March 9, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Neville

Golly gee willikers!  We have just been so busy this week!  Today, in addition to PPBF, I also have the pleasure of announcing the February Pitch Winner.  And knowing me, I'll think of a few other things...  But you know the rules :)  PPB first!

Neville
Written By: Norton Juster
Illustrated By: G. Brian Karas
Schwartz & Wade, October 2011, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: moving, making new friends

Opening: "The big gray van pulled away from the curb, moved slowly down the street, and disappeared around the corner.  Now it was quiet, and there he was, where he really didn't want to be."

Brief Synopsis: (from Amazon's book description): "This is a simply told story about a boy who moves to a new neighborhood and finds a unique way to make friends."

Links To Resources:  Although this book has been out for 6 months, I was not able to find any online resources.  I was surprised.  (Granted I was cross-eyed tired when I looked and may have missed something - feel free to point it out if you know of any!)  So.  This book would make a good jumping off point for a discussion about either being "the new kid" or being kind to someone else who is.  How can one meet people and make friends?  Alternatively, how can one help others feel welcome?  It would be equally good for discussions about moving. What are some hard things about moving?  What are some good things?  A child who is moving to a new home could make a keepsake book to remind him of the home he's leaving behind.

Why I Like This Book:  This is a simple story, but so nicely told that you feel the boy's emotions perfectly, from sadness and loneliness to hope to contentment.  I like the fact that he goes out and tries to make friends - he doesn't just sit home and mope, he takes positive action in spite of his feelings.  This is one clever boy.  He finds a very innovative way to make friends, and it works like a charm.  I bet the ending surprises a lot of kids :)  I love the line where he says, "People always say you'll love something when they know you won't" - something a kid would say!

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

Now, before I get to the Pitch Winner :), I knew I'd think of other things!  I forgot to mention on Wednesday that I was interviewed on Kai Strand's blog.  I posted it on FB and a few of you lovely people visited and commented, but I wanted to mention it here too because Kai was so nice to have me and I don't want her to be disappointed at the turn-out!  So if you have a moment, and you need something to do, and you want to hear about my childhood :) hop on over to Kai's.  (BTW, Kai keeps an eye out for other authors who might want to participate in her Three Times A Charm interviews, so some of you might like a turn!)

Also, sources close to the hog have indicated that Phyllis has arrived in California!!! and we should be hearing from her Florida any time now... maybe in time for Monday! Wouldn't that be exciting!  Phyllis is especially happy to be on tour since today, at a school visit, someone mistook her for a chipmunk!  (Sometimes I wonder if kids go outside enough to see animals!  A chipmunk?  Really? :))

Okay.  Enough with the stalling :)  The February Pitch Winner, whose Pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for critique and comments is....

Sharron

Congratulations, Sharron!  And congratulations to everyone who bravely put forth their pitches for critique.  I hope you all got some valuable and helpful feedback so that even if you didn't win a read by Erin you still gained from the experience!  Thank you all for participating and, judging by the voting results, everyone had a tough choice - three people were fairly close in the running so you all must have done a good job!!!

PPB bloggers, please leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit :)  Have a great weekend, everyone, and we'll meet back here Monday for a new Oh Susanna question, and maybe Straight From The Editor and maybe a report from Phyllis :)

Reactions:

62 comments:

  1. Congrads Sharron! Woot!

    This book sounds delightful, Susanna. I'll add it to my huge GBI list. (Gotta buy it) :-) I love that sentence too. We always do say a child will love it when we know he/she won't. The cover is beautiful. :-)

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  2. Margaret GreaniasMarch 9, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Congrats Sharron!

    Susanna, I love your choice for PPBF. My daughter is off to kindergarten next year and won't know many kids, so I will definitely have to check it out.

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  3. So many things going on, Susanna!
    Congrats to Sharron on winning the February Pitch contest. :) I might have to screw up my courage and submit something one day. :)
    Congrats to you, Susanna...I'm excited to hear about the global blog tour. :)
    I'll hop over to Kai's blog and check out your interview.
    This was a great book pick...so many children have to deal with moving or going to a new school...and it does cause lots of anxiety...what a wonderful book to ease some of that. :)

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  4. Congratulations to Sharron!

    This sounds like a great book for a teacher, counselor, or for a parent to use!

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  5. Congratulations, Sharron!

    Neville sounds like an excellent book -- being the "new kid" is a challenge.

    I've done two Perfect Picture Books today, including one of the April 1st exploits of the ever-amazing chipmunk... er, GROUNDHOG, Phyllis! Woohoo, Phyllis! Enjoy that world tour! (I'm looking forward to seeing all the posts from all over.)

