Friday, February 24, 2017

Poetry Friday: Tree

Tree Cover

Did you see Tree by Britta Teckentrup in 2015? The Peek-Through Picture Book is a great pick for Poetry Friday. First readers will follow the seasons illustrated through changes to and around one tree.

"Birds flit through the leafy bowers.
The forest is abloom with flowers.

Birds are singing, foxes play.
Summertime is on its way."

Watch the changes with owl through the pages' clever die-cuts. Happy Poetry Friday, readertotz!

Tree, a Peek-Through Picture Book
by Britta Teckentrup
Doubleday, 2015

Friday, February 17, 2017

Poetry Friday: The Maine Coon's Haiku

The Maine Coon's Haiku Cover

Happy Poetry Friday, readertotz! Today's feature is The Maine Coon's Haiku, and Other Poems for Cat Lovers by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Lee White. Flat, textured graphics, with a print-like quality achieved digitally, illustrate each cat haiku. Alternating between Outside and Inside, pick your favorite and read more about the breed in the back matter.

Scottish Fold

wind-whipped magnolia
cat's pink-petal toes--the last
to drop from its boughs

Be ready for beautiful language and exquisite imagery.

The Maine Coon's Haiku, and Other Poems for Cat Lovers
by Michael J. Rosen
illustrated by Lee White
Candlewick Press, 2015

Thursday, February 16, 2017

More, More, More: The Owl and the Pussy-cat, and Further Adventures

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat Cover

The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-Cat Cover

My favorite poem growing up was "The Owl and the Pussy-cat." Edward Lear wrote the "picture poem" for a sick child of close friends. Recently voted Britain's favorite poem, it dances through generations. A new edition, illustrated with Charlotte Voake's gentle watercolors, has been released by Candlewick Press. In conjunction is the picture book, The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat. Author Julia Donaldson was raised on Lear and re-immersed herself in his work to write this text, also illustrated by Voake.

When a crow steals the ring from the end of Pussy's tail, another journey begins. Watch for other Lear characters to make appearances such as the Pobble who has no toes, the Jumbly Crew, and the Dong with a luminous Nose.

What an honor to be asked to write a sequel for such a beloved poem. Well done, all, in these two releases!

The Owl and the Pussy-cat
by Edward Lear
illustrated by Charlotte Voake
The Further Adventures of the Owl and Pussy-cat
by Julia Donaldson
illustrated by Charlotte Voake
Candlewick Press, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Poetry Friday: Love is

Love Is Cover

Happy Poetry Friday! How about a little love in time for Valentine's Day? Find Diane Adams' work Love is, illustrated by Claire Keane (developmental artist for Tangled and Frozen). The work is retro-fresh and rendered in Photoshop. Diane shares the concept of love with first readers by describing the love between a girl and a duck.

"Love is holding something fragile,
tiny wings and downy head.

Love is noisy midnight feedings,
shoe box right beside the bed."

Chaos, comfort, loss, and reunion are all featured. This is a beauty. Love from us to you!

Love is
by Diane Adams
illustrated by Claire Keane
Chronicle Books, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

More, More, More: An Artist's Alphabet

An Artist's Alphabet by Norman Messenger is a visual feast. In watercolor and pencil, objects, animals, people, and the environment assume the shape of each letter of the alphabet. Six interior images can be seen here.

Inventive, gentle, dynamic, and intriguing, the art will capture both the adult and totz' attention. A through Z.

An Artist's Alphabet
by Norman Messenger
Candlewick Studio, 2016

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

More, More, More: Frederick Douglass, The Lion Who Wrote History

Frederick Douglass Cover

Are you ready for a masterpiece? Combine Walter Dean Myers with illustrator Floyd Cooper and have the two present a picture of Frederick Douglass. There is so much beauty in this picture book collaboration: Frederick Douglass, The Lion Who Wrote History, I can't convey the breadth.

Meyers begins:
"This is the story of how one man's careful decisions and many accomplishments not only made his own life better but in many ways changed the history of America."

With a meaty text from Meyers, Cooper's illustrations are both realistic and stylized in his oil on board paintings. There's a flickering glow in each spread. Unique perspectives invite the reader into Douglass' actions.

This work should not be missed. It should be awarded.

Frederick Douglass, The Lion Who Wrote History
by Walter Dean Myers
illustrated by Floyd Cooper
HarperCollins, 2017