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!
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).
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!
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!
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.
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'