"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

10/3/14

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon

For those of you were "here" a few months ago, you know I found this fun little blog hop thing about three weeks before it went on a summer break. Well, it's back (a few weeks back, actually), and I am finally feeling like I have time to jump in. Thanks, Susanna Hill, for giving us a place to share our favorite picture books! (Check out her ever-expanding list of perfect picture books here - and check out what she, and several others, are adding to the list here at her blog)

Title: Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon
Author: Patty Lovell
Illustrator:  David Catrow
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile, 2012, Fiction
Age Range: 5-8 years
Theme/Topics: imagination, found art/objects, friendship

First Page:Molly Lou Melon's toy chest overflowed with whoseywhatsits of all shapes and sizes. Her grandma had told her, "Back in the olden days, I didn't have fancy dolls or action figures. I made toys out of twigs, leaves and flowers like hollyhocks an daisies."

Synopsis: Molly Lou Melon has a house full of plastic toys and gewgaws, but her grandmother never did, and she tells her granddaughter about how she made playthings from found objects when she was young. In spread after spread, the youngster learns to use her imagination. When a new girl moves in next door, Molly Lou introduces her to this new way of playing, but Gertie is stuck in the modern, TV-watching, static-toy world. Of course, Molly Lou is eventually able to turn the tide, showing that imagination rules.

Resources:The website Teach Mentor Texts has a post on this book, with several activities to go along with it. Check it out here . Any activity that challenges kids to use the things around them to have fun (and I'm not talking their tablets or Xboxes!) would go PERFECTLY with this story.

Why I love it:Molly Lou's imagination is CRAZY creative, and the illustrations show it so well. You really do have to see her creations to believe them. I also love her spunk and persistence and self-confidence. And while this story easily could have been preachy, Patty Lovell pulls off a message without being didactic. And don't forget to check the illustrations out - plenty of fun details to find!

 Hope you'll give this book a look - and check out the OTHER perfect picture books for today at Susanna's blog.

 
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1

26 comments:

  1. I've heard about this one, but now I'll have to make an extra effort to find it. Thanks. This goes well with the Goldie Blox theme Susanna had going a couple of weeks ago. Fun!

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    1. Be sure you do :D. Enjoyed this one so VERY much :)

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  2. I love the title! Along the lines of Sophie's Squash (which is also about turning something unusual into a plaything)

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    1. Yes - I do see the similarities! And the title was definitely what drew me to it - but the story kept me. Thanks for stopping by, Sue!

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  3. We need books like this. It is a fact now that TV and too much online activity decreases the imagination in kids. Something many of us knew all along.

    Thanks for introducing this one to us,Joann. I'm going to see if my library has it right now. :)

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    1. My kids (especially my son!) need this too - and probably me as well :) Hope you can find it - thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Great book/resource for parents and teachers. I remember when we used our imaginations to build airplanes we just knew would fly etc. What a wonderful way to encourage kids to use their imaginations and be creative.

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    1. Absolutely agreed, Pat. Thanks for stopping by, and for the encouraging words!

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  5. Sounds FUN!! You find the coolest books! =]

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    1. It totally is! And when you read one a day, you're gonna find some cool ones for sure :) (Doesn't hurt that this one was a recommendation either - but still!)

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  6. I would just love to see the illustrations to this. I want to know exactly what she makes.

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    1. I hope you can get your hands on it, Joanna - it's FABULOUS! Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Love this! Our family loves making things with our hands! Thanks for the post.

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    1. You should definitely give this book a look then, Jilianne! Lots of fun. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. When I saw the title on Susanna's blog I thought, how cute. Now I see the cover is just gorgeous and such fun for kids. Must check this out! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Isn't Molly Lou the cutest? Such a fun book - hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :)

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  9. That Molly Lou is a favorite at my school. This looks like a fun one! Thanks!

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    1. You're very welcome - and thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I think this is a series? We have a Molly Lou book in our school library (newly acquired). I'll have to check it out.

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    1. I know there is at least one other, Kirsten. It's lots of fun.

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  11. Kids were never bored years ago, because everything became a toy. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. So true - and this book is a great reminder of this. Thanks for stopping by, Jarm!

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  12. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon was an adored staple in our house for years, but I had no idea there was another Molly Lou story! Thank you so much for telling us, because I will certainly have to read it! I love the premise of the story too. Although we have plenty of toys in our house, we've always tried to err toward blocks, tinker toy, legos etc - things you can use your imagination to build out of. And there was a great (funny!) article a while back about how the 5 best toys were a cardboard box, a wrapping paper tube, a stick, a string, and dirt or something like that :)

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    1. Too fun - and FUNNY! And now I ABSOLUTELY need to pick up Stand Tall! Thanks, Susanna!

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  13. This sounds like a fun one. I certainly like it when my kiddo chooses imagination over so many other distractions.

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    1. Me too - for sure. Thanks for stopping by, Stacy! It's a delightful book.

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Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!


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