|Please! Help yourselves!|
I've been trying to resist posting today's Perfect Picture Book for a while because it is out of print. But it is one of my all time favorite books ever, and since I got notification this week that one of my books is going out of print, I thought this would be a nice time to celebrate books that don't always get as much recognition as one might hope. This is a story my parents read to me, and that I read to my kids. It was always a favorite in our house. I hope you'll be able to find a copy at your local library, or get a used one through some channel or other. It's really wonderful!
Written By: Jack Tworkov
Illustrated By: Roger Duvoisin
Aladdin Books, 1951
Suitable For: ages 4-8
Themes/Topics: expectation/suspense, cause & effect/chain reaction, unexpected outcomes
Opening: "The forest was dark and very quiet.
Not a creature was stirring.
Even the wind had stopped breathing.
Not a leaf was falling, not a blade of grass was moving.
And do you know why this was so?
it was just the time between night and day,
when night was ending
and day was about to begin."
Brief Synopsis: A very beautiful camel goes for a walk in the forest. Unbeknownst to her, a tiger waits hidden "by leaves, flowers, vines and grasses. He was hidden also by the darkness." But the tiger is not the only one waiting and watching. Each of the creatures hidden in the forest has its own secret plan. What will happen to the very beautiful camel?
Links To Resources: Camel Coloring Pages, Tiger Coloring Pages, Monkey Coloring Pages, discuss cause and effect, read other books where one thing leads to another, like If You Give A Pig A Pancake or Stuck.
Why I Like This Book: For starters, the language is lyrical. Just read that opening aloud to yourself and hear the music of those words! The whole book is like this - simply a delight to read aloud because of the rhythm of the language. For writers, it's a great example of how to do language really well. The description is also beautiful, and not the kind of thing we find so much in PBs these days:
"Night in the forest is very dark, and it creeps away slowly."
"Suddenly the first glimmer of light trembled in the sky."
"Her nose smelled the early morning sweetness, and her eyes took in all the blue and pink colors of the sky."
Isn't is beautiful? But aside from the exquisite language, I love the way the book builds tension. The camel approaches the hidden tiger. She comes closer... and closer... and you just have to wonder, how will she get out of this? The ending is deliciously unexpected!
For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.
Also, as you know, I like to thank all the wonderful participants in PPBF for their hard work each month by randomly selecting a blogger to receive a prize! The winner for April is and the prize is JOANNA!!! (And lest there be any confusion, as there was with Beth Doozenfloofer, that's Joanna Marple :)) Please email me, Joanna, and let me know which you would like for your prize: *rummaging in my bag of goodies...* let's see... your choice of The Writer's Guide To Crafting Stories For Children by Nancy Lamb, Chloe by Peter McCarty (which I will be posting on PPBF next week or the week after - it doesn't come out until May 15 but it's really good!), or a $15 gift certificate to Merritt Bookstore (my own beloved local indie :))
Phyllis is still traveling - I hope you've all had a chance to keep up! There should be posts from North Carolina and Italy, and maybe another from St, Lucia coming up soon!
I also hope you're all hard at work on your Birthday Contest entries! I am mulling... and hoping I've come up with an idea for the sample... but it remains to be seen :)
For those of you interested in Would You Read It (or simply in learning how to write a good pitch) there was an excellent post on Cheryl's blog: How To Pitch Your Book. The post uses a novel as an example, but it can easily be applied to picture books. If you follow the basics rules, it will help you come up with a beautiful 3 sentence pitch. Just right!
And as for NaPiBoWriWee, I'm happy to report that I'm technically ahead of schedule since as of this writing (on Thursday evening) I have already completed 4 PBs (which means I'm up-to-date until bedtime Saturday when I should have a fifth... which heaven knows how I will get written Saturday... Sunday either... hmm... maybe I'd better stay up a little longer!) But RIGHT THIS SECOND, I'm ahead of the curve!
Now off you go to hop around the blogosphere and see all the Perfect Picture Books posted today. PPB bloggers, please add your post-specific link to the list below.
Have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious weekend everyone! (I'm allowed to say that because Beth has dubbed me Susanna Poppins! :))