Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Wonder

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Title:  The Wonder

Author/Illustrator: Faye Hanson

Publisher:  Five Mile Press

Age Group: 3-7 year olds

Themes: creativity, colour, imagination, wonder

Opening Lines:  This is a boy whose head is filled with wonder.

Synopsis: This is a story about a boy who wonders:  where the birds are flying, who makes the clouds and if the lollipop lady’s sign tastes as orange as it looks.  He’s told by others to “pay attention” and “stop daydreaming”.  Then, In art class, he’s given a blank sheet of paper. The art teacher tells him… “Just use your imagination.”

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What I like about the book:  I love all the things that the boy wonders about and once his daydreams are set free, the pictures change from sepia to bright, bold, colourful drawings.  The boy uses his imagination and creativity to produce a wonderful picture for his art teacher.


* Give your child a blank piece of paper and ask them to use their imagination to draw their favourite daydream.

* Brainstorm what would happen if nobody used their imagination anymore.

* Ask – Why are the pictures in sepia at the start of the story and then colourful in the middle and end?

For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog.


Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Day the Crayons Quit

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Title: The Day the Crayons Quit

Author: Drew Daywalt

Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers

Age Group: 4-8 year olds

Themes: colour and creativity, feeling loved, writing letters, expressing yourself, equality.

Opening Lines: One day in class, Duncan went to take out his crayons and found a stack of letters with his name on them.

Synopsis (blurb from inside jacket): Poor Duncan just wants to do some colouring.  But when he opens the box of crayons, all he finds are letters, each saying the same thing: we quit.  Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown.  Blue needs a break from colouring all that water, while Pink just wants to be used.  Green has no complaints but Orange and Yellow aren’t talking to each other.  What is Duncan to do?

What I like about the book: This story is colourful and humorous. FullSizeRender (23) Each crayon has written a letter to express how they feel: tired, worn out, second best, empty, not used enough, happy.  In the end Duncan uses all the crayons to create a beautiful piece of artwork.  I love Oliver Jeffers’ illustrations, made to look like a child has drawn them.

Resources:  Lots of fun activities can be found here.

*  Pretend to be one of the crayons in your pencil case and write a letter to yourself expressing their thoughts and feelings.

*  Write a letter to a friend or family member telling them your favourite colour and why.

*  Create a colourful piece of artwork using all the crayons in the box.

Visit Susan Leonard Hill’s blog to see all the other Perfect Picture Books.

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Dog Loves Books

Last Friday I chose  “The Children who Loved Books“.   Today I’ve chosen “Dog Loves Books”.

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Title: Dog Loves Books

Author/Illustrator: Louise Yates

Age Group: 4-8 year olds

Themes: bookshops, reading, creativity, imagination, sharing books.

Opening Lines: Dog loved books.  He loved the smell of them, and he loved the feel of them.  He loved everything about them.

Synopsis (blurb from back of the book): Dog loves books about dinosaurs, and Dog loves books about aliens: in fact Dog loves all books!  Dog has his very own bookshop, although he doesn’t have many customers.  But that’s all right, because when Dog is surrounded by books, he is never short of friends or fun.

What I like about the book: This story also celebrates books and encourages reading.  While reading, Dog forgets where he is and gets caught up in the adventures of the story.  I also like the water-colour illustrations.

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FullSizeRender (27)Resources: Activities for parents and teachers can be found here.

Visit Susan Leonard Hill’s blog to see all the other Perfect Picture Books.

Perfect Picture Book Friday (PPBF) – The Children Who Loved Books

Peter Carnavas is one of my favourite Australian authors. I have been lucky enough to meet him twice: I went to his book launch for “The Boy on the Page” and I also attended one of his writing sessions at the Children’s and Young Adult Writers And Illustrators Conference last year in Brisbane.

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Author/Illustrator: Peter Carnavas

Age Group: 4-8 year olds

Themes: family, reading, closeness

Opening Lines: Angus and Lucy didn’t have very much. They didn’t have a television. They didn’t have a car.

Synopsis (blurb from back of the book): Angus and Lucy love books. They have hundreds of them. Then one day, all the books are taken away, and Angus and Lucy discover they need books more than they ever imagined.

They didn't even have a house.

They didn’t even have a house.

But Angus and Lucy had books...  hundreds of them.

But Angus and Lucy had books… hundreds of them.

What I like about the book: This story celebrates books and reading and shows how books can bring people and families together. You don’t need televisions and fancy cars. As long as you’ve got each other and a book to share, then life is good! The story is warm and moving, like most of Peter Carnavas’ books. I also love his illustrations; the bright colours and lovable characters.
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Resources: I found some great activities at The Little Big Book Club

Visit Susan Leonard Hill’s blog to see all the other Perfect Picture Books.

Perfect Picture Book Friday (PPBF) – How Martha Saved her Parents from Green Beans

Every kid hates green beans don’t they?

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Author: David LaRochelle

Illustrator:  Mark Fearing

Age: 4-7 year olds

Opening lines:  Every Tuesday evening Martha’s family had green beans for dinner.  Every Tuesday night Martha was left alone at the table, staring at a plate of green beans that she wouldn’t eat.

Synopsis:  Martha doesn’t realise how bad green beans are until a gang of mean green beans with long curly mustaches and sharp pointy boots swagger into town, wrecking havoc and stealing her parents.  There’s only one way to deal with these vile veggies and it’s not going to end well (for the beans anyway).

What I like about this book:  The story is hilarious – the notion of the green beans coming to get revenge on all who say “Eat your green beans.”  I like that Martha is brave and does whatever it takes to save her parents (and the rest of the world) even though she thinks beans are disgusting.  The pictures are also very funny – close ups of the beans with their cowboy hats, pirate hats, patches, scars and beards and mustaches.

Don't mess with us!

Don’t mess with us!

Let my parents go or I will...

Let my parents go or I will…

The moral of the story is …

“Eat your vegetables before they eat you!”

To see all the other Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.