Tuesday, March 6, 2018

ReFoReMo Day 4: Baptiste Paul Digs Theme



Grasping any concept is an important tool. Similarly, understanding the big ideas or themes in a story can make it extremely enjoyable and rewarding. Picture book creators are great at using simple words or just illustrations to get that message across. The next time you read a picture book pay close attention to how the author uses certain words or word combinations and how the illustrator uses colors to drive those themes. The following five titles are just a few of the picture books one can use for exploring themes with young readers.  


















I like it when people objectively read something without me nudging them in a certain direction. There are many themes in the books I chose and I want this to be a pure exchange between the reader and his/her audience and vice versa. That aha moment is something that people remember for a very long time and something no one can ever take away.




Baptiste is giving away a 15-30 minute classroom Skype visit or critique! To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must comment on each post, be registered, and consistently read picture books throughout the challenge.

Happy Book Birthday, Baptiste! The Field: Born March 6, 2018.



Baptiste Paul is the Author of The Field. He is a man of many talents—from woodworking to gardening to entertaining hoards of children for hours on end. Born and raised in the Caribbean Island of Saint Lucia, Baptiste is a native Creole/Patois speaker and enjoys roasting his own coffee and chocolate. Baptiste currently resides with his family in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Visit baptistepaul.net to learn more about upcoming titles.






194 comments:

  1. I love how the illustrations in Rain are gray and gloomy with the word no and bright and sunny on the word yes.

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  2. My students love I Wish You More. Looking forward to digging into some of these other titles.

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  3. In FLOAT, I love how the first newspaper, showing a boat picture, is folded into a boat and how after the adventure goes awry and the kid is hugged, dried, & warmed with cocoa, the next newspaper (with a plane picture) is folded into a plane. The storm is over and we're all set for the next adventure. Thanks Baptiste for introducing me to a book I hadn't read before!

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  4. I own two of these books but couldn't find the others. But they are each unique and make me think of their deeper meanings. Oliver Jeffers explores fear of the unknown and taking risks. I wish you more is almost like a love letter and it seems to wrap its arms around the reader.

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  5. Love how the illustration in King Jack and the Dragon are black and white in the real world and are in color for their imaginary world. Great selection of books with surprising contrasts.

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  6. Thank you! I have read 2 of these, the others are new to me. I'll try to get them this week!

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  7. Thanks for your post and excellent list of mentor texts. I appreciate your point about how specific colors, word combinations, etc. are important components of theme.

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  8. Thank you for the gentle nudge through this selection of books. I've read and loved the book I Wish You More (and all books by Amy Krause Rosenthal).

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  9. These books impress on me how much words matter (my pet phrase). Simple words and thoughts that teach or remind us of the important things in life.

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  10. Happy Book Birthday, Baptiste. Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Happy Book Birthday! What a wonderful day/feeling/moment! I adore books with strong themes echoed throughout. Can't wait to read those on your list that I haven't read!

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  12. Thank you for bringing these books to my attention. I agree on the importance of theme in children's books-we, as writers, need to know what our intentions are with theme BEFORE we write.

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  13. I love your open-ended post. Thank you for forcing us to do the work and discover for ourselves how these authors/illustrators create theme and hopefully do that in our own stories.

    On another note, your list--while wonderful--is 72% male and 28% female in an industry where the actual demographics are the opposite. Kindly making you aware in the hopes that you'll think about this next time and do better!

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  14. Enjoyed this selection. Float was lovely with the theme of yellow and I loved the words and illustrations of I wish you more!

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  15. happy book birthday to you. I want to know more about Field. i enjoyed reading all of these book. More made me go and check all the books by Amy Krause Rosenthal. Once again these books show the importance of every word or lack tgere of and the importance of the illustrations. i marvel at how different each tutor wad but hey the same type of books, slices of every day life. thank you Baptiste. I an amazed how much I learn every day by reading the other comments.

