; discuss the pros and cons of various pets, 10 Popular Small Pets, Best Pets For Kids slideshow, Rainforest Classroom Activities, read with "Slowly, slowly, slowly," said the Sloth by Eric Carle, or perhaps with other picture books about more boisterous pets for comparison.

Why I Like This Book: I love Sparky.  He's so cute!  And so sleepy and slow :)  And I admire any child who can come up with a pet that doesn't break the rules of not needing to be walked or bathed or fed.  The girl tries to play games with Sparky, but with the exception of Statues he's not much good at them.  In response to annoying Mary Potts from across the street she tries to teach him tricks to show what a good pet he is.  But aside from excelling at playing dead he's not much good at that either.  But you know what? She doesn't care.  For her, Sparky is "it" :)  And what a nice message that pets can just be loved for who they are.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

How'd I do?  Brief enough? :)

PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come see what you picked and make our library lists for the weekend :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! :)

0 Comments on Perfect Picture Book Friday - Sparky as of 4/4/2014 5:45:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. Perfect Picture Book Fridays – My Uncle Emily

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday book is about the nephew of the popular poet, Emily Dickinson and the special relationship they had.

TitleMy Uncle Emily

AuthorJane Yolen IllustratorNancy Carpenter

Publisher – Philomel Books (Penguin Young Readers Group)

Year 2009 Ages

Synopsis – This is a semi fictional tale told from the perspective of poet Emily Dickinson’s nephew. It is a warm tale of love, telling the truth, adversity, and loyalty. The classic style of the art pulls you back into time, where the special relationship between an Aunt and a boy is revealed.

Themes – love, telling the truth, adversity, family, loyalty, history.

Activities -

Emily Dickinson museum’s kids page http://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/for%20kids

Emily Dickinson museum’s fun & games page http://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/fun_and_games

Poetry lessons for kids http://www.poetry4kids.com/blog/lessons/poetry-writing-lessons/

What I liked about this book – Since I now live in Amherst, MA I have become very aware of Emily Dickinson and the impact she has had on her fans. When we went to the cemetery in which she is buried, we found numerous people at her grave site. Upon reaching it, we saw that many people had left tokens, pencils & pens, tablets, small notes with writing on them, and poems. It was very touching. The community here also has a poetry week in which a couple of the days she is honored. I think this book is a wonderful way to introduce children to this interesting and talented poet.

Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.

Add a Comment
4. Perfect Picture Book Friday - The Girl Who Heard Colors PLUS A Contest Announcement!

Boy, oh, boy are we going to have tons of fun today!

(Which is good because we're back in sub-zero temperatures around here and I might get cranky about that if not for all the fun! :))

First of all, it's Perfect Picture Book Friday, and what's not to love about that?

Second of all, we have a winner of today's book from our meet the author post on Monday!  (You can see the post HERE if you missed it.)

Finally, someone around here, who clearly cannot be left unsupervised for a second!, has been hatching a hare-brained scheme, and I suppose it's about time I let you in on it :)  But first - our perfect picture book!

Title: The Girl Who Heard Colors
Written By: Marie Harris
Illustrated By: Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Nancy Paulsen Books, September 2013, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: synesthesia, differences, acceptance, perception, five senses

Opening: "Jillian loved the world with all her five senses.  She loved the tickling touch of her bunny's whiskers on her cheek.  She loved the taste of warm maple syrup on waffles."

Brief Synopsis: When Jillian hears a dog barking, she sees red.  When she rings her bike bell, she sees silver.  The wind in the pines is soft gray, and the rain, light purple.  Jillian has synesthesia - a way of perceiving that causes sound to have color.  But when the kids at school tease her, suddenly it doesn't feel like such a great thing to have.  It takes a special teacher to help them all see it for the gift it is.

Links To Resources: The back of the book has information about synesthesia.  Neuroscience For Kids has information about synesthesia as well as a test you can try.  Science News For Students also has a lot of information.  HERE is a test to see if you might be a synesthete.  Talk about what it would be like to hear colors or taste sounds.  Are there times when experiencing the world like that would be an advantage?  A disadvantage?

