It Jes’ Happened and more from Don Tate

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post features a man of seemingly endless talents, author /illustrator Don Tate. Looking forward to meeting him at the WOW retreat and learning about his process, with text and art! Title: It Jes’ Happened, When Bill Traylor Started to Draw Written by: Don Tate Illustrated by: R. Gregory Christie Lee and … More It Jes’ Happened and more from Don Tate

Platypus

How much do you know about the puzzling platypus? Title: Platypus Written by: Sue Whiting Illustrated by: Mark Jackson Candlewick Press, 2016, nonfiction Suitable for ages: 5+ Themes/topics: animals, nature, Australia Opening: Beyond the snaking bend in the creek, where the water lazes in a still green pool, a scraggly gum tree perches on the … More Platypus

A Splash of Red

PPBF Special: For all the teachers who are in the midst of testing season, I’ve included a literature unit for this amazing book. Title: A Splash of Red, the Life and Art of Horace Pippin Written by: Jen Bryant Illustrated by: Melissa Sweet Random House/Knopf, 2015, biography Suitable for ages: 5-8 (easily Gr 1-5) Lexile: 610 … More A Splash of Red

Marvelous Cornelius

There IS something truly marvelous about trash pick up. Experience the magic in this week’s Perfect Picture Book selection. Title: Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans Written by: Phil Bildner Illustrated by: John Parra Chronicl e Books, 2015, Fiction (based on a true story) Suitable for ages: 5-8 Lexile: AD560L Themes/topics: … More Marvelous Cornelius

Tree of Cranes

Every once in a while I like to bring in one of my old favorites. Here’s a tender cross-cultural holiday story.

IMG_0739Title: Tree of Cranes
Written and illustrated by: Allen Say
Houghton Mifflin, 1991
Suitable for ages: 4-8 years
Lexile: 470L
Themes/topics: Christmas, Japan, traditions … More Tree of Cranes

How Many Days to America?

Today I’m sharing my all time favorite Thanksgiving story. Title: How Many Days to America, A Thanksgiving Story Written by: Eve Bunting Illustrated by: Beth Peck Clarion Books, 1988, fiction Suitable for ages: 6-9 Lexile: 460L Themes/topics: refugees, immigrants, Thanksgiving, family Opening:  It was nice in our village. Till the night in October when the soldiers … More How Many Days to America?

Dare the Wind

Title: Dare the Wind: The Record-Breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud
Written by: Tracey Fern
Illustrated by: Emily Arnold McCully
Margaret Ferguson Books, Farrar Straus Giroux, 2014
Biography
Suitable for ages: 5-8, (independent 8-12)
Lexile: AD880 (AD=Adult Directed)
Themes/topics: history, women, courage

Opening: Ellen Prentiss had always felt the sea tug at her heart, strong as a full-moon tide. Her papa said that was because she was born with saltwater in her veins. While other girls spent their days stitching samplers and sweeping floors, Ellen spent her days at the shore in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She chased the waves. She raced the wind. She watched great sailing ships skim over wide endless water. And she dreamed of living her life at sea and catching her share of adventure.

Brief synopsis: (from my library catalog) Ellen Prentiss’s papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate. As soon as she met a man who loved sailing like she did, she married him. When her husband was given command of a clipper ship custom-made to travel quickly, she knew that they would need every bit of its speed for their maiden voyage: out of New York City, down around the tip of Cape Horn, and into San Francisco, where the Gold Rush was well under way. In a time when few women even accompanied their husbands onboard, Ellen Prentiss navigated their ship to set the world record for speed along that route.

Links to resources:
Activity Page posted on Teacher/Parent Resource Page.
Several resources for further reading are listed in the Author’s Note.

Why I like this book: The illustrations set the scene beautifully, and the text flows with rich figurative language. The reader feels Ellen’s internal conflict when she must balance the drive to win and the safety of the crew. She is a risk-taker whose studies pay off in the battle with the roiling sea. There’s nothing like a hearty sea adventure, eh-matey? … More Dare the Wind

Mesmerized

I’m happy to join Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Fridays. Along with a number of other children’s writers/bloggers, I’ll be posting a recommendation for a picture book each Friday. PPBF is a great resource for parents, teachers and gift-givers. Here is today’s offering:

Title: Mesmerized
Written by: Mara Rockliff
Illustrated by: Iacopo Bruno
Candlewick, 2015, non-fiction
Suitable for ages: 6-9, grades 1-4
Lexile: 690L
Themes/topics: science, history, investigation
More Mesmerized