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  16. I love how the authors and illustrators set a mood and tone that take the reader on a journey. Only one book is familiar to me. Thank you for introducing us to these books.

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  17. Thinking about "What is the theme?" and how to convey it in a simple way is difficult and these are masterful.

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  18. Congrats on publishing your book! I love books that have that aha moment.

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  19. Happy Book Birthday! Thanks for sharing these "big theme" books.

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  20. Alice Carty FulgioneMarch 6, 2018 at 8:27 AM

    I also love how picture books really get their message across using just the right words and illustrations. I certainly will remember to focus in on the specific words used when I'm reading your suggested books.

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  21. Finding themes is an area that I am particularly weak on, so I appreciated the open-endedness and challenge of finding them! Thanks!

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  22. What a beautiful post--thanks for the suggestions!

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  23. I love your book choices and the themes they suggest! Congratulations on your PB debut - I look forward to reading THE FIELD!

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  24. Love the use of color and light in Float, you can really get a sense of mood. A bonus of the book-the end pages are fantastic!

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  25. Thank you for your observation. I'm impress on how much words matter in picture books. Good selection!

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    1. Oooh, happy book birthday! Your post was timely for me, because I'm focusing on the theme of a manuscript under consideration right now, and I'm realizing how important it is! There are so many layers to writing pbs, and theme is a biggie! Thanks so much, Baptiste! (Hope you guys aren't too buried under snow right now - the northern part of the state didn't get hit as hard this time.) :)

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  27. As an author, I didn't realize how much illustrators use color to stress themes. Thanks for the insight!

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  28. Thank you for this thoughtful post. Your point about the "pure exchange between the reader and his audience" is important, the layers of communication, of understanding, and the "aha moment". I love books that leave me with a nugget to mull over that stays with me years to come. Thank you for this discussion of theme, of the power of words and illustration. I look forward to reading THE FIELD.

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  29. Themes and aha moments: thanks for sharing some of your favorites. Some I know and some I don't and looking forward to exploring theme in them when I get home from vacation tomorrow!

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  30. Thanks for sharing these titles. They're all new to me. Guess it's time to head back to the library! Have a great day. :)

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  31. Happy book birthday, Baptiste. Many new titles for me to dig into here, along with a few of my already-favorite authors! Love the cover art on Float. Can't wait to see the rest of it.

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  32. Congrats on your new book, Baptiste! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and these great themed books.

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  33. I Know there are alot of books that have stayed with me. I really liked I Wish You More.
    The line I wish you more stories than stars, has stayed with me. That is what reading is all about.

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  34. What lovely book selections for us today. Thank you!

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  35. The remember able aha moment, couldn’t agree more! Thank you!

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  36. I'll look for gentle nudges. Thanks!

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  37. Baptiste, congratulations on The Field!
    I loved what you said about "the aha moment" the reader experiences. It's like a secret understanding with the author.
    Rain is a beautiful book - I'm working on getting the others.
    Another title where the theme is conveyed beautifully in the illustrations is The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig. The unpopular main character is depicted in gray tones as he goes unnoticed by his teacher and classmates, while the other characters are in color. When the boy acts kindly toward another child and begins to be noticed for his talents, he becomes more colorful.
    Thanks for a great post, Baptiste!

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  38. Good reminder that we need to look at both words and art and how they work together to convey theme. Thanks, Baptiste!

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  39. Subtlety sounds like the key, allowing the reader to discover. Thanks, Baptiste!

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  40. Some old favorites here and a couple new favorites, in particular Float. Such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

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  41. This is wonderful...thanks for sharing!

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  42. Theme is so important in picture books. Love this list of books! Thank you!

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  43. I appreciate your perspective on these titles. Sometimes with these themed books, someone needs to ask the questions when reading them aloud and the child reader observes details even an adult does not necessarily recognize. Congratulations on your new book!

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  44. I don't usually like wordless books, and yet found myself totally intrigued by "Float". And totally loved King Jack and his knights - what a fun selection of books.

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  45. I'm adding these to my list. Thank you!

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  46. I love the when illustrations and theme weave together so seamlessly that you are comprehending a storyline that isn't written in the text. Happy Book Birthday Baptiste!

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  47. Baptiste - Happy Book Birthday & Congrats! See you on Saturday. :)

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  48. I enjoyed how the theme of love shines through literally in the yellow parts of the illustrations in FLOAT.

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  49. Your topic has gently nudged me into looking at my own approach to theme. Thank you for your insight.

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  50. Wonderful mentor texts for looking at themes. Thank you, Baptiste!

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  51. Aww, Baptiste, topic near to my heart. I always love infusing theme in my word choices. And, I, too, like to comp w/what the theme is re; books I'm reading or have read. So much different than the tried and true themes taught to kidskin school. A theme that speaks to the reader directly IS magical.

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  52. Wonderful selections and insight! I'm a sucker for rhyming books done well and King Jack and the Dragon was great. I love the contrast of black and white with the color. All of them had such beautiful words or beautiful pictures, or both! and it definitely gives me something to think about. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on your book!

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  53. Thank you for this interesting post!

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  54. Happy Book Birthday, Baptiste! And thanks for the selection of mentor texts on theme. I didn't realize illustrators use color to drive theme. Thanks for the insight.

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  55. Thank you for the great post. I WISH YOU MORE is one of my favorites. So relatable for children and adults.

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  56. I loved the interview I listened to online with Baptiste. We are blessed to have him share his wisdom. I still have several of these yet to read, but I am enjoying the comments!

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  57. Congrats on book release, Baptiste! Thanks for sharing these books.

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  58. These are all such beautiful books with very different themes. Their key commonality? Heart.

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  59. How exciting to have a new book! Congratulations, Baptiste. Looking forward to reading some of your suggested titles here that I hadn't seen yet.

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  60. Thank you for introducing me to these books and looking forward to THE FIELD and its ties to soccer which little boys don't find enough books on this subject.

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  61. Happy book birthday, can't wait to read it!

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  62. The use of color in Colette's Lost Pet by Isabella Arsenault amazed me. Good to keep in mind as we study the texts. Thanks!

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  63. "That aha moment is something that people remember for a very long time and something no one can ever take away." Love this line, Baptiste :) Thank you for today's post filled with terrific examples!

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  64. Love today’s post! Many thanks Bapiste! Looking forward to getting these books I have not read yet! Happy Book Birthday🎂!

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  65. Thank you, Baptiste. I love how word choice and color in illustrations can set the mood and tone of a story.

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  66. Great selection of books. Every word matters so much. Thank you for the post and the quiet space to take in the themes.

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  67. Thanks Baptiste! Love your book recommendations. Glad you're part of the ReFoReMo family!

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  68. Finding the *aha moment* is important element of a picture book. It's a *light bulb moment* of brightness.

    Thank you, Baptise.
    Suzy Leopold

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  69. I love when stories are told so eloquently through illustration alone. It makes me wish I were an artist. Float is one of those books! Another favorite is Bubble Bubble!

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  70. It's amazing how much depth there can be a few simple perfect words.

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  71. It was interesting to read some books that weren't by American-born authors. Sometimes they have a slightly different feel to them.

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  72. I just finished Float and Rain. Both show us how spare or no words can carry greater meaning. Thanks for sharing.

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  73. A great reminder to let theme be part of the work of showing vs. telling. Thanks!

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  74. Some beautiful books. Looking forward to learning from them.

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  75. Small words, big ideas - I love that!

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  76. Out of the five on your list, I haven't read FLOAT. I usually discover the theme of a story as I'm revising.

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  77. Thank you for your post--and congratulations! In The Way Back Home, I especially liked the final page. It became the perfect "launchpad" (yes, pun intended!) for a creative discussion.

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  78. Thanks, Baptiste. I think discovering the theme in a book takes a little reflection. I am enjoying reading your recommendations and doing just that. So far, my favorite is King Jack and the Dragon.

