Saturday, December 31, 2011

December: Community Service

If you didn't drop coins in the Salvation Army kettle this holiday season, drop off clothes and toys at your local Salvation Army store!

Happy new year, totz and parents!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Poetry Friday: A Farmer Went Riding

Happy Poetry Friday, parents and totz! The last of 2011!

Art by Frederick Richardson, Mother Goose the Original Volland Edition

A farmer went riding
Upon his gray mare;
Bumpety, bumpety, bump!

With his daughter behind him,
So rosy and fair;
Lumpety, lumpety, lump!

A raven cried "Croak!"
And they all tumbled down;
Bumpety, bumpety, bump!

The mare broke her knees,
And the farmer his crown;
Lumpety, lumpety, lump!

The mischievous raven
Flew laughing away;
Bumpety, bumpety, bump!

And vowed he would serve them
The same the next day;
Lumpety, lumpety, lump!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hippo Says Excuse Me: Michael Dahl

I love, love, love Hippo Says "Excuse Me" by Michael Dahl! What a find from Capstone, Picture Window Books. A simple text creates a plot full of tension as well as a lesson of where and when one might say, "Excuse me."

Oriol Vidal's illustrations will grab your heart. These large hippos are nearly weightless as they bounce down the street above their little shadows. And due to their trying to squeeze into small spaces, there's ample opportunity so say, "Excuse me." All of the included animals emote through distinct features, adorable proportions, and careful eye placement.

I know you and your totz will love this board book as much as I do. Excuse me, I'm sure of it!

Hippo Says "Excuse Me"
by Michael Dahl
illustrated by Oriol Vidal
Picture Window Books, Capstone
January, 2012

Friday, December 23, 2011

Poetry Friday: What Colour is Your World?

I'm such a fan of Phaidon Press and this picture book by Bob Gill is perfect for Poetry Friday. What Colour Is Your World? is a look at the colors surrounding us. Certainly, the grass is green, and milk is white. But what if you ask an artist?

"But suppose you asked an artist? 'It's hard
to tell,' he would
answer. 'Colours
keep changing.
Look at this..."

You and your totz will find yourselves looking with new eyes. Originally published in 1962, Gill's illustration and text treatment have a graphic quality that is so fresh today.

Thanks, Phaidon! Happy Poetry Friday, readertotz!

What Colour Is Your World?
by Bob Gill
Phaidon Press, 2008

Monday, December 19, 2011

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies? Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

This is one of my favorite dino board books by the team of Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. Why? Cookies. Scratch 'n Sniff cookies to be exact. I've always liked a good scratch 'n sniff book and I don't see them often enough.

Told in rhyme and beautifully illustrated by Mark Teague, the book delights in each cookie, yet gently instructs readers not to be greedy and to be sure to share.

To top it all off, there are two dino-shaped cookie recipes in the back to make Cinnama-Saurus Rex and Fossilized Lemon Tracks. Yum!

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies? 
Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
Scholastic Cartwheel Books, January 1, 2012

Friday, December 16, 2011

Poetry Friday: Crouching Tiger

Today we celebrate poetry in prose. Crouching Tiger is a beautiful poetic combination of art and text with great heart. From Ying Chang Compestine's gentle language to Yan Nascimbene's spacious watercolor and ink illustration, you are your totz will love this story of tai chi, family, and the Chinese New Year.

Watch for this work just released from Candlewick Press. Happy Poetry Friday!

Crouching Tiger
by Ying Chang Compestine
illustrated by Yan Nascimbene
Candlewick Press, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's a Small World: Away We Go!

As a child, my absolute favorite ride at Disney World was "It's a Small World." No matter the length of the line, I'd wait for a ride in a boat to visit all the dolls dancing and singing in their countries. Author Meredith Rusu has brought that experience to a board book format in Away We Go!

With cleverness, Meredith shares means of transportation in various countries. In England, one might ride a double-decker bus. In India, you might ride a train. While in Italy, a child might paddle a gondola. Nancy Kubo's flat, color illustrations capture the original ride at Disneyland while also bearing a tinge of anime to keep the images fresh.

Thank Disney Press for this fun, well-designed release by looking for a copy to share with your totz. I'm sure you'll run across this title when it releases in a few days. It's a small world after all.

