Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Totz Newsflash: ReaderKidZ

So excited to share another site with you with information for the older sibling of your totz: ReaderKidZ! For 3 years, the readergirlz divas have been asking someone to come forward and spearhead a site with the middle grade reader in mind. These ladies have done just that. In fact they are focusing on picture books to grade 5.

Here's their Mission Statement:
Providing teachers, librarians, and parents with the resources and inspiration to foster a love of reading in kids, K-5.

So check them out and spread the news. There are several great features to explore like the Author in Residence and Tool Box. The layout is inviting and accessible. You are going to love it!

Here's to the authors/educators for running the work: Debbie Gonzales, Dianne White, Nancy Bo Flood, and Stephanie Green. Thanks, ladies, for contributing to literacy!

Note: ReaderKidZ operates independently from readergirlz and readertotz.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Outreach for Andrea Ross

I know everyone remembers the beloved podcasts over at Just One More Book! Mark and Andrea gave us wonderful years filled with their picture book passion. Here's my interview with Mark about readergirlz. We had a lovely time chatting.

The blog was suspended shortly before Andrea was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, 2009. Now in October, 2010, she'll be running to raise money. Here's what Mark says:

"Andrea is currently the number three fundraiser for the Ottawa Run for the Cure, taking place on October 3. Of course, when she first decided to run in support of breast cancer research, she never considered that our amazing communities (online and off) would band together to help her raise $4120 in six weeks."

If you'd like to help, you can join her effort to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation by clicking here.

Run, Andrea! We are cheering!

Love to you, Lorie Ann and Joan

August: Community Service


After swimming, encourage your totz to use the water in their blowup pool to water your flowers!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Diane Muldrow: Somewhere So Sleepy

Somewhere So Sleepy
Do you know that somewhere, in a leafy tree, a little koala has just finished her supper?
(lift flap) Cuddle Up, Little Koala.

And thus begins this sweet lift-the-flap board book. I like books that slip in a little nonfiction information along with the fiction, and this book does that effortlessly. Each spread begins in the same way: Do you know that somewhere...

And then totz are lead to a cozy nest, a squishy swamp, a warm little house, etc. What will they find there? Lift the large flaps to find out. The book is sturdy board and the flaps are big, almost full page size. I enjoyed the surprise of the pull-down window shade on the last spread.

Artist Jui Ishida's site is really simple, but hints at wonderful art! I'd love to see more.

Very cute book!

Somewhere So Sleepy
Author: Diane Muldrow
Artist: Jui Ishida
Golden Books (Random House), 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Birthday Box: Leslie Patricelli


When our family rounds the middle of August, we are in for a flurry of birthdays. Leslie Patricelli's classic, The Birthday Box, is a classic pick for celebrating totz.

Baby begins with a song to himself and then introduces you to his present. The joy only begins when under the wrapping paper he discovers a big brown box. We learn all the things he can do with his box before he opens the gift fully and finds a stuffed dog, Oscar. Now with the box open, the two of them can have adventures at sea or on the slopes. Of course, the box is the perfect place for a nap.

I saw this work, pre-publication in our critique group and loved it just as much then. There's a simple charm to Baby and his simplicity. The colorful painted spreads with thick black line and hand lettering will win your heart. If you weren't an avid Baby fan before, you will be after reading The Birthday Box with your readertotz!

The Birthday Box

by Leslie Patricelli
Candlewick Press, 2007

Friday, August 20, 2010

Poetry Friday: Cry Baby


Cry, Baby

Cry, baby, cry,
Put your finger in your eye,
And tell your mother it wasn’t I...!

Okay, this is a strange one, right? I wonder where it came from? May your Poetry Friday be tearless with your totz!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Older Sibling Pick: LMNO peas by Keith Baker

Just when you think all the wonderful ABC books that could possibly have been done, have been done, along comes Keith Baker with LMNO peas.

We are peas--alphabet peas!
We work and play in the ABCs.

