Tag Archives: toddlers

Number One Sam

22 May

18453190-2Number One Sam written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli (2014)

Yesterday I got the chance to spend the day with my #1 toddler. We went to Story Hour at our public library and got the chance to hear the children’s librarian read Number One Sam. The little ones loved it, the toddlers as much as the preschoolers, so did the adults! Greg Pizzoli has done it again with a clear and simple story that everyone can enjoy.

Sam is number one at everything. He just knows he going to win the big race, until he loses a race to his friend Maggie. Oh, no! Everyone is cheering except Sam. Sam cannot even look at Maggie on the day of the big race. He was so distracted he missed the starting flag and everyone sped off leaving him in a cloud of dust. Maggie was first in line. Then Sam caught up and passed everyone, including Maggie. He would be number one again…until something terrible happened. Sam saw a brood of chicks crossing the track! He slammed on his brakes and rescued the chicks while the other racers sped past him. Sam finished last. As he approached the finish line he heard everyone cheering… for him! ‘And even though he lost another race…his friends still thought he was number one.’

How could you not love this story? It teaches so many valuable lessons about friendship, winning, and doing the right thing. Greg Pizzoli is a genius at choosing just the right words to tell a story. He doesn’t talk down to kids or adults and uses vocabulary that is rich in meaning. And the illustrations are simple and vintage in the way that makes me think of cartoons I watched in the 60’s and 70’s. Sam reminds me of a cross between Underdog and Speed Racer, but then again that may just be me! So with the Indy 500 just around the corner… I’ll be rooting for Sam!

PS. If you remember Greg Pizzoli’s Watermelon Seed, you’ll recognize the alligator in the race.

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THE WATERMELON SEED

Your Red Shoes

1 May

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Your Red Shoes written by Dr. John Hutton and illustrated by Leah Busch (2014)

 Your Red Shoes is a sweet story about a toddler getting a new pair of shoes. It is told through the loving voice of the child’s father as he imagines all the things they’ll do together wearing those new shoes. And in that wistful voice, the reader hears how fast the child is growing until she will need another pair of new shoes.

Author, Dr. John Hutton hails from my hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio and is the owner of one of my favorite bookstores in town, the Blue Manatee. He is the author of several award winning books and a local pediatrician.

Illustrator, Leah Busch also lives and works in Cincinnati. Her watercolor illustrations for this story are soft and lovely. She has collaborated with Dr. John Hutton on several of his other books as well.

This is the special kind of book that tugs at your heartstrings. The words and images have a lasting effect, especially if you have experienced this bond between yourself and a child.

NAKED!

29 Apr

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NAKED! written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi (2014)

This is so much fun to read! If you’ve ever tried to catch a naked toddler you’ll know what I’m talking about. This unnamed character takes off running after a bath, naked, naked, naked! While the child’s poor mother tries to catch him and dry him off, he’s imagining what it would be like to go to school naked, play on the playground naked, or even do the Hokey Pokey naked.  He decides that a cape would be an okay concession to being totally and completely naked. Eventually he gets cold and submits to putting on some pants, a top, and even slippers. Exhausted, he finally falls asleep.

Together, Michael Ian Black and Debbie Ridpath Ohi capture the sheer joy of running naked through the house. The text is simple and to the point; and really, who needs extra words when the whole idea is to be stripped of all encumbering objects. And the illustrations are pure, unadulterated, masterpieces which leave just enough to the imagination.

Truthfully, the child in this story could be male or female. I only use the masculine pronoun in the absence of gender confirmation.

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