Today is Friday – I have a children’s book to review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here
My picture book pick today is another one of the treasures I scooped up in Singapore last week at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.
Written by Susanna Gervay
Illustrated by Anna Pignataro
Publisher: Ford Street Publishers – Melbourne, Australia (2012)
Ages: 5 and up
Family togetherness, immigrants, war, hope
“Every night, Brownie and I wait for Papa to come home.”
A little girl and her family start life over again after war tears their country apart. Although there is sadness in their past, they are a happy family who work hard to make new joyful memories together.
Why I like this book:
- Great read-aloud for younger children…older kids will enjoy reading it themselves
- Wonderful message of hope and family togetherness
- Beautiful illustrations
- I met the author, child advocate and co-head of Australia’s SCBWI chapter, Susanne Gervay at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore and was thrilled to sit in on one of her amazing presentations there: Writing to Make a Better World…as writers, we have an opportunity to share important messages that can make a difference…Susanne takes this seriously and is the author of It’s Jack, a true story about bullying and how it affected her son. There are two sequels to the book and it is now in movie syndication! I also sat next to her at the First Pages session and with her for several breakfasts at the hotel…she is entertaining and empowering!
Photo from #2013AFCC – many of the SCBWI leaders of Pacific Rim countries – Suzanne is third from the left in the back row.
How a parent can use this book:
- Lovely read-aloud
- Opportunity for discussion about war and its effects on people
- Talk about how people from other places may sound different but they all want and need the same things
- Ideas for family activities
There are many recipes for yummy pancakes in cookbooks and online. Here’s a kid-friendly simple and nutritious one from my book.
HAPPY-FACE DOUBLE APPLE PANCAKES
You will need: 1 cup flour, ¼ tsp salt, 1 Tb sugar or honey, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 egg lightly beaten, ¾ cup milk, 2 Tb canola oil, ¼ cup applesauce, 2 Tb chopped apple, ½ cup raisins or blueberries, maple syrup or warmed jelly or confectioner’s sugar for the topping (optional), non-stick griddle and two bowls.
- Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in large bowl.
- Combine egg, milk and oil in another bowl.
- Slowly add the liquid mix into the dry mix…stirring till just blended. The batter should be lumpy.
- Gently fold in the apples and applesauce.
- Preheat the griddle on moderate heat and pour or spoon batter onto griddle (about 2 or 3 Tb of batter for each pancake).
- Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancake and gently turn over to brown other side.
- Press raisins or blueberries into surface of pancake to form eyes, nose and smiling mouth. Your child might enjoy arranging the faces on her own pancakes.
- Top with maple syrup, warmed jelly or confectioner’s sugar if desired.
Another lovely activity: go on a picnic like the family in the story did.
For more information about Susanne: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gervay
For picture book writing tips from Susanne:
- Recipe of the Day: Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes (news.health.com)
- Pineapple Coconut Pancakes for Mother’s Day Breakfast (Video) (muybuenocookbook.com)