Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tweet Hearts: Susan Reagan

Two cute love birds and ten hearts star in this 5 ½” square board book, which counts down from 10 to 1, with the appropriate number of hearts acting out the action on each spread. I like the super-simple art style--the bird cage on the “9 hearts” page is one of my favorites.

9 Nine happy hearts
set them free.
(Accompanying art: One lovebird sets 9 red hearts free from a bird cage, and they fly across the page toward the other lovebird.)

On the last spread a die-cut heart pops up from the fold in the middle of the spread to say I LOVE YOU.

A simple, sweet tweet for introducing totz to spring!

Author-illustrator: Susan Reagan

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Poetry Friday: World Rat Day

Enjoy these zany holidays! And just say April 4th is World Rat Day. :~) Happy Poetry Friday!

The Rat Is



World Rat Day
by J. Patrick Lewis
illustrated by Anna Raff
Candlewick Press, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Peekaboo! Taro Gomi

Pair a clever design idea with a beloved author/illustrator, and you have a book that will appeal to totz again and again. Taro Gomi's Peekaboo! gives an innovative twist to the popular game. With a circle cut through the entire book, two eyeholes are created when the book is opened. Those two are waiting for your totz to peer through. Like wearing a mask, your reader can be the frog who eats flies, the penguin who likes snow, or the monster who likes to tickle.

This interactive board book will be a fun read no matter who is looking through the eyes, saying, "Peek-a-boo!"

by Taro Gomi
Chronicle Books, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Poetry Friday: Baby Be Kind

Gentle reminders for everyone on this Poetry Friday!

"Say hi to your friend.
Be kind to your pup.
When someone falls down,
help them up."

Baby Be Kind
by Jane Cowen-Fletcher
Candlewick Press, 2012

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Big Girl Panties: Fran Manushkin and Valeria Petrone

Big Girl Panties begins:

Bye-bye, diapers!

I wear panties.

Happy panties!
Snappy panties!
Panties! Panties! Hip hooray!
Panties for every single day.
(art of 7 colorful patterned pairs of undies)

This is a true board book—small size and sturdy pages. It’s also a celebration of the joys of moving up and moving on in life, from a tot’s perspective. Oh, the thrill of graduating to panties! It discusses who can wear panties and who cannot in child-like fashion. I especially like the spread in which the girl-tot is informing her stuffed animals that:

No, crocodile!
You can’t wear panties.
Only big girls can wear panties.

Valeria Petrone’s style is perfect for this board book. It’s colorful, relatable, and contemporary. Love the hair!

(Also reviewed by Lorie Ann here on readertotz!)

Author: Fran Manushkin
Illustrator: Valeria Petrone
Robin Corey Books, 2012

Friday, March 15, 2013

Poetry Friday: A Pizza the Size of the Sun

I'm Usually a Speedy Horse

I'm usually a speedy horse,
today I'm very slow.
I'm hardly making headway
as along the road I go.

I'm slower than a tortoise
or a sloth atop a tree--
my rider has decided
that he ought to carry me.

Happy Poetry Friday!

A Pizza the Size of the Sun
paperback edition
by Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by James Stevenson

Monday, March 11, 2013

Not That Tutu! Michelle Sinclair Colman

I am one who doesn't need a reason to wear a tutu. This book with a fabric tutu on the cover caught my eye immediately. 

Michelle Sinclair Colman's text shares the young, female protagonist, Taylor, who wears her tutu everywhere, despite the entire family questioning her choice. Hiroe Nakata's loose and bright illustrations keep the exchanges lighthearted and fun. 

"She wore her tutu on her sled.

"Not again," her brother teased."

Taylor shows how tutus can be worn with a swimsuit, snow pants, and cowboy boots. Of course when her tutu is in tatters, she is ready to make a great decision. It, too, surprises her family. Here's to strong-willed totz with great fashion sense!

Not That Tutu!

by Michelle Sinclair Colman
illustrated by Hiroe Nakata
Robin Corey Books, Random House

Friday, March 8, 2013

What Was the Gold Rush? Celebrating a new release from readertotz co-founder Joan Holub

Hey, prospectors! How'd you like to live in Hangtown, Bedbug, or Murderer's Gulch? Learn about these mining camps, the forty-niners, and the California gold rush in What Was the Gold Rush?

I'm so pleased to be the author of one of the first four titles in Grosset & Dunlap's new What Was chapter book series, which is a spin-off of their popular Who Was biography series. Illustrated throughout, plus 16 pages of photos, 103 pages including two timelines.

Buy links.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Poetry Friday: Around the Block with Sesame Street and Paul Simon

So fun to jam with Paul Simon on Poetry Friday! Enjoy!

March Big Kid Pick: TImmy Failure

I went to the Austin Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference last month, and stopped into Austin's fantastic indie bookstore, BookPeople, which was Stephan Pastis' first stop in his book tour for Timmy Failure. The event signage caught my eye and the cover and title of this book were intriguing! The book doesn't disappoint. The humor is wry and the main character is engaging. And clueless.

Timmy is so clueless that when presented with his first case as a detective--to find a boy's missing Halloween candy--he completely overlooks the little brother, who has chocolate on his face and is surrounded by candy wrappers. With a polar bear as an unlikely sidekick, the story is good and the telling of it very clever! Highly recommended.

Stephan Pastis is also the creator of Pearls Before Swine, an acclaimed comic strip.

Timmy Failure
Author-illustrator: Stephan Pastis
Candlewick Press, 2013
304 pages, ages 8-12

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Turtle and Me: Owen Bernstein

Based on the bestselling Twilight Turtle by Cloud b, this sturdy board book bedtime story is intended to serve as a hands-on way to help overcome a tot’s fear of the dark. It has a click-on turtle-shaped nightlight inset into the top right corner that remains visible on every page by means of a cut-out oval. The story is comforting and quiet, leading up to bedtime.

From the last page:

My turtle cuddles close when it’s time to go to bed.
And I snuggle back because I love him so.
My turtle lights up to show he loves me too!

Author-illustrator: Owen Bernstein
Cartwheel Books, Scholastic, 2012

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School

Here's a work for the older siblings of your totz! Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong have compiled poetry and written accompanying teaching aides for middle schoolers. I'm happy to say I was included in the collection. Yay! So check it out, recommend it to teachers, and enrich your own Poetry Fridays with this beautiful release.

The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School
by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong
Pomelo Press, 2013