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  6. Catherine JohnsonMarch 9, 2012 at 5:51 AM

    Congrats Sharron!
    Chipmunk indeed, how funny!
    Love your choice today :) And Go Phyllis woo hoo!
    I'll check that post out, sorry I missed it.

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  7. It's a very cute, very appealing story that shows kids can figure things out for themselves. I really like it!

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  8. It's just a very nice book - a little bit quiet and sweet, just the right amount for the boy's uncertainty, but not slow or dull. I really like it.

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  9. I know! She's used to being called a beaver until I point out her tail, but chipmunk? Please! :)

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  10. This looks like a great story Susanna! Moving is so hard for kids that I would imagine this could be a very helpful story for everyone. Congratulations Sharron!

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  11. Firstly, well done Sharron!

    I am so excited about Phyllis' travels, you'd think I were a kid. I hope Phyliis wasn't too upset by the chipmunk comment?

    I so want to know what Neville's friend-making strategy was! Will it work for adults, if I end up moving soon?

    Thanks for tip off about Kai's interview. I missed that!

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  12. Phyllis got over the chipmunk comment quickly - she is very self-confident, and besides she is too interested in her tour to waste time moping about name-calling :) I will tell you Neville's strategy if you'd like to know it, but I don't think it would work well for adults! :)

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  13. It really is lovely - warm and engaging, and comforting in that it all works out for Neville, so kids can feel hopeful that things will work out for them too.

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  14. Thank you, Beth. You're the best! And Phyllis and I are really looking forward to the reports form around the country too! We can't wait to see what happens!

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  15. Thanks, Sharon. It's really a very nice book. And I love that the boy's approach is his own idea, and an original one :)

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  16. Vivian, if you haven't read it, I think you'd really like it, and many of your kids/families might find it a good read!

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  17. Congrats to Sharron! And your book choice sounds wonderful. Having moved a lot when I was little, a book showing a good attitude is great.

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  18. I especially love his solution - and he thinks it up all by himself!

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  19. I just picked up Neville last week and we loved it! The ending was cute.
    Congrats to Sharron on the pitch, how exciting!!

    Here's my link that didn't add.
    http://jennyleeyoung.blogspot.com/2012/03/perfect-picture-book-fridays-who-wants.html

    My story is called Who Wants a Dragon?

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  20. You've got me so curious, Susanna. I'm going to have to pick this one up to find out what Neville does to make friends. Intriguing review!

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  21. I guessed the ending - did you? Or your kids? Arghh - I don't' know why some people consistently have trouble adding their links! It's called simply linked! It should be simple!!! I'll put it on - sorry for the trouble!

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  22. Congratulations to Sharron! And Susanna, I just love the image of your dad telling you Shakespeare stories in his own words when it was too dark to read...soliloquies and all. Sounds like you were a lucky kid! :)

    Happy Friday, everyone!

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  23. I WAS a lucky kid! And he did the voices too :)

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  24. It's so great, I was tempted to tell, but that would have been such a spoiler :)

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  25. Three cheers to Sharron for winning the pitch contest. Hoping things go swimmingly in that regards.

    I loved seeing April Fool's Phyllis over at Beth's blog. The moment I saw the PB cover I squeed, recognizing it from yours :-)

    And going over to Kai's to check out your childhood. Bet there's a lot of good stuff to learn. Have a great weekend.

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  26. Congrats Ms. Sharron! :) I'd love to know what Neville's way of making friends is! I'm going to be moving at the end of the school year and I'll be the "new kid". I'm excited to move but a little nervous. Sounds like a book I should read!
    Erik

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  27. It's a wonderful book, mostly because it shows that kids really want to be friendly. Whether you find the boy's solution practical remains to be seen :)

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  28. Thanks so much, Angela! You are so kind to visit here and Kai's! You have a great weekend too :)

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  29. I'm wondering from the cover, if he's searching for a dog. You've made me curious. I'm checking this one out. Congratulations Sharon and I'll hop over to the interview then begin reading the other PPBF selection. (Of course, every time I type that a certain kiddo wakes up ...)

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  30. pennyklostermannMarch 9, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Yea, Sharron. A BIG congrats on winning!

    Personally, I am thinking that maybe the chipmunk incident got to Phyllis to thinking about some of her cousins that scamper, burrow, and otherwise run about. She could be meeting some of them on her tour :•)

    I LOVE Melville, and your review nailed it.

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  31. thefeatherednestMarch 9, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Congratulations to Sharron.

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  32. Congratulations, Sharron! It was a tough choice this month!

    Susanna, I love your idea about making a keepsake book for a child who is sad about moving. I know a family who did that when their daughter was upset about getting a new couch :) Great interview over on Kai's blog, car trips must have been a lot of fun for you as a kid!

