Friday, April 2, 2021

Poetry Friday: Cool Cuts


Celebrate Poetry Friday with Mechal Renee Roe's Cool Cuts! There are so many ways to wear your hair. How about crisp cornrows, or a full 'fro, or a dope design? Illustrations accompany a rhyme and repeated phrase.

"Be the best,
no matter how
hard the test!

i am born to be AWESOME!


Here's a fun and beautiful representation of mini-twists, a fro-hawk, and lively locs. So glad this work has hit the board book shelf. It pairs with Happy Hair. 

by Mechal Renee Roe
Doubleday, 2020

Monday, March 29, 2021

I Am! Affirmations for Resilience: Bela Barbosa


With clear room to feel the feelings, I Am! Affirmations for Resilience gives first readers tools to help let the emotions pass through and encourages others in their place. 

"When your body feels out of control,
sit with your hands in your lap and say
I am calm. My body is quiet."

You can help your readertotz learn to scan their own bodies, assess their feelings, and choose to move forward. Note, the lingering feelings, the damage from trauma and suffering are not addressed. But autonomy and responsibility can be encouraged as healing is awaited. 

Find this practical tool in bold shapes and vibrant colors to empower your first readers to resilience!

by Bela Barbosa
illustrated by Edel Rodriguez
Rise and Penguin Workshop, 2020

Friday, March 26, 2021

Poetry Friday: Hello Hello, Brendan Wenzel

Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel is a celebration of meeting others and enjoying differences. 

Hello Hello
Black and White
Hello Color
Hello Bright.

Hello Stripes
Hello Spots
Hello Giant
Hello Not. 

Brendan Wenzel's expressive illustrations pop against the consistent white background. Here is a lovely portion of our world in a beautiful board book. 

There is so much to see and treasure of our beloved earth. Let's dance to the poetry all around us! 

by Brendan Wenzel
Chronicle Books, 2020

Monday, March 22, 2021

Little Bug on the Move: Stéphanie Babin

Little Bug is on the Move in today's board book feature. Teaching direction and action, a little bug can be moved on each spread through sliding finger holes. They will travel up a hill, among the trees, and round and round a flower. Journeying with purpose, this little bug will emerge on the final spread as a surprise, pop up feature. 

Little fingers will enjoy manipulating the slides and moving little bug onward. Olivia Cosneau's illustrations offer colorful, simply patterned shapes and areas for the bug's environment. Gentle fear, mystery, and surprise await your readertotz as they are introduced to this wee caterpillar. 

by Stéphanie Babin
illustrated by Olivia Cosneau
Twirl, 2020

Saturday, March 20, 2021

More, more, more: I am the Shark

The great white shark enters bold as the greatest shark there is. It isn't long before he's challenged. There are other sharks who are great, as well. They swim faster, live longer, hide better, and more. The great white shark learns there will always be others who are great and greater than him. To be happy, being yourself is the way to swim. Along the way, first readers will learn fascinating, fun facts about many shark varieties. And who knows? Maybe it's your joyful smile that will set you apart in the end. Regardless, there's room for all to be admired and enjoyed for who they are. Even a bear...

Joan Holub's funny, heartwarming text bounces along with the great white's search for specialty. Laurie Keller's art amps the humor to its fullest level. What a winning combination for schools, libraries, and families who love sharks! 

by Joan Holub
illustrated by Laurie Keller
Crown Books for Young Readers

Friday, February 19, 2021

Monday, February 15, 2021

The Reading House: Mara Conn

The Reading House introduces letter recognition to first readers. Small booklets display short stories featuring uppercase and lowercase single letters. After mastering the letter, a sticker can be adhered in celebration of the accomplishment in comprehension. 

Ant like the red apple.
Ant likes the green apple.

