judy palaferro dishes about horace’s big hat!

Hats On, Hats Off — to Judy Palaferro for creating this brand new uber cool emerging reader picture book!

You may remember how much the alphabet soup kitchen helpers loved her Color Bears board book that came out last year. Well, ever since Horace’s Big Hat (Umbrage Books, 2011) arrived, they’ve been oohing and ahhing over all the delightful spreads and trying on every hat in the house.

In this exuberant riff on the “What do I want to be when I grow up?”  theme, our boy Horace tries on 12 different hats — yes, BIG ones, as he imagines himself in various professions (construction worker, baker, referee, fireman, cowboy, and artist, to name a few).

In each scenario, he’s surrounded by the “tools of the trade,” a colorful, endlessly vibrant, highly detailed smorgasbord of discovery. His adventures take him to a prairie, India, London, even the high seas. Whether he dons an artist’s beret, a turban or hard hat, he has loads of fun exercising his imagination, while the objects in each spread provide valuable visual clues to help the emergent reader figure out the words in the text.

Judy’s here to tell us a bit more about Horace and the fun she had working on this book. We thank her for sharing some finished art as well as early drafts.

Continue reading

sweet treat: color bears by judy palaferro!


Attention babies, toddlers, munchkins, rugrats, teddy bears and short grown-ups! There’s a new board book out just for you!

As soon as Color Bears* by Judy Palaferro (Umbrage Books, 2010) appeared in the alphabet soup kitchen, the resident bears were all over it. They sniffed, licked, hugged, stroked, marveled and giggled with glee over all the cool artwork. Once they settled down, Cornelius read the book aloud.

This whimsical, well-designed, innovative visual treat consists of twelve color-themed spreads — bold black-and-white patterned illos on the left (just right for infants learning to focus), and different bear characters in various landscapes on the right (sure to delight curious toddlers).


From Sunny Yellow Bears (check out those fun faces) to Sleepy Black Bears (moon and stars goodnight), these adorable fellows prove they know exactly how to play, entertain, and amuse. Some appear as funky sunglasses, others bob around in the pool, still others take the form of sweet edibles (lollipop and cupcake). Yum.


Who can resist these Growing Green Bears on a stem?

Or this lovable Snowy White Bear?

I love all the patterns (some are mesmerizing!) — great stimulation via shape, line, contrast and movement, each a perfect complement to its corresponding color bear. I also like that the scenes include land and sea, city and country, indoors and outdoors, and that the book’s appeal extends to infants, toddlers, and beginning readers. Oh, did I mention there’s candy and cocoa? ☺

So, if you’ve got a little one underfoot this summer, or need a birthday, baby shower, or “just because” gift, reach for Color Bears. The alphabet soup teddies give this fab creation five paws up — and we’d like to extend our Big Congratulations to Judy Palaferro on publishing her first children’s book! Yay! ((judy))

COLOR BEARS by Judy Palaferro
published by Umbrage Books, May 2010
Board Book for ages 3 months to 3 years
Trim size: 6″ x 6″, 28 pp.
*Environmentally bear friendly, inspires hugs

♥ Check out the publisher’s webpage for more Color Bears spreads!

“Mine, all mine!”

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.