Books by Barry Root

DREAM BIG by Deloris Jordan
Released: May 1, 2012

"Not likely to be a life-changing inspiration to any, save diehard Michael Jordan fans. (Picture book/biography. 4-7)"
Michael Jordan's mother returns for another story about her famous son's childhood. Read full book review >
PASSING THE MUSIC DOWN by Sarah Sullivan
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2011

"Sullivan's notes, on Melvin Wine and Jake Krack and the tunes, round out a lovely, resonant offering. (resources) (Picture book. 5-8)"
Sullivan reverently celebrates a musical apprenticeship that spans generations in this poetic narrative based on a real-life relationship and punctuated by the titular phrase. Read full book review >
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE PONY EXPRESS? by Verla Kay
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2010

"Layne Johnson (2010). (Picture book. 4-7)"
In her characteristic stripped-down verse, Kay fashions the attributes and enterprise of the Pony Express, which is celebrating its sesquicentennial. Read full book review >
BAG IN THE WIND by Ted Kooser
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2010

"Wonderful. (author's note about recycling plastic bags) (Picture book. 5-8)"
In his first children's title, former Poet Laureate Kooser follows a plastic grocery bag, "just the color of the skin of a yellow onion," on a skittering journey from landfill to thrift shop. Read full book review >
CHRISTMAS FARM by Mary Lyn Ray
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"Root's illustrations often use a warm gold palette for interior scenes in Wilma's sunny kitchen and outdoors on her farm in summer; winter vistas show deep blue skies with speckles of falling snow, deep green trees and glowing lights from distant farmhouses. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Wilma is a successful gardener who lives happily by herself on a farm in New England. Read full book review >
THE BIRTHDAY TREE by Paul Fleischman
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2008

"This is addressed more to parents than children, but the tree's role adds a touch of magic that may appeal to younger listeners. (Picture book. 7-9, adult)"
A new illustrator gives both color and more variety in the visuals to Fleischman's 1979 tale of a child who leaves but then comes back. Read full book review >
BANJO GRANNY by Sarah Martin Busse
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 13, 2006

"While less imaginative kids will be left wondering why Granny didn't hop a plane or drive her car, most will find her modes of transportation delightful and inspirational. (Picture book. 4-8)"
When Owen's distant Granny hears that he's a baby who goes "wiggly, jiggly, all-around giggly, and tip over tumble for bluegrass music," she just has to pack up her banjo and go dance with him. Read full book review >
TEAMMATES by Tiki Barber
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"A lesson of building self-confidence through steadfast pursuit of a goal that's easy to believe and enjoyable to attain. (Picture book. 6-10)"
Sincerity and veracity are the hallmarks of the Barbers' books. Read full book review >
GAME DAY by Tiki Barber
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"Lots of great football talk and Root's rich colors of amber, green and deep blue bring the field to life. (Picture book. 6-10)"
Kids who have played any sport in a vital but unsung capacity will identify with this second outing from the Barbers, twin professional football players. Read full book review >
BY MY BROTHER’S SIDE by Tiki Barber
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"A great gift for brothers, too. (Picture book. 5-8)"
The Barber twins not only play professional football for the NFL, they're also both great enough to be stars. Read full book review >
GIANT STEPS by Elizabeth Loredo
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

"A cheerful, Bunyanesque episode that, like Loredo's Boogie Bones (1997), begs to be read aloud. (Picture book. 7-9)"
A quintet of infectiously grinning behemoths, a well-delivered punch line, and an unexplained joke left for young readers or listeners to figure out on their own buoy this globe-spanning game of "Giant Steps." Read full book review >
THE CAT WHO LIKED POTATO SOUP by Terry Farish
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2003

"Older readers especially will be pleased and amused by Farish's evocative language as well as the rich array of subtle verbal and visual nuances here. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Root's spare, warm-hued rural scenes perfectly capture the tone of this tender tale about two curmudgeons—a grizzled "ol' Texas boy, country-raised, don't you know," and a cat—sharing one roof. Read full book review >
GUMBRELLA by Barry  Root
by Barry Root, illustrated by Barry Root
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Deadpan expressions and low-key reactions enhance the ambiguity of this veteran illustrator's faintly offbeat solo debut. (Picture book. 6-8)"
The tone is light, the pictures are bright—but there's a hint of Stephen King in this tale of a big sister who loves playing doctor to small injured creatures so much that she won't let them go when they're healed. Read full book review >
CENTRAL PARK SERENADE by Laura Godwin
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2002

"Very inviting. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Catchy couplets and luscious full-bleed illustrations combine in this joyous celebration of a Central Park summer. Read full book review >
MESSENGER, MESSENGER by Robert Burleigh
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2000

