Skip to main content

This + That written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace

I keep wanting to dislike a book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, I really do. Why so mean spirited, you might ask? Well, this woman is prolific, multitalented and always teams up with magnificent illustrators like Jane Dyer (the Cookies series), Paul Schmid (The Wonder Book), Scott Magoon (Spoon), Tom Lichtenheld (Duck! Rabbit!, Yes Day! and It's Not Fair!) and my favorite, Jen Corace (Little Pea, Little Hoot, Little Oink). She also has created really fabulous memory keeping books for moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, etc. And, she writes adult books. And everything she does is good! How can she be so great and when will her brilliance falter? This is also kind of how I feel about Mo Willems. How can these people be so consistently good so often?  Well, whatever the superhuman secret they share, the newest picture book from Rosenthal and Corace is FABULOUS! It's one of those books that just might appeal more to adults than kids, but I did give it a test drive at story time more than once and there were no wiggles or walk aways. I couldn't find any of the illustrations to share with you, but the book trailer is very well done and worth a look.

As you might have guessed from the title, the book is made up of short word sentences that are all wonderfully illustrated by Jen Corace. One of the reasons that I think Rosenthal's picture books are so consistently good is that she finds a way to tap into things that are universal and look at them in a fresh way. I can easily imagine a family playing their own version of "This + That" during a car ride or a wait in a doctor's office or checkout line, much the way that Remy Charlip's excellent picture book Fortunately can inspire a fun car game. I am tempted to share every single equation in the book with you here because I really can't decide which ones not to include, but I will resist.So, here are a few of my favorites:

yes + no = maybe

smile + wave = hello AND smile + wave = ocean

chalk + sitting = school AND chalk + jumping = hopscotch

wishes + frosting = birthday cake

anything + sprinkles = better 
(I am a firm believer of this equation)

small + bottle = baby AND tall + coffee = grown up

practice + practice = learning
practice + practice + practice = mastering

chores ÷ everyone = family

good days + bad days = real life

once upon a time = happily ever after = pretend

all done + time to go = the end

Since I couldn't find any illustrations from the book online, I'll share a few images of Jen's own great art work!



Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…