This Raindrop – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: This Raindrop Has a Billion Stories to Tell

Author: Linda Ragsdale

Illustrator: Srimalie Bassani

 Publisher: Flowerpot Press, 2020

Ages: 4-8

Nonfiction

Themes: raindrops, water cycle, water, stories, writing tools

Opening:

A raindrop has billions of stories to tell.
In fact, THIS raindrop has been here since time began.!

Synopsis:

This picture book follows a raindrop’s journey on Earth; from the time of the dinosaurs to the creation of the earliest cities and beyond. It explains how Earth has depended on the same water supply throughout its existence by flowing and falling all around us, fueling and forming much of what we have seen and used for millions of years.

Why I like this book:

The book cover is from stunning arlin paper with foil text enhancements, which makes for an exquisite feel to it and sets the scene for a nonfiction text full of feeling. Do let your children touch the cover. The text is lyrically educational, introducing a new understanding of the continuity of life and our planet’s natural journey, through the imaginary life trajectory of a drop of water. The fascinating potential life of a droplet and the melodious text will help inspire more curiosity and care for the natural world. It manages to be concrete and abstract in a child-friendly way and is a super creative introduction to the water cycle. I love how the author begins with how a droplet might have begun its life on the wing of a pterodactyl.

The author uses some words which won’t be familiar to young children, but the illustrations give supportive context. And while the alliteration may be lost on the youngest listeners, it is a great intro to this literary device for older students.

A terrific text to use about the water cycle and for imaginative writing.

Resources/Activities:

The back matter includes an explanation of the water cycle, the importance of water conservation, and resources for further reading,

In partnership with Trees for the Future (TREES), each book sold plants a tree. One sweet memory I have with my dad is planting a bunch of fruit trees with him when he move to France. Plant trees if you have a yard with your kids. Otherwise, find out about tree-planting in your city.

Older children might draw or write the journey of their own droplet of water.

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.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for review purposes. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Posted in children's books, Children's literature, nonfiction, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Plenty of Hugs – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Plenty of Hugs

Author: Fran Manushkin

Illustrator: Kate Alizadeh

 Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2020

Ages: 3-5

Themes: moms, children, hugs, parenting, lgbtqia+

Opening:

Look up, 
The sun shines on everyone
There are plenty of fish in the sea
There's a buzz for each bug,
a breeze for each tree,

and plenty of hugs for you and me.

Synopsis:

Two mommies spend a sunny day with their toddler in this cozy, rhyming picture book that is a loving celebration of family. 

Why I like this book:

This is a book of the wonder of family intimacy. Fran’s rhyme and rhythm are stellar and makes it a sweet read-aloud again and again for the preschool crowd, any time of the day. 

The world is full of wonders. 
Just look around: It's true. 
There are seas for ships, 
and kisses for lips, 

so I can say that I love you. 

The rhythm of a typical family day will be very recognizable to toddlers. This toddler spends a rad day with their (we don’t know the toddler’s gender) and their mommies: a bike ride to a farm stand; a visit to the zoo in the afternoon, and in the evening there’s the bath time and a bedtime story before being kissed goodnight. This is a wonderful family day full of exploration, playfulness and a ton of hugs, of course. Boy, reading this at the end of seven weeks of solo quarantine during COVID19 and all I wanted to do was jump into the family and enjoy some of those hugs!!

This is an adorable cozy picture book of a two-mom family with illustrations as joyful as the text. Another great addition to your lgbtqia+ shelves.

Activities/resources:

Get your kids sharing what a best family day would look like for them.

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, LGBTQIA, Perfect Picture Book Friday | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Earth Day 2020 – Picture Book: Outside In

The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge — but also the vast opportunities — of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary. 

Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.

I think one of the best ways of helping young children become involved in both this annual celebration and in a daily awareness of their stewardship role is to share earth-affirming books with them.. One of those was released last week by friends of mine. OUTSIDE IN

Title: Outside In

Author: Deborah Underwood

Illustrator: Cindy Derby

 Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers, 2020

Ages: 4-8

Themes: nature, the earth, earth day, outside, indoors, outdoors

Opening:

Once we were part of Outside and Outside was part of us. There was nothing between us.

Synopsis:

Outside is waiting, the most patient playmate of all. The most generous friend. The most miraculous inventor. This thought-provoking picture book poetically underscores our powerful and enduring connection with nature, not so easily obscured by lives spent indoors.

Why I like this book:

Writing this as I am, during week 6 of the 2020 COVID-19 ShelterInPlace, I can’t think of a more poignant and empowering message for our young children. But this is not a messagey/didactic book at all. it shows us that though we may choose to or need to wall ourselves up in our homes and cars, we can never truly block out the outside. It is so comforting to know that outside will find a beautiful way in. Always. I need to hear this.

Powerful poetic language reveals the healing intimacy and beauty that Outside wants to share with us. “Outside steals inside: a spider seeking shelter, a boxelder bug in the bath, a tiny snail on kale.” There are layers for adults and layers for children in this book of wonder, and both will want to play with Outside by the end.

Cindy Derby’s illustrations elevate all the senses for me and the wash draws me into the mood of the text. Don’t miss the recurring snail folks! I feel like author and illustrator really outdid themselves with this book. And it is the perfect piece of art to sustain me inside as I hold onto all those past and future playdates with Outside.

Activities/resources:

Every child will be able to share a bit of Outside.

The American Museum of Natural History has a tone of online activities for the family for Earth Day 2020.

Maybe do some bird watching or build a bird house/feeder.

Craft a nature collage from things gathered on a socially-distancing walk.

Educators at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center have gathered resources for parents looking to share the experience of Earth Day with their children.

Understanding the Urban Watershed Curriculum Guide with Activity Ideas(Grades K-8) is a compilation of lessons and activities with chapters that explore water, water systems, and watersheds with vocabulary, activity ideas, discussion questions, and suggested reading.

For more ideas, check out this list of Nifty Fifty environmental activities for kids, as well as nature-themed resources for kids of all ages, called Greener Together.

Chat with your kids about some of the really positive repercussions for the earth of us sheltering in place.

Posted in Book Promotion, children's books, Children's literature, Earth Day, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Books | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments