Crayola: Follow That Line!: Magic at Your Fingertips by JaNay Brown-Wood

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Author: JaNay Brown-Wood
Illustrator: Rob Justus
Published July 26, 2022 by Running Press Kids

Goodreads Summary: Do you want to know a secret? You have magic in your fingertips!

Use your fingers to follow a line and help it burst into color. Make magic with blooming flowers, tall mountain tops, splashing waves, and more by tracing lines with all four fingers and your thumb. Celebrate the power of creating artwork with Crayola products in this delightful and bright interactive book.

Ricki’s Review: My children LOVED this book. I’ve read it multiple times to them in the past few days. Kids of all ages will have a lot of fun with this one. It’s interactive (sort of in the style of Let’s Play by Hervé Tullet), and it asks kids to follow the line as they create the magic of the book. The colors are bright, and the writing is very engaging. This book would make an amazing holiday gift for a child or teacher.

Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: After we read this book the first time, my kids were inspired to draw. It would be really neat for each student in a class to draw one page of their own Follow That Line book (fanfiction at its best). The teacher could ask the students how they should organize the pages for a cohesive story and bind the book.

Discussion Questions: 

  • Which page was your favorite, and why?
  • What might the author’s purpose be for this book?
  • How does the book creatively reach readers?

We Flagged: “Do you want to know a secret? You have magic in your fingers. Want to see? Turn the page.”

Read This If You Love: Interactive books, art

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Dark on Light by Dianne White, Illustrated by Felicita Sala

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Dark on Light
Author: Dianne White
Illustrator: Felicita Sala
Publishing December 6, 2022 by Beach Lane Books

Summary: As the sun sets, three siblings discover nature’s nighttime beauty in this soothingly rhythmic and gorgeously illustrated bedtime picture book from the acclaimed author-illustrator team behind Green on Green.

Gentle the evening. Sweeping the skies.
Dark the shadows as twilight arrives.
Rose the horizon, gleaming and bright.
Twilight and evening and dark on light.

When the family dog trots away from the house at sunset, three siblings tumble out the door to go find him. Soon they find themselves immersed in the luminous colors, shades, and shadows of nature at night—both dark and light. They wander through moonlit lavender meadows, past a timid fawn, beneath a snowy white owl, and much, much more as the night deepens until, at last, they find their sneaky pup.

With beautiful illustrations by Felicita Sala and lyrical text by Dianne White that’s perfect for reading aloud, this book invites young readers to step into the wondrous, colorful nighttime natural world.

Praise: 

“A bedtime chant capable of transforming anyone into a night owl. Sumptuous watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations show a day shifting from sunshine to twilight to a deepening night sky. Meanwhile, three children are pulling on their boots, grabbing their flashlights, and heading out into a nighttime world as alive as it is welcoming. As the children search and explore, the text repeats the words dark on light through mesmeric rhymes. “Orange the moon, burnished and bright. / Meadow and owl and dark on light.” At last the children peek into a burrow and find their dog, the object of their search. The nighttime is welcoming here, and the children return home to the cozy arms of their parents. Truly the entire enterprise feels similar in tone to Janice May Udry’s Moon Jumpers (1959), illustrated by Maurice Sendak, as when the children ramble through fields of fragrant lavender beneath a brilliant sky. This is a book capable of banishing nighttime fears, showing the night to be a time of wonder, exploration, and even comfort. Sala’s art matches the cadences of the text beat for beat, offering consistently beautiful images of this undiscovered nighttime world…. Lilting, haunting, rhyming, and as unforgettable as a dream the daylight just can’t quite erase.” – Kirkus Reviews, *STARRED REVIEW*, 9/15/2022

“The creators of Green on Green follow that seasonal work with one focused on shadow and light, centering lulling, mesmerizing sensate verse accompanied by artwork in warm, saturated hues…. Closing bedtime scenes in a shared bedroom embody warmth and security… in this quiet celebration of chiaroscuro in the natural world.” – Publishers Weekly, *STARRED REVIEW*, 10/24/2022

About the Creators: 

Dianne White lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with her family. She is the author of Who Eats Orange?Blue on BlueGreen on Green, and Dark on Light.

Felicita Sala is a self-taught illustrator and painter. She has a degree in philosophy from the University of Western Australia. She now lives and works in Rome. She draws inspiration from nature, children, mid-century illustration, folk art, and architecture.

Review: Dianne White’s verse with Felicita Sala’s illustrations makes this book an instant read aloud need! The verse is so rhythmic and rolls off the tongue in a way that will make the book fun to read and listen to. The illustrations add another dimension to the words taking a beautiful poem and turning it into a narrative also. This book will make any reader want to go on a nighttime hike to investigate the beauty of the night.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Here’s an author-provided activity kit!

Discussion Questions: 

  • How did the illustrator use colors to add to the mood of the book?
  • Pick a spread. What words in the stanza stands out to you? Why?
  • The reviews mention that Dark on Light is a book that is meant to read aloud. What about the verse written by White makes it so much fun to read aloud?
  • What fun things do you see in the illustrations as the kids venture outdoors?
  • Why do you think the creators chose to have the book end in daylight instead of nighttime?
  • With an adult, go on a nighttime walk and write a journal about what you saw.

Flagged Passages: 

“Gentle the evening. Sweeping the skies. Dark the shadows as twilight arrives.”

Rose the horizon, gleaming and bright. Twilight and evening and dark on light.

Smooth the stones. Crisp the air. Dark the garden, trimmed with care.

Green the sage, nubby and bright. Garden and stones and dark on light.”

Read This If You Love: Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine; Night Animals by Gianna Marino; Noisy Night by Mac Barnett; The Night Gardener by Terry Fan; Goodnight, Butterfly by Ross Burach; Nighttime Symphony by Timbaland, Max at Night by Ed Vere

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**Thank you to Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review!**

It’s Not the Three Little Pigs by Josh Funk, Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor

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It’s Not the Three Little Pigs
Author: Josh Funk
Illustrator: Edwardian Taylor
Published November 1st, 2022 by Two Lions

Summary: Meet the three (ahem—four!) little pigs as they convince the narrator to tell a slightly different version of their fairy tale:

First there’s Alan, the one pig in the bunch who is actually a builder. He’s got a BIG problem with building a home out of flimsy straw. Next there’s Alfred, who wants to be an actor and wouldn’t dream of getting his hands dirty. Then we have Alvin, whose dream is to be . . . a pumpkin. Last but not least is Alison, the fourth pig who is ready to bring some flair to this story, if only she can get the narrator to agree to a few changes. . . . And what about that wolf?

Grab your jet-packs and get ready for this rollicking retelling of the popular tale.

“Those who love to make up their own stories will be inspired, and readers who march to the beats of their own drums will be delighted. Will leave readers as happy as a pig in mud.” ―Kirkus Reviews

About the Creators: 

Like the characters in his books, Josh Funk doesn’t like being told how stories should go―so he writes his own. He is the author of a bunch of picture books, including My Pet Feet, illustrated by Billy Yong; the popular Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, illustrated by Brendan Kearney; How to Code a Sandcastle, illustrated by Sara Palacios; and Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude, illustrated by Stevie Lewis. He lives in New England with his wife and children. Learn more about him at www.joshfunkbooks.com and follow him on social media:

Facebook:  Josh Funk Books
Instagram: @joshfunkbooks
Twitter: @joshfunkbooks

Edwardian Taylor is the illustrator of multiple children’s books, including Hey, You’re Not Santa!, written by Ethan T. Berlin; Goldibooks and the Wee Bear, written by Troy Wilson; the Toy Academy chapter books, written by Brian Lynch; and the It’s Not a Fairy Tale books, written by Josh Funk, among other titles. He lives in Texas with his partner and their three dogs. Learn more about him at www.edwardiantaylor.com and follow him on TumblrInstagram, and Twitter @edwardiantaylor.

