Monday, November 25, 2019

Kindness Makes Us Strong: Sophie Beer



Exactly what we need! Kindness described for our first readers. Sophie Beer has tackled the definition through text and art with the help of Dial Books in this large format board book, Kindness Makes Us Strong.

"Kindness is...
saying hello.
Kindness is...
being patient."

Each simply stated fact is illustrated with eager children demonstrating the concept. There's a vibrancy to the color, line, and detail that energizes kindness.

As the year comes to a close, we can remember:

"Kindness is...
what
makes
us strong!"

Kindness Makes Us Strong
by Sophie Beer
Dial Books for Young Readers, December 24, 2019

Friday, November 15, 2019

Poetry Friday: Roar Like a Dandelion



This Poetry Friday celebrate with a never-before released work by Ruth Krauss. Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier, the whimsy and sillies will amuse your readertotz as the alphabet is reinforced in Roar Like a Dandelion.

Sit in the sun
and shine

Try to hug yourself
in a puddle

Undress to match
trees in winter

Vote for yourself

There's an empowering joy of life in this work. Thanks to Harper for choosing to share more from Krauss. Her voice is clear, and Ruzzier honors it well. Bravo!

Roar Like a Dandelion
by Ruth Krauss
illustrations by Sergio Ruzzier
Harper, 2019

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Top Shelf: Bedtime Classics, Carly Gledhill





Thanks go to Penguin Random House for bringing beloved classics to our first readers in board book form! Paired with Carly Gledhill's delicate, intricate illustrations, the series Bedtime Classics is one to find and follow.

Children of color in modern clothes bring a freshness to the tales. Gledhill's palette and patterns bear a calming comfort through the excitement. It's a lovely balance.

The text holds the barest plot points for the stories to remain cohesive. From Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:

"She tumbles
down,
down,
down the rabbit hole
and enters a
magical place
called Wonderland."

From The Nutcracker:

"Suddenly the Mouse King
arrives, leading his army against the
Nutcracker and his gingerbread soldiers."

How can you not love Alice in her overalls and high top Chucks, or Clara in her big round glasses? Your readertotz will engage with these stories presented so beautifully, and as they grow, they'll be primed for the full tales. Best of the best, these are Top Shelf picks!

Alice's Adventure in Wonderland
The Nutcracker
illustrated by Carly Gledhill
Penguin Random House, 2019



Monday, October 7, 2019

Clothes and My Day: Rilla Alexander





Touch Words are pretty much that: words raised for the touch. Also raised are elements within the illustrations of Clothes and My Day. These hefty board books invite touch, not with varying textures, but with carefully aligned die-cuts and raised portions.

My Day includes words: make, draw, play, bake, and more. While Clothes features words such as undies, dress, coat, and shoes. Accompanying each word are nouns one might find in the featured item or activity, with adjectives and verbs closing the lists. An example:

GO
roller skates * wheels * blocks * tricycle * pull toy
speedy * rolling * skating * pulling * pushing * running
rolling * pedaling * steering * tugging

wagon

This is streamlined nonfiction with flat, hard-edged, digital imagery. Various ages will engage in different ways with Touch Words.

Touch Words
Clothes
My Day
by Rilla Alexander
Handprint Book,  2019

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

More, more, more: The Hike



What a breath of fresh air The Hike is! Thanks to Chronicle Books for believing a "quiet" picture book can still hold a place on today's shelves. Alison Farrell's work does so beautifully.

Wren, El, and Hattie are off with their pup Bean to enjoy a hike through nature. Illustrations identify the variety of foliage and fauna they pass along the way. Armed with pencils, poems, and feathers, the three enjoy map-reading, sketching, and basket-making. Reaching the top of the hill, they celebrate before returning home.

I love everything about this work: from the text, to the font, to the layout, to the careful illustrations sharing the beauty all around us. Inspire a walk in nature with this picture book. There's so much to see!

The Hike
by Alison Farrell
Chronicle Books, 2019

Monday, September 30, 2019

Baby Animals and Body: Stephanie Babin


How about fun fiction for your readertotz? Play Tabs from Twirl has released Baby Animals and Body. Durable thick board books with prominent, arrowed tabs teach first readers concise facts.