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  79. Happy book birthday, and thank you for these great examples! I love how the art works with the themes in these stories.

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  80. I enjoyed this post on theme. It also generated a lot of responses which I also learned from. Thank you, Baptise.

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  81. I loved this post so much, especially your comment at the end about avoiding to nudge the reader in a certain direction or another. The books you shared certainly do that, and I did *love* those moments of insight. It’s true, nobody can take that enjoyment away! Thank you so much, Baptiste!

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  82. Thank you, Baptiste, for reminding us to look for theme. So simple, but do we forget what we know sometimes?

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  83. Great list of books - thank you! Super excited to read your new book as well!

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  84. Thank you, Baptiste. I look forward to reading your book and the examples you gave us!

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  85. Reading Float, my heart started to race. The illustrations reminded me of the opening scenes of the movie IT!
    Thankfully Float has a happier ending!

    I loved the use of the word giant in The Way Back Home. I always enjoy reading from the child’s perspective.

    And I Wish you More is just such a beautiful concept. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s selections. Thank you, Baptiste!

    Good luck with the book!

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  86. Lovely selection of books to 'take your time' while reading.

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  87. I love how FLOAT is told entirely through pictures. I'm an author, not an illustrator, so I'm always amazed by people doing things that I can't. -Chantal Ostroske

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  88. Happy book birthday, Baptiste! I look forward to checking out THE FIELD. I love the way the refrain and escalation work in RAIN. And the watercolors are gorgeous!

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  89. Just put down FlOAT and read RAIN for bedtime last night. Thank you for this post!

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  90. Happy book birthday! Thanks for the gentle and thoughtful post.

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  91. Wonderful selection of books. I've found a few new mentor texts.

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  92. Thanks for sharing those titles to explore theme. And Happy Book Birthday, too!

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  93. Baptiste, congratulations on the birthday of your new book. Looking at the cover and reading the title took me back in time to fond memories on the sidelines of the soccer field watching my young son as he played soccer. I look forward to reading your new book with my grandsons someday.
    Thank you for the wonderful mentor texts for discovering themes. I loved “reading” Float!”, noticing how the usage of color and perspective captured my attention. When I read, King Jack and the Dragon, “the THING!”, a dark grey foreboding creature with two circular lights for eyes, was so well done! I felt brave to have turned the page.

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  94. Congratulations on your book birthday, Baptiste! Theme sounds so easy, but is hard to get just right!

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  95. Happy book birthday! It is so wonderful when the text and illustrations compliment each other and become so much more together as a perfect picture book package!

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  96. I don't know if I always thought about how illustrations/color palette influence theme. Thanks, Baptiste!

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  97. I WISH YOU MORE, shows the love that shines throughout art and text for those we care for. Simplistic and sparse it explodes with emotion. And RAIN makes us wish for a rainy day and all that it brings when it is done. Thoughtful post Baptiste and congratulations on your book debut! Can't wait to read it. :)

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  98. Happy birthday! Great books chosen to explore important themes.

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  99. Love the power of few words or no words! Such an art! Congrats on your book birthday and thanks for sharing inspiration with us.

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  100. I loved King Jack and the Dragon and finding how the different themes were done with few or even no words across these titles was great. Thanks for the post!

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  101. My favorite of the lot was Float and I don’t normally like wordless books better than worded ones. So much of the story is captured in the pictures that I thought it worked really well.

    I don’t really like stopping to think about the theme of a book so this was a good exercise for me.

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  102. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions for books which exhibit the concept of theme so well. I especially enjoyed Float. Several important themes are layed in without a single word. Makes me wish I could illustrate!

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  103. Happy Book Birthday! Theme is something we've been talking about in my critique group this past week. We often here editors talk now about adding layers to picture books, I think these books are great examples!

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  104. My favorite line out of this set of books is "I wish you more pause than fast-forward" in Amy Krouse Rosenthal's I WISH YOU MORE. Thank you, Baptiste, and all the ReFoReMo contributors for this opportunity to pause and consider issues of craft and beauty in these picture books.

