Brave – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Brave

Author: Stacy McNaulty

Illustrator: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Publisher: Running Press Kids, 2017

Ages: 3-7

Themes: courage

Genre: concept book

32 pages

Opening:

A brave kid…

…seeks adventure

Synopsis:

An empowering picture book for all kids that demonstrates to children that they can be real-life superheroes and that all kids have what it takes to be brave. Superheroes seek adventure, never give up, and stay calm when others are 
afraid. Superheroes are brave. But they aren’t the only ones.

Kids are brave every day. When they are told they are too little, but accomplish something big. When they check for monsters under the bed, just in case. When they face something uncertain, whether a thunderstorm or a hospital visit. When they stand up for what’s right, even when it means facing consequences. 

Like superheroes, brave kids can save the world, just by being brave.

Why I like this book:

This ode about what it means to be courageous when you are young would be a great discussion starter for teachers and caregivers. A diverse group of kids are shown in a variety of situations requiring bravery of one sort or another, situations to which most kids can relate – standing up to a bully, checking under your little brother’s bed for monsters,  speaking out the truth, saying sorry… This book will inspire kids to follow their hearts and to have courage, no matter the situation they find themselves in. The illustrator accompanies the thoughtful but simple one-sentence text on each spread with vibrant, colorful pictures which fill the two pages. Great addition to classroom or school library.

Resources/Activities:

Brainstorm together more “A brave kid…” scenarios.

Find more “Perfect Picture Book Friday” reviews at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE.

 
 
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Where. Oh Where, is Baby Bear? – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Where, Oh Where, is baby bear?

Author & Illustrator: Ashley Wolf

Publisher: Beach Lane Books, 2017

Ages: 3-6

Themes: baby bear, hide-and-seek, games with mom, prepositions

 

 

Opening:

One by one, bats fly out of the deep, dark den.
“Where are they going?” asks Baby Bear.
“They are going to look for food,” says Mama Bear.
“Can we go look for food too?” asks baby Bear.
“Yes,” says Mama. “Let’s go.”

Synopsis:

When Mama and Baby Bear go out to look for food one night, curious Baby Bear wants to wander off and explore, and I think, intentionally play some hide & seek with his momma. Each time his Mama Bear calls for him, Baby Bear shows up in a different place.

Baby Bear is back in this companion to Baby Bear Sees Blue and Baby Bear Counts One.

Why I like this book:

Sweet repetitive narrative that will have great appeal to the very young listeners, who will be joining in the, “where, oh where, is Baby Bear?” refrain by the middle of the book. And name me a kid who does not enjoy peek-a book with a parent? I love how Mom is making believe each time that she doesn’t know exactly where her young offspring is.

This is a beautiful ode also to a black bear’s hunting rituals. The illustrations cover the entire double spreads and are lush and vibrant, with deep blue night tones. They are made by printing linoleum block in black on Arches Cover paper, then hand-coloring them with watercolor. Such an intense creative process but with truly stunning nighttime nature scenes.

An adult sharing this book with a child balances the  Mama Bear/Baby Bear relationship of developing independence and maternal protection.

Activities/resources:

  • This is a great tool to introduce prepositions to young readers as baby Bear hides: inside a mossy log; up in a birch tree; on top of the boulder…..
  • Get outside and have some hide-and-seek fun with your students/kids.
  • Don’t miss this interview I did with Ashley a couple of years ago.

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

 

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Hoot and Peep, A Song For Snow – Perfect Picture Book Friday

 

This is my final Perfect Picture Book of the year and I want to wish you all a peaceful festive season, whether your snow or beach bound! Bonnes Fêtes!

Title: Hoot and Peep, A Song For Snow

Author & Illustrator: Lita Judge

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017

Ages: 4-7

Themes: winter, owls, first snowfall, nature’s songs, siblings

 
 

Opening: 

It was Peep’s first winter,
and she cuddled close to
her big brother, Hoot.
 
“Brr, the air is crisp
tonight,” said Hoot.
“Snow will come soon.”

 
Synopsis:

This is Peep’s first winter and her older brother, Hoot, tells her he senses the first snowfall in the air. Peep wants to know what snow’s song is, “Does it scrinkle scrattle like falling leaves?”  But because he’s only a year older, Hoot doesn’t remember but assures her its coming. Peep’s impatient and starts to doubt her brother but then it arrives, and they celebrate and welcome this wintry gift from nature, learning firsthand what Snow’s song is.

Why I like this book:

I loved these two owls in their first book and am so happy to see a sequel. I also, of course, appreciate the Parisian rooftop setting once again. These are characters with so much heart and love for life, as well as a sensitivity to the  songs that nature sings. Rather than just wanting to experience the temperature or texture of snow, they want to know its song. Doesn’t that make your own heart sing. The magic that children (and some adults still) feel about the first snow of the season is captured in the lyrical text and sublime urban night-scapes in watercolor that Lita paints with such skill. The story sings to the reader willing to hear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activities/Resources:

Ideally I would try and save this for the first snow of the year as the timing would be squeal-worthy, then you can all don your winter togs and dash outside to listen for yourselves. Afterwards, back in the toasty warm of kitchen or classroom, children can paint their own snow songs!

 https://vimeo.com/233321494

Don’t miss this interview I did with Lita a couple of years ago.

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

Posted in Book recommendation, children's books, Children's literature, Perfect Picture Book Friday | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments