Friday, February 14, 2014

PPBF: Oh! What a Surprise

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Fourth in the series, Oh! What a Surprise!,
by Suzanne Bloom
Oh! What A Surprise!
Written and illustrated by Suzanne Bloom
Boyds Mills Press, 2012
Fiction, ages 2-6, 160 words

Friendship, Giving, Behavior

"What are you doing? Are you making something?"
"It's a surprise."

Fox loves surprises! When she discovers Goose and Bear making gifts, she hopes that one of the presents is for her. But what if it isn't? Even though hope may turn to disappointment, nothing can stop Fox from making her own spectacular surprise for Goose and Bear. In the end, Fox is overjoyed to find she hasn't been forgotten after all. (from the publisher's website.)

What I Love:
In this fourth installment of the Fox, Goose, and Bear series, Suzanne Bloom gently teaches about friendship and a generous heart. With only 160 words, this story is just perfect for very little ones. The bright pastel illustrations will appeal to the youngest readers. The simple storyline will resonate with all ages.

Bloom’s text is perfectly age-appropriate both in terms of mechanics (straightforward storytelling, simple vocabulary, short sentence structure) and content...The playful back- and-forth between the characters is read aloud gold... There are numerous uses for this satisfying book: as an easy reader, as a read-aloud selection for a holiday-themed storytime, as an inspirational springboard to a session of homemade gift-making, or as a holiday gift itself (perhaps packaged with paper-heart confetti). Readers who latch onto this adorable animal trio via this title may want to also seek out Bloom’s previous books about Bear, Goose, and Fox.
Jeannette Hulick, Reviewer The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to make a hand-made gift.

birdseed hearts,
 courtesy NoTimeForFlashcards
Lollipop butterflies
from Skip To My Lou
More confetti fun from NoTimeFor FlashCards
Squirrel and heart paper chains,
from Brimful Curiosities

Print out these gorgeous valentines
 from illustrator Julie Olson

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for February 14, 2014, available on Susanna Leonard Hill's excellent blog.


  1. I think I need to go make a paper chain! Thanks, Joanne!

    1. Be sure to post your efforts. Will it be a squirrel, a monkey, or Lady Mary perhaps?

  2. I haven't met this trio! I need to check them out. Thanks for the fun activities!

    1. I got to see Suzanne's original artwork the last time I visited Boyds Mills, so I was excited to finally read some of her books.

  3. I love Suzanne Bloom! (I think I said that last week... or the week before when you did her bus book - wasn't that you?) Anyway, she is a master. It is my goal to be able to tell such good stories in 160 words! Thanks so much for sharing another of her treasures :)

    1. No, I didn't review The Bus For Us, but it's on my loooooong list of PPBF must-reads!

    2. It wasn't me who shared The Bus For US, but it's on my looooong list of PPBF must-reads.

  4. Thank you for introducing me to Suzanne Bloom. To tell a story in 160 words is remarkable. The illustrations must be fabulous.

    1. Her illustration style is perfect for this age. And I think her writing is deceptively simple. I'm going to be studying these books more closely to improve my preschool writing.

  5. Cute cover! And only 160 words? I need to find this one. Thanks for the review.

    1. I have been analyzing many books with equally tiny word counts to see how they operate. Some tend to be overly simplified or snarky. I think Suzanne's writing is very successful. It has a lot of heart without being sappy.


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!