Friday, December 31, 2010

Photo Friday: Smelling Books

Hey totz and parents!

Just a fun image I made at Polyvore which celebrates our love of books. Hope it makes you smile and brings a little joy to your own new year. HAPPY 2011!

Smelling Books 
Lorie Ann Grover, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oh, Baby! Go, Baby! Dr. Seuss
With the close of the year and the hope of the new, I thought Oh, Baby! Go, Baby! was a perfect pick for your totz. Based on Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Place You'll Go, here's a great interactive format with tot appeal.

Pull tabs move the baby along, a turning circle whirls you into a Seussical landscape, while foil and fur add tactile experience. The images deliver all you expect from Dr. Seuss.

I particularly like the chosen text which is encouraging, but it still pauses and reveals there will be times when you don't reach those high heights. However, then you can try once more and maybe attain with joy. "Baby, you'll move mountains!"

Read this fun work with your totz. Show them their mountain is waiting. Cheer them on into the new year!

Oh, Baby! Go, Baby!
Random House, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Photo Friday: Find the Beauty!

Warm holiday wishes to all our totz and parents! May you find the beauty around you. Like the simple beauty of birds. xox Lorie Ann and Joan

The Beauty of the Birds

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Robot Book: Heather Brown

I like The Robot Book! I especially enjoy this novelty book's many gears and movable parts. It's steampunk for totz. It's very sturdy and will stand up to lots of use. And as you'll see when you hit the last page--it has heart (with gears).

The Robot Book
Created by Heather Brown
Accord Publishing, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Poetry Friday: Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel 

Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel

I have a little dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play! 

Oh - dreidel, dreidel, dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play! 

It has a lovely body
With legs so short and thin
And when my dreidel's tired
It drops and then I win! 

Oh - dreidel, dreidel, dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play! 

My dreidel's always playful
It loves to dance and spin
A happy game of dreidel
Come play now, let's begin!

Oh - dreidel, dreidel, dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play!

Happy Poetry Friday and Happy Hanukkah, totz! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Like Fruit:: Lorena Siminovich

My feature this week is I Like Fruit by Lorena Siminovich. I'm so impressed by the Candlewick division Templar Books. Every work is such a beautiful piece of art.

Open this touch-and-feel book and explore both color and fruit. Whether it be a red strawberry, raspberry, and cherry, or the orange cantaloupe, peach, and orange, your totz will be delighted with the colorful array and love tapping the textures.

All the images are created with interesting, delicate collage. The left spread is divided into four panels illustrating three fruits and the color featured. The right spread is one whole fruit, cut open to illustrate the inside and outside. The fruit skin is often depicted with three collage print changes, yet the entire image is successful as a whole.

Find this delightful work with your totz and then pass the fruit!

I Like Fruit
by Lorena Simminovich
Templar Books, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Poetry Friday: Christmas is Coming

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please to put a penny in an old man's hat;
If you haven't got a penny a ha'penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha'penny, God bless you.

Oh, my. Poor geese! Happy Poetry Friday! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More, More, More: Design, The Archive Series

Creating children's books is a vast collaborative process. Even down to the simplest board book, there is a synergy between the entire creative team's efforts. From the writer's words, to the agent's input, to the editor's tweaks, to the art director's choice of illustrator, to the illustrator's vision looping back to the writer's words, to the marketing team's suggestions, to the printer and binder, to the final book. Even still, I've left out crucial team players.

Today, Joan and I will often turn in board and picture books with illustrated dummies of our vision. At times we are asked to develop those images further, and other times, our designs are shared with another illustrator, as a further guide to our concept. Sometimes they are withheld to bring a fresh look to the table.

Maybe this process is what made me so excited for Design, The Archive Series, by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Here is a visual record of those images and concepts which fed into our beloved children's animated films. We solidly know the scope and presentation of Bambi and now Tangled, but what were the whispers, the emotions, the sweeping colors that guided those final choices? Stylized or abstract; watercolor, oil or pencil, each entry conveys a mood which in turn shaped a film.

This immense work is a document to the progression of film imagery in the United States. What a treasure to saturate yourself with Mary Blair's paintings, and then Chen-Yi Chang's, and my favorite, Eyvind Earle's. It is a pleasure to find inspirations and wisps of familiar characters.

I recommend this collection for your own coffee table. Totz and their siblings will devour the pages, along with you and your friends. Who knows? Maybe it will feed a budding artist in your very midst.

If you are lover of all things Disney, check out this blog for more, more, more!

Design, The Archive Series
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Disney Enterprises, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let It Snow!: Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Let It Snow! is a new 8x8 paperback picture book written and illustrated by a talented, amazing friend, Maryann Cocca-Leffler. The simple, rhyming text will appeal to totz, and this could easily become a board book in future as well:

Lacy trees, hills of white,
sledding, snowmen, snowball fight.

Back when I worked in the design department at Scholastic, Maryann's Wednesday Is Spaghetti Day (just released as an iPAD app) was one of my first picture book design assignments. And we both author-illustrated for a series I absolutely love for its blend of quirky humor and facts--Grosset & Dunlap's Smart About Art series (Maryann: Edgar Degas, Paintings that Dance / Joan: Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers and Swirly Stars). We have stayed in touch over the years and it's wonderful to be able to celebrate Maryann's newest book with her.

It seems to be snowing in unlikely places these days. Lorie Ann and my other friends in Seattle can attest to that. They rarely get snow, and certainly not in November as they did this year.

So be sure to have this cute book on hand for your totz in case of unexpected (or expected) snow. Even if you live in Florida. Because, with snow, you just never know!

Let It Snow!
Author-illustrator: Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Cartwheel Books (Scholastic)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Older Sibling Picture Book Pick: It's A Book

In a world of brightly-colored picture books, this one's simple shapes, calm colors, and quirky characters stand out. The story is fraught with childlike-tension--the annoyance of one character that wishes to be left in peace to enjoy a book, while another pelts him with frenetic questions about what a book is? The tone of the questions is somewhat disparaging. You mean the book doesn't DO anything?

A witty, wonderful, unforgettable ... book.

Note: Can you find the word I've never read in a picture book before?
(Parental discretion is advised.)
Extensive review quotes, under 'Product Description'

It's A Book
Author-illustrator: Lane Smith
Roaring Brook Press, 2010