Books by Charise Myngheer

MAX’S MAGIC SEEDS by Géraldine Elschner
Released: June 1, 2007

A special gift makes a boy a local celebrity. In his small French village, young Max waits anxiously for his favorite uncle, Bill, to arrive for Max's birthday party. Bill, a botanist by trade, pulls up in his big yellow bus and, after a hug, gives Max a big bag of various flower seeds to scatter. Max starts the next morning, and spends nearly a week tossing seeds all around the cobbled streets and sidewalks. Nothing happens right away; Max begins to give up hope, but then . . . stems and buds and finally flowers bloom all around. The village is transformed into a riot of color and a mélange of lovely aromas. Max becomes a hero, receiving a citation from the mayor. Corderoch's elaborate watercolor illustrations greatly enhance Elschner's straightforward tale, whose prose might be out of reach for younger readers. (Picture book. 6-9)Read full book review >
MARK’S MESSY ROOM by Géraldine Elschner
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Carlo, the marmalade tabby cat, is tired of living in Mark's overly messy room and strikes out on his own. At first, it's nice to be free, but soon he decides he needs a warm place to sleep. The first bright window lands him in a clean bathroom, where he's discovered the next morning by Lisa and her Aunt Rose. Carlo suddenly has treats, a comfy bed and plenty of space, but he misses Mark. Meanwhile, Mark is missing Carlo, and he decides to clean his room. When Carlo returns to Mark's, Lisa follows and the three have a ball making a mess, which they know they'll clean up together. Junge's bright, cartoon illustrations are expressive and full of details that amplify the text (note the little boots and sweater that Carlo wears at Aunt Rose's). While the story is a bit forced, the illustrations add what's needed to lighten the feeling of it being a lesson in tidiness—and Carlo does have a winning smile. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2006

In the hands of a more competent translator, this beautifully illustrated book might have been a winner. Chloe arrives at her lesson barn the morning of a horse show to find she's been assigned to ride Niki, the most stubborn pony there. Chloe despairs, until her Uncle arrives with the "magic riding baton." Thus armed, Chloe succeeds beyond her dreams, until—you knew this was coming, didn't you?—she loses the baton, and must discover that her success comes from inside. Okay, we've heard the plot before—but never quite so awkwardly. Americans call a "baton" a "crop" or a "whip"; readers may think Chloe's about to start twirling. It's "rein," not "reign." The stilted words detract from the absolutely stunning watercolors, which capture movement and energy and joy, and show perfectly every detail of the world of riding. "Better luck next time." (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

This companion tale to the team's What Does My Teddy Bear Do All Day? (2004) offers toddlers a peek at the nighttime antics of their favorite stuffed animals. Like his human companion, teddy bear has a difficult time getting to sleep. Together child and bear engage in covert excursions through the house, last minute runs to the potty and rowdy jumping sessions on the bed before feigning sleep when mom returns to the room. As the girl drifts off to sleep, she contemplates what her bear does during the evening hours. She considers elaborate scenarios involving midnight baths, valiant battles with creepy shadows and devoted watchfulness. When morning comes, the child knows she must repay the same faithful care of her now-slumbering bear. Hächler's fanciful tale strikes the right balance of sweetness and silliness. Müller uses blurred lines, and darkening hues in her engaging illustrations effectively convey the muted quality of twilight. The inclusion of an energetic mouse pair in nearly every illustration adds a touch of whimsy to the pictures. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
MIKO by Brigitte Weninger
Released: March 1, 2005

Reluctant to give up his nearly perfect day, a young mouse refuses his mother's insistence that it's bath time. Pried from his hiding place by the offer of cinnamon toast, Miko explains the significance of the sparkly dust, smudged paint and a splatter of ice cream that decorate his whiskers and paws. His mother allows his to sleep in his dirty state, but an uncomfortable floor and itchy skin propel him to the bath, where he realizes that each day holds new possibilities and potential. Bright illustrations of the earnest mouse and his understanding mother offer a warm accompaniment to the smart lessons. Patience prevails in another Miko adventure, Mom, Wake Up and Play (ISBN: 0-698-40012-7), as Miko's mother requests a few more minutes of sleep before playing. Miko's independence, creativity and kind heart are sure to turn these adventures into new favorites. Kind and smart. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

While holding her teddy bear aloft, one pig-tailed girl ponders, "I wonder what he does all day when I am off at school." In order to find out, she stays home and spies on him, emphatically stating the book's refrain: "You wait. I'm gonna catch you!" She pretends her eyes are closed and watches him. She sits on a tree outside and peers in through her window. She hides behind the door, but no matter what she tries, she can't catch the bear in action. What she doesn't know, but the illustrations show, is that because she's so busy watching teddy, she's missing what the other toys are doing. A pair of stuffed mice plays instruments, and a rag doll moves about quite freely. Finally the youngster tempts the bear with his favorite food. Does it work? Well, sort of. The radiant art bursts with colors like cherry red, periwinkle blue, and sunshine yellow. This will tickle the imagination of any youngster who's ever wondered what toys are up to when unobserved. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >