Monday, July 30, 2012

Apple Pie ABC: Alison Murray

I love introducing the alphabet to totz! Why not start early? And why not start with apple pie? Alison Murray creates a suspenseful story for the youngest readers as she presents the A, B, C's.

E eager for it
F find a crumb of it
G get a taste for it
H have to get a lick of it

Get the picture? The young girl has baked a pie and the dog is eyeing it for certain. Murray's textured print-like imagery offers loose line, hard shapes, and occasional unfinished edges. The retro layout and color pop.

Your totz will love Apple Pie ABC. They'll be asking for another read and another slice.

Apple Pie ABC
by Alison Murray
Disney Hyperion, 2012, US Board Book

Friday, July 27, 2012

Poetry Friday: A Strange Place to Call Home

Pair the poetry of Marilyn Singer with the exquisite torn and cut paper art of Ed Young and you have a masterpiece. Add unusual, dangerous, animal habitats, and you have a book which will intrigue totz and their older siblings. Here's a poem from A Strange Place to Call Home. Watch for its release in September. Happy Poetry Friday!

City Living
urban foxes

They have
quit forests and
fields for sheds, flowerbeds;
forfeited wild berries for shrimp
lo mein.

It seems
an easy life,
but in close quarters, cars,
capture, and contagion take
their toll.

adapted to
city living find it
full of plenty-but plentiful
in risk.

A Strange Place to Call Home
by Marilyn Singer
illustrated by Ed Young
Chronicle Books, September 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baby Faces: Mallory Loehr

I'm a Vanessa Brantley Newton fan, so it was fun to find this interactive board book that she illustrated in my mailbox today. Each of the five spreads feature a different baby, who does everyday things that real kids do. Pull the tabs and see the babies' faces change expression.

Baby's tongue is very pink.
[Pull the tab and a pink tongue sticks out.]

These babies also chew, wink, sneeze, and have curly hair that blows in the wind.

This is a simple, clever concept. I know how kids are fascinated by other kids they meet out and about in the world, and I think totz will enjoy seeing these babies doing things they do themselves, in a book format.

Take a look at Vanessa's blog to see more of her awesome art!

Baby Faces
Author: Mallory Loehr
Illustrator: Vanessa Brantley Newton
Random House, 2012

Poetry Friday: Eric Witacre, Good Night Moon

This in just a tad late for Poetry Friday. Sometimes the days rush by, don't they? This is Eric Whitacre's proposed project awaiting a full commission. I hope the finances come quickly. How beautiful is this piece created for Good Night Moon? Enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July Pick for the Older Sibling: Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey

Traction Man is back and he's headed for the beach this summer! I loved Traction Man and Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog, and this one is every bit as good. The Horn Book, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus agree that Mini Grey's original Traction Man rocks, each giving it a starred review.

Traction Man and his faithful pet Scrubbing Brush are heroic to-the-rescue kind of pals. And this time, they're heading for the wide ocean, where they'll defend a picnic, investigate an underwater world, and meet up with a new character, Beach-Time Brenda, who is "excessively packaged in high-quality non-recyclable indestructible plastic...cannot stand alone as shown...[and wears] teeny tottery microshoes."

What I love about Traction Man books is that reading them is a trip back in time to revisit my 6-8  year old childhood mind. Mini Grey perfectly captures the playful spirit and imagination of those days for me. No easy feat for an adult writer.

Verdict: Truly hilarious and enjoyable, for the beach or anytime.

Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey
Author-illustrator: Mini Grey
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Baby Listens: Esther Wilkin

Baby Listens (Little Golden Book) Cover

How often I wonder what classic work has influenced my own work for children. I found again Baby Listens by Esther Wilkin, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin. First released in 1960, the reissue feels retro fresh. This work would have been for sale in the grocery store as my mother shopped, and I sat in the cart. Was it the one she picked just for me?

BUZZ-Z-Z goes Daddy's razor.
And BUZZ-Z-Z go the bumble bees.
SNAP goes Mommy's pocketbook.
JINGLE go her keys.

Explore what baby hears throughout the day with Eloise's soft watercolor images and Esther's rhymes. This classic may become a touchstone for your totz.

Baby Listens
by Esther Wilkin
illustrated by Eloise Wilkin
Golden Books, 1960, reissued 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Week to Goddess Girls first-ever super special: The Girl Games!

Celebrating my new release this week!
Goddess Girls Super Special: The Girl Games.
The Girl Games:
Listen in on what all four goddess girls are thinking as MOA hosts visitors
from many lands at the girls' Herean Games

--including an adorable kitten.
Just in time for the Olympics.

 The Goddess Girls series,
by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams, is set at Mount
Olympus Academy, and puts a modern spin on classic Greek myths. 

Follow the ins and outs of divine social life
where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls 
in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills. 
Aladdin paperbacks
ages 8 ~ 12.
Follow Goddess Girls on Facebook.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Poetry Friday: A Cuddle for Little Duck

Can you find this sweet series from Cartwheel, Scholastic? It's perfect for Poetry Friday. Look for A Cuddle for Little Duck, You're My Little Bunny, and My Precious Little Bear. Claire Freedman's text is so gentle and sweet. Paired with Gavin Scott's and Caroline Pedler's illustrations, your totz will ask for these over and over. Here's an excerpt for today:

The sun is up and so am I.
I've woken Mommy too!
I just can't wait to start our day:
We've lots to see and do!

Don't we? Onward!

A Cuddle for Little Duck
by Claire Freedman
illustrated by Caroline Pedler
Cartwheel, Scholastic, 2008

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Dad Is The Best Playground: Luciana Navarro Powell

Three cheers for dads that make time to play with their kids! In this exuberant, rhyming story:

My dad is the best playground,
the most fun of all.
He's the highest swing
and a great climbing wall.

It's nice to find a book about dads taking an active fun, role in their kids' lives. Many kids will relate to this. A sturdy board book that will hold up to plenty of handling.

My Dad Is The Best Playground
Author-Illustrator: Luciana Navarro Powell
Robin Corey Books (Random House), 2012