If you’re a Harry Potter geek like me, you’ll recognize Mary GrandPré as the illustrator of the famous U.S. book covers and chapter art. So when I got the chance to meet and interview her yesterday, I felt like a bona fide fangirl.
GrandPré was in New York with children’s book writer Jennifer Dewing to talk about their new book, Goodnight Little Me, a dreamy bedtime book that can be personalized with your children’s names, ages, and birthdays.
The book, out later this month, is the newest title from I See Me, a line of personalized children’s books. What makes I See Me truly special is the unique way they integrate a child’s name and photo into the illustrations on each page. For Goodnight Little Me in particular, your child’s name can be seamlessly woven into a starry sky and the socks of dancing dogs.
Take a virtual tour of Goodnight Little Me — you’ll see how Dewing’s lyrical rhymes dance and propel the story forward and how GrandPré’s whimsical illustrations saturate and pop off the page. And note all the places where “Elizabeth” can be replaced with a different name.
Can’t wait for the book to come out? You’re in luck! You can now purchase the Goodnight Little Me book or Goodnight Little Me gift set (which includes a plush lamb). Even better, ISeeMe.com has provided Parents.com readers with an exclusive discount code that gives you 15% off your total order. So you can add Goodnight Little Me and other titles to your shopping cart.
Starting today, use the coupon code PARENTS during checkout to receive the 15% discount. The code expires on Sunday, December 15, 2013.
And stay tuned for my full interview with Mary GrandPré and Jennifer Dewing in the coming weeks!
Lego Duplo’s “Read! Build! Play!” initiative strives to develop early literacy and strengthen learning through their Read and Build series of simple story books paired with easy construction activities.
Last year, Lego Duplo and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) partnered to create resources that combined reading and play. “Through play, young children learn about their world. With this knowledge, they can understand books and stories once they begin to read,” says Starr Latronica, Vice President/President-Elect of the Association for Library Service to Children.
This summer, Lego and ALSC have created the first Summer Reading Lists/Activity Guides for toddlers and preschoolers. Two free guides (one for Ages 1-3, one for Ages 3-5) pairs 10 already-published books with Lego projects designed specifically for each one. The books, easily available at local libraries, were chosen by ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services committee. A Parent Activity Guide is also available for free, to explain the importance of play and to offer advice on how to interact with kids.
Parents can preview a list of the chosen books below and click on the jump to see a photo of the suggested activity for Meeow and the Pots and Pans by Sebastian Braun. Visit ReadBuildPlay.com to download the entire activity guides (which includes the full lists of Lego projects with instructions, plus coloring pages).
Created by author Norman Bridwell and published by Scholastic, Clifford was once the runt of his litter but he grew and transformed through the love of his owner, 8-year-old Emily Elizabeth. Since 1963, over 70 Clifford books have sold 126 million copies and been published in 13 languages.
Happy New Year! We’ll help you get off to a happy start by giving away 11 new baby books for your child’s library. I feel like I can never have enough books for my two kids; they want a story (or two, or three) a night and it gets tough being the narrator if you have to keep going over the same tales.
We like to compare favorite books here in the office. Our executive editor tipped me off to Little Fur Family, which is by the classic children’s author Margaret Wise Brown. She wrote Goodnight Moon and one of my other favorites, Big Red Barn. Her books are sweet and poetic and make you want to drift off alongside your baby! But the book that became my goodnight song to my kids is If You Were My Bunny. My 10- and 7-year-old still go to sleep only after I recite the whole thing in song!
The eleven books we’re giving away are all new, recent titles, and include both board books and paper pages. Maybe one will become a favorite! In total they’re worth about $110. To be entered to win, leave a comment below between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, January 9. For the full rules, read here. Goody luck!
Back in April, I blogged about the deliciously funny and clever “Book People Unite” video from Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). The video showcased various literary characters (Pinocchio, Curious George, Humpty Dumpty) along with media and music celebrities (Jack Black, Regina Spektor, LeVar Burton).
Reading Is Fundamental sent me the follow-up video below, an equally fun behind-the-scenes look at the making of the original. Several cast members are interviewed, including Raggedy Andrew and a very funny Big Bad Wolf, and there are snapshots of how the magical elements came together.
We are happy to announce that our very own Todd Tarpley, general manager for Parents.com, released Ten Tiny Toes, his latest children’s book.
The book celebrates the most memorable moments parents can experience with their little ones, and it revolves around an appreciation for cute baby feet!
Reading to kids is a great way for parents to enrich their children’s minds and show how much they care; Ten Tiny Toes’ combination of an endearing storyline with cute illustrations makes this book fun to read.
Tarpley lives in New York City with his wife and two sons. His first children’s book, How About a Kiss For Me?, was released in 2010.
Marc Brown, illustrator of Ten Tiny Toes is also a children’s book author; he is the creator of the best-selling Arthur Adventure book series and creative producer of the PBS Kids television series, Arthur.
It’s Children’s Book Week, which means this week is another special reason to encourage your kids to read! This celebration of books (sponsored by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader) officially began in 1919, though the idea was originally formulated in 1913 by Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America. To date, this week is considered the longest-running literacy program in the U.S. (Read more about the history at bookweekonline.com)
Since spring and rain are on my mind (it’s been endless wet weather in New York), here are some new and old spring-related books that are perfect for the season:
Gem by Holly Hobbie – The author/illustrator of the “Toot and Puddle” series showcases her superb watercolors in this (mostly) wordless book about a frog and a young girl’s discovery of the world.
And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano – Spare and poetic as a haiku, this first-time author focuses on a boy waiting for his garden to bloom. Subdued illustrations by Erin E. Stead, who won the 2011 Caldecott Medal for “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” are a perfect accompaniment.
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger – A tribute to nature and the environment, Seeger shares the different shades of green that exist in the world, along with scenes of what a world would be like without green. Strategic cut-outs on each page also give a hint of what will come next.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown – Inspired by the High Line in New York City, this story follows a little boy as he plants a rooftop garden with the hope of transforming a dark and dreary world into something bright and bold. (Brown’s signature drawings are detailed, lush, and vibrant.)
It’s no secret I love children’s picture books (and collecting them), so I’m excited to present this fun book trailer for Revenge of the Dinotrux by Chris Gall, a sequel to Dinotrux (imagine Transformers meets dinosaurs). Gall writes and illustrates his own books, combining clever ideas (dinosaur-like trucks!) with colorful and bold illustrations. In fact, I own one of Gall’s earlier books, Dear Fish, which is about what happens after a young boy writes a letter to all the fish in the sea, inviting them to visit him on land!
In this Dinotrux sequel, watch out as Garbageadon, Craneosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus Trux try to take over the world!