Monday, September 28, 2009

Painting with Picasso: Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober
Art Appreciation for totz!

This is one of the Mini Masters series of board books about famous artists. It pairs beautiful illustrations of Picasso's work with rhyming text, and makes for a wonderful introduction to Picasso that's just right for totz.

If you like this one, there's a set called The Mini Masters Boxed Set, which includes Degas, Monet, Matisse, and Van Gogh.

Painting with Picasso
Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober, authors
Chronicle Books, 2006

~ reviewed by Joan Holub

Friday, September 25, 2009

Poetry Friday: There was a Little Guinea-Pig

There was a Little Guinea-Pig

There was a little guinea-pig,
Who, being little, was not big;
He always walked upon his feet,
And never fasted when he eat.

When from a place he run away,
He never at the place did stay;
And while he run, as I am told,
He ne'er stood still for young or old.

He often squeaked, and sometimes violent,
And when he squeaked he ne'er was silent.
Though ne'er instructed by a cat,
He knew a mouse was not a rat.

One day, as I am certified,
He took a whim and fairly died;
And as I am told by men of sense,
He never has been living since.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesdays Win: A Little Puppy

Drop a comment for a chance to win A Little Puppy, a board book by Jane Feder and Amy Schwartz. Stop in each week--we'll post a new contest every Wednesday and will announce all the winners for the month on September 30th. Don’t forget to check back to see if you've won. Good luck!
(Due to mailing costs, USA only. Winners must contact us at the email provided on September 30 within 10 days to be eligible. Thanks!)

~ Joan Holub and Lorie Ann Grover

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rocker Babies Wear Jeans

After a summer of my husband and daughter playing in a rock band, this board book won my heart! Get ready to be introduced to the Rocker Babies.

You'll recognize them as they tend to wear jeans, shake their booties, and go on the road. Of course they have groupies, hit high notes, and rock out.

Michelle Sinclair Colman's clever text spun on a popular theme will have you smiling and turning up the tunes for you and your totz. Nathalie Dion's illustrations hold a great mix of light color, sharp line, and fun patterns. The half spread in black fits the tone and subject perfectly.

I've enjoyed Rocker Babies Wear Jeans and recommend it for your readertotz!

Rocker Babies Wear Jeans
by Michelle Sinclair Colman
illustrations by Nathalie Dion
Tricycle Press, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Poetry Friday: Little Nancy Etticoat

Little Nancy Etticoat,
In a white petticoat,
And a red nose;
The longer she stands,
The shorter she grows.

          (A candle.)

Catch the roundup at Becky's Book Reviews!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesdays Win: Apple Countdown by Joan Holub

It's apple season! Drop a comment for a chance to win Joan Holub's picture book, Apple Countdown. Don't forget to check in each week--we'll post a new contest every Wednesday and will announce all the winners for the month on September 30th. Don’t forget to check back. Good luck!
(Due to mailing costs, USA only.)

~ Joan Holub and Lorie Ann Grover

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Love You Stinky Face: Lisa McCourt and Cyd Moore
I enjoyed this as a picture book and was excited to see it reissued now in board book format. It was a hugely successful title. I like that it reads as a conversation between mother and child. It's so realistic that I've wondered if the idea sprang from an actual talk Lisa McCourt had with her child.

Mama said, "I love you, my wonderful child."
But I had a question.

Mama, what if I were a big, scary ape? Would you still love me then?

"If you were a big, scary ape, I would make your birthday cake out of bananas, and I would tell you, "I love you, my big, scary ape."

But Mama, but Mama, what if I were a super smelly skunk,
and I smelled so bad that my name was stinky face?

At first glance this is a funny book, but below the surface, it's a reassurance to totz that they are loved no matter what. What could be better than that?

I Love You Stinkyface
Lisa McCourt, author
Cyd Moore, illustrator
Scholastic, 2009

~ review by Joan Holub, author

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Poetry Friday: A Light in the Attic: Special Edition

In celebration of the release of A Light in the Attic: Special Edition, here's a YouTube entry narrated by Shel of "Backward Bill." Pick up the new release and enjoy those 12 new poems with your totz! What a treasure!

A Light in the Attic: Special Edition
by Shel Silverstein
HarperCollins Children's Books, September 22, 2009

Catch the full Poetry Friday roundup with Wild Rose Reader!

September Pick for the Older Sibling: Library Lion

My pick this month for the older sibling of your totz is Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, illustrations by Kevin Hawkes. When a picture book grabs your heart, you have to share it!

So, one day a lion comes to the library. Despite Mr. McBee's concern, Miss Merriweather takes no action as no rules are being broken. Of course, the lion must be quiet in storytime.

The lion makes himself useful in the branch. Eventually Lion's emergency roar is misunderstood, and Mr. McBee casts him out. It's is he who must find lion and explain the new rule:

"No roaring allowed, unless you have a very good reason--say, if you're trying to help a friend who's been hurt, for example."

With extremely smart pacing and endearing characters, this work will quickly become a favorite of your family. This New York Times Bestseller will win your heart if it hasn't already.

Library Lion
by Michelle Knudsen
illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Candlewick Press, paperback 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More, more, more: Ned's New Home

What can a worm do when his home begins to rot? Ned's walls have grown mushy and apple juice rains. The problem forces the little green worm on an adventure to find a new home. Not an easy task. Pears are wobbly, watermelons are too large, and blueberries just roll about.

Of course, it's in the most dire circumstances that the hero finds his solution. In this case, Ned finds a new home and a new friend.

Kevin Tseng's text and art are sparse and fresh. Two images per spread maintain a rhythm from start to end, while visual distance varies in the watercolor paintings. Even the rounded font lends atmosphere to the tale.

Read Ned's New Home with your readertotz and experience one little worm's crisis and soaring solution.

Ned's New Home

by Kevin Tseng
Tricycle Press, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Art for Baby: the very best for your totz

Art for Baby

If there was a Kunhardt Board Book Award, Art for Baby would be short listed for certain. This is exactly what Joan and I are calling for when we ask for the best for our totz.

Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press, has collected twelve black and white images from eleven contemporary artists. Special thanks go out to the galleries who were so generous with their art that they allowed the pieces to be included in this work. Thanks also to the Outset Contemporary Art Fund and the NSPCC who helped in this collaboration.

What more beautiful images to expose your totz to than Paul Morrison's Cryptophyte or Takashi Murakami's Ohana? (both above) Black and white high contrast images aid newborns in object recognition. What a beautiful way to present art and life to the youngest readers. Other artists include Keith Haring, Julian Opie, and Damien Hirst.

A removable paper frieze for your nursery is also provided. Our thanks go out to Templar Books for raising the board book bar and presenting the very best to the market. This book is exquisite perfection.

Art for Baby

9.6 x 9.5 inches
Templar Books, Candlewick Press, September 8, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Poetry Friday: Two Little Dicky Birds

Two little dicky birds sitting on a wall,
One named Peter, one named Paul.
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul,
Come back Peter, come back Paul!

Thanks to this UK nursery rhyme site for the image and reminder of one of my favorite rhymes when I was a tot! A little looking around revealed the name dicky bird is a child's term for any small bird. Now we know!

Today's Poetry Friday is up over at The Boy Reader.