Posts Tagged ‘Perfect Picture Book Friday’

(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links  on her blog.)

We are surviving the cold here in Michigan..It’s actually warmed up to 14 degrees!  This is definitely the perfect time to grab some good books, a warm afghan, a friendly cat, and maybe a dog or two to lay on your lap (or is it lie?  I always have to look it up).  Anyway, I remember once when I had a bout of the flu I just couldn’t get warm.  My hubby had piled on the quilts and afghans to no avail.  My shivering was keeping him awake.  Finally he called our choc. lab up on the bed next to  me.  That did it.  Her body heat warmed me up and let me sleep.

So why am I talking about Dogs….on the bed…..?  It’s my perfect picture book choice this week! My grand-reviewers were all involved in reviewing this one –  even their beagle who’s been featured here before. (He gave it a 4 paws up.)

Title: Dogs On The Bed100_9214

Author:   Elizabeth Bluemle

Illustrator:   Anne Wilsdorf

Publisher: Candlewick Press 2008

Genre: Picture Book

Audience Age: 4+ (But even the 2 1/2 yr. old was captivated)

Themes/Topics: Dogs/Family

Opening Sentences: There are dogs on the bed/Like hogs on the bed/Bed hogs on the bed/These dogs, these dogs!   Sideways on the bed/Dog maze on the bed/Paws grazing on the bed/These dogs, these dogs!

 This story is artfully and delightfully crafted in rhyme as a family of four (mom/dad and brother and sister) wrestle with  six pooches of varying size trying to spend the night in the family bed.

Why I like it:  It made us laugh! If you’ve ever owned a dog you’ll see it somewhere in these pages.  From scratching to stretching to snoring and 100_9222drooling,  whining or howling  and pushing you out from your own warm, cozy spot these canines take over the mattress.  Dad tries to oust them, to which they use the midnight howl to get outside only to want in 3 minutes later.  The family tries to share the bed and winds up on the floor “cuddling the ottoman.” They finally realize the value of their ‘portable heaters,’ rearrange sleeping accommodations and  settle down.  My grandchildren loved the canine rhyme.  There is a change up in the rhythm to alter the action and then it returns to the original beat.  Their favorite line was “They go on the prowl/they bark and they growl/night sounds make them howl…to which they added sound effects.  There are brown dogs, black dogs, small dogs, hairy dogs, white dogs and short dogs–we only counted six, but it seemed like more as they romped around.  Ms. Wilsdorf’s watercolors are whimsical and funny. Be sure to notice the background dog portraits for an extra grin.  One caveat:  this isn’t a ‘going to sleep book’ unless you read several more after to settle the kids back down.

Activities/Resources:  A MARVELOUS teacher’s guide is on the author’s website.  Everything from charting rhyming words, to Venn diagrams to having a stuffed animal day.

Availability: Readily available. Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

Blessings on your day and enjoy the book!!

Laura (Grandmamiller)

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It’s DECEMBER – “Christmas is coming, my hips are getting fat, please to put a dollar in this lady’s hat.”  Oh- excuse me,   I’m a on a bit of a sugar high – I’ve already overindulged in Christmas peeps  (I’m addicted).  I bought some for the kids at church last night.  I got an extra package in case we had extra kids—we didn’t  – so I ate them…..I also had a beautifully decorated sugar cookie with my lunch and finished up some chocolate candy from a specialty shop in Frankenmuth, Mi.  But it was all medicinal–  I’ve been working on the children’s Christmas program which  is in 11 days and we only have 2 rehearsals left  (we need about 10 more).

But-seriously- I’m o-k!  The peace of Christmas has not eluded me – because the  Prince of Peace resides within me.  And the children’s program always blesses us despite, and sometimes because of, the imperfections.  So I’ll be fine– once this buzzing in my head stops.

Anyway – as part of Perfect Picture Book Friday, created by Susanna Hill,  this week I wanted to recommend a beautiful  Christmas book told from a little different viewpoint.

Title:     The Very First Christmas   

Author:   Paul Maier

Illustrator:   Francisco Ordaz

Publisher: Concordia Publishing:  1998

Audience Age: 5 years and up.  (Although I’m sure younger children would enjoy a shortened version and  the beautiful pictures.)

