Books by Brian Floca

ELIZABETH, QUEEN OF THE SEAS by Lynne Cox
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 13, 2014

"A lovely if incomplete story of animals and humans living together. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)"
Can you imagine living in a city with an enormous elephant seal in residence? Read full book review >
LOCOMOTIVE by Brian Floca
Released: Sept. 3, 2013

"Nothing short of spectacular, just like the journey it describes. (Informational picture book. 4-10)"
Floca took readers to the moon with the Apollo 11 mission in Moonshot (2009); now he takes them across the country on an equally historic journey of 100 years earlier. Read full book review >
MARTY MCGUIRE DIGS WORMS! by Kate Messner
Released: April 1, 2012

"A quick, amusing read with an easily digestible environmental message; it is a perfect match for its young intended audience. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Third-grader Marty and her classmates are given a challenge by a visiting environmentalist: to develop Earth-friendly projects that she will then judge. Read full book review >
BALLET FOR MARTHA by Jan Greenberg
FICTION
Released: Aug. 3, 2010

"Archival photographs embellish the biographical notes at the end—a lovely touch. (bibliography, notes) (Informational picture book. 6-10)"
Appalachian Spring, the modern dance that celebrates the wedding of a Pioneer Woman and her Husbandman, is a brillantly conceived and enduring paean to American frontier life. Read full book review >
THE TRUE GIFT by Patricia MacLachlan
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 6, 2009

"Floca's delicate, full-page pencil illustrations complement the text with understated emotion. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Newbery Medalist MacLachlan offers a quietly moving Christmas story that illustrates the power of children to change their world. Read full book review >
POPPY AND ERETH by Avi
by Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2009

"There's life in the old series yet. (Fantasy. 10-12)"
Avi bills this as the final episode in the series and burns down Dimwood Forest to underscore the claim—but since all but one of the characters survive at the end, there's no reason to believe him. Read full book review >
MOONSHOT by Brian Floca
HISTORY
Released: April 7, 2009

"Breathtaking, thrilling and perfect. (Informational picture book. 7-12)"
A dizzying, masterful command of visual pacing combines with an acute sense of verbal rhythms to provide a glorious account of the Apollo 11 mission, one that stands as the must-buy in this crowded lunar season. Read full book review >
THE HINKY PINK by Megan McDonald
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 16, 2008

"Fairy-tale enthusiasts will delight in this fanciful story. (Fiction. 5-8)"
Extraordinary seamstress Anabel wants to work for a true princess, one with beautiful features and a name ending in "ella." Read full book review >
LIGHTSHIP by Brian Floca
THINGS THAT GO
Released: March 6, 2007

"Together, the pictures and the brief, measured text lend these utilitarian, no-longer-active vessels a heroic aspect that will resonate with all young fans of ships and the sea. (afterword) (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-7)"
Floca creates both suspense and poetry in this tribute to the anchored lightships that once warned ships away from hazards on the North American coast. Read full book review >
FROM SLAVE TO SOLDIER by Deborah Hopkinson
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"Young Civil War buffs will welcome something they can read themselves. (Nonfiction. 5-8)"
Johnny loves his Uncle Silas, his mule Nell and the cows he herds back and forth each day. Read full book review >
POPPY’S RETURN by Avi
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

"Well, it's a worthy thought, and, well supplied with Floca's ground-level vignettes, agreeably presented. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Avi's intrepid deer mouse sets out for a visit home in this fifth Dimwood Forest adventure, taking along her mutinously adolescent son Ragweed Junior in hopes of promoting some bonding. Read full book review >
BARTLEBY OF THE BIG BAD BAYOU by Phyllis Shalant
Released: July 1, 2005

"Floca's lush black-and-white drawings introduce each section and a map that illustrates the neighborhood. (Fiction. 8-11)"
Tiny but tough, Bartleby the red-eared turtle is back. Read full book review >
BILLY AND THE REBEL by Deborah Hopkinson
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2005

"The theme of friendship across lines of antagonism will kindle deep responses in more than just students of the Civil War. (map) (Easy reader. 7-9)"
In this upper-level Easy Reader, a young Confederate deserter repays with a courageous act the Gettysburg family that shelters him. Read full book review >
UNCLES AND ANTLERS by Lisa Wheeler
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Who wouldn't want to ride along? (Picture book. 5-7)"
The best answer yet to that perennial question: what do Santa's reindeer do during the off season? Read full book review >
THE RACECAR ALPHABET by Brian Floca
ABC BOOKS
Released: Nov. 1, 2003

