Bob, Not Bob!

It’s no fun being sick, but it’s worse when no one understands you.

The Picture Book of the Week is an oldie but a goodie, Bob, Not Bob! written by Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Matthey Cordell.

About the Book:

The main character is Louie, a little boy who is just old enough that he doesn’t need his mom so much anymore. That is, until he gets sick. A stuffy nose can make you hard to understand. When he calls for his mom, it comes out as Bob. To confuse things a bit more, his dog is named Bob. This book is a delightful comedy of error with a sweet message at the end.

Writing Exercise:

Little Louie didn’t need his mom so much anymore, until he got sick. Write a story or essay about the times when you still need your mom.

Happy Writing!

Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina and Sonia Sánchez

Have you ever had to say goodbye to a good friend? It is hard no matter what age you are, but when you are young, it is happening for the first time. It seems like nothing will ever be the same.

The Picture Book of the Week is a selection from 2020 called Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away.

About the Book:

In Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away, Daniela has a very best mejor amiga named Evelyn Del Rey. They share each others secrets like where they keep their specials finds and all the good spots for hide-n-seek. They play make-believe and they spin as fast as they can. They make plans to call each other when Evelyn moves, and visit each other and spend the night. The moment finally arrives, however, when the two have to part ways and Daniela has to place Evelyn somewhere in her heart where she will never leave.

Writing Exercise:

When they part, Daniela and Evelyn place a butterfly sticker on each other’s cheek. Write a story or essay about a butterfly or other symbol helped sooth you or the character through a transition.

Happy Writing!

Lala’s Words by Grace Zhang

Kindness and faith can have unexpected results.

This week’s Picture Book of the Week is Lala’s Words, written and illustrated by Grace Zhang.

About the Book:

It’s a long, hot summer and Lala is rambunctious. She loves running, and jumping, and getting in the dirt. Her mom is not so happy about the consequences of Lala’s activities – torn dress, covered in dirt. One of Lala’s activities is tending to a garden that she found around the block. She brings the plants water and gently talks to them. She tells them they are marvelous. She goes to the garden every morning until her mom, frustrated with Lala’s unkempt condition, makes her stop. She can’t go to the garden anymore, but that doesn’t stop Lala from whispering softly to her friends? Will she ever see her garden again?

Writing Exercise:

In this story, the main character, Lala, talks to plants. The writing challenge for this week is to write a story or an essay about talking to plants or communing with nature in some way — hugging a tree, taking a walk in the woods or along the seashore.

Happy Writing!

It Could Be Worse by Einat Tsarfati

The world has two kinds of people, the ones that freak out and worry when things go wrong, and the ones who always look on the bright side and roll with the punches. Which one are you?

The Picture Book of the Week is It Could Be Worse, written and illustrated by Einat Tsarfati.

About the Book:

It Could Be Worse follows George and Albertini who are stranded at sea on the remnants of their boat after a disaster that occured before the book started. Albertini lamented everything that happened to them. George looked on the bright side. He sang and played with the mermaids, smiled at the pirate ghosts, and faced down an ark full of hungry carnivores with no fear. Albertini reacted to each event with despair. They end up in a whale’s stomach and in a dark cave before things start looking up and even Albertini looks on the bright side.

Writing Exercise

In this story, George and Albertini were faced with a string of challenges. Each character reacted differently. Write a story or a personal essay about everything going wrong and how you or your characters reacted, what you or they learned.

Happy Writing

Snail Crossing by Corey R. Tabor

You never know when an act of kindness will be returned.

The Picture Book of the Week is Snail Crossing, written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor.

About the Book:

Snail Crossing is about a snail Swho is trying to cross a road to get to some yummy cabbage. He begins with all the determination of someone who doesn’t know the perils in his way. He feels unstoppable. A car speeds over him, but he feels no fear, he keeps going. Then come the ants who could stand to be a little more polite. Snail helps them anyway and they go on their way. Snail gets a little turned around and it looks like he will never get to the cabbages, then fate intervenes.

Writing Exercise:

Snail makes his dream come true in an unexpected way, as a sort of reward for doing a good deed. Write a story about a character (it can be yourself) that has an act of kindness returned to him/her.

