Saturday, April 29, 2017

Top Shelf: My Little Cities, London, New York

My Little Cities Cover

My Little Cities Cover

I love this new series from Chronicle Books: My Little Cities, by Jennifer Adams with illustrations by Greg Pizzoli. So far, I see London and New York. And Paris and San Francisco.

Veering away from adult board books, Adams' rhyme is child-relatable and interweaves beautifully with Pizzoli's graphic art with simple shapes and subdued color. These works will appeal to first readers and then offer more as they grow and learn about the featured cities.

Now, how about Athens? Dubai? Madrid? Moscow? Shanghai?

My Little Cities, London
New York
by Jennifer Adams
illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Chronicle Books, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Shake, Wiggle & Roll: Carli Davidson

Shake, Wiggle & Roll CoverHeads & Tails Cover

Alerting all dog lovers! Shake, Wiggle & Roll and Heads & Tails are adorable new board books from Chronicle Books by Carli Davidson. In the first, totz learn about actions, including walk, jump, and lick. In the second work, parts of dogs are illustrated up close and then in a full body photo: tongue, legs, belly. White backgrounds showcase these fun pets who are named and listed in concluding spreads.

Top Dog is one more in the series. Find these for your beloved dog people and their readertotz. So cute!

Shake, Wiggle & Roll
Heads & Tails
Top Dog
by Carli Davidson
Chronicle Books, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

Masha and Her Sisters: Suzy Ultman

Masha and Her Sisters Cover

This book is adorable. Stacked pages flip down to introduce a family of nesting dolls. Masha and Her Sisters by Suzy Ultman is clever with beautiful, patterned folk art in subdued colors. There's Natasha the storyteller; Larisa, the performer; and Olya, the chef among the group. The bodies of each sister are illustrated, front and back, with their beloved items: books and ink, measuring cups and pots, recorders and lutes. The mechanics of the book are so smooth, it's fun to manipulate the pages.

In this age, where we avoid labeling, I'd remind totz that these are things the sisters enjoy. The sisters are more than the labels the book is illustrating. Does that make sense? One can enjoy storytelling and be a nature lover. This work can raise that conversation. Also, there are no descriptions which broaden the roles of women beyond the familiar. Yet, they do reflect the time period of the art. Another chat to be had.

When concerns are addressed with your readertotz, Masha and Her Sisters is dear.

Masha and Her Sisters
by Suzy Ultman
Chronicle Books, 2017


Thursday, April 6, 2017

More, more, more: North, South, East, West; Margaret Wise Brown

North, South, East, West Cover

Oh, deliciousness! A never-before-published work by Margaret Wise Brown! North, South, East, West is the question the young bird asks her mother before flying off into the world. Which way should she go? Mother never answers, but she allows the bird to discover the world on her own. Eventually, the bird returns east, to her first home. There she finds a mate, and when their eggs hatch, she sings the song her mother first sang to her. She, also, leaves their question unanswered for the chicks to find their own way.

The language is as beautiful and tight as you'd expect:

"Her mother taught her to ride the wind
and to fly above and below the storms,
and glide on the strength of the wind.

Greg Pizzoli's flat, graphic illustrations offer space for the little bird to soar in the world. The simple shapes are accessible and appealing. The digital work looks like a rough-edged print. What an honor to come alongside Margaret's text. Well done, Greg!

And thanks to Harper for bringing this work to the shelf. Whether we are north, south, east, or west.

North, South, East, West
by Margaret Wise Brown
illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Harper, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Fly! Xavier Deneux

Touchthinklearn Cover

Touch, Think, Learn books are, "Fun for fingers, eyes, and minds," says Publishers Weekly in a starred review. Fly! by Xavier Deneux is a beautiful mix of story, puzzle, and play pieces for first readers.

Bird comes to a tree, concluding her journey. She watches the tree eventually produce apples, and  her mate arrives. After they build a nest, two chicks are born and fly to find their own tree. The graphic, printed quality of the airy illustrations invites the reader to expand the storytelling as they refit shapes into new imagery.

Such a lovely, thoughtful book for your readertotz.

Fly!
by Xavier Deneux
Handprint Book, 2017