Arlo's Book Club: Julia, Child Arlo’s Book Club: The Make-It-Work Edition July 28, 2016

It’s time for another Arlo’s Book Club! With the 45th Annual Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference coming up this weekend in Los Angeles, we thought we’d dedicate this one to the art of “making it work.” Picture book artists and illustrators are some of the brightest and most hard-working people we know. We honor them today with our story picks that feature characters who are making it work … or at least are learning how to! See below:

Arlo Book Club MIW
Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear with illustrations by Julie Morstad.
This one is a delectable treat, with a sweet story by Kyo Maclear and gorgeous imagery by illustrator, Julie Morstad. Two friends discover that not all adults have the “proper ingredients” while they work to bring them all together over a fine dinner and petite gâteau. This one holds life lessons in abundance and is absolutely beautiful in the process.
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The Little Red Hen (Little Golden Book), edited by Diane Muldrow with illustrations by J.P. Miller
Most young readers know this classic story of a hard-working hen who requests help from a lazy duck, pig and cat, who are eager to reap the bounty that the hen has sowed, but not eager to help in the process. It’s the perfect story for kids about learning to apply patience and hard work to find a glorious end. The characters and environments are brought vibrantly to life by mid-century illustrator, J.P. Miller.
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The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah Ohora
Brand new to bookshops and libraries everywhere is The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah OHora (of Wolfie the Bunny fame). Two library-loving pals teach a book-gobbling monster about how to properly read books and eat desserts instead. This one is hilarious, and also features museum-quality, colorful illustrations that we love!

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Number One Sam by Greg Pizzoli
Sam is a race car driver who can’t be beat…until he is! Sam learns valuable lessons in this modern story about humility, talent, and how to be a good sport in the game you love the most. We love Pizzoli’s streamlined style and fresh color palette. This one is a winner.

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Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Swimmy is the only fish in his happy little school who survives an attack by a bigger fish. He makes it his mission to explore the sea and teach other fish how to defend themselves from predators using wit and teamwork in this classic from visionary, Leo Lionni. You can see more from Leo Lionni in his Master’s Showcase post.

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Arlo’s Book Club: Magical Wonderment Edition May 25, 2016

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment Arlo Fairy

We are super excited to bring you another edition of Arlo’s Book Club! Did you happen to see our little interview on the Tiny Readers blog? Click over to see a photo of a teeny, tiny adorable kid boss, plus our picks for all-time favorite books and illustrators. How cool is it that Arlo’s Book Club is reaching out and promoting reading and the love of beautiful writing and illustration with kids? So important! This month, we are all in a flurry of fairies after celebrating Arlo’s 5th birthday. The years have flown by (pun!) and Arlo’s fairy-themed party was a blast. For her birthday, Arlo was gifted a copy of A Fairy Friend and we have been excited about the concept of magical wonderment ever since, and picked out some books to share with you. Hope you enjoy! Click the title links to learn more.

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment Book Balloons

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment: A Fairy Friend

A Fairy Friend by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Claire Keane. Illustrated by a Disney animator, this book is absolutely perfect for any child who inhabits the whimsical, magical worlds of the fairies. Fairies are all around us…that is, IF you know where to look. Maybe they are just waiting for you to build them a tiny house to live in. Do you believe in fairies? We do!

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment: A Fairy Friend

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment: Alice in Wonderland Pop-Up Book

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up Adaptation by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Robert Sabuda. Curiouser and curiouser! Pop-up books are often underrated, but the exquisite attention to detail and design is often breathtaking in those are well-done. These illustrations figuratively and literally burst off the page in bright colors and draw you right into Alice’s Wonderland. The page where Alice grows too big for a house is a masterpiece in and of itself! Make sure you check this one out, especially for future engineers and imagineers.

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment: Alice in Wonderland Pop-Up Book 2

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment: Alice in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Anna Bond. Another rendition of Alice in Wonderland, this one comes to us by the founder and chief designer and illustrator for Rifle Paper Company. We absolutely adore the simplistic, yet detailed illustrations that are in true, tender style of Rifle Paper Co. Plus, this one comes with the full original text and is hardbound.

