Monthly Archives: March 2012

Perfect Picture Book Fridays – Corduroy

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My pick for this week’s Perfect Picture Book Friday is a classic favorite “Corduroy” by Don Freeman.

 

 

 

 

Title: Corduroy Author/Illustrator: Don Freeman Publisher: The Viking Press a division of Penguin Books (1968) Scholastic Inc.

Ages: 3-7

Synopsis/Opening:

Corduroy is a bear who once lived in the toy department of a big store.

Day after day he waited with all of the other animals

and dolls for somebody to come along and take him home.

This book is about a little toy bear named Corduroy. He longs for a home of his own and a child to love him. He thinks that maybe it’s the missing button on his overalls. So he goes on an adventure inside the store to find a new button. It’s a sweet story of the longing for being loved and belonging somewhere.

From the publisher, Scholastic:  Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy, continues to stir the hearts and imagination of children and adults around the world. Published thirty years ago, this children’s book, in which a bear leaves the safety of his department store shelf in order to do almost anything to be adopted by a little girl, is one of the most endearing… and enduring in existence. Instilling the theme of hope and compassion, there’s no doubt that this beloved picture book will continue to be a favorite for each new generation awaiting to have their own “Corduroy” experience.

Born in San Diego, California, Freeman moved to New York City in the 1940’s to study art while making a living as a jazz trumpeter. He died in 1978, leaving his beloved audience with a treasury of classic children’s stories. Corduroy is a story that all children can relate to.

Themes:  Adventure, belonging, kindness/compassion/generosity, emotions, exploration, friendship, hope, love

Activities:

United Teaching Discoveries has a number of fun activities and guides

Scholastic has a teacher’s guide and activities

An idea for a home project would be to find an old toy and fix it up. Sew new clothes or find new clothes for it. Patch up the places it is worn.

Coloring Pages for Corduroy:

Twisty Noodle

Scribd

thefirstschool.ws

 

 

Why I love this book:  Well, besides the adorable illustrations, one can’t help but feel sadness for this little bear. We’ve all had favorite toys we’ve cast aside. Whenever I go to a store and see a sad little stuffed bear I always think of Corduroy. And yes, sometimes I do buy it :) It is a wonderful story of love and wanting to be loved. This story has a theme that we all can relate to.

Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.

 

Perfect Picture Book Fridays: John Philip Duck

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The book I chose for Perfect Picture Book Friday is a historical fiction book about a boy, music and ducks, John Philip Duck by Patricia Polacco.

Title:  John Philip Duck

Author/Illustrator: Patricia Polacco

Publisher: Philomel Books (Division of Penguin Young Readers)

Ages: 5 & up

Themes: animals, arts, biography, bravery, cause & effect, creativity, diversity, culture, helping others

Opening and Synopsis: 

Edward was a sweet boy who lived with his family on a small farm

just outside of Memphis in the foothills of Tennessee. Times were hard.

There was a depression on and money was hard to come by.

Even though Edward was just a kid, he and his father worked at the same hotel in Memphis.

During the work week they stayed at the hotel, but on the weekends they both went home.

From the book jacket: When young Edward first brought his tiny wild duck to the grand hotel where he worked with his pa, his only thought was to keep it hidden. After all, he just needed a warm place for his little pet to stay during the day. Everyone helped to keep his secret.

Until one day, when Mr. Schutt, the blustery hotel manager, discovered the duck swimming in the lobby fountain! Surprised but not defeated, Edward showed Mr. Schutt how his duck could perform, even march to a John Philip Sousa tune. Maybe Edward could train other ducks to do the same. All he needed was Mr. Schutt’s okay-but could he get it in time to save John Philip Duck?

Activities:

Go on Itunes and Spotify and listen to some John Philip Sousa music.

Visit online the Peabody Hotel in Memphis

Coloring pages of ducks

Patricia has some neat activities and free bookmarks at her website

Try a discussion with kids on tricks your favorite pets do. Do any of them like music?

What’s your favorite genre of music? Why?

What I liked about this book:  Even though it is historical fiction, this story felt so real to me. It was fun to find out that there really is a Peabody Hotel in Memphis famous for its ducks in lobby. And Edward Pembroke really was the bellman and Duck Master for over 50 years at the Peabody. I loved the way the author wrote this as if it was set back in history. Using words like “Pa” and “lad” made you feel like you were back in the South in the ’30’s. The art in it is fantastic. The figures show emotion and pull the reader into that time frame in our history. The author gives us emotional ties to the young boy. When John Philip gets loose, you are anxious to turn the page to see what happens next. I loved how the hotel staff all helped the boy to keep the duck quiet. Anyone who’s ever owned a duck knows this is a very hard thing to do! :)

 Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Giving Tree

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For this week’s Perfect Picture Book Friday I chose the Shel Silverstein Classic, The Giving Tree.

 

 

 

 

Title:  The Giving Tree

Author/Illustrator: Shel Silverstein

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (1964)

Ages: 7 and up (the Publisher has it listed for 10+)

Themes:  Growing up, cause and effect, friendship, giving, acceptance

Synopsis:

  Once there was a tree

And she loved a little boy.

And every day the boy would come

And he would gather her leaves

and make them

into crowns

and play king of the forest.

This is a delightful tale of the friendship and love of a little boy and his beloved tree. The tree is always there for the boy, all through out his years. It is a story of love and friendship told in the perfect way that Shel Silverstein was known for.

From the publisher:  Once there was a little tree … and she loved a little boy.

So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.

Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk … and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.

Activities:

Shel Silverstein.com has a wonderful collection of activities, downloadables and even an app!

Unique teaching resources.com has some great ideas on using the book in the classroom

The Web English Teacher has some lesson plans

Easy Fun School is a homeschool site with neat ideas for use with the Giving Tree

Lesson Planet has a list of various lesson plans that help to: build ethical conscience, developing healthy snacks, learn poetry, etc.

Arbor Day.com has a wonderful program of giving the gift of a tree!

Arbor Day.com also has a link to volunteer to help plant trees in or near your community

Another wonderful resource at Arbor Day.com is the children’s activities page. Full of fun ideas for children and their families

Why I like this book:  I was reminded of this book when LeVar Burton read it during the World Read Aloud day on the Google Ed Google+ page. He read The Snowy Day and The Giving Tree. It was really wonderful! Most of you will remember LeVar as the host of the award winning PBS kids show, Reading Rainbow (And Star Trek The Next Generation and Roots!). Unfortunately, Reading Rainbow is no longer on the air, except maybe in rerun form. But, some exciting news that he shared was that Reading Rainbow is being reincarnated as an app! Kids will be able to use it for free. Such a great idea! Here is the video of LeVar reading as well as information on World Read Aloud Day and a Q&A with him:

The Giving Tree is a wonderful tale of growing up and the value of friendship. I really love the message of this book. Even though the reading is fairly simple, the concepts are a bit complex. So maybe that is why the publishers chose an older age bracket for it. I personally think younger children would enjoy it, but that, I guess, is up to the parent 😉

Here is The Giving Tree movie I found on Youtube. It’s from 1973 and is narrated by Shel Silverstein.

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.