Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More, More, More: Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five

This picture book for the older sibling of your totz is just delightful. Imagine all the little toys on the cover sharing what it is you need to know by five years old. The little doll driving the dump truck introduces numbers, opposites, shapes, colors, seasons, weather, and the alphabet.

Valorie Fisher's photography is bright, clever, and fun. There's so much to observe that your readers will be looking at every inch of this book. Enjoy the retro atmosphere as you pour over Everything I need to Know Before I'm Five together!

Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five
by Valorie Fisher
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011

Monday, February 27, 2012

Peas on Earth: Todd H. Doodler

Peas on Earth is adorable! What could be better than a sturdy board book filled with hope and peace, um, peas. The art is simple, brightly-colored, and appealing; reminiscent of Todd Parr's style. And the concept is simple--promoting peace, harmony, and getting along with others.

Peas on earth is when dogs get along with cats.
And cats get along with mice.
And mice share their cheese with elephants.
And pigs give everyone piggyback rides!

As an added bonus at the end of the book, there is a pop-up of two happy peas dancing on the earth, shouting, "Give peas a chance!"

I love this book!

Todd H. Doodler is the pen name for Todd H. Goldman, founder of David & Goliath, a company that produces clothing and other merchandise that feature his designs. He's also the author of Animal Soup, The Zoo I Drew, and the Bear in Underwear series

Peas on Earth
Todd H. Doodler
Robin Corey Books, Random House, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Poetry Friday: Outside Your Window

How about a glorious tribute to nature for your totz? Author, biologist Nicola Davies brings the world to the very young, while illustrations by Mark Hearld offer layers of beautiful printed form depicting our planet. Fall into this oversize treasure this Poetry Friday!

Patchwork Pigeons

Patchwork pigeons, made of sky,
catch the rain clouds when they fly.

Outside Your Window, a First Book of Nature
by Nicola Davies
illustrated by Mark Hearld
Candlewick Press, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More, More, More: Elephant and Piggie

Not that Gerald and Piggie need more press, but I have to share these two!

What do you do when it's Happy Pig Day and you are not a pig? When you don't belong whatsoever? Piggie helps Gerald find his place on the important day of celebration.

Secondly, what do you do when you just can't really bring yourself to share? By the time you've given yourself a little pep talk, maybe there's nothing left to share at all! Again, Piggie saves the day for Gerald, who really was going to share in the first place. Eventually.

Mo is the master of expression, simplicity, and heart. I am such a fan.

Happy Pig Day!
Should I Share My Ice Cream?
by Mo Willems
Hyperion, DBG, 2011

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pip and Posy: Axel Scheffler

With a thick soft cover and stiff pages, Pip and Posy will scoot right into your totz' hearts. Showing basic concepts, manners, and feelings, the two characters will likely become fast favorites.

In The Super Scooter, Pip hits the park with his scooter, and Posy wants a turn. She takes it and eventually falls. Pip kindly cares for her, and Posy apologizes. All is restored with a hug and a shared ride home.

In Pip and Posy The Little Puddle, you've guessed it. Pip gets so involved in play, he doesn't stop to use the bathroom. Posy is kind. She says, "Everyone has accidents sometimes." She cleans up and loans Pip a change of clothes. After a day of play and a successful use of the potty, it's bath time!

Axel Scheffler is spot on with his portrayal of strife and trial in the lives of totz. Both the illustrations and stories of Pip and Posy are honest and endearing. Share these two releases from Nosy Crow!

Pip and Posy The Super Scooter
Pip and Posy The Little Puddle
by Axel Scheffler
Nosy Crow, 2011

Friday, February 17, 2012

Poetry Friday: In the Sea

A great recommend for Poetry Friday: In the Sea!

The Shark

The fin,
the skin,
the brutal grin...

The terror
of the dark within.

In the Sea
by David Elliott
illustrated by Holly Meade
Candlewick Press, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More, More, More: Ollie & Moon

I fell for this twosome as soon as I saw the cover. Diane Kredensor places her comic characters in her friend Sandra Kress' photographs of Paris in a believable and charming way.

Two cats, Ollie and Moon, are best friends. It's a perfect match in that Ollie loves to give surprises, while Moon loves to guess what they are. The two hit the Parisian streets to discover Ollie's latest surprise. From clues along the way, Moon gathers the surprise is round, musical, and colorful, with fur, hooves, feathers, and lights. For once Moon can't guess, and she is surprised! Just as your readers will be.

You have to see the joining of art and photographs in this work. It's magnificent!

Ollie & Moon
by Diane Kredensor
photos by Sandra Kress
Random House, 2011

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Zero the Hero animated book trailer: bagels, Froot Loops--what's not to like?

It’s a Froot Loop.
It's a donut.
No--it’s Zero the Hero!
Zooming into bookstores February 28, 2012. 

By readertotz co-blogger Joan Holub
Illustrated by NY Times-bestselling Tom Lichtenheld


Friday, February 10, 2012

Poetry Friday: Switching on the Moon

Happy Poetry Friday! Celebrate with a gorgeous release from Candlewick Books, Switching on the Moon. With poems collected by the beloved Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, this over-sized collection is aptly named by its subtitle, A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems.

