Friday, February 6, 2015

PPBF: Minerva Louise

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Minerva Louise, by Janet Morgan Stoeke
First in a series
Minerva Louise
Written and Illustrated by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Puffin, 1988
grades K-3


"Minerva Louise loved the house with the red curtains."

Minerva Louise is a hen with an unhealthy dose of curiosity. She just doesn't realize it. Minerva Louise decides to leave the company of her fellow hens and explore inside the family's house. The trouble is, she isn't familiar with people things. This simple picture book for the youngest readers will have them giggling as a chicken mistakes the family pets for farm animals, jewelry for food, and the laundry for a nesting box.

What I Love:
This is actually the first in a series of Minerva Louise books. Janet Stoeke marries spare text with engaging pictures in an artless way. The text usually tells us what the hen is thinking, while the pictures show the reality quite differently. To be honest, the plot on this one is thin, but kids love knowing what the main character does not. I think the sequel, A Hat for Minerva Louise, is superior. It flawlessly allows the illustration to carry the story. (I featured it here a long time ago, before I participated in the Perfect Picture Book Friday review format.)

Find the crafts pinned here.

1. Show young readers pictures of everyday objects. Let them imagine the objects are used for something completely different, just like Minerva Louise does. She mistakes a tricycle for a tractor and a quilt for a field of flowers!
2. Find oodles of chicken crafts like the one at right on Family Theme Days's Pinterest board.
3.  Visit a modern working farm in your area. Learn what we can do to support our local economy.
4. Cook up a pie like the one Minerva Louise finds so tempting. Try this classic cherry pie recipe from Epicurious.
5. Make a book dummy where the pictures tell a completely different story from the text. Use pictures from magazines if your drawing skills are limited.
6. Check out these and other hilariously Perfect Picture Books about poultry at your local library.

A truly perfect picture book.
Reviewed by Tiffa

Reviewed by Erik
Reviewed by Renee

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 February 6, 2015 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. This looks so delightful, Joanne! And as always I love your activities - so fun :) There is something about chickens that just makes them funny no matter what they do :) Thanks so much for adding this one to our list!

    1. Thanks, Susanna. Chickens ARE awfully funny! They're an Everyman.

  2. Lots of giggles for kids! I really love your activities, especially encouraging kids to examine objects and see other uses.

    1. Thanks! It's a good exercise for picture book creators, too!

  3. The cover of this book just makes me laugh. I'll have to take a look at this series. Thanks!

    1. I love Janet's illustrations. She does so much with minimal line and color!

  4. I do not know this series but want to become acquainted. There is just so much in the name, Minerva Louise, isn't there?!

    1. You're right. A perfect example of the right character name. Thanks for visiting!

  5. I don't know this series either. Thanks for sharing Minerva Louise with us.

  6. Oh!!! I do love Minerva Louise so very very much!!!! We have several of her books and they are lots of fun to take to school to share. She is the essence of chickenness!

  7. Love Minerva! Always enjoy your pairing suggestions, Joanne.

  8. What fun! And what great ideas for beyond-the-book activities. Thanks for Sharing.

    1. Thanks, Sue. I hope you and yours have fun with this series.


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