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment: Alice in Wonderland

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment: Jill and the Dragon

Jill & Dragon by Lesley Barnes. This one was written and illustrated by a Red Cap Cards artist, herself! We are always such cheerleaders for our Red Cap family members’ works of art and this one is no different. Dragon burns, singes and barbecues everything in his path, so when Jill decides to lead him out of the book to teach him some new skills, Dragon discovers an interesting talent! This one is about fitting in, while maintaing your sense of self. A perfect story for kids and adults alike!

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment: Jill and the Dragon

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment: All the World

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee. If you’re going to pick this one up, be sure to swing by the store and grab yourself a box of tissues as well. Poetically written and illustrated, this one teaches children about the consistency of life and how all creatures great and small are connected and one with each other in love. A real tearjerker, and especially perfect for those introspective thinkers and lovers.

Arlo's Book Club Magical Wonderment: All the World

Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition March 31, 2016

Spring is here, and we're excited to bring you another edition of Arlo's Book Club. We're showcasing some recent favorites this round, including a few special books by Red Cap artists, Christian Robinson and Nicholas John Frith. Run, bike, skip or hike to the library or book store and grab Arlo's favorites below. Cuddle up together in a big, cozy chair and enjoy:

Arlo and Simone: Arlo's Book Club by Red Cap Cards

Hector and Hummingbird by Red Cap Cards artist, Nicholas John Frith. Nicholas John Frith's first novel is a charming and colorful tale of a bear (Hector) and a hummingbird. Hector just wants some peace and quiet and Hummingbird is a noisy fellow, buzzing from here to there. It captures the friendship and challenges that such an opposite pair may find themselves in.

Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition
Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition
Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition

This Is Sadie by Sara O'Leary with illustrations by Julie Morstad. This one is an absolute written and illustrative delight. Meet Sadie, a quiet but imaginative girl who has lived many lives in her world of pretend. “This is Sadie. No, not that. That's a box. Sadie is inside the box.” Sadie also has wings, and you might too. Have you checked lately?

Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition
Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition
Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition
Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition

Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems. The perfect tale of an empathetic duo (Elephant and Piggie) that want so badly to include their new friend–a snake–in their game of catch. But how is that possible when the snake has no arms? Kids will love this story of how to solve the puzzle of including everyone in games with friends.

Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition
Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition
Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition

The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown with illustrations by Red Cap Cards artist, Christian Robinson. Christian Robinson brings Margaret Wise Brown's classic tale of a group of kids' discovery and memorial of a dead bird to new life (so to speak). Colorful, thoughtful and introspective, this is one makes you remember what emotions felt like when you were a child.

Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition
Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes. This book introduces us to an overworked but very loving and teeny-tiny gardener, who teaches us that sometimes love is the most important part of the labor.

Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition
Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition
Arlo's Book Club: Spring Fun Edition

Arlo's Book Club: by Red Cap Cards

Arlo's Book Club: Holiday Favorites December 15, 2015

Is there anything better than illustrated holiday books for children? What a delight to read all through the season! We've rounded up some of our favorites this year and can't wait to show them off. If you're looking for a gift for a young person in your life (or young at heart!) grab these up, as we are sure they will be treasured for always. Special hint: pack these away with your holiday decorations each year, and bring them out in December. It's always a special treat to read them at special times once a year.

best Children's books for the holidays

We're absolutely loving this edition of A Christmas Carol by the great Charles Dickens, with illustrations by our own Yelena Bryksenkova! It's a new favorite of Arlo's and the story is brought to such vibrant life through Yelena's work.

Best Children's Holiday Books
Best Children's Holiday Books
Best Children's Holiday Books>
Best Children's Holiday Books

How many marvelous renditions of this poetic favorite are there in existence? Surely there are hundreds, but we tend to err toward the Weisgard and Fujikawa versions. These two masters of illustration have created a perfect artistic compliment to the traditional Clement C. Moore poem. Vintage artistry at its best! First up, is The Night Before Christmas with illustration by Leonard Weisgard:

Best Children's Holiday Books

Best Children's Holiday Books

Followed by The Night Before Christmas with illustration by Gyo Fujikawa:

Best Children's Holiday Books

Best Children's Holidays Books

We haven't forgotten the lovable Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! . The tv special is loved in its own right, but we tend to prefer the tactile experience of a book, don't you? “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Best Children's Holiday Books

Best Children's Holiday Books

Last but certainly not least, a more modern, beloved holiday tale. This one has been through the ringer in this house and others, it seems! Taro Gomi has created a colorful world where Santa delivers gifts through the window, and mixes it up brilliantly in the meantime. Check out Santa Through The Window .