Why I Like This Book: I always like books that encourage acceptance and tolerance.  There is too much variety in the world for any one way to be the "right" way to be or believe or perceive.  So I like this book for that reason.  But it's also a beautifully written story that any child who has ever felt different will relate to.  The language is poetic (not surprising since it was written by a New Hampshire poet laureate :).)  And synesthesia itself is absolutely fascinating.  I finished this book and found myself wishing I could be a synesthete for a day, just to see how cool it would be to experience the world that way!

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

The next item on our agenda of excitement today is to let you know who won the book so generously donated by Marie.  Random.org has chosen our winner and it is Tracy Campbell!  Woo-hoo, Tracy!  Come on down!  Your prize is a signed copy of THE GIRL WHO HEARD COLORS!  Please email me with your address (which I probably have but can't find! :)) and I'll get it right out to you!

And now, one last item before we all head off for the weekend....

It's been a long winter.

We've had a lot of snow, and more is coming Sunday into Monday (according to the local weatherman who seriously needs to be replaced by a new weatherman with better news!)

It's been bitterly cold, day after day, for weeks on end.

The icicles have icicles!

I think it's time for some fun!

And it seems to me, we haven't had a writing contest in nearly 3 months...

SO, boys and girls, hold onto your hats, because we're taking Hare-Brained Scheme to a whole new level!


The March Madness Writing Contest!

The Contest: Write a children's story, in poetry or prose, maximum 350 words, that is a fractured fairy tale.  Feel free to add a theme of spring, or mix in one of the spring holidays if you like - St. Patrick's Day, April Fools Day, Easter or Passover, Arbor Day, Earth Day...  Have fun with it !  The madder* the better! :)
*as in wild and wacky, not angry :)

Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog between Thursday March 20 at 12:01 AM EST and Monday March 24 at 11:59 PM EST, and your post-specific link should be added to the link list on the official  post which will go up on my blog on Thursday March 20 (no PPBF March 21!) and remain up through Wednesday March 26 (no new post on Monday March 24, no WYRI on March 26).  If you don't have a blog but would like to enter, please copy and paste your entry into the comments on my March 20th post.  (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email me and I'll post your entry for you!)

The Judge:  My lovely assistant and I will narrow down the entrants to five (or possibly a couple more :)) finalists which will be posted here on Thursday March 27 for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed at 5PM EST on March 30 and the winner will be announced on Monday March 31.

The Prizes!:  I'm still working on the prize(s).  I'm hoping to have something knock-your-socks-off great to offer... I think I do... we'll see.  Stay tuned :)  But I wanted you all to have time to get to work on your stories so I went ahead and posted the contest rules without the prizes.

Now.  The really hare-brained part of all this is that it will be followed by a related Illustrator Contest in April!!! (to be announced and elaborated on later! :))

I know!!!

That kind of excitement bowls you right over, don't it? :)

And with that, I wish you a lovely time perusing the rest of today's perfect picture books!  PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific links in the list below.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!!  (And fire up those thinking caps!)

0 Comments on Perfect Picture Book Friday - The Girl Who Heard Colors PLUS A Contest Announcement! as of 2/28/2014 5:18:00 AM
Add a Comment
5. Perfect Picture Book Friday - JJ The American Street Dog

Well, it's Friday, and guess what?  It's still zero!

Every morning I wake up all hopeful that today will be warmer.  The light is coming earlier (well, at least until daylight savings times throws a monkey wrench in that on Saturday night :)), and the angle of the light says spring is coming.  The robins are incurably optimistic.  But every morning I walk downstairs and check the thermometer and it's still COLD.

The novelty has worn off.

I've forgotten what grass looks like.

But it is March!  Time is on our side!  And to help us throw off the winter doldrums, we have the amazing March Madness Writing Contest to distract us, with the fantastic first prize of a read and critique by Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary!  So I hope you're all busily concocting stories :)

Chins up, everyone!  It's technically less than 2 weeks until spring AND the contest fun! :)

And now, how about a Perfect Picture Book or two or twenty to get us through the weekend?

