Friday, December 30, 2016

The Nutcracker: Jack and Holman Wang

Cozy Classics Cover

Did you take your readertotz to The Nutcracker over the holiday? If so, or maybe if you intend to in the future, you might revisit or introduce the ballet with Cozy Classics, E.T.A. Hoffmann's The Nutcracker. Text and felt art are by Jack and Holman Wang.

Your first readers can consider the nutcracker gift, sleep, the mouse, and more. Each half-spread is detailed and memorable. The complexity is there for the older child, the simplicity for the younger.

What a beautiful holiday book to add to your child's collection. Cozy up with Cozy Classics. This season, chose The Nutcracker.

Cozy Classics
E.T.A. Hoffmann's The Nutcracker
by Jack and Holman Wang
Chronicle Books

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Top Shelf: Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout

Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out! Cover

Top Shelf is my new name for the very best that crosses my path. Here is the very best, collected by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by Brian Pinkney. Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out! is perfection. The author has compiled stories, songs, and games from her African American childhood. With wonderful research, she shares variations that twirled from person to person.

I found so many verses and chants ringing from my own jump rope days. The variances were fascinating. It is obvious the illustrations were "pure joy" to Brian. He said, "The images danced from my hand onto the page."

This collection preserves history, offers opportunities for growth and development, and brings happiness to readers. Here is beauty and brilliance. Thank you to the author, illustrator, and Schwartz & Wade Books. Bravo!

Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!
by Patricia C. McKissack
illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2017

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Christmas Story: Robert Sabuda

The Christmas Story Cover

Honoring the awe of the Christmas narrative is Robert Sabuda's The Christmas Story. The beautiful text is illustrated with exquisite pop-up art. The work is so intriguing you will likely want to display it. The scene of Bethlehem and the Magi are grand. Actually, the entire work is grand.

Smaller hands will be able to negotiate the page turns, but the illustrations are layered, cut-paper and will need care.

Thank you, Robert and Candlewick. You have brought light into the world.

The Christmas Press
by Robert Sabuda
Candlewick Books, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

Poetry Friday: My Snow Globe

My Snow Globe Cover

Here's a board/novelty book perfect for a snowy Poetry Friday! The cut-aways, use of transparency, and textures are clever invitations into a snow globe world.

"Shake, shake. Swish, swish.
Close your eyes and make a wish.

Follow the footprints in the snow
to find out where the animals go."

My Snow Globe
by Megan E. Bryant
illustrated by Melissa Iwai
Cartwheel Books, 2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Love, Happy, Together: Emma Dodd

Love Cover
Happy CoverTogether Cover
I'm giving a shout-out to all things Emma Dodd. Publisher Nosy Crow loves her, as do we, and they invest in her creations with high production quality. Each of her books is a joy to hold and share with readertotz. In Love, Happy, and Together, in perfect rhyme, the parent assures that in every circumstance the child is beloved. With each reading, you will be doing the same.

Find Emma Dodd and build your own library. The added foil embellishments echo the respect that should be given to love and first readers. (Look for Forever and Wish, as well.)

by Emma Dodd
Nosy Crow

Friday, December 2, 2016

Poetry Friday: Seeking a Santa

Seeking a Santa Cover

You can enjoy a catchy rhyme and introduce your readertotz to Santa in this board book for first readers. Angela Diterlizzi's fast-paced text outlines how to recognize the jolly character in Seeking a Santa. Are you one yourself, maybe? Allie Smith's illustrations pop with strong color and a black outline when contrast is needed.

This is a perfect pick for a holiday Poetry Friday! Take a look:

"Crave milk and cookies
Have a belly that jiggles
Love humming and whistling
and carols and giggles"

Let's all share and spread cheer as we love our children and read to them this season. Happy holidays!

Seeking a Santa
by Angela Diterlizzi
illustrated by Allie Smith
Little Simon, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

Poetry Friday: Because of an Acorn

Because of an Acorn Cover

A beautiful poem for the love of the forest which builds upon itself and circles back. Enjoy Because of an Acorn today with your readertotz. Happy Poetry Friday!

Because of an acorn,
a tree.
Because of a tree,
a bird.
Because of a bird,
a seed.

The illustrations are fresh and full. Such beauty!

Because of an Acorn
by Lola M. Schaefer and Adam Schaefer
illustrated by ran Preston-Gannon
Chronicle Books, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim: Jeffrey Burton

The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim Cover

You can celebrate Thanksgiving right alongside the itsy bitsy pilgrim this year. With a rhyming text from Jeffrey Burton and soft illustrations from Sanja Rescek, the mood will be set for a day of thanks.