It's a Small World, Away We Go!
by Meredith Rusu
illustrated by Nancy Kubo
Disney Press, December 13, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

December Pick for the Older Sibling: Gift Tag, Poetry Friday

Did you see the holiday e-poetry collection, Gift Tag? It was compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. I'm so happy to be in this work with other poets who write for children. Each entry was motivated by an image. You might click and purchase the book for yourself and gift it to others for just $2.99. It's spot on for little ones and older readers. Gift Tag is full of holiday memories, thoughts, and wishes you'll want to read again and again. You will love it! As a teaser, here's my entry. Happy Poetry Friday!

Tucked Between Branches
A green puff swirls
Like angel hair
Golden eyes wink
Beside warm white lights
A round belly bulges
Like a plump ornament
My Christmas tree troll
Curls a smile
And reaches out to me

Lorie Ann Grover, 2011

Gift Tag
compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Power of Cute: Charise Mericle Harper

 The Power of Cute is subtitled, My Very First Graphic Novel. It's a sturdy lift-the-flap book about a little superhero by the super-prolific and talented Charise Mericle Harper. This superhero wears a hat with bear ears. When approached by a big, scary monster who questions his superpowers, the main character admits that he does not possess any of the powers he is asked about. But he eventually reveals his "power" aka the ability to make big monsters into cute little ones.

With a variety of flaps to lift, wheels to turn, and tabs to pull, I pronounce this book super-cute!

The Power of Cute
Author-illustrator: Charise Mericle Harper
Random House/Robin Corey Books, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Poetry Friday: The Mice of Nibbling Village

"Do you know Mouse Nibbling?
Within your own home,
Quiet as the rain-drops
And light as sea-foam,
Under the floorboards
On delicate toes,
Mice run through the village
That no one else knows."

So begins The Mice of Nibbling Village by Margaret Greaves, illustrated by Jane Pinkney. Fourteen poems tell how the village mice are going about their day, including cooking, eating, and cleaning. Each traditional, watercolor illustration is joined with a black and white spot image and a poem on the facing page.

Here is a lovely way to celebrate Poetry Friday! With the pitter patter of mouse feet and your own readertotz!

The Mice of Nibbling Village
by Margaret Greaves
illustrated by Jane Pinkney
National Trust, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas in the Mouse House: Maggie Kneen

I really do love Templar Books. The quality is exceptional. This week's recommend is Christmas in the Mouse House. Be ready to visit a turn of the century mouse house preparing for the holidays.

Papa and Mama Mouse have hidden twelve stars throughout the home, and it's the work of the children to find them in order to decorate the tree. Along the way, they decide to make their own ornaments, too.

Author/illustrator Maggie Kneen's traditional, watercolor spreads contain multiple flaps per page and a few pop-ups which expand the story. What fun to search for the stars, find sweet surprises, and spot the Christmas Mouse.

Watch and help the Mouse family create "the most beautiful Christmas tree" ever. This will be a treasured holiday read with your totz!

Christmas in the Mouse House
by Maggie Kneen
Templar Books, 2011

November: Community Service

Okay, it's the end of November. Do you still have Halloween candy left over? Or maybe you want to buy a bag right now for this idea? Here's the suggestion for this month's community service:

Send that abundant Halloween candy over to the troops! Visit Operation Shoebox for details.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo Friday: Turkey Hat!

Isn't this the cutest? Click here for the free pattern. Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving, totz and parents!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shapes: Jan Pienkowski

I picked up several of Jan Pienkowski's books last week. Though the interior pages are not board, these titles are board book size and are just right for the youngest totz. The present basic concepts in a fun, easy-to-grasp way. The art is bright and bold with a fat black outline, and is reminiscent of one of my favorite authors of books for totz, Todd Parr (The Okay Book).

Jan Pienkowski has a background in advertising, publishing, children's television, and greeting cards. He is the winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal for The Kingdom Under the Sea and Haunted House. He lives in London.

Author-illustrator, Jan Pienkowski
Walker Books, 2008

Friday, November 18, 2011

Poetry Friday: Over and Under the Snow

"Over the snow I glide. Into woods,
frosted fresh and white.

Over the snow, a flash of fur-a red squirrel
disappears down a crack.

'Where did he go?'
'Under the snow,' Dad says."

Another non-fiction, poetic, picture book recommend today! Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner with art by Christopher Silas Neal is as crisp, poignant, and fresh as a field of new snow. Who is above and secretly below the winter layers?

Whether it be the size, layout, or father with child outdoors, there's a hearkening back to the beloved Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. This beautiful work will be equally loved.

