Books by Charlotte Zolotow

SAY IT! by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Zolotow's text was first published in 1980, but it still resonates with today's parents and children, particularly as imagined by Voake. (Picture book. 3-5)"
As a mother and daughter enjoy "a golden, windy autumn day," the daughter urges her mother to "say it." Read full book review >
CHANGES by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: April 1, 2015

"Though touted as a child's 'first' poetry collection, Zolotow's heartwarming seasonal verse charms all ages. (Picture book/poetry. 4 & up)"
A newly gathered collection of timeless seasonal poems originally published in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, with all-new illustrations. Read full book review >
A FATHER LIKE THAT by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: May 1, 2007

"Warm and tender. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A fatherless boy tells his mom of the father he imagines. Read full book review >
IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"Aside from one scene of the narrator with a portable music player, the visual details are as timeless as both the nonsexist text and the sibling resentment. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Originally published in 1966 with illustrations by Ben Shecter, this new edition changes the sex of the children in the pictures (and gets them out of cowboy and Indian outfits), but preserves the original text. Read full book review >
A TIGER CALLED THOMAS by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"A heartening episode to share with any shy newcomer. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Now reissued with its third set of illustrations, this 1963 text of Zolotow's remains timeless—not least because the people in it, uncharacteristically, are named rather than generic. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"Heartwarming, but not really worth still another retread. (Picture book. 5-7)"
A barky little dog suddenly clams up when all of her human family except the father goes out for the day. Read full book review >
SEASONS by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: March 1, 2002

"A small delight. (Poetry. 6-9)"
Two venerable contributors have teamed up to make a small collection of poetry for beginning readers. Read full book review >
SLEEPY BOOK by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"Better than a hot toddy, or even a cup of chamomile tea. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Bringing down eyelids for more than 40 years, Zolotow's sleepytime classic is decked out in its third set of illustrations for this reissue. Read full book review >
DO YOU KNOW WHAT I’LL DO? by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Sept. 30, 2000

"And it ends, properly, with a hug. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A big sister lovingly promises to bring her little brother flowers when flowers grow again, a shell to hold the sound of the sea, a bottle of captured wind to open on a hot day, and other treasures, some more emotional than concrete as in, "I'll remember my dreams and tell them to you." Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1999

"Nevertheless, the quiet story endures, as does its message. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Nascimbene tackles Zolotow's 1972 story, providing delicate pen-and-watercolor illustrations in pale blue and tan. Mr. Crockett, described by the neighbors as "a peculiar man," buys the long empty brownstone, and sets about washing windows and fixing it up. Read full book review >
SOME THINGS GO TOGETHER by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: March 31, 1999

"The original was grand, but here's a chance to replace those lost and worn copies. (Picture book. 2-6)"
The cozy, 30-year-old title gets bright new illustrations from Wolff and is primed for a new generation of children. Read full book review >
WAKE UP AND GOODNIGHT by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Feb. 28, 1998

"A pleasing edition: The book's rotations mimic those of day and night in a way that toddlers will comprehend. (Picture book. 1-6)"
In another recycling of Zolotow's past works (see review, above), this new version of a 1971 title that was illustrated by Leonard Weisgard takes a circular approach. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"The text overcomes any small flaws with its mood, and its appeal to the sensibilities of a tender age. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A rite of spring is glorified again in a newly illustrated edition of an old-fashioned, childlike book that was first published in 1959. Read full book review >
WHO IS BEN? by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: May 11, 1997

"In the same way that the text anchors larger issues to a child's musings, the illustrations secure the universe-sized 'big picture' to a boy's snug bedroom. (Picture book. 5-9)"
From the moment readers see Ben peering at them from the title page of this philosophical investigation, they'll know they're in for a new treat from Zolotow (When the Wind Stops, 1995, etc.). Read full book review >
WHEN THE WIND STOPS by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: May 30, 1995

"A fine, seamless new match of text and art. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A shortened, reillustrated version of a classic picture book (originally illustrated by Howard Knotts, 1975): A child asks "Why does the day have to end?" Read full book review >
PETER AND THE PIGEONS by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"Not to be mistaken for a primer on prejudice (Peter is tolerant of the other animals; he just prefers pigeons): a pleasant outing of familiar proportions, just child-sized. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Peter loves everything about pigeons. Read full book review >
THE MOON WAS THE BEST by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: May 27, 1993

"A charming collaboration. (Picture book. 3+)"
A love letter to (and from) Paris, introduced by a child's request to her mother, who's going there: "Remember...the things I'd like." Read full book review >
THE SEASHORE BOOK by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: May 30, 1992

"A graceful, handsomely produced tribute to a favorite childhood experience. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Responding to her son's questions, a mother describes the sea he has never seen—what it's like to run in the surf in the early morning mist, marvel at the "smooth, pearly pink" of a shell, observe the sea birds, or feel the sun's warmth and the waves' chill. Read full book review >
THIS QUIET LADY by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: May 26, 1992

"A familiar theme; a lovely book, powerful in its simplicity. (Picture book. 3-8)"
A little girl, pictured looking at family albums and portraits in the small illustrations in subdued colors on the text pages here, describes the vibrant full-page paintings opposite: "This baby smiling in her my mother"; "This young lady laughing with those boys is my mother"; "This quiet lady, lovely and my mother...And here is where I begin." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1986