Kellee’s Review: I just find the concept of these books so clever; all of them! The breaking of the third wall between narrator and characters just makes them so funny, and I love that the characters go against the narrator. Often times through this exchange, the author is able to teach both the narrator and the reader lessons about assumptions, in this case when it came to the wolf. Other times, the characters just go silly which is also quite fun to read. This time the silliness comes in hot air balloons and jet packs! And, as a literacy teacher, I particularly loved the two literacy loving pigs: Alison, the storyteller, and Alfred, the scriptwriter and star. 

Trent’s Review: I liked this new book in the series because it is pretty much the opposite of the original three little pigs which adds a lot of action and surprises. I like that at the end of the story they’re actually on a stage and performing the tale because the set up for this was all through the book (and most of the other characters from the It’s Not books were in the audience!). The most surprising part of the story for me was that there was a fourth pig, and that makes it fit even more with the title because there is not three but four. I also like that the fourth pig is a girl and a storyteller. I was also surprised that the big bad wolf was a salesman trying to sell automatic vacuums because you assume usually that wolves are not nice in fairy tales, so this teaches the reader that not all things you assume are bad actually are bad. Josh Funk books are funny and questy, and this one was, too; I always like them! I like all of the picture books that Josh has written.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This is a perfect mentor text for rewriting a fairy tale. Students can read the different books in the It’s Not series to see all of the creators’ examples of their factured fairy tales then they can pick their own to redo. First they would read the original fairy tale, determine how they were going to change it up, and write their own version of the fairy tale. Remind them to add some surprising elements, lessons, and silliness, just like Josh Funk.

For an enrichment activity, they could take their fairy tale and turn it into a play like Alfred did!

Discussion Questions: 

  • What was the most surprising part of the story for you?
  • Why are different speech bubbles written in different font colors?
  • How did you assume the different pigs’ personalities would be like? How is that the same/different than the book?
  • How does the author use the narrator differently than in most books?
  • Were there any vocabulary words you didn’t know? Were you able to determine the meaning from the context?
  • In addition to Cinderella’s fairy godmother, what other fairy tale creatures did you notice in the background of this book?

Flagged Passages: 


Read This If You Love: Fractured Fairy Tale Picture Books

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review!**

Author Guest Post: “Fun Ways to Bring Animal Migration into the Classroom” by Amy Hevron, Author of The Longest Journey: An Artic Tern’s Migration

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“Fun Ways to Bring Animal Migration into the Classroom”

I love birdwatching and am fascinated by migrating birds. In The Longest Journey: An Arctic Tern’s Migration, I showcase an epic migrator on her first globe-spanning adventure. When I began writing this story, I wondered, what would it be like to travel across the globe? Across every climate zone from polar lands to temperate zones, to subtropics and tropics? What would the landscapes look like? What other animals would be along the way? Piecing together this little seabird’s journey was fascinating and combined my passions for wildlife, world geography, Earth sciences and art. Here are some fun ways kids can explore animal migration and mapmaking in the classroom.

Track birds in your area

Birds are all around us. And whether they are year-round residents or just here for the season, these wildlife neighbors of ours are fascinating to learn more about. Kids could pick a migrating bird from your area and find out where they migrate. They could plot their bird’s journey on a world map. What cities, states, countries, and continents does this local bird see? Kids could learn about their bird’s life cycle and draw how it looks at the different life stages from egg, to chick, to juvenile, to adult. Many birds migrate in their first year of life. At what age does their bird migrate? They could find out what kind of habitat their bird lives in, what kind of nest it makes, and what kind of food it eats. And in learning more about its migration, kids could think about what obstacles this bird might encounter or what amazing sites it might see on its journey. A helpful site to find out more about birds in your area is www.allaboutbirds.org. Also, the Audubon app for smart phones and tablets is a great birding resource as well.