The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim board book shares the story of a mouse who sails on the Mayflower to a new home. There he helps build the community and makes new friends. All come together in a thankful meal.

Echoing the nursery rhyme "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," your totz will likely recognize the adjectives and rhythm thereby endearing this book even more. Here's to your Happy Thanksgiving with your itsy bitsy readertotz!

The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim
by Jeffrey Burton
illustrated by Sanja Rescek
Little Simon, 2016

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Pete the Cat: I Can Draw

James Dean has brought step-by-step instructions for you and your totz to enjoy drawing Pete the Cat. You'll recognize his world and experiences as you learn to draw supporting objects and characters as well. The big 160-page workbook gives plenty of space for practice. You'll want your own copy for the family so you can draw straight in the book. Go have fun with this groovy cat!

Pete the Cat, My First I Can Draw
by James Dean
HarperFestival, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

Poetry Friday: I Love Hugs and Kisses

I Love Hugs and Kisses (Heart-Felt Books) Cover

So many occasions for hugs and kisses. Especially with panda, felt, flap arms and ears on this board book cover. Happy Poetry Friday to you and yours!

Hug me when we take a walk.
Kiss me when we quack and talk!

Hug me when we go to the zoo.
Kiss me when I have a boo-boo.

I Love Hugs and Kisses
by Sandra Magsamen
Scholastic, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

Peekaboo Wild: Nat Sims and Night & Day Studios

Peekaboo Wild Cover

We talk about raising the profile of board books at readertotz, and we aim to encourage writers and illustrators to keep the bar high in content and imagery. Peekaboo Wild, A Lift-the-Flap Book does that. Each spread takes a location and illustrates the animals who live there.

Who lives in the bamboo forest?
Red panda
Who else lives there?

The inclusions aren't restricted to the most common animal. Your totz are given the opportunity to learn more than other animal board books usually present. Corey Lunn's art is flat and graphic, with clear edges. The work was created by Nat Sims and the Night & Day team. Interesting, yes?

We appreciate the bar set high. More, more, more!

Peekaboo Wild, A Lift-the-Flap Book
by Nat Sims and Night & Day Studios
illustrated by Corey Lunn
Candlewick Entertainment

Friday, October 21, 2016

Poetry Friday: I Will Love You Forever

I Will Love You Forever Cover

There's always room for a mother's declaration of love for her totz. Enjoy this dear board book. Happy Poetry Friday!

When I saw you for
the very first time
I was filled with joy
that you were mine.

I knew I would
love you forever.

I Will Love You Forever
by Caroline Jayne Church
Cartwheel Books, Scholastic

Thursday, October 20, 2016

One Minute till Bedtime: Kenn Nesbitt

Image result for one minute till bedtime image

So excited to be in this upcoming collection! Three starred reviews so far!


A substantial compilation of new poems for children by over 130 poets.
The opening salvo of former Children’s Poet Laureate Nesbitt’s hefty anthology of “60-second” poems designed to send children “off to sleep” lets the cat out of the bag as to what bedtime’s really about. Having performed basic end-of-day tasks (“Had a bath and / brushed my teeth; / those on top / and underneath”) and prepped for a good night’s sleep, Nesbitt’s speaker rejoices: “All that’s done; / at last I’m freed. / Finally, / it’s time to read.” Here, as throughout the collection, Niemann’s boldly inked drawing of a teddy bear’s free-fall dive into the waiting pool of an open book succinctly and suggestively captures the spirit of the accompanying poem—and, in this case, the entire anthology. Presented with over 140 new poems by many of today’s most prominent children’s poets (Mary Ann Hoberman, Margarita Engle, Jack Prelutsky, Ron Koertge, Nikki Grimes), readers are treated to lyric nighttime reflections on topics as disparate as relationships with favorite pets or grandparents, beloved “toasty, warm jammies,” and one’s blankie—“old and manky.” There’s also plenty of nonsense verse sure to inspire wild dreaming “on the road to morning.” These pithy poetic observations and Niemann’s engaging illustrations prove at once antidote and anodyne for the sleep-averse child demanding just one more….
A dreamy collection of bedtime poems and witty illustrations that’s anything but sleepy. (Poetry. 4-10)

"Toasty, warm jammies," is me!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Love You, Hug You, Read to You! Tish Rabe

Love You, Hug You, Read to You! Cover

How about prompting questions for you to ask your totz below the board book text?

