Tuesday, November 30, 2010

rgz and First Book Partner for A Novel Gift!

Reaching out right now for our big sister site, rgz, catch the following. Do you know any groups that support low-income teens? If so, consider A Novel Gift!

BREAKING NEWS! First Book is giving away more than 125,000 brand-new books to low-income teen readers.

They’re great books, too, donated by generous publishers. Among the three dozen choices are P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast’s HOUSE OF NIGHT series and Alyson Noël’s SHADOWLAND.

We need your help getting the word out about the A Novel Gift campaign. Right now! Right now! As in, now!

Let's get organizations serving these teens registered with First Book so they can be matched with inventory during the holidays.

Here’s what we need you to do:

Post to Facebook and tweet your beak off about these books using the hashtag #novelgift.

Here’s a tinyurl link to their registration page:http://tinyurl.com/2a5mwpj.

Or you can link to this blog post:http://readergirlz.blogspot.com/2010/11/novel-gift-over-125000-free-books-to.html

Then, get in touch with every group you can think of that works with young adults–schools, after-school programs, church youth groups, community centers, etc.—and let them know that these books are available now. 

The five-minute online registration these groups can use is here:

First Book is also eager to answer questions, either by email to help@firstbook.org, or by phone at 866-READ-NOW or 866-732-3669.

If you participate, drop us a note at readergirlz@gmail.com to be included in our blog roll of thanks to run December 31.

Be a part of A Novel Gift! OK, go! And thanks, sincerely, from First Book and the readergirlz teams.

November: Around the Block with Sesame Street

This is mesmerizing, right? Enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Christmas Time: Salina Yoon

We've turned the Thanksgiving corner and many are anticipating Christmas. It's Christmas Time! is a clever addition to holiday books for readertotz.

Author Salina Yoon calls this book a Slide and Play. Out of the cover slides a purple panel which is not fully removeable. However, within the panel are foil circles which little fingers can remove. In the above illustration, the flat dots of color really are the foil circles.

On the following pages, these then can be added to a snowman or wreath. They can be popped out and inserted into a gingerbread house, used to decorate cookies, or shining wrapping paper. Finally, of course, they can be added to the full spread of the Christmas tree. The accompanying text walks us through these seasonal activities. It ends with the sweet:

"The Christmas tree is trimmed with lights.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

The flat illustrations with bold color are fun and appropriate. Your totz will be challenged to see the circle shape as various objects while their excitement grows for the Christmas celebration.

It's Christmas Time!
by Salina Yoon
additional illustrations by Angela Navarra
design by Pamela Notarantonio
Scholastic, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November Community Service

Have your totz tuck a few corncobs in the trees for the neighborhood squirrels. Give to others!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Poetry Friday: Yeats, The Stolen Child

This is so haunting. Introduce your totz to the beautiful rhythms and imagery. Happy Poetry Friday and Thanksgiving weekend!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Totz Shoutout: Candlewick is Green!

This just in from a press release:
"Candlewick Press has been named a recommended children’s book publisher by Rainforest Action Network (RAN) in a new report and consumer guide released by (RAN), “Rainforest-Safe Kids' Books: How Do Publishers Stack Up?” in which leading book publishers were ranked based on their paper policies and purchasing practices.

Candlewick Press makes every effort to uphold the highest environmental standards. Candlewick’s environmental policy can be found on Candlewick’s homepage."

Check out Rainforest Action Network’s full report here: http://ran.org/sites/default/files/rankidsbooks_report.pdf

Way to go, Candlewick! We heart your effort for our earth and the future of our totz! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Duck & Goose, It's Time for Christmas: Tad Hills

Could these characters be any more adorable? I love Duck & Goose. It's winter, and Goose is enjoying all kinds of wintery pleasures such as catching snowflakes, sledding, and making snow angels. Duck looks on, saying things like:

Goose, it is not time
for catching snowflakes.

It is not time for sledding.

Turns out that:

Come on Goose!

It's time for Christmas!

A sweet, sturdy board book totz will enjoy this holiday season. And it has great glitter on the cover, which I always enjoy (and totz will too). Nice!

Duck & Goose, It's Time for Christmas
Author-illustrator: Tad Hills
Schwartz & Wade, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Poetry Friday: Roald Dahl, The Three Little Pigs

As my daughter would say: o.O

Oh, Roald Dahl, ever a slightly naughty surprise. Happy Poetry Friday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pick for the Older Sib: The Abcs of Rock


For our Pick for the Older Sibling, I'm giving a giant shout out for The ABCs of Rock. Seriously, you may purchase this one for yourself. It's on my coffee table right now.

Doesn't our classic rock culture just scream for an ABC book, starting with AC/DC and ending with ZZ Top? Pair Melissa Duke Mooney's picks with Print Mafia's edgy graphic renderings of icons from each band, and you have a lasting treasure. Twenty-six expressions of twenty-six bands. Think Andy Warhol meets Roy Lichtenstein.


