Simon’s New Bed – A Story of Sharing and Friendship Today at Perfect Picture Book Friday!

We adopted our dog, Max, about eight years ago. Of all the dogs at the rescue shelter, he was the most desperate to be loved because he had been adopted and returned six times.

The second he saw my daughter and me, he walked up to us and poured out his love with a million, hope-filled, dog kisses. I’ll never forget that day. I cradled Max in my arms like a baby and rubbed his belly while my daughter planted kisses all over his warm head and twiddled his ears. Max was the missing puzzle piece in our family picture.

We gave Max his own dog bed to snuggle into, his very own bowls for water and food, a blanket, and toys. Some years passed, and we decided to add more pets to our family. A budgie, a cockatiel, a dozen fish, one tortoise, and some treefrogs. With each new pet, Max worried he would have to make it through each day with less than ALL of our love. At times he’d turn his back to us and give us the silent treatment. Other days, he’d bark at the birds to show them who’s boss, He sniffed the tortoise and sneezed on its shell, he snubbed the fish and frogs. But… over time, Max learned to share his home with our little zoo. Which brings me to today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review in which learning to share leads to friendship.

Simon's New Bed by [Trimmer, Christian]

Title –  Simon’s New Bed

Author – Christian Trimmer

Illustrator – Melissa van der Paardt

Published by – Atheneum Books for Young Readers – 2015

Suitable for ages – 4 to 8

Topics – Sharing and friendship

Opening – What do you think of your new bed, Simon? You like it?

Bark! Bark!

Okay, Simon. Let’s go for a walk. You can try out your new bed when we get back!

Amazon Review  HERE. Simon’s new dog bed has been claimed by…a cat?! Laughter, scheming, and cuddles ensue in this fun naptime tale you’ll want to share, from debut author Christian Trimmer and illustrator Melissa van der Paardt.

Simon’s been looking forward to trying out his brand-new dog bed all day. He may be ready for the best nap of his life, but Miss Adora Belle the cat has other ideas. She’s taken over his bed before he even gets a chance to try it—and she’s not budging. As Simon struggles to find a way to free his bed for the Greatest Naptime Ever, he may just discover something wonderful about his new bed: there’s plenty of room for two.

Learn more about Christian Trimmer HERE.

Learn more about Melissa van der Paardt and this book HERE.

Video tutorial for a no-sew pet bed HERE.

Until next Friday.

There’s Room for Two this Perfect Picture Book Friday!

At the end of a long day of writing, editing, laundry, grocery shopping, feeding my zoo, giving homework help, paying bills, and making three meals plus a batch of biscotti, I’m understandably tired. It’s nine o’clock, and a familiar movie is playing on TV. My husband is camped out in his recliner, probably playing chess on his cell phone. Across the room, my daughter is zen tangling in her sketchbook. At the far end of the sofa, our snoring dog is making his nap look awfully, awfully good! Too good.

I lean back, just a little, to rest my head. Then, I slide down. Before long, I tilt over and stretch my legs. Soon, I’m drifting.

“Scootch in a little, Mom,” my daughter says, rubbing my shoulder.

My eyes still closed, I say, “The sofa isn’t wide enough for two. Why don’t you camp out on the loveseat?”

“Because I want to camp here with you,” she says.

I’m unable to resist the sweetness in her voice.

I scootch up against the back of the sofa, she squirms to find a comfy place beside me, and somehow, we wake up two hours later from a perfectly cozy nap.

I’m glad our sofa is big enough for two, which leads me to today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review…

Title –  Just Right for Two

Author – Tracey Corderoy

Illustrator – Rosalind Beardshaw

Published by – Nosy Crow – 2013

Suitable for ages – 3-5 (but I’m pretty sure people of all ages will love this book.)

Topics – Friendship

Opening – Dog had a big blue suitcase. He took it with him everywhere. Inside were all his special things… a bumpy little pinecone, a smooth rock with a hole in it, some dancing leaves,…

Amazon Review  HERE.  Dog has everything he needs in his big blue suitcase. Or does he?  Dog’s big blue suitcase is the perfect fit for all the little treasures he has collected. He is sure that he is happy with just himself and his suitcase. Until one night when Mouse comes along, and Dog discovers that his big blue suitcase is actually just right for two.

