Friday, September 13, 2013
Just Like My Papa - Perfect Picture Book Friday
It feels like a lo-ong time since the last PPBF posts and if I am a bit rusty, I apologize. Plenty of other writing was done in the interim, and—lucky for me—plenty of reading, too!
Writing the PPBF post isn’t difficult. The books provide plenty of inspiration. The difficulty is in selecting which book to review. Yeah, a definite first world problem, too many beautiful picture books being published!
So what is this week’s selection?
Title: Just Like My Papa
Author: Toni Buzzeo
Illustrator: Mike Wohnoutka
Publisher: Disney, Hyperion Books, 2013
Audience: 3+ years of age
Themes: Growing Up, Lions
Opening: “ROAAAAAR! A warning echoes across the plain. Yellow moon peeks over the horizon. Kito peeks too. His papa paces and roars again:”
Synopsis: The text and illustrations take readers on a journey to the African savanna. Without showing any bloodshed it touches upon the themes of survival and THE LION KING-like cycle of life.
Why I like this book: The author wasn’t afraid to include “difficult” words like savanna, acacia, and wildebeest that give the story concrete images and expose listeners to great vocabulary. The subject is treated lightly, suitable for the very youngest readers even at bedtime! It leaves readers with the impression that the male cub and his father are part of a big happy family—but I suppose the harsh reality that a cub will have to kill it’s own father or leave in order to be king isn’t picture book material! The illustrations are lush and layered. My favorite shows the lions heading off to hunt at twilight while oranges and gold push the blue from the sky and the other animals are silhouetted in trees and on the horizon.
Activities/Resources: If you have one nearby, visit a wild animal park where you can see lions acting like lions. I’m not a personal fan of many zoos, but you can find lions there, too. The author’s website has a curriculum guide and Reader’s Theater script. The curriculum guide is a good resource for older readers but doesn't have the arts & crafts links I enjoy. For a fun lion mask cutout to paint visit first palette. The author also has an earlier book titled Stay Close to Mama using the same African setting and with giraffes as main characters. Honestly, I like her newer book better.
Thanks for visiting! I want to thank Danielle Smith, too, for the book giveaway on her blog There's a Book where I won a copy of Just Like My Papa.
This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. Along with tons of writing wisdom, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books.