Thursday, March 31, 2016

IF: Wisdom

"Tutu knows best," by Joanne Roberts

The Illustration Friday theme this week is WISDOM.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Space Between

"The next time you are reading or writing a picture book, think about The Space Between. Think about the words and actions you commit to paper as well as the ones you don’t. Think about that pause, the breath that is the page turn. What does your “space between” say?"
-Dianne de Las Casas*

Bookplate by Pauline Stone
via Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie

*Via Writing For Kids While Raising Them

Friday, March 25, 2016

PPBF: What The Ladybug Heard

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

What the Ladybug Heard,
by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks
What the Ladybug Heard
Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Lydia Monks
Henry Holt, 2009
Age 2-6

animals, adventure

Once upon a farm there lived a fat red hen,
A duck in a pond and a goose in a pen,
A wooly sheep, a hairy hog,
A handsome horse, and a dainty dog,
A fine prize cow, two cats that purred,
And a ladybug
Who never said a word.

What the Ladybug Heard is a rhyming adventure for the youngest readers. At first it seems like a simple story introducing farm animals, but when some criminals plot to steal the prize cow, it is up to the farm's inhabitants to foil their plans. The Ladybug may be quiet, but she overhears the plot and plans a cunning strategy to keep the cow safe and catch the crooks. 

What I Love:
I was not prepared to be impressed by this book, but it surprised and delighted. Too often picture books for little ones underestimate their readers. The rhyme is simple and catchy, but the author is smart enough to know children love excitement, adventure, and triumph over evil. The story is layered enough to offer something extra to what could have been one more farm animal book, but is still firmly in the 2-6 age range. Choosing the ladybug as the heroine adds an additional twist.


Paper ladybugs from Make and Takes

1. Attract ladybugs to your garden with an adult DIY ladybug house from ApartmentTherapy or plant favorite plants from the list on GardeningKnowHow.
2.  Even the littlest hands can paint rocks for the garden to resemble ladybugs. Instructions and samples from About or Parenting blogs.
3. Tomato and cracker ladybugs are perfect for snack time! Learn how to prepare them with a video from YouTube.
4. Need worksheets? TLSBooks and Mathwire offer free pages for counting skills and you can find worksheets on writing at ESLPrintables.
5. Act out the story or turn it into a game of tag (like cops and robbers) or an obstacle course (with tape: HandsOnAsWeGrow or pool noodles: PBSParents)
6. Every kid should know the Ladybird nursery rhyme found at DLTK's Growing Together.
7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Vivian
Reviewed by Miranda

Reviewed by Joanne
Reviewed by Susanna

Reviewed by Erik
Reviewed by Jennifer

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 Friday, March 25, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

IF: Dragon, Too

The Illustration Friday theme is still Dragon? Okay. Here's an oldie I have always liked.
IF: Dragon, by Joanne Roberts

Feel free to leave links to your Illustration Friday posts in the comments.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Practice Makes Progress

"Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill.”
-Shinichi Suzuki*

Gorgeous graphic bookplate by Tasariname

*Via Erin Eitter Kono on Paula Yoo's blog

Thursday, March 17, 2016

IF: Dragon

Illustration Friday from my sketchbook, Farmer Giles of Ham.

Illustration Friday sketch: DRAGON, by Joanne Roberts

Monday, March 14, 2016

Emotional Connections

"Books put names on big feelings, and then make them familiar and okay. And they tell you you are not alone in feeling them."
--Anne Ursu*


Monday, March 7, 2016

Twisting Reader Expectations

"There is no formula for devising a great twist, because every plot is different and any number of things can work in a story. My trick for twisting my plot is pretty simple: Reader expectations...You want to give readers what they expect, but not in the way they expect it."

Bookplate art by Eugenia Timoshenko

Via D Biswas, Amlokiblogs