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RHYMOCEROS by Janik Coat

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*Originally published March of 2015 Hooray! Janik Coat, creator of the fantastic  hippoposites , brought to us by the wonderful people at Abrams Appleseed in 2012, is back with a companion book - RHYMOCEROS ! Coat has a visually stunning style that is paired with a fresh take on what are usually tired concept books. Where  hippopposites  stands out for a creative use of opposites,  RHYMOCEROS is equally matched with creative rhymes - rhymes that you and your little listeners will love repeating. Coat starts off with simple rhymes like "old/gold" and "strong/song" and builds to rhymes like "shade/lemonade," "caring/daring," "alone/on the phone" and "furry/blurry," all of which lend themselves to intriguing, funny, fancy antics from the titular blue rhinoceros. My favorite rhyme, which I couldn't find a picture of, is "tired/wired," which I will leave to your imagination . . .

HIPPOPPOSITES by Janik Coat

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*Originally published June of 2012 HIPPO PPOSITES  by Janik Coat is yet another fantastic book from Abrams Appleseed , the new imprint from Abrams Books dedicated to instilling a love of books in babies and toddlers by publishing books that will "foster the development of its young readers and engage them and their adults in artful, beautifully conceived books." I love this philosophy and I adore every book that they have put out thus far, from the visually dazzling Pantone Colors book that takes learning your colors to a whole new level, to Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda and the fantastically fun Get Dressed by Seymour Chwast. I don't have any readers in the house who require board books anymore, but I own these books and will pull them out and read them from time to time because they are all creatively out of the ordinary, beautifully put together and fun to read. The next time I need a baby shower gift or birthday gift for a toddler, these are the books I am

COMPARROTIVES by Janik Coat

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COM PARROT IVES   by Janik Coat Review Copy from AbramsAppleseed In 2012 I reviewed Janik Coat's brilliant HIPPOPPOSITES . Almost ten years later, I am thrilled to be reviewing a new addition to what is now referred to as the Grammar Zoo ! With each book, Coat delivers crisply designed, playfully illustrated, elegantly engaging board books where animals exemplify aspects of grammar, from opposites to rhyming words ( RHYMOCEROS ) to homophones ( LLAMAPHONES ). The board book format also allows for magical, textural extras ranging from faux fur (which can be found inlaid on the "softer" page seen below) to sparkles, gold and silver foil, moveable clock hands, liftable flaps, bumps, lines and textures that imitate sand, flour, clouds and mist. Word pairs that illustrate the concept of the book appear on two page spreads. Coat's choices, both of word pairs and how to illustrate them, are always creative, inspiring multiple readers in one sitting. After thirteen years of r

Nia and the New Free Library written by Ian Lendler, illustrated by Mark Pett

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Nia and the New Free Library  written by Ian Lender  illustrated by  Mark Pett Review Copy from Chronicle Books When a tornado carries off the town library, it's up to Nia to convince the community that they need to build a new library. This proves especially challenging since everyone seems to think that libraries have become obsolete. Inspired by the folk tale, Stone Soup , a marvelous detail that is not revealed until almost the end of the book, Nia writes and illustrates a wagonload of books and begins loaning them out. But Nia's patrons seem to have problems with her books, from the plots to the illustrations. Nia fields every complaint with roughly the same response of, "Oh well, maybe you can fix it," while handing them a pencil. Soon enough, the townsfolk have written so many books that they begin to discuss the many ways they can store them, eventually coming together to build a library. Realizing they have a library but no head librarian, Nia asks the crowd

Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too! written and illustrated by Maggie P. Chang, 64 pp, RL 2

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  Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too!  written and illustrated by Maggie P. Chang Ready to Read Graphics , Level 3 Review Copy from Simon & Schuster There are so many wonderful things that come together in the pages of of Maggie P. Chang's debut, Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too! This makes sense, because the creator herself encompasses many wonderful things! Chang, who describes herself as a "multi-disciplinary creative and educator with an entrepreneurial spirit," began her career as a teacher in Spanish Harlem, going on to open the first children's history museum, and teach at the famed LaGuardia Arts High School where she expanded the Media Technology curriculum and taught talented teen artists. Chang has co-founded service projects that, through the creation of graphic novels, empower young people to connect with the planet's ecosystems, a media company that explores the intersection of spirituality and creativity and a partnership with jewelry desi

Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, illustrated by David Litchfield

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  Rain Before Rainbows  by Smriti Prasadam-Halls , illustrated by David Litchfield Review Copy from Candlewick Press In Rain Before Rainbows , Litchfield's illustrations tell a story while Prasadam-Halls's gentle, unforced rhyme provides a lyrical rhythm that carries and comforts, encourages and affirms. Litchfield's illustrations have a luminous, moody depth. Swirling, moving colors make up the background, layered with silhouettes and etched patterns. The main characters, a girl and a fox, along with a handful of other animals that appear along the way, are given a more solid presence on the page, coming together to create a dreamlike feeling. Reading  Rain Before Rainbows  evokes the feeling of walking through a raincloud and emerging into a light filled rainbow.  Which is exactly how  Rain Before Rainbows   begins and ends, from endpaper to endpaper. The title page shows, amidst clouds and smoke, a castle on fire. The girl and the fox journey away from one home and to a

How to Apologize written by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

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  How to Apologize  written by David LaRochelle illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka Review Copy from Candlewick Press Perfect. How to Apologize is a perfect book. Words and pictures partner perfectly to entertain and educate readers - a rarity in the world of picture books. Not only is it extremely difficult to write a successful, engaging picture book addressing social-emotional learning without being dogmatic, it is a challenge to get empathy and compassion on the page with the finely tuned clarity that LaRochelle and Wohnoutka bring to their book. On of the best aspects of  How to  Apologize  is its nonjudgemental tone, which begins on the first page, "Everyone makes mistakes." Every two pages (or so) comprise visual vignettes that illustrate the text, which (rather than a traditional narrative) makes  How to  Apologize  engaging and successful and ultimately relatable for readers young and old (there are plenty of adults who would benefit from learning how to apologize). Wh