Please welcome Maria Gianferrari today who is making lists of her favorite books in honor of her debut picture book out next week! You might recognize Maria from blog comments here; she always has the best book recommedations!
Mia kindly agreed to participate in my blog tour to celebrate the release of my debut picture book, Penny & Jelly: The School Show, illustrated by Thyra Heder, which will be published by HMH Books for Young Readers on July 7th.
In honor of my main character, Penny, who’s a list-maker, here are my Top 5 book recommendations pertaining to some of the book’s themes. Since Penny’s best friend is her canine companion, Jelly, these are some of my go-to picture books that highlight friendship.
Go-To Picture Books that Highlight Friendship
Frog & Toad series by Arnold Lobel
A classic friendship story—Frog and Toad always have each other’s backs.
George & Martha series by James Marshall
Two hilarious hippos like to play pranks on one another.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
When zookeeper Amos gets sick, his animal friends come to the rescue.
Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann
Birthday girl, Ginger finds a friend in odd Lyla Browning, who smells like old leaves, in this heartwarming story.
Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon
A sweet and touching story of friendship between a penguin and a pinecone that must returned to the forest.
Non Fiction Picture Books Of Unlikely Friendships
Tarra & Bella by Carol Buckley
A friendship between a stray dog, and a retired circus elephant that will melt your heart.
Owen & Mzee by Isabella & Craig Hatkoff
Another true friendship story between an orphaned baby hippo and a giant tortoise.
A fabulous friendship between an orangutan and a stray dog. The photos are so sweet!
Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson & Mary Nethery
A poignant and true story of a friendship between a dog and a cat orphaned after hurricane Katrina. Get your tissues ready!
Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer Holland
47 Stories highlighting all kinds of inter-species friendships creatures such as snakes, capybaras, iguanas, donkeys, goats, potbellied pigs, cats & rats, etc., with wonderful photographs.
One of Penny’s great strengths is her creativity. These books celebrate creativity and self-expression.
Picture Books Celebrating Creativity
My Pen by Christopher Myers
Brilliant black and white sketches come to life in this story about the power of the pen and imagination.
A prim and proper Victorian tiger explores his wild and colorful side. And it’s contagious.
I absolutely LOVE this book! Like my main character, Penny, Roget expressed himself through his word lists. The text is lovely and lyrical and so spot on, and Sweet’s stellar illustrations bring it to life.
The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan
An amazing biography of an artist well ahead of his time. His creations are wild and weird and will astound you.
This book makes me weep with joy and will make you love poetry. The main character, Elinor, struggles to find her voice, and write the perfect poem in time for the school assembly with a visiting poet.
And even though there are no birds in the story, I’m a bird nerd, so here are some beloved bird book recommendations.
Beloved Bird Picture Books
You Nest Here with Me by Jane Yolen & Heidi Stemple, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
A lyrical bird lullaby, with stunning illustrations by Melissa Sweet (can you tell she’s also one of my favorite illustrators?)
I love the refrain and rhythm of this gentle story, with lovely artwork.
Spectacular collage art by Steve Jenkins, coupled with Ward’s soothing story, make this a winning picture book with a familiar beat. Can you hear what it is?
Alex the Parrot, No Ordinary Bird: A True Story by Stephanie Spinner, illustrated by Meilo So
Based on the true story of Alex, the famous African grey parrot, trained by psychologist Irene Pepperberg. He could understand thousands of words, count, calculate and speak. I also enjoyed her book about their relationship, Alex & Me.
A fun, rhythmic read aloud that explores cool bird beaks and their functions.
And last but not least, here are some of Penny & Jelly’s favorite dog books.
Favorite Dog Picture Books
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson
Ooh-la-la! I LOVE this book, and you will too! Merveilleux!
Hound from the Pound by Jessica Swaim, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Rollicking rhyme from Swaim and adorable illustrations of Hound and his slew of shelter dog friends. McElmurry’s illustrations are sweet and funny.
My Father the Dog by Elizabeth Bluemle, illustrated by Randy Cecil
This is oh, so LOL funny, and a such great read aloud.
Little Dog Lost by Monica Carnesi
Based on the true story of a dog stranded on an ice floe in the Baltic sea, and his rescue by research vessel, R/V Baltica, where he’s christened Baltic, and finds a new home.
Dogku by Andrew Clement, illustrated by Tim Bowers
A stray pooch named Mooch finds a forever home in this heartwarming haiku story.
Signed Giveaway of Penny & Jelly: The School Show
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Maria writes both fiction and nonfiction picture books from her sunny, book-lined study in northern Virginia, with dog, Becca as her muse. Maria’s debut picture book, Penny & Jelly: The School Show, illustrated by Thyra Heder, will be released on July 7th, 2015 (HMH Books for Young Readers). A companion Penny & Jelly book titled, Penny & Jelly Slumber Under the Stars, will be released in June 2016. Maria has five additional books forthcoming from Roaring Brook and Boyds Mills Presses as well as Aladdin Books for Young Readers in the coming years. To learn more about Maria, visit her website or on Facebook. And you can visit Penny & Jelly at their website. I love talking books! Thanks so much for letting me stop by, Mia!
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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE FOR PENNY & JELLY: THE SCHOOL SHOW
Friday, June 26th: Kidlit411
Monday, June 29th: Miss Marple’s Musings
Tuesday, June 30th: Pragmatic Mom
Wednesday, July 1st: Watch Connect Read
Thursday, July 2nd: Kidlitfrenzy
Friday, July 3rd: Writing for Kids While Raising Them
Monday, July 6th – Friday, July 10th: Emu’s Debuts
Monday, July 13th: Bildebok
Tuesday, July 14th: HMH Picture Book Parade
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