Books by Barry Blitt

BLITT by Barry Blitt
Kirkus Star
by Barry Blitt, illustrated by Barry Blitt
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 24, 2017

"A treasure trove for fans of the New Yorker, political satire, and graphic design."
Indelible images from one of America's leading political cartoonists. Read full book review >
YOU NEVER HEARD OF CASEY STENGEL?! by Jonah Winter
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 8, 2016

"A charming, endearing introduction to a baseball icon. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)"
Casey Stengel was a baseball phenomenon and a genuine eccentric. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 6, 2015

"Wonderful for future constitutional scholars and other curious young readers. (Nonfiction. 8-13)"
Fourteen of the men who somehow separated from one country and cobbled together a new one despite their differences are presented in a lively celebration of politics and personalities. Read full book review >
WHILE YOU WERE NAPPING by Jenny Offill
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"Beware the power of older siblings! (Picture book. 5-8)"
A wickedly naughty big sister recounts all the fun her brother misses while he's napping. Read full book review >
GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY by Margaret McNamara
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 10, 2012

"Overall the connection between the boy and the future general and president is labored and tenuous, and it may well baffle young readers unfamiliar with most of those stories. (Picture book. 7-10) "
This potentially amusing blend of story and historical fact feels a bit strained. Read full book review >
THE ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN BY HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Robert Burleigh
BIOGRAPHY
Released: March 8, 2011

"Sam was born excited. He did stuff. He tramped and skylarked and poked his shovel into whatever tripped his fancy." If that sounds like how the fictional character Huckleberry Finn would describe his creator, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), then author Burleigh has at least nailed Huck-speak in this unorthodox picture-book biography for older Twainophiles. The "editors' " "Warning to the Reader" about the impending "ain'ts" and potentially confusing folksy expressions only calls attention to the dicey premise and begs the question, "Who is this for?" That said, Blitt's lovely, lively pen, ink and watercolors inventively illustrate Huck's affectionate, time-traveling, tour guide's view of Twain's life. A giant-headed Huck looks through a window, Ghost of Christmas Past-style, examining 11-year-old Sam, who's gazing forlornly at a picture of his late Pap, for instance. Huck journeys from Twain's Mississippi-loving, school-phobic boyhood years to his steamboat days to his "honest-to-goodness writer" career, to his family life, through hard times when he was "dead-for-earnest broke," to his death. At the end is another "editor's" note and timeline: "Since Mr. Finn's manuscript contains no dates and leaves out some important details." Huck says this "ain't intendin' to be some windy bioografy," and it isn't. It's a breezy homage to Twain's life and literary world that will please some, aggravate some and utterly baffle others. (Picture book/biography. 10 & up)Read full book review >
WHAT’S THE WEATHER INSIDE?  by Karma Wilson
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 10, 2009

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, / don't be a dope. / Cut off your hair / and make your own rope." These witty words are representative of the poems assembled in this clever, if not exceptional, collection. While the majority of the entries skew toward silly, some are more reflective. "The Simple Things," for instance, begins: "If you've ever hiked for miles on end / on a trail that twists and climbs and bends / and you finally stop to take a rest— / well, that's when simple things are best." Blitt's cartoon illustrations, done in pen, ink and watercolor, often extend the poems in creative ways. For instance, the cartoon accompanying "Please Peel My Peach"—which reads: "Fuzzy fruit I think is best / when fruit is more / and fuzz is less"—depicts a determined boy with a razor held to a lathered-up peach. Not an essential purchase, but the short, often-funny poems may draw in those who don't typically seek out poetry. (Poetry. 6-10)Read full book review >
THE 39 APARTMENTS OF LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN by Jonah Winter
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2006

Those appreciative of Beethoven's work can now commiserate with the difficulties of owning five legless pianos and having to move in and out of 39 apartments all because of rude neighbors who couldn't tell a good note from a toneless bang. From this proven fact, Winter has crafted an entertaining tale that is less biography than fascinating sidebar. Children with no knowledge of Beethoven will laugh at the increasingly elaborate and far-fetched schemes to move his pianos, while perhaps gaining a rudimentary knowledge of physics. There's also a tongue-in-cheek observance of the need to separate fact from fiction while examining the historical record. Do those water stains really "reveal that he then dumped another bowl of water on his head?" Blitt's watercolors deftly capture Beethoven-era Vienna and his increasing frenzy brought on by deafness. Through it all, Beethoven looms larger than life, as well he should. A previously missing manuscript provides elegant endpapers. A handsome and engaging tale. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
ONCE UPON A TIME, THE END by Geoffrey Kloske
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

A very quick retelling of many nursery classics is the result when a tired father attempts to get his child to sleep faster by skipping a few words here and there. The Three Little Pigs suddenly become just two, while Little Red Riding Hood becomes a staccato poem: "Small girl / Red hood / Big wolf / In the woods." Hints from father to child abound, until most of the endings turn out to be slumber-related: "Is there a pea under your bed? Then what's your excuse? Go to bed." Making no headway, he shortens even further and steps up the hints—the old lady in the shoe sold her kids to the zoo when they wouldn't go to bed. Meanwhile, Blitt's illustrations must keep up with the furious pace. His simple watercolors in subdued colors manage to pack a lot of plot into a small space without seeming too busy. Readers leave the duo face down on the bed making Zzzz's, while books with their pages cut in half litter the room. Plenty of laughs for all those children who beg for "just one more story" before bed—and a great chuckle for their parents. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >