Monday, January 11, 2021

Baby Raccoon, Finger Puppet Book: Yu-Hsuan Huang


There's an absolute zoo of these titles available for your readertotz. The series is from Chronicle Books, and illustrations are by Yu-Hsuan Huang. They are adorable and sturdy and with soft faces of the featured animal. Nonfiction facts accompany the puppet and illustrations.

"When Baby Raccoon and his family have a meal,
they wash their food in the stream.

When Baby Racoon plays,
he romps and rolls with his sister."

You can introduce your first readers to wildlife with this fun series. Expect puppet hugs and kisses.

illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang
Chronicle Books 

Monday, December 28, 2020

Richard Scarry's Good Morning, Busytown!


Why not introduce your first readers to Richard Scarry's Busytown? You can now do that easily with the Good Morning, Busytown! board book, available January 6, 2021. All the familiar characters are running around town: Huckle Cat, Firefighter Smokey, Lowly Worm, and more.

Pages feature the residents depicted on the tabs. Join Huckle Cat and Lowly as they make their way across town to school, giving and receiving greetings along the way.

"Good morning, Postman Pig!"
says Huckle.

"Why, good morning, Huckle!"
says Postman Pig. "Have a
wonderful day!"

Take a visit to Richard Scarry's Busytown! There's so much to explore. 

Richard Scarry's Good Morning, Busytown!
by the Richard Scarry Corporation AG
Golden Books, 2021

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

More, more, more: Lilah Tov Good Night: Ben Gundersheimer


This precious book is not to be missed. The main character is saying good night to all around her after a "long and beautiful day." 

"Lilah Tov to the roosters and hens
Lilah Tov to the bears in their dens"

The depth of the work is in the secondary story, or actually the main story. The family is leaving their home in the night and traveling on foot to a new land. She says good night to the creatures she passes, the beach, and the waves. She speaks to the stars at sea, and the fish. Finally, reaching land, the journey continues until she is in a new home. There she snuggles down and wishes the reader, and all, a good night. The family menorah has traveled the distance from one window to another.

Brilliant beauty. The art was done in pencil and digitally rendered. Noar Lee Naggan's paintings are luminous. The best of the best from publisher Nancy Paulsen, as usual. 

by Ben Gundersheimer
illustrated by Noar Lee Naggan
Nancy Paulsen Books

Monday, December 21, 2020

'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Sandra Magsamen

Here's a tiny tale from the classic poem by Clement Clarke Moore, "A Visit from St. Nicholas." Shortened for first readers, Sandra Magsamen's work, which is illustrated to look like stitched cloth pieces, illustrates phrases from the quiet mouse to the reindeer pulling Santa through the sky, the night before Christmas. 

"Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
everyone was quiet, including the mouse! 

Join this little community of animals ready to celebrate Christmas!

by Sandra Magsamen

Music: Jill McDonald

Here's another title in the Hello, World! series. Music by Jill McDonald is the best of nonfiction for your readertotz. You can introduce musical instruments with what resembles cut paper illustrations. Large sound words accompany main text entries and smaller printed facts. 

A harmonica is small enough to fit in your pocket.
You make a sound by breathing in or out through the holes. 

*A harmonica is sometimes called a mouth organ or a blues harp."

Familiarize your first reader with the instruments and consider which to try first!

Hello, World!
by Jill McDonald

Monday, December 14, 2020

Christmas Cheer: Ingela P. Arrhenius

How about a Bookscape Board Book for the holidays? Christmas Cheer brings a little scene of the holiday to your readertotz. 

"Christmas cheer is everywhere.
Inside, gingerbread cookies are decorated.
Outside, snowmen are built."

The charm of the work is the soft palette of shaped pages. Big-eyed characters celebrate the season together. Happy holidays to all!

a Bookscape Board Book
by Ingela P. Arrhenius
Chronicle Books, 2020

Friday, November 27, 2020

More, more, more: Sound, Shhh...Bang...POP...BOOM!

For the older siblings of your readertotz, look for the picture book, Sound, Shhh...Bang...Pop...Boom! With nearly dayglo colors, the sound vibrates straight out of this fascinating book. Graphic flat overlays of color create our auditory world. 

Within the main text, such as:

"In the sea of known and unknown sounds,
we look for order and harmony. This is how music is born."

there is small text which labels images: organ, accordion, French horn. Further info is delivered, as well:

"Even vegetables can serve as great musical instruments. A band called The Vegetable Orchestra plays music on vegetables and then makes soup out of them." 

This BolognaRagazzi Award winner, for best nonfiction in 2018, isn't confined to musical instruments. It explores city sounds, language, animals, people of sound, and people who speak in silence. The work is brilliant. Appreciate sound and then the lack of it. 

by Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv 
translated by Vitaly Chernetsky
A Handprint Book

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Tiptop Totz' Toys: Suzy Ultman and Taro Gomi

Chronicle Books has fun for you and your totz. Two items will encourage reading the authors' books, while readertotz play and learn. 

The first is Masha and Her Friends, a Wooden Nesting Doll Puzzle. I've adored Suzy Ultman's board book, Masha and Her Sisters. This puzzle is a natural follow up. Whether little hands reposition the double-sided, graduated pieces or display them in the notched slots, there's imagination to be inspired. Wood toy lovers will be delighted by this version of Masha. 

Taro Gomi's Play Anything Cards are a handy source for card playing enjoyment. An original group of characters fill the cards; yet, wee ones will likely recognize Gomi's distinctive illustration. They might reach for his My Friends to read after the game. 

Happy playing and reading! 

Chronicle Books

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

build!: Xavier Deneux

Readertotz touch and learn as they read this board book of puzzles titled build! While a man and woman build a house together, each left side of the spread offers one or more removable puzzle pieces to be placed on the right side. Bricks, a roof, a door and more must be delivered correctly. Xavier Deneux's sparse, hard-edged shapes are a compliment to the concept of the book. 

"We'll need a solid foundation.

A bulldozer will make our work so much easier!"

build! is A Handprint Book to read and play with. Watch your totz build a house with two adorable characters. 

by Xavier Deneux
touch think learn
A Handprint Book

Friday, November 6, 2020

For the Older Sibs: Wonder Women, a Bingo Game

Looking for another activity to round out the homeschooling Covid day? Wonder Women, a Bingo Game is a fun, educational resource. Illustrated by Laura Bernard, released by Magma for Laurence King, Isabel Thomas provides text for each woman featured. 

The featured women include Annie Leibovitz, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Yayoi Kusama. Here's a portion of the entry for Jacinda Ardern:

"Jacinda became involved in politics as a teenager and began campaigning for a kinder and fairer world. She became an MP in the New Zealand parliament at 28 and Prime Minister of New Zealand at 37-its youngest leader for 150 years."

And then you know how bingo rolls. Get your card and select your caller. It's time for B-I-N-G-O!

by Isabel Thomas
illustrated by Laura Bernard
Magma, for Laurence King

Thursday, November 5, 2020

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight: Penny Parker Klostermann

Rather than an Old Lady and a Fly, how about an Old Dragon and a Knight? Penny Parker Klostermann's work is a delight, full of surprise and fun solutions. Ben Mantle's illustrations add to the hilarity. 

"With all of that water, he started to bloat.
And that's when the dragon roared and I quote:

'Okay, enough! I have had enough--
More than enough of this swallowing stuff!

Maybe I've been a tad impolite.
Perchance I should only have swallowed the knight.'" 

Find this adorable twist and enjoy each and every page. 

by Penny Parker Klostermann
illustrated by Ben Mantle
Random House