Picture Book for Kids with Imaginary Friends
I met Eric S. Perl when she came to Wellesley, MA for her Chicken Butt book tour two years ago. A dear Mom Friend of mine was her neighbor when they both lived in Cambridge, MA and this Mom Friend introduced me to her first book, 93 in My Family. My Mom Friend started a our preschooler book club and kicked off the book club with 93 in My Family. My son loved that book and a subsequent book club meeting centered around her book signing in Wellesley.
I have to say that Erica does a fantastic book tour presentation. There were songs! There were chicken cookies! There was a chicken hat on her head! She talked about the evolution of her book and showed the mock ups that she created to show her publisher. All in all, she was engaging to both child and adult. In fact, she was riveting! If you ever get the chance to attend her book signing, I would highly recommend it.
I ended up purchasing with all three of her books; I have three kids so each kid got an autographed book. 93 in My Family and Chicken Butt are still being read with great delight. Chicken Bedtime is Very Early is not as popular but makes for a great and quiet bedtime story. (I suspect that this book is less popular because somehow the illustrations just are not as appealing as her two other books).
Speaking of illustrations, it’s a little strange to me that each of Erica’s book has a different illustrator. I suppose that she may have different publishers (didn’t actually check that), or that the publisher matches an illustrator by storyline or availability. I, however, am a big believer in branding. Having a consistent look and feel to her books would make her work more recognizable. I suppose that because her books are stand alones as opposed to a series that this is not a high priority for her publisher but I still wish they would.
Ok. I’m glad I got that off my chest.
Onto her new book. Because I blog so enthusiastically about Erica, I suspect I got on her list for a blog tour of new latest book. Since I know that I would buy any book by Erica, I was happy to get free copy. And having read her last three books repeatedly, I did have some preconceived ideas of her work.
Imagine my surprise when I read her newest picture book, Dotty:
- There are no chickens involved whatsoever!
- The book does not rhyme!
- The theme of the book tackles twin issues of growing up and fitting in.
- The book celebrates The Teacher Who Makes a Difference!
Ida is a little girl with a big imagination. Her imaginary pet Dotty (perhaps part cow and part pig or part ox) goes everywhere with her. Dotty has plenty of imaginary friend company at first — her classmate Max had Pete and Repeat, Benny had Spike and Katya brought tiny Keekoo. But over time, only Dotty remained; the others had disappeared as the children grew up. The children’s imaginary pets reflect themselves: Ida seems a little shy; Max sometimes has difficulty sharing; Benny gets cranky also if he misses his nap; and Katya is a chatterbox like Keekoo. (I noticed this on my 6th reading of Dotty. My five-year-old son loves this book!)
One day, when Katya notices Ida’s blue string, she teases Ida about Dotty. A little scuffle ensues and both girls have to write apology notes to each other. Ida wants to tell her teacher about Dotty and why the incident happened but she’s too shy. Her teacher seems to understand perfectly … she has a red string herself for Gert, her imaginary pet that keeps her company while she grades papers!
Hooray for teachers with that special knack of understanding their students. Don’t we all wish and pray for these teachers for our children? And, if we are very lucky, we get that special teacher and our child has the most magical school year imaginable! Hooray for teachers, children’s imagination, and ability to find magic in everyday life! [picture book, for ages 3-6]
I am part of a Blog Book Tour for Dotty. If you want to read other reviews, please see the schedule and check out their blogs — there are some great blogs on this tour!
Connect with Dotty
Blog Tour Schedule:
9/4 Pragmatic Mom
9/7 Links to Literacy
9/9 The Hiding Spot
To view any book at Amazon, please click on the image of book.