Why I like this book—  I love all things precious, and this book falls neatly into that category. Take one adorable dog with a treasure-packed suitcase, add to this a free-spirited mouse who recognizes the perfect place to squeeze in for a nap when he sees it, and you’ve got the makings of a lasting friendship. Now… team up one great writer with the artistic talents of  Rosalind Beardshaw, whose gift for capturing emotions is evident on every page, and… what more can I say?

Tracey Corderoy shares the inspiration behind her book, Just Right for Two, HERE.

Learn more about Rosalind Beardshaw HERE.

Listen to a precious reading of this book HERE.

Until next Friday.

Things Are Heating Up This Perfect Picture Book Friday With A DRAGON!

Have you ever wanted something so much but having it was impossible because an obstacle stood in your way? I’m not talking about the agony of climbing up a bean pole that’s growing through the clouds, getting past a starving giant (unnoticed), and snatching his golden goose. No, nothing challenging like that.

In the case of today’s book for Perfect Picture Book Friday, our main character, Duncan, desperately wants to read a book all the way through to those two wonderful words, ‘The End,’ but something keeps stopping him.

What could possibly stop Duncan from finishing a book?

I’m glad you asked. Well, Duncan happens to be a dragon–the FIRE BREATHING sort who has a habit of turning his books into ashes. I’m not going to spoil the ending for you, but I will say that the solution to Duncan’s problem is so picture book perfect, I recommend you read this book to find out how he solves his heated dilemma.

Title – Duncan The Story Dragon

Written and illustrated by – Amanda Driscoll

Published by – Alfred A. Knopf – 2015

Suitable for ages – 3-7

Topics/Theme –  Reading, determination, and friendship

(Isn’t this the cutest illustration?) 

Opening – Duncan the Dragon loved to read. When Duncan read a book, the story came to life… and his imagination caught fire. Unfortunately, so did his book. (In the land of picture books, I call this a perfect opening to a perfect book.) 

Amazon Review HERE – Duncan the Dragon loves to read. When he reads a story, his imagination catches fire! Unfortunately . . . so does his book. Fire breath is great for roasting marshmallows, but it’s not so great for reading. Duncan just wants to get to those two wonderful words, like the last sip of a chocolate milkshake: The End. Will he ever find out how the story ends? This bright, warm tale champions determination, friendship, and a love for books. And milkshakes!

Learn more about Amanda Driscoll HERE.

Check out this seriously adorable Fire Breathing Dragon craft project on YouTube.

Until next Friday!

GROWING SEASON is here, both in our gardens and in this sweet picture book.

Remember back in elementary school when kids became friends over simple reasons? Some kids forged friendships because they packed the same snack in their lunch, wore the same shoes to gym class, scribbled with the same colors of crayons, or were the exact same height.

In today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review, I’m sharing a tale of friendship in which two little girls have something BIG in common.

They are the smallest kids in their class.



Title – Growing Season

Written and illustrated by – Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Published by- Sterling Children’s Books – 2019

Topics – Friendship, envy, growing flowers

Opening – Best friends El and Jo were the smallest students in the class. Even their names were short.

Synopsis from AmazonEl and Jo are the smallest students in their class—and best friends, too, like peas in a pod. Even their names are short. But in springtime, something BIG happens: Jo starts growing like a weed, while El feels smaller every day. On the last day of school, their teacher asks every child to pick a plant to care for over the summer. All the other kids reach over El to grab their plant, and she has to take the very last one: a tiny, flowerless aster. At first, she’s disappointed. But as summer progresses, the aster begins to bloom—and so does El!

Why do I like this book? Growing Season finds its picture book perfection not only by being a sweet story of friendship but through its second layer in which young readers learn about growing flowers and the wait they must endure for late-bloomers to bloom. The comparison between the two friends and the flowers they take home on the last day of school pair perfectly.

Learn more about Maryann Cocca-Leffler HERE.

Children can watch flowers grow from seeds in this video.

Learn how to easily grow a variety of herbs and veggies in this YouTube video.


Which seeds will germinate the fastest for a science fair project? Watch here.

Children can be a little impatient when it comes to growing a garden. This spring or summer, plant radish seeds. They germinate in as little as 4 days and can be picked and eaten in less than one month!


This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions visit Susanna Leonard Hills Perfect Picture Books HERE

Until next Friday