Best Children's Holiday Books

Best Children's Holiday Books

Best Children's Holiday Books

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Arlo's Book Club: The Fantasy Edition October 9, 2015

It's time for another edition of (not secretly) our favorite series: Arlo's Book Club. This week, whimsy is the name of the game, with princesses, ghosts and ice cream rocket ships. We're also excited to be presenting books written and/or illustrated by THREE of our Red Cap illustrators.

Arlo's Book Club for Red Cap Cards. The whimsy edition
Arlo's Book Club for Red Cap Cards. The whimsy edition

1. Ice Cream Work by Naoshi. We were lucky enough to attend the debut and signing of Ice Cream Work last week, and picked up our copy! Ice Cream Work is a fantastical little gem of a book by our pal, Naoshi. This book as all the toppings–adorable instructions on how to create your own sunae plus tasty treats on every page!

2. Pavo and the Princess by Evaline Ness, winner of the Caldecott Medal for Sam, Bangs & Moonshine (Owlet Book). We especially love this book because the gorgeous illustrations were created with the ancient art of woodcutting. Brilliant color and intricate detail illustrate a tale about an ice cold princess and her peacock, Pavo, who was given to her by her father to see if she might able to love and be loved in return. We won't spoil it for you!

3. Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett with illustrations by Christian Robinson. How many lovely things can we say about this book? Besides the fact that Leo is a ghost, he is a tender ghost and wishes to feel loved. He seeks to be appreciated and finds a friend named Jane who is just his cup of tea. Loving Leo, loving Christian's illustrations!

4. Flyaway by Lesley Barnes. This one is so reminiscent of Pavo and the Princess, and written and illustrated by a member of our Red Cap family, Lesley Barnes! Here's the scoop : a young princess has a bird which she keeps trapped in a cage. One day, the bird escapes and she chases it round the castle and out into the garden. She manages to catch it but, realizing that the bird wants to be free, she lets him go, and is rewarded when he comes back to visit her.” The book also comes with interactive elements and cut-outs that compliment its bold, bright illustration style. We love it! Plus, you can find some glorious vintage editions online.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next edition of Arlo's Book Club, and happy reading!

Arlo's Book Club: Spring has Sprung! March 17, 2015

Arlo's Book Club: Spring has Sprung for Red Cap Cards @redcapcards

There's no place we'd rather than be than at home, snuggled up and reading one of these great books with the kid boss. Arlo has picked out her favorites once again for this edition of Arlo's Book Club. So grab a seat and nuzzle in close!

Arlo's Book Club: Spring has Sprung for Red Cap Cards @redcapcards

1. First up, is Home by Carson Ellis. Brought to life with fantastic, detailed illustration, Carson Ellis's book about different types of homes around the world is one of our new favorites. Curious to know what a Slovakian duchess's home looks like? Or a Kenyan blacksmith? This is a sweet and interactive look at the world around you.

Arlo's Book Club: Spring has Sprung for Red Cap Cards @redcapcards

2. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña, with illustrations by Red Cap artist, Christian Robinson. This one is an absolute joy. CJ and his Nany make their way from church on a bus through the bustling city, where CJ learns about the beauty in the city around them…and the little things in life.

Arlo's Book Club: Spring has Sprung for Red Cap Cards @redcapcards

3A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School by Davide Cali, with illustrations by Benjamin Chaud. This is a funny little book full of tall tales and zany illustrations. “First, some giant ants steal breakfast. Then there are the evil ninjas, massive ape, mysterious mole people, giant blob, and countless other daunting (and astonishing) detours along the way to school. Are these excuses really why this student is late? Or is there another explanation that is even more outrageous than the rest?”

Arlo's Book Club: Spring has Sprung for Red Cap Cards @redcapcards

4. How To by Julie Morstad. This is a gorgeously written and illustrated book with lively lessons on how to do just about anything a kid might need to do. Such as “how to be brave” or “how to take things slow.” This book's aesthetic is colorful and lovely, and provokes lots of discussions with the little ones on how they might feel in the illustrated “how to” situations.

