Friday, February 26, 2010

Photototz: Suzanne Williams

I totally see Suzanne in this cutie-pie photo! Red hair, right? Thanks for playing, Suzanne!

Everyone check out the new series she is releasing with our own Joan Holub! Go, girls!

We'd love to share other totz photos. Send them, authors and illustrators, to readertotzatclearwiredotnet with your latest book cover!

~Lorie Ann

Poetry Friday: Grover's Bubble Poem

Happy Poetry Friday, totz! Go blow some bubbles!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Me Hungry! Jeremy Tankard

The second I saw Me Hungry by Jeremy Tankard, I loved it! What a great decision to place this work into a board book format. Why not bring the Stone Age to first readers? It's fresh and fun and accessible to the smallest totz.

When the child is hungry, and everyone is too busy to help him, he sets off to fend for himself. However, the rabbit hides, the porcupine is too sharp, and the tiger is too mean. Thankfully, there's the woolly mammoth who just happens to be hungry as well! With a little help, the boy solves his own problem.

The palette is very appealing with gentle changes from spread to spread to mark the introduction of different characters. Random splatters create texture along with thick brush and thin pen lines.

School Library Journal is spot on to say, "A totally fresh, timeless gem."

Absolutely pick up Me Hungry! for your totz!

Me Hungry!
by Jeremy Tankard
Candlewick Press, February 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

Poetry Friday: First Friends

This is one of the first photos of me! And I still have the bear on my dresser. So, here's an on the spot haiku to enjoy with your totz.

First Friends

Wide-eyed with you at
my side, the world is friendly.
Wave, wave, wave with me!

Lorie Ann Grover, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February Pick for Totz and Older Siblings: Can You Make A Scary Face?
This book is hilarious. A perfect read-aloud. It's unusual in that the main character speaks directly to readers. I watched a storytime in a local store and the audience of totz and their siblings enjoyed it as much as I did.

The narrator is a big ladybug painted in bold colors, and it begins with her saying...
Can you make a scary face?
Hey, you!
Yes, I'm talking to you! STAND UP!
No, I changed my mind... SIT DOWN!
No, I changed my mind AGAIN. STAND UP!

Kids in the audience were delighted to obey this bossy ladybug's every command, giggling all the while. There's a moment of humorous tension when a big frog comes along and actually scares the ladybug. She enlists the help of readers in scaring him away. But then the audience scares her off!

Very clever and unusual. Loved it.

Can You Make A Scary Face?
By Jan Thomas
Beach Lane Books, 2009

Monday, February 15, 2010

Salina Yoon: Find My Feet
In this interactive board book, totz can spin a wheel to match a duck, cow, pig, cat, frog, and horse to their feet. Small hands will find it easy to grasp and turn the wheel, and doing so is pretty much irresistible. This is a great concept that's perfect for younger totz. The colors offer clues--the pink pig matches the pink pig feet--but totz will enjoy the silliness of mixing up the feet as well. This book is brilliant in its simplicity.

Salina Yoon is a prolific author-illustrator of novelty, board, and picture books. She has an adorable website at that showcases her titles nicely. I was interested to learn that she was born in Korea and shares a birthday with Albert Einstein.

Find My Feet
Author-illustrator: Salina Yoon
Random House, Robin Corey Books, 2009

Friday, February 12, 2010

Poetry Friday: Gathering Mussels

Here's a Canadian entry from Mama Lisa. How unusual!
Photo from

Gathering Mussels

Gathering mussels, mussels, mussels,
I do not want to go, Mommy,
The people in the town, town, town,
Have taken my basket, Mommy.

I think this stood out to me because mussels are a big part of my YA work in progress! Ha! Happy Poetry Friday, totz!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Look! by Kyra Teis

Joan and I have given our responses to board books featuring representational fine art, so how about one full of abstract art? Look! by Kyra Teis fills this nitch!

Inspired by her father's abstract art, Kyra brings a collection of painted paper collages to your totz. Like a quilt, the shapes, colors, and textures weave across the page.

The straightforward text will inspire your totz to discover forms, direction, and repetitions.

"Squiggle, squiggle,
can you see the lines that wiggle?"

And you can't overlook the blurb of awesome on the back cover:

"It is a great pleasure to welcome Kyra Teis, a gifted young artist, to the world of children's picture books. Her sense of design, and especially color, is magical and will inspire young children to explore their own creative ability." Brian Wildsmith

Reading this work will brighten your day. Filled with so many beautiful colors and shapes, how can it not? Take a look at Look!

by Kyra Teis
Star Bright Books, 2005

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Photototz: JD Lester

Here's JD Lester as a tot! How adorable is she and the puppy? Thanks so much for playing, JD!

Here's our review of Mommy Calls Me Monkeypants and another post of the cutest video reading.

We'd love to share other totz photos. Send them, authors and illustrators, to readertotzatclearwiredotnet

~Lorie Ann

Monday, February 1, 2010

Simon Abbott: I Can Draw Pets

A big interactive board book! How cool is this?
Four very simple steps are shown on every left-hand page, and your totz can trace over the images. There's a large empty square where they can try it on their own as well on each right-hand page. The slick surfaces allow for easy wipe-off of every drawing so they can try again over and over. Nice, sturdy board pages make this easy to balance on a lap and should hold up to use. The animals include a fish, rabbit, dog, cat, bird, and guinea pig. I pronounce this cute and useful.

Comes with a pen. Not for children under 3 years.

I Can Draw Pets
Simon Abbott, Illustrator
Kingfisher, 2009

~ Joan Holub