Books by Barbara Upton

THE GUNNIWOLF by Wilhelmina Harper
adapted by Wilhelmina Harper, illustrated by Barbara Upton
Released: June 1, 2003

Harper's multicultural rendition of this nonviolent Red Riding Hood variant edges back into print with a lengthy preface and new illustrations that freshen its idyllic, woodsy setting. References to "jungle" in the text notwithstanding, the barefoot, apple-cheeked Little Girl ventures into airy, open woods near her log cabin to pick daisies and daylilies, encounters the Gunniwolf—depicted as a neatly kept red wolf who projects doggy friendliness despite his size—and repeatedly has to sing him to sleep with her "guten, sweeten song" to make an escape. Storytellers may still prefer Antoinette Delaney's Gunnywolf (1988), in which the alphabet song replaces Little Girl's "Kim-kwa, khi-wa," but Upton's bright colors and cleanly drawn figures are likely to have more visual appeal to children than William Wiesner's more subdued art in the better-known 1967 edition. (Picture book/folktale. 5-7)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1998

This well-crafted poem from Hippely, about responsibility and daring in the teeth of a storm, has some of its power diluted by overly tame artwork. As a boy and his teddy, Beary, snuggle in for the night, a great blow commences. The bear hears a call of distress, so they get up and row their dinghy out to Klickitat Island, where they find a bedraggled lot of animals suffering from the storm's rain and chill. The boy rallies the despondent otters, deer, rabbits, and foxes ("We've brought you our blankie—/we'll share it with you;/it helps us feel brave/and will help you all, too") to build a shelter in which to hunker down and wait out the storm. When the weather breaks that night, the boy and teddy head back to the boat and home, where they promise themselves to go back to Klickitat the next dark, stormy night. The musicality of the poem and its understated virtuousness overcome any visual inconsistencies with a dynamism and gallantry all its own. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >