Saturday, July 30, 2011

For the Older Sibling: Grandma's Gloves

I'm a huge fan of Cecil Castellucci. We were delighted to feature her work for older readers at readergirlz. You can read her issue here. So when the picture book Grandma's Gloves arrived, I knew I would be enchanted. And I was.

I was incredibly moved by this honest treatment of a grandmother's senility and eventual death as seen through the eyes of a young girl. The book is beautifully paced, with lovely language. Julia Denos' open, fresh, drawn and painted illustrations are the perfect match to carry Cecil's text. There's light and space and room to breath throughout the difficult topic.

Here is the witness of one generation connecting to another, each blessed with time to hear and be with the other. The child is also able to bridge a gap for her own mother when the grandmother passes. The work is justly receiving awards and notice, such as the California Book Award!

Save this one for your totz' siblings when a loved one departs. Thank you, Cecil and Julia!

Grandma's Gloves
by Ceci Castellucci
illustrated by Julia Denos
Candlewick Books, 2010

Friday, July 29, 2011

Poetry Friday: Smiling Girls, Rosy Boys

Chicken Little Toys-eggs1.gif
Photo from talk Disney


Smiling girls, rosy boys,
Come and buy my little toys;
Monkeys made of gingerbread,
And sugar horses painted red.

Little toys are the best! Happy Poetry Friday.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pat the Bunny: Peekaboo, Bunny!

Peekaboo, Bunny! (Pat the Bunny)

If you and your totz can't get enough of patting that adorable first board book bunny, look for Peekaboo, Bunny! With illustrations in keeping with the original Pat the Bunny, your totz are challenged to find Bunny's friends beneath flaps. Where is Squeak, Teddy, and Cat? Each spread offers three flap possibilities for surprise and memory exercise on further readings.

It's so fun to revisit Bunny. And of course you must look for him/her on the last spread. Where is Bunny? He's hiding because he loves to play peek-a-boo with you! (Hm. Is Bunny a male or female?)

Peekaboo, Bunny!
Golden Books, 2009

Friday, July 22, 2011

Poetry Friday: Butterfly, Butterfly

I'm away on a writing retreat, surrounded by butterflies as I work outside. Happy Poetry Friday! May a butterfly cross your path today!


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."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Busy Elephants: John Schindel and Martin Harvey

This 16 page board book is the 14th in the Busy Book collection. Busy Elephants shows elephants engaging in their everyday activities in their natural habitat. There aren't enough wildlife photography books like this for totz, so I'm happy to welcome this one onto my shelves. From a two-page spread:

Elephants splashing
Elephants dashing

The real-life photographs, action verbs, and rhyming text are a delight. Made of sturdy board and glossy photos, its , 7 x 5 inch size makes it perfect for small hands. It's a self-described "elephantastic romp" that I think totz will enjoy.

Busy Elephants
Author: John Schindel
Photographs: Martin Harvey 
Tricycle Press, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Poetry Friday: Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee

Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee

Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee
Resolved to have a battle,
For Tweedle-dum said Tweedle-dee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

Just then flew by a monstrous crow,
As big as a tar barrel,
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.

I don't recall this rhyme, do you? Happy Poetry Friday! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let's Look at Dinosaurs: Frances Barry

Is that not the cutest dinosaur ever? I was immediately charmed by Let's Look at Dinosaurs.

In a larger format, likely qualifying as a picture book, Frances Barry presents collaged dinosaurs with flaps, to emphasize the featured dinosaurs' unique qualities. However, the pages are thick, and the flaps are durable, so I think little hands will enjoy this as well as a board book.

Frances presents a question on each page.
"I wonder why triceratops has such a large bony frill."

And then an answer is given.
"The frill might have been used to scare off predators."

An additional fact, in small print, for older siblings follows.
"Scientists are still studying how triceratops might have used his tail."

The dinosaurs are made of flat shapes with adorable black-spotted eyes. Even the Tyrannosaurus is endearing with his fierceness.

End papers offer pronunciation, a final fact, and a silhouette of a child for size. Find Let's Look at Dinosaurs for your future paleontolongist. And flip the flap for a munch, crunch, and roar!

Let's Look at Dinosaurs
by Frances Barry
Candlewick Press, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

Poetry Friday: Wee Sing, Sillyville

Oh, my daughters grew up with this video! Enjoy the fun with your totz! Happy Poetry Friday!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Little Composter: Jan Gerardi

 Eco People on the Go! (Teenie Greenies)
The Little Composter is a beautifully-illustrated lift-the-flap book with a wonderful message about working and playing with dirt as a very young composter. The rhyme is spot-on, as in:
Peanut shells.
Melon Rind 
(under flap)
Citrus peels of any kind.

This small sturdy book is part of the Teenie Greenies series of eco-friendly books for ages 0-4. Also in the series is Eco People on the Go, which teaches totz (in a non-teachy way) about environmentally friendly ways to go green.

The Little Composter
Author/illustrator: Jan Gerardi
Series: Teenie Greenies
Random House, 2010

Friday, July 1, 2011