Books by April Halprin Wayland

MORE THAN ENOUGH by April Halprin Wayland
Released: March 15, 2016

"A delightful, modern take on an ancient tradition. (glossary, author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)"
A modern family enjoys every part of the Passover festival. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2009

A common practice for many Jews at the time of the New Year is to perform the very public ceremony of Tashlich, or "casting off" of sins, with a symbolic throwing of bread crumbs into a body of water (stream, river, etc.). Izzy is eager to think about his sins of the past year and makes a picture list of three of them in preparation for his afternoon participation. But one sin, that of revealing the embarrassing secret of best friend Ben, is a huge concern for Izzy, and he wishes he could ignore or forget it. Jorisch's watercolor-and-gouache paintings outlined in pen and ink offer a modern, cheerful view of a community sharing a particular ritual in the course of this significant holiday balanced against a child's dilemma with how to do the right thing. Izzy's personal reflections and direct approach to apology and reconciliation set a plausible example of how failings and friendships can be improved through thoughtful behavior. A well-crafted introduction to an alternative aspect of the holiday with room for discussion. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 13, 2002

This utterly fresh and winning collection of verse is in the voice of an unnamed teenager, whom readers will come to know really well through her introspective and spot-on observations. During the course of a school year in California that is divided into sections (Autumn, Winter, Spring), she welcomes back her best friend Leslie and then has a fight with her, plays Mozart duets on her violin with Yen-Mei, and learns about kissing with Carlo. She is a writer, and she works at it, and she's dazzled when her teacher, in his honey-sweet Tennessee accent, suggests she's good enough to be published in "Faan Powms." She tries out for drama club, hangs out with her Great Aunt Ida, and ruefully examines her pull-and-tug relationship with an older sister. Employing many forms of verse, some rhymed, some not, she even writes a sonnet; all of them are accessible and exquisitely crafted. "Rehearsal" says in its entirety: "This music is so / amazing, it builds a nest / of tears in my throat." She notes wryly when an annoying boy stops hanging around her "And lately I have missed / being annoyed." Clayton's (Three Rotten Eggs, p. 339, etc.) illustrations, a mix of collage and sketches, hint at each subject often in amusing or wry corollaries. The narrator says a great deal about writing: "I want to / make something / beautiful. / Peaches. / If I could / make peaches—grow them / from my pen . . . " She gets her wish. (author's note) (Poetry. 11-14)Read full book review >
IT'S NOT MY TURN TO LOOK FOR GRANDMA! by April Halprin Wayland
Released: June 1, 1995

This down-home tale of the oddball antics of a granny is a perfect fit for Booth's distinctive illustrations. Ma's hard at work, so she keeps sending one of the kids off to fetch Grandma. But Grandma is always up to something eccentric, soaking her foot in the stew pot on the stove, painting the kids' coats bright colors, sliding down the haystack with her many animal pals. She's too busy to help, until Ma asks that she play her banjo. That Grandma will do, and the evening comes to a close with a banjo-picking, sing-along hoedown. Wayland (To Rabbittown, 1989) kindly includes music and words to the tune, so readers can sing, too). Booth tones his people down a notch, though Ma's hitched-up elbows and Grandma's clodhopper shoes convey character with a minimum of detail. The animals, though, make the book, and as Grandma's menagerie includes porcupines, ducks, cats, dogs, and raccoons, there's ample opportunity for goofy cartooning. A brand new hill tale with so much pep readers will swear it's been handed down for generations. Read it out loud. (Picture book. 5-7) Read full book review >