Monday, September 15, 2014

My Bibi Always Remembers - Perfect Picture Book Friday

     I'm so excited that Perfect Picture Book Friday time is back!
     I read 10-15 picture books a week from my library, but it's impossible to "stumble upon" all the good ones. My fellow reviewers are an invaluable asset. A huge thank you to Susanna Leonard Hill for organizing this resource for readers and writers!

     Last week I participated in a new book release blog tour. I don't always "double up" and use the book for Perfect Picture Book Friday. While there are a lot of good books out there, not all of them make the cut. :)
     But last week's does. If you didn't read last week, I'm talking about a new book from the awesome author and illustrator team of Toni Buzzeo and Mike Wohnoutka.
     Regular blog followers of mine may remember that I reviewed the last offering by this team, JUST LIKE MY PAPA last September. I get the feeling that we ought to just put the author and illustrator's name on the Perfect Picture Book Friday list!

TITLE: My Bibi Always Remembers

AUTHOR: Toni Buzzeo

ILLUSTRATOR: Mike Wohnoutka

PUBLISHER: Disney Hyperion Books, Sept. 2014


THEMES: Animals, grandparents, Africa

Opening Line: RUMMMMBLE!
                      Thirsty little Tembo hears her Bibi across the wide, parched plain.

Synopsis: An easily distracted young elephant follows the herd as it searches for water. The oldest grandmother elephant carries the knowledge and skill to lead "the way to wet."

Why I like this book: Elephants fascinate me. My family are long-time supporters of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. I've never been to Africa or Asia to see these creatures in the wild and I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of the vast space these creatures need to live as they should. I love the book's message about passing knowledge from generation to generation. The author stole my heart on the second spread when she wrote that the elephants were coming "one by one, step-step, searching for wet." The illustrations aren't overly fussy, but small details, like dust devils in the distance, transported me to the elephants' world. Be
Note: This is a Disney book, so I felt a Bambi-like moment of terror when Tembo wanders away and the illustration appears backlit by the setting sun with lions and hyenas in the foreground! Luckily, the problem resolves on the next page. Whew! The combination of anthropomorphism and reality worked well for me.

Activities/Resources: Ms. Buzzeo provides extensive materials to accompany her books. You can find Common Core teaching guides and activities , including a cool Reader's Theater Script on her website.
If you want to learn more about the plight of elephants in the wild, back matter in the book steers readers to the Amboseli Trust for Elephants at General information about elephants can be found in many places including National Geographic's website and the kid-friendly Animal Fact Guide.
There are an equally large number of elephant craft choices out there. The paper plate elephant contributed by Leanne Guenther to DLTK's Crafts for Kids blog made me smile.

Other blogs with information and interviews for this new book:
·         The Children’s Book Review – Author Guest Post
·         Momma Drama – Author/Illustrator Interview and Review
·         Book Rock Betty – Review
·         Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Author/Illustrator Guest Post and Review
·         As They Grow UpReview
·         Susan Heim on Parenting – Review
·         Kid Lit Frenzy – Author Guest Post
·         Mundie KidsAuthor/Illustrator Interview
·         The Power of One Writer – Author Interview
·         There’s a Book – Review

And FINALLY, download a completely adorable card to make for grandparents from the author's website here. Just download and fold!

As a disclosure, an early advance copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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


  1. I have to get a copy of this. Just love this expression. 'the way to wet'. I also have read much NF about elephants and was thrilled to see them in the wild when I lived in South Africa.

    1. Wow! I can't imagine seeing them in the wild. The online "elecam" from the Sanctuary is the closest thing to that for me. :)

  2. Wendy, this is a beautiful selection. I love elephants and learned that they communicate with other elephants through their feet to find water, food and avoid danger. I love the expression "the way to wet." Gorgeous illustrations.

    1. Thanks, Pat! There is so much we can only guess about with animals, I am intrigued by them all.

  3. You, Erik and I all have elephant related books this PPBF! Toni is speaking at a bookstore not too far away from me soon - hope I can meet her and get a signed copy!

    1. It's a stampede, Cathy! But a good one. Hope you get to meet Toni. :)

  4. So many elephants today! Love the cover and the illustrations sound super appealing.

    1. Thanks, Penny. This is part of the herd of good books!

  5. Looks great, Wendy! Tembo is sooo cute! And I am a long-time fan of Tikki-Tikki-Tembo, so I bet I will enjoy reading this aloud.

    1. It will be fun to RRRUMBLE aloud! Maybe even a moment for foot-stomping (always a kid pleaser!)

  6. Loved this. I love elephants too and have ridden on one a couple of times. Beautiful looking cover. Thanks for sharing.

    1. A friend sent me a link for a great elephant video that I should share! Anyone who wants to view a happy elephant, here it is:

  7. This book looks wonderful, Wendy! As I commented before, I'm a big Mike Wohnoutka fan, so I know the art must be gorgeous. Your activities and resources are great. I love that you can download a card to make for grandparents!

  8. What an amazing book, Wendy! I am so happy that #PPBF has resumed - I missed all of you guys. :) Love your resources and activities list - thanks so much for the link to the card download. :)

  9. This sounds delightful, Wendy. I love heart-warming animal long as no one gets hurt:)

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