Tuesday, June 15, 2021

More, more, more: The Magnificent Books Series

Publisher Weldon Owen International has released two works in their The Magnificent Books Series. Oversized, the format delivers incredibly beautiful illustrations. In The Magnificent Book of Birds, written by Tom Jackson, illustrator Walerczuk's realistic imagery captivates. One expects the birds to sing and fly from the pages. A fact file gives the basics, while further bulleted text expands on habitat and behaviors. When proportions or scale warrants, the book is turned on its side, such as for the Greater Flamingo or the Resplendent Quetzal. The wide age spans are just one interesting feature to compare from bird to bird.

The same creative passion is given to The Magnificent Book of Horses. The text is by Tom Jackson and Diana Ferguson while illustrations were created by both Simon Mendez and Val Walerczuk. From the Camargue to the Brabant, horses from around the world walk, prance, stand, and run through the pages. The fact file includes the horse's character, such as the friendly Icelandic Horse, the strong-willed Mustang, and the stubborn Shetland Pony. Both books in the series give a human scale reference in silhouette. 

Enjoy these works with your entire family. I can imagine leaving the book open on a coffee table to feature one horse or bird a day. Brilliant!

by Tom Jackson
illustrated by Walerczuk
by Tom Jackson and Diana Ferguson
illustrated by Simon Mendez and Val Walerczuk
Weldon Owen International, 2021 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

More more more: Sunny Day, A Celebration of the Sesame Street Theme Song

How has this not been created before? The Sesame Street song begs to be illustrated as a picture book. So how about eighteen illustrators sharing their views? Perfect? Yes! The diversity of imagery and artists allow this imaginary street, and the journey to it, to come alive in one more format. Permission to imagine your own setting is given by the multiplicity of illustrators. 

Be sure to peak under the dust jacket to see the illustration wrapping the cover. Roger Bradfield illustrated for Sesame Street in the 1970s and the style takes me back to my Sesame Street. Also included on the title page is an illustration from Joe Mathieu who has been illustrating Sesame Street books since 1971. 

So, celebrate Sesame Street with this treasure. Find your way with your child. With thanks to the illustrators, the music and lyrics by Joe Raposo and two other lyricists: Bruce Hart and Jon R. Stone. Enjoy your Sunny Day!

by Joe Raposo, Bruce Hart, and Jon R. Stone
illustrations by various illustrators 
Random House, 2019

Heads up! This picture book will be released in board book format, September 2021. Woohoo!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Mamasaurus and Papasaurus: Stephan Lomp


How about a new take on P. D. Eastman's Are You My Mother? but with dinosaurs? Mamasaurus and Papasaurus are both sought after by Babysaurus in this duo of board books from Stephan Lomp. 

Wee ones will enjoy seeing all the baby dinosaurs as Babysaurus is on the hunt. Descriptions and contrasts are plentiful in a game of hide-and-seek with the father and before Mamasaurus finds her lost one. Our beloveds don't possess all the characteristics, physical features, and abilities of others, but they are wonderful, none the less.

Author/illustrator Stephan Lomp's colorful dinosaurs pop against black backgrounds. Papasaurus' environment is purple while Mama's is green. 

Enjoy these first introductions to dinosaurs and the celebration of community and being together.

by Stephan Long
Chronicle Books, 2021

Friday, April 2, 2021

Poetry Friday: Cool Cuts


Celebrate Poetry Friday with Mechal Renee Roe's Cool Cuts! There are so many ways to wear your hair. How about crisp cornrows, or a full 'fro, or a dope design? Illustrations accompany a rhyme and repeated phrase.

"Be the best,
no matter how
hard the test!

i am born to be AWESOME!


Here's a fun and beautiful representation of mini-twists, a fro-hawk, and lively locs. So glad this work has hit the board book shelf. It pairs with Happy Hair. 

by Mechal Renee Roe
Doubleday, 2020

Monday, March 29, 2021

I Am! Affirmations for Resilience: Bela Barbosa


With clear room to feel the feelings, I Am! Affirmations for Resilience gives first readers tools to help let the emotions pass through and encourages others in their place. 

"When your body feels out of control,
sit with your hands in your lap and say
I am calm. My body is quiet."

You can help your readertotz learn to scan their own bodies, assess their feelings, and choose to move forward. Note, the lingering feelings, the damage from trauma and suffering are not addressed. But autonomy and responsibility can be encouraged as healing is awaited. 

Find this practical tool in bold shapes and vibrant colors to empower your first readers to resilience!

by Bela Barbosa
illustrated by Edel Rodriguez
Rise and Penguin Workshop, 2020

Friday, March 26, 2021

Poetry Friday: Hello Hello, Brendan Wenzel

Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel is a celebration of meeting others and enjoying differences. 

Hello Hello
Black and White
Hello Color
Hello Bright.

Hello Stripes
Hello Spots
Hello Giant
Hello Not. 

Brendan Wenzel's expressive illustrations pop against the consistent white background. Here is a lovely portion of our world in a beautiful board book. 

There is so much to see and treasure of our beloved earth. Let's dance to the poetry all around us! 

by Brendan Wenzel
Chronicle Books, 2020

Monday, March 22, 2021

Little Bug on the Move: Stéphanie Babin

Little Bug is on the Move in today's board book feature. Teaching direction and action, a little bug can be moved on each spread through sliding finger holes. They will travel up a hill, among the trees, and round and round a flower. Journeying with purpose, this little bug will emerge on the final spread as a surprise, pop up feature. 

Little fingers will enjoy manipulating the slides and moving little bug onward. Olivia Cosneau's illustrations offer colorful, simply patterned shapes and areas for the bug's environment. Gentle fear, mystery, and surprise await your readertotz as they are introduced to this wee caterpillar. 

by Stéphanie Babin
illustrated by Olivia Cosneau
Twirl, 2020

Saturday, March 20, 2021

More, more, more: I am the Shark

The great white shark enters bold as the greatest shark there is. It isn't long before he's challenged. There are other sharks who are great, as well. They swim faster, live longer, hide better, and more. The great white shark learns there will always be others who are great and greater than him. To be happy, being yourself is the way to swim. Along the way, first readers will learn fascinating, fun facts about many shark varieties. And who knows? Maybe it's your joyful smile that will set you apart in the end. Regardless, there's room for all to be admired and enjoyed for who they are. Even a bear...

Joan Holub's funny, heartwarming text bounces along with the great white's search for specialty. Laurie Keller's art amps the humor to its fullest level. What a winning combination for schools, libraries, and families who love sharks! 

by Joan Holub
illustrated by Laurie Keller
Crown Books for Young Readers

Friday, February 19, 2021

Monday, February 15, 2021

The Reading House: Mara Conn

The Reading House introduces letter recognition to first readers. Small booklets display short stories featuring uppercase and lowercase single letters. After mastering the letter, a sticker can be adhered in celebration of the accomplishment in comprehension. 

Ant like the red apple.
Ant likes the green apple.

An instructor guide is included, while illustrations are fun and friendly. This is a great way to introduce sounds and love of reading for life. 

by Marla Conn
The Reading House, 2021