Each colorful page or spread in this charming picture book presents a large letter. Lots of industrious little peas are busy under, over, around, and atop them. If you enjoy the wonderful, zany energy of Richard Scarry like I do, you'll find a similar energy here. For the letters E and F:

We're eaters, electricians, and explorers searching land.
We're farmers, flaggers, and best friends in a band.

After all the peas have had their say, they ask us: Who Are You?

Keith's humor extends to the flap copy, in which he proclaims that he hails from the NW city of Peattle!

This book leaves me wanted more, more, more peas...please!

Author-illustrator: Keith Baker
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (Simon and Schuster), 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BOB Winners Announced

We have our winners! Anne and AEKZ2 will receive the boxed sets of new BOB books and a lunch box! Congratulations, ladies! Watch your inbox for my note. :~)

Thank you, Scholastic!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Robert Crowther: The Most Amazing Hide-and-Seek Numbers Book

Totz can pull tabs and lift flaps for a variety of counting experiences in this intriguing book by Robert Crowther. I like the unexpectedness of this book. Pulling the tab on the number 3 brought forth 3 caterpillars curling around the curves of the number 3. And 7 field mice come running down the long slope of number 7. 10 butterflies are just adorable. And when we get to 100, there are 5--count 'em--5 tabs to pull and a myriad of tiny creatures to count. Are there 100? I confess, I didn't count. But I think your totz will.

Author-illustrator: Robert Crowther

Friday, August 13, 2010

Poetry Friday: Butterfly, Butterfly

Butterfly, Butterfly

Butterfly, butterfly,
Whence do you come?
"I know not, I ask not,
Nor ever had a home."
Butterfly, butterfly,
Where do you go?
"Where the sun shines,
And where the buds grow."

Happy Poetry Friday, parents and totz! (Just realized I posted this one earlier in the year. But it's such a great rhyme. Enjoy it again with me. :~)

And here's a video to go with. AMAZING!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BOB Books Giveaway!

Who doesn't love BOB? Certainly all the 3 million totz who have announced that they've read the WHOLE book. So first, thanks to author Lynn Maslen Kertell and illustrator Sue Hendra for helping the youngest readers learn those site words.

I taught my own girls to read, and we used phonetics AND site words. It was a perfect mix, and BOB led the way. Our hearts were captured by these little, funny stories.

Now, a giant thanks to Scholastic! We have a give-away for you! Two random commenters will receive BOB lunch boxes and a collection of the newest BOB releases: Sight Words, Kindergarten, and Sight Words, First Grade. Each set contains 10 books!

The included bonus flash cards will reinforce the new words as your totz progress through the series.

Leave your comments, and tell us how much you love BOB!

BOB Books
by Lynn Maslen Kertell
illustrated by Sue Hendra
(The give-away is limited to U.S. addresses.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Multicultural Representation in Board Books

Eliza Dresang, Beverly Cleary Professor for Children and Youth Services, Information School, University of Washington, recently shared Sandra Hughes-Hassell's website with me as well as Sandra and Ernie J. Cox's recent study conclusions: "Inside Board Books: Representations of People of Color" from The Library Quarterly, Volume 80 Number 3 (July 2010).

Visit here for Sandra's great list of board books featuring African American babies and families. And then read these quotes from "Inside Board Books: Representations of People of Color." The 2000 U.S. Census shows 33% of children under age five are multicultural. We need to address this need, authors, illustrators, and publishers!

First look at the included summary of the board book from Moira McKenzie and Gay Su Pinnell's “Changing Conceptions of Early Literacy” in Children’s Literature in the Classroom: Weaving Charlotte’s Web:

"Interactions with board books help infants learn to recognize familiar objects and to develop basic concepts related to people, animals, possessions, familiar events, and daily routines. Through naming and pointing, board books help build a toddler’s vocabulary and aid in understanding language. Rhymes, rhythms, physical actions like hand clapping, and the exploration of textures build a toddler’s sensory awareness. Young children who are regularly read to exhibit early literate behavior."