What is Little Bunny holding?
Who is sitting with Little Bunny?
What did they all do today?

On each spread, Random House and author Tish Rabe provide further interactions to accompany Frank Endersby's pencil and watercolor paintings. All bears the message:

There are three things I'll always do...
love you,
hug you,
read to you!

What do you think? Are the additional questions helpful? Of course the work can be read straight through without pause. Different totz and readers will approach the book differently. As long as we all continue to read together daily!

Love You, Hug You, Read to You!
by Tish Rabe
illustrated by Frank Endersby
Random House

Friday, October 7, 2016

Poetry Friday: Seeking a Witch

Seeking a Witch Cover

For Poetry Friday and to set the atmosphere with your readertotz, find Seeking a Witch. The bold limited palate, pops for the Halloween theme. Allie Smith's graphic imagery is a fun match to Angela Diterlizzi's rolling rhyme.

"I'm seeking a
and everyone knows
Your skin must
be green
With a wart
on your nose."

The pages will be turned quickly in this new board book from Little Simon. Happy Poetry Friday to youuuuuuu.

Seeking a Witch
by Angela Diterlizzi
illustrated by Allie Smith
Little Simon, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Art Play: Marion Deuchars

Art Play Cover

It fabulous as I hoped. The off-white paper is inviting; the exercises are fun and interesting. This work-inside-the-book is educational, inspiring, clever, and delightful. Whether they scribble, blow paint, or color a dream, the older siblings of readertotz will be expressing themselves on paper. Pencils, ink, cut paper, and printing are a few of the means for creating. How about pictograph signs, newspaper portraits, tackling perspective, or spinning thaumatropes?

Art Play is aptly titled. Go ahead. You'll want to play right alongside your young artist!

Art Play
by Marion Deuchars
Laurence King Publishing

Baa Baa Smart Sheep and I Love Lemonade: The Sommersets

Baa Baa Smart Sheep Cover

I Love Lemonade Cover

Oh, now. How about a little mischief? You are going to find it with Little Baa Baa. If bored, Quirky Turkey had better watch out. A mysterious pile of brown balls may not exactly be smarty tablets. And sweet revenge with a glass of yellow liquid might actually backfire.

The pacing is brilliant, the line drawings so expressive you will be delighted. Baa Baa Smart Sheep and I Love Lemonade have been the favs of 2016 with totz AND seniors. (#readergrands) My in-laws have shared them with hoots and howls with their retirement community.

Thanks, Mark and Rowan Sommerset. More, more, more!

Baa Baa Smart Sheep
I Love Lemonade
by Mark and Rowan Sommerset
Candlewick Press, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

Animals: Ingela P. Arrhenius

Animals Cover

It's HUGE! Likely as big as your totz, the graphic depiction of various animals by children's designer in Sweden, Ingela P. Arrhenius, is captivating. There's no particular order or arrangement in the beasts, but there is a celebration of shapes, including lettering which changes from piece to piece. The palette is subdued. All imagery is caught on the endpapers for comparison.

Consider this for young storytime groups or singular readers who are ready to meet an array of animals and twirling letters. Each is friendly and waits introduction.

by Ingela P. Arrhenius
Candlewick Press, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

My Very First Mother Goose: Iona Opie and Rosemary Wells

My Very First Mother Goose Cover

How wonderful! The Twentieth Anniversary Edition of My Very First Mother Goose, edited by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells, is being released! In four chapters, the rhymes are collected and shared in a large format. Readertotz are going to love falling into the phrases and big imagery.

As Iona notes in her introduction, Mother Goose knows of human nature. She shows us the beautiful world we are all a part of. Her rhymes give us answers and encouragements in so many situations. Rosemary Wells fills the scene, and with a line, she conveys layers of emotion.

I shared this first with my own readertotz. Now, to the next generation...

My Very First Mother Goose
edited by Iona Opie
illustrated by Rosemary Wells
Candlewick Press, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I Love Music: Marion Billet

I Love Music Cover

I Love Music, My First Sound Book introduces your readertotz to six instruments. The ever important on/off switch allows the pig to play the recorder while the cat can play the violin. The real sounds and song bits are incredible, and the musical artists are credited. Included are Brahms and Mozart.

At readertotz, we aim to raise the profile of board books and encourage the best quality publications for first readers. Author/illustrator Marion Billet has done so with Cartwheel Scholastic's creative team. Brava! Somebody hit those drums!

