Perfect Picture Book Friday Takes a New Approach to Valentine’s Day.

Sure, I could share a picture book with you that boasts a Valentine’s Day theme, but I decided to veer off in a fresh direction. Instead of one book, I’m sharing three that have absolutely nothing to do with Valentine’s Day except for one thing.

All three books have perfectly pink covers, making them perfect to share this holiday!

Title – Pinkalicious

Written and illustrated by- Victoria Kann & Elizabeth Kann

Published by- Harper Collins Children’s Books – 2006

Topics – Pink, cupcakes, picky eaters.

Opening – It was a rainy day, too wet to go outside.
Mommy said, “Let’s make cupcakes! What color do you want?”
“Pink!” I said. “Pink, pink, pink!”

Synopsis from Amazon HERE Pinkalicious loves all things pink. From fairy dresses to cotton candy to bubblegum. Most importantly she loves eating pink cupcakes. Mommy and Daddy warn her not to eat too many, but Pinkalicious can’t help herself. They’re just too good! But when Pinkalicious eats one too many, she turns pink herself! What will she do?

Title – Glamourpuss

Written by- Sarah Weeks

Illustrated by – David Small

Published by- Scholastic Press – 2015

Topics – pampered pet, jealousy, friendship

Opening – Once upon a pillow sat a glamourous cat named Glamourpuss.
Glamourpuss lived ith Mr. and Mrrs. Highhorsen in a giant masion on the top of a hill…

Synopsis from Amazon HERE A sassy, delicious picture-book gem from award-winning author Sarah Weeks and Caldecott Medal winner David Small.Glamourpuss has it all.She has style.She has charm. And she knows how to strike a pose.Glamourpuss loves being the center of attention. So when an unwelcome guest (a dog, no less!) steals the spotlight with some tasteless bow-wowing and undignified tail-wagging, Glamourpuss worries that she’s going to fall out of fashion. Is there room for only one superstar in this mansion? When Glamourpuss makes her most majestic move to find out, the result is pure purrfection.

Title – Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin

Written by- Lloyd Moss

Illustrated by – Marjorie Priceman

Published by- Aladdin Paperbacks – 2000

Topics – music, counting, stories in rhyme

Opening – With a mournful moan and silken tone,
Itself alone comes ONE TROMBONE.
Gliding, sliding, igh notes go low;
ONE TROMBONE is playing SOLO.

Synopsis from Amazon HERE – When this book begins, the trombone is playing all by itself. But soon a trumpet makes a duet, a french horn a trio, and so on until the entire orchestra is assembled on stage. Written in elegant and rhythmic verse and illustrated with playful and flowing artwork, this unique counting book is the perfect introduction to musical groups. Readers of all ages are sure to shout “Encore!” when they reach the final page of this joyous celebration of classical music.

My appologies that Monday will come and go without my poetry post, but after my long-awaited hand surgery (today), I’ll need a little time to mend. However, knowing how impossible it is for me to go a day without writing, I’ll be back seriously soon (even if I have to peck out a poem on my computer with a pencil clamped between my teeth).

Leslie

Perfect Picture Book Friday Shares a Poetic Year of Celebrations.

Back in September, of that year many of us don’t like to speak about, I shared two picture poetry books by Raven Howell followed by her interview. Today, for Perfect Picture Book Friday, I’m pleased to share another of Raven’s poetry books that focuses on the various events and holidays celebrated throughout the year.

A CHEER FOR THE YEAR opens with a tribute to New Year’s Day with the promise of shimmering icicles and snowy hills for sledding. As you turn the pages, the poems move through the months, sharing Raven’s sweet humor, appreciation, and love for each special event. The groundhog gets questioned whether spring will arrive early or whether winter will stick around. Valentine’s Day, Arbor Day, Easter, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, and more, lead us to the next New Year’s celebration.

Title – A Cheer For The Year

Written by  –  Raven Howell

Illustrated by  – Meredith Messinger

Published – Clear Fork Publishing

Suitable for ages – up to 12

Topics – poetry, holidays, celebrations

Opening – The first poem, in celebration of New Year’s, begins…

New year’s Day, Frizzle frazzle, Shiver, shimmer, Razzle dazzle. Promises of snow that sticks…

and continues on, taking the reader for a high-paced sled ride where they greet a special snow friend.

Amazon Review HERE A Cheer for the Year offers a poetic calendar of holiday treats, the feeling you get when a friend presses a box of decadent chocolates in your hands, and you didn’t even know that’s what you were missing.

“A Cheer For the Year is an educational and fun collection of poems that weaves through seasons and holidays with a rhyme and colorful discovery on each page. Cleverly written, with illustrations that will delight children of all ages, this is a must have on any child’s bookshelf!”
– Jo Ann DiSalvo, Youth Services Programmer/Beekman Library

Why do I like this book? It’s a combination of factors, really. I love how Raven Howell always delights me with her poetry, finding unique moments to share through unexpected twists and seriously fun to say and read aloud words. Team up her poems with the playful, paper cut illustrations of Meredith Fern Messinger, that add an additional layer of surprise and delight to each page, and you’re holding a perfect picture book!

Learn more about Raven Howell HERE.

Learn more about Meredith Messinger HERE.

I invite you to visit me next week for The Monday Poems.

Leslie

A Rescue Mission + Book Review this Perfect Picture Book Friday

If you’ve been a longtime follower of my blog, you must know that I embrace all things nature. My love for the environment moseys, sprouts, and ambles through many of my picture book manuscripts as well as my blog posts, where this fascination is evident in the books I share.

I am forever amazed by the magic that hatches from an egg as small as a garden pea. I am intrigued by great flocks of birds that change direction as if commanded by a voice only they can hear. And when I find an acorn, I look into the branches of the impressive oak, knowing I am holding a seed as small as the one that sprouted and pushed its way toward the clouds.

Before I share today’s special picture book, I’d like to tell you about the author, who, as luck would have it, is one of my valued critique partners and a dear friend. Julia Richardson holds a boundless love for nature and is currently hard at work saving Hayden Creek, which runs through the state of Michigan. A faraway village has proposed to dump their wastewater into this pristine trout stream, and Julia is taking time away from her writing to do everything possible to prevent this tragedy. In the past, I have followed each of my picture book reviews with an author interview the following Friday. Julia’s interview will be delayed for the best possible reason. To Julia, if anyone has the strength, belief, and fortitute to make positive changes for the environment, it is you.

Onward to today’s review of Julia’s debut picture book, Little Dandelion Seeds the World.

Title – Little Dandelion Seeds the World
(Available on March 15, 2021)

Written by  –  Julia Richardson

Illustrated by  – Kristen & Kevin Howeshell

Published – Sleeping Bear Press, 2021

Suitable for ages – 6-10

Topics – Dandelions, seeds, dispersal

Opening
Swish, swirl, one hundred seeds fly.
One little seed flies with the wind, far, far away.
Darting.
Drifting.
Dropping.
Down with a root.
Up wth a shoot.
A little dandelion blooms in Africa.

Amazon Review HERE – Did you know dandelions thrive on all seven continents? The cheery blooms are among the most resilient and adaptable in the world. In this lyrical book, learn how the crafty plant travels on the wind and hitches rides in all manner of ways in order to spread far and wide. Includes a map and backmatter on dandelions.

Why do I like this book? Through the use of such writer’s tools as assonance, alliteration, rhyme, and the repeated refrain (Down with a root. Up with a shoot), Julia Richardson adds musicality to her writing, making this book a pleasure to read aloud or cozy close and hear. Readers and listeners get the unexpected surprise of discovering page after page of places on Earth dandelion seeds can travel. Through colorful, textural illustrations, Kristen & Kevin Howdeshell bring to life such marvelous destinations as Australia, Africa, and Europe. Their artistic talents teamed with Julia’s lyrical text create a book both children and adults will adore.

Learn more about Julia Richardson HERE.

Learn more about Kristen & Kevin Howdeshell HERE.

  • If you are interested in supporting Julia Richardson in her efforts to save Hayden Creek or you want to follow along on the progress, you can learn more at this special Facebook group. Save Hayden Creek.

I invite you to visit me next week for The Monday Poems.

Leslie

Perfect Picture Book Friday Shares a Tender Topic.

I don’t know if I could single out one memory to share that ties into today’s Perfect Picture Book Review that delves, with gentle hands, into the tender topic of the cycle of life from birth to death.

Growing up on the top of a heavily wooded hill, surrounded by a quilt of farmland, my family encountered a number of animals in need of care. If you’ve been a long-time follower of my blog, you’ll remember a number of stories I’ve shared about the injured animals we welcomed to stay with us while we cared for them and readied them to return to the wild. Unfortunately, not all of the animals survived. I might have learned the concept of death, early on, but no matter how many animals passed away, death never became easier to understand or accept.

The picture book I’m sharing today tells the story of a loss from a unique perspective. Not only do we learn about the life cycle of a chicken from the moment it breaks free of its egg to its untimely death from a predator, but the story guides a child toward an understanding of the way nature works in the wild, and that understanding leads to forgiveness.

Title – Sonya’s Chickens

Written and illustrated by  – Phoebe Wahl

Published  – Tundra Books – 2018

Suitable for ages – 4 to 8.

Topics – The cycle of life, sadness, and comfort.

Opening – One day, Sonya’s papa came home with three fluffy chicks. He gave the chicks to Sonya. “It can be your job to take care of them,” he told her.

The chicks lived in a cardboard box in the house while Sonya and her parents spruced up the old coop in the yard. Sonya took good care of the chicks. She liked to keep them tucked in her sweater for warmth. “I’ll be your mama,” she told them.

Amazon Review –  View it HERE. A beautifully told story about love, loss, and the circle of life from Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award winner Phoebe Wahl. Warm, nostalgic illustrations capture the earthy feel of this book about a little girl’s chicken who is stolen by a fox.

Sonya raises her three chickens from the time they are tiny chicks. She feeds them, shelters them, and loves them. Everywhere Sonya goes, her chicks are peeping at her heels. Under her care, the chicks grow into hens and even give Sonya a wonderful gift: an egg! One night, Sonya hears noises coming from the chicken coop and discovers that one of her hens has disappeared. Where did the hen go? What happened to her? When Sonya discovers the answers, she learns some important truths about the interconnectedness of nature and the true joys and sorrows of caring for another creature.

Why do I like this book? Sonya’s Chickens approaches the subject of death with great compassion and tenderness, keeping a child’s emotional needs at the forefront from cover to cover. As a mom, few topics challenged me as much, during my daughter’s early years, as explaining the meaning of death. Phoebe Wahl helps both the main character, Sonya, and the reader understand this aspect of nature in which a predator takes the life of an animal in the child’s care. I was stunned at the power of words that turn Sonya’s sadness and negativity into feelings of understanding and forgiveness.

I would describe the illustrations as enchanting. Through the use of watercolor, collage, and colored pencil Phoebe Wahl presents us with detailed pieces of art that capture her deep love of nature, the innocence of childhood, and the highs and lows of an emotional journey. It isn’t often I find a book that speaks to my heart and delights my eyes and ears so well.

Learn more about Phoebe Wahl HERE.

Other books written and illustrated by Phoebe Wahl are…

Backyard Fairies

The Blue House

I invite you to visit here next week for The Monday Poems.

Leslie