January 27, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday - The Busy Life Of Ernestine Buckmeister

Hurray!  It's Perfect Picture Book Friday!  (And, right after the book, we'll find out who won the Michael Garland giveaway!!!)

Today's choice is as much for parents and teachers as it is for kids!

The Busy Life Of Ernestine Buckmeister
Written By: Linda Ravin Lodding
Illustrated By: Suzanne Beaky
Flashlight Press, October 2011, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 5 and up
Themes/Topics: the importance of play, over-scheduling
Opening: "Each morning, while Ernestine ate breakfast and Nanny O'Dear prepared lunch, Ernestine's father zoomed out to work and called, 'Live life to the fullest, Ern!'  And each morning Ernestine's mother zipped out to catch the bus and said, 'Make every moment count, E!'"

Brief synopsis: Ernestine's parents want her to have every experience she can, so they pack her days with sculpting and tuba,  yoga and yodeling.  It takes Ernestine to show them that one thing she absolutely shouldn't miss is having time to just play.

Links to resources:  What I really should say here is, "No resources!  Just go play!"  But here are some resources that are also playing :)  Coloring Page, and for activities, try making a daisy crown (or any kind of outdoorsy crown), or make clouds out of cotton or shaving cream and see what shapes you see in them, or build a fort out of sticks, or blocks, or an empty cardboard box.  Use you imagination!

Why I Like This Book:  Kids will enjoy Ernestine's ridiculous schedule, her amusing list of lessons, her teachers' funny names, the bold bright colors of the pictures, and Ernestine's inspired solution to her problem.  As a grown-up, I appreciate Ernestine's message that while organized activities arranged and taught by adults have their place, so too does the unstructured time to be a child and simply play.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for, when I announce...  that I will be vacuuming this afternoon!

Nah!  I'm just foolin' with ya!

(I know you don't care whether I vacuum.  Although there are others who feel differently... :))

The winner of a Michael Garland book is none other than our delightful Robyn!!! Wahoo!  Yay Robyn!

So Robyn, please Email Me and let me know if you'd like Icarus Swinebuckle, Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook, or Grandpa's Tractor (which was added by popular demand :))

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and join us back here Monday for the first Oh Susanna and the December/January Pitch Pick which will have to share a post unless I boot Oh Susanna for another week.  You may feel free to share your opinion on the matter in the comments - I'm happy either way :)

Also, if you have a few free minutes over the weekend, please pop round to some of the wonderful bloggers who have been so kind as to interview me and Phyllis this week :)  I'll copy and paste the list from Wednesday to here for your convenience:

(From Tuesday Jan. 24):  Clarbojahn's Blog: Part 2 of our interview and a giveaway of a hard cover copy of Punxsutawney Phyllis.
From Wed. Jan. 25):  Sylvia Ramsey's Blog, Thoughtful Reflections.  This one I'm not too familiar with. I wrote the interview for her at the beginning of September so it will be all new to me too! :)
(From Thurs. Jan. 26): Corey Schwartz's Blog, Thing 1 and Thing 2.  This one is all about where the idea for Phyllis came from and will be in two parts.  I'm not sure yet when part 2 will be.
Friday Jan. 27:  Leigh Covington's Blog.  This one is a (brief!) interview with Phyllis herself!  She emerged from her burrow just because she likes Leigh.  There will be a giveaway of a hard cover copy of Punxsutawney Phyllis here too!
Sat. Jan. 28: Iza Trapani's Blog, In And Out Of My Studio.  A chat with one of my favorite author/illustrators who may or may not be appearing on this blog soon (I could tell you, but then it wouldn't be a secret :))  There will be a giveaway of a hardcover copy of Punxsutawney Phyllis on this one, too!


Perfect Picture Book bloggers, please remember to post your links in the list below so everyone can come see the wonderful books you've chosen this week!



Reactions:

54 comments:

  1. Susannah...I love, love, love this book. Of course we want to expose our children to different activities...and give them the opportunity to expand their horizons...but parents and teachers (and lawmakers who mandate all that testing) sometimes forget how important having time to play is to a child...and also having to to daydream or watch the clouds float by.:) This sounds like a delightful book, one that kids would really relate to. Thank you so much for selecting it!

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  2. Susanna, I absolutely love this book. Why didn't I think of this -- duh. I talk about this subject all the time. I grew up in the 50s and 60s, when moms didn't work and we spent the whole days playing in the neighborhood -- using our imaginations. My daughter never got to experience a lazy summer because my husband and I both worked. I see it even more with our grandchildren. Kids need to have unstructured time to be kids and just have fun! Love this book.

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  3. I need to get this book...my boys aren't yet two, and I have visions of music and dance classes in my head...! I grew up in the country and spent most of my time outside building snow forts, making mud shoes, swimming in the river - and though I loved all that, I also longed for ice skating lessons and piano lessons and cultural opportunities that were not readily available. The key, as in all things, is balance. This book is a good reminder of that.

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  4. Great choice Susanna. Some kids are so tired from over-stimulation. It's a shame.

    Woo hoo Robyn congrats!

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  5. What a fun book and a good message too! Thanks for sharing, I'm going to find this one at the library.

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  6. Congrats Robyn! :) :)
    I have seen this book before but I didn't pick it up and read it (how unusual of me...). I know (being one) that in a kid's life, you have to play at least once a day!
    Have fun vaccuming!
    Erik ;)

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  7. What a wonderful choice this week! Free time to play is so very important for kids and their development. My boys learn so much from their play and some of their best ideas come from that space.

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  8. I love this book - it's so fun and the illustrations are great!

    Tried to comment on your interview at Corey's blog yesterday but the comment form just WOULD NOT play nicely! So I settled for a Facebook comment, but I am really looking forward to part 2 of the interview!

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  9. I have just been through he first eight on today's list, Susanna, and the quality and variety of books being chosen is blowing me away. With each week, I am wowed even more. What an opportunity for us, let alone anyone else, to be exposed to books we might have never known!

    This is a wonderful book by Linda Ravin Lodding and e story we need! Kids will love the activity suggestion for this one!

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  10. I have not heard of this book, but it looks fantastic! I guess the great thing about having three kids is that it is impossible to over-schedule one of them. The way I see it, is if I have each of my children in one extra curricular activity per week, I am already running to three places. It keeps things in check! It keeps me over-scheduled and not them! :)

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  11. This book sounds like a fun way to point out to both kids and parents that unscheduled time is CRUCIAL for kids! Thank for sharing it.

    Besides my PPB for this F, on my blog today I've also posted a poetry anthology which is wonderful for kids to get into the joy of poetry -- and it has incredible illustrations and a teacher's guide. But I didn't link it above, because technically it isn't a picture book. I would, however, like to share it with your readers. May I link it?

    Finally -- would you consider doing two posts in a day, to keep Oh Susanna separate from your other post? I don't know about other people, but I would be happy to come back to read two posts, rather than having everything in one, or having Oh Susanna bumped again.

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  12. Susanna, if you were to ask my mother she would tell you that I absolutely need this book. I would, of course, have to disagree with her. I strive for balance and trust me, a lazy weekend with pajamas, pancakes, and play balances out the rest of the week. I am going to add this to my ever growing list of books to get from the library to read. And now, time to read all the wonderful suggestions from others. Happy weekend and I can't wait to see Oh Susanna next week. Working though my questions- I have plenty.

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  13. Susannah,
    I tried to post my PPBF link last night, but it wouldn't take it and I tried again this morning. :( Not sure what the problem is, but here it is: http://viviankirkfield.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/spaghetti-eddie/
    I feel so silly because I've done lots of linkies before and they always work.
    If you could help out, I'd much appreciate it. :)

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  14. I've haven't read a pb book with this topic yet. It's on my list! Great review, and congrats to Robyn!!!
    Just in case my PPBF review doesn't show up on your link can you add it? It's called Night Shift. Thanks Susanna :)
    http://jennyleeyoung.blogspot.com/2012/01/perfect-picture-book-friday-night-shift.html

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  15. Thanks for this choice, Susanna. It's important that kids have time to just be. They don't need to be entertained each minute. They need time to learn who they are without someone else telling them.

    (Could you tell "Thing one and thing two" that her captcha is broken? I must have gone through it ten times and it came out as wrong each time. And I just Loooved the post) thanks

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  16. I couldn't agree more about the need for kids to have time to just PLAY. It's harder to make that happen than it should be, so I appreciate the message in this book. Also glad that you chose a 12 x 12 member too - yay!

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  17. I love that name--Ernestine Buckmeister!!! :)

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  18. Me? This Robyn? EGAD WOMAN! I am tickled pink! TICKLED PINK, I tell ya!! I choose Icarus Swinebuckle. I really want that one. Well, I want them all but... *wink*

    This looks great Susanna. That name alone propels me to the book. So cool. I will definitely have to have it. (((hugs)))

    Thanks, my friend. *happy dancing* All the day long. *whistle while I work*

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  19. I think I've seen this one before, but haven't checked it out. Enzo loves funny names and I'm happy to see him laugh at expected and unexpected parts of stories. Plus, a great reminder to parents not to overschedule. Really it makes me dizzy to hear some parents. I want to play too! Been stalking, er, following you and Phyllis around the web as I can this week. Have a great weekend.

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  20. I can't wait to read about Ernestine. Sounds right up my alley.

    By the way, I just now got my link uploaded after 2 tries this morning and another this afternoon. Thought you'd want to know.

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  21. It's getting harder and harder to just be a kid - that's why I like this book! :)

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  22. I think as a parent it's hard - we want everything for our kids! But I think if you give them time to play and be themselves, they figure out what other things they really want to make time for instead of fighting against yodeling lessons or whatever :)

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  23. I'm sure it's well meant, but still true.

    I think kids learn so much from making up their own games and entertaining themselves - they miss out if someone else is always telling them what to do!

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  24. I think you'd like it, Erik :)

    And I had a lovely time vacuuming, thank you! Jemma was forced to go into hiding (she hates the vacuum) but she survived :)

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  25. I know it, Heather! Gets us back to the perfect toy list - BOX, STICK, etc. :)

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  26. Glad you like it! And thanks so much for visiting over at Corey's! :)

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  27. I, too, am blown away every week at the amazing books people find, and their dedication to posting them and reading the ones other's post. You guys are all fantastic! :)

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  28. Yes, that is how I manage it as well :)

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  29. Glad you like Ernestine! And yes, I think it would be OK to link the book here today, I just won't add it to the archive list. Thanks for your thoughts on Monday's post dilemma.

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  30. I hope you'll like the book when you get it from the library - y'all can read it in your PJs :) I feel so behind after all the computer problems, which I'm still wading through, that at this point I'm just hoping I'll get Monday's post up! :)

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  31. I'll see what I can do. I can't explain it - you and one or two other people have this problem - everyone else can do it fine. Ah, technology :)

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  32. That's one of the reasons I like this book - I don't know of another on this topic!

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  33. Glad you approve, Clar :) I agree! I will mention to Corey - Cathy said she had trouble too.

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  34. That was partly why I did it :) But only partly - first and foremost, the book has to be one I genuinely like!

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  35. You should read the names of all her teachers :)

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  36. Glad you're excited!!! Icarus it shall be :)

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  37. Phyllis and I appreciate the stalking :)

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  38. Maybe it's related to the black hole of technology I've been in since yesterday morning… which I am still trying to claw my way out of…! I'm glad it finally worked!

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  39. Oh drats! Tarnation!.. and Buggar me dead!.... The link, won't link me.... *sigh*.... now I feel better...lol. Sorry Susanna, just throwing a tanti... I especially borrowed a laptop to post my PPBF and it won't link LOL. Oh well.....
    I especially love your book choice, the message is wonderful... children need time to play. (actually I thought of "the Sound of Music" when I was reading your review, for a brief moment) Hope the linky thing works eventually.

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  40. Oh drats! and Tarnation!... now I feel better...lol. Sorry Susanna, just throwing a tanti... I especially borrowed a laptop to post my PPBF and it won't link LOL. Oh well.....
    I especially love your book choice, the message is wonderful... children need time to play. (actually I thought of "the Sound of Music" when I was reading your review, for a brief moment) Oh Yay the linky thing worked finally.

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  41. You are amazing to be posting at all!!! I went to do the link for you and it was already up and seemed to be working. So you did good :)

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  42. Argh! Now I messed up! Your comment was doubled and a deleted the one I replied to instead of the other one! Oops :)

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  43. I love the message of this book. It sounds like a delightful addition to any library. Thanks for the review Susanna. Happy weekend! :)

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  44. This sounds wonderful. It would be hilarious to check out her "full" schedule. My goodness. You're right - sometimes kids just need to be able to play and be kids. Would love to get this one. Thanks for sharing it for today!

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  45. KellyamtowerkorenekJanuary 27, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    I can't wait to read The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister! Believe it or not, I once taught a little girl named Ernestine. I was so surprised to see this book with her name because it is so unusual-I have always remembered that student because she was so unique and special.

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  46. I am a sucker for great illustrations in picture books, and this one definitely has them! I love it.

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  47. Glad you like it, Loni :) Good weekend to you too!

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  48. Yes, it really does! I love all the little details on the schedules and stuff!

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  49. I have a friend whose daughter's name is Bernadette and she calls her Bern - not far from Ern - and this book could be about her!

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  50. You should see it, Leigh! It's impressive!

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  51. That sounds like a GREAT book! Maybe more important for some parents to read, than their kids :) You see a lot of that "must fill my kid's day, every day" mentality. I personally think free-play is extremely valuable.
    Barbara

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  52. It is a fun book, Barbara, and you're right - the message may be more aimed at parents than kids to some degree. But the story, I think, is still very fun for kids. Childhood doesn't seem to last as long as it used to - free play is crucial :)

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