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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Help! by Holly Keller

Help! A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller is much MORE than just a story of friendship. With its exploration of gossip, dealing with hurt feelings, and doing the right thing despite being hurt, this title has tremendous storytime possibilities. This title should be in every school library and personally put in the hands of elementary guidance counselors. The printed collages or collographs are so amazing you should put this in the hands of every art teacher, too. 

I enjoyed the story and the illustrations on a quick first run-through. Then I read the book flap with the author’s description of how she created each image including using a mesh onion bag for Snake’s body to provide texture. I re-read the book carefully to note all the textures. And I reread it and I pondered. Then I went in the kitchen and began puttering with objects and some acrylic paint I had to try my own prints. Wow! I had such fun. I can’t imagine what my creative students will do when I share this on Tuesday. I’m taking this with me to an art teacher’s house today so we can play in paint. She has chickens, so I’ll be plucking a few feathers, finding some grain and more to add to my play prints.

Thank you for this title, Holly. I think it will go on my list of children’s lit titles to which every college student should be exposed. I did like the comments on this blog post mentioning the fact that snakes actually do eat mice.  Go out and get this book from HarperCollins! If you don’t believe me, go check out the review by Mary Jean Smith in SLJ. Mary Jean was my youngest son’s librarian and I hold her in the highest esteem. Brian, I love my slj website, but is there any way we can search by reviewer’s names? I’d like to see what else Mary Jean Smith has reviewed.