"Hold on to your hats! (Picture book. 3-7)"
On the title spread, a 1901 Ford bears down on the reader, its determined driver bent on speed—the first of many to come. Read full book review >
THE MAYOR OF CENTRAL PARK by Avi
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Avi can do better than this predictable plot, and despite his habit of calling park residents "voters," and Floca's natty Wind in the Willows–type animal figures, any satiric or metaphorical subtext is buried beyond recovery. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Central Park's furred and feathered residents face an incursion of gangster rats in this turn-of-the-20th-century tale of baseball, interspecies romance, and ingenuousness triumphant. Read full book review >
ERETH’S BIRTHDAY by Avi
ANIMALS
Released: May 31, 2000

"Like Eeyore (with a temper), Ereth will be a source of amusement for his dark moods and gloomy outlook. (Fiction. 10-12)"
The gruff but good-hearted porcupine of Avi's Poppy tales gets an adventure of his own, along with plenty of opportunities to fulminate. Read full book review >
DINOSAURS AT THE ENDS OF THE EARTH by Brian Floca
BIOGRAPHY
Released: March 1, 2000

"Difficult to place, since it is cataloged in nonfiction, but is filled with fiction, this will appeal to dinosaur fans willing to accept made-up conversations because the story is a compelling one. (Nonfiction. 10-12)"
In 1922 Roy Chapman Andrews, noted dinosaur hunter from the Museum of Natural History, and a team of fossil hunters; set off for Outer Mongolia to discover evidence of human origin in Asia. Read full book review >
FIVE TRUCKS by Brian Floca
Released: April 1, 1999

"Given preschoolers' well-documented fascination with heavy machinery, this book will strike a chord with young air travelers, and answer the questions of older travelers as well. (Picture book. 6-10)"
Floca (The Frightful Story of Harry Walfish, 1997, etc.) offers a great explication of the small trucks that airline passengers see scurrying around jets on the runways. Read full book review >
POPPY AND RYE by Avi
by Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 1998

"Readers may wonder who to root for in this disappointing follow-up to one of the best animal stories in years. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Still grieving over the loss of her beau Ragweed of Poppy (1995), the intrepid deer mouse decides to bring the sad news to his family in this uneven, heavy-handed sequel. Read full book review >
COUNTING FEATHERS by Al Simmons
POETRY
Released: Oct. 23, 1997

"Posters in the boy's room, showing his range of interests from Stonehenge to icebergs, convey the character in more concise and interesting terms than those found in text. (Picture book. 5-7)"
 A boy describes his collection of feathers to an inexplicably engrossed girl. Read full book review >
THE FRIGHTFUL STORY OF HARRY WALFISH by Brian Floca
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1997

"Xiphorhynchus erythropygius, I believe,'' notes Ms. Leonard-Brakthurst) to a pygmy marmoset (Callithrix pygmaea), while his crisp, animated watercolors add to the fun. (Picture book. 5-9)"
 For his first solo outing, Floca (illustrator of Avi's Poppy, 1995) has created a whopper that operates on a number of levels: as a zoological exploration, as a wry cautionary tale, and as a story of just deserts. Read full book review >
JENIUS by Dick King-Smith
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"532, etc.) is not up to his best. (Fiction. 7-9)"
In a book subtitled "The Amazing Guinea Pig," Judy is determined to show everyone that guinea pigs aren't lacking in brain power. Read full book review >
POPPY by Avi
by Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"776, etc.). (Fiction. 9-11)"
An adolescent mouse named Poppy is off on a romantic tryst with her rebel boyfriend when they are attacked by Mr. Ocax, the owl who rules over the area. Read full book review >
CITY OF LIGHT, CITY OF DARK by Avi
FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"A bold venture that will probably entertain the young more than their elders. (Fiction. 10+)"
Complications abound in a graphic novel related in brief narrative boxes plus dialogue (some of it in both Spanish and English) in hundreds of b&w comic-book frames. Read full book review >