November 4 – Zero Tasking Day

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-cover

About the Holiday

So that time of year has come around again—the time change, but the good one, the one where we gain an extra hour of sleep. But what to do with that extra hour? Should we really spend it sleeping when there are so many other things we can or should do? The people who instituted Zero Tasking Day says “Yes!” Or at least they think we should take it easy. So, instead of rushing around and filling up that extra hour, relax and take some time to really appreciate all the favorite things in your life—like the girl in today’s book.

Now

By Antoinette Portis

 

A girl, barefoot and with her arms raised high, runs through a field, feeling the exhilaration of the wind on her face. “This is my favorite breeze,” she says. She finds an apple-red maple leaf, which, at this moment, is her favorite. At the beach, she has dug hole after hole, but her favorite is the one she is making right now.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-cloud

Copyright Antoinette Portis, 2017, courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

In the mud that has splattered her ankles, she finds a pink, wriggly worm that tickles her palms when she picks it up. As the girl stretches out on a hill to watch the clouds float by, she decides that her favorite is “the one I am watching.” The best rain is one that creates a river in the street for her paper boat—the one that was her favorite until it sailed into the grate

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-tree

Copyright Antoinette Portis, 2017, courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

The most marvelous tree has sturdy branches for the girl to swing from, and a delicate, bell-shaped flower produces her “favorite smell.” There are many birds to feed at the park, but the one she likes the best is the one that comes close enough to eat out of her hand. Her favorite song is the one that swells inside her heart and bursts out with joy, and the most delicious gulp and bite are those that quench her thirst and calm her hunger.

Her favorite tooth leaves a gap in her smile “because it’s the one that is missing.” She and her squeezed-tight cat may differ on the best hug, but they probably agree that their favorite moon is the crescent outside the window tonight. But what is her favorite “Now?” It is this moment, because she is having it with you.”

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-boat

Copyright Antoinette Portis, 2017, courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

Antoinette Portis lends her unique perspective to this uplifting book that encourages kids—and, as readers see in the final image, adults—to live in the moment and become fully conscious of the present object, feeling, experience, or sensation. As the little girl’s favorites build on each other, readers become aware of a growing appreciation for all the small joys that make up a day. The theme of the book is revealed on the first page as the girl welcomes the refreshing breeze. The simply drawn, unencumbered illustrations mirror the simple pleasures that she finds everywhere. But look closer and there is more profound meaning in each.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-elephants

Copyright Antoinette Portis, 2017, courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

The veins in the maple leaf become the girl’s smile as she holds it to her face; her song radiates from her in a golden sun-shaped swirl; and the girl’s clothing changes through a year’s worth of experiences as it also matches the color of her feeling or activity, allowing her to become one with it. As readers reach the end of Now, they see two hands holding a book open to an image of an elephant and her calf, animals known for their strong family ties. This illustration leads into and strengthens the final page, where the girl and her mother sit reading that book together. The text and picture work in tandem to embrace the reader while letting both children and adults interpret the previous images in their own way.

Now is a beautiful, quiet book that reminds children and adults to slow down and truly enjoy the fleeting moments of life. It is a wonderful book to share and will open discussions of “favorite things” for home, classroom, and library story times.

Ages 3 – 6

Roaring Brook Press, 2017 | ISBN 978-1626721371

To learn more about Antoinette Portis and her books, visit her website.

Zero Tasking Day Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-sleepy-owls-maze

Sleepy Owls Sleepover Maze

 

One wide-awake owl wants to join friends as a sleepover. Can you help bring them together in this printable Sleepy Owls Sleepover Maze. Here’s the Solution!

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-cover

You can find Now at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Picture Book Review

November 2 – It’s National Gratitude Month

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-cover

About the Holiday

November has been designated as a time for reflecting on our lives and being grateful for our family, friends, opportunities, and the things we have. Often—as today’s book emphasizes—it’s good to look closely at the Now and not worry so much about the future in order to truly appreciate our particular gifts and the positive things in our lives. To celebrate Gratitude Month, take time to count your blessings and thank those who are important in you life.

Now

By Antoinette Portis

 

A girl, barefoot and with her arms raised high, runs through a field, feeling the exhilaration of the wind on her face. “This is my favorite breeze,” she says. She finds an apple-red maple leaf, which, at this moment, is her favorite. At the beach, she has dug hole after hole, but her favorite is the one she is making right now.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-cloud

Copyright Antoinette Portis, 2017, courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

In the mud that has splattered her ankles, she finds a pink, wriggly worm that tickles her palms when she picks it up. As the girl stretches out on a hill to watch the clouds float by, she decides that her favorite is “the one I am watching.” The best rain is one that creates a river in the street for her paper boat—the one that was her favorite until it sailed into the grate

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-tree

Copyright Antoinette Portis, 2017, courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

The most marvelous tree has sturdy branches for the girl to swing from, and a delicate, bell-shaped flower produces her “favorite smell.” There are many birds to feed at the park, but the one she likes the best is the one that comes close enough to eat out of her hand. Her favorite song is the one that swells inside her heart and bursts out with joy, and the most delicious gulp and bite are those that quench her thirst and calm her hunger.

Her favorite tooth leaves a gap in her smile “because it’s the one that is missing.” She and her squeezed-tight cat may differ on the best hug, but they probably agree that their favorite moon is the crescent outside the window tonight. But what is her favorite “Now?” It is this moment, because she is having it with you.”

