Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Candlewick presents "A Spider Named Itsy" by Steve Light & "Lonely Bird" by Ruth Whiting [Review & Giveaway]

Picture book A Spider Named Itsy is a clever twist on the classic nursery rhyme that will satisfy curious toddlers and preschoolers who enjoy singing about the spider that went up the water spout. Publishing next week from beloved author-illustrator Steve Light, this one is sure to be an instant hit with little ones.

My thoughts:  Starting with the very end statement (or dedication)......
For those who have been "washed out" and have the courage to climb again.
This retelling of the traditional children's song, "Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up the water spout.....," shows a courageous, overcoming spider who is a real team player. He is a helper. He looks out for the other guy. It is a story to encourage those who have failed (or think they have) to try again. It is a story of underlying strength.

It is a delightfully illustrated story of a well lived life. I highly encourage and recommend.

About the book: 
Itsy Bitsy sits at home,
drinking tea, all alone . . .

Everyone knows the rhyme “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” We know about the climb up the waterspout, the washout, the return of the sun, and the determined climb back up the spout—again. Generations of children have sung this beloved verse and mastered its accompanying twisty finger play. But what sent the tiny spider on his upward trek to begin with? What happened along the way—and where is Itsy now? Steve Light—with his meticulously rendered, highly detailed pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations and an endearing cast of insect characters—riffs on a classic as he offers some surprising answers, ushering us into a charming tale of perseverance, kindness, and community. And it all starts when a branch falls from a tree . . .

Why did Itsy Bitsy make his famous journey? With a dose of warmth and whimsy, Steve Light’s remarkable, intricate artwork spins a backstory of unexpected friendship.   


Lonely Bird features the smallest slip of a protagonist with a vast imagination and an insatiable appetite for exploring beauty and making things—traits any child can relate to. This one is a wonderful read for early elementary aged kiddos.
This a video that shows the debut author-illustrator’s creation process.  And here is a video of the author-illustrator giving a tour of her studio.

My thoughts:  The story is a bit sad and unusual. It's the story of a wee slip of paper on which a bird is drawn and then cut out. This is "Lonely Bird." Then we see the habitat or home of this little paper lonely bird. It is the abode of an artist and a child. There is a lot of odd bits of stuff laying about; and during the night hours lonely bird roams about, discovers a wad of paper, and creates a friend out of it. They begin to roam about and then the monster vacuum cleaner devours his friend. And the story goes on with a rescue and more creation with bits and pieces.

The book is interesting on another level in that it explores the creativity that one can experience using odd bits and pieces. This cute story will encourage parents to encourage their little ones to use what is available to create and realize that using little "throw away" pieces of stuff can be highly satisfying and fun. 

This is a "must have" for homes and schools where the creative spirit is encouraged and/or present.

Be sure to watch the creativity of the artist that illustrates this book and her artistic methodology in the video.

About the book: A tiny paper bird shares a home with humans in this wondrously illustrated debut, introducing a sensitive, creative soul who ventures into the belly of the beast to rescue a new friend. Secret word: determination 

She’s just a tiny slip of paper, a doodle cut in the shape of a bird. She isn’t sure who made her or how she came to be, or if the family she lives with even knows she is there. She turns found objects into things of beauty—sometimes leaving them for the child of the house to discover—and invents riveting tales to tell to the wall outlet. And now, in her grandest adventure yet, the dauntless artist makes something thoroughly a friend. With spare prose and luminous paintings, Ruth Whiting introduces a delicate 2D character navigating an oversize world—a reality just on the edges of our own.
Begins October 25
Ends November 13 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copies are provided and mailed directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

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