Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Poem In Your Pocket Day
Today is the last day of National Poetry Month and it's Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Simply write a poem or choose one by your totz' fav poet, and put it in your pocket. All day, share it with friends and family.

Click here to learn more.

I'm off to write out a poem. Woohoo, for April and poetry!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesdays Win: Glorious Grandmas by Joan Holub
Mother's Day is May 10th! Drop a comment for a chance to win Joan’s board book, Glorious Grandmas. Good luck, and don’t forget to check back to see if you’ve won next Wednesday (May 6) when we'll announce the winner and also post a new contest for yet another book!

Congratulations PoloPony, you're the winner of Marvelous Moms in last Wednesdays Win! Please email joanholub at aol dot com with a snailmail to send to.

~ Joan Holub and Lorie Ann Grover

Monday, April 27, 2009

Biscuit Visits the Petting Zoo: Alyssa Satin Capucilli
I've been a Biscuit fan since the first I Can Read early reader titled Biscuit was released in 1997. I remember precisely how I first became aware of the book. I was standing in a Barnes & Noble store in Seattle when I overheard two young girls talking about Biscuit and saying how much they loved him. Of course, I took a look at the book myself after that and fell in love with the simplicity and charm of this character. It's not easy creating a book with minimal text that still manages to hold the attention and garner the love of young readers. Yet there's a need for these books. (This one's cited for ages 2-6.)

Since then, there have been many more early readers and board books featuring Biscuit, the little yellow puppy. Now we have Biscuit Visits the Petting Zoo. Biscuit and his girl go to a petting zoo where they meet various other animals who have woolly, fuzzy, silky, etc, features which young readers can stroke to learn what 'woolly' and 'furry' feel like. I'm a fan of touch-and-feel books and totz seem to love them, too!

Biscuit Visits the Petting Zoo
Alyssa Satin Capucilli ~ author
Rose Mary Berlin, in the style of Pat Schories ~ illustrator
HarperCollins, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Poetry Friday: Intery, Mintery

Poetry Friday
Five Geese, originally uploaded by emorgan49.

Intery, Mintery

Intery, mintery, cutery corn,
Apple seed and apple thorn;
Wire, brier, limber-lock,
Five geese in a flock,
Sit and sing by a spring,
O-u-t, and in again.

Catch the full roundup with Lisa Chellman at Under the Covers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April Totz Community Service

Make a bird happy by setting out your yarn scraps!
Photo by Lion Brand Yarn

Your totz can help birds build their nests. Have them place brightly colored pieces of yarn or string about 2-3 inches long (or clothes dryer lint) outside on tree branches and shrubs. In the following days, your totz can watch for nests made with their help.

Make a difference with your totz!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesdays Win: Marvelous Moms by Joan Holub
Mother's Day is May 10th! Drop a comment for a chance to win Joan Holub's fuzzy board book, Marvelous Moms. Good luck, and don’t forget to check back to see if you’ve won next Wednesday (April 29) when we'll announce the winner and also post a new contest for yet another book!

~ Joan Holub and Lorie Ann Grover

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beware the Tickle Monster! Craig Yoe and Aaron Zenz

Cover Image
Get ready for giggles and wiggles as you sit down to read Beware the Tickle Monster! with your totz!

Author Craig Yoe encourages the reader not to be worried about cyclops, dragons, or trolls. Do be worried about the "four-eyed, three-horned, little, furry tickle monster!" With alliteration and assonance that build, your child will be anticipating that last spread where he "gets you!"

Aaron Zenz does a wonderful job creating these characters in a way that they remain playful and fun, rather than frightening. This is not an easy task! The softer palatte and round shapes help achieve this end, as well as the delicate hatching and cross hatching.

Each page presents a parent and child monster. The center spread of the boogiemen is just hilarious!

The added feature of a hole cut through the entire book takes the interactivity to another level. You and your totz can wiggle your fingers though the holes and see how your additions become dragon tails, monster horns, or things that might come out of a boogeyman's nose!

Beware the Tickle Monster! is a fun read that will be requested again and again. Check out this most excellent review by Aaron's children.

Beware the Tickle Monster
by Craig Yoe
illustrated by Aaron Zenz
Running Press, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

At the Construction Site: Ace Landers

At the Construction Site

At the Construction Site stands out to me because of it's layered pages. What a smart format to display the vehicles at work. Turning the unusual shapes and discovering how each spread relates to the next is engaging. Referencing the cover, the green front loader is the shape of the first page; the yellow backhoe, and the red dump truck are others. P. Migliani's simple, clean illustrations will appeal to your totz totally into construction.