Track other Arctic migrators

In addition to Arctic terns, other Arctic animals migrate, like narwhals and Pacific walruses. Kids could pick a different Arctic animal and explore the migration of this species. Why does it migrate? What might that journey look like on a map? By focusing on other animals that live in the Arctic region, this could provide an opportunity to discuss the impacts of climate change on wildlife as well. Animals that live in the Arctic are especially sensitive to global warming because the Arctic is warming at a faster rate than elsewhere in the world. How is their Arctic animal impacted by warming land and oceans? How is it adapting? Additionally, you could talk about the Earth’s seasons as they relate to the Arctic and how around Summer Soltice the sun never sets, and in Winter it is dark all day. How do the Arctic seasons affect their animal’s activities? The Active Wild website lists a range of interesting Arctic animals to learn more about (https://www.activewild.com/arctic-animals-list/).

Dive into mapmaking

A fun way to learn about world geography is through creating maps. Kids could create a map of their own migration adventure, either real or imaginary. They could start with a whole world map, a continent or a country. Kids could add traditional map details like labels for the land, bodies of water, and a compass with North, South, East, and West. On a world map, kids could add in the major latitudinal lines of the Equator, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, the Arctic circle and Antarctic circle. They could learn about how the climate is different at these different latitudes. They could research and then illustrate different flora and fauna on the map within their appropriate climate zones. From here, kids could plot their migration path. Where would their journey take them? What sites would they see? What food would they eat along the way? A fun tool to use for research is Google Earth (earth.google.com). You can zoom in to see what the landscape looks like anywhere on Earth. Also, Google image searching “illustrated maps” can provide some inspiration for different ways to illustrate maps. Wikipedia’s site provides different world map images, including this simple world map that could be used as a starting point https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_large_blank_world_map_with_oceans_marked_in_blue.PNG.

Published July 12, 2022 by Neal Porter Books

About the Book: Follow the epic annual migration of an Arctic Tern on its sixty-thousand-mile journey to the South Pole and back again, the longest such migration in the animal kingdom.

In their thirty-year lifetimes, Arctic Terns travel nearly 1.5 million miles, that’s enough to fly to the Moon and back three times! Each year they brave blistering winds, storms, rough seas, and airborne predators as they travel between the Earth’s poles, chasing the summer. In The Longest Journey: An Arctic Tern’s Migration, we follow one such bird as it spreads its wings and sets out to make its first globe-spanning trip with its flock.

Amy Hevron is the illustrator of Trevor by Jim Averbeck, the recipient of multiple starred reviews. She also illustrated Candace Fleming’s The Tide Pool Waits which was the recipient of the Portfolio Honor Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her brilliant, naturalistic artwork mimicking maps and nautical charts is supported by extensive research and paired with material at the back of the book explaining the science behind the life cycle of Arctic Terns.

About the Author: Amy Hevron is an illustrator, designer, and children’s book author. She wrote and illustrated Dust Bunny Wants a Friend and illustrated Trevor by Jim Averbeck, which received multiple starred reviews. She also illustrated The Tide Pool Waits, by Candace Fleming. In both 2015 and 2016, she received the Portfolio Honor Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Seattle with her family.

https://www.amyhevron.com/
@amyhevron on Instagram and Twitter

https://holidayhouse.com/book/the-longest-journey/
@holidayhousebks on all social platforms

Thank you, Amy, for these fun migration activities for the classroom!

Author Guest Post: “See the Seeds!” by Antoinette Portis, Author of A Seed Grows

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“See the Seeds”

Once you start thinking about seeds, you might be surprised to see how many different kinds you encounter in daily life.

When you’re planting a garden, of course you think about seeds. And when you’re eating a slice of watermelon, you kind of have to think about seeds. But this summer, as I sliced tomatoes and the slimy guts slid out onto a plate, or when I ate a plum and spit out the little rock in the middle, I started to notice how many seeds I encounter in a day. Maybe you eat a handful of nuts as a snack—walnuts, pecans, almonds, pepitas—these are seeds. But so is your morning oatmeal, made from the edible seed of the oat grass plant! The bread most of us eat is made from flour that’s the ground up seed of the wheat plant.