Over and Under the Snow
by Kate Messner
art by Christopher Silas Neal
Chronicle Books, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November For the Older Sibling: I Want My Hat Back

Initially, I was attracted to the cover of this book, and the bear's expression. But I wasn't sure I was going to like it. Was it going to be too spare and all about the great art, I wondered? But I loved this book, the minute I read it.

Bear's hat is gone, and he's looking for it with determination and stoic patience. We don't know what his hat looks like, but we go on the journey with him as he politely asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. They say no, one by one. Eventually, a deer asks a question that creates a "hey, wait a minute" moment for bear.

A sly, wry story that is perfectly illustrated. Totz will love discovering the secret before bear does and may very well be shouting at him to send him in the right direction. Highly recommend this one!

Book trailer

I Want My Hat Back
Author-illustrator: Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rescue: by Matthew Reinhart

I had lower expectations for this pop-up book, only because of its soft paper cover, but I was immediately impressed when I opened the work. Matthew Reinhart's Rescue illustrations, text, and engineering have great impact and tot appeal!

What appears to be paper collage creates a great collection of those who give their lives to help others: police officers, lifeguards, helicopter pilots, paramedics, and fire fighters. Each spread depicts the individual on the left and a pop-up action scene on the right. The text on the left describes the rescuer, while the text on the right elaborates on the emergency.

Totz will love the high action of society's heroes. My favorite is the the female pilot. The helicopter shoots up off the page as a hiker climbs the ladder to be rescued.

Don't be fooled by the paper binding. It helps to keep the price down, and Rescue is sturdy. It will hold up to many readings!

Rescue, Pop-Up Emergency Vehicles
by Matthew Reinhart
Robin Corey Books, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Poetry Friday: Monday is One Day

"The hardest part of going to work is being apart from you.
Let's count the days until we're both at home
with a special thing to do."

I recently attended a reading and signing with Arthur A. Levine. What a lovely opportunity to hear him read his own work.

In Monday is One Day, your totz will find solace in celebrating the small moments with loved ones each day. Yes, daycare, work, and school may separate us, but looking forward to being together eases the situation. The beautiful rhyme and rhythm in the text will have you quickly repeating the lines together.

The sharp, fun imagery and color palette by Julian Hector remind me of the beloved Curious George. How can that not echo comfort?

Enjoy Monday is One Day with your totz this Poetry Friday! 

by Arthur A. Levine
illustrated by Julian Hector
Scholastic Press, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Michelle Sinclair Colman: Artsy Babies Wear Paint

This sturdy 20-page board book is perfect for small artsy totzy hands at 5 1/2" square. Whether they're throwing clay at the floor, making their own collections (of stuffed animals), enjoying a still life (by eating it), or posing (au naturel, of course), these urbane babies are sure to inspire a new generation of Picassos. With illustrations by Nathalie Dion the simple text is full of gentle humor about the totz artistic abilities.
About the author and illustrator:
After her first child was born, Michelle Sinclair Colman was inspired to create the first book in this series: Urban Babies Wear Black. Now Michelle draws her inspiration from two urban—and artsy!—children. She and her family make their home in Waccabuc, New York. Nathalie Dion studied graphic art at Concordia University.

Titles in this board book series:

Illustrator: Nathalie Dion

Friday, November 4, 2011

Poetry Friday: November's Around the Block

Here's this month's Around the Block With Sesame Street. Listen in as Cab Calloway sings "Hi De Ho Man!" Happy Poetry Friday!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Baby Einstein: First Book of Baby Farm Animals

This large board book format from Baby Einstein will be certain to intrigue your totz. Who lives on the farm? Who lives near the pond or in the barn? What do you hear from the baby animals? Multiple sliding windows will keep little fingers busy. Sturdy construction will hold up for many, many readings.

What I found intriguing in this work is the combination of illustration and photography which offers dual opportunities for recognition. An illustrated cow is shown on the same spread with a photo of a cow. Totz will enjoy this First Book of Baby Farm Animals.

First Book of Baby Farm Animals
by Patricia Van Note
Disney Press, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Poetry Friday: North, the Amazing Story of Arctic Migration

"At the very top
     of our world
is a huge wild place
called the Arctic.
Here in winter, the sun
     sinks away,
blizzards fill the darkness,
and even the seas
      freeze deep."

Celebrate poetry in nonfiction! Watch for this gem to be released in January. You'll feel as if you and your totz are joining the migration in this incredibly, beautiful book.

