Augustus and His Smile

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday — A day created by that “Amazing Babe” Susanna Leonard Hill to celebrate Perfect Picture Books. That’s a powerful word – PERFECT. What does it mean exactly? What IS a PERFECT Picture Book? I guess that that would be somewhat different for each reader – be they man, woman, child, or — dog!

For this library dog, a perfect picture book is one that begs to be read over and over. When my reader says “AGAIN!” — That’s PERFECT. A PERFECT picture book brings out emotions. It might be smiles and laughter. When I hear giggles and chuckles and howling laughter — That’s PERFECT. It might be sighs of wonder. “OHHHH!”  “AHHHH!” It might be sighs of sadness. “OH, NO!” — That’s PERFECT. A PERFECT picture book has fantastic illustrations that beg to be looked at closely. When I hear “don’t turn the page just yet!” — That’s PERFECT.

A PERFECT picture book pulls the reader in to become part of the story.

Today I give you a PERFECT picture book that has all of those things.

IMG_1452Augustus and His Smile
by Catherine Rayner
published by Good Books in 2006

Themes – smiles!, finding JOY!

a fiction book suitable for pre-K and up

It begins —
Augustus the tiger was sad.
He had lost his smile.

With the very first words and the very first picture you are sucked right in to this story! You can feel the tiger’s sadness. It makes your mouth droop. Right off, my readers were sighing “Oh, poor tiger!” And the search began to find Augustus’s smile. The words are spare and the illustrations are big and bold – like a tiger. Augustus searched high and low and far and wide. And with each page turn you can see just an inkling of an upturned mouth on Augustus. I heard “LOOK! Look at his mouth! It’s there Augustus! It’s there!” “Oh look! He found it!” “Read it again!”

IMG_1454Augustus found that his smile was with him all the time! He only had to follow his JOY to bring it out! And it sure brought out smiles on my readers!! A most PERFECT picture book!!

What brings a smile to your face? My Mom Person plays a game with My Favorite Girl. “Three Things I Love.”  Each morning or evening, they each have to tell three things that they love. Three things that bring a smile. And that little game always makes them both smile!

In your classroom, or whatever, you could have your readers make lists or draw pictures of things that make them smile.

Gather some rocks and paint them with big happy face smiles. Let them sit on the kids’ desks or tables and every time you look at them — guess what? SMILE!

For your smiling pleasure – some happy, smiley tigers!

Now you might want to drop by Ms Susanna Hill’s blog and check out the other PERFECT Picture Books and all the fun resources to go with!

Your friend
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Clap Your Hands!!

This is a JOYOUS, Clap your hands, dance a jig kind of day!  We just had 2 full days of glorious rain with NO thunder! My buddy Cisco is happy about that! The grass is happy. The river is happy. The water tank is happy. The fire department is happy. A JOYOUS day!

And to go with the JOYOUS day I present to you TWO JOYOUS books!  The 1st one is a fun, interactive, get your body moving book called Clap Your Hands! by Lorinda Bryan Cauley. It was published in 1992 by The Putman & Grosset Group. It is suitable for all ages. The illustrations are full of life and laughter with funny animals all dressed up along with kids romping through the book in a kind of follow the leader game. This book is meant to be read out loud and it is meant for kids to be up and moving. And kids do need some fun, active, wiggle time to wake up their brains! Each page offers a different instruction from Clap your hands, stomp your feet to rub your tummy, pat your head. From stick out your tongue and touch your nose to close your eyes and count to four. Silliness and fun is what it’s all about!


Copy of IMG_0354Here’s a fun video from a group called Hullabaloo performing Everybody Clap Your Hands. And another one from the Mother Goose Club.
And a website all about handclapping games. Enjoy!!

The next book is another interactive, get moving JOYOUS book. But this one is all about dogs! It’s called Polly Molly Woof Woof, a Book About Being Happy by David Lloyd and illustrated by Charlotte Hard. It was published in 2000 by Candlewick Press. Candlewick Press sure puts out some nice books! This book is suitable for kids 2 and up. It’s all about sniffing and barking. Dogs having a party! It invites the reader to join in the fun and bark and sniff along.


From the 1st page — “A funny thing happened on one lovely happy sunny summer day when Polly took Molly to the park.” Molly was happy and barked in a great loud voice. Woof! Woof! Woof! And when she met other dogs, they went sniff! sniff! sniff! and woof! woof! woof! They all had a great sniffing, woofing party and their kids all laughed a lot.  This book gets your imagination going, thinking about how different dogs might sound and sniff. And why do they all sniff each other?! Because that’s how we say “Hello!”

And here’s what a dog party looks like at my house —

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Here is a clip of Bret McKenzie and Kermit the frog singing “Life’s a Happy Song”
And then there’s this one Happy Dog!!

Now if you’d like to visit Susanna Hill you might find some more fabulous picture books!
A JOYous PPBF to you all!
And now I have 294 more to read in 2013!