Category Archives: Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday
What a totally perfect day for a totally perfect picture book entitled SNOW SISTERS
Yes, here in New Hampshire, we are in the middle of a BLIZZARD! It’s actually lovely if you don’t have to go anywhere and have plenty of food and water and power to heat your home and keep the internet going.
And the lovely Kerri Kokias, author of Snow Sisters, has graciously offered a picture book manuscript critique as a giveaway. Woo-hoo! And tomorrow, Kerri will be stopping by to chat and share a delicious recipe for hot cocoa! MMMMM…whose got the marshmallows?
Written by Kerri Kokias
Illustrated by Teagan White
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers (2018)
Themes: Sisters, friendship, being yourself
From Amazon: Just like snowflakes, no two sisters are alike, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work together to make the perfect snow day! A heartwarming sibling story from the illustrator of That’s Me Loving You.
When snowflakes fall, two sisters react very differently. One is excited and the other is wary. The first sister spends the morning outdoors, playing until she’s all tuckered out. Meanwhile, the second sister stays indoors, becoming ever more curious about the drifts outside. Soon, they switch places, and spend the second half of the day retracing each other’s footsteps. But each sister puts her own unique spin on activities like sledding, baking and building.
The simple mirrored text is spare and lovely, and each spread is split to show what each sister is doing independently–until at last they come together in the sweet, satisfying conclusion. LeUyen Pham’s Big Sister, Little Sister meets Kate Messner’s Over and Under the Snow.
Why I like this book:
I have a sister and remember well our differences, but I also remember how we found ways to come together
I love how each sister goes her own way, but in the end, they show how much they love each other
Wonderful illustrations and perfect pacing of the text will engage children from the first page to the last.
Make a snowflake craft: for detailed instructions on any of these beautiful snowflakes: https://handsonaswegrow.com/make-snowflake-crafts/
For lots of fun when summer comes, why not fill a plastic container with clean snowballs and put it in the freezer. On a hot summer day, go out with the kids and throw snowballs. Just make sure they aren’t too hard. If they are, you can make a game of tossing them into a bucket.
Thank you so much for spending your precious time here. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the picture book manuscript critique giveaway…and definitely pop in tomorrow for the Q&A with Kerri Kokias.
The 2018 books are coming in fast and furious and I hope to review lots of them this year! Please remember that authors need reviews and shout outs…I’m off to write an Amazon review right now.
HAPPY PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY, DEAR FRIENDS!
2017 is winding down…it’s been a whirlwind for sure. And here are some numbers to prove it:
# of blog posts in 2017: 112
# of followers (blog/Twitter/Facebook) : 4000
# of views: 44,565
# of picture book reviews: 56
# of giveaways: 96
# of picture book manuscripts written: 12+
# of book deals done: 3
Right now, I’m participating in Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas…a challenge that is inspiring and helpful as we move ahead to a new year – and you can still sign up – Julie will send you emails for the days you missed.
I also urge all writers and illustrators to join in with Tara Lazar’s Storystorm…a month-long challenge starting January 1st that will help you brainstorm new story ideas.
And what’s up for today? One of the most beautiful and relevant books of 2017…a book that will hopefully encourage this divided world to come together in love. To find out more whyconnecting is important, check out Cheryl Keely’s 12×12 featured author post from January of this year.
Written by Cheryl Keely
Illustrated by Celia Krampien
Published by Sleeping Bear Press (2017)
Synopsis: From Amazon:
Bridges are some of the most fascinating structures in our landscape, and they come in all forms. From towering suspension bridges to humble stone crossings, this book visits them all in sweet, bouncing text with expository sidebars. But while bridges can be quite grand, this reminds us that their main purpose is bringing people together. This is perfect for budding architects, as well as readers who can relate to having loved ones who live far away.
Why I like this book:
Please read the Publishers Weekly review and you will know why:
Keely makes her children s book debut with a contemplative exploration of bridges, citing real-life examples, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Peru s Puente de Piedra, and more metaphorical ones, including the arches created by backbends and rainbows. The straightforward central narrative ( Some bridges join country to country, making a big world seem smaller ) is supplemented by facts and details about the specific bridges that appear in Krampien s artwork ( The Three Countries Bridge at the borders of France, Germany, and Switzerland only truly connects France to Germany. But Switzerland is only a hop, skip, and a yodel away! ). In her first picture book, Krampien uses a fresh, contemporary cartooning style to create expansive panoramas that showcase the bridges sizes and spans, as well the activity of the humans and animals they serve particularly in the wildlife bridges of Banff National Park, which allow bears, wolves, and other creatures to cross highways safely. Keely s tender closing example of the bridge formed through the simple act of holding hands cements the message of togetherness and connection that bridges (of all kinds) make possible.
To order a copy or leave a review for A BOOK OF BRIDGES go here.
If you live near a bridge that can be walked across, take a field trip and do it.
Make a paper bridge that can hold lots of pennies! For detailed directions and to read comments by kids who constructed one: http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci/paperbridge.html
Photo courtesy: http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci/paperbridge.html
Dear friends…thank you for spending time with me this year…I’m wishing all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year! Please come back on Monday and Tuesday for special Book Birthday posts and Giveaways!
The year is winding down, dear friends. It’s been a whirlwind of political upheaval, natural disasters, and global unrest. But here in picturebookland, at Picture Books Help Kids Soar, we’ve tried to keep our eyes and hearts on beautiful books that will educate, entertain, and inspire our children!
I’m thrilled to say that my blog made Feedspot’s Top 100 Children’s Book Blogs…that means the world to me because it means that people are finding value in my posts and I’m truly honored to see my name in a list with bloggers I have long admired and respected: https://blog.feedspot.com/childrens_book_blogs/
Today, for Perfect Picture Book Friday, I want to shine a light on MARTI’S SONG OF FREEDOM by debut author Emma Otheguy. It came out earlier this year, but I missed doing a review and it is so special for so many reasons, I knew I had to share it before the year was over.
MARTI’S SONG FOR FREEDOM
Written by Emma Otheguy
Illustrated by Beatriz Vidal
Bilingual translation by Adriana Dominguez
Themes: justice, political activism
From Booklist: Cuban poet and political activist José Martí witnessed an injustice at a young age and gave his life trying to right that wrong. He opposed slavery in Cuba and knew that the only way to end it would be to free Cuba from Spain s rule. Cuban American author Otheguy illuminates the life of a young man endeavoring to make a difference through affecting bilingual verses, which make Cuba s complicated history with slavery and colonialism accessible to young readers. By incorporating excerpts of Marti s writing into the narration, Otheguy introduces a new generation of readers to an important champion of human rights. Vidal s gouache artwork captures the beauty and the injustice of which Martí wrote, showcasing his country s vibrant colors, as in the pinks and oranges of the sunset, and illustrating the harsh treatment of enslaved Africans, who are shown performing backbreaking labor in sugarcane fields. Dominguez s excellent Spanish translation makes Martí s story available to a wide audience, and the text offers significant additional information via an afterword on Cuba s history, a selected bibliography, and excerpts from Martí s Versos Sencillos. Otheguy and Vidal tell a timely story that will inspire many to fight for equality and sings songs for freedom.
Why I like this book:
- I’m a fan of nonfiction picture books…what a fabulous vehicle to help young kids see history come alive
- This was a story I did not know much about – and I love the poetry and bilingual format
- Author and illustrator combined their talents perfectly
Photo courtesy: http://www.dltk-kids.com
- Make a Flag: to make the flag of a different country, find a picture online and copy the correct colors and design.
For detailed instructions for the American flag: http://www.dltk-kids.com/usa/flag-day.htm
2. Talk about freedom…what does it mean to live in a country where you are free?
3. Write topics on slips of paper and pick one to write a poem about.
This really was a stellar year for brilliant picture books. To check out many more of them, please go to www.PicturetheBooks2017.wordpress.com
To give your favorite authors and illustrators the best gift, why not post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and other review sites.
It’s been a fabulous year for me as well…nothing officially announced yet, but I just signed one book contract, will be signing another before the end of the year, and just waiting on the third contract to arrive. I can’t thank my agent, my critique buddies, and all of my friends and family enough for their unfailing support and encouragement. I hope to be able to share more details soon!
And I’d like to pass along a link to a wonderful mentorship opportunity. Writing with the Stars could be the jumpstart you need to get your manuscript where it needs to be: http://beckytarabooks.com/wwts-contest/
I’m wishing all of you a happy holiday season…if you are traveling, please be safe. If you are home, I hope you are surrounded by friends and family. And I thank you for spending some of your precious time with me.