Friday, September 19, 2014

PPBF: Flora's Very Windy Day

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Flora's Very Windy Day,
by Jeanne Birdsall and Matt Phelan
Flora's Very Windy Day
Written by Jeanne Birdsall
Illustrated by Matt Phelan
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
Fiction, ages 4-8
Lexile 590, word count 1018

Siblings, Imagination

"Mommy! Crispin spilled my paints again!" shrieked Flora.
""I told you to keep your paints out of his reach," said her mother.
"I tried," said Flora, "but _"
"Oh, look at this mess. Outside, Flora. Right now!"
"I can't go outside," protested Flora. "The wind is very strong and will blow me away."

Flora's little brother Crispin is always spoiling her fun, crowding her, and making a mess of things. Flora's mother sends her outside to play, out into a windy autumn day. Flora knows she is safe because she has her extra-heavy, wind-proof red boots, but she also knows Crispin will blow away the moment he steps out the door. Just as Crispin is lifted off the ground, Flora has a change of heart. She leaves the safety of her red boots and embarks on an adventure through the skies. Flora is confronted with a series of trades in which she can be rid of her brother forever. It is up to big sister to decide Crispin's fate and devise a way to return home safely. But will she return with or without him?

What I Love:
Jeanne Birdsall turns out another charming tale about the trials of having a sibling. Which of us has not considered life without an annoying relative? I love Flora's sacrifice right in the beginning of the story. That she would slip out of her protective boots in the moment of crisis speaks volumes. The clever, imaginative dialogue adds to the breezy rhythm of the story.
Matt Phelan's weightless illustrations carry the reader along in a perfectly believable fantasy adventure. I can't get enough of his drawings, where every line communicates emotion.

Autumnal mason jars to set the mood.
1. Here's a lovely interview with Jeanne just months after Flora was published. My thanks to Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
2. And here's Julie's interview with Matt Phelan. (Jules's blog is so excellent, don't forget to come back here when you're finished!)
3. And here's the correct pronunciation of Matt's last name.
4. Thanks to Pam of GingerbreadSnowflakes for this enchanting leaf votive craft idea.
This swirly art project reminds me
of the whirling wind in Flora's yard!
5. Whip up some savory pumpkin dip from Mediterranean Snack Foods.
6. Take a nature walk and turn it into a scavenger hunt with these printable lists from Chalkboards To Strollers. 7.I love this artsy warm and cool art project from Runde's Room.

7. Here are some other Perfectly Piratical Picture Books for you to enjoy.

Reviewed by Catherine, here.
Thanks, Julie.

From Susanna Leonard Hill

Based on a real female pirate.
Reviewed on FromPenToPrint

Thanks, Erik

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for September 19, 2014 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Grammar Pirates


View the full comic at KindofSketchy.

Thank ye to cartoonist Scott Clark. We're obliged, matey.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Getting Simple

Happy Birthday, Tomie!

"Getting to simple is very hard to achieve."
-Tomie DePaola*

Bookplate by Tomie DePaola
Courtesy MyMaineVintage

*Reading Rockets interview

Monday, September 8, 2014

Write Everyday

" . . . there are many privileges in a freelance, self-employed life. Writing everyday is a small price to pay."
-John Updike

H A Mueller
Courtesy BooksAroundTheTable

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Writer's Precipice

"The writer has to force himself to work. . . . Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not."*
-Roald Dahl

Bookplate by Nicola Bayley
available from My Home Library

*From Boy. Thanks to Jessica Warman and Tara Lazar.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Read Fearlessly

"Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book . . ."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower*

Bookplate by Fortune Bovard, 1904

Remarks at the Dartmouth College Commencement Exercises, Hanover, New Hampshire. June 14, 1953