Perfect Picture Book Friday: Llama, Llama and the Bully Goat

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s time for a Perfect Picture Book review and craft activity.

The book I’m recommending is one that belongs on every school library shelf, as well as in every home. It addresses the problem of bullying – an issue of concern in schools and playgrounds everywhere. In fact, I’ve prepared a kid’s anti-bullying toolkit guide with some simple action steps to take. It’s a free gift when you sign up to get my awesome quarterly newsletter:

Reading a picture book with your child creates a bond. It also gives you an opportunity to talk about sensitive issues like bullying.



Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney

Publisher: Viking Juvenile (2013)

Ages: 3-5+

Themes: Bullying


Opening Lines:

“Llama, llama busy day.

Writing, counting, pictures, clay. Continue reading

Laura Purdie Salas: Will Write for Cookies








Photo courtesy: Katherine Warde


I’m really excited about today’s Will Write for Cookies guest because she is not only a multi-published author, but also a great resource for those of us who want to get our foot in the publishing house door and for parents and teachers as well.

According to Laura, she is terrible at small talk, great at reading, and pretty good at word games. She is also the author of more than 120 books for kids and teens, including WATER CAN BE…, A LEAF CAN BE… (Bank Street Best Books, IRA Teachers’ Choice, Minnesota Book Award Finalist, Riverby Award for Nature Books for Young Readers, and more), and BOOKSPEAK! POEMS ABOUT BOOKS (Minnesota Book Award, NCTE Notable, Bank Street Best Book, Eureka! Gold Medal, and more). She loves to introduce kids to poetry and help them find poems they can relate to, no matter what their age, mood, and personality. She has also written numerous nonfiction books.

I’m thrilled to welcome you here, Laura…thank you so much for participating. I know everyone is excited to find out more about you!


ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

LAURA: I don’t remember the specific books I read when I was the age that most of my readers are now (1st-3rd grade). I inhaled books so quickly that they just flowed right through my life. And I definitely wasn’t aware of authors and illustrators until I was older–upper elementary or even junior high. I loved Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, some Raggedy Ann and Andy chapter books, Nancy Drew mysteries, riddle books, the John Bellairs suspense books, and some books about a brother and sister who traveled around the world and through time. But as the youngest of four kids, I just read whatever was in the house and on the library shelves. I was not a discriminating reader. I just wanted to devour books.  Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Insides Out plus Craft Activity

Do you ever feel you don’t have time to do anything – because you are too busy doing everything?

I’m feeling that way this month. I’m participating in Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) – reading inspiring daily posts from authors and illustrators on Tara Lazar’s blog and trying to come up with at least one sparkling spark of an idea for a new picture book story. It’s going pretty well…I’ve got way more than 15 ideas – and the month is only half over.piboidmo2014

I’m also taking Mira Reisberg’s Illustrating Children’s Picture Books because I had a crazy idea that maybe one day I might be able to illustrate my own stories!!!! Last week I had to create thumbnails for one of my stories – a kind of a storyboard with a small sketch for each scene. This week I had to develop some character sketches for my main character, a little boy who wants to catch a bug to be his pet. I’m putting my work up here to encourage every person who reads this post that it is okay to try things that are out of your comfort zone – you won’t break the world, your computer, or yourself – and you just might discover something that you love doing!

Vivian Kirkfield Character Sketches for Boy to Bug

Now, if you can all stop rolling on the floor in laughter, I can Continue reading

PPBF: One Big Pair of Underwear – Sharing is Fun

I know you don’t want to hear this, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas won’t be far behind! It’s a busy time for everyone, especially parents of young children.

Keeping the stress level down is definitely a challenge. One of the most important things is for moms and dads to have good communication with each other so they are on the same page about activities and gifts – present a united front for the kids – things go much more smoothly if you do.

Whether you’ve got one child or several, sharing is almost always an issue. Young kids can be very possessive about their things. Sharing is a learned skill…most kids don’t come by it naturally. Reading today’s Perfect Picture Book with your children would be a great opportunity to talk about sharing.



Written by Laura Gehl

Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Publisher: Beach Lane Books (2014)

Ages: 2-8

Themes: Sharing, counting, animals


Opening Lines:

“One big pair of underwear, Two brown bears who hate to share. One bear wears the underwear. One bear cries, “That isn’t fair!”


From Booklist: “The word underwear is enough to make kids erupt in giggles. But when two bears contemplate sharing one pair of underwear, youngsters will be rolling in the aisles. Add rhymes, tongue twisters, and alliteration into the mix, and you’ll find spirited entertainment in this picture-book introduction to basic concepts. A joy to read aloud with digitally colored pencil illustrations that are full of charm and humor.”
Why I like this book:

  • Great read-aloud
  • Hilariously funny…just the word underwear is enough to get kids laughing!
  • Great rhyming counting book


How a parent can use this book: Continue reading