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  105. Thank you, Baptiste. It's always nice to take a deeper look.

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  106. Congrats on your book birthday, Baptiste! I enjoyed finding the themes in these books. I think "I Wish You More" will be on my list of gift books for babies and toddlers. I especially liked "Rain" because by using the illustrations, it could be read on multiple levels.

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  107. This was a really interesting selection of titles with gentle themes. Thanks for introducing me to them and making me think.

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  108. Great themes to ponder in this selection of books. Happy book birthday, Baptiste!

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  109. Rebecca Gardyn LevingtonMarch 6, 2018 at 7:37 PM

    Thank you for steering us toward these wonderful books.

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  110. RAIN conveys so much emotion and mood on each page. “You see, the very best things are always worth waiting for.” That’s how I feel about ReFoReMo and the opportunity to read books I might not otherwise have known about. Congratulations on your book birthday, Baptiste!

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  111. Looking forward to reading these. I love 'I Wish You More.'

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  112. "A pure exchange of thoughts"--BEAUTIFUL! You couldn't have put it better! Going along with "not nudging" readers in a certain direction: kids KNOW when they are being lectured. The best stories are those that show, not tell. They allow the reader to discover the theme/meaning on their own. THANK YOU for the WONDERFUL book examples to learn from!

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  113. You've captured the magic of picture books, Baptiste. It seems like they're easy to create but in reality it's the opposite. I know some of the books you mentioned but not all. I'm looking forward to reading the new ones--and yours!

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  114. Congratulations on your book! I look forward to reading several of your book choices I haven't seen yet.

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  115. I love the way the illustrator uses color to bring magic to the imagined scenes. Very clever.

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  116. Great exercise in using simple text and illustrations! Thanks

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  117. Gentle but powerful book choices. Thank you for this post.

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  118. Goes to show sometimes less is more and simplicity defines elegance. I thoroughly enjoyed how Float, I Wish You More, and Rain each tell their stories with limited (or no) text with rich illustrations.

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  119. Thank you for all the recommendations and how you didn't identify the themes in each book. The discovery is always so fun. What a great exercise on theme today!

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  120. I appreciate what you said "I like it when people objectively read something without me nudging them in a certain direction."
    I never read book flaps before reading the story. I want to experience that pure exchange for myself first.

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  121. Congratulations on the book birthday! How exciting!

    Thanks for the recommended books. I read some books that I never would have read before.

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  122. Thanks for the post and happy book birthday! I loved the simple language in your book selections. I WISH YOU MORE is so clever and sweet. It made my heart ache a bit for my daughter--in a happy and a sad way. Picture book authors/illustrators are so amazing in their ability to make a reader (even, or maybe especially, a grown-up) feel so much.

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  123. Why is it so hard to say so much with so few words?

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  124. What a fun exercise! Thanks, Baptiste!

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  125. I am always so tickled to see the level of mastery in a picture book that so deftly matches visual themes (palette, voice of illustrations) with the authorial voice of diction/sentence structure, and overall theme of the text. A true marriage of all of those components really makes for a great final product. The selections you posted for us today are all great examples of carrying a theme through words/story and illustration. Thanks!

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  126. Wonderful themes in Rain and I Wish You More. They're great examples of how to weave warmth of relationship in well thought out, unique details to flesh out a substantive theme.

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  127. I love the adventures in these books. And especially the use of the color yellow in FLOAT.

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  128. I will start looking for colors and how the work with the words.

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  129. I think this is one of my favorite layers to picture books. I love exploring concepts and themes, especially when they’re subtle or sneaky. Thank you for giving us some great titles to study!

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  130. This is a lovely book list. Thanks for sharing these masterful voices. I'm looking forward to taking a closer look.

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  131. Rain is certainly my favorite on this list! Love the illustrations <3

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  132. Thank you for sharing. I don't always look closely enough at the themes especially to see how there is more than run that can run through a book. It gives me better perspective on two stories that I am working on. Congratulations on your book birthday.

