Just looking at the cover, several kids were able to figure out that Brock might be an imaginary friend ... which he is. But to Philip, he is as real as can be. So real that he gets left behind at the big fair. Will the two reunite? Almost every single student I read this to voted to keep it on our list. They LOVED it.
Goodrich, a RISD graduate and artist who was the lead character designer for Brave, Ratatouille, and Despicable Me, has a lot of the artwork from this book posted on his web site. Many picture books these days are 32 pages, but this one is 48; most of the pages only have a couple of sentences, while the artwork tells a lot of the story. In fact, this could probably work without any words at all.
Stanley was a big hit as well. The students noticed features in the illustrations that I had missed, such as the blurry picture on the TV screen, and the poor cat's appearance every few pages after having experienced some of Stanley's activities.
The Penguin site has a 3-page activity PDF that you can download and then color, do a maze, or cut out memory cards and play.
The Princess and the Pony
Room 1 took one look at the cover of this book and began to literally ROTFL (see photo below). I have loved Beaton's work for years; her Hark! a Vagrant! web site (for grownups only!) features comics about historical figures and literary characters that make me laugh. She has a new site for her new picture book career that includes coloring pages with characters from The Princess and the Pony.
Oh, dear, while pulling files for this section, I just learned that Beaton is Canadian and therefore not eligible to win a real Caldecott. Well, we'll leave her on our list for now anyways.