Happy Writing!

Rocket Shoes by Sharon Skinner and Ward Jenkins

Sometimes breaking the rules is the right thing to do.

The Picture Book of the Week is Rocket Shoes, written by Sharon Skinner and illustrated by Ward Jenkins.

About the Book:

Rocket Shoes is a fun rhyming book about a boy named Jose Felix who dreams of owning rocket shoes. Rocket shoes are exactly what they sound like — shoes that help the owner zoom around the sky. Jose’s parents won’t buy the shoes for him, but he finds a way. When he finally gets his pair, he and the other kids in the neighborhood take full advantage of their new pastime, but not everyone is happy. Soon rocket shoes are banned and Jose is faced with a tough decision.

Writing Exercise:

Write about a time when you had to break the rules in order to help someone else.

Happy Writing!

Except Antarctica! by Todd Sturgell

Are you or your child the type of person that can’t resist picking up a gauntlet someone throws down? Apparently, turtles can’t resist a challenge either.

The Picture Book of the Week is Except Antarctica!, written an illustrated by Todd Sturgell.

About the Book:

The main character of Except Antarctica! is a turtle who can’t resist a challenge. When the narrator states that “turtles are found on every continent except Antarctica”, the turtle fixes his sights on the coldest continent on Earth. Along the way, he gains companions as a befuddled narrator tries to set things right. Will the turtle prove the narrator wrong? Or will there be unexpected complications?

Writing Exercise:

The narrator in this story is a character that advances the plot. Write a story in which the narrator is a character in the story.

Happy Writing!

Oliver’s Lollipop by Allison Wortche and Andrés Landazábal

Are you here now? Are you really?

The Picture Book of the Week is Oliver’s Lollipop, written by Allison Wortche and illustrated by Andrés Landazábal.

About the Book:

Oliver’s Lollipop is about a boy who is so busy taking care of his lollipop and wondering what it will taste like, that he doesn’t appreciate the wondrous sights and sounds going on around him. Oliver goes to the zoo, but he doesn’t see anything. He doesn’t experience the carousel or enjoy any of the animals. He is completely focused on his lollipop. When he loses his lollipop, Oliver has to re-focus his attention. The result shows the reader how to be in the moment.

Writing Exercise:

In this story, Oliver is completely focused on his lollipop. Have your child think of a time they were so focused on one thing, that they ignored everything else? What happened when they expanded their focus? How did they feel?

Happy Writing!

The Suitcase by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

Strangers can be scary — a big question mark. Who are they? Where did they come from? Will they hurt me? Should I be afraid of them? These are some of the questions that might cross our minds when we meet a stranger. How would you treat a stranger?

The Picture Book of the Week is The Suitcase, written and illustrated by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros.

About the Book:

The Suitcase begins with the arrival of a strange, tired animal whose only possession is a suitcase. The local animals are curious about what he has in his suitcase. They question him. He answers them, but they don’t quite believe him. They take matters into their own hands. When they realize that the stranger was telling the truth, from an unexpected point-of-view, their suspicions fade and they see the stranger in a different light.

Writing Exercise:

The writing challenge for the week is to right about a time you met a stranger. How did you see them at first? Did your impression change? Why? What happened to change how you saw the stranger.

Happy Writing!

Turtle in a Tree by Neesha Hudson

Sometimes there is more to things than meets the eye. And sometimes different eyes see different things. Perspective is the key.

The Picture Book of the Week is Turtle in a Tree, written and illustrated by Neesha Hudson.

About the Book:

In this book, two dogs argue about what each sees among the leaves of a tree. One says he sees a turtle. One says he sees a squirrel. They both have evidence. Once sees a bushy tail. One sees a hard, round shell. One says that turtles don’t climb trees. The other one is sure he saw one. Something finally jumps out and the two learn to appreciate difference in perspectives and the beauty of an apology.

Writing Exercise:

The writing challenge for the week is to write a story from two different perspectives. Pick two different characters or two different ways of looking at a problem, and write a how different things look from each different way of looking at it.

Happy writing!