See how many seeds we can meet in one day! Maybe try keeping count to see how many kinds of seeds you eat or interact with in a day or a week.

As a child, I used to gather seed pods from the various kinds of trees in my neighborhood: bottle tree seedpods that looked like little boats, and others, from the Jacaranda tree, that looked like clam shells or tortoise shells; from the carob tree, hard brown pods that looked like giant snap peas and rattled like maracas when you shook them. Pinecones that looked like miniature Christmas trees and every once in a while had a seed still attached to a scale or two. And prickly balls from the Sweet Gum tree that look like Christmas decorations.

Finding these seeds when walking to school or to a neighborhood friend’s house was a jumping off place for my imagination. But more importantly, it reassured me I lived in nature, that my life was part of a giant, beautiful cycle of life.

I’ve made some activity sheets about various kinds of seeds. Enjoy!

Published June 21st, 2022 by Neal Porter Books

About the Book: The transformative life cycle of a sunflower plays out in this bold read-aloud by Sibert honoree Antoinette Portis.

A seed falls,
And settles into the ground,
And the Sun shines,
And the rain comes down,
And the seed grows…”

To understand how a seed becomes a sunflower, you have to peek beneath the soil and wait patiently as winding roots grow, a stalk inches out of the earth, and new seeds emerge among blooming petals.

With evocative and lively illustrations, A Seed Grows offers a close-up view of each step of this process and the ways in which flowers and seeds depend on other creatures, with a striking fold-out spread of a full-grown sunflower and additional material at the back of the book explaining the science of plant life cycles.

About the Author: Antoinette Portis is the author of many inventive books for children, including Not a Box, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a Geisel Honor Book; and the Sibert Honor Book Hey, Water!. Other books include A New Green Day, which was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, as well as the ALA Notable Books Wait and Now. A recipient of the prestigious Sendak Fellowship, Antoinette lives in Southern California where she grows her own sunflowers, like this one. 

https://www.antoinetteportis.com/
@aportisa on Twitter

https://holidayhouse.com/book/a-seed-grows/
@holidayhousebks on all platforms

Thank you, Antoinette, for sharing all of the amazingness of seeds!

Author Guest Post: “Bring the Text to Life: Baking the Cake” by Stephen Savage, Author of Moonlight

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“Bring the Text to Life: Baking the Cake”

In 2004, when I began my career in children’s books with a book called Polar Bear Night (published by Scholastic, written by Lauren Thompson), I thought I had it all figured out. I was of the mind that picture books were mainly about the visuals (why else would they call them “picture books”). And as crazy as what I am about to say sounds, I didn’t really understand how the text functioned. I knew it filled blank spaces in the illustrations, but that’s about it. It seemed like “the icing on the cake”. Little did I know.

Then in 2010, I decided I wanted to bake a cake and ice it, too. My daughter had just been born, and I felt inspired to write a story about her. One morning, as I stumbled across the Gowanus canal on my way to my studio in Brooklyn (I hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before), I spotted a tug boat. “That’s my story”, I thought. I could see the visuals perfectly. 

But what about those blank spaces in the images? They’d need words! By this time, I had illustrated three books, visited a few classrooms, gotten to know the reading habits of kids, and was starting to figure things out a bit. I was learning that picture books were read-alouds, and that the words were very important (duh!).

I was on to the fact that words could be fun to say. Words could engage. More importantly, words could create a beginning, middle, and end in a book. I had so much to learn. I spent months writing my ideas down on index cards, until the cards fell together to form Little Tug (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan).

This summer, my seventh book as both author and illustrator comes out. It’s called Moonlight. And I’m sure if I showed the book to my 2004 self, he’d scoff at the text. At only 85 words, he’d regard it as a very thin layer of icing on top of an already yummy cake.