I Love Music, My First Sound Book
by Marion Billet
Cartwheel, Scholastic, 2016

For the Older Sibs: Dog Man

Dog Man Cover

Dav Pilkey. Need I say more? Dav Pilkey. Captain Underpants. One of my all time favorites: Friend for Dragon, has a new series titled Dog Man. Officer Knight is tough with no brains, and Greg the dog is smart with a weak body. So, of course, the answer is to put Greg's head on Officer Knight's body following an explosion. Dog Man is the result. You'll just have to read the comic/graphic novel for yourself.

The older sibs of your totz are going to be wanting book two the sec they finish book one. I saw it coming in the catalog...Let's welcome this new breed to town!

Dog Man
by Dav Pilkey
Graphix, Scholastic, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

You are My Cupcake: Joyce Wan

You Are My Cupcake Cover

Here's a soft and squishy first book for your wee readertotz. Joyce Wan's adorable imagery of tasty treats will engage little eyes. The various textures and crinkles will appeal to little hands and ears. This one will be snuggled through naptime, no doubt!

You are My Cupcake
by Joyce Wan
Cartwheel Books, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Ants Go Marching: Priscilla Burris

The Ants Go Marching Cover

Count-and-Sing, The Ants Go Marching is a catchy introduction to the numbers one through five. The group of ants is diligent to move the picnic food below the blanket as the foil rain has begun to fall. There will be a feast for the well-dressed violet ants because of everyone's cooperation.

Aside from a parent enjoying the book/tune with their totz, this board book will be of interest to a young music class. Boom! Boom! Boom!

Count-and-Sing, The Ants Go Marching
by Priscilla Burris
Scholastic, Cartwheel Books, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

Poetry Friday: It was so quiet I could hear a pin drop, Andy Goodman

It Was So Quiet I Could Hear a Pin Drop Cover

There is simplistic beauty and a lovely charge in this work I share today for Poetry Friday. In It was so quiet I could hear a pin drop, flat graphic shapes are combined with what appear to be old print imagery. The two together create an open freshness.

The reader is told what the protagonist hears when she listens to the breeze. Kites, to a leaky tap, to a dog growling, and a woman singing are caught by her ear and shared with the reader. The cannon and volcano are dreamed sounds which bring the book to a dynamic conclusion.

The reader and totz will be straining to hear everything in their own surroundings as the book is closed. Before it's read again.

It was so quiet I could hear a pin drop
by Andy Goodman
Princeton Architectural Press, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Shh! We Have a Plan: Chris Haughton

Shh! We Have a Plan Cover

"Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein

Here is the quote noted in Shh! We Have a Plan. How wonderful to have Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award winner, Chris Haughton's work now available as a board book. School Library Journal's starred review says it is, "A masterful delight."

It's the smallest of the group of four who would like to say, "Hello, birdie." But his three counterparts dissuade him repeatedly, as they have a plan. It's the smallest who is successful though, even though the three still don't learn.

There is so much anticipation and delight from the big eyes of the characters as they try over and over to catch the bird. There is so much to talk about with readers, eager to identify with the smallest in the group. I believe this book was meant to be a board book from the start. Enjoy!

Shh! We Have a Plan
by Chris Haughton
Candlewick Press, 2015

Friday, July 15, 2016

Poetry Friday: Who Woke the Baby? Jane Clarke

Who Woke the Baby? Cover

Who Woke the Baby? is the mystery in the jungle one morning. The baby gorilla awakes smelly and yelly and is caught in a cumulative rhyming tale full of sound. There is the hippo who yawns like a horn, a lion who snores and roars, and a frog who croaks.

It's lovely to discover the smallest, yet brightest, is the one who woke the baby. And it is also that one who leaves everyone happy.

The recent tragedy involving a child and a gorilla and the death of a child by two alligators came to mind as I pondered the beautiful watercolor and ink illustrations. Such horrific occurrences likely won't be known by readertotz, and the book will be thoroughly beloved.

Who Woke the Baby?
by Jane Clarke
illustrated by Charles Fuge
Nosy Crow, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

More, more, more: Circle

Circle Cover

An epic book has been released from Candlewick Press titled Circle, by Jeannie Baker. With one wish: "Ahhhh--I wish I could fly!" and one note: "In its lifetime a godwit will usually fly farther than the distance from the earth to the moon," the collaged picture book begins.

"In a place where mud and sand become sea...
a godwit with white wing patches
flies up with his flock.
The moment is right
for the long journey north."