An instructor guide is included, while illustrations are fun and friendly. This is a great way to introduce sounds and love of reading for life. 

by Marla Conn
The Reading House, 2021

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Tiny T. Rex and the Perfect Valentine: by Jonathan Stutzman

As you go to create the perfect Valentine's card, remember Tiny T. Rex and the Perfect Valentine. Sometimes our best efforts don't go as planned. But the effort itself is a gift to our beloved. 

"I am sorry, Pointy. I have nothing
to give you for Valentine's Day.
It's okay, Tiny!
I have the perfect
Valentine already.

Hugs and kisses to every little T. Rex crafting and creating for their Valentine. 

by Jonathan Stutzman
illustrated by Jay Fleck
Chronicle Books, 2020

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Love Can Come in Many Ways: Terry Pierce


How do we show love? In many ways. Terry Pierce has created A Heartfelt Book featuring flaps of felt in displays of affection. 

Nose to nose or gaze to gaze,
Love can come in many ways. 

Inside a family, safe and snug.
Within a trunk's twisty hug. 

Suzy Ultman's palette is gentle, and the line is delicate, while patterns depict creatures loving one another. On this Valentine's Day, tell your totz: "you are loved," with this snuggly board book.

written by Terry Pierce
illustrated by Suzy Ultman
Chronicle Books, 2020 

Monday, February 1, 2021

More, more, more: The Extraordinary Book That Eats Itself

This work truly is extraordinary. Every last little bit can be used in eco-friendly projects. Thirty activities will keep you and your readertotz busy. You will cut, and fold, and tear, and glue your way through fun that will benefit our earth. 

Illustrations by Pintachan are charming and Susan Hayes and Penny Arlan's text is engaging and not overly heavy. The entire work is a delight. Holding it in your hands, one is immediately inspired to action. The only difficulty is deciding where to start! 

You can rescue old clothes, build a bug hotel, chase away electricity vampires, upcycle your junk, and more. Checklists are provided for various challenges as changes are attempted and actions are taken.

Alone and together, we can make a difference as we journey forward. Bravo, Earthaware Kids!

by Susan Hayes and Penny Arlan
illustrated by Pintachan
Earthaware Kids, 2020

Monday, January 25, 2021

Eat Up, Bear! Terry Pierce

We can share our spaces. Eat Up, Bear! describes how people and bears can coexist. Campers can latch their boxes, hikers can pack their food out, coolers can be locked, and folks can throw away their trash. The repeating refrain is fun and catchy:

"There, there. Eat up, bear!
Good bear food is everywhere."

Teach your first readers good outdoor behavior as they learn to share their spaces with wildlife. Support Yosemite Conservancy with this upcoming, helpful title. 

by Terry Pierce
illustrated by Nadja Sarell
Yosemite Conservancy, April 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

More, more, more: My First Day

There's so much beauty in this upcoming picture book. My First Day takes the reader down the Mekong Delta to school as a Vietnamese boy paddles alone through the waters. Similarities and differences of experiences blend in the common feelings shared for walking or boating through firsts. How can you not marvel at this hero's journey through rain, forests, and waves? 

The cover possesses the soar into the the future, but I find it doesn't fully capture the richness of other illustrations. The interior holds a stunning light you don't want to miss. This is a top pick from publisher Make Me a World, and the author and illustrator team Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien. Brilliant! 

written and illustrated by 
Phung Nguyen Quang
and Huynh Kim Lien
Make Me a World, February 16, 2021

Monday, January 11, 2021

Baby Raccoon, Finger Puppet Book: Yu-Hsuan Huang


There's an absolute zoo of these titles available for your readertotz. The series is from Chronicle Books, and illustrations are by Yu-Hsuan Huang. They are adorable and sturdy and with soft faces of the featured animal. Nonfiction facts accompany the puppet and illustrations.

"When Baby Raccoon and his family have a meal,
they wash their food in the stream.

When Baby Racoon plays,
he romps and rolls with his sister."

You can introduce your first readers to wildlife with this fun series. Expect puppet hugs and kisses.

illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang
Chronicle Books