Books by Amy E. Sklansky

Released: Jan. 30, 2018

"Quibbles aside, the whole whimsical package is a visually pleasing introduction to rainbow colors for toddlers. (Board book. 1-3)"
Little ones learn some basic colors. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"Share this sweet treat with baby for some serious bonding time. (Board book. 1-3)"
Smitten adults gush over the attributes of their little ones by comparing them to the goodness of sweet pumpkin pie. Read full book review >
OUT OF THIS WORLD by Amy E. Sklansky
Released: Feb. 14, 2012

"Likely to appeal to a younger audience than Douglas Florian's Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars (2007), this would be a satisfactory, if rather mundane, companion. (Informational picture book/poetry. 5-9)"
Each of these 20 short poems for young readers is accompanied by information on the geography of space and its human exploration, exemplified by the Apollo 11 mission. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 18, 2008

A white duck, pictured alone on a wilderness lake, loves to play his kazoo. In this illustrated poem each stanza ends with a kazoo-like refrain, "Zu zu." As the story begins, there is a brief mention that the duck has been left all alone, "since the hurricane blew, his only companion the shiny kazoo." As the cold sets in, the lone duck packs his things and heads south. Eventually, he finds a river populated with brown ducks, who, after hearing the kazoo, invite him to stay. Friendships are forged and they explore the river together. As the season brightens into spring, the white duck invites his new companions to join him at his former lake and they do so enthusiastically. The paintings offer up lovely, ethereal landscapes and waterways painted in bright, seasonal hues, but the ducks lack dimension or realism in contrast. The point is vague, but seems to indicate the importance of friendship and new beginnings after a loss. This underwhelming rhyme would have been better suited to one in a collection of children's poetry, but there could be some satisfaction in its reassuring message. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

A clear text addresses the age-old "chicken and egg" problem, with solid results. Readers are first introduced to the egg, and then to its parents, moving back to the egg once it's laid, and tracking the progress of the growing chick. Both text and illustrations are entirely suited to the audience; if a little lacking in flair, they nevertheless resist anthropomorphization and deliver those tiny details that are important to young readers: "At one end of the egg is an air space. This is where the chick will take its first breath." The inside-the-egg views show the growing chick and its growing sack of waste as it consumes the yolk and develops into a more-or-less recognizable bird. These images alternate with views of the hen tending her eggs or dashing off for a bite to eat and then returning to cluck to her eggs: "The chicks are learning to recognize the sound of the mother's voice." A worthy entry in the venerable Let's Read and Find Out series, and one that will always find an audience. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-6)Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

Halloween happenings of the mildly scary sort are the thematic focus of this collection of 21 short poems. Most of the poems rhyme, although a few are non-rhyming, in the style (but not the exact form) of haiku. Many of the poems are excellent; a few have some amateurish rhymes or sing-song rhythm; and one or two need a touch of Halloween magic to come alive. If the quality of the poems is a little uneven, the volume's polished design and enchanting beaded illustrations maintain a high level of quality and interest throughout. Dismukes exhibits a fine sense of style and graphic design in her jewel-toned fabric collages embellished with buttons and rows of beads. Her Halloween creatures are a delight: Frankenstein, a green-faced witch, a Cyclops, skeletons, spiders, and ghostly trick-or-treaters in costume. A clever black cat with a curly tail makes repeated but slightly altered appearances, sporting tiny matching fangs for a vampire poem and just one eye when the Cyclops comes to call. Kids who enjoy the spooky side of Halloween will find this a treat. (Poetry. 5-8)Read full book review >
FROM THE DOGHOUSE by Amy E. Sklansky
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

The stunning, beaded illustrations are clearly the best-in-show winners of this thematic collection of 25 poems celebrating canines. In their collective picture book debut, the four artists have created beaded illustrations using rows of tiny beads on colored backgrounds with clever additions of larger beads, buttons, and charms interspersed for variety. Their beaded dogs (and a few companion cats) have plenty of humor and personality, including some imaginative pooches: a sheriff dog in a ten-gallon hat, an astrodog in a silver spaceship, and two scuba-diving dogs. In her first published work, Sklansky offers a variety of poetic forms, mostly rhymed, all written in first person from a dog's point of view. Several poems examine a dog's dreams or nightmares, while others focus on standard features of a dog's life (fleas, baths, bones, balls, digging holes, and affection for human owners). The creative design includes different type treatments, borders, backgrounds, and illustration placement that make the most of this unusual medium. The final page includes additional facts about the beadwork and short bios with tiny self-portraits of the bead artists. (Poetry. 5-9)Read full book review >