Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of writers who contribute a picture book review and related resources.
But first,I want to announce the January PPP Reading Challenge picture book winner. It was lovely to see everyone’s reading list…thank you all for sharing and taking the time (which I know is precious and in short supply) to add your comments. And the winner is…two winners, actually…Jennifer at Toy Box Years and Milka at Perfecting Motherhood. I’ll email you both so you can let me know where to send the books. I’m looking forward to reading the comments this month…another picture book prize for at least one lucky commenter.
And now, on to my PPBF selection: Leo the Late Bloomer
Leo the Late Bloomer
Written by Robert Kraus
Illustrated by Jose Aruego
Ages: 3 – 7
Themes: Mastering tasks and skills, maturation
Opening: “Leo couldn’t do anything right.”
Leo, a little tiger cub, seems slow to mature. He cannot read, write, eat neatly, draw…or even talk. His father wonders if Leo will ever learn to do these things, but Leo’s mother tells her husband to have patience. Will Leo’s father stop watching to see if Leo is blooming? Does Leo ever catch up to his more accomplished animal friends?
Why do I like this book:
Children mature at different rates…and they all have unique strengths. This is a story that encourages and gives hope to young children who may be slower at learning to tie shoelaces or zip jackets or write their name. And perhaps it may also help those parents who worry when a child does not perform at the same level or accomplish the same things as an older brother or sister.
The text is ultra-simple! The glorious illustrations capture Leo’s father’s frustration and Leo’s joy with life itself. Check out the “snowmen” that each animal builds…young children love seeing the snow-elephant, the snow-snake, the snow-bird, the snow-owl and the snow-crocodile. Leo, of course, cannot make one and goes chasing after a rabbit. This is a story every child and parent can relate to.
Daisy Chain Necklace: great for developing fine motor coordination (this project is also suitable for any holiday…just use the traditional colors, such as red and green for Christmas, pastels for Easter, etc.)
You will need: Strips of colored construction paper (1” x 6”), markers or crayons and a glue stick.
1. Decorate each strip as desired…flower patterns, numbers, letters, zigzags, dots, etc.
2. Put glue on the edge of one strip. Form a loop and press together. Help the child count to 30.
3. Put glue on the edge of another strip. Thread it through the loop and press. Count to 30 again. Now you have the beginning of the chain.
4. Continue until there are enough links in the chain so it will fit over the child’s head and around the neck comforably.
I’ve done this project with kindergarten children and they love making each strip unique. They also have a lot of fun counting to 30 as they press the edges together! Of course, there are always a couple of “clever” kids who count by 5’s or 10’s to get to 30 faster…the different rates of maturation of children (like tiger cubs) in action…but their edges often don’t stay stuck!
This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.