North, the Amazing Story of Arctic Migration
by Nick Dowson
illustrated by Patrick Benson
Candlewick Press, January, 2012

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Emma Dodd: I Am Small

I really enjoyed this book! It's board book size and will fit nicely in small hands, but the interior pages are sturdy paper rather than actual board. Told from the perspective of a baby penguin, the simple text captures a true totz voice in describing the bigness of the world compared to a totz' small size. The illustrations are white, black, and dusky blue, with hints of silver foil. The antics of baby penguin are cute as he frolics in beautifully quiet, wintry scenes, along with much bigger adults.

The world is big and I am small.

The sky is high, the ocean deep, and the mountains steep, but baby penguin knows how big he is in the hearts of his parents. The ending definitely has the "oh, how sweet!" factor!

Emma Dodd is the creator of the Dot and Dash board book series, and lives in Surrey England.

I Am Small
Author-illustrator: Emma Dodd
Scholastic, Cartwheel Books, September 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Poetry Friday: The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories

"Once of upon of a time, way down south,
Lived a very big bear with a very big mouth
And very big teeth in his very big jaws
And very big claws in his very big paws.
And this very big bear, who was hunting for meat,
One day spied a rabbit who looked good to eat."

From "The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga." Happy Poetry Friday!

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories
by Dr. Seuss
Random House, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh, David! A Pocket Library: David Shannon

Today's recommend is Oh, David! A Pocket Library from David Shannon. The Blue Sky Press has gathered the previously published Diaper David board books into a perfect set for small hands. And if your totz haven't met David, here's a great format to introduce them to that realistic rascal.

The included three works in the boxed set are Oh, David!, Oops!, and David Smells! The latter covers senses, and Oops! is a collection of adorable first words like "Ahh!", and "Whee!" Oh, David! illustrates what Mommy always said to David, including, "Oh, David, I love you."

Shannon's illustrations continue to feel fresh with great energy. David's scribbled black eyes will engage every reader. Perspectives are varied and carry rich color. When you line the three books up in their case, the spines collectively show David peeking at you, one more time. There's a sweet reminiscence conjured in two of the books being told in past tense.

I can imagine the older sibling reading Oh, David! picture books, and then thoroughly enjoying sharing this board book set with readertotz. Everyone will love seeing David as a toddler in these three works!

Oh, David! A Pocket Library
by David Shannon
The Blue Sky Press, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Poetry Friday: October, For the Older Sibling

Aha! I'm combining Poetry Friday with the recommend for the Older Sibling of your totz. It's a perfect fit.

Chirchir is Singing is a quiet, beautiful book full of poetry, suspense, and assurance of one's worth. I was charmed to enter Africa and was captivated by Kelly Cunnane's text. Jude Daly's illustrations are sparse and open, hinting at the vast spaces Chirchir inhabits.

Listen to the opening spread:

"High in Africa,
wind like a cat paw
wipes the sky clean.
Chirchir, Born Quickly, is singing.

Jambo! Hello! Day is growing tall.
Wake up to green sunlight and rooster's call!
"I'm going to help Mama today," Chirchir announces to Rooster,
whose feathers shimmer like fire.
And away she runs."

The language sustains as we enter Chirchir's daily work in Kenya. Share this exquisite work with the older siblings of your totz. And enjoy Poetry Friday!

Chirchir is Singing
by Kelly Cunnane
illustrated by Jude Daly
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap 15th anniversary!

Boo Who?

Fifteen years ago in 1996, I got "the call" from Scholastic. The one that meant I would finally be a published book author. While some of my other books for children have faded away over the years, Boo Who? is still in print and going strong. My editor at Scholastic tells me it's on the front Barnes & Noble tables again this year.

What's inside? A cast of Halloween characters to guess, large flaps to lift, and a mylar mirror on the last page. It's a not-too-spooky introduction to the characters that make up this holiday I so enjoyed as a tot.

Guess who says boo?
A ghost
Scratch and hiss? Who is this? 
A black cat

It's also at the library in my city, so you might visit your library soon to take a look because those Halloween books fly off the shelf this time of year. If you get a chance to take a look, I hope your totz enjoy it!

Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book
Scholastic (Cartwheel Books)
Ages 2-6
Author-illustrator: Joan Holub

Friday, October 7, 2011

Poetry Friday: A Dog is a Dog

"A dog is a dog,
whether it's naughty...
...or nice.
Whether it suns on the beach,
or glides on the ice.
A dog is a dog, if it's skinny or fat.
A dog is a dog, unless it's a...

