Books by Carol Baicker-McKee

Released: Aug. 1, 2009

Granny Smith (get it?) decides to have an apple pie for dinner, but the one ingredient she lacks is—apples! But she does have plums, so off she goes with her basket of plums and trades them in succession for feathers, flowers, a gold coin, a puppy and, finally, the apples. On the way home, she invites her newfound friends to her house and together they make an apple pie for a communal dinner. The good-hearted text, adapted from an English folktale called "The Apple Dumpling," according to the author's note, scans well and will be a welcome addition to a storytime or family read-aloud. Baicker-McKee's bright, mixed-media collages include clay, fabric, pipe cleaners and other items, creating a pleasingly tactile look—a puppy in the cover illustration (set on Granny Smith green) tugs at Granny's apron, rumpling it noticeably. An apple-pie recipe (with homemade crust!) is appended, with instructions for adult assistance. (illustrator's note) (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
MIMI by Carol Baicker-McKee
Released: July 1, 2008

Little Mimi is a charming piglet with two favorite possessions: her bunny toy and her pet roly-poly bug, Frank. Mimi's day includes storytime at the library, playing with her mother at the park and dinner at home with her parents. Shot through the tale is the mild anxiety caused by Frank's disappearance; whenever Mimi remembers him, she looks for him, but he remains missing until she finally settles down for the night after a long bedtime ritual. The author, a child psychologist, shows in subtle ways her understanding of the inner life of the young child. She renders her captivating illustrations in multimedia three-dimensional relief, incorporating fabric, clay and wood, as well as found objects to create an altogether plush world for her stuffed animal-like characters, who display a remarkable range of emotions on their fuzzy faces. A satisfying plot, whimsical illustrations and a beguiling main character add up to a delightful treat that even younger preschoolers will enjoy. Baicker-McKee is an author-illustrator to watch. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
CHEEP! CHEEP! by Julie Stiegemeyer
Released: March 1, 2006

In this take on an elemental topic, the noises from a hatching egg, all alone in a frame on the left, wake three chicks napping on a roost on the facing page. After a bit of confusion, they hop down to welcome the new addition to the family. The frames change from nighttime stars to feathers to little hearts to match the action or mood, but the art is extremely simple while being exactly right. Digitally assembled from puffy terrycloth bodies, googly eyes and the odd feather or two, the chickies are cuteness in action in each scene as they wake up, figure out what's happening and then snuggle up to their hatchling sibling—all to monosyllabic rhymed exclamations: "eep!" "leap!" "heap!" and finally "sleep? sleep / sleep / sleep / sleep." Not exactly cheap, nor deep—but one to keep. (Picture book. 2-4)Read full book review >