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The Picture Book Buzz

NOPE! - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Change is hard. And taking that next step, leaving the "nest," going to preschool, or kindergarten, is hard for many kids. Not that change is any easier for older kids or adults. I was excited to find a book that infuses laughter into coping with changes.

NOPE! A Tale of First Flight

Author/Illustrator: Drew Sheneman

Publisher: Viking Books (2017)

Age 3-5



Growing up, change, embracing new experiences, and imagination.

Synopsis (From Amazon):

A nurturing mama bird, a fearful baby, and a nest in a tall, tall tree. Ready, set, soar? Nope! Sweetly and humorously told, here is a sparkling debut about the joys that come from embracing new experiences, written and illustrated by nationally-syndicated cartoonist Drew Sheneman.

Opening Lines:

[Nearly wordless - the opening spread depicts mother bird returning to the nest and baby dashing to the edge of the nest. Only to discover how far up they are.]


Why I like this book:

The cartoon quality of the illustrations should also appeal to parents and even perhaps teens. I know I was enthralled, continually finding new gems in the illustrations. Using only nine words, Drew Sheneman makes a young bird's anxiety - about the tree's height and imagined possible dangers - entertaining and touching (even after multiple reads).

Text & Image © Drew Sheneman, 2017.

When that next step, daycare, preschool, kindergarten, college, etc seems like facing down a hungry lion or a vicious pack of dogs, this comic styled, nearly wordless book may be just the thing. Encouraging parents, as well as the kids, this story captures both the excitement and fear of steeping out on your own and the stoic, loving presence that often stands behind each of us. A great story to share with anyone facing change.

Related Activities:

- Develop a goodbye ritual and other ideas for easing separation anxieties ;

- Suggestions for dealing with regression or grief reactions to change and stress

- List of books coping with change (scroll to the end) for "Big Beginnings"

- Roll play going to school or the upcoming change with stuffed friends.

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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