Category Archives: Perfect Picture Book Pair

A Perfect Picture Book Pair: SIBLINGS

A Perfect Picture Book Pair: SIBLINGS

A Perfect Picture Book Pair about sharing the spotlight with younger sibling. These stories feature the cutest DIVAS!

In STARRING CARMEN by Anika Denish and illustrated by Loren Alvarez Gómez, Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2017, Carmen is a showgirl! She loves an audience, the attention, and the applause! But her little brother Eduardo wants to perform with her. Can Carmen make room for him?

In FAMOUSLY PHOEBE author Lori Alexander and illustrator Aurelie Blard-Quintard, Sterling Children’s Books, 2017, Phoebe was always the family star, followed by camera-carrying “paparazzi” until the arrival of a new sibling. Can Phoebe find a new role to play?

A Perfect Picture Book Pair or #PPBP showcases two books with universal themes, but one must include a diverse setting, or life experience, or main character. My goal is to support books in the market that contribute to diversity in children’s literature.

Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” I believe reading is too!

Kids love to see their reflections in books. Follow  #WeNeedDiverseBooks  #ReadYourWorld for more selections of diverse books.

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Photography – Non-fiction biographies about photographers

Photography – Non-fiction biographies about photographers

This Perfect Picture Book Pair is dedicated to two nonfiction biographies about American photographers. Both artists chose to capture current events by taking pictures of people  during important eras in our nation’s history.

Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! by Andrea Loney, illustrated by Keith Mallet, published by Lee & Low is about photographer James Van Der Zee whose pictures depict an important era and people in American history – the Harlem Renaissance.

Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Gérard Dubois, published by Calkins Creek Books is about photographer Dorothea Lange whose pictures depict an important era and people in American history – the Great Depression.

 

Perfect Picture Book Pair showcases two books with universal themes, but one must include a diverse setting, or life experience,  or main character. My goal is to support books in the market that contribute to diversity in children’s literature.

Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” I believe reading is too!

Kids love to see their reflections in books. Join me and #ReadYourWorld!

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Girls, Challenge & Resilience!

Girls, Challenge & Resilience!

This Perfect Picture Book Pair written by award winning author-illustrator Ashley Spires features girls with strong characters.  Both books are wonderful examples of how they face challenges and demonstrate resilience. 

THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING is about a girl who knows exactly what she wants to build and how it will work, but is frustrated because it’s not easy. So she quits. But she comes back and guess what? She gets it right! The book is a great example to kids that it’s okay to make mistakes and even get angry. We all face frustration and fear that we may not succeed in our endeavors. 

THE THING LOU COULDN’T DO is about a girl who loves adventure until her friends decide to do something Lou couldn’t do.  She makes all kinds of excuses but eventually Lou faces her fear. Rather than feel like a failure, she sets a goal. Not everything we fear can be solved easily or quickly. Just recognizing the fear is a step in the right direction. 

Perfect Picture Book Pair showcases two books with universal themes, but one must include a diverse setting, or life experience, or main character. My goal is to support books in the market that contribute to diversity in children’s literature. 

Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” I believe reading is too! 

Kids love to see their reflections in books. Join me and #ReadYourWorld!

Happy reading…

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Monsters!

Monsters!

The characters in these two books figure out how to deal with their monster problems in this Perfect Picture Book Pair! 

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Title: Monster Trouble

Author: Lane Fredrickson

Illustrator: Michael Robertson

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (September 2015)

Age Range: 4-8 years

What’s a girl gotta do to rid her bedroom of monsters so she can get some sleep? Winifred Schnitzel finds the perfect solution to her monster trouble!

  Title: The Monstore 

Author: Tara Lazar

Illustrator: James Burks

Publisher: Aladdin   (June 2013)

Age Range: 4-7 years

What’s a boy gotta do to get rid of his pesky little sister? To solve his problem, Zach goes to the Monstore!

Perfect Picture Book Pair showcases two books with universal themes, but one must include a diverse setting, or life experience,  or main character. My goal is to support books in the market that contribute to diversity in children’s literature.

Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” I believe reading is too!

Kids love to see their reflections in books. Join me and #ReadYourWorld!

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Grandparents & Celebrating Heritage: A Perfect Picture Book Pair

Grandparents & Celebrating Heritage: A Perfect Picture Book Pair

PERFECT timing for this Perfect Picture Book Pair!

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This October, Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur are celebrated, and it’s also National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Both books are inspired by the Yiddish folksong “Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl” (I Had a Little Overcoat or My Coat). And both stories show how grandparents re-use, and re-purpose fabric to leave a legacy of love.

Title: Maya’s Blanket/La manta de Maya

Author: Monica Brown

Illustrator: David Diaz

Publisher: Children’s Book Press (CA); and imprint of Lee & Low Bilingual edition (August 15, 2015)

Age Range: 3-7 years.

Topics: Latino culture, inter-generational story, sewing, re-use/re-purposing cloth, legacy

 

Title: My Grandfather’s Coat

Author: Jim Aylesworth  

Illustrator: Barbara McClintock

Publisher: Scholastic Press   (October 2014)

Age Range: 4-8 years.

Topics: Immigration, inter-generational story, sewing, re-use/re-purposing cloth, legacy

Perfect Picture Book Pair showcases two books with universal themes but one must include diverse settings,  life experiences,  and or people in the world of  children’s literature in response to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign.

Mark Twain said ‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…”Reading is too!

Kids love to see their own reflections in books. Join me and  #ReadYourWorld!

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Boys and Bots: A Perfect Picture Book Pair

Boys and Bots: A Perfect Picture Book Pair

Two boys and their bots make a perfect picture book pair! Friendship, hilarity, and science saves the day.

TitleThe Bot that Scott Built

Author: Kim Norman

Illustrator: Agnese Baruzzi

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (August 2016)

Age Range: 3-7 years.

Boy builds bot. Classroom calamity ensues. Boy and bot save the science fair!
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Title: Boy + Bot  

Author: Ame Dyckman

Illustrator: Dan Yaccarino

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers   (April 2012)

Age Range: 2-5 years.

Boy likes bot. Bot likes boy. Friendship ensues!

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Perfect Picture Book Pair showcases two books with universal themes but one must include diverse settings,  life experiences,  and or people in the world of  children’s literature in response to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign.

Mark Twain said ‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…”Reading is too!

Kids love to see their reflections in books. Join me and #ReadYourWorld!

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Finding what makes you special: A Perfect Picture Book Pair

Finding what makes you special: A Perfect Picture Book Pair

What an excellent and extraordinary perfect picture book pair! Both books show the importance of fitting in by finding out what makes you special.

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Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty (Author), Julia Sarcone-Roach  (Illustrator)

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers (May 2016)

Age Range: 4-8 years.

Ed finds out exactly what makes him special in an exceptional family.

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Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison (Author/Illustrator)

Published by Dial Books (February 2014)

Age Range: 3-5 years.

Jane learns ordinary friendship, kindness, and loyalty is what makes her extraordinary.

A Perfect Picture Book Pair showcases two books with universal themes but one must include diverse settings,  life experiences,  and or people in the world of  children’s literature in response to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign.

Mark Twain said ‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” Reading is too! Join me and  #ReadYourWorld!

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A Perfect Picture Book Pair – Girls Rule Dress-up

A Perfect Picture Book Pair – Girls Rule Dress-up

What a fun perfect picture book pair about little girls who love to dress-up. But looking pretty is only one part.

Girls

Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer (Author)

Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Illustrator)

Published by Sterling (August 2016)

Age Range: 4-8 years.

Mary is a bit of a fashionista but she won’t let her goals interfere with her fun! The ending is delightful.

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Every-day Dress-up by Selina Alko (Author/Illustrator)

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers (October 12011)

Age Range: 3-7 years.

Do all girls dress like princesses? Not this one. She dresses like famous female role models. 

Perfect Picture Book Pair showcases two books with universal themes, but one must include a diverse setting, or life experience,  or main character. My goal is to support books in the market that helps contribute to diversity in children’s literature. 

Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” I believe reading is too! 

Kids love to see their reflections in books. Join me and #ReadYourWorld!

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A Perfect Picture Book Pair Based on a Cumulative Tale

A Perfect Picture Book Pair Based on a Cumulative Tale

What a fun perfect picture book pair based on the cumulative story, “I Know An Old Lady That Swallowed a Fly”. And perfect for reading aloud!

Both books are modern adaptations of the old tale filled with lyrical language and wordplay. 

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One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom (Author), Brendan Wenzel (Illustrator) Published by Katherine Tegen Books (May 2016) Age Range: 4-8 years.

A hungry snake fills his belly, but his captives are planning their escape.

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann (Author), Ben Mantle (Illustrator) Published by Random House Books for Young Readers (August 4, 2015) Age Range: 4-8 years.

There was an old dragon who swallowed things in a kingdom, including a knight! That’s not polite!

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2016 Rio Olympics

2016 Rio Olympics

It’s been such a thrill to watch athletes from around the world compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To mark this special occasion I found two books about young women who made history at previous Olympic events, one is an American gymnast, the other from Romania. Whatever country you root for, these games inspire!

Both books are about two young highly talented Gold Medal winning Olympic gymnasts.