Themes/Topics: Holidays-Christmas

Opening Sentences: “Chris wanted to know everything about everything.  At school his teachers sometimes called him ‘Christopher Question Mark’ because he was always raising his hand in class to ask for more information.”

Synopsis:  An 8 year old boy insists on ‘no more fairy tale stories,’ so at Christmas his  mother tells him the true, miraculous account of the Christmas story, based on scripture and historical facts.

Why I like it:  My attention was first drawn by the beautiful illustrations by Francisco Ordaz.  The images seem to breathe and are so wonderfully drawn with glowing light and detail.  The book is written by an historical scholar, but is not at all a dry account.  The setting is in modern day,  told as  a warm, realistic  conversation between mother and son at bedtime.   The child’s questions prompt his mother to  explain the miraculous, true story backed up by historical facts from the time of the birth of Jesus.    The answers to How old was Mary?, Why were the shepherds afraid?, Who was Jesus’ real father?  and Why was Jesus born in a stable? are all addressed as well as others.

Awards: Gold Medallion Award

Activities/Resources:  Nativity Coloring Pages & stories,  Ideas for kid’s handmade nativities (one made out of candy).

Availability: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Concordia Publishing (hardcover, paperback and even an abridged board book)

Later this month:   Dewey’s Christmas at the Library and Birthdays around the World.

Blessings to you all and happy reading!

Laura (Grandmamiller)

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Susanna Hill is the creator of Perfect Picture Book Friday where participants may review and recommend Picture Books.

I am so excited to bring you this week’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review.  It is a debut book written and illustrated by Alison Hertz who is also a 12×12PiBoIdMo,  SkADaMo and PPBF participant. (whew!)

I ordered my copy from Alison (so she could autograph it for me) and I received it in the mail this week.    I ran it by  a grueling 3 panelist review board and it PASSED  with ‘flying’ colors. (See pictures below of Panelists 1 & 2. However,  panelist #3 wouldn’t stand still for a picture because he was too busy flapping) .   Without any more preliminary here is my review of  FLAP!

Panelist #1 holding Flap!

Title:  FLAP!

Author & Illustrator:   Alison K. Hertz

Publisher: Magic Dreams Publishing

Genre: Fiction

Audience Age: 2-9

Themes/Topics: Imagination/Problem Solving

Opening Sentences: “I have an idea, Katie!  Let’s teach Lilly how to fly!” Max said.

Panelist # 2 Flapping

Panelists #1 and #2 reviewing book. Panelist #3 was off flapping!

Synopsis (from publisher):   When a 7-year-old twin brother and sister decide to teach their 4-year-old sister to fly, they quickly learn that telling her to FLAP! just isn’t enough.

Why I like it:  The book begins with an exciting idea that builds to an unexpected climax.   Each page turn brings a new, creative, problem solving idea.  As the children try to accomplish an impossible task there is a family of squirrels in the background following their every move and attempt to fly.  Although poor Lilly repeatedly crashes and falls, gets covered with mud and tissue paper feathers, she undauntingly pursues the goal of flying.  You won’t want to miss the surprise ending.   The illustrations are bright, exciting and humorous.  It is a high energy level book and my panelists loved the repetition of yelling “Run, Jump, FLAP!” and got more excited as the story progressed.   They even began jumping up and flapping in the middle of the story.  I think the best part of their review was when Panelist #1 said, “Is this book ours, Grandma, can we take it home?”  Sadly, I had to tell them no.  (because I got them their own autographed copy for Christmas.  Shhh-it’s a secret.)  FLAP! is a fun read and one that will be revisited often.

Activities/Resources:  Some ideas for making wings, and paper birds are here:  http://preschooler.thebump.com/flying-activities-kids-6291.html

and TLC has several paper airplane patterns and projects here:


Availability: Immediately from the author’s site, Amazon, or  Barnes  & Noble

Congratulations to Alison on a wonderful story!!  If you want to read more about Alison she allowed me to interview her  last week which you can read here.

Blessings to you all and Happy Flapping – I mean Reading!

Laura (Grandmamiller)

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