Sunday, September 30, 2012

Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin: Tad Hills

Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin is an oversized board book (9 1/2 x 10 1/2") just right for the hands of totz, who are sure to enjoy Duck and Goose's new autumn adventure.The characters are as charming as ever and the art is a feast for the eyes.

When they see that friend, Thistle, has a pumpkin, Goose wants one too. They go in search:

Is our pumpkin in the log, Goose?

Is our pumpkin in the leaf pile, Duck?

Hmm. Where would one find a pumpkin? Take a look at this enjoyable book to find out!

Author-illustrator: Tad Hills
Title: Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin
Publisher: Schwartz and Wade Books, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Poetry Friday: Eenie, Meenie, Miney Mo

Just visited the zoo, and the tiger was awake! Isn't he glorious? However, I did not catch him by the toe...

photo by Lorie Ann Grover


Eenie, meeny, miney, mo
Catch a tiger by the toe,
If he hollers, let him go
Eenie, meenie, miney, mo.

Monday, September 24, 2012

One Spotted Giraffe: Petr Horacek

It's a season of pop-ups, it seems! One that stands out from the crowd is One Spotted Giraffe, A Counting Pop-up Book. Petr Horacek's illustrations of animals against simple backgrounds pop, engineering aside! Additionally, however, on each spread the illustrated animal is used to form a pop-up number under a flap. You'll love the panda making the number 8.

I particularly enjoy Petr's rough, free lines running throughout the illustrations. There's a palpable energy in the collages. Because he hasn't disguised his technique, your totz will be mesmerized by rich line, color, and shape as they count to 10 with a group of fun animals. It all starts with one spotted giraffe...

One Spotted Giraffe
by Petr Horacek
concept and paper engineering by Claire Vincent
Candlewick Press, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Poetry Friday: A Board Book

photo by Melissa Walker

A Board Book

From my pen to your
chubby hands, a glow, a smile,
a long-distance hug. 

Lorie Ann Grover, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September Pick for the Older Sibling: Ready for Pumpkins

As a mythology fan, I enjoyed the lead character's name in this picture book: Hercules! Herky for short. Hercules is a guinea pig in a first grade classroom. When he sees the children plant seeds and watch them grow into plants, he longs to do the same.

During summer vacation, he does just that with the help of his friend, rabbit. They prepare the soil, plant the seeds, watch and wait and wait and wait (a good lesson in patience). Even though the pumpkins aren't ready, Herky must return to school in the fall.

When October rolls around, the teacher's dad comes in with one of the pumpkins's Herky grew!

A feel-good story about pumpkin-growing, friendship, and patience rewarded.

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Ready for Pumpkins
Author-illustrator: Kate Duke
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012 

More, More, More: Clifford Collection

Let's hear it for the dog! He's 50 years old, and you can see him in all his glory in Norman Bridwell's Clifford Collection! I grew up loving Clifford. How about you? Thanks to Scholastic, you can now enjoy the first six stories together in one volume.

I had a blast revisiting these works by Norman Bridwell. What a joy to return to the original images. In these first stories, even more so in book one, Clifford had a sketchier line and more white spaces in his red coat. Reading through the collection made me feel as if I had found my long lost friend.

Only now do I realize that as a child I spent much time worrying about Clifford: his bad habits; how to feed him; and that new neighbor, Martha, who tried to best Clifford with her own pooch. These were my concerns, I can tell you! I went on to include both the names Emily and Elizabeth in my daughters' names without realizing the nod to Norman.

The collection features a fantastic intro by Norman, followed by the history of Clifford, and a photo of the real Emily Elizabeth. Then it's off into the six stories. What a keepsake! Happy Birthday, Clifford!

Norman Bridwell's Clifford Collection
by Norman Bridwell
Scholastic Inc.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Little Toolbox: Nathan Reed

Another tool book to celebrate Labor Day month with your totz!

This one is a sturdy board book, complete with handle and Velcro closure. And four touch-and-feel tools your totz can press out and enjoy during play: a wrench, screwdriver, saw, and hammer.

This is my toolbox and I'm going to mend some things.
I've got lots of screws to twist and turn. 
I'm going to use my big screwdriver.

Very cute and interactive!

My Little Toolbox
Author-illustrator: Nathan Reed
Campbell Books/Macmillan, 2004
Ages 3 and up

Thursday, September 13, 2012

More, More, More: The Templeton Twins Have an Idea

Ah, how about a fantastic new duo for the older siblings of your totz? The Templeton Twins Have an Idea will keep them laughing, guessing, and reading, let alone talking back to author Ellis Weiner. Think A Series of Unfortunate Events, and you'll be on the right track.

Jeremy Holmes copious illustrations embellish the imaginative text.

The large-headed, thin-bodied protagonists, along with their Ridiculous Dog, have quite the adventure as they protect their father. The snarky narrator though is most endearing of all. He will string you right along, even if he's reluctant to do so. Be ready for a Prologue which begins: The End. Get the picture?

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea
by Ellis Weiner
illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
Chronicle Books, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

More, More, More: Pure Vegan

When I saw this coming from Chronicle Books, I knew I had to check it out. I've been a pescatarian for awhile, so not a vegan, but this collection is accessible, brilliant, and beautiful. As the tag for Pure Vegan says, here are  "70 Recipes for Beautiful Meals and Clean Living." Author Joseph Shuldiner, a non-vegan, delivers. There's no political positioning or religious slant, but rather, wonderful recipes you are encouraged to adapt or change to your own taste.

I love how the work is divided into sections: Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Late Night, and Very Late Night. Each portion is printed on a different muted color. The photography by Emily Brooke Sandor and Joseph Shuldiner is artistry itself. The texture of the paper and cover feels wonderful in your hands.

The encouragement to present food beautifully and use pure, fresh ingredients is easy to act upon. I recently cooked the cover dish, Tomato and Three Bean Salad, for an elegant party. It was hard to decide which dish to share, but I can say, this one was very well received. I can't wait to try more, like Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Soup, Pistachio Olive Oil Cake, and Hazelnut Halvah!

Give your totz beautiful, delicious, and healthy vegan food. Pure Vegan will lead the way so easily.

Pure Vegan
by Joseph Shuldiner
photographs by Emily Brooke Sandor and Joseph Shuldiner
Chronicle Books

Playbook Farm: Corina Fletcher

I'm continually impressed by Nosy Crow. Check out Playbook Farm. It's actually a pop-up book and giant board which folds into book shape to store in a box. Animals which stand along with vehicles will delight your totz for hours because, "Everyone is happy, all day, on the busy farm."

On the back of each spread is a nonfiction question to spur discussion.

"What do cows do?
Cows give us milk to drink."

Corina Fletcher's thoughtful text accompanies Britta Teckentrup's endearing illustration, full of textures. The palette in particular just feels perfect. So unpack the box, read the book, be surprised by the delightful and original popups, and answer the questions. Then unfold the mat, unpack the vehicles and characters, and play. Way to go, Nosy Crow!

Playbook Farm
by Corina Fletcher
illustrations by Britta Teckentrup
Nosy Crow, Candlewick Press

Monday, September 3, 2012

Kid Builder: Salina Yoon

Tools seem a perfect way to help totz celebrate Labor Day!

This boxed set from prolific and talented Salina Yoon comes with a toolbelt and four handy dandy tools: screwdriver, hammer, wrench, and pliers. Each tool is a sturdy board book, about five inches tall, which gives the basics about the tool.

The wrench text reads:

Wrenches turn! / Turn that nut. /
Turn right to make it tight. / Turn left to make it loose. /
Now the bike is good as new!

A wonderful blend of book and toy. And at $9.99, this seems like a real deal!

Kid Builder
Author-illustrator: Salina Yoon
Scholastic, 2010
Ages 3 and up