But here’s what I’d say to my old, uniformed self: effective picture book text may seem effortless, but that’s not the case. I’d point out all the craft that went into the writing, a discussion of which, could be used to stimulate discussion in the classroom.

I’d point out FOUR examples of writing tools I used to bring the text to life:

  1. PERSONIFICATION: The book opens with the line “Something is on the move”. Personifying the moonlight, turning it into the protagonist in the story, was one way I put a new spin on the traditional lullaby/nighttime theme. 
  2. VIVID VERBS: Words like “slithering”, “drifting” and “tumbling” give the reader a sense of action and adventure. They create excitement and drama.
  3. ALLITERATION: “Sliding down silvery tracks” may just be my favorite line in the book. Why? It’s fun to say. And I have my editor, Neal Porter, to thank for that alliterative line. He replaced my original word, “Icy” with “silvery”. PS: I think it’s nice for young readers to hear how professional artists get help from their teachers (er, I mean editors 😉
  4. SENSORY LANGUAGE makes a story relatable. I used the line “Then it rests for a while, next to you” for a rush of emotion at the critical moment in the story when the moonlight journeys into the child’s bedroom. Certainly, the image of the cat snuggled up against the child reinforces this ‘touch’. 

So now that I’m thinking about it, this “icing on the cake” analogy doesn’t really apply anymore. In picture books, images always work together with text to tell the story. I had to work hard to figure this out, and luckily my editors and mentors have been generous with their advice and suggestions. Like most things in life, writing is about practice and good guidance. And a little piece of cake and a glass of milk while you’re working never hurts!

NOTE: Special thanks goes to teacher/reading specialist Renee Davis of Glastonbury, Connecticut (my sister-in-law) for acting as a consultant on this post.

Published August 23rd, 2022 by Neal Porter Books

About the Book: A lyrical bedtime read about the captivating effects of moonlight and its nightly journey.

Something is on the move.”

When moonlight shines, it’s not like most light. In the quietest hours of the night, it swings through trees and slithers down rivers. It drifts in the wake of steamships and catches on the propeller of a passing plane. It blankets neighborhoods before coming to rest by your side.

In this bedtime picture book, Stephen Savage, author and illustrator of And Then Came HopeBabysitter from Another Planet, and the Geisel Honor book Supertruck, presents a lyrical text and illustration full of dramatic light and shadow to pay homage to the mysterious moon and the unique ways it reveals itself each night.

About the Author: STEPHEN SAVAGE is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator whose accolades include a New York Times Best Illustrated Book (Polar Bear Night) and a Geisel Honor (Supertruck). Polar Bear Night was a New York Times bestseller. He also wrote and illustrated And Then Came Hope and Babysitter from Another Planet. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts and lives in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter and two dogs. 

https://www.savageillustrator.com/
@savageillustrator on Instagram
@savageartist on Twitter

https://holidayhouse.com/book/moonlight/
@holidayhousebks on all platforms

Thank you, Stephen, for sharing sharing your analogy that can move writing to the next level!

Author Guest Post: “Little Red and the Big Bad Educator’s Guide” by Rebecca Kraft Rector, Author of Little Red and the Big Bad Editor

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“Little Red and the Big Bad Educator’s Guide”

When I learned Shanda McCloskey would be illustrating my story LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR, I was ecstatic. I knew her art would bring to life my story of the Big Bad Wolf correcting Little Red’s thank you letter to Granny. And I was right. The vibrant colors! The actions! The humor! I was so lucky to be paired with Shanda.

Then I learned Shanda, like me, had an educational background and she wanted to collaborate on an educator’s guide for LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR. What a great idea! Many publishers and editors provide educator’s guides for their picture books.

