Monday, February 25, 2013

A New Place to Write

Today, I'm over at Writing from the Peak, the Pikes Peak Writers Blog, talking about this cool new place I write.

Hubby gave me this perfect Christmas present.

I took this picture before I spilled water all over it during a plane ride with a toddler (I had to throw that explanation in there).

So, it's getting broken in this year with all types of life experiences as it's being filled with story ideas, notes and stories.

Friday, February 22, 2013

PPBF: Hidden Hippo

Here's another Hippo book for Perfect Picture Book Fridays
Hidden Hippo
Written by Joan Gannij
Illustrated by Clare Beaton
Barefoot Books, 2008

Suitable for: Ages 3 and up

Theme/Topic: Animals, Hippos, Hide and Seek, Rhyme

Opening: "When I went exploring.
I wanted to see
A hippo or two.
Perhaps even three?"

Brief Synopsis: An explorer of the African plains searches for a hippo and finds all types of animals, but where, oh where, is the hippo. Each page offers — you guessed it — a hidden hippo.

Link to Resources:   You can draw a picture with a hidden hippo (or another animal) or perhaps creating a scene with fabric illustrations similar to those in the book. The book also contains its own resource including one page about hippos, two pages about endangered species, and four about the animals of the African Plains. Underwater Hippo Art Lesson. This site Deep Space Sparkle has tons of art lesson information!

Why I like this book: We had our own adventure in the living room as we searched for the hidden hippos in this book. To my untrained eye, the illustrations appear to be in felt. This is awesome on its own, but the copyright page mentions "the illustrations were prepared in antique fabrics and felt with buttons, beads and assorted brick-a-brac."

I really like Clare Beaton's website and the samples of her work. I'm always interested in collage work. Beaton says her work is all hand-stitched and she's always looking for more items to recycle and use in her work.

For more Perfect Picture Books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Friday, February 15, 2013

PPBF: Here Comes Doctor Hippo

Here's a new one for the Perfect Picture Book Fridays list.

Here Comes Doctor Hippo
Written by Jonathan London
Illustrated by Gilles Eduar
Boyds Mills Press, 2012

Suitable for: Ages 3-5

Theme/Topic: Imaginative Play, Animals

Opening: Little Hippo didn't like being little. In fact, he liked to dress up and pretend that he was big. So, one day he marched outside to play doctor.

Brief Synopsis: Little Hippo goes out to play doctor, but finds his animal patients can be a challenge. Mama Hippo helps Little Hippo finish out his day with a little mama medicine.

Link to Resources: Here's a lesson plan called At the Doctor. A role play exercise for seeing a doctor. Children can play doctor with their animals at home just like Little Hippo did.

Why I chose this book: I mentioned last week we are reading Hippo books. From the first page, my son enjoyed this book and asked for it again and again. While the author has written several books, a quick search didn't lead me to London's website. I did find this Kirkus Review of the book, which mentions a similar title called Doctor Ted by Andrea Beaty in 2008. After reading a bit more about the author and his Froggy series of books, I'll guess the "A Little Hippo Story" at the top of the cover means more books are no doubt expected in the future. 

For more Perfect Picture books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

PPBF: Eleanor the Hippo Learns to Tell The Truth

Here's a new one for the Perfect Picture Book Fridays list.

Written and Illustrated by Andy McGuire
Harvest House Publishers, 2011

Suitable for: Ages 3 to 8

Theme/Topic: Truth, Lies, Animals

Opening: Eleanor Hippo talked a lot, which is good sometimes ... But sometimes not.

Brief Synopsis: Eleanor fibs all day about the animals around her. After telling a false story about Leon the lion, she's forced to face the consequences of all her false tales. 

Link to resources: Teacher Planet has several lesson plans on honesty. This book opens up discussions about feelings when you are the victim of a fib or hear another child telling one.

Why I chose this book: My son likes a good hippopotamus tale, so we put all the children's book titles we could find at our library on hold. He squealed when we picked up a dozen books featuring hippos. The illustrations are realistic, but fun in this book. My favorite line: "She made up stuff that wasn't true. Of crazy things the locals do." February will likely be Hippo Month here, as it is Hippo Month in our home.

For more Perfect Picture books, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog. 

Spambots have become huge fans of PPBF. This week, I've received several dozen comments from "anonymous," so delighted to visit the blog and add a link for some odd product.

This Blogger post on Prevent unwanted comments and comment spam doesn't give me a new game plan on how to deal with them. Most of the comments are flagged and don't get published. The ones that do are deleted.

I'm not a fan of the word verification or comment moderation, so I'll just keep trucking along for now. Perhaps there's a picture book idea here:  "Goodnight Password," how an ordinary Password goes to heroic lengths to challenge the  Spambot bully threatening his friends.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 1, 2013

PPBF: Harry Hungry

Here's another book for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Harry Hungry
Written and Illustrated by Steven Salerno
Harcourt, Inc., 2009

Suitable for: Ages 4 and up

Theme/Topic: Eating, Humor

Opening: "Hungry," Harry murmured. "Harry Hungry."
His tummy grumbled and rumbled.
"Hungry!" Harry yelled.
GrrrrrrrrGrrrrrGrrrr! (well this line stretches across a doubles spread)
"In a minute," Momma called.

Brief Synopsis: Diaper clad Harry is hungry. The food in the house doesn't satisfy him, so he ventures outside to satisfy his hunger.

Link to resources: Health eating lesson plans, 10 ways to get kids to eat healthy food The story is a great talking point for hyperbole with lines like — "Harry pulled open the refrigerator and ... ate everything inside."

Why I chose this book: I love that Harry eats his way through the house and throughout the community. As a parent of a growing toddler, I can relate to this scenario. It feels like he's eating everything — and I mean everything just like Harry!

For more Perfect Picture Book Friday selections, check out Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

February 7, 2013 — Spambots seem to like this post, so I'm closing comments. - ssj