Gabby Douglas  (Amazing Athletes) by  Jon M. Fishman Published by Learner Publications (2012) Age Range: 6-9 years.

Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sot Still by Karlin Gray (Author), Christine Davenier (Illustrator), Published by  HMH Books for Young Readers (2016) Age Range: 6-9 years.

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And in case inquiring minds wanted to know, the King Cake Baby and I are big fans of Team USA!

KCB Rio

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Picture Books for the Holiday & Ever After

Picture Books for the Holiday & Ever After

There are many lists out there for all your holiday reading needs. Many from well known sources. Most books never make those lists. As a new author, I know the importance of getting the word out about your work. We certainly can’t buy every book published, but we can support authors, illustrators, and bookstores by sharing those we read and enjoy. Blogging or writing reviews on sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads also helps spread the word. So I created my own list.

Gingerbread books

It’s not just books, but people who blog frequently about books. People who are passionate about picture books and what they mean to kids and parents and teachers and librarians.

Anyone looking for a gift or simply love to read and or collect picture books, below are links to some fabulous titles.

Goodreads with Ronna has two posts about Christmas books Roundup Part 1 and Part 2

Just Us Books put together a list of holiday books with diverse themes and or character or by authors least represented in the world of publishing.

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) launched a Book Party event to help support their membership in an effort to market 2015 releases.

What about after the holiday? Below are my go to blogs for learning about books by reading reviews. It’s a very diverse list because I am a huge supporter of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #ReadYourWorld campaigns.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day  is January 27, 2016. This site showcases new and old releases with diverse content.

Mia Wenjen aka Pragmatic Mom , Co-Founder of Multicultural Children’s Book Day blogs about parenting, books, and education.

Valarie Budayr Jump Into A Book, Co-Founder of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Valarie says, “Jump into a Book is a site about the love of children’s books and how they can incorporate them into our everyday lives through play, crafting, cooking, movies, games, traveling and author visits. At JIAB, we strive to pull books off shelves and stories off pages to create reading experiences for families.”

Susanna Hill hosts Perfect Picture Book Friday. Authors and writers share weekly book reviews. She has an extensive list of books by category.

Patricia Tilton, Children’s Books Heal. Looking for a book that addresses a tough topic? Search this blog. Patricia says, “I want my blog to be a resource for parents, grandparents and teachers who are searching for a special gem that will help a child through a tough time.” And it is indeed.

Juliana Lee’s Crafting Stories. From her Books Alive! page or Celebrate Every Day with a Picture Book page, or easy reader and early chapter book reviews from her 2015 Cybils page, Juliana has something current for everyone.

Tiffa blogs about picture books she reads with her two sons at her site, The Picture Book Review. Note: They read a lot of books!

Goodreads with Ronna by Ronna Mandel who is a former Associate Editor at L.A. Parent, and a team of reviewers keep us up to date on current releases. She reviews inclusive books with characters and or topics specific to a population with special needs.

Danielle Davis blogs at This Picture Book Life, She says, “This blog brings picture books to life through crafts, book pairings, interviews, recipes, and other fun stuff.” Her reviews are thought provoking and honest.

See my picture book reviews here and my perfect picture book pairs here or on Facebook.

These are a few of my favorites, there are so many, many more.

Happy Holiday reading! Happy reading in 2016!

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Halloween PerfectPictureBookPair 2

Halloween PerfectPictureBookPair 2

A #WeNeedDiverseBooks Perfect Picture Book Pair for Halloween!

Halloween PPBP

Title:  Los Gatos Black on Halloween
Written by: Marisa Montes
Illustrated by: Yuyi Morales
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (August 22, 2006)
Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Los Gatos Black on Halloween is a spooky bilingual Halloween poem that introduces young readers to spooky Spanish words. 

Amazon copy: Under October’s luna, full and bright, the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. Las brujascome on their broomsticks. Los muertos rise from their coffins to join in the fun. Los esqueletos rattle their bones as they dance through the door. And the scariest creatures of all aren’t even there yet!

Title:  Bone Dog
Written/Illustrated by: Eric Rohmann
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; First Edition edition (July 19, 2011)
Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Bone Dog is a touching story that deals with the reality of death when a pet nears the end of life and makes a promise to his best friend.

Amazon copy: Gus doesn’t feel like doing much after his dog Ella dies. He doesn’t really even feel like dressing up for Halloween. But when Gus runs into a bunch of rowdy skeletons, it’s Ella–his very own Bone dog–who comes to his aid, and together they put those skeletons in their place. A book about friendship, loss, and a delightfully spooky Halloween.

