What a special time of year! For me, Thanksgiving is for bringing people closer together…and we all need that, right? I hope you had a beautiful day yesterday, whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving.
Working together is an important skill…we’ve seen lately what can happen when people don’t come together. What impresses me the most about this kid lit community is that many groups are formed to enable people to work towards a common goal. One of the new groups I am now part of is Picture The Books 2017…a group of authors and illustrators whose debut picture books are coming out next year. And one of those books is my Perfect Picture Book Friday selection for today.
But oh my goodness…as happens very often, first we need to make an important announcement.
The lovely Susanna Hill has announced her famous Holiday Writing Contest. The rules are simple…a holiday story for children (ages 12 and under) that is 300 words or less. I’ll be participating again this year…will you? Joining in Susanna’s writing contests is a great way for writers to get their work out there and submit to a positive and loving audience. For all the details, please click here. And don’t forget, there are always GREAT PRIZES!
And now, thank you for your patience…it’s time for our #PPBF review.
Written by Anna Forrester
Illustrated by Susan Detwiler
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing (2017)
Ages: Preschool – Grade 3
Family life, diversity, bats, animal conservation
Jojo is prepping for an exciting night; it’s time for the bat count! Bats have always been a welcome presence during the summers in the family barn. But over the years, the numbers have dwindled as many bats in the area caught white-nose syndrome. Jojo and her family count the bats and send the numbers to scientists who study bats, to see if the bat population can recover. On a summer evening, the family quietly makes their way to the lawn to watch the sky and count the visitors to their farm.
“The sun is dropping behind the ridge and the red-winged blackbirds have quit their squalling, so I know it’s almost time.”
Why I like this book:
- If you read the opening line above, you already know one reason why I love this book…the language is so lyrical…the author did a wonderful job of picking just the right words.
- This is a beautiful family story on two levels…the little girl’s family who track and count the bats…and the bat family that they hope will be there.
- Much of the story takes place at dusk…the illustrator was able to capture that low light, yet still give the reader wonderful pictures showing true emotion in the faces of the people.
- I take my hat off to Arbordale Publishing…many of the pages are dark (see above), but they made sure to put easy to read white print in a large enough font that children will be comfortable reading. I can’t tell you how many picture books I am unable to read to my grandson because the contrast between the text and the background of the page is nonexistent…dark gray letters on dark blue background, for instance.
- The back matter is excellent…four pages of learning activities
- More free activities at: ArbordalePublishing.com
- Find out if there are any animal count activities going on in your community and participate with your child.
- The book is a fabulous resource for elementary schools plus a wonderful story for every family. It launches in Feburary 2017 and is available on Amazon for preorder.
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.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. It will be December when I see you next.
December is going to be an exciting month…we have TWO Will Write for Cookies interviews AND giveaways. The first is with Jessica Lawson…and the second is with Duncan Tonatiuh. WOW!
And don’t forget Susanna’s Holiday Writing Contest.
To help start the year off, I’m participating in a Happiness Challenge for December: www.truly-julie.com/happiness-challenge
And I’ll also be making a list of the stories I think I’d like to write in 2017…for some I’ll just have a title…for others, just a topic. I’ve done this for the last few years and it really helps me focus and be more productive when I know beforehand what I’d like to be writing/researching about. I learned this from Kristen Fulton in her Nonfiction Archaeology class…but it works even if you write fiction.
In addition, I have work to do for the editor of Sweet Dreams, Sarah…I need to make a list of bloggers who will review my debut picture book or post an interview or Q&A...plus shout out on Twitter, Facebook and other social media when the book launches in the spring. It’s going to be a very busy time if the launch is on schedule because I’ll have just finished the #50PreciousWords Challenge. By the way, some of you have already volunteered to do a post in the book blog tour...please PM or email me if you’d like to be involved. And ditto for the #50PreciousWords Challenge…if you’d like to donate something (kidlit book, class, critique, art, etc), please let me know. My wonderful agent, Essie White, has already offered to do another critique as a prize…and if any of you remember, the 1st place winner chose that and is now one of Essie’s clients. I know it is not until March, but time has a way of sneaking up on us.