January 8, 2016

Perfect Picture Book Friday - The Almost Terrible Playdate

This is so exciting!  It's the first Perfect Picture Book Friday of 2016!

(Because I know you guys are a bunch of wild revelers and would have been too tired on January 1st to appreciate PPBF :)  Really.  That's the reason.  I was thinking of you.  It had nothing whatever to do with the fact that I spent the holidays not working :))

Woo hoo!

Just think of all the terrific books we're going to read and share this year!

And my pick for today is one that none of you have read or probably even heard of because it's not out yet! :)  You'll just have to drool with anticipation until February 16! :)

Before we get to it, though, one quick housekeeping note!

As I mentioned Wednesday, I'm about to have a brand new website and blog!  Actually, I kind of already do - it's up!  We're just still working out a few kinks...  so don't be shocked and horrified if you see a typo or something looks a little off kilter (but please let me know :)) You can go look at it if you want to :)  It's located at  I hope you'll like it as much as I do!

For now, I'm posting blog posts here and there, but I'm hoping to switch to only there by next week... I just don't want to leave anyone behind *sniff sniff*  That would be so sad!  So please add the new blog ( ) to your reader, or sign up to follow it by email, or whatever system works for you so you don't miss any of the fun and I don't miss you!  I'm looking forward to a new year full of high jinx and shenanigans serious writerly pursuits - among other things very possibly including a writing contest in about 3 weeks, judging by the poll response so far from Wednesday (if you haven't voted, please go HERE so you can express your opinion :)) so PLEASE!  Come along! :)  Remember... I have chocolate... not that I'm trying to bribe you or anything... :)

So I hope I'll see you all over there and now let's get to this fabulous book already!

Title: The Almost Terrible Playdate
Written & Illustrated By: Richard Torrey
Doubleday Books For Young Readers, February 16, 2016, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: friendship, compromise, getting along, imagination

Opening: "What do you want to play?"
"What do you want to play?"
"How about I'm the queen of the universe and my doll, Pippy, is my sister queen, and you visit my castle?"
"Or how about I'm the giantest dinosaur ever and you're a dinosaur too - but not the giantest - and we stomp around smashing stuff?"

Brief Synopsis: A girl and a boy with active imaginations each have very different ideas about what makes a fun game.  Will the afternoon end with two kids playing alone on opposite sides of the room, or will they find something that is fun for both of them?

Links To Resources: Class Compromise Activity for grades 3, 4 & 5 - Planning A Class Party; let your child or student draw a picture of what they think would be a fun game to play; discuss the meaning of compromise and the importance of getting along - what would happen if everyone insisted on getting his/her own way?  Give examples of situations where people might have to compromise and have kids discuss how it could be handled, for example if one child wants to go to the zoo and the other wants to go to the playground, or how to plan a family picnic that will be fun for a variety of interests, etc.

Why I Like This Book: First of all, how fun is it that I got to read this book and share it with you when it's not even out yet?!  :)  This is a delightful story, told completely through dialogue and illustration (a good mentor text for writers who are working on similar stories.)  The writing is spare and there is no written narrative - it's all a conversation.  The girl is completely sure that her idea is best, her game the most fun...and not surprisingly it gives her the starring role.  The boy is equally convinced that his totally different idea is best, his game the most fun...and not surprisingly it gives him the starring role :)  Anyone who has ever spent time around kids will recognize this dynamic.  The children's imaginative descriptions grow more and more elaborate as they try to convince each other, but it is not to be.  Before long the girl is playing her game, and the boy is playing his.  But they are side by side... sneaking glances at each other... ultimately unable to resist their curiosity about each other's games and the allure of having someone to play with, not just next to.  The resolution is just right - very believable - and brings young readers full circle.  But one of the best things about this book is the art!  Childlike crayon drawings depicting the imagined games - SO much fun, and not to be missed!

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

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!  And don't forget (hopefully I won't forget! :)) that we're going to have a special blog post on Monday to vote for all the best Would You Read It pitches from September, October and November!

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