Maybe it's the arrival of the cool weather we had this week.
Maybe it's the recycle truck arriving at 5AM.
Or maybe I've just been channeling Grumpy Cat. Because I didn't find a "perfect" picture book to spotlight last week. There is a PERFECT one out there. I read it and loved it. But everyone and the kitchen sink has already reviewed it, singing its praises. And they're all right. If it's possible to make baby elephants and cupcakes more deliciously adorable, the author succeeds. But does the world really need another review of that book right now?? Probably not. So if you haven't read Little Elliot, Big City go do it! The link takes you to the page with the activity guide.
Luckily, I stumbled across an older book that made the grade this week!
Title: Hugo and the Really, Really Long String
Author/Illustrator: Bob Boyle
Publisher: Bolder Media Inc./Random House, 2010
Themes: Adventure, Friendship
Intended Ages: 2-7
Synopsis: (from publisher) In a little house on the top of a hill lives a happy little guy named
Hugo. When Hugo sees a mysterious red string, he just knows hes going to
find something wonderful at the end of it! Hugos journey takes him
across the river, underground, and throughout town—all while gathering
curious new friends along the way!
Opening line: (Warning! This was my least favorite part of the book-keep reading!)
In a little house on the top of a hill lived a happy little guy named Hugo and his playful dog, Biscuit.
Why I like this book: The book is pure silliness. The MC is a short huge-headed purple creature with what look like giraffe knobs on his head. He wears a black necktie. One of the other creatures he meets along the way is named Mr. Alligator Police. A class of young birds lifts their teacher (Mrs. Snake) into the air! You get to follow the increasing cast of characters through underground tunnels and even a noodle shop! And all the while, the other characters who are draped with a LONG red string appear oblivious to it. Giggle inducing. But then there's the refrain "There must be something special at the end!" A profound message cloaked in the absurdity of the story. Great stuff.
Resources: I'm a huge fan of the ages-old string and balloon art. All you need is a paper plate to put glue on, a few small balloons (partially blown up!) and string or yarn. Multi-colors are exciting! Dip the string in the glue and wrap it on the balloon. Wait until it dries and then pop the balloon and ta-da! Something that looks like it's from the Museum of Modern Art is revealed. :)
There are crafty websites with all sorts of great ideas for string craft projects for kids.Try Kid Activities here or Artists helping Children (good ideas for making holiday or birthday gifts, too! Can anyone have too many pencil holders? Not at my house.)
Follow a trail (real or imaginary) for your own adventure.
Read other books about string. Just how long can a long string be?! by Keith Baker is another fun one!
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. #PPBF