Roses are red, violets are blue.
We’ve got so much snow, I don’t know what to do!
Yes, you’ve guessed it. We got more snow during the week and they are predicting another HUGE blizzard within forty-eight hours. As you can imagine, I am now on a first name basis with our lovely snow plow guy. See what his plow looks like after pushing all that snow?
Fortunately, there is so much for a writer to do when stuck in the house. I’m still participating in Kristen Fulton’s 52 Weeks of Charting Non-Fiction Picture Books.
So today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection is one of the special stories from that challenge.
But before I get to the review, I wanted to mention another challenge that is near and dear to my heart. Whether you are a writer or a reader, a teacher or a parent, you know that reviews are very important for the success of a book…especially those that are posted to Amazon and other review sites. I’ve been tagged by a dear friend, Carrie Finison, to participate in BOOK LOVE – a Blog Hop
. Anyone can jump on board. And I hope that all of you will. There is only one requirement. Review a picture book (especially one that doesn’t have many reviews) and post it to Amazon. I did that last week for All Different Now – Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson (only had 4 reviews), Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox (only had 15 reviews), Skit-Scat Ragetty Cat, by Roxanne Orgill (only had 9 reviews). I’ll be posting my review for today’s selection also, as well as doing a bonus book review (which you will find at the end of this post).
Writers and illustrators work so hard to put quality books on the shelves for our children. I’ve spoken to published authors who tell me that they revise their stories dozens and dozens of times…and I guess this is necessary because the hallmark of a successful picture book is that it is enjoyable to read over and over again…so if you can read your own work over and over…chances are other people will also.
My PPBF choice is a book that addresses an extremely sensitive issue – transgender kids.
I AM JAZZ
Written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jenning
Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
Publisher: Dial (2014)
Ages: 5 and up
Themes: Transgender, believe in yourself, be true to yourself
“I am Jazz! For as long as I can remember, my favorite color has been pink. (My second-favorite color is silver and my third-favorite color is green.)”
Even as a very young child, Jazz felt more comfortable wearing ‘girl’s’ clothing and playing with ‘girl’s’ toys. She describes herself by saying she has a girl brain but a boy body. Her parents take her to a doctor and are able to accept the ‘diagnosis’ that she is a transgender person. They are extremely supportive of her. Although there are still kids and adults who tease her and don’t accept her, she realizes that when people get to know her, they want to be her friend. And she feels that if she pretended to be a boy, it would be the same as lying.
Why I like this book:
- A well-written book on a very difficult topic
- The story helps us see that Jazz’ young friends are very accepting, but it is the older children and adults who sometimes have a problem with her situation.
- The illustrations are great, depicting Jazz participating in all types of activities with her friends
How a parent can use this book:
- This is such an important message – the more different we seem, the more alike we really are – great launchpad for discussions on treating everyone with respect and courtesy
- Another important discussion: is it okay for girls to like to do ‘boy’ things and boys to like to do ‘girl’ things?
And here is the bonus Perfect Picture Book:
SNOW GLOBE FAMILY
Written by Jane O’Connor
Illustrated by S.D. Schindler
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (2006)
Age: 4 and up
Themes: Family life, snow, parallel universe
A family lives in a big old house. On their mantel is a snowglobe. Inside the snowglobe lives another family of very tiny people who love to play in the snow. When the ‘big’ family goes out to play in the snow, the ‘big’ baby plays with the snowglobe and creates a huge snowstorm for the tiny people who are delighted to go sledding inside their globe.
Why I Loved This Book:
- Clever story of two parallel universes – the text is funny and sweet and the illustrations are vintage and harken back to some of the classic picture books of old.
- The spread where ‘big’ baby looks into the window of the house of the tiny people in the snowglobe is awesome – my grandson loved that!
How Parents Can Use This Book:
- As with I Am Jazz, this book shows how the more different we may seem, the more similar we really are.
Make A Snow Globe
Find simple instructions here: http://www.education.com/activity/article/Snowglobe/
I’ve been studying various types of picture book stories – The Snow Globe Family is a perfect example of a parallel picture book. I’d love to write one of these – maybe one of these snowy days will be a great time to give it a try.
And if you’d like to check out even more picture book reviews, please head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post.
Have a beautiful weekend!