Friday, October 25, 2013

PPBF: The Wednesday Surprise

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

The Wednesday Surprise
Written by Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Donald Carrick

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1989,
Fiction, ages 4-8, 540L

Themes:
Reading, Confidence, Grandparents

Opening:
"I like surprises. But the one Grandma and I are planning for Dad's birthday is the best surprise of all."

Synopsis:
Every Wednesday, Grandma rides the bus across town to plan a birthday gift with seven year-old Anna. Anna's dad drives a truck, but he'll be home for his birthday on Saturday. Anna can't wait for Dad's surprise, but with all the other party preparations, it will be difficult to get enough practice before the big day.

What I Love:
A girl, a grandma, and a bag of books. This story of family and perseverance makes me smile and cry. Though over twenty years old, the story is as fresh as if it were published in the 21st Century. Donald Carrick's gorgeous watercolors enhance the detail of Eve Bunting's masterful text. Don't miss this charming story which comes to an unexpected, yet satisfying end.

Note: Sadly, this book was one of Donald Carrick's last. It was published the year he passed away.

Bonus:
Super Reader Bookmark
1. Houghton Mifflin offers a discussion guide for teachers. Here is a close reading lesson for common core standards, and an excellent synthesis activity to teach critical thinking using this book.
2. Make your own bookmarks and book bag, then head to the library, of course!
3. Whip up some bookish snacks.
4. Surprise a loved one with a pop-up birthday card or make one using Roberts Sabuda's templates.
5. Check your community center or library for opportunities to give the gift of literacy. Spend time reading with kids, challenged learners, or ***SPOILER ALERT*** ESL students.


Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday for October 25, 2013.
Thanks to Susanna Leonard Hill.

20 comments:

  1. We'll look for this one in our library. Thanks for highlighting it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's my pleasure. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

      Delete
  2. Love this book! Eve Bunting is a masterful writer of books with emotional resonance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read lots of Eve's longer work and loved it all. This is one of her best picture books. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  3. This looks wonderful. I'm going to check it out ASAP... my kids always loved books where characters overcame a challenge to do something good for someone they love. It's a different kind of triumph.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would be interested to know your kids' reaction to this story. The clever ending is usually a surprise. I hope you like it.

      Delete
  4. Perseverance is an almost tool to have on your belt, I'll have to read this to my kids. Great list of activities too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! We are going to make that reading list book mark for the next quarter of AR.

      Delete
  5. The cover makes me want to snuggle up with books right now!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love surprises! I guess I'll have to find the book and see what is in store for Dad! I'm guessing it has something to do with books and reading? That would be a good one. Thanks for sharing the book and all the good links!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rhythm. Qwincy, our lab, doesn't like surprises. He is always putting his nose in to discover secrets (particularly if they involve food.)

      Delete
  7. Eve Bunting is a fabulous writer. This sounds adorable and timeless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Timeless, but also timely. Literacy is an ongoing crusade.

      Delete
  8. Can't go wrong with Eve Bunting. I checked out a bunch of her books last summer. Didn't read this one, though. Will have to check it out to see what happens. Love your activities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate to leave everyone hanging, but I also hate to give away a plot twist. Thanks for your comments.

      Delete
  9. Donald's illustrations look familiar for some reason. Glad it is still in print to honor him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donald Carrick was very prolific. He and his wife made a great team. You may know him from the Patrick's Dinosaurs books, but my favorite of his is Moss Gown, a Bayou Cinderella.

      Delete
  10. Beautiful story and beautiful illustrations. So heartwarming. Thanks, Joanne.

    ReplyDelete

Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!