March 1, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Meanwhile Back At The Ranch


WA-HOO!  It's March!  That means spring will be here... soon... eventually... :)

My Perfect Picture Book for today isn't exactly about spring, but it does match the mood of light-heartedness that March brings :)

Meanwhile Back At The Ranch
Written By: Trinka Hakes Noble
Illustrated By: Tony Ross
Puffin Books, 1987, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: boredom, hyperbole, perspective

Opening: "Rancher Hicks lived out west.  as far as the eye could see there was nothing... not even a roaming buffalo.  So nothing much ever happened."

Brief Synopsis: Not much happens out on the ranch, so Rancher Hicks heads into town looking for some excitement.  He invites his wife, Elna, to join him, but she declines, saying she has to dig potatoes.  Off he goes to Sleepy Gulch where he sees 12 year old Wanted posters, gets a whisker trim at the barber shop, has lunch at Millie's Mildew Luncheonette (where there is nothing but potatoes on the menu), watches a checker game where it's considered exciting if it takes the players only two hours to make a move, and then - OH WOW! - the whole town gathers to watch a turtle cross the road.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Elna is having a completely different experience that no one would describe as boring :)

Links To Resources: for a fun activity, you could list things that are boring alongside things that are exciting.  What makes something boring?  What makes something exciting?  Is it simply the activity itself, or is it who you're doing it with?  Are there some activities that some people find exciting and others find boring?  Some things are all in how you look at them.  Here is a page full of optical illusions for kids - an exercise in perspective and looking at things differently.  Make up your own story where crazier and crazier things happen.

Why I Like This Book:  Don't you love that American Gothic look to the cover?  This book is so delightfully silly and fun and light-hearted - it's just a great story to share.  It's totally exaggerated and unbelievable, but each scenario is so zany that you wonder what's going to happen next to top it!  And the best part is the end, when Rancher Hicks comes home and tells Elna about the turtle... but I won't spoil it for you :)

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

Now then, I realize this may be my shortest post ever, but I'm in the doghouse with certain parties for working too much, so I'm wrappin' it up!

PPBF bloggers, please put your post-specific links in the list below so we can all enjoy your fabulous picks (I'll sneak over when I can :))

Have a super-fantastic spring-will-almost-definitely-be-thinking-about-coming-by-the-end-of-this-month weekend! :)

Reactions:

42 comments:

  1. Laura Anne MillerMarch 1, 2013 at 7:08 AM

    Oh - this one is definitely going on my library list!! Sounds too fun to ignore. Just read about the poor princess' encounter with a rock!!!! So sorry-hope you've both recovered.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a cute book! A turtle =... Exciting???? I'm curious!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like a fun rollick (or gentle stroll?). Love books that juxtapose opposites. Can't wait to read it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds like a fun book. Maybe it will take our minds off of the fact that spring looks like it will never arrive in Wisconsin this year! Have a great day, Susanna!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was smiling the entire way through your description, Susanna. What a riot of a book! You are right, it will drive away the "I-wish-it-were-Spring" blues.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm a sucker for anything that includes "...meanwhile, back at the ranch" because you know the sheep dip's gonna hit the fan the minute farmer joe heads to town.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like your resource idea, Susanna. So often it's how we look at something (I'm thinking of chores) that makes it boring or fun, and the fun attitude is the one we want to pass on to kids.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the review. I think I know someone who needs to read this book!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my gosh...just the title alone had me giggling! It totally appeals to me as a homesteading gal because city friends think our lives are pretty boring in that bucolic way, but I can tell you from chasing down our animals that it's not true. ;)


    I'm really fond of Tony Ross too; he was the illustrator for one of my poems in Babybug. I think he and I probably "started out" around the same time, but while I fizzled out for a while, he has done really well for himself. I'm so thrilled for him!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy March, Susanna! I do love the American Gothic look...and I love the idea of looking at the things we need to do and having a positive attitude towards them...I agree that it is all in the way you look at it...and making tasks fun (how about dancing through the house with little ones, dusting with 'magic' fairy/wizard duster-wands?).
    My husband is often trying to pry my fingers from the computer keyboard...and he is right.:) So I'm glad this was a short post for you...and don't worry about visiting around and commenting...I know that for me, that is what takes so much time (fun and amazing though it is to read everyone's posts)...and I apologize to all because I have not done it in a couple of weeks. :(