Arlo's Book Club: Spring has Sprung for Red Cap Cards @redcapcards

Arlo's Book Club: Special L-O-V-E Edition September 24, 2014

Arlo's Book Club, special Love Edition for @Redcapcards

It's that time again: a special Fall LOVE edition of Arlo's Book Club! These books will get you in the mood for hugs and friends and warm fuzzies! Grab your favorite book and a friend and see below for Arlo's picks:

Arlo's Book Club, special Love Edition for @Redcapcards

Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato. This one is a sweet tale of being little in a giant world, and is special friend Mike Curato's first book! A super, duper favorite of Arlo's! “Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter—a friend.”

Hug Machine by Scott Campbell. Another lovey, dovey one. This story is about a boy who just has to hug everything–fire hyrdants, benches, trees! Spreading the love! No one escapes the hug machine.

Frances Dean Who Loves to Dance and Dance by Birgitta Sif. A special tale about sharing your amazing talents and overcoming shyness. We love Birgitta Sif! “Frances Dean loves to dance. She feels the wind and she dances. She hears singing birds and she dances. In her every waking moment, she is inspired to move. But as soon as anyone is around, Frances Dean’s knees begin to tremble, butterflies start to flutter in her tummy, and she forgets how to dance. Will she ever find the courage to share her talent with others and feel free?”

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts, illustrated by our own Christian Robinson! Oh, how we love his work! This one has a wonderful message, about standing up for what's right–Love!–even when you feel very small.

Bonus points in Arlo's Book Club: sharing these stories with a special friend. We ♥ you all!

Arlo's Book Club, special Love Edition for @Redcapcards

Arlo's Book Club: Summer Session! July 2, 2014

Arlo's Book Club: Summer Session for Red Cap Cards

Hammock? Check. Glass of lemonade? Check. Stack of books? Double check! It's that time again–Arlo's Book Club Time! Arlo has some very important suggestions for your summer reading list. Whether you're hankering to learn your ABC's or have numerous birds landing on your head, we're sure you'll find something perfect for your reading palette. See below:

Arlo's Book Club picks: Summer Session for Red Cap Cards

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, with illustrations by Red Cap artist, Christian Robinson. This is the adorable story of Gaston, a french bulldog puppy who stands out as different from his poodle brother and sisters–until he discovers that there may have been a mix-up when he meets a bulldog family. We love this little book, coupled with charming illustrations from a family favorite, Christian Robinson, this is a must-read!

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrations by Christian Robinson: Arlo's Book Club @redcapcards
Gaston

There Is A Bird On Your Head by Mo Willems. You might know Mo Willems best for his pigeon books, but this one is about Gerald and Piggie. “Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends.” …Are you a Gerald or a Piggie? The eternal question! This one's an award winner as well–it won the 2008 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award and is a classic delight!

Number One Sam by Greg Pizzoli. “Sam was number one. He was number one in speed. He was number one at turns. Sam was always #1. Until…he wasn’t.” We love this new gem by writer and illustrator of The Watermelon Seed, Greg Pizzoli.

Adventures with Barefoot Critters, an ABC Book by Teagan White. Could these illustrations be any more lovely. Filled with whimsical woodland creatures and snuggly storylines, this one is perfect for beginning steps to reading. Definitely check out Teagan's site for more beautiful work.

Adventures with Barefooted Creatures by Teagan White: Arlo's Book Club @redcapcards
Adventures With Barefooted Creatures

What are your summer favorites?

Images as linked above.

Arlo's Book Club! March 13, 2014

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go” —Dr. Seuss. BUT, you don't have to take my word for it—Arlo's Book Club is here to advise you! We've gathered some of Arlo's favorite children's books for this post. Which ones do you have in your library?

How many wonderful things can we say about Rain, by Linda Ashman, with illustrations by Red Cap Artist, Christian Robinson? Winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award, Christian Robinson makes us proud with this story: “A happy little boy and a grumpy man experience the same rainy day very differently—until a random encounter influences both of them for the better.”

Another favorite: Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Caldecott Honor artist, Peter Brown. A New York Times bestseller, an IndieBound bestseller, and an ALA Notable Book, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is about a tiger who finds that there is a “time and place for everything…even going wild.”

“The blue dog is in. The red dog is out.” This one was edited by Dr. Seuss, hence the familiar semantic style. Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman is a vintage favorite about mobile dogs–obviously! We love the illustration and poetic style.

Last but not least, The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli. Probably the sweetest little book trailer you've ever seen, and an illustrative nod to Bernard Waber, The Watermelon Seed (pictured) is a delight, about an alligator who eats a watermelon seed–and the panic that ensues!

What are your favorites??