Monday, September 28, 2015

Owl Babies: Martin Waddell

Owl Babies in board book format! I'm so excited! This is a beloved favorite of our family, and I'm so glad it's formatted again for little hands.

The cover is lightened, the background blue rather than black, maybe to make it less scary? Otherwise Patrick Benson's perfect imagery is untouched, as well as Martin Waddell's text. Bravo, Candlewick!

I met Martin years ago and can still hear his voice reading as Sarah, Percy, and Bill await the return of their mother. Here is a lifework to treasure.

Owl Babies
By Martin Waddell
Illustrated by Patrick Benson
Candlewick Press, 2015, 2nd US edition

Friday, September 25, 2015

Poetry Friday: Double Happiness by Nancy Tupper Ling

Filling little boxes with treasures from home, helps a Chinese American brother and sister prepare for a move. The picture book-in-verse tells a complete story as a novel-in-verse would. Another delight from Chronicle, and it's perfect for Poetry Friday!


One stray leaf
flutters down
onto my box--
If I had a koala I'd feed
her this minty meal all
day long--
the perfect treasure
to remind me of home.

Double Happiness
By Nancy Tupper Ling
Illustrated by Alina Chau
Chronicle Books, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Are You My Mommy? by Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy has another adorable board book for your totz. Are You My Mommy? asks a little dog of the various farm animals. Each mother says no but introduces the puppy to her baby. New words are likely introduced such as duckling, foal, and calf.

The thick black outline for characters and the Murphy Brush typeset against soft watercolor settings create vibrant spreads. Candlewick Press has a gem in Mary Murphy.

Are You My Mommy?
by Mary Murphy
Candlewick Press, 2015

Arf! Arf! and Quack! Quack! by Sebastien Braun

Nosy Crow has a series titled Can You Say It, Too? The big flaps are easy to lift for little hands. Quack! Quack! and Arf! Arf! are the two I most recently ran across from Sebastien Braun. The former is set near a pond and the latter by the sea. Answers to the questions are printed on the backside of the flaps.

The series could easily have been titled, "Who's that?" With each question and flap, another character is present as well. The additions can expand the interactive read. Double flaps at the conclusion are a nice surprise.

Chunky and sturdy with adorable animals, these are sure to be read and reread. Look for the whole series.

Quack! Quack!
Arf! Arf!
by Sebastien Braun
Nosy Crow, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Poetry Friday: Bathtime for Chickies, by Janee Trasler

I'm a chickies fan! Thanks, Janee Trasler for another peek into the life of the chickies. In Bathtime for Chickies we find the little birds covered in grime and grub, resisting bathing, and then not wanting to get out of the bath…over and over. Pig washes them once; Cow follows up the perfume/lotion mess; and the cooking catastrophe is cleaned up by Sheep.

"Once they're clean
     and shiny too,
     what will
little chickies

Take a guess. Just know Pig, Cow, and Sheep join those little chickies. Happy Poetry Friday, readertotz!

Bathtime for Chickies
by Janee Trasler
HarperFestival, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

More, more, more: Pool, by JiHyeon Lee

I'm a huge fan of wordless picture books. Before your summer ends and school starts up again, find Pool by JiHyeon Lee. As a young boy approaches the public pool, it seems the entire town turns out and jumps in ahead of him. But…what if he dives beneath all the floaties and splashing swimmers to find a girl down below. Maybe there is a world of coral, fish, and mythic creatures, tiny and great, to be discovered.

With their descent, color saturates the oversized format, and the reader is lost in another world created with color pencils and oil pastels. When the two friends resurface, it's possible their discoveries return with them and cause the pool to empty. The book is dedicated: "For Those Who Want To Swim Freely in the World."

This is JiHyeon Lee's first book. The work so clearly taps into the imagination it feels as if she has read our own wishes. Brava! Joan and I will be waiting for more from this gifted newcomer.

by JiHyeon Lee
Chronicle Books, 2015, originally published in South Korea, 2013

Monday, August 17, 2015

All Shook Up! and Who's There? Alain Crozon

I have two lift-the-flaps that are unique and stand out from the stack. Alain Crozon's All Shook Up! and Who's There? are strong, graphic additions to the market which invite page turns and giggles.

The limited palate of blue, yellow, black, and red; the matte pages; and thick black line create all the fun. Whether you are reading and lifting to discover what's inside the fearless fish or the nesting dolls, or exploring movement in fluttering feathers and spiky hair, the reads are interactive and dosed with joy.

I love these two, and so will your totz!

All Shook Up!
Who's There?
Alain Crozon
Chronicle Books, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Poetry Friday: What Pet Should I Get?

Happy Poetry Friday! It's time to "Make up your mind," with two totz, the boy and girl from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, trying to decide which pet to take home. How lovely to have one more Dr. Seuss book to treasure with back matter to explain context. Enjoy!

"Dad said we could have one.
Dad said he would pay.
I went to the Pet Shop.
I went there with Kay.

And so we went in..."

What Pet Should I Get?
by Dr. Seuss
Random House, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Poetry Friday: The Bus is for Us!

Poetry Friday will be a beauty with The Bus is for Us! Michael Rosen's text swings through locomotive options, real and imaginary, while Gillian Tyler's illustrations softly wisp along the reader. Find this rhyming picture book and then take a ride somewhere delightful with your totz. Consider taking the bus!

"I do, of course,
like riding a horse.

I like to float
in a little boat.

I like trips
in big ships.

But the best is the bus.
The bus is for us."

The Bus is for Us!
by Michael Rosen
illustrated by Gillian Tyler
Candlewick Press, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Poetry Friday: Funny Face, Sunny Face

Happy Poetry Friday! Here's a little Funny Face, Sunny Face to brighten your day with your totz. It's oh, so catchy.

"Sticky lips, licky lips,
kiss-me-quicky lips.

Peeky nose,
beaky nose,
        cheeky nose."

Funny Face, Sunny Face
by Sally Symes
illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Nosy Crow, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

More, more, more: The New Small Person

Elmore Green began life as an only child, happy with his status in the family. No one ever ate his jelly beans, until "somebody else came along." The small person, being cut major slack within the family, makes Elmore wish he would go away. And when he only grows larger and moves into Elmore's room, there's little hope left in life.

But a bad dream and finding a bit of comfort from the younger sib, along with a large dose of admiration, and someone to laugh with, changes Elmore's perspective. Enough to share his jellybeans. Except the orange ones, of course.

Lauren Child is the master of wry humor, truthful twists, and everyday observations. The New Small Person is a brilliant work to add to your collection beside Charlie, Lola, and Clarice Bean. More, more, more, we say!

The New Small Person
by Lauren Child
Candlewick Press, 2014