Keep an eye out for this surprising picture book from Stephan Shaskan. You can celebrate Poetry Friday with your totz and their siblings while you all giggle together! Because a dog is a dog, unless...

A Dog is a Dog
by Stephan Shaskan
Chronicle Books, November, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Guess How Much I Love You, the Pop-Up Edition

I always rejoice when a book reaches its perfect format. The classic Guess How Much I Love You has been released as a pop-up, and it's perfect.

If you wonder how Sam McBratney's text and Anita Jeram's illustrations could be any better, then you must see them combined with Corina Fletcher's paper engineering. The pop-ups further illustrate the story, which is what gives them greater meaning. Little Nutbrown Hare holds onto Big Nutbrown Hare's ear; the latter's arms truly are long and extend widely, and reach clear out of the book to illustrate love.

Two complete scenes unfold at the book's conclusion. One enables you to help Big Nutbrown Hare to kiss Little Nutbrown Hare goodnight. Exquisite.

Big Nutbrown Hare still has the last word, which must ultimately be a comfort to totz. Although, I always did have a pang reading this work. I wanted Little Nutbrown Hare to win the exchange. So maybe, Big Nutbrown Hare whispers his last phrase, after Little Nutbrown Hare is asleep. That may be just my choice. You?

Guess How Much I Love You, 
the Pop-Up Edition
by Sam McBratney
illustrated by Anita Jeram
engineered by Corina Fletcher
Candlewick Press, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Poetry Friday: The Cat and the Fiddle

hey diddle cat with a fiddle 2

Hey, diddle, diddle! 
The cat and the fiddle, 
The cow jumped over the moon; 
The little dog laughed 
To see such sport, 
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

September: Community Service

Dry those sunflowers and share the seeds with your local squirrels.

Art by me, Lorie Ann Grover!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

For the Older Sibling: A Zeal of Zebras

I love a picture book with a strong graphic presentation. A Zeal of Zebras from Woop Studios offers that exquisitely!

A collection of collective nouns to illustrate the alphabet and animal kingdom awaits you in this beauty from Chronicle. Each spread presents the noun, facts about the featured animal with spot illustrations, and then a half spread of the collective noun, the letter, and animals grouped in mass.

I find the language evocative of the animals: an aurora of polar bears, a galaxy of starfish, a kaleidoscope of butterflies, and an ostentation of peacocks. While others are completely familiar: a family of porcupines, a hum of bees, and a nest of crocodiles. Some are completely surprising: an embarrassment of pandas, an implausibility of gnus, and a troubling of goldfish.

Outshining even the expressive text and animal facts is the imagery offered, in what really reads as a collection of fine art posters. The line, flat shapes, compositions, and textures are incredibly rich and engaging.

I heartily recommend A Zeal of Zebras for the older sibling of your totz, and your totz, as well. You'll even find yourself sharing this work with your own friends. Definitely, one of my top books for the year!

A Zeal of Zebras
by Woop Studios
Chronicle Books, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jennifer Adams: Romeo & Juliet / Pride & Prejudice

Clever, attractive, and informative, these sturdy board books introduce the fundamentals of classic literature, 1-10 counting concepts, and period history. To get so much into small 22-page board books, and yet keep them uncluttered, is an amazing feat.

If you could boil down these classics to ten images (to represent each number 1-10), which would you choose? For Romeo and Juliet, one image would likely be the balcony. Here, it serves to illustrate the number 1.

From Romeo & Juliet (upper image) and from Pride & Prejudice (lower image):

The books can be read at a variety of early ages, and as totz grow they can return to them and absorb new details. Curious totz will have questions about the illustrations which may well lead into discussion points with parents. Note the careful attention to basic historical detail -- the regency clothing and objects in Pride & Prejudice; Medieval clothing and objects in Romeo & Juliet.

The art is gorgeous and these board books will stand up to many readings. (and occasional chewings) As an Austen and Shakespeare fan, I highly recommend them!

Next up from Jennifer and Alison is Jane Eyre!

Jennifer Adams works as a writer and editor in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Alison Oliver runs Sugar design studio in NYC.

