Just Listen This Perfect Picture Book Friday

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday looks at the touching story, The Rabbit Listened. I dedicate this post to anyone who knows the struggle of an emotional challenge.  

Sometimes problems grow into overwhelming proportions to the point of blocking out all light and hope. There’s no way to see through them or look around them. Well-meaning family and friends reach out to make things better by offering up their own sad stories in an attempt to make your troubles appear small by comparison. They might even resort to acting silly, assuming a smile is a sign all troubles have been wiped away. In some cases, people offer generic suggestions before listening and taking the time to understand.

The worst advice I ever received came from someone who wasn’t equipped to help because they had never faced my situation.

“Let’s pretend it never happened and move on.”  

They moved on. I couldn’t.

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday choice shares the story of Taylor, a child with an overwhelming problem. Many animals arrive to offer assistance, but only one friend takes the time to understand what Taylor truly needs.

I hope you’ll sit back for a moment (5 minutes and 42 seconds) and listen to The Rabbit Listened.

Title –  The Rabbit Listened

Author and illustrator – Cori Doerrfeld

Published by – Dial Books for Young Readers – 2018

Suitable for ages – 3-5

Topics – Empathy, kindness, and friendship.

Opening – One day, Taylor decided to build something. Something new. Something special. Something Amazing. Taylor was so proud. But then, out of nowhere…

Amazon Review HERE. When something sad happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to act, and one by one they fail to offer comfort. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen . . . which is just what Taylor needs.

Why I like this book—I connected to this story on all levels. I have been in Taylor’s shoes, dealing with an issue too big to keep inside and too big to share. I have experienced the well-meaning, but wrong, kinds of help Taylor received. I have been the friend who wanted to make everything better. Most importantly, I know the incredible feeling of receiving the support the rabbit offered.

The greatest gift we can give is to find out what someone needs…it’s as simple as listening.

Learn more about Cori Doerrfeld HERE.

Until next Friday.

Selfless Acts of Kindness Come to Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Carmine the Crow has been a favorite picture book of mine for years. I find hope, not in the largest part of the story, but in the book’s heart-hugging ending. The story introduces us to an ordinary crow by the name of Carmine who, like other crows, lives in a tree and feels a strong attraction to objects with a glint or a glimmer.  However, Carmine’s extraordinary heart is revealed when he saves the life of a swan and is rewarded with a rare gift for his kindness.

Carmine the Crow

As is true for all literary characters, when given the gift of something astonishing or when placed in a stressful situation, their true nature is revealed by their actions, words, and choices. The gift the swan gives to Carmine is a small box filled with ancient stardust–powerful enough to make any wish come true.   Any wish.    Instead of using the powers of the stardust to grant his own impossible wishes, Carmine sacrifices his dreams to help others. He gives away pinch after pinch of the sparkling stardust until he has no more to offer, not even to himself.

Carmine the Crow-2

With all the compassion both words and illustrations can hold, Heidi Holder delivers an unforgettable ending as brilliant and promising as the magic stardust.

Title – Carmine The Crow

Written and illustrated by- Heidi Holder

Published by- Farrar, Straus and Giroux – 1992

Topics – Selfless acts of kindness, friendship, and dreams.

Opening – Carmine the Crow was a very old crow and he lived in a very old tree. He loved to collect shiny objects and had masses of glittery things in his attic: thimbles, beads, keys, anything with a glint of a glimmer. He was especially fond of his tinfoil collection.

Find the book, Carmine The Crow, on Amazon HERE.

Learn More about Heidi Holder HERE.

Interesting facts about crows HERE.

Until next Friday.

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading