The Search Is On For Buried Treasure This Perfect Picture Book Friday!

When my sister and I were kids, we spent a number of sunny afternoons building outdoor rooms from twigs, rocks, and string in the forest. We imagined the spaces we had marked off were our neighboring homes. Sometimes, we sat on the backs of fallen trees, pretending to be sea captains of an imaginary sailing vessel. Once in a while, with fingers and twigs, we dug in the earth, hoping to find a small treasure.

In today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review, two boys do more than dig a little hole in their search for buried treasure…

Title – Sam & Dave Dig A Hole – view on Amazon HERE.

Written by – Mac Barnett

Illustrated by – Jon Klassen

Published by – Candlewick Press – 2014

Suitable for ages – 3-7

Topics/Theme –  Searching for treasure, determination, acceptance

Opening –

On Monday Sam and Dave dug a hole.

“When should we stop digging?” asked Sam.

“We are on a mission,” said Dave. “We won’t stop digging until we find something spectacular.”

Why do I like this book? This is one of those amazing stories in which the marriage between text and illustration become pure magic! Page after page, we wait for Sam and Dave to find the treasure they so desperately seek. And through the illustrations, we stay one agonizing step ahead of the determined treasure-seekers, stressing beyond belief! I’m not going to spoil the imaginative fun this story provides. I’ll only say that this book is a treasure worth seeking.

Learn more about Mac Barnett HERE.

Learn more about Jon Klassen HERE.

JUST FOR FUN! Hide tiny treasures and trinkets in a large, sand-filled, storage container in your backyard. Next, make a treasure map that leads kids to the treasure. Give them small plastic shovels and let them pretend to be Sam and/or Dave from today’s picture book story.

Until next Friday!

Telephone – a fun game and picture book for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday once again! And today, we’re stepping back on memory lane to the game of Telephone!

I was one of twenty-three fidgety kids lined up between the overflowing supplies cabinet and the  smelly, gerbil cage in Mrs. Larson’s third-grade class, waiting for instructions on how to play the game, Telephone.

“Think up a message,” Mrs. Larson told the first student in line, “and whisper it to the person standing next to you. Keep the message going down the line to the last person. She’ll say what she heard, and we’ll see how close it comes to the original message.”

Of course, knowing the end message was expected to be a far cry from the original, most kids tweaked more than a few words while whispering their ear-tickling messages behind cupped hands.

This fun game of Telephone is the basis for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday (PPBF) review.

Title – Telephone

Written by – Mac Barnett

Illustrated by – Jen Corace

Published by – Chronicle Books – 2014

Suitable for ages – 3-7

Topics/Theme –  listening skills

Opening –  Tell Peter: Fly home for dinner.     Tell Peter: Hit pop flies and homers.

Amazon Review –  View it HERE.  It’s time to fly home for dinner! In this witty picture book from award-winning and bestselling author Mac Barnett, a mother bird gives the bird next to her a message for little Peter. But passing messages on a telephone line isn’t as simple as it sounds. Each subsequent bird understands Mama’s message according to its own very particular hobbies. Will Peter ever get home for dinner? This uproarious interpretation of a favorite children’s game will get everyone giggling and is sure to lead to countless rereads.

Why do I like this book?  What’s not to love about a book that takes the adult reader back to a fond childhood memory while introducing children to a marvelously funny game? Jen Corace’s, crisp, colorful illustrations are expressive and humorous – the perfect pairing for an ever-changing, off-the-charts, funny picture book by Mac Barnett.
Watch the book trailer HERE.

Learn about Mac Barnett HERE.

Lear about Jen Corace HERE.

Find more “Perfect Picture Book Friday” reviews at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE.

What childhood games are you fondly recalling? I’d love for you to share them in the comments.

Perfect Picture Book Friday looks at ‘Extra Yarn’

Extra YarnPerfect Picture Book Friday looks at the Caldecott Honor book, Extra Yarn, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen. And, as a fun addition, I have included a link at the end of this post to help you learn to knit as well as a link that teaches you to make a fun DIY yarn bowl.

When I was twelve, my mother decided I was old enough to learn how to knit. After receiving a marvelous wardrobe of patterned ski sweaters, pants, and jackets for my Barbie dolls over the years, I was eager to learn at my mother’s side. I watched as she quickly cast on. Her fingers did what I fondly refer to in knitting as ‘the dance’. The yarn moved slowly, smoothly, and steadily over her fingers as the piece grew longer and longer. When it was my turn, I took the knitting needles in hand and created something quite extraordinary. I made a creation that fell somewhere between a cobweb and a hairball. Mom gave up and I returned to sewing, a skill I had far greater success with.

As the years passed, and I grew up and married, I came by a yarn shop with a poster in the window, advertising their Saturday Afternoon Knitting Class. I decided to give knitting another chance. Since the teacher would be paid to teach me, maybe she’d have more patience…

The process was different from my mother’s. I learned there are many ways to knit, and the method taught in this class made sense to me. Before long, I had knit scarves for the family, knit and felted purses and house slippers and stuffed animals. My husband, who often sat beside me, watching as I knit, surprised me one day.

“I’ve been watching you,” he said. “And I think I know how to knit.”

“Sweetheart,” I said, “don’t get discouraged if your first attempts look like a cross between a cobweb and a hairball.” I gave him yarn and a set of knitting needles. Sure enough, he cast on like a pro. Before the week was out, my darling husband had knit himself a beautiful scarf. Then he went on the learn how to make those challenging cable knits and tackled a sweater!

All this talk of knitting leads me to the lovely picture book I’d like to share with you this Friday.

Title – Extra Yarn

Written by- Mac Barnett

*Illustrated by- Jon Klassen

*Published by- Balzer + Bray,  2012

*Suitable for ages – 4  – 8

*Topics/theme – Sharing and friendship

*Opening – On a cold afternoon, in a cold little town, where everywhere you looked was either the white of snow or the black of soot from chimneys, Annabelle found a box filled with yarn of every color.

Summary  – With a supply of yarn that never runs out, Annabelle knits for everyone and everything in town until an evil archduke decides he wants the yarn for himself.

Synopsis from Amazon – Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller. It is the story of how a young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community.

With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic.

Why do I like this book? Annabelle finds a box filled with yarn and sets out to knit herself a sweater, and because she has yarn left… she knits a sweater for her dog, too. But when people see her creations, they laugh and tease. Instead of feeling discouraged, Annabelle performs a most wonderful and unexpected act of kindness… She knits sweaters for those people, too. And…because she still has more yarn left…Anabelle warms her town in cozy sweaters–literally. I won’t spoil the ending, but let me say that Annabelle loves her yarn and all she can do with it sooo much that she wouldn’t part with it for two million dollars. That’s love!

Author – Visit Mac Barnett’s web page here.

Illustrator – Visit Jon Klassen’s here.

Learn how to knit here.

Now for a fun DIY project you can do with children. Make a fun, usable yarn bowl with children. Instructions here

To find other perfect picture books please visit Susanna Hills blog.

If, after reading this book, you are wondering what else Annabelle could have made with her yarn, as children for their thoughts. Their answers are guaranteed to surprise and delight you.