The flock takes flight away from a boy in a wheelchair at the beach. Page upon page follows the flock from one safe stretch of mud to another. The birds return to their remembered place and nest. Eventually, the moment arrives to leave again and reach the other side of the world. They arrive at the original beach and rest. Now, the boy leaves his crutches and races after his dog who is giving chase to the birds.

After the flock has flown full circle, the boy is shown again in his bed, imagining his own flight with the godwits. My only disappointment was that the boy did not remain in his wheelchair.

You won't want to miss this love letter to the godwits and the brilliant collage by Jeannie.

by Jeannie Baker
Candlewick Press, 2016

Thursday, July 7, 2016

More, more, more: There's a Giraffe in My Soup

There's a Giraffe in My Soup Cover

When a child finds a giraffe in his soup, the waiter is quick to replace the bowl. However, next there is an alligator, an elephant, a yak, and more! The zoo was sent the restaurant's food while the restaurant received the zoo's animals. There's additional homophone word play from mousse to moose and lying to lion which plague the exasperated waiter.

Readertotz will be laughing from the first page to the last of There's a Giraffe in my Soup by Ross Burach. The debut author used pencil and acrylic paints colored digitally for the hilarious illustrations composed with great energy. Welcome, Ross! We are so happy to have you writing and illustrating for readertotz!

There's a Giraffe in My Soup
by Ross Burach
Harper, 2016

Monday, July 4, 2016

One Gorilla, A Counting Book: Anthony Browne

One Gorilla Cover

Anthony Browne helps us get our primates straight as we count from one to ten and beyond. Introduce mandrills, macaques, and lemurs to your readertotz with Browne's mixed media illustrations. Even get a peek at the author himself!

"1 gorilla
2 orangutans
3 chimpanzees"

With a starred review from the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, you won't want your totz to miss this one. The classic vibe is definitely there.

One Gorilla, A Counting Book
by Anthony Browne
Candlewick Press, 2015

Friday, July 1, 2016

Poetry Friday: Plant a Kiss

What happens when Little Miss plants a kiss?

"Planted a kiss?
Planted a kiss.
Wait and wait."

Read Amy Krouse Rosenthal's darling board book Plant a Kiss with your totz for Poetry Friday. Peter H. Reynolds airy illustrations are perfect for this little act of love in a board book format. You and yours are bound to find a little bliss.

Plant a Kiss
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
HarperFestival, board book, 2015

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Rude Cakes: Rowboat Watkins

Rude Cakes Cover

Sometimes a special book comes across my path, and I LOVE IT! I share it with everyone, hold it close, tuck it on my shelf, and treasure it. And later I realize I NEVER TOLD READERTOTZ ABOUT IT!

Call me a rude cake, but Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins was my tip-top favorite book of 2015. Rowboat Watkins, a former Sendak Fellow, offers a surprising, original, and oh-so-humorous picture book to our readertotz. He illustrates the difference between rude and polite with Cakes and Giant Cyclopses. Yes, cyclopses.

Rowboat was a 2016, Ezra Jack Keats, New Illustrator Honor Award Winner. Here's what others have had to say:

"The zaniest picture book premise of the year."--Boston Globe
"A truly surreal story, crammed with hilarious details and gently laced with an important lesson."--School Library Journal, starred review
"Hilarious and full of surprises. Pure picture book genius!"-Antoinette Portis, author of the New York Times Bestseller, Not a Box

I'm so glad the genius was seen. I cannot wait for more from Rowboat. More, more, more!

Rude Cakes
by Rowboat Watkins
Chronicle Books, 2015

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hello, World! Solar System: Jill McDonald

Hello, World! Solar System Cover

I love bringing nonfiction to our totz! Introduce our place in space with Hello, World! Solar System by Jill McDonald. With mixed media illustrations, the reader hops from planet to planet gaining a few facts for each along the way.

"We live on a planet called
From space it looks like
a swirled blue marble.
*Earth is the third planet from the sun."

I look forward to seeing more from the Hello, World! series. Bravo, Doubleday for raising the bar for board books. Hello, nature and science!

Note: Pluto is included. Yay!

Hello, World! Solar System
by Jill McDonald
Doubleday, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Celebrate your Mighty Dads this Father's Day with the board book or picture book!