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  33. No trouble at all, as long as you don't mind?! :) Yeah, my older one guessed it pretty quick. I'll definitely be taking this one out again.

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  34. I know you'll make tons of new friends easily, Erik. You have so many varied interests that kids will want to get to know you. You will meet them in all the places your hobbies take you on.

    Good luck, Clar

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  35. Congrats, Shannon and good luck in furthering your pitch.

    Susanna, I love all the different ways you thought of for making a new kid on the block feel like he's lived there a while.

    And we love hearing how Phyllis is doing. I feel sorry for kids these days because they don't get out in nature like we did as kids. There just isn't as much of it anymore. I never see kids playing outside anymore.

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  36. Ooh!! She could! A whole extended family - cousins perhaps. You know, groundhogs are actually members of the squirrel family...!

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  37. I am VERY excited to find out what Phyllis is up to in sunny California!!!

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  38. I think I did it - #15? And thanks for telling me - I was interested to know how quickly kids would guess it. I really like the book, though, even if it's not such a surprise :)

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  39. Heather, that is so funny! But so true. It can be so hard for kids to let go of the familiar. I totally get that :)

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  40. I'm not telling :) You'll just have to read it and find out :) I'm like a nut job this morning - hopping back and forth between reading the new PPBs and commenting, and trying desperately to update the old ones - I got behind with school visits, kids home, etc...! And every now and then, I need a few minutes to actually write!

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  41. I've been reading the comments on my review of Phyllis, and I've gotta say, it's fun reviewing a rock star. People are excited about you, Phyllis!

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  42. I love the cover and it would grab my attention on a book shelf. Glad you shared Neville. We don't having moving books on our list. Sounds like a very proactive and self-confident kid. Great choice. Will have to check this one out.

    Congratulations Sharron!

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  43. It must be a G. Brian Karas kind of morning. He illustrated my PPBF pick today, too!

    This book looks really cute. Our go-to moving book (for when their friends have moved) is a really old-school one called Molly Moves to Sesame Street, so I think it is time for an update :-)

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  44. congrats Sharron and good luck on the reading.
    Your book Susanna really has me curious how he made friends and what the supprise is at the end....lol. Great idea for helping kids settle into a new environment. (pisst have sent email)

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  45. Congrats to Sharron!

    Thanks for the review, Susanna. This looks like a great gift idea for someone who's moving to a new town. I love that line you posted. So true! Have a great weekend!

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  46. Living in a military-ish area, people move in and out frequently. Neville sounds like a great way to talk to children about moving and making new friends. Second, Phyllis has arrived! She's already been read at bedtime and visited Ms. Dina's Pre-K class. I'll snap some picks of her with local landmarks later today and email them. Congrats to Sharron!

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  47. Sounds like Neville would be useful in your area! And yay! I'm so excited Phyllis is having fun in CA! Can't wait to see pics :)

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  48. That's a good idea, Loni! It would make a great gift for someone in that situation! Great weekend to you too :)

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  49. Thanks, Diane. I put it up a while ago - it should be there!

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  50. I discovered while looking for resources last night that apparently Brian has illustrated pretty much every book in the world! Did you see his list of titles???!!!

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  51. How fun! I think Phyllis is on her way to Texas after California. Unfortunately my son's class will be on Spring Break--as I would have loved to share here there. But we'll still show her some Texas hospitality for sure! :) I also posted a little blurb just a few minutes ago, about our anticipation of Phyllis's arrival. :)

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  52. Oh, that's so exciting! I must come right over and see :)

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  53. I think you'll like it. And that was one of the reasons I chose it - because we don't have any moving books yet and it's an important topic, I think (if you happen to be a child who is moving anyway :))

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  54. Based on this comment I've just been back over to your blog and everyone is so incredible! I am so buoyed by all the enthusiasm, I can't even tell you. Thank you so much!

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  55. I was sick yesterday. Both ears hurting so I was in the bed all day. I went by and read your interview. Loved it! I gave you a standing invite to come to the farm and trail ride. :)

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  56. Oh, poor thing! I had terrible ear infections as a child so I know exactly how you feel. I hope it's better today! Thanks for stopping by the interview even though you're sick. You are a gem!

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  57. Awww! That book sounds awesome! I love when a book is told in a voice that seems so authentic. And I LOVE proactive characters.

    And congrats to Sharron!

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  58. I know, I was blown away by how long that list was, dating back to 1983!

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  59. Stina LindenblattMarch 11, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Which one is Sharon's pitch?

    I'm all to check out your guest post, Susanna!

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  60. Sharron's pitch was Sorrysorrysorry. And thanks for checking out the quest post, Stina!

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