Monday, June 27, 2016

Hello, World! Solar System: Jill McDonald

Hello, World! Solar System Cover

I love bringing nonfiction to our totz! Introduce our place in space with Hello, World! Solar System by Jill McDonald. With mixed media illustrations, the reader hops from planet to planet gaining a few facts for each along the way.

"We live on a planet called
From space it looks like
a swirled blue marble.
*Earth is the third planet from the sun."

I look forward to seeing more from the Hello, World! series. Bravo, Doubleday for raising the bar for board books. Hello, nature and science!

Note: Pluto is included. Yay!

Hello, World! Solar System
by Jill McDonald
Doubleday, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Celebrate your Mighty Dads this Father's Day with the board book or picture book!

Happy Father's Day!
The New York Times bestselling
by readertotz co-blogger Joan Holub
and illustrated by James Dean of Pete the Cat
is now a board book, too.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

More, more, more: Roy's House

How about combining simple text for readertotz with art by Roy Lichtenstein? I love getting fine art in front of the littlest readers and Susan Goldman Rubin does that with Roy's House. There's an air of Goodnight Moon as the home is described using Lichtenstein's paintings.

"In Roy's House, there is
a bedroom with yellow
pillows and lamps.

Let's go into the studio.
Roy paints pictures here!"

There's so much to see and discuss, from color, to home elements and objects, to Pop Art. I love this work for readertotz! I'd like to see the picture book released as a board book. Maybe soon?

Roy's House
by Susan Goldman Rubin
art by Roy Lichtenstein
Chronicle Books, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pete the Cat, The Wheels on the Bus: James Dean

The wheels on the bus go round and round as Pete the Cat drives through town. The horn, the wipers, and the signals are all in gear as the kitties say, "Come on, Pete!" There's a point when Pete gives over the wheel to a dog so everyone can rock out. It's completely groovy to have Pete on the board book scene. Welcome!

Pete the Cat, The Wheels on the Bus
by James Dean
HarperFestival, 2015

Friday, May 13, 2016

Poetry Friday: Sweep Up the Sun and Among a Thousand Fireflies

Breathtaking. The poems of Helen Frost alongside Rick Lieder's photographs are stunning. And then there are the layered meanings and life lessons within the pages. Celebrate Poetry Friday with this duo.

"Alone in the sky,
or flying with friends,
your wings will carry you far,
stitching earth to sky
with invisible thread,
at home
     wherever you are."

"Across a distance
wide and dark
she looks out from
her flower
and sees---

Light. Dark.
Light. Dark."

Sweep Up the Sun, 2015
Among a Thousand Fireflies, 2016
by Helen Frost
photographs by Rick Lieder
Candlewick Press

Thursday, May 12, 2016

More, more, more: Flora and the Peacocks; Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova

For your readertotz intrigued by dance, you must see these two beauties, both from Chronicle Books.

Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle is an elaborate presentation of suspicion, jealousy, rejection, and acceptance. Two peacocks, jealous of Flora, steal her fan so she can no longer resemble them. In response to her grief, the birds grow repentant, restore Flora's fan in a new way, and befriend her. Occasional lift-the-flaps crescendo in an enormous poster-sized flap of acceptance. There's so much to discuss with your totz arising from this lush work.

The second masterwork is Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, by Laurel Snyder, and illustrated by Julie Morstad. The work is an exquisite match of text and art, honoring the great ballet dancer.

The city is big.
     Anna is small.
The snow is
and all around.

There's such atmosphere. Relish each page turn as Anna grows and you witness her life, feeding the world with beauty.

Flora and the Peacocks
by Molly Idle
Chronicle Books, 2016

Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
by Laurel Snyder
illustrated by Julie Morstad
Chronicle Books, 2015

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Moment for Wallpaper: Murals Wallpaper

How fantastic is this?

Alice in Wonderland Children's Literature Wallpaper

We don't often take a break from board books, but this is too fabulous not to mention. Find the ordering details here from Murals Wallpaper. Love this, don't you?

Wizard of Oz Children's Literature Wallpaper Mural

Monday, May 9, 2016

Crocopotamus: Mary Murphy

Giggles will erupt as your readertotz flip through Mary Murphy's Crocopotamus. Combinations of animals just wait to be discovered. How about a Zekey or an Eleger. Of course there are matches for animals we know and love, too. Big, bold rough-edged images and hand-lettered text set a playful tone in this board book for the earliest readers.

by Mary Murphy
Candlewick Press, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

Cozy Classics: Jack and Holman Wang

There is always a desire to bring great lit to our totz. Chronicle Books has tackled the project with their Cozy Classics. Little felted figures in elaborate settings by Jack and Holman Wang illustrate: Pride & Prejudice, Moby Dick, War & PeaceGreat Expectations, and more. Their unique concept is that one word is illustrated per spread. How do you reduce War & Peace to 12 words? Intriguing, yes?

So your totz aren't going to track the entire plot, aside from the barest bones, but they will be introduced to imagery that may linger a long while. It's possible even a love will be ignited for what we hold dear in adult literature. I respect that a subject isn't shied away from either. Miss Havisham is on fire.

As usual, Chronicle gets it right.

Cozy Classics
War & Peace
Moby Dick
Pride & Prejudice
Great Expectations
by Jack and Holman Wang
Chronicle Books, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bob The Artist: Marion Deuchars

Bob appreciates his FINE legs, until he's teased about them. Unsuccessfully, he tries to change them and eventually just hides them. That is until he visits an art gallery. Inspired, he draws attention to his beak by painting it daily. With affirmation for his creativity, he grows confident and finally accepts his legs. And everyone else does, too.

Refusing to be cowed, the reader is emboldened to express herself further and gain self acceptance, possibly changing others' opinions. This is a fresh look at empowerment. Here is the gift of art to impact another, encourage expression, and change lives.

Marion Deuchars' illustrations are endearing in their simplicity. The color palette pops of Matisse. Publisher Laurence King believes in this book. Top quality presentation in every detail proves it.

This is one of my favorite picture books of the year, so far. I love Bob The Artist. You likely will, too. Skinny legs and all.

Bob The Artist
by Marion Deuchars
Lawrence King, 2016