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yay for books illustrated by Tony Ross!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes, it's very Mary Poppins-ish - a spoonful of sugar and all that :) (Not the book, but the resource idea)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just wait until you see what Elna gets up to, Jarm :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Maybe it will - it's tons of fun! And it's not looking very spring-like here either, but I refuse to let it get me down. It's March! Time is on our side :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, it depends whether you're in Sleepy Gulch or back at the ranch - one's a rollick, one's a stroll :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well, you know it doesn't get much more exciting than a turtle is crossing the road - talk about high jinx and shenanigans :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a fun one - I think you'll like it :) And the Princess and I are recovering from the trauma, but I think something's off in her front end and we need to go see a car doctor!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is a fun one, Teresa! And wow! how cool that Tony Ross illustrated your poem in Babybug... and that you were IN Babybug!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I know it! There is just never enough time for everything. I've been a bit absent from people's blogs too the last couple weeks - but I'm hoping things will ease up a bit now I've finished uploading all the parts of my course into the email templates. Of course I always seem to be tweaking... :) And I signed up for the chapter book challenge - what was I thinking? :) - I'm going to have at least one child and/or my husband home for the next month because of school vacations that don't match - there is no hope that I'll be able to get my usual amount of work done! :) It's all good though! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love the picture when the President's helicopter lands :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love the activities!! And the book sounds simply marvelous. Thanks for introducing it to us. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. This looks like a really cute book! I get that "boring" thing from kids all the time. I don't understand boring. I'll have to check this book out. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love the cover. I imagine the illustrations are wonderful. Sounds like a very entertaining and clever story.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I definitely love the illustration style. It reminds of The Far Side cartoons.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love that book! I've had it for years. Great choice!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think a turtle crossing the road would be fascinating! This sounds like a fun book. I wish I could taste it.... I mean read it. Mmmm....

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    ReplyDelete
  27. This sounds like a fun one. I always love ranch stories too.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I feel a little ignorant as I have no idea what the gothic American look is. :( Big Ross fan. I can't wait to read what Elna gets up to and I love your activities. I am also feeling decidedly overcommitted in March doing Mira's course AND the chapter book challenge! Woohoo to us all!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Woo-hoo indeed! :) Have fun with the course. I'm doing the chapter book challenge too, but I kind of forgot I was going to have a house full of kids this month... not sure how much work I'm going to get done :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. There's just something so engaging about the phrase, "Meanwhile back at the ranch..." - just makes you want to know what's been going on :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. It would be fascinating as long as you didn't eat the turtle, Cupcake :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. This book sounds like great fun! I can't believe it, but I've actually managed to comment on all the PPBF posts this week. It's a while since I've been able to do that. I just noticed Joanna's comment below mine. I'm feeling quite overcommitted this month as well, and may have to cut back in some areas, such as PPBF, for a brief while. I'm really putting a push on to get some solid work done and "out there" and that means some of the fun stuff may have to take a back seat for a while. I'll be back when I can. Hope you'll understand!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I DO understand completely, Beth, and am feeling the same way - pushed for time and needing to spend more on getting stuff out there. I'm sure you've noticed I haven't commented as much on your blog lately - not because I'm not reading or don't want to - just rushing! Best of luck with all your work and projects and submissions!!! Do keep me posted :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks SO much for understanding, Susanna. I will definitely keep you posted. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. :)




























    Beth Stilborn (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Thanks SO much for understanding, Susanna. I will definitely keep you posted. :)

    Link to comment
    IP address: 65.87.233.107

    ReplyDelete
  36. It is a fun one - and I only just discovered it!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you and try to respond to every comment. Please share your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...