Posted tagged ‘Marla Frazee’

Get on Board with Board Books

October 29, 2015

Books have always been an important part of my life, but now that I have two sweet granddaughters, I’ve become obsessed with board books.

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What better way to introduce them to the magic of words and colorful illustrations than through board books. They’re just the right size for their tiny hands. It’s never too early to begin reading to children so I’m on the prowl for some first-class board books. Here are a few I highly recommend.

You Are My I love You written by Maryann Cusimano Love and illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa. This charming book, delightfully illustrated in muted colors, can be enjoyed by both adults and children. It’s written in rhyme and follows the child and parent through various events of an ordinary day and the sweetness of daily life.

Everywhere Babies written by Susan Meyers and illustrated by Marla Frazee. If your little ones like seeing other babies, this is the book for them. Susan Meyers’ rhyming text celebrates babies being dressed, fed, kissed, rocked, making noise, and doing all the things babies do. The combination of Meyers’ text and Marla Frazee’s enchanting illustrations depicting babies from many different places makes this book one to add to your collection. 

The next two books are from the talented Sandra Boynton. You’ll get your groove on with these.

In Barnyard Dance!, the animals are having an old-fashioned square dance in the barnyard. You’ll want to grab a partner and do-si-do with the animals in this rollicking rhyming story!

And if you like Barnyard Dance!, you’ll love Pajama Time! It’s another one of Boynton’s fast-paced rhyming texts about getting ready for bed. Bedtime has never been so much fun!

I’m still on the lookout for more great board books. If you have any you’d like to share, please do.

In the Beginning – Thoughts on Writing

October 15, 2015

As a writer, I find the first page of a picture book to be the most challenging to write. The words you choose to put there are critical. You want to hook your readers immediately and keep them turning the pages. In a picture book, every single word counts. Waste not, want not.

Below are a few examples of beginnings from picture books that kept me turning the pages.

CLICK, CLACK, MOO COWS THAT TYPE written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

“Farmer Brown has a problem.

His cows like to type.

All day long he hears

Click, clack, moo.

Click, clack, moo.

Clickety, clack, moo.”

My thoughts:  Right away the reader knows the farmer has a problem – cows that type. How? Why? Turn the page to find out.

THE BOSS BABY written and illustrated by Marla Frazee, Beach Lane Books.

“From the moment the baby arrived, it was obvious that he was the boss.”

My thoughts:  A baby that’s the boss. I like that! The beginning sentence and Frazee’s humorous illustrations entice the reader to turn the page and read more.

THE VERY FAIRY PRINCESS written by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton and illustrated by Christine Davenier, Little, Brown and Company.

“Hi! I’m Geraldine.

I’m a fairy princess.

You may not believe me, but I can tell you that I AM.”

My thoughts:  I like this character. She’s upbeat and bold. I want to see why she says she’s a fairy princess. Turn the page.

TOUGH CHICKS written by Cece Meng and illustrated by Melissa Suber, Clarion Books.

“From the moment Mama Hen’s eggs burst open, she knew she was dealing with some pretty tough chicks.”

My thoughts:  Little chicks chip away at their shells, they don’t burst out. What mischief are these tough chicks up to? Turn the page to find out.

The combination of the right words and the creativity of the illustrator can result in a fabulous picture book.

Do you have favorite beginnings that you’d like to share?

Cheers, Chairs, and ALL THE WORLD

May 25, 2012

The world is smaller than you think. Look around. More often than not, there is someone or something that sparks a light of familiarity from another time or place.

Last weekend we attended UW-Madison graduation and spent time celebrating on the Memorial Union Terrace, overlooking Lake Mendota. We sat in the famous “sunburst” chairs as we raised our cups to give cheers to the graduate.

“Mendota Blue” Sunburst Chair

This week I began book inventory in our school library. I reshelved the book, All the World, written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Caldecott Honor medalist, Marla Frazee. There is one particular double-page spread I take special pride in pointing out to students. Marla Frazee created an illustration of a café with sunburst chairs and tables – chairs and tables exactly like those on the Wisconsin Union Terrace.

In this beautiful book, whether you know it or not, a familiar part of Wisconsin has been represented. It’s a small world after all!


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