Stephanie Babin's text is straightforward: "A dog's babies are called puppies." And "When you are out and about during the day, dirt gets stuck to your skin." Thierry Bedouet has illustrated the animal book while Ilaria Falorsi illustrated Body. I would have thought one person created both sets of images as there is a constancy between them.

From the back covers: "...sturdy pull-tabs on every page that are right for little hands, and bite-size facts that are just right for hungry minds!"

Enjoy these nonfiction works, their action and information.

Play Tabs
Baby Animals
by Stephanie Babin
illustrated by Thierry Bedouet

Body
by Stephanie Babin
illustrated by Ilaria Falorsi

Twirl, 2019 (first published in France, 2018)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

More, more, more: Rabbit and the Motorbike



"Exhilarating . . . Graceful text and evocative illustrations combine in this story about the rewards of facing fears and trying something new." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

This beautiful work is a treasure as we walk through loss and brave living. Rabbit dreams of going down the road, but it's Dog who travels. When Dog doesn't return from an adventure, his bike is left to Rabbit. Watch as Rabbit nurses his loss and eventually takes to the road himself. Life holds wheat fields of comfort, but it also offers roads, motorbikes, wings, and stories that keep us all together.

Here is a heartfelt text, a wide format to hold the scope of the world, and illustration that echoes beloved John Birmingham. Don't miss this work that bears much truth and is ready to share. 

Rabbit and the Motorcycle
by Kate Hoefler
illustrated by Sarah Jacoby
Chronicle Books, 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Top Shelf: This Little Artist, Joan Holub



Celebrations for readertotz founder, Joan Holub! Her "This Little" series continues beautifully with This Little Artist, an Art History Primer.

Painting, shaping, making art.
With creative joy, hands, and heart.

Little artists have great big imaginations.

Introduce your totz to ten artists who have shaped our world culture by reflecting their own insights. A rhyme and portrait is followed by a fact and example of the featured artist's work. Daniel Roode's adorable big-eyed, flat characters create a unity in our diversity. 

Lastly, a final spread collects eighteen more creators. The broad field of art is open to collage, photography, glass creation, performance and more. An end question asks:

Crayons, paper, paint, or clay-
what will you use to make art today?

Bravo, Joan and Daniel! Thank you for this joyful board book!

This Little Artist, an Art History Primer
by Joan Holub
illustrated by Daniel Roode
Little Simon, September 10, 2019

Thursday, September 19, 2019

More, more, more: We Are All Greta



Follow up the #ClimateStrike with this call to save our world. Take action for your wee one's future.

"This may be the first book about Thunberg, but with the youth mobilization for the upcoming Global Climate Strike in September, it almost certainly won't be the last."-Publishers Weekly

We Are All Greta
by Valentina Giannella
illustrated by Manuela Marazzi
Laurence King Publishing, September 24, 2019

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Happy Book Birthday: I Love All of Me


  • Today! She's born! Celebrations!

Happy book birthday to I Love All of Me! Thank you for sharing the joy in this virtual launch party. Feel free to spread the word. May she be held by many tiny hands who know they are worthy, wonderful, and welcome in our world. Huzzah!

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
Best Board Book of the Season

From “wiggle toes” and “smelly nose” to “blinky eyes” and “bendy knees,” this is a delightful, affirming ode to toddler parts. The smile-inducing rhymes beg to be repeated again and again, while the bold palette and cheery images heighten the book’s enthusiastic tone. 
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Grover’s rhyming text soars, and reading the words aloud almost feels like singing a song...a vibrant and lyrical ode to bodies ideal for those learning to explore their own. 
KIRKUS REVIEWS

Grover’s book gets right to the point in an unfussy and streamlined way; it’s a breath of fresh air and just right for sharing with the toddlers in your life....With a book like Grover’s at the ready, that grownup can say to a child: I love you just the way you are, and I want you to do the same. What a powerful and compassionate sentiment.
KIRKUS REVIEWSJulie Danielson

I Love All of Me
by Lorie Ann Grover
Cartwheel Books, Scholastic, September 17, 2019