"Children will accept and appreciate the rhythm of a life they glimpse every day. (Picture book. 4-7)"
In propulsive rhymed couplets, Burleigh (Hercules, 1999, etc.) tells a day in the life of a bicycle messenger in a city inspired by Chicago. Read full book review >
BRAVE POTATOES by Toby Speed
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2000

"Any way you slice it, this tuberous triumph will have readers rolling in the aisles. (Picture book. 7-9)"
Speed and Root (Two Cool Cows, 1995) pit a platoon of feisty prize spuds against grimacing chef Hackemup in this gleeful culinary contretemps. Read full book review >
NOBODY'S DOG by Charlotte Graeber
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 1998

"Miss Pepper herself is white-haired but wears sneakers, a sensible sun hat, and a fabulous blue-flowered vest. (Picture book. 3-8)"
A small, hand-sized book about a small, lap-sized dog. Read full book review >
THE GIANT CARROT by Jan Peck
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 1, 1998

"A recipe for carrot pudding tops off this frolicsome adaptation of an old tale. (Picture book. 3-8)"
 ``It grew and it grew and it grew'' is a familiar chant among readers who know the classic Russian folktale of the giant turnip. Read full book review >
WHOOSH! WENT THE WISH by Toby Speed
ANIMALS
Released: May 19, 1997

"A small book with a generous heart. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 From the team behind Two Cool Cows (1995) comes the sweet story of Henry, who wants nothing more than a cat for company. Read full book review >
GRANDPA TAKES ME TO THE MOON by Timothy R. Gaffney
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Most readers will appreciate the romance of the lunar landing; adults will have a renewed feeling of affection for those exciting days. (Picture book. 4+)"
 The narrator, a boy (or a short-haired girl), listens to his astronaut-grandfather's bedtime story about his trip to the moon and imagines himself along for the ride. Read full book review >
SOMEPLACE ELSE by Carol P. Saul
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"Endearing, but also remote. (Picture book. 7-9)"
 ``All her life'' Mrs. Tillby has lived in the same country house, wondering what it would be like to live elsewhere. Read full book review >
TWO COOL COWS by Toby Speed
ANIMALS
Released: May 11, 1995

"Accompanied by Root's lissome paintings, Speed reinvents words and manufactures frenzied couplets to introduce readers to a place where a predictably good time will be had by all. (Picture book. 4- 8)"
 Two hip, sunglass-wearing Holsteins borrow some ``new black button-back boots'' and head for a party on the moon. Read full book review >
WAN HU IS IN THE STARS by Jennifer Armstrong
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1995

"The quiet, unforced poetry of this tale teaches a valuable lesson in the power of yearning. (Picture book/folklore. 5+)"
 As in Chin Yu Min and the Ginger Cat (1993), Armstrong uses her knowledge of Chinese lore to create a transcendent fable. Read full book review >
ALVAH AND ARVILLA by Mary Lyn Ray
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Brightly illustrated in watercolors, Ray's (A Rumbly Tumbly Glittery Gritty Place, not reviewed) tale is imaginative and humorous. (Fiction/Picture book. 5-8)"
 For 31 years Arvilla has wanted to see the Pacific Ocean, but her husband Alvah, a practical, 19th-century New England farmer and man of few words, says, ``You can't have a farm and travel.'' So, for 31 years Arvilla and Alvah stay home, until one day Arvilla has an idea: to build a house on wheels, put all their animals in it, and bring the entire farm with them. Read full book review >
OLD DEVIL WIND by Bill Martin
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Root's dark, swirling paintings of the thoroughly haunted house, lit with a ghostly glow, are right in the proper spirit. (Picture book. 3-8)"
 A nicely spooky cumulative Halloween tale that begins: ``One dark and stormy night Ghost floated out of the wall and he began to WAIL. Read full book review >
CHINOOK! by Michael O. Tunnell
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 24, 1993

"Root's sweeping brush strokes, affectionate caricatures, and sly humor are right in the spirit of the entertaining story. (Picture book. 4-9)"
 A children's literature professor, reared in Alberta, makes a fine picture-book debut with some nicely understated tall tales about the warm, dry wind that sweeps down from the Rockies' eastern slopes. Read full book review >
THE SAINT AND THE CIRCUS by Roberto Piumini
FICTION
Released: Oct. 21, 1991

"Root captures this comically vertiginous balancing act with some flair; his designs are imaginative, though their execution is a bit sturdy for the frothy, entertaining story. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 When a sparrow lands on one end of his pole, a tightrope walker pleads, ``Heaven help me!'' Bumbling Saint Tony happens to be on duty in Heaven's emergency room; he sends a second sparrow for the other end of the pole, but the first sparrow flies over to make friends with the second. Read full book review >