Friday, January 11, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street
Author/Illustrator: Roni Schotter/Kyrsten Brooker
Publisher/Date: Orchard Books/1997
Genre/Audience: Fiction/Ages 4-7+
Themes: Writing, city life, cause and effect

Opening: "Eva unwrapped a cinnamon Danish, opened her notebook, and stared helplessly at the wide, white pages."

SynopsisFrom Booklist - "Eva's homework assignment is to write about what she knows, but she thinks that observing the goings-on in her neighborhood will be boring. At first she's right. One neighbor doesn't smile, several have job problems, one can't get his mousse to taste right. All of them have suggestions for Eva's writing, though. They advise her to stretch the truth, add action as if it were seasoning, and, most of all, when the story bogs down, ask, "What if . . . ?" and try to figure out what happens next. That's just what Eva does, and with the help of her manipulation, neighbors start falling in love, opening restaurants, and adding mocha to mousse. The story meanders at times, but Brooker's snazzy artwork will keep readers and listeners focused. Resembling the pictures of Lane Smith but executed in collage, the stylized art has action and humor enough for children but is visually interesting enough to appeal to adults reading it aloud. An excellent choice to use with older children studying creative writing." Ilene Cooper

Why I Love This Book:
This is a book for writers of all ages. Somehow, Roni Schotter puts a variety of writing lessons into a compelling story. Teachers, writers, and children will all find something to love about this book!

Use each piece of advice given by the characters in the story to drive a writing lesson or a writing prompt.

Here's an Elementary/Intermediate Lesson Plan with printables

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. I enjoyed your review very much! I guess what I like is the book is written at a time when people weren't all wrapped up in technology and still communicating -- read Erik's book review today. You balance each other. Seems like a fun book to read. Will check it out.

  2. Sounds like they gave her great advice. That's what I do to my stories, I spice it up a little bit to make it interesting.

  3. This sounds like a great book, Laura. Very appealing to writers!

  4. Would love to use this book in some creative writing lessons, Laura. Thank you.

  5. Can't wait to read this book. Seems like it will help me in my writing. lol checked out the resources and it peaked my interest even more. Thanks for sharing this book. :)

  6. I gotta check this book out. Thank you, Laura!

  7. Nice choice for PPBF Laura - I'm intrigued!

    - Cathy Mealey

  8. Sounds like a great one, Laura. Would be a great choice for classrooms. Kids are always saying they can't think of anything to write...sounds like this could put them on the right track.