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-boat

Copyright Antoinette Portis, 2017, courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

Antoinette Portis lends her unique perspective to this uplifting book that encourages kids—and, as readers see in the final image, adults—to live in the moment and become fully conscious of the present object, feeling, experience, or sensation. As the little girl’s favorites build on each other, readers become aware of a growing appreciation for all the small joys that make up a day. The theme of the book is revealed on the first page as the girl welcomes the refreshing breeze. The simply drawn, unencumbered illustrations mirror the simple pleasures that she finds everywhere. But look closer and there is more profound meaning in each.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-now-antoinette-portis-elephants

Copyright Antoinette Portis, 2017, courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

The veins in the maple leaf become the girl’s smile as she holds it to her face; her song radiates from her in a golden sun-shaped swirl; and the girl’s clothing changes through a year’s worth of experiences as it also matches the color of her feeling or activity, allowing her to become one with it. As readers reach the end of Now, they see two hands holding a book open to an image of an elephant and her calf, animals known for their strong family ties. This illustration leads into and strengthens the final page, where the girl and her mother sit reading that book together. The text and picture work in tandem to embrace the reader while letting both children and adults interpret the previous images in their own way.

Now is a beautiful, quiet book that reminds children and adults to slow down and truly enjoy the fleeting moments of life. It is a wonderful book to share and will open discussions of “favorite things” for home, classroom, and library story times.

Ages 3 – 6

Roaring Brook Press, 2017 | ISBN 978-1626721371

To learn more about Antoinette Portis and her books, visit her website.

National Gratitude Month Activity

celebrate-picture-bks-picture-book-review-thanksgiving-worksheets-i-spy-alphabet

Alphabet I Spy Gratitude Game

 

Things to be thankful for are all around you! What do you see? Find an entire alphabet of favorite things with this printable Alphabet I Spy Gratitude Game Page!

Picture Book Review

August 25 – Kiss and Make Up Day

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-best-frints-in-the-whole-universe-cover

About the Holiday

Even the best friends and closest relatives get into spats once in a while. The important thing is trying to see the issue from the other person’s point of view and finding a way to patch things up. Today’s holiday is all about saying “I’m sorry” or explaining the situation that started the argument in the first place. On the other side, it’s all about listening and accepting the apology.

Best Frints in the Whole Universe

By Antoinette Portis

 

Yelfrid and Omek live on the planet Boborp. They have been best frints since they were little blobbies. Staying frints on Boborp can be hard because “teef are long and tempers are short.” Which makes Boborp a little different than Earth, right? Hmmm… But just like here on Earth having frints is a good thing. And as “Yelfred and Omek know, best frints are the best frints of all.”

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-best-frints-in-the-whole-universe-peedle-pit

Image copyright Antoinette Portis, courtesy of us.macmillan.com

Yelfred and Omek do everything together, like eating streeeetchy noodles for yunch and playing eye ball in the peedle pit. The peedle pit is full of dangerous spikes and sometimes the eye ball gets stuck in the middle of the pit. “‘Bad frow! You go get it!’” Yelfred says. To which Olmek answers “‘Bad kratch! You go get it!’” This can go on for hours—even until nighttime when Boborp’s two moons rise in the sky.

Of course there are blurfdays on Boborp and frints share their blurfday presents. Like if one frint got a spossip they’d let their best frint fly it, right? Hmmm…. But the spossip owner might say “‘No! You’ll schmackle it to bits’” while the other counters, “‘I’m the best driver on Boborp! Let me have a turp!’” But sometimes frints can’t take “No” for an answer, and they borrow the spossip anyway, and sure enough the spossip might get schmackled.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-best-frints-in-the-whole-universe-bitten-tail

Image copyright Antoinette Portis, courtesy of us.macmillan.com

That’s when the teef can come out easier than the words, and things get a bit messy. One frint might even lose their tail, and the words, when they do come out, may not be so polite: “‘YOU SMACKLED BY SPOSSIP, you double-dirt bleebo!’” Frintship can be pretty hard under those circumstances. But real frints find a way to make up. Tails can grow back (even better than before), and spossips can be fixed with a spewdriver, glume, a sturpler, twire, and lots of taypo.

And on planet Boburp, frintships can grow back too—just like on plant Earth!

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-best-frints-in-the-whole-universe-fixing-sossip

Image copyright Antoinette Portis, courtesy of us.macmillan.com

What kid won’t love hearing and saying the words “blobbies,” “yunch,” “peedle pit,” “spossip,” and all the others?! Antoinette Portis’s tribute to the diversities and commonalities of friendship will have kids rolling with laughter. Portis’s made-up vocabulary promotes literacy while introducing the concept of foreign language learning. Portraying arguments and positive resolutions shows kids that while differences occur even between the best friends, mutual cooperation and loyalty wins out.

The boldly colored alien landscape of BoBurp with its oddly familiar toys, celebrations, games, food, and other objects will captures kids’ imaginations, and all the spikey mountains, plants, noodles, and peedle pits give physical form to the theme that sometimes friendship is fraught with danger, but relationships can be smoothed out.

Ages 3 – 7

Roaring Brook Press, 2016 | ISBN 978-1626721364

Follow the little bunny on Antoinette Portis‘s website to discover more of her books!

Kiss and Make Up Day Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-cute-kids-drawing-template

Otherworldly Friends Template

 

Imagine you and your friends lived on another planet. What would you look like there? What would you be called? Use this printable Otherworldly Friends Template to create this otherworldly world!

Picture Book Review