Monday, July 6, 2020

More, more, more: Tiger Wild



"There's a time to be quiet and still and a time to be wild and free!" So concludes, Lily in Tiger Wild. Here is a dear homage to Where the Wild Things Are and a further exploration of feelings. Max, meet Lily.

After misbehaving, Tiger and Lily run away to the wild where they come to face emotions beyond anger and help each other forward. Penny, the caregiver, even ends up exploring the wild with the two of them at times.

Illustrations are open and fresh, with a captured quickness to further illustrate Lily's adventures. There's a crayon quality which is so relatable. (Look for Tiger mimicking a Wild Thing in his stance.)

Use this work to discuss emotions with your older siblings of readertotz. Hand in hand, go into the wild.

Tiger Wild
by Gwen Millward
Viking Books for Young Readers

Thursday, July 2, 2020

More, more, more: The Mermaid Atlas



Oh, such love of the merfolk around the world is captured in The Mermaid Atlas, Merfolk of the World. The attention to detail and inclusion of so many representations is beautiful. Crossing the continents, Anna Claybourne and Miren Asiain Lora (illustrator) introduce us to the tales we hold about the magical merfolk who swim the seas of our collective conscious.

From a general description:
"While a typical mermaid is female, with flowing hair and a fish’s tail, that’s far from the only type. There are plenty of male fishpeople, or mermen. There are also stories of twin-tailed merfolk, fish-humans with webbed hands and feet, and mermaids who are part-seal, part-octopus or part-dolphin. Some merpeople can even assume human form for a while, step on to the land and walk among us, undetected."

To a specific example:
In seas, rivers and lakes all around Africa, you could come across the water spirit Mami Wata. She takes the form of a glamorous woman with a fish’s tail, a snake’s tail, or in the east, where she is called Mamba Muntu, a crocodile’s tail. She also has a pet snake, which wraps itself around her. Mami Wata is not usually harmful, but she is sometimes blamed for strong water currents, and children are warned to stay away from deep water in case she catches them. She adores pampering herself, and you can keep her happy by leaving her luxurious gifts: jewellery, make-up, perfume and food.

Here is book for all lovers of merfolk. Add this lovingly crafted, artful compendium to your collection.

Mermaid Atlas, Merfolk of the World
by Anna Claybourne
illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora
Laurence King Publsihing, 2020



Thursday, June 18, 2020

More, more, more: Intersection Allies

The reprint of  IntersectionAllies  ships to stores, individuals, Amazon, etc. in early July, 2020. Thank you for your patience!

Intersection Allies, We Make Room for All shares the stories of children of diverse experiences as they come together to be allies for each other. The text rhymes, but it carries a breadth of information. Front and back matter will aid further discussion and empower caregivers to confidently discuss our societal need for understanding and compassion for all.  

Flat, patterned, simple shape illustrations flow throughout. These raise the accessibility for topics such as protests and immigration. 

Here is a book to increase awareness of the beautiful and different life experiences of many. May we see our intersectionality and be allies with all. 

Intersection Allies, We Make Room for All
by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi
illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith
Dottir Press
Free download through June 19, 2020

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Antiracist Baby: Ibram X. Kendi



Here is your MUST HAVE as soon as it releases June 16th! In nine steps, National Book Award Winner, Ibram X. Kendi, gives our first readers language and actions for helping to establish equity in our world. Together we can uproot racism.

Ashley Lukashevsky's bold but playful art helps to make this call for a just society. Each flowing illustration carries one point which is accompanied by further rhymed, accessible information:

4 Shout "There's nothing wrong with the people!"
Even though all races are not treated the same.
"We are all human!" Antiracist Baby can proclaim.

Brilliant! #blacklivesmatter

Antiracist Baby
by Ibram X. Kendi
illustrations by Ashley Lukashevsky
Kokila, June 2020





Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Open Board Book: Covid 19, Color Sketches



I finished the open board for your readertotz! I hope it brings a little bit of comfort as you stay at home with your wee ones. Click here or the above illustration to zoom to my blog and read the work. Health to you! xox Lorie Ann

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Open Board Book Sketch: Covid 19

Sharing from my notebook, here are my quick, first sketches of What I Can Do, Covid 19. (The different colors are just the different qualities of light throughout the day as I was working.)

If I develop and refine the book, I plan to post updates. In the meantime, feel free to share in the hope it will give a little comfort to your wee ones. Good health to you and your beloveds!

With my love, 

Lorie Ann Grover















Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Top Shelf: Unstoppable



I LOVE THIS BOOK! Hence, the Top Shelf designation.

Adam Rex, of Nothing Rhymes with Orange, brings a story of cooperation between individuals to the grand scale to include society and the environment. Together, we are unstoppable.

To begin, a bird joins a crab to gain protection from a cat. It's crabbird, birdrab! Desiring the attributes of other species and facing fears, a birdraburtlebear is created. Colloquial language brings even more humor to the text:

"Hey, Steve, I don't know what you're so angry about, but I think maybe it's because you wish you could be a part of this incredible thing we've got going on. I think maybe you're lonely. I think...maybe...you could use some friends?"

The group is unstoppable as they fly through the air, until they discover their environment is threatened. I won't spoil the surprise, but they go and find help. And it's a beautiful thing. Laura Park's fresh illustrations are given a big format, and the white space is filled with hope for everyone. Bravo!

Unstoppable
by Adam Rex
illustrated by Laura Park
Chronicle Books, 2020

Monday, March 16, 2020

A to Z Menagerie: Suzy Ultman



Quirky, clean illustrations bring the pull-the-tab board book, A to Z Menagerie. to life. Referred to as a gleeful gallery and a curated collection, the work will keep little eyes looking.

