Thursday, February 21, 2019

Touch and Explore, Construction and Who Lives Where? Stephanie Babin

Image result for touch and explore construction

Publisher Twirl is knocking it out of the park! I'm excited to share recent titles of these high quality board books. Watch for more upcoming, but today, I'll point to two written by Stephanie Babin.

Touch and Explore Construction, illustrated by Benjamin Becue, brings a new dimension to the building themed book. Inserts hold relevant textures within the scenes. Safety cones are shiny plastic, rubble feels like rubble, a crinkled paper feels like wood, and wet paint feels sticky.

Setting up, demolition, building a house and road are featured along with more. Various races, genders, and ethnicities work, walk, and play side by side. Smaller font offers further information such as: Even the repair of a streetlight is a small construction site!

Also by Stephanie Babin, illustrated by Kiko, is Who Lives Where? This is one of my favorite Twirl books. The left spread establishes a location and inhabitants who live there. i.e. In the House: a guinea pig, a cat, a spider. Each says where they live and the illustration includes the home, which may or may not be inhabited. The cat is not in her bed. The right spread shows those isolated animals and a sliding panel reveals their home. A reader might try to recall the mouse (slide the panel) lives in a hole.

I find the engineering satisfying. The panels slide easily with a nice click. The book explores the house, farm, garden, mountains, savanna, and sea. The sole lives in the sand, while the guinea fowl makes a home in a shrub.

There's an elegance and higher expectation in the tot in these two books by Babin. Brava!

Touch and Explore, Construction
by Stephanie Babin
illustrated by Benjamin Becue
Who Lives Where?
by Stephanie Babin
illustrated by Kiko
Twirl, first published in France

Monday, February 11, 2019

Open the Garage Door: Christopher Santoro

Here is a lift-the-flap which brings a freshness to the vehicle board book. A car is in the garage; a police car is behind a shrub, and a tractor is in the barn. Aside from doors, clever devices are used, like the shrub, to hide other modes of transportation: a tarp covers a motorcycle, a school bus is beyond the curtained window, and a race flag covers the winner.

Start your engines and open the 11 flaps with your readertotz.

Open the Garage Door...
illustrated by Christopher Santoro
Random House, 2019

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

More, more, more: Chicago Treasure

For those who love Chicago, or are looking for an introduction, Chicago Treasure is now available. Blending city sights, nursery rhymes, stories, fables, and art, local children are photoshopped into illustrations, art, and photography. At times, final art strongly parallel's original source material, including imagery from the Harry Potter series, Disney movies, and The Wizard of Oz film.

With diversity and inclusivity of children with differing abilities, the work is fresh for today's readers. Many students from The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Disabled participated in the project, and each is child is credited.

Following the first section, "Just Imagine," featuring multicultural stories and rhymes, the "Now Showing!" section places children into art masterpieces. Aside from introducing paintings, the imagery may be a help as tots imagine themselves in relation to fine art.

"Sightings" includes the photoshopped children and animals within scenes of Chicago. Short place descriptions are offered.  Impalas, bears, and zebras accompany adolescents traveling through the city.

A conclusion shares how a few of the children have grown since the project first began. All proceeds are donated to nonprofit groups. You might enjoy this ambitious book of love in honor of Chicago and her children.

Chicago Treasure
Larry Broutman, Rich Green, John Rabias
Lake Claremont Press
Broutman Photography, 2019