Friday, March 20, 2015

Perfect PB Friday: Two Bear Books

Happy Spring! I'm ready to say goodbye to winter and so are the bears in these two perfect picture books. Enjoy the rhythm.

Title: One Dark Night
by Lisa Wheeler,  Harcourt Books
Themes: dark, sharing, friends
The story begins -
In a wee little house,
In a wee little hole,
Lived a wee little mouse
And a wee little mole. 
The scene shifts to a "big giant lair" where a "big giant bear" is getting hungry and grumpy. 
He growled beasty growls.
He stomped beasty feet.
Climax -
Mouse perked his ears. Heard SNARL-SNUFF-A-SNUFF.
"SOMEthing is coming!" And that SOMETHING sounds tough!
It's bear. 
He's unhappy that mouse and mole are late for their feast.

Title: Bear Says Thanks
by Karma Wilson, S&S Books
Themes: sharing, thankful, friends
The story begins -
All alone in his cave,
Bear listens to the wind.
He is bored, bored, bored . . .
and he misses his friends.
In the next spread, bear comes up with a plan.
"I could make a big dinner!
A feast I could share."
But he looks through his cupboard,
and the cupboard is bare.
Climax -
Bear’s friends come to his cave with food. Thanks!
Bear mutters and he stutters and he wears a big frown.
Bear sighs and he moans and he plops himself down.
Bear feels bad that he has no food to share. But his friends ask Bear to share his stories.
I love how both picture books show friends sharing food and stories.
With word play and rhyme, both stories feature a big brown bear. 
And both illustrators painted emotionally driven pictures which draw the reader in.
Lisa Wheeler created an Activity Guide for One Dark Night

Visit Susanna Leonard Hill's blog for a complete list of today's Perfect Picture Books.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

PB Review: Maple & Willow Together

Author / Illustrator: Lori Nichols
Publisher: Penguin Group
Themes: caring, nature, siblings

When Maple is tiny, her parents plant a maple tree in her honor. She and her tree grow up together, and even though a tree doesn’t always make an ideal playmate, it doesn’t mind when Maple is in the mood to be loud—which is often. Then Maple becomes a big sister, and finds that babies have their loud days, too. Fortunately, Maple and her beloved tree know just what the baby needs.

Maple & Willow Together
Maple and Willow do everything together. They love playing outside throughout the whole year, welcoming the sun, rain, leaves, and snow. But it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, because sometimes big sisters can be bossy—and sometimes little sisters can be frustrating—and even the best of friends need a break from each other . . . at least until they can no longer bear to be apart.

I love how both picture books show caring and sharing.

Maple and her little sister, Willow, were always together.

As the older sister, Maple likes to make the rules. Willow likes to do things a little different. This causes some tears. But they can't stay mad at each other for long.

The girls also love their trees. Unlike in The Giving Tree, Maple and Willow both give and take.

Why do these books make good mentor texts?
I connected with the characters, Maple and Willow. The girls have a variety of emotions and interests. They are not one thing through each story. And Lori Nichols allows her characters to make mistakes and get hurt. 

I'm reading for ReFoReMo (Reading For Research Month) created and hosted by Carrie Charley Brown. I've read 75 picture books so far this month. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Perfect PB Review: This book just ate my dog!

Title: This book just ate my dog!
Author / Illustrator: Richard Byrne
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Year: 2014
Themes: pet, help
When her dog disappears into the gutter of the book, Bella calls for help. But when the helpers disappear too, Bella realizes it will take more than a tug on the leash to put things right.
Opening spread of story
I love how this picture book breaks the 4th wall.
When Bella's dog, a boy named Ben, rescue vehicles, and Bella disappear into this book that appears to be the end. But then Bella asks the reader for help.
Dear reader,
It would be lovely if you could kindly HELP US!
Please turn this book on its side and SHAKE.
Bella and the gang all fall out.