Title: JJ The American Street Dog And How He Came To Live At Our House
Written By: Diane Rose-Solomon
Illustrated By: Rachel Cellinese
SOP3 Publishing, 2012, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: responsibility, pets, rescue animals

Opening: "Since as long as I can remember, I've wanted a dog.  At night, I dream about dogs.  Little dogs with floppy ears and short legs. Big dogs with pointy ears and long legs. There are brown dogs, tan dogs and spotted all over dogs. Some are even pink and green. But those dogs are just in my dreams."

Brief Synopsis: Maya has always wanted a dog.  When her Uncle Jerry finds a stray, it looks like maybe her dream will come true.  But what if his owner comes to claim him?  Maya learns a lot about stray dogs and about what it is to care for a pet of her own.

Links To Resources: talk about caring for pets, discuss responsibility and what that means in relation to taking care of an animal, talk about making thoughtful decisions, Bookmaking Activity, free downloadable worksheets for individual grades, Animal Welfare Lessons from the ASPCA, some animal rescue information at the back of the book.

Why I Like This Book: Well, you guys all know I love dogs, and that both my dogs are rescues, so this is a topic near and dear to my heart.  The story is entertaining and serves to get across a lot of information to help kids understand why dogs may be homeless and how they can help.  Although this is a fictional story, the information presented within it is true.  Lots of kids want pets, or think they do, so a story like this can be helpful in promoting discussion of exactly what is involved and expected.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers, please be sure to leave your post-specific links in the list below so we can all come visit you (since it's still too cold to spend much time outside!)

Have a great weekend, everyone!!! :)

0 Comments on Perfect Picture Book Friday - JJ The American Street Dog as of 3/7/2014 3:08:00 AM
Add a Comment
6. Perfect Picture Book Friday - Mathilda And The Orange Balloon

Would someone please tell me how it got to be Friday?

Seriously!  Where did this week go?  I am still somewhere back around midday Monday...

But since the rest of the world seems to agree that it's Friday, let's have a Perfect Picture Book, shall we?

Title: Mathilda And The Orange Balloon
Written By: Randall de Seve
Illustrated By: Jen Corace
Balzer & Bray, Feb. 2010, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: imagination, be yourself/individuality

Opening: "Mathilda's world was small.  Here's what was in it: Green grass.  Green barn.  Gray skies.  Gray stones.  Gray sheep."

Brief Synopsis: Mathilda lives in a small, familiar world, which is all very nice, until one day she spies an orange balloon.  She is captivated, and she believes that she can be an orange balloon too!

Links To Resources: Preschool lesson plan for the color orange; learning activities for the color orange; preschool lesson plan for sheep; pair this book with other sheep books like Sheep In A Jeep by Nancy Shaw and discuss how the sheep in the books are alike and different; pair this book with other imagination books like Harold And The Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and discuss how Mathilda uses her imagination compared to how Harold uses his.

Why I Like This Book: This book is just darling!  Mathilda is so delightful, so cheerful, so optimistic and imaginative and determined.  "What is a balloon?" she asks, and when the others answer that it is round and it flies, Mathilda (who is a gray sheep) shows them that she too is round and can fly.  "What is orange?" she asks, and when the others answer that it is fierce like a tiger, warm like wool, and happy, she shows them that she is all those things too.  The art and the text are simple and sweet, and the message that you can be anything you want if you believe in yourself is one that is near and dear to my heart (since it is the same message that Punxsutawney Phyllis has :))  And I just have to share my favorite line from the story when Mathilda first catches sight of the orange balloon: "Mathilda had never seen anything so magnificent." :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers, please be sure to leave your post-specific links in the list below so we can all come visit you and enjoy your selections for this week!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  I guess we will all be working on writing our fairy tales... wink wink nudge nudge... right??? :) (For March Madness Writing Contest guidelines go HERE.)

0 Comments on Perfect Picture Book Friday - Mathilda And The Orange Balloon as of 3/14/2014 5:51:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Giving Tree

For this week’s Perfect Picture Book Friday I chose the Shel Silverstein Classic, The Giving Tree.





Title:  The Giving Tree

Author/Illustrator: Shel Silverstein

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (1964)

Ages: 7 and up (the Publisher has it listed for 10+)

Themes:  Growing up, cause and effect, friendship, giving, acceptance


  Once there was a tree

And she loved a little boy.

And every day the boy would come

And he would gather her leaves

and make them

into crowns

and play king of the forest.

This is a delightful tale of the friendship and love of a little boy and his beloved tree. The tree is always there for the boy, all through out his years. It is a story of love and friendship told in the perfect way that Shel Silverstein was known for.

From the publisher:  Once there was a little tree … and she loved a little boy.

So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.

Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk … and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.


Shel Silverstein.com has a wonderful collection of activities, downloadables and even an app!

Unique teaching resources.com has some great ideas on using the book in the classroom

The Web English Teacher has some lesson plans

Easy Fun School is a

Add a Comment
8. Perfect Picture Book Fridays: John Philip Duck

The book I chose is a historical fiction book about a boy, music and ducks, John Philip Duck by Patricia Polacco.

Title:  John Philip Duck

Author/Illustrator: Patricia Polacco

Publisher: Philomel Books (Division of Penguin Young Readers)

Ages: 5 & up

Themes: animals, arts, biography, bravery, cause & effect, creativity, diversity, culture, helping others

Opening and Synopsis: 

Edward was a sweet boy who lived with his family on a small farm

just outside of Memphis in the foothills of Tennessee. Times were hard.

There was a depression on and money was hard to come by.

Even though Edward was just a kid, he and his father worked at the same hotel in Memphis.

During the work week they stayed at the hotel, but on the weekends they both went home.

From the book jacket: When young Edward first brought his tiny wild duck to the grand hotel where he worked with his pa, his only thought was to keep it hidden. After all, he just needed a warm place for his little pet to stay during the day. Everyone helped to keep his secret.

Until one day, when Mr. Schutt, the blustery hotel manager, discovered the duck swimming in the lobby fountain! Surprised but not defeated, Edward showed Mr. Schutt how his duck could perform, even march to a John Philip Sousa tune. Maybe Edward could train other ducks to do the same. All he needed was Mr. Schutt’s okay-but could he get it in time to save John Philip Duck?


Go on Itunes and Spotify and listen to some John Philip Sousa music.

Visit online the Peabody Hotel in Memphis

Coloring pages of ducks

Patricia has some neat activities and free bookmarks at her website

Try a discussion with kids on tricks your favorite pets do. Do any of them like music?

What’s your favorite genre of music? Why?

What I liked about this book:  Even though it is historical fiction, this story felt so real to me. It was fun to find out that th

Add a Comment
9. Perfect Picture Book Fridays – Corduroy


My pick for this week’s Perfect Picture Book Friday is a classic favorite “Corduroy” by Don Freeman.





Title: Corduroy Author/Illustrator: Don Freeman Publisher: The Viking Press a division of Penguin Books (1968) Scholastic Inc.

Ages: 3-7


Corduroy is a bear who once lived in the toy department of a big store.

Day after day he waited with all of the other animals

and dolls for somebody to come along and take him home.

This book is about a little toy bear named Corduroy. He longs for a home of his own and a child to love him. He thinks that maybe it’s the missing button on his overalls. So he goes on an adventure inside the store to find a new button. It’s a sweet story of the longing for being loved and belonging somewhere.

From the publisher, Scholastic:  Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy, continues to stir the hearts and imagination of children and adults around the world. Published thirty years ago, this children’s book, in which a bear leaves the safety of his department store shelf in order to do almost anything to be adopted by a little girl, is one of the most endearing… and enduring in existence. Instilling the theme of hope and compassion, there’s no doubt that this beloved picture book will continue to be a favorite for each new generation awaiting to have their own “Corduroy” experience.

Born in San Diego, California, Freeman moved to New York City in the 1940′s to study art while making a living as a jazz trumpeter. He died in 1978, leaving his beloved audience with a treasury of classic children’s stories. Corduroy is a story that all children can relate to.

Themes:  Adventure, belonging, kindness/compassion/generosity, emotions, exploration, friendship, hope, love


United Teaching Discoveries has a number of fun activities and guides

Scholastic has a teacher’s guide and activities

An idea for a home project would be to find an old toy and fix it up. Sew new clothes or find new clothes for it. Patch up the places it is worn.

Coloring Pages for Corduroy:

Twisty Noodle





Why I love this book:  Well, besides the adorable illustrations, one can’t help but feel sadness for this little bear. We’ve all had favorite toys we’ve cast aside. Whenever I go to a store and see a sad little stuffed bear I always think of Corduroy. And yes, sometimes I do buy it Add a Comment

10. Perfect Picture Book Friday – Hi Cat!

My pick this week for Perfect Picture Book Fridays is a book one of my favorite author/illustrators, Ezra Jack Keats

Title: Hi, Cat!

Author: Ezra Jack Keats

Publisher: Macmillan Company (1970) Viking Juvenile (1999)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes: Appreciation/Gratitude, Animals, Accidents, Conflict/Resolution

Synopsis:  Archie goes to meet his friend Peter (Remember The Snowy Day?)so they can put on a street show for the neighborhood. On his way, he meets a stray cat. The cat ends up following Archie to the show. It proceeds to mess up all of Archie’s plans. But Archie doesn’t get mad. He accepts what happens and sees that the cat just really likes him.

Opening:  On his way to meet Peter, Archie saw someone new on the block:

“Hi, cat,” he said as he walked by.

From the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation:

Archie is walking down the street eating an ice cream cone. It’s a beautiful day, and he is on his way to meet his best friend Peter. Suddenly stopped by a newcomer to his neighborhood, Archie says, “Hi, cat!” The cat sits, looks him up and down, and purrs. It turns out to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Keats’s vibrant palette brings this humorous, fast-paced story to life.


Make your own backyard theater – Here’s some free kids scripts

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has a wonderful list of resources for educators

PBS Kids has a lists of plays for kids to have fun with

Adopt a kitty of your own! Petfinder.org or locate the nearest Humane Society in your area and visit or foster a pet!

Why I like this book:  I love Ezra Jack Keats of simple storytelling. He lets the reader “fill in the blanks”. I also enjoy his style of illustration. Every book of his that I have read I have loved. He knew how to interpret life in an urban environment and make it interesting and engaging for the reader, no matter what age.

Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favo

Add a Comment
11. Perfect Picture Book Fridays – Petunia

Hooray! It’s Fall and time for the weekly blog event Perfect Picture Book Fridays! Each week, author Susanna Hill hosts the event on her blog. To view more of the reviews of wonderful picture books, please go there! This week I am reviewing a fun classic, Petunia by Roger Duvoisin:

Title: Petunia

Author/Illustrator: Roger Duvoisin (1950 Alfred A. Knopf)

Suitable for ages: 4 and up

Themes: Affecting others, animals, cause and effect, confidence, reading


In the meadow, early one morning, Petunia, the silly goose, went strolling.

She ate a bug here, clipped off a clover leaf there, and she picked at the dewdrops on the goldenrod leaves.

Then, suddenly, she saw something she had never seen before in the meadow, what was it?

This is the opening of a calamity of errors in which a farm goose finds a book and thinks that holding it will make her wiser. The farm animals start to believe it also and fall again and again for her words of “wisdom”.

Links to resources:

Coloring pages at 123coloring

Learning about the Goose on Animal Planet

Printable book about numbers and birds at Enchanted Learning

IlluStory- make your own story kit at Amazon

Teacher’s guide for Petunia (tv episode but can be used for book) at New Hampshire Public Television

Why I like this book:  I love stories that have a grander message. This one’s message is that just holding a book does not make someone wise, it is reading that counts. The author shows us time and again how the animals ask this silly goose for advice only to have something negative happen to them because of her unwise answer. This strong message about reading is a good rule of thumb for everyone, adults included. I loved the comedic value of the story also. The antics of the goose allowed for some fun illustrations that children will love.

Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.


Add a Comment
12. Perfect Picture Book Fridays: The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush


I am adding the book, The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush retold and illustrated by Tomie de Paola to the Perfect Picture Book Fridays List.



Title: The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

Author/Illustrator: Tomie de Paola

Publisher: Puffin 1996

Ages: 4 and Up

Themes: Be Yourself, Special Talents, Self-Esteem/Self-Worth, Self-Acceptance, Nature, History


“Many years ago when the People traveled the Plains and lived in a circle of teepees, there was a boy who was smaller than the rest of the children in the tribe. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t keep up with the other boys who were always riding, running, shooting their bows, and wrestling to prove their strength. Sometimes his mother and father worried for him.

This folk tale is a retold legend of how the wildflower, The Indian Paintbrush, came to be on the plains of North America. It is the tale of a Native American boy, Little Gopher, who is small and longs to be a warrior. His path leads different than others however. Little Gopher has a Dream Vision in which he is told to paint on buckskin the deeds of the warriors and the legends of the tribe. He longs to be a great hero to the tribe, and eventually he succeeds, but not in the way of the warrior as he thought.

The colorful illustrations accentuate the authenticity of a tale that encourages children to follow a different drummer. – Children’s Book Review Service.

The humanity expressed in this story illustrates the value of perseverance and of the endurance of effort that will bring its reward – School Library Journal (starred review).


The Nebraska DOT has a roadside wildflower guide to download if you plan on traveling through the plains states.

Pinterest has a Wildflowers board of the Midwest

Here is what an Indian Paintbrush plant looks like

The US Forest Service has some coloring pages for wildflowers

Classroom/Home activity:  Discover what native wildflowers are located in the child’s own state. Pick one flower to research. Draw a picture of the flower.

Why I like this book: 

This book touched my heart because it is about a child who is different from everyone else around them. It is how this child overcame adversity to walk their own path in life. Tomie de Paola is one of my favorite author & illustrators who has a way of telling a complex story in a way that children can understand. His illustrations are delightful and fun, making the book even more engaging to children. Tomie writes at the end of the book that he is retelling this legend that was first published in 1965 in an article for Austin American-Statesman by Ruth D. Isley. It is now collected in the book, Texas Wildflowers, Stories and Legends.


Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.

*November is Picture Book Month!  Read *Share *Celebrate!


Add a Comment
13. Perfect Picturebook Fridays – When Dinosaurs Came With Everything

Hello everyone! The Fall term of college is over, and I now have some time to do some Perfect Picture Book reviews! Yay! To view more of today’s PPBF’s, please visit author (and founder of PPBF) Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

Title: When Dinosaurs Came With Everything
Author: Elise Broach
Illustrator: David Small
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster). (2007)
Ages: 3 and Up
Themes: Adventure, Animals, Cause & Effect, Cleaning Up, Conflict Resolution, Consequences, Dinosaurs, Family, Fantasy, Fun, Humor, Imagination, Parenting, Perspective, Problem Solving, Positivity
Friday is errand day. My mom goes on boring errands, and I have to go with her. And this Friday seemed like every other Friday…until we got to the bakery. A sign above the donuts read: “Buy a Dozen Get a Dinosaur”.

Inside book jacket:  Get what?! Free what?! Dinosaurs? Just when a little boy thinks he is going to die of boeredom from running errands with his mom, the most remarkable, the most stupendous thing happens. He discovers that on this day, and this day only, stores everywhere are giving away a very special treat with any purchase. No, not the usual lollipop or sticker. Something bigger. Much, MUCH bigger. It’s a dream come true, except…what exactly do you do with these Jurassic treats? And how do you convince Mom to let you keep them?


