Monday, July 18, 2022

Drum City: Thea Guidone

In the universal language of drumming, children gather and impact their community by drumming on anything at hand. They influence each other, everyone on Main Street, and down on the docks. Whether you are drumming happily or sadly, there's room for your sound around the world. "Together we drum," says author Thea Guidone.

People in traffic keeping the beat
on the hood and the trunk
and the bicycle seat.

Mamas in rollers
rock babies in strollers,
clapping and stomping and
stamping their feet to the 

Vanessa Brantley-Newton's illustrations have a satirical line and retro rendering. Compositions convey the gathering, infectious drumbeats. Strong diagonals contrast with horizontals. 

Get a drumbeat rolling with your readertotz. Rat-a-tat-tat! 

by Thea Guidone
illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Knopf, 2022

Monday, July 11, 2022

Tarot for Baby: Abigail Samoun

How? How would you bring the 22 mystical archetypes to readertotz? Author Abigail Samoun has done so with her beautiful affirmations for every child. 

"Fear not, brave one--
you have everything you need!

You have wisdom behind you.
You are cared for. 
You are safe."

Each statement is connected to a numbered archetype. The above is: The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, and The Emperor. 

Illustrator Kelly Anne Dalton's single page images capture the sentiment of the archetype and text in a child-centric way. A trusted friend, for The Lovers, is a stuffed lion with the toddler. The quiet place to hear your inner voice, The Hermit, is the child potty training. 

If you'd like to introduce your first readers to the tarot, and affirm who they are, Tarot for Baby is a lovely place to begin. 

by Abigail Samoun
illustrated by Kelly Anne Dalton
Rodale Kids, 2022

Monday, July 4, 2022

Let's Look at Opposites: Marion Deuchars

My go-to-favorites for readertotz are concept books. That foundational teaching can always be brought with energy and freshness from gifted creators. Best-selling author/illustrator Marion Deuchars offers her take in a series from Laurence King Publishing: Let's Look At. Here's an opportunity to see the world through Marion's hand, with a bit of wry humor. 

Let's Look at Nature presents flowers, leaves, the sun, and more. Little creatures accompany the featured item on each page, and everyone seems to be curious or friendly. The bold, painterly shapes and text are eye-catching for the youngest readers. 

Let's Look at Opposites is adorable in its creative license. A mouse climbs a ladder beside a giraffe: tall and short. An empty fish tank sits beside a content cat with fish bones on his lap: empty and full. 

Often, white backgrounds in both books support the featured concepts. Each book also ends with all the representations on the last spread for review. 

This series is fresh and fun. Enjoy introducing these concepts to your first readers. 

by Marion Deuchars
Laurence King Publishing, 2022