Friday, May 29, 2015

PPBF: I Pledge Allegiance

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

I Pledge Allegiance, by Bill Martin Jr,
Michael Sampson, and Chris Raschka
I Pledge Allegiance
Written by Bill Martin, Jr. and Michael Sampson
Illustrated by Chris Raschka
Candlewick, 2002
Grade K-2, Reading level 4.9, 576 words

History, Patriotism

I pledge . . .

I Pledge Allegiance, by Bill Martin, Jr. and Chris Raschka is a beautiful and simple nonfiction picture book. One or two words of the Pledge are printed on every page with graphic illustrations. Below each word or phrase, the author has explained in simple language the meaning or breadth of that section of the Pledge. Some sidebars appear throughout the text, but the information presented there is kept general for a young audience. Some history, notes on Francis Bellamy, and tips on Patriotic etiquette are added to give substance to the book.

What I Love:
A beautifully diverse rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance which is both moving and elementary, it teaches younger readers respect for citizenship and reminds older readers to consider as they recite the pledge. I loved how the author included flag etiquette, which as far as I know, is rarely taught to students. I also learned the reason Francis Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. (You'll have to read it to find out!) And as a writer myself, I was fascinated with the way Bill Martin took a simple plot and a challenging subject, and turned them into a valuable and fun picture book. Thanks, too, to Chris Raschka for his vision of the American people.

1. At Teacher Vision, you'll find rebus-type worksheets on the American Pledge of Allegiance.
Courtesy Lisa Storms
2. MPM School Supplies offers printing worksheets of the text of the pledge.
3. Commoncore blogger offers the pledge in both Spanish and American Sign Language.
4. Lisa Storms has created a healthy snack version of the American flag.
5. Read more about the history of the pledge on US
6. PBS chronicles the history of the flag itself.
7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Carrie
Reviewed by Beth
Reviewed by Joanne
Reviewed by Barbara

Reviewed by Susanna
Reviewed by The Picture Book Review

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for May 29, 2015 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

IF: Melt

Melted Popsicles, by Joanne Roberts for Illustration Friday

Just a quickie sketch with my new Pentel Pocket Brush Pen on Bee Marker paper. Really wish I'd had more time to work on this. Freehanding it wasn't the best idea I had all day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Draw This! Bounce

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 
has developed a new perk, 
the monthly Draw This! challenge. 

The June prompt is BOUNCE.

Members may participate by submitting one illustration inspired by the monthly prompt. Aside from the opportunity to see fellow illustrators' work at #scbwidrawthis, one can view the gamut of bouncing creatures via the SCBWI site's online gallery.

Bounce House, by Joanne Roberts

Thanks especially to Sarah Baker for her diligence in bringing this challenge to fruition!

Learn More at

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Odd Thing About Book Collectors

"The odd thing about people who had many books was how they always wanted more."
-Patricia McKillip*

Bookplate by Maria Leboroni
via ExLibris Art Shop

*The Bell at Sealey Head via Goodreads

Friday, May 22, 2015

PPBF: Lily's Victory Garden

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Lily's Victory Garden,
by Helen Wilbur and Robert Steele
Lily's Victory Garden
Written by Helen L. Wilbur
Illustrated by Robert Gantt Steele
Sleeping Bear Press, 2010
Grade 1-4, Reading level 5.3, 2017 words

History, Affecting Others, War

"My brother Jack and I go every Saturday to collect tin cans and scrap for the war effort. We also pick up the full cans of grease the army uses to make bombs and bullets. Although how they make bullets out of bacon drippings, I have never figured out."

Part of the Tales of Young Americans Series. Lilly and her brother are doing what they can for the war effort. But now President Roosevelt has asked Americans to plant victory gardens. Lily is too young to have a piece of the community garden, so she gets permission to plant in her neighbor's yard. Mrs. Bishop is still grieving the loss of her son, the first soldier in town to die. As the vegetables grow stronger so does the bond between Mrs. Bishop and Lily. Two pages of historical back-matter further explain shortages, recycling, and life during World War II.

What I Love:
This picture book shows how one person can make a difference, even if that person is a child. Set against the backdrop of war, this book informs readers about the recycling efforts of stateside Americans, specifically the Victory Garden movement. But it also shows kids they can effect change in their community. They can be a part of the solution to a problem much bigger than themselves. In so doing, they may find the power to change individual lives for the better. A text sprinkled with historical details and lush, realistic illustrations make this book both beautiful and informative.

Painted rocks as garden markers
1. Visit the National WW II Museum to learn about life in America in the 1940's and Victory Gardens in particular.
2. Read the original Victory Garden Handbook from 1940 and start your own community garden project.
3. Visit Wessels's Living History Farm in York, Nebraska or Fenway Victory Gardens in Boston, MA.
4. Kids can grow their own vegetables with the 7 easiest plants to grow from Inhabitots and 10 kid-friendly gardening tips from the American Community Gardening Association.
5. Paint these terrific garden markers from Crafts By Amanda.
6. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Jarm
Reviewed by Patricia

Reviewed by Joanne
Reviewed by Julie

Reviewed by Wendy
Reviewed by S. N. Taylor

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for May 22, 2015 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

IF: Pet

How do you like your marshmallows? Well done?

Joanne Roberts pencil sketch for Illustration Friday theme: Pet
A dragon is a Boy Scout's best friend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Girl With A Guinea Pig

On my desk today:

Pentel brush pen on 90lb? Strathmore Visual Journal, 8"x 51/2"