I love the large format for G. Brian Karas' illustrations. There's so much space, you might fall into his night sky. Every detail, brushstroke, and line can be appreciated.

Poets include Mother Goose; Douglas Florian; Karla Kuskin; Langston Hughes; Marilyn Singer; Alfred, Lord Tennyson and many others. For today, here is an included poem by Lee Bennett Hopkins, a favorite of mine.


How do dreams know
     when to creep

Into my head
     as I fall off
     to sleep?

Switching on the Moon, a Very First Book of Bedtime Poems
collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters
illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Candlewick Press, 2010

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February: For the Older Sibling, Where is Strawberry Mermaid Moshi?

How can you not love Strawberry Mermaid Moshi? I was smitten the instant I saw her! But then I'm a fan of all things kawaii, or "cute" in Japanese. Think Hello Kitty. Now think of the game book Where's Waldo. Look:

This double-page spread shows the busy kitchen. Everyone is working to prepare for the wedding banquet. The charge is to find the main character and the others listed along the bottom of the page, along with a few trinkets. The older siblings of your totz will spend hours pouring over the pages to find Strawberry Mermaid Moshi as she gets married.

The digitally illustrated book was originally published in Japan as Usacollie Friends, Ichigo-Ningyo Wo Sagase! The characters were first manufactured as gift shop good luck charms. Now they appear in their own oversize paperback picture books. Also available are Where is Strawberry Moshi? and Where is Strawberry Princess Moshi? Why am I all of the sudden hungry for some mochi...

Where is Strawberry Mermaid Moshi?
Candlewick Press, 2011

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More, More, More: The Hole in the Middle

The Hole in the Middle

Morgan was born with a hole in his middle, an actual hole in his belly. It leaves him always a little bit hungry for more. Whether he eats all his friend Yumi's cake, takes all the solos himself, or just tries to forget about the hole, the feeling won't leave.

When Yumi takes ill, Morgan sets out to visit and cheer her up through sharing and giving. By the time Yumi recovers, Morgan's hole has shrunk to a belly button. His empty feeling is gone...unless he's just a little bit hungry.

I really enjoyed The Hole in the Middle for the concrete image for selfishness and self-absorption. Paul Budnitz' text will be easily understood by older siblings of your totz while Aya Kakeda's clean, graphic imagery exhibits great design. This is a definite recommend.

The Hole in the Middle
by Paul Budnitz
illustrated by Aya Kakeda
Disney Hyperion Books, 2011

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Little Books Boxed Set

A Little Books Boxed Set Featuring: Little Pea/Little Hoot/Little Oink

What is better than Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink than to have them all together in board book format, boxed up like three peas in a pod? Little Hoot still does not like staying up so late, Little Pea can't stand candy, and Little Oink dislikes mess up time. Your totz will love this format for their beloved characters so unusually perplexed.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal's text is as fresh as ever, and Jen Corace's illustrations are brilliantly spare. What a team. Thanks to Chronicle Books for this lovely boxed edition. Spot on!

A Little Books Boxed Set
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by Jen Corace
box design by Kristine Brogno
Chronicle Books, 2009

Friday, February 3, 2012

Poetry Friday: Mini Masters

Mini Masters Boxed Set
Art and poetry? Could it be better? Celebrate Poetry Friday with this classic boxed set of Mini Masters. Included are Dancing with Degas, In the Garden with Van Gogh, A Magical Day with Matisse, and A Picnic with Monet. Famous paintings are paired with rhyming texts which describe the masterpieces.

Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober's rhymes introduce these incredible master images and invite further imaginings. From In the Garden with Van Gogh:

Twelve sunflowers
lean toward the light.
Five are wide open,
seven shut tight.

From Dancing with Degas:

Tired dancers
rest legs and feet,
and dream of floating
off to sleep.

Aside from this boxed treasure, look for single titles: Painting with Picasso, Quiet Time with Cassatt, Sharing with Renoir, Sunday with Seurat, Dreaming with Rousseau, and On an Island with Gauguin. I love this collection! Happy Poetry Friday!

Mini Masters, Boxed Set
by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober
Chronicle Books, 2006

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More, More, More: If Rocks Could Sing

If Rocks Could Sing, a Discovered Alphabet by Leslie McGuirk is one of my absolute favorite books from 2011. Collecting sandstone rocks over a ten year period along the Florida coast, Leslie shares the alphabet she harvested from the sea. Both the letter and the subject are illustrated with rocks. Whether it's a collection of ghosts, a sea horse, or a yawn, you will be amazed. You have to see the rock which looks like two people hugging. X is for xoxo of course!

This treasure is going on the shelf of my geology major daughter. Your rockhound will be looking for his own alphabet on your next walk. Be inspired by If Rocks Could Sing. Rock on!

If Rocks Could Sing, a Discovered Alphabet
by Leslie McGuirk
Tricycle Press, 2011