I love a picture book with a strong graphic presentation. A Zeal of Zebras from Woop Studios offers that exquisitely!
A collection of collective nouns to illustrate the alphabet and animal kingdom awaits you in this beauty from Chronicle. Each spread presents the noun, facts about the featured animal with spot illustrations, and then a half spread of the collective noun, the letter, and animals grouped in mass.
I find the language evocative of the animals: an aurora of polar bears, a galaxy of starfish, a kaleidoscope of butterflies, and an ostentation of peacocks. While others are completely familiar: a family of porcupines, a hum of bees, and a nest of crocodiles. Some are completely surprising: an embarrassment of pandas, an implausibility of gnus, and a troubling of goldfish.
Outshining even the expressive text and animal facts is the imagery offered, in what really reads as a collection of fine art posters. The line, flat shapes, compositions, and textures are incredibly rich and engaging.
I heartily recommend A Zeal of Zebras for the older sibling of your totz, and your totz, as well. You'll even find yourself sharing this work with your own friends. Definitely, one of my top books for the year!
Clever, attractive, and informative, these sturdy board books introduce the fundamentals of classic literature, 1-10 counting concepts, and period history. To get so much into small 22-page board books, and yet keep them uncluttered, is an amazing feat.
If you could boil down these classics to ten images (to represent each number 1-10), which would you choose? For Romeo and Juliet, one image would likely be the balcony. Here, it serves to illustrate the number 1.
The books can be read at a variety of early ages, and as totz grow they can return to them and absorb new details. Curious totz will have questions about the illustrations which may well lead into discussion points with parents. Note the careful attention to basic historical detail -- the regency clothing and objects in Pride & Prejudice; Medieval clothing and objects in Romeo & Juliet.
The art is gorgeous and these board books will stand up to many readings. (and occasional chewings) As an Austen and Shakespeare fan, I highly recommend them!
Next up from Jennifer and Alison is Jane Eyre!
Jennifer Adams works as a writer and editor in Salt Lake City, Utah. Alison Oliver runs Sugar design studio in NYC.
You Are My Cupcake by Joyce Wan is simple and simply yummy. Self-described as a "bite-sized treat for you and your little sweetheart," this glossy, glittery book is eye-catching and, well, sweet.
You are my CUPCAKE.
My sticky little GUMDROP.
The art is bold and the color choices are reminiscent of actual bakery goods. This is a sturdy, board book that totz and babies will ask for again and again. It's about them and how sweet they are. And it has a satisfying ending. What's not to like?
Joyce has created three other children's books, as well as notecards, totebags, magnets, and clothing. I look forward to more books from this talented author-illustrator.
Originally published in 1959 and recently re-released in board book form to celebrate its 50th anniversary, little blue and little yellow began Leo Lionni's amazing career in children's books. Over the decades, four of Lionni's books have been named in the Caldecott Awards: Frederick, Swimmy (my personal favorite), Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, and Inch by Inch.
The main characters in this sturdy board book are scraps of colored paper. Little Blue (a blue scrap) has blue parents, and Little Yellow (a yellow scrap) has his yellow parents. They each have friends of various colors in school and at play.
When Little Blue can't find Little Yellow one day, he searches high and low. When they find each other, they are so happy that they hug it out…and hug and hug until they become green! Uh oh! Now their parents don't recognize them. This dilemma will have totz glued to the story and rooting for a happy ending. Where did little blue and little yellow go? Are they lost?
The two scraps begin to cry, and their tears are blue and yellow, not green. Seeing this, their parents finally recognize their scraps. All ends well.
This book is one I hadn’t seen before, even though it has been around forever. At its heart, it’s a story of friendship and acceptance, but it’s also a fun read, and functions as an intro to color blending. I can see it leading to a family or classroom art project, in which totz create their own colorful, well-blended, scrappy characters.
This board book (with lift-the-flap magnetic hand) began four years ago as a way to empower young children by showing the many important, loving things little hands can do. In fact, the original title was What Can A Little Hand Do? My editor loved the idea of blowing a kiss, which I had on one of the inside pages. So the title became A Kiss For You!
I made numerous dummies of the book to figure out the best way for the hand to move as a lift-the-flap which folds down on each page in turn, and Scholastic had the idea of adding a magnet so the hand would stay in place easily, until lifted.
Caroline Jayne Church's adorable illustrations added just the right touch that brought the story alive. I hope you and your child enjoy this book, which so many loving hands and minds came together to create.
From Publishers Weekly: "Readers can engage with this sunny board book by maneuvering a hand-shaped flap attached to the back cover, in seven scenes. Gently lifting the hand up and down makes a blonde girl softly pat a puppy. Elsewhere, a boy blows a kiss with the hand, and a brunette girl can play "peek-a-boo, I see you!" with readers...a fun, engaging gimmick. Ages 2–4. (Sept.)"