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Spending time with grandparents

Spending time with grandparents

Thunder Cake, by Patricia Polacco (Author), Puffin Books; Reprint, (August 25, 1997), ages 5-8

Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell (Author/Illustrator), Lee & Low Books (March 20, 2013), ages 5-8

Both books are about grandparents cooking with their grandchildren. The multi-generational focus on family life coupled with delightful rhyme & prose in each make these books fun to read aloud. And easy to explore the important roles grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren.

In Thunder Cake, a grandmother and her granddaughter hurries around the farm to find all the ingredients needed for to bake a cake before a storm arrives. The story is based on memories of the author’s childhood.

In Rainbow Stew, a grandfather leads his grand kids to the garden on a rainy summer day to pick veggies to make a stew.

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Swing Sisters by Karen Deans

Swing Sisters by Karen Deans

Swing Sisters: The International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans is my pick for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday in honor of Jazz Fest in New Orleans and Teacher’s Appreciation Week, both celebrated in the month of May.

Swing Sisters

Illustrated by: Joe Cepeda

Publisher: Holiday House (January 1, 2015)

Suitable for ages: 7-11

Themes:  women in music, educational activism, integration, jazz, gender studies, perseverance, inspiration, US history, Jim Crow laws, stereotypes

Brief Synopsis: This book brings attention to the first interracial all female jazz/swing band, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm formed in 1939 at Piney Woods Country Life School in Mississippi. The band became popular in the 1940’s and toured the US and Europe.

The story opens by bringing attention to Dr. Laurence Clifton Jones, a black educator who started a school in 1909 for orphans in Mississippi. Music education eventually became a part of the school’s curriculum and many of the Sweethearts were part of the school band.

Swing Sisters highlights the struggles these women endured from society because of both race and gender.

Opening pages:  “Way back in 1909, not far from Jackson, Mississippi, there was a special place for orphans It was called Piney Woods Country Life School.

A man named Dr. Laurence Clifton Jones started the school. He wanted to make sure these African American kids had a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, and a good education. In return, the children worked at the school to earn their keep. Some planted seeds and picked weeds outside on the farm; others chopped vegetables in the kitchen or did laundry.”

Why I like this book: A great example of history using a story that inspires and educates. During one of the most difficult times in US history when the intent of oppression from Jim Crow laws was to prevent African Americans from achievement, this band of talented women, black and white, formed and succeeded in entertaining Americans and Europeans.

Further research shows Dr. Jones came from a family of educators, with an uncle who started a school back in 1846. When Dr. Jones learned about a county in Mississippi that had an eighty percent illiteracy rate, he moved there from Missouri and eventually started Piney Woods Country Life School.

Resources: See the Teacher’s Guide here. Listen to their story on NPR. Listen to them play! Dare you not to boogie!

For more of today’s book reviews from May 15, 2015, go to author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book page.

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/22/134766828/americas-sweethearts-an-all-girl-band-that-broke-racial-boundaries

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Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan is today’s pick for Perfect Picture Book Friday and National Sibling Day!

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Illustrated by: Sophie Blackall

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (March 2010)

Suitable for ages: 4-8

Themes:  cultural awareness, immigrant experiences, cultural conflict, sibling-rivalry, tolerance, dealing with anger, frustration, jealousy

Brief Synopsis: Rubina is invited to a birthday party and her little sister Sana asks to tag along. But Rubina tries to convince her mother it’s not a good idea to bring someone to a party when they are not invited. Rubina’s mother does not understand why bringing her little sister is a problem. She also doesn’t understand why someone would celebrate a birthday since that is not a tradition in their culture. Sana persists and although embarrassed, Rubina asks the host for permission to bring her. At the party Sana misbehaves. And not only does Sana eat the candy in her party bag when they get home, but Rubina is not invited to another party for a long time. When Sana is invited to a party, the third sibling, Maryam, asks to go too. But this time, Sana is the one who doesn’t want a tag-a-long. Rubina’s intervention helps her family understand North American culture.

Opening pages:  “I am so excited I run all the way home from school.

“Ami! I’ve been invited to a birthday party! There’s going to be games and toys, cake and ice cream! Can I go?”

Sana screams, “I wanna go too!”

Ami says, “What’s a birthday party?”

“It’s when they celebrate the day they were born.”

“Why do they do that?”

“They just do! Can I go?”

Why I like this book: I enjoyed this book because it weaves sibling rivalry in the backdrop of a story about an immigrant family from Pakistan. The are two ongoing conflicts, the first between the siblings and the second is adapting to a new culture. An excellent choice to introduce cultural awareness,teach tolerance, address cultural practices, and address the sibling dynamic present in all families regardless of heritage.

Resources: See the Teacher’s Guide here.

For more of today’s book reviews, go to author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book page.

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