The report continues by explaining the need for board books with multicultural representation:

"Research suggests that exposure to books and other resources about people who look like them,and stories that reflect their world, may contribute to an infant and toddler of color’s developing appreciation of self."

A challenge is made to illustrators to depict races beyond just changing skin color. Races themselves should be shown. I particularly liked the charge to expand Hispanic representation beyond Dora the Explorer:

"To address better the needs of Hispanic children, the publishing houses could commission Hispanic authors and illustrators, such as Pat Mora and David Diaz, to create “true” board books that provide multiple mirrors on the Hispanic experience. If nothing else, they could mine their backlists for appropriate picture book titles by Hispanic authors and illustrators to convert into board books."

Brava! Joan and I wholeheartedly agree.

The reader is then reminded that while we represent everyone, we must be careful not to perpetuate stereotypes.

The study concludes: "We believe that white privilege is apparent in the production and publication of board books....beginning in infancy children of color not only get the message from books that their lives and their stories are not important but also that to be white is better."

But if we produce the books, would they sell, you might ask? After noting amazing book purchase figures by Asian Americans and African Americans, the study concludes:

"If board books that featured people of color were published and appropriately marketed, it is likely that the publishing industry would find the endeavor to be financially rewarding. Appropriate marketing is key."

Readertotz applauds Sandra Hughes-Hassell and Ernie Cox for their study. We stand alongside them and challenge authors, illustrators, and publishers to represent all groups for our very youngest readers.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My New Baby: Rachel Fuller

A few weeks back I posted about Waiting for Baby. Of course the day will come when your totz will appreciate My New Baby. :~)


Here's the logical follow up and joyful help as your new baby arrives in your home. The text captures the wonder and happiness of a tot welcoming a sibling.

"My baby smells nice. Soft and warm.

Presents for the new baby! Is this for me?

Why does the baby always have milk?"

True to a child, voice is given to the observations and questions which naturally arise with a new baby in the family. The closing is particularly comforting:

"Sleep well! You're part of my family now.
Baby's fast asleep. Time for my story!"

In keeping with Waiting for Baby, illustrator Rachel Fuller uses fun texture swatches to accompany her watercolor and varied black outlines. The addition brings a vibrancy to the spreads.

Enjoy this board book with your tot now and possibly your new baby in the future. "This is what it was like when you were born..."

My New Baby

illustrated by Rachel Fuller
Child's Play, 2009

Friday, August 6, 2010

Poetry Friday: A Farmer Went Riding


A Farmer Went Riding

A farmer went riding
Upon his gray mare;
Bumpety, bumpety, bump!
With his daughter behind him,
So rosy and fair;
Lumpety, lumpety, lump!

A raven cried "Croak!"
And they all tumbled down;
Bumpety, bumpety, bump!
The mare broke her knees,
And the farmer his crown;
Lumpety, lumpety, lump!

The mischievous raven
Flew laughing away;
Bumpety, bumpety, bump!
And vowed he would serve them
The same the next day;
Lumpety, lumpety, lump!

Don't you think this is fun to recite with your tot on your knee? Happy Poetry Friday!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Michael Dahl: Duck Goes Potty


Duck Goes Potty is a sturdy 22-page board book. No novelty element this time. It's a cute story, with cute illustrations. The text is spare. Page one:

Duck wears DIAPERS.

The accompanying page one illustration of duck eyeing the diaper he wears is amusing and cute. When duck "misses" the new potty a couple of times, the evidence on the floor will have totz quacking up. I like that Mom is present, giving instructions, but we only see part of her and never see her face. It's nice that duck has mishaps along the way in his training, and even when he succeeds, he sometimes still forgets till the last minute and has to run for the potty. The ending is a gentle pat on the back for being a big duck now. Overall, an amusing, reassuring, cute book!

Michael Dahl is the popular author of many other books for children, including chapter books such as the Library of Doom and Princess Candy series.

Duck Goes Potty
Author: Michael Dahl
Illustrator: Oriol Vidal
Picture Window Books / Capstone