Monday, January 28, 2013

Annual Call for a Youth Media Board Book Award

It was so fun to watch the livestream of the Youth Media Awards this morning. However, Joan and I stop for a moment and once again give the call for a novelty/board book category. Research indicates it takes about $10,000 to fund the start of an award. Joan and I are busy writing to fill the format with quality literature, along with others passionate for the board book. Who will come forward to recognize the best first books for our very youngest readers? We propose The Dorothy Kunhardt Award.

 ~ Lorie Ann Grover and Joan Holub, 2013

In the meantime, here are your Caldecott winners:

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

This Is Not My Hat,” illustrated and written by Jon Klassen, is the 2013 Caldecott Medal winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press.
Five Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Creepy Carrots!” illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division; “Extra Yarn,” illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of
HarperCollins Publishers; “Green,” illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and published by Neal Porter Books, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press; “One Cool Friend,” illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group; “Sleep Like a Tiger,” illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary Logue and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Splat the Cat, Funny Valentine: Rob Scotton

How about a fun, soft-sided, Lift-the-Flap for Valentine's? Splat the Cat, Funny Valentine delivers. Mrs. Wimpydimple reminds the cat class to bring in their special valentines. Splat, Kitten, Seymour, and Spike gather with their supplies at the clubhouse and get to work rhyming, sewing, cutting, and gluing. When Valentines are delivered, everyone is remembered, even Mrs. Wimpydimple.

Based on Rob Scotton's characters and style, you and your Valentine will be lifting flaps and smiling this February.

Splat the Cat, Funny Valentine
based on the creation of Rob Scotton
Harperfestival, 2012

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

readertotz Newsflash: Reach Out and Read


So excited to learn of Reach Out and Read and then hear my work was chosen for the program. Check it out and visit the drive. Here's to totz' community service! 

Reach Out and Read prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. In the Greater New York region, we provide new, age-appropriate books and literacy guidance to over a quarter of a million children. 

Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish is one of 11 books included in the online Virtual Book

This year the celebration is the 14th Anniversary of Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, on May 6, 2013, at The Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in New York City. Susan Kaufman, Editor of Time Inc.’s People StyleWatch Magazine will serve as Auction Chair. 

Pediatrician Dr. Leora Mogilner

Thanks for taking a look. And thanks to Scholastic for their contributions! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Kiss Like This: Mary Murphy

This, from the back cover, sets up the premise of this book, which uses a clever, split-page format:

Buzzy, bubbly, long, or small,
whose is the best kiss of all?
Can you guess?

A giraffe kiss is gentle and tall. . .
(Giraffe tot pictured on left; parent on right. Turn the split-page flap . . .)
like this!
(Giraffe tot and parent kiss.)

A mouse kiss is quick and small. . .
(Parent mouse on left; tot mouse on right. Turn the flap…)
like this!
(Mouse tot and parent kiss.)

I waited till now to mention that this is not a board book. But it does read like one and could easily be transformed into one in the future. The art is simple and fresh, with cute characters that aren’t syrupy-cute. The book ends with a spread filled with hearts of many sizes, including a giant sparkly one in the middle.


Author-illustrator: Mary Murphy
Ages 2-4

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

For You: Return to Me

Next time you set the board books aside and your sweet totz to bed, reach for Return to Me. Justina Chen delivers a raw, realistic look at change, redefining normal, and lasting love. 

Here's the description from Amazon:

Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She's weeks away from starting college--at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad's last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there's the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying behind on the exact opposite coast.

And if that isn't enough to deal with, mere days after moving cross-country, Reb's dad drops shocking, life-changing news. With her mother and brother overwhelmed and confused, Reb is left alone to pick up the pieces of her former life. But how can she do that when everything can change in an instant? How can she trust her "perfect" boyfriend when her own dad let her down? Reb started the year knowing exactly what her future would hold, but now that her world has turned upside down, will she discover what she really wants?

Join the Celebratory Twitter Party at #LBSchat at 5 PT, 8 ET!

Return to Me
by Justina Chen
Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Poetry Friday: The Brave Spell

Do you see the totz in the tapestry? :~) I loved this movie so much. How about you and yours? Happy Poetry Friday!

Brave tapestry

"Fate be changed.
Look inside.
Mend the bond
torn by pride."

More, More, More: Who's on First?

Who doesn't love Abbott and Costello's piece, "Who's on First?" Thanks to Quirk, you can bring this classic comedy to your totz. A rabbit and bear stand in for the famous duo and deliver the fun.

John Martz's clean illustrations make the wordplay clear for everyone. Who is a worm. What is a dog, and I Don't Know is a chicken. Everyone will be able to follow the fun, except, of course, Costello. A "Brief History" of the exchange closes the book. Did you recall the long version is in the film The Naughty Nineties?

Enjoy Time magazine's pick for best comedy sketch of the 20th century with John Martz's Who's on First? Your totz will be instant fans.

Who's on First?
by Abbott and Costello
illustrated by John Martz
Quirk Books, February 19, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

10 Valentine Friends: Janet Schulman

Valentine’s Day is coming, so ten friends decide that each will make a valentine card from someone special. As we count from 1 to 10, another card is made and added to the group of them shown on the right side of the page. This is a clever concept which reinforces the importance of giving and sharing with others, and I can see this book leading to fun times at home making cards with totz!

One tot creates a card with a slug illustration for a friend who’ll appreciate it:

Annie Lee knows how Pete likes bugs.
He’ll really dig her squishy slugs!

10 Valentine Friends (a holiday counting book)
Author: Janet Schulman
Illustrator: Linda Davick

Thursday, January 3, 2013

More, More, More: La Luna

La Luna

Did you catch the Pixar short for Brave, La Luna? It was simple, innovative, and enchanting, and you can now hold it in your hands with the picture book release. Enrico Casarosa's story and watercolor illustrations capture the mood of the Disney short, which was, actually, his directing debut.

The only illustration I truly miss is the one where the boy falls through the sky surrounded by stars. I wonder why it wasn't included as a full spread? As an aside, I haven't been able to find the soundtrack by Michael Giacchino. I would like to be able to hear it again and again.

If you loved the short, look for the book for your totz! And let me know if you find the music...

La Luna
by Enrico Casarosa
Disney Pixar, 2012

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Pick For the Older Sibling: Annie and Helen

I was fascinated by Helen Keller when I was a girl, so I was excited to see this new picture book. I hoped it would be a good one that expanded my knowledge about Helen Keller and entertained me. I wasn’t disappointed.

It’s beautifully designed, with numerous sepia photographs of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, on the inside covers. One photo shows them finger-spelling. Another shows Helen reading a Braille book, and still another shows her with her dog, Jumbo.

The story itself is engaging and thorough with just the right amount of information to satisfy. By means of excerpts from Annie’s letters, we learn even more about Helen’s progress and struggles.

The hand signs for the manual finger alphabet signing are shown in a text illustration. I loved the tactile addition on the back cover, which is printed with the Braille Alphabet, complete with raised dots for A to Z.

Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrator: Raul Colon