You might use this work to introduce your favorite bands to your totz and their siblings. Is anyone really too young for Bob Dylan or Heart? There's also letter identification and cool objects to recognize and name: eyes, an elephant, a rocket ship, glasses, a camera. Concluding Art Notes from Print Mafia give their personal responses and thoughts to each feature.

Pick up this picture book, reminisce, share it with your groupie, and then rock on! As Iggy Pop says, "Have a ball with these ABCs of Rock."

The ABCs of Rock
by Melissa Duke Mooney
illustrated by Print Mafia
Tricycle Press, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More, More, More: Of Thee I Sing, A Letter to My Daughters


Okay, I was skeptical. A picture book from President Barack Obama? Does he have time to write a picture book? I first was happy to see that the project was acquired and concluded prior to his taking office.

Secondly, I was moved to see that all the proceeds will be donated to a fund for children of fallen or disabled soldiers. Random House is also contributing to the scholarship fund.

With those facts on the table, I opened the work and was honestly moved by the text and art. Here is a letter to President Obama's daughters which honestly reads like a love letter to our entire nation. It is a pause in our stream of history to applaud great Americans and be inspired by them. Different races, genders, and contributions are showcased, from Georgia O'Keefe to Sitting Bull. President Obama shares what we have gleaned from each of the Americans. Helen Keller gave us courage, Neil Armstrong made us brave to "take our own big, bold strides."

Loren Long's acrylic paintings on board are the perfect accompaniment to the text. There's something intrinsically right in the medium on board. I particularly love how she adds each character to the left side of the page to join the Obama sisters. It's a beautiful rhythm that is finally hit with a full spread of all kinds of American children.

And then the final stanza:

"Have I told you that they are all a part of you?
Have I told you that you are one of them,
and that you are the future?
And have I told you that I love you?"

Such a beautiful balance of patriotism and familial love. Thanks to the entire team, including Executive Editor Michelle Frey. Bravo!

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
by Barack Obama
illustrated by Loren Long
Random House, Alfred A. Knopf, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Magical Day With Matisse by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober


Do you know Mini Masters from Chronicle Books? I love this series, and you certainly will as well. How about combining a rhyming text upon a colored field, opposite Henri Matisse' paintings? Magical!

The text of A Magical Day with Matisse describes the content of the masterpiece featured on each spread.


It then arcs into a story as the reader joins characters outside for fun, then returns inside to rest, feast, and finally sleep. Your totz will be exposed to great works of art, absorb the style of Matisse, and learn the skill of reading and interpreting paintings.

Among other works included in the series: A Picnic with Monet, Dancing with Degas, and In the Garden with Van Gogh. Look for the boxed series sets as well.

Thank you, Chronicle Books, for treasuring fine art and totz!

A Magical Day with Matisse
by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober
Chronicle Books, 2002

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bosco's Busy Morning: Chuck Murphy

In this 8x8 lift-the-flap hardback, Bosco the dog speaks directly to totz, which I enjoy. He invites totz to venture into the book:

I'm Bosco.
This book is about
my friends and me.
Let's go see what's
on the next page.

Bosco and his friends go on a simple adventure in which they see things, such as ladybugs, mice, etc., and they count from 1 to 10 along the way. Everything is brightly-colored with pop-ups, pull-tabs, and lift-the-flaps. These are some really unusual novelty elements. I love the spread where Bosco and his pal cat chase three mice off the page. This pop-up is very appealing and clever, as are the others in this cool book. I hope your totz enjoy it as much as I do!

Bosco's Busy Morning

Author-illustrator: Chuck Murphy
Robin Corey Books

Friday, November 5, 2010

Photo Friday: Moon Magic

This is my all time favorite Polyvore I've made. I hope you and your totz love it, too! Happy Photo Friday!

Moon Magic

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Am a Backhoe: Anna Grossnickle Hines


I met Anna Grossnickle Hines eleven years ago and was impressed by her creations. How lovely to have readertotz now to share her work with everyone!

I Am a Backhoe is a sturdy-paged toddler book for lovers off all things construction. On one page, a young boy plays out an action. On the following page, the construction equipment is illustrated along with his action.

I dig my hand
into the sand,
my scooper hand.

Dig. Dig. Dig.
Lift, turn, tip.
I am...

a backhoe.

Each featured action and truck is posed on a colored background to link the set. Daddy eventually joins the boy, and they conclude by reading the same text which began I Am a Backhoe. They both like trucks.

I was just ready to praise the loose strokes of saturated paint, when I discovered the art was created digitally! It is rich and flows freely. Truly a feast. Endpapers showcase the unique tools of the trucks, like the roller and hoe. This makes a nice foreshadow or conclusion to what was explored.

If you have a truck lover, or a tot with eyes drawn to construction, be sure to share I Am a Backhoe! Note, men and women operate the machinery. Thanks, Anna!

I Am a Backhoe
Anna Grossnickle Hines
Tricycle Press, 2010