Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Preschool Day Hooray! Linda Leopold Strauss

I was attracted to this book because I've been a fan of Hiroe Nakata's illustrations since she illustrated my easy reader The Garden That We Grew. Her watercolor style is simple, expressive, and delightful. Perfect for totz. I really like the rhyming story here, too. It's not stiff and uses words like "drippy" and "painty" as adjectives, as we enjoy a day at preschool with a boy, from from the time he departs home in a rush to the end of school when it's once again "Mommy time!"

Painty hands and gooey glue.
Tricky puzzles I can do.

I think this book will be a comfort to totz contemplating a future in school and will help get them excited about the prospect of the activities they might do, which are portrayed in a breezy, charming style here.

The pages of this 8x8 " book are sturdier than those in a picture book, but are not cardboard-stiff as in a true board book. This book hits the mark in style and substance. Hooray for Linda Strauss and Hiroe Nikata!

Preschool Day Hooray!
Author: Linda Leopold Strauss
Illustrator: Hiroe Nakata
Publisher: Scholastic, Cartwheel Books, 2010

Saturday, March 26, 2011

For the Older Sibling: Can We Save the Tiger? Martin Jenkins

I have always, always believed there is room for a virtually black and white picture book. Thank you, Candlewick Press! Can We Save the Tiger? is an honest dialog between author and reader about the state of endangered animals. Which animals are already extinct? Which are running out of space? Which have been harmed by our actions? Which are recovering? Martin is fair in expressing how these difficulties arose. He's compassionate towards both people and animals. I find this a refreshing breath.

Vicky White's illustrations and lettering are exquisite. The larger size of the book is honoring to the animals and allows you to connect with each one. My favorite is the Steller's Sea Cow, so rich in tonal values, it is breathtaking. Predominantly black and white, Vicky occasionally uses oil paint, as well.

Can We Save the Tiger? is my number one pick this month for the Older Sibling of your totz. The whole work is fresh and engaging. This is not just another book about endangered animals. It is the book about endangered animals. Well done! Bravo!

Can We Save the Tiger?
by Martin Jenkins
illustrated by Vicky White
Candlewick Press, 2011

Set aside that book tonight!

Saturday, March 26th, at 8.30 PM, Pacific

Are you turning off your lights for 60 minutes? 

Earth Hour was founded in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when 2.2 million individuals and 2,000+ businesses turned their lights off for one hour. Last year was the most supported yet: 128 countries participated. Sydney Harbor Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Coliseum all stood in darkness.

Add to the symbol of hope for our planet! You and your totz can set aside your books, and turn out the lights for 60 minutes tonight!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Poetry Friday: March Winds

I took this photo right outside of San Diego. Gorgeous, yes? Happy Poetry Friday!


March winds and April showers
Bring forth May flowers.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Babies: David Bedford

How can you not fall in love with these meerkat babies? Those enormous eyes caught me right up!

Babies by David Bedford with illustrations by Leonie Worthington is charming and whimsical. Fact and fiction mix to create a fun exploration of baby animals. Sure "Crocodile babies...know how to bite," and "Fox babies...stay up all night," but your tot will enjoy the pacifiers, maracas, and tambourines included in the illustrations. The bit of fancy is fun!

Flaps add another level of intrigue on each stiff-paged spread. I'm just really charmed by the illustrations, and I know you will be, too. Yay for Little Hare Books, Australia, and Trafalgar Square Publishing!

by David Bedford
illustrated by Leonie Worthington
Little Hare Books, Australia, 2010
dist. by Trafalgar Square Publishing

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Poetry Friday: Daffodils

They are blooming here! How about in your town? Our Daffodil Parade is just around the corner!


Daffy-down-dilly has come to town
In a yellow petticoat and a green gown.

Monday, March 14, 2011

DVD: Baby Ballet

We've got something a little different this time. Our first dvd! I watched Baby Ballet at a friend's house with her 4 and 6 year olds (boy and girl respectively). Their mom said they watch it over and over and really enjoy following along. She is delighted that they're getting exercise by doing something that engages their minds and that they enjoy.

The program includes warm-ups, stretches, practice, and across-the-floor combinations, and is taught by Rosemary Boross, who has created other children's ballet programs. The instructor, assistant, and a small group of able, adorable very young dancers go through twenty "chapters" of various movements. The pace is slow and even, and the instructions clear.

Stated ages: four to six
30 minutes

Other ballet videos for totz and kidz, including more by Boross.

Baby Ballet

Friday, March 11, 2011

Poetry Friday: The Wise Old Owl

Happy Poetry Friday! Let's be the owl, yes? 


A wise old owl sat in an oak,
The more he heard, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard;
Why aren't we all like that wise old bird?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Counting Animals: Jodi Huelin

Are you ready for cute? I mean cute, cute, cute! Fisher Price has published Counting Animals by Jodi Huelin, illustrated by Betsy Veness. As part of their Precious Planet series, this work is recommended for ages 6 months and older. I think the age suggestion is an interesting concept, but I wouldn't let it stop me from sharing this work with younger totz.

Counting Animals does just that on each spread. Whether it be hippos, whales, or kangaroos, totz are given a flap to lift to verify they've counted the characters carefully. Verbs like walk, float, and hop are illustrated as well as locations such as plains, ice, and sand.

Jodi's text is simple and direct while Betsy's computer generated illustrations are filled with dots, stripes, and flat color spaces.

Enjoy Fisher Price books and toys. Count and lift those flaps with your totz!

Counting Animals
by Jodi Huelin
illustrations by Betsy Veness
Fisher-Price, HarperCollins Children's Books, 2010, Mattel, Inc.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Poetry Friday: Bobby Shafto

Since I'm out at sea along the Mexican Riviera, this came to mind. Happy Poetry Friday, totz!

Bobby Shafto's gone to sea,
Silver buckles at his knee;
He'll come back and marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!
Bobby Shafto's bright and fair,
Panning out his yellow hair;
He's my love for evermore,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!