Ace Landers' straight forward text introduces the various trucks on site. The reader is taken from the bulldozer which clears the site, all the way to the crane which builds. My heart still goes to the cement truck. They've always fascinated me!

There are a few perspective shifts that the format creates, but I believe they will be overlooked by construction fans. Enjoy, At the Construction Site!

At the Construction Site
Ace Landers, Author
P. Migliani, illustrator
Scholastic, Cartwheel Books, 2007

Friday, April 17, 2009

Poetry Friday: The Hart

Poetry Friday

La Dame a la Licorne, a French tapestry

The Hart

The hart, he loves the high wood;
The hare, she loves the hill;
The knight, he loves his bright sword;
The lady loves her will.

Catch the roundup with Becky at Becky's Book Reviews.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April Pick for the Older Sibling: Aaron Zenz's the HICCUPotamus

There was a hippopotamus
Who hiccupped quite-a-lotamus.

And every time he got’emus. . .

. . . He’d fall upon his bottomus.

Wordplay is one of my favorite things, and it abounds in this clever picture book by author-illustrator, Aaron Zenz. When hippopotamus gets hiccups, his friends employ various “helpful” methods of assisting him to overcome them. (His friends include a yellow elephant, and a rhinoceros using dental flosserous.)

After much hilarity as well as trial and error, hippo is finally cured. And then. Hic! Hic! Hic! His friends come down with cases of hiccups themselves as shown in this page, rendered in Prismacolor pencil:

Inside Scoop:

Multi-talented Aaron Zenz has worked as a fine artist, graphic designer, multimedia designer, and illustrator. He’s also the author of one of my favorite blogs, Bookie Woogie, which he creates with his children. It's a VERY entertaining format which provides an informative view of what kids really think and say about books as they're reading them.

the HICCUPotamus
Aaron Zenz, author-illustrator
Marshall Cavendish Children's Books (September 2009)
(Previously publication by Dogs In Hats, 2005)

~ Joan Holub, author

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Welcome to readertotz Wednesday's Win!

Drop a comment for a chance to win this infant-toddler book, Whiskerville Grocery. A random winner will be chosen and posted Thursday morning. Don’t forget to check back to see if you’ve won.

Monday, April 13, 2009

No More Diapers for Ducky: Bernette Ford and Sam Williams

I found this board book in my library and was immediately drawn to the adorable illustrations and the diaper on the front cover. The diaper is actually white terrycloth, adding a nice tactile experience for young readers. Once I got past the cool cover, I was pulled into the story in which two friends learn by imitating one another.

As the story opens, diaper-wearing Ducky visits her friend Piggy, hoping to play. Piggy informs her through the closed bathroom door that he’s on the potty. The art shows us he’s passing the time reading.

So Ducky waits, playing alone in Piggy’s room. She knocks again, almost immediately, asking if Piggy can “come out now.” Alas, Piggy informs her that he’s still on the potty.

Soon Ducky begins to notice that her diaper is uncomfortable. It’s wet and cold. She wriggles out of it and kicks it away. I like the action here, which puts Ducky in charge of this decision.

Then Ducky knocks yet a third time, telling Piggy she needs to use the potty herself. Surprised, Piggy protests that she wears diapers, to which she replies, “Not anymore.”

Piggy dresses, washes his hands (a helpful reminder), and then lets Ducky in. Piggy goes to play with his toys and books while Ducky uses the potty. In a humorous role reversal, Piggy eventually calls through the bathroom door to Ducky, asking her to “come out and play.” Of course she’s the one who’s busy now, sitting on the potty.

William's simple, charming illustrations do a wonderful job of capturing the characters’ emotions with a few active strokes of a black pencil. Piggy’s protesting expression as he informs Ducky that he’s still busy, is accomplished with the sparest of lines. Ducky’s grimace when she eventually demands to use the potty is right-on.

Ford’s non-rhyming prose empathizes with the characters as it captures a moment when toddlers are called upon to cope with developmental growth and change.

No More Diapers For Ducky
Bernette Ford (Author)
Sam Williams (Illustrator)
Boxer Books, 2006
Ages Baby to Pre-school

~ Joan Holub, author-illustrator

Friday, April 10, 2009

Poetry Friday: A Little Nut-Tree

Poetry Friday

A Little Nut-Tree

I had a little nut-tree, nothing would it bear
But a silver nutmeg and a golden pear;
The king of Spain's daughter came to visit me,
And all because of my little nut-tree.
I skipped over water, I danced over sea.
And all the birds in the air couldn't catch me.

