Skip to main content

Orlando on Thursday written and illustrated by Emma Magenta

I really, really like the idea of a picture book that shows a (very young) child's day in a realistic way.  I think it is important for children to see their days, their lives depicted in important ways.  One of my absolute (out of print) favorites is Janet and Alan Ahlberg's The Baby's Catalog, inspired by their infant daughter's love of the catalogues that came in mail.  Emily Jenkin's (Toys Go Out) wonderful What Happens on Wednesdays, illustrated by Lauren Castillo.

What happens on Wednesdays is a lot like what happens on Thursdays for Orlando.  Mom goes off and Dad takes over.  It is so wonderful to see picture books depicting the shared parenting that, I think, is so common these days.  In all the families I have known over past 17+ years (mine included), Dad has taken the kids on his day off while Mom, wether she works or not, gets some alone time, too.  

Orlando narrates his story, telling us, "Thursday is the day Mami has to be busy in town all day.  I feel sad.  I don't like when she's gone all day.  Then I remember that Thursday is the day that Papi stays home with me.  I start to feel a little bit better."

Orlando and Papi play at home for a while, then head out to have an adventure.  Another magnificent thing about children spending time alone, individually with each parent, is the opportunity to benefit from the various interests that mom and dad each have.  I am not a nature gal by any stretch, but my husband is an Eagle Scout who loves taking the kids traipsing through creeks and hiking up mountains, which is great by me!  Papi bathes and feeds Orlando and gets him ready for bed, which is when Mami comes home!  They tuck him into bed and "read me funny stories with special sound effects."  Then, Orlando falls asleep happy because, "the best part of Thursdays is when Papi, Mami and me are all home together!"

Emma Magenta does a great job of capturing the perspective of a three or four year old while at the same time throwing in some of the complexities (that can sometimes spark tantrums) like the fact that Mami makes a different lunch than Papi.  Orlando experiences his emotions, his sadness and happiness, and ends up just where he (and listeners) want to be - between his parents.  The scribbly, collage-y illustrations might throw off mom and dad, but I guarantee you that toddlers will tune into them right away.  This book is PERFECT for kids between the ages of 3 and 5!

Emma Magenta has also illustrated a book by fellow Aussie (and famous, award winning actor, singer and new mom) Toni Colette!  However, I don't think Planet Yawn is available in the states just yet...


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…