“Broach and Caldecott Medalist Small’s deadpan delivery of a delectably over-the-top premise makes this tall-format picture book a virtually guaranteed crowd pleaser… Packs an outsize helping of humor.”
– Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“What if one day every merchant in town offered up, and indeed, insisted that shoppers take home a live dinosaur (free) with every purchase? That’s what happens to a boy and his mother in this sweet, absurd story that unfolds very much like a dream.”
– Kirkus, Starred Review

“Enticing, useful, and wish-fulfilling, this has ‘firm favorite’ written all over it, especially if you invite the audience to bring their own, presumably toy, dinosaurs.”
– Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, Starred Review


Printable Coloring Sheets from Simon & Schuster

Dinosaur Quiz

Lesson Plans for Grades K-5 at Discovery.com

Videos from National Geographic Dinosaur 101

Awards this book has won:


What I liked about this book:  I liked how this book started ordinary, then took a turn for the unusual! I liked how it was told from a kids perspective. The book also had a theme of turning a negative into a positive concerning the Mom’s attitude about pet dinosaurs. The illustrations were lively and fun. This book won the E.B. White Read Aloud Award and I can see why. Each turn of the page offers more craziness as kids everywhere on that day, and that day only get dinosaurs!


Geena Davis read this book at the White House Easter Egg Roll in 2011:

Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.



Add a Comment
14. Perfect Picture Book Fridays – Over in the Arctic

This week for Perfect Picture Book Fridays I chose the book Over in the Arctic: Where the Cold Wind Blows by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin.


Title:  Over in the Arctic- Where The Cold Wind Blows

Author:  Marianne Berkes

Illustrated:  Jill Dubin

Publisher: Dawn Publications 2008

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:  Nature, Animals, Counting

Publishers summary:  A counting book in rhyme presents various Arctic animals and their offspring, from a mother polar bear and her “little cub one” to an old father wolf and his “little pups ten”. Includes related facts and activities.


Over in the Arctic

Where the cold waters run,

Lived a mother polar bear

And her little cub one.

“Roll,” said the mother.

“I roll,” said the one.

So they rolled on the ice

Where the cold waters run.


Winner of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Gold Award
2009 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist
Winner of the 2008 IParenting Media Greatest Product Award


There are quite a few ideas and activities in the back of the book! It was really neat to see a publisher take the time and space to add activities from both the author and illustrator. There also is a sheet of music to use along with the book.

The Alaska Sea Life Center offers a .pdf curriculum download of the life cycle of Salmon

This book would be great for an art or music lesson.

What I liked about this book:  I loved the familiar rhyme of this book (“Over in the meadow”). I enjoyed how the author used the terms for each of the young animals. This would be helpful when teaching children about animal family groups and basic counting. The artwork was created in collage format that was fun and interesting. Each page will captivate a child when reading aloud. I love picture books that are both entertaining and educational. They make a great resource for engaging a child in learning.

Here is a video of “Cookie” the little penguin at the Cincinnati Zoo. Isn’t Cookie adorable?

Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.

Add a Comment
15. Perfect Picture Book Fridays – The Snowy Day

For this weeks Perfect Picture Book Friday, I am choosing one of my favorite picture books of all time: Title and Publisher:   The Snowy Day written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats.  Originally published in 1962. Currently published by Viking Juvenile; 50 Anv edition August 18, 2011 (A division of Scholastic) 1963 Caldecott Award...

Add a Comment
16. Perfect Picture Book Friday – My Lucky Day

It's Friday! Time for another selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Add a Comment
17. Perfect Picture Book Friday – Press Here

My choice this week for PPBF is Press Here by Hervé Tullet

Add a Comment
18. Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Curious Garden

My selection this week for Perfect Picture Book Friday is The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Add a Comment
19. Perfect Picture Book Friday – Otis

It's Friday! This week I review Otis by Loren Long

Add a Comment
20. Perfect Picture Book Friday – Hands

My Perfect Picture Book Friday selection this week is "Hands" by Lois Ehlert

Add a Comment
21. Perfect Picture Book Friday – Hands

My Perfect Picture Book Friday selection this week is "Hands" by Lois Ehlert

Add a Comment