Books by Tom Slaughter

BOAT WORKS by Tom Slaughter
Released: May 29, 2012

"No need for a life jacket; all these vessels glide smoothly into port. (Board book. 1-3)"
When you sail away on these seas, the vessel can be any you choose. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2011

Shea's children's-book debut is a clever, rhymed test of kids' notions of living and nonliving things that's great for both lap and group sharing. "If you look around you'll see, / Some things grow, like you and me… / Do you know which ones will grow? / Think, then answer yes or no." What follows is a terrific interplay of rhyming questions and cunningly designed gatefold illustrations: "If a calf grows and becomes a cow, / can a shovel grow and become…/ a plow?" The left side pictures the cows, while the right-hand page shows a huge shovel and pail. A flip of the fold reveals the corner of the shovel becoming a part of a truck-mounted plow. Other rhymes include duck and truck, bear and chair, cat and hat, goat and coat, towel and owl, snake and cake, pig and rig, fox and clock and kangaroo and you. The final two pages summarize the answers, still keeping the rhythm and rhyme. Slaughter's illustrations bring pop art to mind: vivid reds, blues, yellows and greens, few details, simple backgrounds and blocks of color. Many of the objects are cut-paper silhouettes against a painted background. Between its allure as an audience-participation read-aloud and its numerous classroom uses (living/nonliving, analogies, rhymes, spelling rules, baby animal names, creative thinking…) clear a space on the shelves for this one, even though it may never be there for long. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
SAME SAME by Marthe Jocelyn
Released: Jan. 13, 2009

Giving preschoolers and even aging toddlers food for thought, on each page Slaughter and Jocelyn group three items—all rendered as bright, very simple graphic images in primary colors plus black, white and green—that share a common characteristic: "round things," "things that make music," "things that fly." To create links between groups, each illustrated group includes one member that reappears on the subsequent spread—a tambourine is a "round thing" and a "thing that makes music," a snake is both a "striped thing" and a "long thing" and so on. Unlike the title, which sounds like some sort of pidgin, Jocelyn's terse captions are in plain language; an apple and the Earth are "round things," a dog, an elephant and a chair are "things with four legs." In most cases these are probably superfluous, but at least take away any guesswork. An inviting way of introducing connections and commonalities. (Picture book. 2-4) Read full book review >
EATS by Marthe Jocelyn
by Marthe Jocelyn, illustrated by Tom Slaughter
Released: Sept. 9, 2007

The creators of One Some Many (2004) are back, this time with a concept book about what different animals eat. On the left, in black, is the name of the animal; at the bottom right, in white, the food it eats. "Worm / apple / anteater / ants / bees / nectar / bears / fish." From children's favorites of dog, squirrel and monkey, Jocelyn branches out to include a few African animals and some species that are not as much in the spotlight—pandas and whales. Slaughter's crisply outlined cut-paper animals stand out against backgrounds of vivid hues. The simple shapes and spare details will help focus young children's attention on the unique identifying features of each animal and its favorite food, while the large illustrations are perfect for sharing with groups. A good choice for storytime sharing. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
ABC x 3 by Marthe Jocelyn
Released: Oct. 11, 2005

Illustrated with simple paper-cuts in bright, high contrast colors, this trilingual alphabet pairs upper and lower case letters in a sans serif face with appropriate, if sometimes unexpected, shapes, animals or items captioned in English, Spanish and French. Though neither "ç" nor any accented vowels get separate entries, Spanish letters "Ch," "ll" and "ñ" do, with one-word labels "chaqueta," "lluvia" and "niños." Non-Spanish speakers will have to figure out the meanings of these for themselves, however, from pictures that are abstract enough to leave some room for confusion. Furthermore, six of the other examples—Jaguar, Kiwi, Quetzal, Radio, Windsurfer and Zigzag—are identical in all three languages. An uneven outing from a team that usually does better, but refreshing for its multicultural outlook. (Picture book. 5-7)Read full book review >
OVER UNDER by Marthe Jocelyn
Released: March 8, 2005

Slaughter explores more concepts with the same supersaturated colors and cut-paper, predominantly animal, forms that make One Some Many (2004) and 1 2 3: A Counting Book (2003) such toddlers' delights. Jocelyn's rhymed text, running to just a word or brief phrase per page, adds both continuity and a sense of verbal rhythm to go with the vibrancy of the art: "over / under / up / and down / inside / outside / country / town / above is sky / below is ground." With just enough extraneous detail to keep it from being pedantic, this will inspire plenty of repeat visits as it enriches younger viewers' verbal and visual vocabularies. (Picture book. 2-4)Read full book review >
ONE SOME MANY by Marthe Jocelyn
Released: June 8, 2004

A combination concept and counting book, this would work better if it were one or the other. The concepts of "some," "many," and "a few" are introduced to young readers but without the repetition that would make them truly stick in the minds of children. One pear stands alone, three pears are some, while a tree full of pears represents many. A "few" is presented as being more than two—it might be three, four, or more. From this point, the text diverges into a counting book. Once reaching ten, the story asks the never-answered questions, "is ten some? / is ten many?" Slaughter's bright, bold paper cuts are reminiscent of Matisse and are a good bridge to the world of modern art. Too bad it tries to be so many things. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
ONE, TWO, THREE by Tom Slaughter
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

For children at the very dawn of numeracy, Slaughter's paper collages offers one-to-ten counting (and modern art) practice on a set of commonplace, easily recognizable items—an apple, eyeglasses, buttons, beach balls, and the like—all rendered with utmost simplicity in bright primary colors. Free of plot line or extraneous side detail, and with only a numeral on each spread for text, this debut showcase for an artist who already has work hanging in the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, and elsewhere should prompt plenty of pointing and chortling from even pre-verbal pre-walkers. (Picture book. 1-3)Read full book review >