PPBF and PiBoIdMo

What’s with all those letters in the headline?

Well, Thanksgiving is only one month  away. I looked out on my front lawn this morning and I do believe these turkeys have gotten the word…they are on the run.

turkeys 2

Finding turkeys in the front yard is one thing…finding a whale in your swimming pool is way more unusual…author/illustrator Joyce Wan was definitely thinking outside the box when she came up with her latest book. So the first bunch of letters in the headline are for Perfect Picture Book Friday. You’ll have to read to the end of this post to discover what the other letters are for.

the whale in my swimming pool

The Whale in My Swimming Pool

Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (2015)

Ages: 2-6

Themes: problem solving, creative thinking, whales

Opening Lines:

“Race you to the pool! Whoa…a whale?”


From Amazon
“One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There’s a big whale in the water and it’s not budging! The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What’s a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray of water over the whale’s spout.”

Why I like this book:

  • Simple sparse text is perfect for young listeners and new readers
  • Bold bright illustrations grab a child’s attention
  • Encourages problem solving and thinking outside the box


here-is-a-whale-paper-plate-craft-project-i-made-21374396Photo courtesy: http://tangrila.blogspot.com

You will need: A paper plate, construction paper, markers or crayons, scissors, glue, (optional: googly eye)

  1. If you want a blue or gray whale, you can paint or color In the paper plate. For a simpler project, leave the plate uncolored and make a white whale.
  2. Cut construction paper tail and fin.
  3. Glue on tail and fin.
  4. Add features with marker or crayon.
  5. For more detailed instructions and more wonderful crafts for kids, please visit: http://tangrila.blogspot.com/2012/04/whale-paper-plate-craft.html

Find out about where whales really live: http://www.whalefacts.org/whale-facts-for-kids/

And more information and activities here: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/


As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, Thanksgiving is just a month away…which means that the month of November is just around the corner.

And if you love picture books, you will love PiBoIdMo!

A month-long challenge: Picture Book Idea Month

piboidmo banner


I want to share a bit about Picture Book Idea Month or PiBoIdMo. I discovered the amazing Tara Lazar and her fabulous picture book idea challenge back in 2011…I was just starting to dip my toes into the world of writing for children. I lurked in the shadows that November, reading the guest posts and leaving a couple of comments. When 2012 rolled around, I wasted no time. I signed up, got a new notebook, and actively participated by reading and commenting and jotting down my story ideas.

piboidmo notebooks

And every year since then, I’ve looked forward to November because I know that PiBoIdMo is coming. To be honest, this challenge played a big role in sparking my enthusiasm for writing picture books. So don’t hesitate! It’s free! It’s fun! It’s fabulous! Whether you are a newbie, just thinking about writing for children, or a multi-published author or illustrator, this is the one challenge you don’t want to miss.

What you need to do:

  • Sign up on her blog.
  • Read and comment on each of the inspirational posts written by authors, illustrators, and other lovers of picture books
  • Keep a journal or notebook, jotting down at least ONE story idea for each day of the month

What you get in return:

  • A notebook FULL of great story ideas that will keep you writing
  • 30+ inspirational posts from people who are passionate about picture books
  • A community of generous caring supportive people who are happy to share their knowledge and expertise
  • Oh…and did I mention the prizes? Oh yeah! Books and critiques and all kinds of good stuff!

Registration opens REAL SOON! So hurry over to Tara’s website: http://www.taralazar.com

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on October 23, 2015, in Crafts for kids, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo), Picture Book Review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Love the voice of this blog post–finding a whale rather than a turkey. ha! Yep, looking forward to Piboidmo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have seen this book and it really looks like a lot of fun! I always enjoy your wonderful activities.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love how you suggest a simple craft with your PPBF. Can’t Wait for PiBoIdMo either!


    • I appreciate your kind words, Jen! I love to give kids multi-sensory activities…and they all gravitate towards crafting…when I do school visits, they don’t even want to go out to recess…they’d rather work more on the craft project that follows the story reading. 😉


  4. Sounds like a great book! Finally the child is forced to cajole and bribe and try all sorts of tactics to get cooperation…..a fun flip! And I love the blue whale activity!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great way of looking at it, Beth…turning the tables on how parents are usually the ones who plead to get the kid to cooperate. 😉 And I’m a sucker for paper plate activities…so easy, so inexpensive, so fun!


  5. Joyce has created an adorable book. Psyched for PiBoIdMo too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I will definitely look for “The Whale in My Swimming Pool.” And I wholeheartedly agree that PiBoIdMo is not to be missed. Last year’s challenge filled my pool (with ideas)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, Gabi…I just this minute went to your blog and left a comment…I had seen your comment on the PiBoIdMo Facebook page and wanted to see your new blog! Thanks so much for coming over to mine. This is my 5th year doing the challenge…it’s fabulous!


  7. I reviewed this one a few week’s back, like you the sparse language and big bold illustrations drew me in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to check Susanna’s PPBF master list to make sure I wasn’t reviewing a book that had already been done…but I’m not sure the list is updated and honestly, I can’t keep track anymore. 😉 😉 So when I find books I love, I just review them and put them in the PPBF link up…it’s hard to keep it all straight sometimes, Joanna. 😉 😉 And I know that the authors are appreciative of lots of reviews…I need to make sure I do one for this book on Amazon

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Saw this book at the store, so adorable. See you at PiBoIdMo!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This one sounds like fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can’t wait for Pictur eBook Month either, Vivian! See you there!

    And this book seems like a whale of a good book. I love all your resources and crafts for it. Like you I love paper plate crafts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I like this book a lot – and you have some fun activities. After years of PiBo I’m gonna take this November off and do NaNoWriMo…. have fun with Tara and crew.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a cute cover and lovely story. Great review and fun activities, Vivian. Hey I see you over in PiBoldMo *waves*


  13. Reminds me a little of Billy Twitter and His Blue Whale Problem by Mac Barnett. Lots of tongue in cheekiness, eh?

    I’ve signed up for PiBoIdMo. Wheels are turning!


  14. The title reminds me of a picture book my kids loved–The Dinosaur in my Backyard. This sounds equally fun. Best of luck with PiBoIdMo month Vivian!


  15. I didn’t know about Picture Book Month learn a new thing everyday thanks for illuminating me!


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