Catch the full roundup at Carol Wilcox at Carol's Corner.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Welcome to readertotz Wednesday's Win!
Welcome to readertotz Wednesday's Win! Drop a comment for a chance to win Five Spring Fairies, a pop-up book written by Joan Holub and beautifully illustrated by Kathy Couri (Little Simon). A random winner will be chosen and posted Thursday morning. Don’t forget to check back to see if you’ve won.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More, More, More! If I Could, Susan Milord

Joan and I are receiving wonderful works from publishers. Of course there are far more picture books being printed than board books. To share the very best, occasionally, we'll offer a review titled "More, More, More!" as Vera Williams so eloquently put it. We still remain a board book blog. But this will keep our content fresh!
Cover Image

The revised edition of If I Could by Susan Milord and illustrated by Christopher Denise came to my attention. It's absolutely dear. The original cover is above and the revised is below. I prefer the revised! It's bright and active.

On one ordinary day, a raccoon mother and child share their wishes for each other. Each endearment could be spoken by either character.

"If I could,
I'd rouse the sun
and make it shine
till day is done."

The lasting note is:

"I couldn't love you
more than I do.
But if I could,
I would."

With delightful layered illustrations in acrylic and charcoal, your heart will be stirred along with your totz'.

If I Could
by Susan Milord, illustrated by Christopher Denise
Candlewick, 2009, revised

~Lorie Ann Grover

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Can Eat a Rainbow: Annabel Karmel

When I pick up a DK book, I'm always hoping for those amazing layouts filled with photos of beautiful items and imagery. Sure enough, I Can Eat a Rainbow by Annabel Karmel did not disappoint me!

Each page is a different color filled with fruits and vegetables that will delight your totz. Included are photos of animals constructed from the featured foods on each spread. The purple elephant is made from a red cabbage, beets, and an eggplant. The white sheep is made from cauliflower, onions, and a potato.

Eyes are added to random food items along with numbers, dotted lines, and bold and regular fonts. Occasional food facts are included. How can fruits and veggies be so fun? With Annabel's creativity, that's for certain.

You can look forward to a first page devoted to parents with activities and helpful tips. Even that material is displayed attractively for totz' interest.

Annabel is a leading children's food expert. Check out her website and look for her Mom and Me Cookbook and Toddler Cookbook. I'll most likely be reviewing them as well, soon!

I Can Eat A Rainbow
Annabel Karmel
DK, 2009

~Lorie Ann

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Press Release: Rainy Day Slug

Immediate Release


Illustrator Lorie Ann Grover's Northwest staple marks its ten year anniversary from creation with a paperback edition.

April, 2009 (Seattle, Wash.) – readergirlz and readertotz co-founder and illustrator Lorie Ann Grover's Rainy Day Slug has just been released in paperback from Sasquatch Books. With text by Mary Colborn, this Northwest favorite will continue to be found and loved by toddlers and slug lovers alike. From the Space Needle to Safeco Field, where it is read to the Mariners' children during the games, this picture book brings smiles to Seattle and beyond.

"One rainy day, a slug left it's garden for a walk in the wide, wide world."

"I love the thought that this work will still have a presence and will now be even more affordable," says Grover. "It was a joy to revisit the illustrations and provide a brand new cover for this edition."

Rainy Day Slug is a beloved book of the Pacific Northwest and can be found nationally in the homes of slug lovers.

About readergirlz, readertotz, Lorie Ann Grover, and Mary Colborn

readergirlz is the foremost online book community for teen girls, led by five critically acclaimed YA authors. The site is the recipient of a 2007 James Patterson PageTurner Award and the Association for Library Services to Children, ALA, Great Web Sites Award.

readertotz is a blog which showcases infant-toddler books as an important addition to children's literature.

Lorie Ann Grover is the author of three young adult verse novels (Loose Threads, On Pointe, Hold Me Tight) and three board books (When Daddy Comes Home, Hug Hug!, Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish) and has illustrated the picture book Rainy Day Slug.

Mary Colborn is an author and horticulturist who lives in Port Orchard, Washington.

Contact information:
Email: lorieanngrover(at)clearwire(dot)net

Welcome to readertotz Wednesday's Win!
Drop a comment for a chance to win this infant-toddler book, Maisy Goes to the Museum in paperback. A random winner will be chosen and posted Thursday morning. Don’t forget to check back to see if you’ve won.