ThePictureBookPusher Publishes her First 20 Picture Books!



A.K.A  all twenty of my students posed for a picture holding their prized original picture books. Written by them, and edited and published by The Picture Book Pusher. The theme was… theme! The students chose their story line, and genre. As long as they could identify the genre of their story in writing, and include an epilogue at the end of their book, they could create as they please!  Let’s take a moment to admire their illustrations.

First I asked the young authors to hold up their front covers. Here’s a sampling of my first-graders’ artistic flare.

(student on the right, in the above photo, is not holding up her front cover, but, as we say around here, all is good.)

(student on the right, in the above photo, is sporting a gold medal for his achievement in reading! Presented to him by none other than Dr. Bookmark himself! Don’t know who Dr. Bookmark is? Google him!)

Then, I asked the students to please hold up for the camera, an illustrated page they are most proud of.
(Above photo critique: Don’t really know what’s best, this kid’s writing or his picture! I guess I’ll go with the writing, and let his picture below take first-place for illustration! Couldn’t choose just one page to flaunt for the camera, so I let him show two.)
What I love best about the above drawing, is the illustrator’s ability to illustrate the words, “but my Uncle Bill does not do only that”. Notice the large colored-pencil-portrait of ‘Uncle Bill’ the bird.  It portrays Uncle Bill thinking of his adventures;  building suspense in the reader via visuals.  The stark contrast in size, between all three bird drawings above, allow the reader to feel a sense of greater significance in Bill’s yet-unmentioned, “not only that”s in comparison to his “only eat”, “and  sleep” habits. Though both habits are illustrated as well, the drawings are small, yet detailed, in the left-side margin of this page. First you see the miniature ‘Uncle Bill’  eating what looks like a Boom Box, but is really some bird food surely. Below the hungry ‘Uncle Bill’ is, Uncle Bill catching some zzzzzz’s.
Here are two illustrations side by side.  My focus, in the drawing on the left, is that gorgeous sun! The penciled details in the sun, resemble heat waves, and multi-temperatured rays of sunlight. The drawing on the right brings me right to that swing set! It makes me feel like I’m in the 80’s swinging on those classic metal swings! I love the realistic chain-effect those simple circle drawings give the swings!  (The blotches of white in the photo, are my attempt to keep the student’s anonymity)
Amazing.  The name of his story is, Martin, Obama, and Me.  I must admit, that I am in love with this story. This student entered my classroom in the Fall with a lot of embarrassment and disconnectedness to his heritage and beliefs. His family are refugees from an African nation. This student had to tell me everyday that he is not African, and that he only speaks English. He was embarrassed to be different, even though there were other students from other African nations in our class.  With the right Social Studies curriculum, picture books, and the utmost mindfulness, this student is now super super super proud to learn about other African-Americans, and reps Africa like no other. He now teaches the class on his family’s country’s culture. During snack time, he brings students over to the map, and talks about Africa, and writes words for them, in his mother’s native tongue. Again, I did not guide the children into choosing certain story topics. I also let this student know that he didn’t have to write about a person he learned about.
I apologize for the glare.  Don’t you just love the spiked hair on the boy holding the flower? My favorite element to this illustration is the horizon of flower buds up top. Cheerful effect, letting the reader know that ‘Omar’ and ‘Adriana’ are indeed good friends to have.
What is this student thinking, drawing Martin sharing a delectably stacked ice-cream cone with a talking flower?  Surely something wonderful. Indeed. (This is a different author than the previously mentioned MLK aficionado)
Here are some more illustrations, without the scripted breakdown of my favorite parts and such.
Thank you for taking the time to appreciate a 7 year old’s illustrations.  I’d also like to thank the Life is Good® Playmakers for appreciating my students’ picture books as well.  We were fortunate enough to meet up with the LIG Playmakers, for a roof top lunch, where we ate and shared with them our stories.  Don’t know who the Life is Good® Playmakers are? Google them! Or check them out here:
Below is a picture of Playmaker Rolland with one of the student’s stories during our roof top lunch!
Not only did my students travel almost 4 miles, pedestrian style, with their picture books in hand, to visit the Playmakers for lunch….
We also played!
*amusing disclaimer:   The 4-mile trip on foot, does not include the distance we traveled by train. We did in fact walk 4 miles round trip. So proud of these kids!
Thank you for reading another post by The Picture Book Pusher.

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