Among others, F includes a Ferris wheel, flour, a fez, a fern a flounder, fizz, and fireflies. The pullout tab illustrates the fox within the shape of the large cut letter. Printed in all caps, each drawn feature is identified.

Object identification, letter sounds, touch, and remembering are exercised alongside unique representations of things from our world. Here's a fresh A, B, C book for your first readers.

A to Z Menagerie
by Suzy Ultman
Chronicle Books, 2019

Friday, March 13, 2020

Poetry Friday: Moon Babies



Happy Poetry Friday to you and your first readers! Enjoy this verse from the beautiful Moon Babies:

In the starry dark of night,
a secret moon world dims its light.
Close your eyes and you just might
dream of baby moons tonight.

Moon Babies
by Karen Jameson
illustrated by Amy Hevron
Putnam, 2019

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Alpha Bit: Juan Carlos Solon



For the nostalgic for 8-bit, you can go on an alphabet quest with your first reader in Alpha Bit. As always, bring back the treasure after pressing Start!

Operating like a hidden picture puzzle, readers follow their hero and find objects in the 8-bit illustrations featuring particular letters:

D: ducks, donkey, dig, dragon, diamond

or

S: snake, spider, skull, sweat, sword, shield.

Midway, there's a choice to continue or Quest on. Enjoy this retro visit with your readertotz!

Alpha Bit, an ABC Quest in 8-bit
by Juan Carlos Solon
Chronicle Books, 2019

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Hello World: Rainforest Animals, Construction Site





The Hello World! series continues with Rainforest Animals and Construction Site, both by Jill McDonald. With the appearance of painted cut paper, large text introduces basic content to first readers. Smaller labels accompany features, and little text gives more detailed information for older readers. Here's an example from Rainforest Animals:

GROWL!
This big cat with spots is a jaguar. It can roam the forest floor or climb into the trees to look from above.
*Unlike most cats, jaguars like water and are good swimmers.

Rainforest Animals moves from the ground up through the canopy. A final illustration turns the book on its side to convey the immensity of the natural world. As expected, Construction Site introduces all the noisy, hardworking, building vehicles. A food truck for lunchtime and a delivery truck of materials are also included. This publication regularly features sounds and movements.

Bravo for this nonfiction for our readertotz! May the rainforest not become the construction site!

Rainforest Animals
Construction Site
by Jill McDonald
Doubleday, 2020

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Dr. Seuss's Spring Things: Tom Brannon



Random House is releasing three works featuring Dr. Seuss's Thing One and Thing Two:

1. Spring Things
2. Spooky Things
3. Lovey Things

Appropriately, the text is tight and suitable for the board book format.

"Things with ducklings.
Things with chicks.
Things with bunnies doing tricks."

Simplified settings before broad washes of color make the Things and what they are showcasing pop for the first reader. Showers, flowers, mud, and butterflies all are faithfully rendered in Seuss' style by Tom Brannon.

Here's an excellent way to introduce your readertotz to Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss's Spring Things
illustrated by Tom Brannon
Random House, 2020

Friday, January 31, 2020

Poetry Friday: Like the Moon Loves the Sky



With lines based on verses from the Quran, Like the Moon Loves the Sky is an endearing affirmation of a child loved. Here's beauty for Poetry Friday:

"Inshallah you are all
that is gentle and good. 
Inshallah you feel safe,
like all children should." 

Watch for this in March for your first readers. "Inshalla you are loved, like the moon loves the sky."

by Hena Khan
Illustrated by Saffa Khan
Chronicle Books, 2020

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Future Astronaut: Lori Alexander




How like an astronaut is a baby? Both are physically fit, enjoy small spaces, and eat snacks from plastic packs. Future Astronaut Baby emboldens first readers to see themselves as astronauts. Maybe with a little more training...in the future.

" Astronauts say goodbye to their families
and travel to far-off places.

It's okay, Baby. There is plenty of
time to complete your training."

Fun facts close out the book while flat renderings in bold colors fill all the pages of inner and outer space. Find this work for your little space adventurer!

Future Astronaut
by Lori Alexander
illustrated by Allison Black
Cartwheel, Scholastic

Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Forest's Seasons: Ingela P. Arrhenius



A Forest's Seasons, a Bookscape Board Book, is a varied shaped, small format for first readers. With the passing of time, the forest changes throughout the year.

"Summer summons
countless shades
of green.

Autumn is
both bright and brown."

A poetic text is accompanied by five spreads of delightful pattern which center around a pear tree. Flora and fauna celebrate change. Uniquely shaped pages engage as this little book is explored and loved.

A Forest's Seasons
by Ingela P. Arrhenius
Chronicle Books

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Happy Book Birthday: I Believe in Me

He's here! He's born! The second book of the Wonderful Me series launches today.

Image result for I believe in me Lorie Ann Grover

Do you believe in yourself? Find out in this sweet padded storybook full of wonder, self-esteem, and love!

I can stand, clap my hands.
I can zoom 'round the room.
I can dance. Underpants!

When you believe in yourself, you open up a world of possibility! That's because you cherish and value the wild, wonderful ways that make you, you! With charming illustrations and a sweet, bouncy text that begs to be read aloud, this padded board book is a joyous reminder to little ones that no matter who they are, they can become the awesome, loving, and helpful people who can change the world -- one step at a time. A glorious celebration of self-esteem and self-reliance filled with an inclusive range of kid characters that's full of humor, love, and heart.

"This rhyming text is a joyous celebration of all the things that very young children can do as they grow from babies into toddlers....Joy abounds." 
Kirkus Reviews

by Lorie Ann Grover
illustrated by Carolina BĂșzio
Scholastic, Cartwheel, January 7, 2020