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  133. Congratulations on your first book!

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  134. I love examining the illustrator's color choice and style. Great selections. :)

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  135. I love I Wish You More! Thank you for the recommendations and for letting us have our aha moments, Baptiste! Congratulations on your debut!

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  136. Thanks for stopping by Baptiste. Looking forward to reading your new book.

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  137. Feeling a bit under-the-weather. How comforting to curl up with a pile of picture books. Now all I need is some toy cars to drive in and out of the caves of my covers.

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  138. Thank you for sharing the books and ideas Baptiste. Congratulations on your new book!

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  139. Thanks for the insight into theme and the wonderful book selections!

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  140. Congratulations on your book birthday! Thank you for this terrific list of books!

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  141. I'm so happy we are dedicating a day to theme. I ave been exploring this more and more in my stories-and I am loving it! I've found this helps, which is what Baptiste Paul mentions above: I identify my theme. Then, I brainstorm like words or phrases that circle back to my theme, or that represent the idea of my theme, or motifs. The I try to infuse those words throughout the story, so that the entire work keeps honing in on the idea of the theme and it is a constant throughout :)

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  142. Thanks for adding these books to my list, Baptiste. It's been fascinating to explore the very unique ways each author conveys their message.

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  143. A helpful list to study theme. Thanks, Baptiste!

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  144. Thanks Baptiste! I am looking forward to reading KING JACK AND THE DRAGON. A recent read that gave me a great a-ha moment was PROFESSIONAL CROCODILE by Giovanna Zoboli.

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  145. This was hard! Searching for clues to theme in words and pictures, but I did find more, and that's always a good thing!

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  146. I loved "I WIsh You More." Such a gentle, loving book. Thank you for your list.

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  147. Thanks for directing me to three new books ... four if you count the companion to Rain, Snow ... five if you count The Field (we have 8 copies coming into our library system, and I'm on the wait list ... any day now). For me theme, woven well through story, is one of the most compelling aspects of a picture book. Thanks for the reminder that it (they) can be conveyed so many ways, visually and textually.

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  148. These were all new to me. Thank you for introducing them. I love that I couldn't guess what would happen next in The Way Back Home. It's a wonderful reminder of how creative a child's imagination is. It makes logical sense in its own way, and yet it's completely unexpected.

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  149. Beautiful selections, thank you! I Wish You More is an amazing story of love. Float conveys so much through color contrast in the illustrations. I have to admit, I am a word person, but Float really impressed me!

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  150. I’m excited to read The Field and a couple of mentor texts I’m unfamiliar with. Thank you, Baptiste!

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  151. I am a little late coming to the table but have spent time enjoying each of these books. Thank you for the selection. I have focused on Rain and Float. Both immerse the reader in the theme. You feel the water and the joy of experience. I could go on and on about how deceptively simple these books are and yet how they are multilayered and complex. Thank you for choosing them.

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  152. Thank you, Baptiste. These selections really immersed me in the mood/emotion of the story. Carole Calladine

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  153. Thank you. I never really thought about which words in my manuscripts are helping to drive the theme. Good revision tip.

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  154. I love the spare prose style in these books - I think that's a great lesson to keep in mind as we try to avoid pounding kids over the head with big themes.

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  155. I think it's a testament to the illustrator's skill, that I "read" several pages of FLOAT before realizing that it was a wordless book.

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  156. I read Rain and I didn't expect that ending. I Wish You More captivated me; says so much in such spare text! The last sentences works theme so directly and yet so well.

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  157. King Jack and the Dragon was such a great choice! Loved how the author kept the kids in their play mindset even as they were going home (with "giants")!

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  158. Baptistery,
    I look forward to reading The Field. I remember watching soccer games with my boys when we visited Jamaica. A Rick experience.

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  159. Baptiste,
    That was a spell correct on your name.
    Sorry.
    Sue

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  160. Thank you for sharing your list of books!

