Books by Carol Schwartz

Released: Jan. 31, 2017

"A lovely literary and artistic rendering. (Picture book. 4-6)"
This action-filled cumulative rhyme deftly tells the story of a vibrant summer garden. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

The organizing principle of this unusual counting book is the mathematical Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.), which, when plotted on a graph, forms an "equiangular spiral"—a curve frequently found in nature. Thus, one animal with a Fibonacci spiral (walrus tusk) leads to another (elephant tusk), accumulating according to the pattern. Two parrots' beaks, three crocodiles' teeth and five raptors' talons progress to 55 ibises' bills and 89 spiraled seashells. Schwartz's finely detailed illustrations depict the easily counted animals in their habitats, panels at the leading edge of each spread featuring dots and equations that illustrate where readers are in the sequence. Hulme's simplistic verse is disappointingly out of sync with the complexity of the mathematical and zoological concepts here, however; the reader must sludge through a densely packed double-page spread of explanation before launching into the main narrative in order to begin to grasp what is going on. Older readers will rankle at the delivery, and younger readers will miss the point completely. It's an entirely novel way to present a very tricky idea, but it just doesn't add up quite right. (Picture book. 7+)Read full book review >
WINTER VISITORS by Elizabeth Lee O'Donnell
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

A treacly counting book in forced rhyme. A small girl and her cat go out to find woodland animals, returning home just in time to see ``Ten wild turkeys are gobbling through our door!/Nine feisty chickadees splutter from the floor,'' and so on. Last to come into the kitchen is a skunk, who sprays the cat, the child, and the wild animals, causing a hubbub, and providing the opportunity to reverse the countdown of animals with more limping rhymes. The marginal story makes clear its author has probably never been skunked, for the girl is serene only moments after the spray; the wild animals are greeting-card cuddly, poorly proportioned, and awkwardly posed. (Picture book. 3-6) Read full book review >
ANIMALS IN THE SNOW by Margaret Wise Brown
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

Another never-published manuscript from Brown (The Diggers, p. 464), who seems to be experiencing a minor renaissance. The patterns often found in her work are here: simple story line, restrained text, pleasing repetition. Five animals—a squirrel, a bird, a bunny, a cat, and a dog—are joined by a boy and a girl as they welcome and revel in a late winter snowfall. When the sun melts the snow, they celebrate spring in the discovery of a single snowdrop in bloom. Schwartz's sweetly rendered gouache paintings add to the old-fashioned style of the piece. (Picture book. 2-5) Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1993

This intriguing sampling of insects has several things going for it: crisp, bright illustrations rendered in accurate detail that makes spotting the specimens pointed out in the text especially satisfying; an easy conversational style describing some of their most interesting, or visible, characteristics; additional facts that make species memorable and pique continuing interest. Ladybugs, monarch butterflies, dragonflies, aphids, and more are featured, with occasional strays wandering from spread to spread. Oddly, there's no definition of ``insect,'' and the page that challenges readers to sort yellow jackets from bees offers too few clues for differentiating between them. The 13 species are shown in silhouette on the last page—captioned, to scale, and with size variations noted. An attractive and effective introduction to insect identification. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 14, 1992

From the late poet, an unrhymed alphabet in which every line suggests the drowsy time before dreamland: ``Jugglers have put aside their jiggling, jouncing balls'' or ``Waves wash over the shore with a hush, shush, shhh....Xebecs are slowly sailing in the Mediterranean mist.'' The subjects aren't exceptional, but Schwartz depicts them with precision and affection, including a gently rounded capital letter in each carefully structured illustration. Not a standout, but attractive and usable. (Picture book. 2-7) Read full book review >