RovingFiddlehead KidLit

Picture Book Month 2012

November 5, 2012


Picture Book Month has rolled around again. Once again, the Picture Book Month website features an interview with a picture book author or illustrator about why picture books are important as well as numerous great printables. Many librarians and teachers have planned activities to highlight the month. Be sure to check out Watch Connect Read for information about Mr. Schu’s Mock Caldecott plans.

Last year I focussed on nonfiction picture books. This year, my plan is to read a folklore or fairy tale picture book each day. I want to read from a wide variety of cultures, but also variations of tales I am already familiar with. Due to some travels and other activities this month, my goal is to read 30 picture books during the month rather than commit to one each day as I did last year. My reading so far:

  • The Ghost Catcher by Martha Hamilton & Mitch Weiss, illustrated by Kristen Balouch (Bengali tale of a generous barber who outwits people-eating ghosts)
  • Out of the Egg by Tina Matthews (variation of The Red Hen with a lesson in sharing)
  • Wiil Waal: A Somali Folktale retold by  Kathleen Moriarty, illustrated by Amin Amir (bilingual version of Wiil Waal’s quest for someone as wise as himself)
  • Nail Soup by Eric Maddern, illustrated by Paul Hess (variation of Stone Soup)
  • Tanili: An Afrocuban Folktale adapted by Maria Luisa Retana, illustrated by Mary Ann Hanson (harvest help comes to both poor and rich thanks to a magical lizard)
  • Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece by Anthony Manna and Soula Mitakidou, illustrated by Giselle Potter (familiar tale with Mother Nature in the role of Fairy Godmother)
  • Tuko and the Birds: A Tale from the Philippines by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Francisco X. Mora (noisy lizard disrupts birds’ paradise)
  • The Contest between the Sun and the Wind: An Aesop’s Fable retold by Heather Forest, illustrated by Susan Gabor (gentleness triumphs over force)
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes: A Tale Set in China told by Demi (familiar tale highlighting Chinese art and symbols)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk by Nina Crew (photographs enhance this modern retelling)
  • The Mouse who Saved Egypt by Karim Alrawi, illustrated by Bee Willey (“Every kind act is a seed sown./Aiding others with their troubles/Reaps help with ones’ own.)
  • El Mejor Regalo del Mundo/The Best Gift of All: The Legend of La Viela Belén by Julia Alvarez , illustrated by Ruddy Núñez (fascinating tradition of the origins of the gift night for the poor in the Dominican Republic)
  • One-Eye! Two-Eyes! Three-Eyes! A Very Grimm Fairy Tale told by Aaron Shepard, pictures by Gary Clement (a fairy godmother and a goat help a girl overcome the difficulties of having two eyes)
  • The Wooden Sword by Ann Redisch Stampler, illustrated by Carol Liddiment (Afghan tale of a poor shoemaker and the shah who respectfully tests his faith, includes notes about Jewish community in Afghanistan)
  • Pig Boy: A Trickster Tale from Hawai’i by Gerald McDermott (love his adaptations!)
  • The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale retold by Lucine Kasbaria, illustrated by Maria Zaikina (unlimited greed leads to the loss of all the sparrow thought it gained)
  • Seven Fathers retold by Ashley Ramsden, illustrations by Ed Young (contemplative Norwegian tale)
  • The Sun’s Daughter by Pat Sherman, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Corn Maiden story inspired by Iroquois tales)
  • Doctor All-Knowing: A Folk Tale from the Brothers Grimm retold by Doris Orgel, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger (misunderstandings unveil thieves and the lovely hungry daughter gets fed)
  • Paul Bunyan vs. Hals Halson: The Giant Lumberjack Challenge! by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by C. B. Canga (Paul Bunyan stories were a favourite of mine growing up – glad to see him find a friend)
  • Scatterbrain Sam by Ellen Jackson, illustrated by Matt Faulkner (“a heart of gold is worth more than a clever brain”)
  • Gershon’s Monster: A Story of the Jewish New Year retold by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Jon J. Muth (a Hasidic legend about facing our faults and starting over)
  • Fandango Stew by David Davis, illustrated by Ben Galbraith (cowboy version of Stone Soup, punctuated with the frequent refrain “Chili’s good, so is barbecue, but nothing’s finer than Fandango Stew!”)
  • Light by Jane Breskin Zalben (creation myth inspired by a sixteenth century midrash)
  • Way Up and Over Everything by Alice McGill, illustrated by Jude Daly (African American flying story passed down through the author’s family)
  • The Wind that Wanted to Rest by Sheldon Oberman, illustrated by Neil Waldman (inspired by the wind spirit in the Jewish tradition)
  • Moon Over the Mountain by Keith Polette, illustrated by Michael Kress-Russick (Asian tale of stonecutter who is never satisfied in an American Southwest setting)
  • What the Rat Told Me: A Legend of the Chinese Zodiac by Marie Sellier, Catherine Louis and Wang Fei (how the animals of the zodiac were selected and the origin of the enmity between cats and rats)
  • The Terrible Hodag by Catherine Arnold, illustrated by Lambert Davis (American logging tale, the unknown is often not as scary as we assume)
  • Finn McCool and the Great Fish by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Zachary Pullen (kindness helps the Irish giant gain wisdom)
  • Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur! A Palestinian Folktale retold by Margaret Read MacDonald, illustrated by Alik Arzoumanian (the pot granted to a childless woman is every bit as mischievous as human children)
  • Rabbit’s Snow Dance by James Bruchac and Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Jeff Newman (retro illustrations modernize this Iroquois tale explaining rabbit’s short tail)



One thought on “Picture Book Month 2012

  1. Thank you for participating! November is Picture Book Month. Read * Share * Celebrate!

    Dianne de Las Casas
    Founder, Picture Book Month

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *