Thursday, April 25, 2013

Poetry Friday: Bobbing

Happy Poetry Friday! I wrote this haiku for my own blog, On Point, and thought to share it here as well. Enjoy!

Bobbing in bubbles,
warm, soft water buoying
curved rubber smiles.
Lorie Ann Grover, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

More, More, More: Ribbit!

It's the picture book with heart that grabs me. Ribbit! did that from the cover alone. With hot pink end pages, I was ready for a treat and author Rodrigo Folgueira and illustrator Poly Bernatene did just that.

One morning a frog family is disconcerted to discover a pig sitting on a rock in their pond. All questions are met with the pig's response, "Ribbit!" Fearing the frogs are being made fun of, they consult the opinions of other animals regarding this pig in their pond. After retrieving the wise old beetle, they return to find the pig has left.

"Maybe," said the wise old beetle,
"he just wanted to make
new friends."

Readers will delight to see the pig's solution, and all the animals finally making friends with the pig, who, by the way, now says, "Tweet!"

Along with the text, I really responded to the texture of the paper showing through the illustration, and on closer examination, I was surprised to find faint, indistinguishable words included in the backgrounds. The layering of scenes and charming main characters works so well together.

Find Ribbit! and your totz will be saying, "More, more, more, ribbit!"

by Rodrigo Folgueira
illustrated by Poly Bernatene
Alfred A. Knopf, Random House

Who Are We? Jane Chapman

Jane Chapman's rhyme about animal movement is accompanied by nonfiction facts in this fold out board book, Who Are We? for totz.

"When we move, we are pretty slow.
Waddling keeps us warm in snow.

We penguins have feathers to keep us
dry and warm!

Who are we?


The book is designed so that you might only share the rhyme and answer with the youngest readers. Older ones will enjoy the accordion spread with further nature facts. Of course everyone will respond to Alexis Barad-Cutler's realistic and friendly illustrations.

Enjoy the guessing game about animal movement, uniquely designed by Chapman and Barad-Cutler. It's almost two books in one. And don't miss the tracks on the last spread!

Who Are We?
by Jane Chapman
illustrated by Alexis Barad-Cutler
Cartwheel Books, Scholastic, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sweet Dreams Lullaby: Betsy Snyder

A gentle, , softly-colored bedtime book, which begins with little bunny being tucked into bed by a parent.

The day is done, it’s time for bed
Let peaceful moments fill your head
So cuddle up and snuggle in,
And let your happy dreams begin.

Suggestions for what a tot might dream about abound in this cozy book—all comforting ones with soothing shapes and sounds; puffy clouds; bedtime snacks; butterflies giving good night kisses. The story is more lengthy than a typical board book because this was originally a 32-page picture book.

Betsy Snyder has designed and illustration children’s greeting cards. Her work has been recognized with the Please Touch Museum’s Annual Book Award, has appeared in the Society of Illustrators Annual Award Shows. Find out more at Betsy’s blog.

Author-illustrator: Betsy Synder
Random House, 2010-2012

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Poetry Friday: Around the Block with Sesame Street and Melissa McCarthy

Here's poetry in motion! Take it away, Elmo and Melissa!

April Big Kid Pick: The Bird King

The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook

How about a volume of absolute inspiration? Find The Bird King, an artists's notebook by Shaun Tan, and you'll find just that. Here is a great Big Kid Pick for the older sibling of your totz.

Shaun has graciously shared his notebooks with the reader. Within this book are early paintings and pencil sketches full of energy and vibrancy. You will be fascinated. So often those qualities diminish as a work is labored. The Bird King brings that life in Shaun's first lines into your hands.

There's a great degree of vulnerability in sharing your journal or notebook, sharing concepts and thoughts that might have been abandoned or were developed with finesse later. It takes strength to share, and I give thanks to Shaun for doing so. I plan to keep this book close as I know it will inspire images in my own journals.

Take a peek, and you'll find you are instantly absorbed. I imagine the older siblings of your totz will be motivated to grab their own pencils.

One more note to trumpet. The illustrator is correctly named an artist by this title. Bravo!

The Bird King, an artist's notebook
by Shaun Tan
Arthur A. Levine Books, Scholastic

Monday, April 8, 2013

Quick Duck! and Slow Snail: Mary Murphy

Our recommend this week is a cute duo from Mary Murphy. Quick Duck! explores prepositions with a speedy duck on his way back to his family. Slow Snail illustrates prepositions as a snail slowly returns for dinner.

The flat, bright, main characters pop against the more gentle watercolor backgrounds. The trails blazed or crept upon are emphasized with foil or shined color. The books also hold Mary's appealing hand-lettering which further demonstrates the featured movement.

Explore quick and slow: over, under, and around with your totz. This would be incredibly fun with a room full of children!

Quick Duck!
Slow Snail
by Mary Murphy
Candlewick Press, 2013