Romeo & Juliet
Pride & Prejudice goodreads
Author: Jennifer Adams
Illustrator: Alison Oliver
Gibbs Smith, 2011
For more, visit Gibbs Smith: BabyLit

Friday, September 23, 2011

Poetry Friday: My Little Baby

I googled Chinese nursery rhymes and found this tonight. Happy Poetry Friday!

Image from Spice Pages, a Cinnamon Flower

My little baby, little boy blue, 
Is as sweet as sugar and cinnamon too; 
Isn't this precious darling of ours 
Sweeter than dates and cinnamon flowers?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Joyce Wan: You Are My Cupcake

You Are My Cupcake by Joyce Wan is simple and simply yummy. Self-described as a "bite-sized treat for you and your little sweetheart," this glossy, glittery book is eye-catching and, well, sweet.

You are my CUPCAKE.
My sticky little GUMDROP.

The art is bold and the color choices are reminiscent of actual bakery goods. This is a sturdy, board book that totz and babies will ask for again and again. It's about them and how sweet they are. And it has a satisfying ending. What's not to like?

Joyce has created three other children's books, as well as notecards, totebags, magnets, and clothing. I look forward to more books from this talented author-illustrator.

An interview with Joyce Wan at Cakespy.

16 page board book  
author/illustrator: Joyce Wan

Friday, September 16, 2011

Poetry Friday: The Sandman

Here's a lesser known rhyme I found at

The Sandman

The Sandman's coming in his train of cars
With moonbeam windows and with wheels of stars
So hush you little ones and have no fear
The man-in-the-moon he is the engineer

The railroad track tis a moonbeam bright
That leads right up into the starry night

So put on you 'jamas and say your prayers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Leo Lionni: little blue and little yellow


Originally published in 1959 and recently re-released in board book form to celebrate its 50th anniversary, little blue and little yellow began Leo Lionni's amazing career in children's books. Over the decades, four of Lionni's books have been named in the Caldecott Awards: Frederick, Swimmy (my personal favorite), Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, and Inch by Inch.

The main characters in this sturdy board book are scraps of colored paper. Little Blue (a blue scrap) has blue parents, and Little Yellow (a yellow scrap) has his yellow parents. They each have friends of various colors in school and at play. 
When Little Blue can't find Little Yellow one day, he searches high and low. When they find each other, they are so happy that they hug it out…and hug and hug until they become green! Uh oh! Now their parents don't recognize them. This dilemma will have totz glued to the story and rooting for a happy ending. Where did little blue and little yellow go? Are they lost?

The two scraps begin to cry, and their tears are blue and yellow, not green. Seeing this, their parents finally recognize their scraps. All ends well.

This book is one I hadn’t seen before, even though it has been around forever. At its heart, it’s a story of friendship and acceptance, but it’s also a fun read, and functions as an intro to color blending. I can see it leading to a family or classroom art project, in which totz create their own colorful, well-blended, scrappy characters.
30 page board book  
author/illustrator: Leo Lionni  
Alfred A. Knopf , 1959 / 2009 re-release

Friday, September 9, 2011

Photo Friday: Fast Asleep with Her Books

A dear friend sent this image of her daughter fast asleep among her pile of books. Hug Hug! is close by! May your totz drift off among good friends.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Celebrating Joan's magnetic new release: A Kiss For You!

This board book (with lift-the-flap magnetic hand) began four years ago as a way to empower young children by showing the many important, loving things little hands can do. In fact, the original title was What Can A Little Hand Do? My editor loved the idea of blowing a kiss, which I had on one of the inside pages. So the title became A Kiss For You!

I made numerous dummies of the book to figure out the best way for the hand to move as a lift-the-flap which folds down on each page in turn, and Scholastic had the idea of adding a magnet so the hand would stay in place easily, until lifted.

Caroline Jayne Church's adorable illustrations added just the right touch that brought the story alive. I hope you and your child enjoy this book, which so many loving hands and minds came together to create.

From Publishers Weekly: "Readers can engage with this sunny board book by maneuvering a hand-shaped flap attached to the back cover, in seven scenes. Gently lifting the hand up and down makes a blonde girl softly pat a puppy. Elsewhere, a boy blows a kiss with the hand, and a brunette girl can play "peek-a-boo, I see you!" with readers...a fun, engaging gimmick. Ages 2–4. (Sept.)"

~ Joan

A Kiss For You!
Ages 2-5
Author: Joan Holub, readertotz co-founder
Caroline Jayne Church, illustrator
Scholastic, Cartwheel Books
September 2011