Happy Father's Day!
The New York Times bestselling
by readertotz co-blogger Joan Holub
and illustrated by James Dean of Pete the Cat
is now a board book, too.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

More, more, more: Roy's House

How about combining simple text for readertotz with art by Roy Lichtenstein? I love getting fine art in front of the littlest readers and Susan Goldman Rubin does that with Roy's House. There's an air of Goodnight Moon as the home is described using Lichtenstein's paintings.

"In Roy's House, there is
a bedroom with yellow
pillows and lamps.

Let's go into the studio.
Roy paints pictures here!"

There's so much to see and discuss, from color, to home elements and objects, to Pop Art. I love this work for readertotz! I'd like to see the picture book released as a board book. Maybe soon?

Roy's House
by Susan Goldman Rubin
art by Roy Lichtenstein
Chronicle Books, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pete the Cat, The Wheels on the Bus: James Dean

The wheels on the bus go round and round as Pete the Cat drives through town. The horn, the wipers, and the signals are all in gear as the kitties say, "Come on, Pete!" There's a point when Pete gives over the wheel to a dog so everyone can rock out. It's completely groovy to have Pete on the board book scene. Welcome!

Pete the Cat, The Wheels on the Bus
by James Dean
HarperFestival, 2015

Friday, May 13, 2016

Poetry Friday: Sweep Up the Sun and Among a Thousand Fireflies

Breathtaking. The poems of Helen Frost alongside Rick Lieder's photographs are stunning. And then there are the layered meanings and life lessons within the pages. Celebrate Poetry Friday with this duo.

"Alone in the sky,
or flying with friends,
your wings will carry you far,
stitching earth to sky
with invisible thread,
at home
     wherever you are."

"Across a distance
wide and dark
she looks out from
her flower
and sees---

Light. Dark.
Light. Dark."

Sweep Up the Sun, 2015
Among a Thousand Fireflies, 2016
by Helen Frost
photographs by Rick Lieder
Candlewick Press

Thursday, May 12, 2016

More, more, more: Flora and the Peacocks; Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova

For your readertotz intrigued by dance, you must see these two beauties, both from Chronicle Books.

Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle is an elaborate presentation of suspicion, jealousy, rejection, and acceptance. Two peacocks, jealous of Flora, steal her fan so she can no longer resemble them. In response to her grief, the birds grow repentant, restore Flora's fan in a new way, and befriend her. Occasional lift-the-flaps crescendo in an enormous poster-sized flap of acceptance. There's so much to discuss with your totz arising from this lush work.

The second masterwork is Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, by Laurel Snyder, and illustrated by Julie Morstad. The work is an exquisite match of text and art, honoring the great ballet dancer.

The city is big.
     Anna is small.
The snow is
and all around.

There's such atmosphere. Relish each page turn as Anna grows and you witness her life, feeding the world with beauty.

Flora and the Peacocks
by Molly Idle
Chronicle Books, 2016

Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
by Laurel Snyder
illustrated by Julie Morstad
Chronicle Books, 2015

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Moment for Wallpaper: Murals Wallpaper

How fantastic is this?

Alice in Wonderland Children's Literature Wallpaper

We don't often take a break from board books, but this is too fabulous not to mention. Find the ordering details here from Murals Wallpaper. Love this, don't you?

Wizard of Oz Children's Literature Wallpaper Mural

Monday, May 9, 2016

Crocopotamus: Mary Murphy

Giggles will erupt as your readertotz flip through Mary Murphy's Crocopotamus. Combinations of animals just wait to be discovered. How about a Zekey or an Eleger. Of course there are matches for animals we know and love, too. Big, bold rough-edged images and hand-lettered text set a playful tone in this board book for the earliest readers.

by Mary Murphy
Candlewick Press, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

Cozy Classics: Jack and Holman Wang

There is always a desire to bring great lit to our totz. Chronicle Books has tackled the project with their Cozy Classics. Little felted figures in elaborate settings by Jack and Holman Wang illustrate: Pride & Prejudice, Moby Dick, War & PeaceGreat Expectations, and more. Their unique concept is that one word is illustrated per spread. How do you reduce War & Peace to 12 words? Intriguing, yes?

So your totz aren't going to track the entire plot, aside from the barest bones, but they will be introduced to imagery that may linger a long while. It's possible even a love will be ignited for what we hold dear in adult literature. I respect that a subject isn't shied away from either. Miss Havisham is on fire.

As usual, Chronicle gets it right.

Cozy Classics
War & Peace
Moby Dick
Pride & Prejudice
Great Expectations
by Jack and Holman Wang
Chronicle Books, 2016