Perfect Picture Book Friday/ A Sweet Smell of Roses

Hi Friends!


A lot has happened since I last wrote a Perfect Picture Book Friday post. It’s been two weeks since I published one. Most of you know it’s because of my brother dying. We have to move on. I had not felt like writing a post but now there’s stuff to tell you and I want to get back in the groove. And maybe it was why I missed the fun about Halloween. Been too serious. I’ll try and be gentle with myself.


Last Monday I was featured as a guest on Bobbi Carducci’s Storee Wryter blog, It’s a story of how and why I started writing. It was fun to do.


Tonight I’m doing a book signing at Books and Other Found Things for First Friday Leesburg. And tomorrow we’re picking up my nine-year old grandson from Richmond for a four-day visit. We’re roasting hot dogs and playing with the row-boat with family on Sunday and on Monday we’re planning a trip into DC to visit the Smithsonian and maybe a memorial or two. So yes, we move on from death, from pain.  The days move on and time heals. Perhaps I should have found a picture book on death but here is one that is purely historical fiction. A fun read.


Even though I know you want to go on and read PPBF, if you don’t know about these kids’ sites already, here are some fun ones. 


Have a good day! (I am SO glad its Friday!)


My Canadian sister sent me those links and I wanted to share. (Just in case you didn’t have them yet.) 🙂


Book Cover for A Sweet Smell of RosesTitle: A Sweet Smell of Roses


Author:  Angela Johnson


Illustrated by:  Eric Velasquez


Published by: Simon and Schuster, Historical fiction/ awards and Nominations


CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book, CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Council), KSRC Primary Titles – Top Pick


Appropriate for ages: Kindergarten through third grade


Themes:Women, War, Standing up for oneself, Civil Rights, African-American, Loretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, Liberty, Freedom, self Respect, Self Reliance, self-esteem, self-reliance, self-confidence, self-worth, self -acceptance, rule breaking, right vs. wrong, respect,  historical fiction, making


Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deuts...

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deutsch: 1964: Martin Luther King Português: Martin Luther King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


choices /decisions, Inter-connectiveness, Diversity/multicultural/ racial diversity, determination, culture, Belonging, Adventure, (Whew, :),, I think I covered each one, lol)


Resources:  for prereading discussion and activity guides: :


Audios and slide shows on meet the author about universal stories, African-American protagonists, her writing process and more: ;


What the Jacket says: There’s a sweet, sweet smell in the air as tow young girls sneak out of their house, down the street, and across town to where men and women are gathered, ready to march for freedom and justice.


Inspired by the countless young people who took a stand against the forces of injustice, tow Coretta Scott King Honorees, Angela Johnson and Eric Velasquez, offer a stirring yet jubilant glimpse of the youth involvement that played an invaluable role in the Civil Rights Movement.


Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during...

Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during the 1963 March on Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Why I love it: It is just the perfect expression for the young people of today to remember the March and their heritage in it. The Black and White art depicts the seriousness of the occasion perfectly and the red rose shows the metaphor of liberty and freedom. The artist also uses red as an accent for the ribbon on the teddy bear and for the stripes on the American flag. The sense of adventure as the two young girls run down the street away from their own neighborhood and into the march is shown in quick sentences and active verbs.


“This book is not only about segregation; it’s also about the crowds of people ‘walking our way toward freedom,’ the thrilling portrait of Dr. King, and the two brave kids who cross the line.” Book list


The first few sentences: After a night of soft rain there is a sweet smell of roses as my sister, Minnie, and I slip past Mamma’s door and out of the house down Charlotte Street. Past the early-morning milkman, over the cobbled bridge, and through the curb market…to where everybody waits to march. Minnie and I are only waist high to most of them.


Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, or just looking for a great book to read. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed has a link to a review, information about that book, and resources for activities. There is also an alphabetical list.


If you have time, check out my page on “About Annie’s Special Day” up on the top bar. Have a great weekend everyone!



About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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23 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday/ A Sweet Smell of Roses

  1. A very interesting book review Clar. Love the writing and illustration on the cover. So sorry to hear of your loss, but i am hopeful that your book signing will be a welcome, to lighten your spirit. Take care!


    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, I think I can put it behind me now. At least for periods where I can do something like autographing my book. I hope there will be sales. I’ll let you know. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing about the Sweet Smell of Roses, too. 🙂


  2. I’m praying that God will comfort you during this time of grief, Clar. I’m glad you are doing things with the family to help heal the wounds. Thanks for post this inspirational book. Standing up for what we believe is important. Thankfully, we still live in a country where that is possible!


  3. Lovely choice Clar. I love historical fiction and its important that kids understand this period in time. Have a great time at your book signing tonight and with your grandson this weekend. Glad to hear that you are healing.


  4. Joanna says:

    Great choice, Clar, especially as I am trying to read more historical fiction about the US! Continuing to send you healing thoughts as you grieve your brother’s loss.


  5. Margot Finke says:

    This book sounds wonderful, Clar. Young children today must learn the lessons this book has to give them. If we are mindful of the past, we will not repeat the mistakes of the past.

    You have been in my thoughts , mate. Many hugs!!

    BOOKS for KIDS – Manuscript Critiques


  6. Sounds liek an interesting book, Clar. Thanks for adding it to our list. Hope you enjoy your time with your grandson and that a happy weekend will help restore you. Hope the book signeing goes great – can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂


    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Susanna. I am sure you will like this book. 🙂
      My grandson scored a goal at the soccer game we went to and now is happily playing computer games. 🙂


  7. My heart goes out to you as you continue to deal with your loss. Getting back to routine is a good way to start, and I’m glad your grandson is coming to visit — kids have a way of lifting our hearts.

    Great book to share — this period of history is so important, and it’s so important for kids of all races to realize what happened in that time. Thank you!


  8. Thanks for sharing all these and the links. I will check them out. My son is first grade now and I’m learning with him everyday. the more resources I get, the better for me to understand his world. There are times I find myself saying, “It’s true that first graders are smarter than adults,” like the quiz show. I hope you and your family are safe from storm Sandy. I saw some images of damages, loss of power and all. Reminded me of what I felt like when hurricane Ike hit Houston. God bless and take care.


    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Island. I think it is commendable that you try and see your son’s world from his point of view and from his being able to teach you something.

      I’m glad you were safe from Sandy. We have a lot to be thankful for here. 🙂


  9. Laura Renauld says:

    So sorry to hear about your brother, Clar. You and your family are in my prayers.

    The book you shared is beautiful and poignant. A fabulous expression of such an important part of our history. Thanks for sharing!


  10. Your PB sounds like just what was needed. Have a fabulous time away with your grandson.
    Can’t wait to hear about your book signing. 🙂


  11. Darlene says:

    Great to see you back here. Have fun with your grandson. Thanks for the links, they are good. Where in Canada does your sister live?


  12. Glad you are back posting, Clar…you were missed and in our thoughts and prayers. 😉
    What a lovely book..and the resources are amazing…thanks for a great review!


  13. Clar this book sounds like a wonderful tribute to an important part of our history. Also, may you be comforted with good memories of laughter and fun times, and friends and family to hold you.


  14. So sorry about your loss. Do enjoy your grandson.

    Great review. The subject and the opening lines have me hooked.


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