Welcome to the eighth week of Rocking It Out Picture Book Style with Mrs. Mimi! I am loving this list of Top 100 Picture Books...probably a little too much, but whatevs. I think most of you get it.
Okay. Starting us off today at #66 is Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman. Clearly, I have seen this book before. It was even in my school supplied library. But (I'm going to admit something big here...we would be holding hands if we could) I've never read it. GASP! I know, there were actually books in my library that I hadn't gone through...It was like I had a pile of omni-present paperwork to get through or something...
Oh, and it's totally a Caldecott book...like salt in the wound.
(Click on the images if you want links to where you can indulge in these fabulous titles...just do it!)
Officer Buckle loves to share his safety tips with everyone, especially school children, but no one seems to be listening. (Um, if I was the teacher in THAT assembly, you can bet your last dime that my friends would be IN LINE, but I digress...) One day, he is given a police dog, Gloria, who goes with him to all his presentations. While Officer Buckle delivers his tips, Gloria strikes all kinds of hilarious poses (all behind the Officer's back so he never notices), grabbing the everyone's attention. Soon there are no more accidents and Officer Buckle in huge demand. But then, one day his presentation is taped and Officer Buckle realizes what has been going on the whole time...saddened, he doesn't take any more presentation dates. Gloria is forced to go alone with another officer but she falls asleep and so does the audience. As a result, there is a huge accident (banana pudding related) and everyone wants the dynamic duo reunited. Officer Buckle is happy to oblige and delivers his newest safety tip:
"Always stick with your buddy!"
Hearting this one and wishing I had discovered it/read it earlier!!! I feel very late for the party. (I thought about writing Tardy for the Party in honor of my love of bad television....get it?) Super cute to integrate into a safety unit, a unit on friendship or to just read and enjoy. Those Caldecott people never let me down...how do I get that job?
#65 is a book that I questioned at first, but once I read it, I loved it. It's Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner.
First off, I have a thing for kitties. And this kitty may be the most adorable and hilarious cat ever. EVER. Skippyjon Jones loves to play with the birds in the morning, but his mother scolds him, reminds him that he is a Siamese cat, not a bird and sends him to his room. While being punished, Skippyjon Jones imagines this amazing adventure in which he is a chihuahua who must save the other chihuahuas from the Bandito who has been stealing their beans. (Yes, you read correctly.) Filled with a few Spanish words here and there, this part of the story is hilarious. In the end, Skippyjon Jones' mother comes in to discover the insane mess he's made, but she loves him anyway.
Skippyjon is quite the character. Your friends will laugh out loud - I guarantee it. Especially if you read the story with a little flair - I'm thinking some accents and maybe a few bold hand gestures here and there. Totally hot. This is a fun read aloud, plain and simple, to be shared on a day when you all need a laugh or a jump start in imagination. I say, save this for those rainy days (where you ALL want to poke yourselves in the eye).
#64 was another tough one to track down. You know, if these books are so fabulous that they made this list, then I feel like they should be readily available in each library. But that's just me...I'm a little beat down from using all my detective skills to hunt down these books. (I know, cry me a river.) Although I AM noticing that most of the harder-to-track down books are older so maybe libraries are just age-ist. Who knows? Even Amazon is making this harder than it needs to be by providing a link that has no image. Boo. So, #64 is "I Can't," Said the Ant: A Second Book of Nonsense by Polly Cameron.
Hopefully I will be able to track it down and get you an update asap. Apologies all around.
Annnnnddddd, at #63 we've got another new book for Mrs. Mimi. I am officially afraid of my upcoming bill from Barnsey. It's Traction Man is Here! by Mini Grey. All I can picture is some dude in traction in the hospital...I have a feeling that image couldn't be farther from this book...at least I HOPE it is.
We follow a little boy through his day and to his grandmother's house. Even though he's just eating breakfast or taking a bath, this story is filled with HIS imaginative stories about his action figure, Traction Man. From tackling the dishes together to a long car ride, everything seems to be a great adventure with Traction Man!
This book is adorable, funny and super imaginative. I've said it before, and I'll say it again (and again and again...), I love a book long on imagination and short on video games. I think friends in kindergarten through early second grade would love this one. I also think it might help your more-reluctant-writer-friends see the possibility for story in their everyday lives. If that is indeed the case, then this book might as well be worth it's weight in gold, am I right?
Finally, coming in at #62 is The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack. I totally had this book on record when I was a kid. (I can practically hear my friends exclaiming, "You had it on what? Huh?")
Ping has a crazy huge family that lives on a boat on the Yangtze river. Every day they go ashore to hunt for snails and things to eat, heading home when the Master of the boat calls. The last duck on the boat gets a spank on the bottom. One day, Ping realizes he is going to end up being last and instead of facing his spank, he hides in the grass and doesn't get on the boat. The next morning, Ping's family's boat is nowhere to be found. He tries to dive for food as the other birds do and ends up getting caught by an evil looking little boy who fell into the water. The people on the boat put Ping under a basket and are planning on eating him for dinner. (Bet that spank doesn't look so bad now, does it?) The boy, who isn't as evil as he looks, let Ping free before he can be eaten just in time to see his family on a far away shore. Ping swims like crazy to catch up and ends up being last on the boat. He doesn't mind the spank one bit.
Quite the adventure for a little duck. I think this book is a total classic and makes a great read aloud for your friends in first or second grade. I used to like to stop in several precarious places (when Ping gets left behind, when he got captured on the other boat) and ask my friends to make and revise predictions about the ending. The story was able to hold their attention across a few days and has a happy ending, which is always nice.
Well, we've made it to the end of June. (Although I'm furiously writing this in early June in the last few remaining days before Mini Mimi's debut.) So in my book, that means each and every one of you should (finally) be on summer vacation.
(collective sigh of relief here)
Enjoy my friends. You deserve it.