Friday, March 21, 2014

If It's Snowy and You Know It by Kim Norman - Perfect Picture Book Friday

It's March 21 and there's still lots of snow outside. (Ugh.) But signs of spring are beginning to show themselves.

Last night was one example. I had an OWL MOON moment. You know, "Sometimes there's an owl, and sometimes there isn't," Jane Yolen writes.

But last night...there are two.

I'm a little red-eyed today because of the Whoo-whoo--whoo-whoo-whoo mating calls that went on for over an hour. But it was exciting—as exciting as a book I just discovered!

It also stars some snowy animals, and although it's not technically a fractured fairy tale (this week's PPBF theme), it is a remake of an old classic song.

What's remarkable about it is that the rhyme and meter are FLAWLESS.

Although I'm pretty sick of winter already, this book is so fantastic I'm willing to post another winter book on my blog.

Librarians and teachers will love this one.

IF IT'S SNOWY AND YOU KNOW IT, CLAP YOUR PAWS!


Author: Kim Norman
Illustrator: Liza Woodruff
Publisher: Sterling, 2013
Genre/Category: Picture book, rhyme
Ages: 3-8
Topics: Winter, snow, arctic, skiing, polar regions, animals, song, rhyme, remake/adaptation
Synopsis: A bunch of arctic animals have fun winter adventures in each verse of this "Happy and You Know it" remake.

Why I chose it: Did I mention that the rhyme is PERFECT? Wow, makes a librarian's, teachers, or parent's job fun and easy. My kids love it. It's just a really well-done book from text to illustrations.

Resources:

You can buy a version of the book with an audio CD here.

Here's the video where the author explains where she got the original idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAJfPCdanpI

Here are some photos from National Geographic Kids about Arctic Animals (this book features everything from Moose to Belugas!):
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/photos/arctic-animals/

Here are some worksheets and printouts all about arctic animals:
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/coloring/arcticanimals.shtml

If you want a list of other fairy tale remakes, check out Susanna Hill's PPBF list!

Now...

If it's melting and you know it...shout "Hooray!"
("Hooray!")

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Picture Books about Grief, Loss, Death, or Dying - A Quick List

Awhile back, I was working on a grief/loss picture book. I learned through my research that there are quite a number of these types of books on the market. I also critique a number of manuscripts from aspiring writers in which a grandparent or parent or pet has died or is already dead at the beginning of the manuscript. What I often notice is how many of these manuscripts overlap stories that are already on the market.

Since I've learned from editors that "grief books are a tough sell," I encourage anyone who is writing a picture book for children about death or loss of a loved one to study up some of the titles that have been published already.

Here's a quick list of picture books about death, grief, loss, or even terminal illness:

STILL MY GRANDMA by Veronique Van den Abeele

THE BIG LITTLE BOOK OF HAPPY SADNESS by Colin Thompson 


THE DAY TIGER ROSE SAID GOODBYE by Jane Yolen

ONE MORE WEDNESDAY by Malika Doray


THE GRANDAD TREE by Trish Cooke


THE PURPLE BALLOON by Chris Raschka


THE SCAR by Charlotte Moundlic


AND WHAT COMES AFTER A THOUSAND by Annette Bley 


GRANDMA’S PURPLE FLOWERS by Adjoa J. Burrows

THE NEXT PLACE by Warren Hanson

THE TENTH GOOD THING ABOUT BARNEY by Judith Viorst (older) 


SAYING GOODBYE TO LULU by Corrine Demas

Arlene Sardine by Chris Raschka

Goodbye Mousie by Robie H. Harris

Grandma’s Gloves by Cecil Castellucci

Wishes for One More Day by Melanie Joy Pastor

Ghost Wings by Barbara Joosse


Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola 

Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley

Thank You, Grandpa by Lynn Plourde

Is Grandpa Wearing a Suit? By Amelie Fried

The Girl Who Wanted to Dance by Amy Erlich Samantha 

Jane’s Missing Smile by Julie Kaplow

Aunt Mary’s Rose by Douglas Wood 


This is certainly not a comprehensive list. Feel free to add titles of grief/loss picture books in the comments below.
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