Today I’m joining in on Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday fun.
If you don’t know Susanna yet, check her out here. Susanna writes books for children and her blog is a lot of fun. Other than Perfect Picture Book Friday, she also features Would You Read it Wednesdays–a chance for kid lit writers to try out their pitches (and get permission to eat chocolate for breakfast). Awesome, right?
So here’s a favorite in our family. It’s not without a bit of controversy, but hopefully you will give it a chance!
Written and Illustrated by: Chris Raschka, Scholastic, 1998
Suitable For: Ages 4 & up
Opening : “So you want to be sardine. I knew a little fish who once wanted to be a sardine.”
Brief synopsis (from Amazon.com review): Arlene starts out as a little fish who knows exactly what color her parachute is–the slippery gray-green of a sardine. Her career takes off when she and a few of her “ten hundred thousand friends” are caught in a purse net and thrown onto the deck of a fishing boat. After taking her last gilled gasp, Arlene is sorted, salted, smoked, packed in oil, et voilà, her dream has come true!
We love this book and keep it on our coffee table in our living room. The illustrations are beautiful, but the story is so surprising and unique. At first even we all wondered if perhaps this book was backed by PETA, but it’s not meant to be a cautionary tale. I think the Amazon review says it best:
“Grownups occasionally need reminding that for children, the concept of death is not nearly so fraught with fear and panic and heartache as it is for adults. Arlene isn’t much bothered by it either. She knows that sardines are, by definition, dead fish–she simply marks her target and shoots for it.”
“Delicately smoked” and “hermetically” sealed–there’s a smile on Arlene’s face at the end of this story.
Do you have a favorite picture book?
Don’t forget to check out Susanna’s blog (link above)!