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  161. Thank you for your post and sharing with us some concept books, with big ideas and big themes.

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  162. Although theme can be driven by the simplest of words or color/lack of color in illustrations, it can be one of the hardest things to achieve. Thanks for the mentor titles and Happy book birthday, Baptiste

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  163. I'm not usually a big fan of wordless picture books, but I was totally captivated by Float. The ending really hit me - making me think about what the author was trying to say. I also really loved King Jack and the Dragon - especially the use of color in the illustrations. Of course, since these books use illustrations so strongly, it makes me (a writer) wonder if I could possibly make such strong statements just with words. But perhaps that's the wonder of picture books - how the words and illustrations work together.

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  164. Great list of books for us to explore themes and relish the aha moments. I gained new insights. Thank you!

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  165. This selection of books included both the quite simple, such as the beautifully illustrated "Float" and the well-rhymed, lyrical "King Jack." My personal fave was "I wish you more," a combination of both simplicity, humor, love and lyrics.

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  166. Picture books are an excellent way to teach "theme" to students of any age!

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  167. I hadn't thought before about "how the illustrator uses colors," and although I don't illustrate myself, it makes me think more about how what I write could contribute to that!

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  168. I never really thought about a wordless picture book having theme. Lots to ponder now.

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  169. The power of words cannot be underestimated, and this post is a beautiful reminder about how word choice impacts messaging. Many thanks for sharing!

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  170. I love looking for themes, and these were great selections. Thanks

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  171. Multiple themes....I'll be on the lookout! Thanks, Baptiste!

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  172. I like I Wish you More. It's a really cute story and book.

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  173. I went back to read these books again to study how specific colors word choice are important components of theme. Thank you Baptiste for sharing this with us.

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  174. I Wish You More is one of my favorites. Thank you for the recommendation of King Jack and the Dragon!

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  175. My favorite thing about theme is how it can reveal itself differently at different times to readers, including the author!

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  176. I am opening my eyes lately to discovering theme, which in some books can vary depending on the experiences of the reader. I plan to revisit many of my favorites to see what is presented to me now.

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  177. The combination of words and pictures to subtly convey the theme. Thanks!

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  178. Lovely themed books selections. Congratulations on your book!

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  179. I needed to read those slowly and more than once. Beautiful, each in their own way. Especially liked The Way Back Home. So many layers in that one. Congrats on your book and thanks for the post.

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  180. These are wonderful books, thank you for introducing me and my girls to them!

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  181. These were wonderful selections, thank you! The imagination that courses through them all nudged my own ideas awake.

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  182. Great examples. Thank you for the post and congrats on your new PB!

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  183. Thank you Baptiste. I loved Float. The copyright summary didn't really do it justice "Wordless picture book about a boy who loses his paper boat in the rain." I realize it's a summary, but Float is so much more than that.

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  184. Congratulations on your book. I loved I Wish You More and cannot wait to read the other selections and your new one. Best Wishes for many more.

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  185. Looking at themes for these books, it was easy to get a sense of the messages they were conveying without the authors explicitly stating them. In I Wish You More, the message I interpreted was to always wish the best for people and be generous. In Float, it's that rainy/bad times will get better and there's always something brighter up ahead. In Rain, I felt the message was that if you practice patience, the reward will be sweet. And in The Way Back Home, the message was that even if a problem seems impossible, you can solve it with a friend by working together. In King Jack and the Dragon, I couldn't help but feel it was semi-copying Where The Wild Things Are, so I it was hard to look at it in an original light. Perhaps it was a message of keeping an active imagination and playing is more fun with friends.

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  186. I Wish You More is a great example of a big important theme told with minimal words. Congratulations on your book!

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  187. Congratulations on your book! You've introduced a few books I haven't seen yet. I look forward to reading them and paying attention to the use of certain words and word combinations.

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  188. These are great books for thinking about theme. I would love a list of universal themes for different age groups.

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