Friday, March 27, 2015

Poetry Friday: Interstellar Cinderella

I have a GREAT recommend for Poetry Friday. Interstellar Cinderella! Right now, while we are enjoying the new release of the movie Cinderella, how about balancing the focus with this picture book? Deborah Underwood's text is jaunty and refreshing, setting a high bar for girls and showing to both genders that strength, intelligence, and focus is beautiful. Meg Hunt's illustrations are the perfect combination of modern and retro. Think Mary Blair meets Maureen Andermann. So, here's the opening:

"Once upon a planetoid,
amid her tools and sprockets,
a girl named Cinderella dreamed
of fixing fancy rockets.

She fixed the robot dishwashers
and zoombrooms in her care,
but late each night she snuck away
to study ship repair."

Happy Poetry Friday to all those scientific Cinderellas and those who see her beauty!

Interstellar Cinderella
by Deborah Underwood
illustrated by Meg Hunt
Chronicle Books, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Brush Your Hair, Medusa! & Make A Wish, Midas! Joan Holub 
Readertotz co-founder, Joan Holub (me!), is celebrating the release of two board books in the Mini Myths series today. Mini Myths bring Greek mythology to preschoolers by using real-world toddler experiences to retell each myth (includes a super-short totz-size summary of the original myth at the end) Leslie Patricelli's illustrations are so cute!

Author: Joan Holub
Illustrator: Leslie Patricelli
Abrams Appleseed, March 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Poetry Friday: Bronzeville, Boys and Girls

Celebrate Poetry Friday with the paperback Bronzeville, Boys and Girls, by the Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks. With thick painterly illustrations by Faith Ringgold, you'll slip right into the cozy neighborhood. How wonderful this collection is still in print!


What good is sun
If I can't run?

"Your'e eight, and ready
To be a lady."

That is what my Mama says.
She is right again, I guess.

But there! I saw a squirrel fly
Where it is secret, green, and high.

And there! Those ants are bustling brown,
And I require to chase them down!

What good is sun
If I can't run?

Bronzeville, Boys and Girls
by Gwendolyn Brooks
illustrated by Faith Ringgold

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton

I loved it as a picture book, and I think it translates into the board format well. Chris Haughton's Oh No, George! is a gem that explodes across the small space. Your readers will worry and cheer for George on his journey in self control. Even if cake, cats, and dirt are so appealing.

The tiniest readertotz will be drawn to the full spreads every-other page. Kirkus called it: "A natural for reading aloud." You'll be saying it together: "Oh no, George!"

Disclosure: my new son-in-law is named George. #toomuchfun

Oh No, George!
by Chris Haughton
Candlewick Press, 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lucky Tucker: Leslie McGuirk
On St. Patrick's Day, Tucker the dog starts off on the wrong paw. He is taken for a walk in the rain...BEFORE breakfast. And his favorite squeak toy gets stuck under the couch. He takes swift action by rolling in a bed of four-leaf clovers. Little does he know that it belongs to a certain leprechaun. The day turns out to be Tucker's luckiest ever!

This sturdy board book held my attention and I really enjoyed the character of Tucker, as always!

Lucky Tucker 
Author-illustrator:Leslie McGuirk
Candlewick, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Poetry Friday: The Death of the Hat

How about The Death of the Hat, A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects, selected by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka, for Poetry Friday? What a brilliant anthology from the Early Middle Ages, to the Victorian Period, to Contemporary. A fascinating idea, yes?

Paul says, "I believe that poetry is meant to be shared-that's what anthologies are all about-so I hope you share a couple of these poems with someone close to you." So, here you go:

(Note: it's fascinating to see this collection illustrated with the vibrant paintings of Chris. Fresh and loose, the imagery helps bring the words a step closer through time.)

From the Renaissance:

Kim Ku, translated by Kevin O'Rourke

I spy the three-colored peach blossom
floating down the mountain stream.
A free spirit, I jump in, fully clothed.
Flowers scooped
in my arms, I splash up and down in the water.

The Death of the Hat, A brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects
selected by Paul B. Janeczko
illustrated by Chris Raschka
Candlewick Press, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

This Little Piggy: Natalie Marshall

Scholastic has a new piggy board book. Squeee! Or, rather, Weee!

The story is the traditional This Little Piggy Went to Market nursery rhyme that ends in:

This Little Piggy went 
... all the way home!

The front of the tabs (on right of each page) shows the five little piggies, and the back of each tab shows which toe to wiggle. A fun idea! It's very sturdy. And ...

This Little Piggy is cute, cute, cute!

This Little Piggy, a fingers and toes nursery rhyme book
Illustrator: Natalie Marshall
Scholastic, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Be Patient, Pandora! is the Kindle Daily Deal!

$1.99 today only
till the stroke of midnight. 

The Mini Myths board book series
brings mythology to preschoolers.
by readertotz co-founder Joan Holub
illustrated by Leslie Patricelli.

Monday, March 2, 2015

readertotz Newsflash: The Very Big Wiggle

On March 5, 2015, Penguin Young Readers will launch THE VERY BIG WIGGLE Tour, a month-long national car and costume tour to celebrate Eric Carle’s classic picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Beginning at The Reading Bug in San Carlos, CA, the caterpillar costume will travel across the country in a custom Volkswagen Bug on a route shaped like Carle’s iconic character. The car will make over twenty stops at libraries, independent bookstores, and Barnes & Noble locations, before arriving in Western Massachusetts the weekend of March 20thThe Very Hungry Caterpillar Day. Celebrate Caterpillar's 40th birthday!  

Use #VHCday, and check out tour stops at To join the photo contest, submit images to The World of Eric Carle Facebook page (, or tag the page in your posts. 

Since its publication in 1969, 38 million copies of the book have sold worldwide and it has been published in over 60 languages. Today, every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is sold.

Happy Birthday, Caterpillar!