Books by Anne Mortimer

CHRISTMAS MOUSE by Anne Mortimer
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"No new territory here, but a very cute mouse having a very merry Christmas all the same. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A little mouse perched on a pecan tart and staring out at the reader forms the intriguing cover illustration for this rhyming exploration of a mouse-sized Christmas celebration. Read full book review >
BUNNY’S EASTER EGG by Anne Mortimer
Released: Feb. 1, 2010

Bunny is tired after a long night distributing Easter eggs. Too tired to hide her last, plain egg, she curls up with it in her basket. A "crackling sound" and a bump drives her to a less busy nest, but the birds' cheeping makes that one too loud, and hedgehog in the next is too prickly and so on. A predictable layout featuring text on a mostly white page opposite a full-bleed illustration of the activity underscores the repetition; young children will have no trouble keeping up with this one—and when Bunny returns to her original nest, they won't be surprised by what she finds there, either. Spring flowers bloom in every composition, and the cute-as-a-bunny Bunny appeals. Still, there's not much that will endure here—it's as sweet as a chocolate egg and will last about as long. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

In a dull village famous for nothing, Cat lives with a grumpy chocolate maker. No one buys his candy, and no one likes him or his cat. "One day, for no reason," the chocolate maker creates a chocolate mouse with a pink sugar tail. Cat tries one and decides it must be shared. Mr. Green, the grocer, loves the mouse so much that he runs to the chocolate shop. He and the chocolate maker create fruit and chocolate delights, but the chocolate maker still doesn't smile. Cat takes a mouse to many different retailers in town, and the types of cakes and candies increase. The chocolate maker doesn't smile until he tries a mouse for himself. Mortimer and Stainton's latest collaboration brings together two storytime staples. But as usual, Mortimer's pussycat pictures are far more enticing than the precious and convoluted text. Cat lovers will see their own feline friends in every panel and spot, and readers will love drooling over the pictures to study the lovely creations and find the surprises. A short history of chocolate follows the story. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
I LOVE CATS by Sue Stainton
Released: April 1, 2007

Feline fans will certainly appreciate Mortimer's typically splendid and plush renderings of cats. These adorable, playful and wide-eyed creatures can practically be petted. The text's a bit problematic, however, beginning seemingly like a book about opposites, then moving on to adjectives that are sometimes near, sometimes exact rhymes. At best, children will be introduced to many unfamiliar words, though their meanings aren't always clearly demonstrated. The art for "Whirly cats," for example, is static, showing a cat holding onto its tail but without conveying a cat's ability to twirl around while doing so. Kids may not altogether get "Wiry cats" either. The "cats on your head" page is priceless, though, portraying a very contented kitty dozing atop a bemused dog's head. The book does work as a joyous celebration of cats, and readers and listeners will find much to purr-posefully pore over. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2006

Surprisingly, there isn't a "beautiful pea-green boat[ful]" of illustrated renditions of Lear's most famous and favorite verse, making Mortimer's version with her signature style of handsome, whisker-realistic cat images a perfect marriage to the tale. Her delicate lines, tactile textures of feathers and fur, engaging composition and fascinating borders infused with flowers, ferns, insects and butterflies breathe life into the rhyme. Two styles of borders play off each other effectively; round insets appear like portholes while rectangular ones nicely frame a scroll-like message with text. Other illustrated depictions are less elegant: Hilary Knight's and Michael Hague's are typically wry and darkly fanciful; Jan Brett also relies on brightly colored borders, but Mortimer's palette is richer, more refined and dreamy in atmosphere. Like the title characters, the art walks "hand in hand" with the 22-line poetic romance as this delightfully charming creation does, indeed, "dance by the light of the moon." (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

This clever interweaving of two popular picture-book subjects, cats and lighthouses, is enlivened with Mortimer's gleaming illustrations, which literally shine here as the tale hinges on the reflective nature of cats' eyes. One Friday, when the supplies boat from the fishing village brings the keeper's groceries, he finds a cat amid the fish and names him Mackerel. The cat follows him everywhere and Mackerel scans the sea and alerts the keeper when he sees a whale or a boat. When a severe storm blows out the candles on the lighthouse, Mackerel sees a boat in trouble. He caterwauls, bringing 11 cats down the cliff and, wet and howling, they speed to the top of the lighthouse where the moon reflects in their eyes. The keeper sees 24 little lights, which miraculously turn a fishing boat away from the rocks. The amazingly realistic art (especially those gimlet cat eyes) outshines the flowery text. A one-page author's note provides a history of the English lighthouse that stood for 127 years and inspired the story. (short bibliography) (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
KITTYCAT LULLABY by Eileen Spinelli
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

A young kitten is softly serenaded off to sleep in this cozy tale. Playful rhymes highlight a bustling day in the life of a kitten: scampering after mice, stalking through the lawn, and wreaking havoc with its insatiable curiosity. As twilight falls, the sleepy feline clambers into a favored basket and settles in for a peaceful snooze, secure in the fact that the loving narrator will watch over her. Spinelli's (In My New Yellow Shirt, p. 746, etc.) comforting poem gently moves readers from playtime to bedtime. Her rhymes are a beguiling blend of whimsy and wonder; interspersed among wry verses that capture the frisky nature of young felines are simple lines filled with bewitching imagery. "Smile your cozy cat grin / Purr your drowsy purr / Snuggle as the bright moon / Dapples down your fur." Mortimer's gorgeously detailed, life-like watercolors depicting the rambunctious feline will have readers reaching out to stroke the impossibly soft-looking fur. She also adds a dash of sly humor to her illustrations. Throughout the tale, a mouse can be spotted in every spread, with sometimes just a tail or inquisitive ears visible. This game of cat and mouse concludes with the final illustration showing the two blissfully snuggled up together, fast asleep. Warm and inviting: an ideal wind-down tale for bedtime. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
TOSCA'S SURPRISE by Matthew Sturgis
Released: May 1, 1991

In a follow-up to Tosca's Christmas (1989), the plump cat searches everywhere—drawer, hedge, shed—for a quiet spot, at last finding one just right for her kittens. The predictable story makes an adequate vehicle for miniaturist Mortimer's exquisitely detailed glimpses of an English house and garden. The cats are not as lively as Ivory's (above), but wonderfully soft; Mortimer's expressive, perfectly rendered cats' eyes are unsurpassed. Sure appeal. (Picture book. 3-8) Read full book review >

The idea is one that will appeal at the two and three year old level- of what the little cat thinks about the excitements of Christmas, the rattly paper, the tempting ribbons, the irresistible Christmas tree ornaments. Done in lovely pictures by Helen Stone, and a rhythmic, repetitive prose patterned text, which reads aloud beautifully. Read full book review >