Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment by Parker Curry, Jessica Curry and Brittany Jackson

Cover of the picture book Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment by Parker Curry, Jessica Curry and Brittany Jackson.

Think of a time when a painting made you pause and wonder. What was it about the artwork that caught your attention? When Parker Curry was two years old, the portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama stopped her in her tracks. She was entranced by the “queen” who looked like the the women in her family. This connection opened a world of possibilities for Parker. She wrote Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment with her mother to explain why the portrait resonated with her.

Readers are going to love the digitally rendered illustrations. Falling confetti and twinkling sparkles float around the pages like magic. There’s a sense of play with the words, too. Some words show up bright and pink, while others are bold and black. Speech bubbles in blue, pink, purple and yellow bring more fun to the pages. Ellipses fill readers with suspense about the wonderful possibilities that could appear on the next page.

Double-page spread of Ava and her sister running through the National Portrait Gallery. The painting Young Omahaw, War Eagle, Little Missouri and Pawnees hangs on the wall.

Response to Literature

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: I.A.1 Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.

Parker noticed nine paintings in the National Portrait Gallery. Create a Padlet with links to the paintings mentioned in the book (see links below). Ask learners what painting intrigues them? Give them time to appreciate the work of art. Learners will record what they notice and wonder about the art on the Padlet.

August Belmont and Isabel Perry by Wouterus Verschuur

George Washington Carver by Betsy Graves Reyneau

Albert Einstein by Max Westfield

Frida Kahlo by Magda Pach

Peacocks and Peonies by John La Farge

The Chinese Fishmonger by Theodore Wores

Young Omahaw, War Eagle, Little Missouri, and Pawnees by Charles Bird King

The White Ballet by Everett Shinn

First Lady Michelle Obama by Everett Shinn

Click here to see Parker share her story on the Ellen Show.

If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.

Click here to purchase a copy of Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment. I am an affiliate of Bookshop; a business that gives back to local independent book stores and affiliates.

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