There are so many ways to use picture books in classrooms from kindergarten on up. They’re rich in vocabulary and can have a higher reading level than many novels. They’re short and appealing to lower-level readers, ESL, and special needs students. For a generation that enjoys graphic novels and sharing pictures and stories on social media, picture books can be a familiar format. In fact, picture books often introduce new concepts and facts in an accessible way. They are an excellent entry point for all ages about topics that are difficult to understand or discuss.

But what about LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR? Could we put together a useful educator’s guide for a fun story about correcting a heartfelt but poorly written letter? No problem! I’d done a basic guide for my first picture book SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED and even produced a short video for a school librarian presentation. My brain was stuffed with methods for meeting curriculum standards after writing lesson plans, test passages, questions and answers for educational publishers.

I told Shanda “Yes!” and got to work.

Like Little Red, I whipped out my crayons (computer) and started writing. And like the Big Bad Wolf, I crumpled up those pages and threw them away. The Big Bad Wolf couldn’t fault me on my capitalization and finger spacing, but there were just too many elements that I wanted to include.

For instance, I could ask students to look for examples of characterization, plot, setting, theme, and story structure. They could practice story prediction by guessing what would happen in the story based on the cover and title.

So many possibilities for discussions and story prompts, too! Students could write their own stories by thinking about what happens before or after the story, or within the pictures. What was Little Red doing before the present arrived? What happened after the last page of the story? What about that little turtle, what’s his story?

Maybe I should focus on figurative language—the assonance, alliteration, similes, idioms, onomatopoeia, etc. in LITTLE RED. Find the simile: “Little Red was pleased as punch. Granny had sent her a present! Red ripped off the wrappings and removed a cape as scarlet as a ripe tomato.”

What about sequencing and cause and effect? Oh, we could use Shanda’s art for that! Which picture shows what comes first, middle, and last? Which picture shows what caused Little Red to write a thank you note?

And I couldn’t forget about compare/contrast! Both SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED and LITTLE RED are “fractured” versions of folktales. SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED is considered a modern version of both TOO MUCH NOISE and IT COULD ALWAYS BE WORSE. After reading an original version and the new version, students could compare/contrast the stories for all of the elements listed above, plus author’s voice and even author’s purpose. Younger students could compare/contrast the illustrations for the stories.

Shanda created awesome activities within a week. She even included practice sheets for writing letters and cursive writing. But after a month I still struggled with narrowing down all the possibilities.

Finally, I realized (why did it take me so long?!) that I couldn’t include everything. Some things would have to be left out. But we’re both really happy with the final product and would be thrilled if you’d take a look. It’s on my website https://rebeccakraftrector.wordpress.com and Shanda’s https://www.shandamc.com and here’s a direct link http://ow.ly/IHPC50KffBh.

Published September 6th, 2022 by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster

About the Book: In this clever and playful fractured fairy tale picture book, the Big Bad Wolf is so distracted by Little Red’s poorly written thank you note to her grandmother that he keeps missing the chance to eat her!

Once upon a time, Little Red received a bold new cape from her Granny. She wrote her a thank you note, packed a basket of goodies, and walked through the meadow to Granny’s house. But swish swash SWOOP, the big bad wolf stops her in her tracks, opens his mouth wide, leans in close and…​

Sees the note.

Mr. Wolf can’t believe how sloppy the letter is—Red can’t give this to Granny! He corrects her grammar but misses out on his dinner while he’s distracted each time he encounters Red on the path. Can she keep outsmarting the Big Bad Editor and make it all the way to Granny’s house?

About the Author: Rebecca Kraft Rector is a retired librarian and the author of more than thirty fiction and nonfiction books for children. Her cats Ollie and Opal keep her company while she writes. When she isn’t writing and eating chocolate, she’s trying to keep deer out of her garden.

LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR is Rebecca’s second picture book, coming from Aladdin/Simon & Schuster on September 6, 2022.

Visit Rebecca online at https://rebeccakraftrector.wordpress.com

Thank you, Rebecca, for introducing us to your book and how useful it will be in classrooms and libraries!