"A worthwhile collection."
A companion piece to An Overpraised Season: Ten Stories of Youth. Read full book review >
I KNOW A LADY by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Sept. 1, 1984

"Imperishable loveliness."
A lean, resonant Zolotow text expands, in Stevenson's free, expressive watercolor drawings, into a celebration of old-people-hood and the generation jump. Read full book review >
SUMMER IS ... by Ruth Lercher Bornstein
Released: March 1, 1983

"The text is observant; the illustrations are sweet-dream-y and muzzy."
First published in 1967, Zolotow's spare evocation of the seasons—"Summer is whirring lawn mowers. . . Read full book review >
THE SONG by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: April 1, 1982

"It's a safe bet, too, that they'll remember Tufari's decorative patterns and embellishments as what the song was all about."
The difference pictures of a certain kind make to a text is graphically demonstrated here. Read full book review >
SAY IT! by James Stevenson
illustrated by James Stevenson, by Charlotte Zolotow, edited by ALC Staff
Released: Oct. 20, 1981

"Tender or mushy depending on the beholder, this latest of Zolotow's sweet nothings is balanced by Stevenson's pictures, which make the scenes bracingly splendiferous rather than soft-focus soggy."
"Say it! Say it!" cries the little girl as she and her mother take a walk through the autumn leaves. Read full book review >
FLOCKS OF BIRDS by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Sept. 1, 1981

"But it's an uninflected, almost unindividuated reverie from end to end."
First published in 1965 with illustrations by Joan Berg, this was characterized by Kirkus originally as "another evocative story for the inert"; and there is no reason to alter that judgment now. Read full book review >
THE NEW FRIEND by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: March 4, 1981

"McCully's drawings make the friends and their activities appealing, but the story, first published with different illustrations in 1968, remains cloyingly 'sensitive' and, as our 1968 review noted, lugubrious and misdirected as well. (And when was the last time one kid called another a 'dear friend?')"
"I had a friend/ a dear friend/ with long brown hair," Zolotow begins, and then proceeds to describe their idyllic times, picking wildflowers in the woods and so on. Read full book review >
ONE STEP TWO... by Cindy Wheeler
Released: March 1, 1981

"It's still endearing, but not fulfilling."
Charlotte Zolotow's 1955 evocation of a two-year-old's simple, momentous discoveries during a walk to the end of the block has been slightly updated—the milkmanand-horse is replaced by a garbage truck, the hurdy-gurdy man gives way to a closer look at some daffodils-and completely redesigned and illustrated. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 20, 1980

"Accompanying the pretty, fuzzy sentiment are pretty, fuzzy pictures."
SOMEONE NEW by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: March 1, 1978

"And I—I am someone new') seems too quick and pat for the occasion (though it's par for the genre), perhaps the problem is that the featured experience is just a few years beyond the grasp of a picture-book audience."
Zolotow tries to capture and distill a certain point in the growing-up process when a boy becomes discontented with last year's wallpaper choice, looks around at his toys and games and stuffed animals and decides to pack them away, and realizes that he's more interested now in books and shells. Read full book review >
IT'S NOT FAIR by William Pene du Bois
Released: Sept. 1, 1976

Though characteristically faithful, this is one of the less resonant of the author's emotional sounding boards. Read full book review >
MAY I VISIT by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: March 1, 1976

"Zolotow's framework here even flimsier than usual."
The latest of Zolotow's tender, plotless reassurances has a little girl, after her married sister's visit, asking her mother if she, too, might come back to visit when she grows up—if she doesn't spill talcum on the bathroom floor, drop crumbs on the carpet, knock over the plant, and do all the other careless things that Erik Blegvad shows her doing as a child. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1975

"William Pene du Bois provides a semblance of action by equipping the two stylishly pants-suited little girls with two equally stylish dogs on leashes who pull and tug their mistresses every which way throughout the exchange — but this remains an undisguised if smartly dressed up object lesson."
This is an argument between Judy, one of those sunny types with lots of friends who has nothing but good to say about anyone, and Bertha, who thinks she is Judy's best friend and doesn't want Judy to play with the others. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1974

"Ben Shecter's soft charcoal drawings with pink and blue washes bring out the Zolotov gentleness, the warmth of the relationship, and the quiet nighttime cast of the adventure."
Published in 1958 as The Night Mother Was Away and reissued with new pictures and a vaguer title that suits it to today's demand for material on flexible sex roles or even atypical families (for all we know now Mother is away for more than a night), this begins and ends with a little girl's father putting her to bed. Read full book review >
MY GRANDSON LEW by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: March 1, 1974

"The warm, shimmering pictures will no doubt help to make this as popular as Zolotow's other tender memories, though personally we could do without those 'eye hugs' particularly since William Pene Du Bogs makes them look like maniacal gleams from some bearded, white robed ghost."
Though he was only two when Grandpa died, Lewis at six suddenly remembers him, and calls his mother to his room in the night to tell her about how he misses him. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1973

"Individual readers might find something to latch onto here; to expect more than that would be overpraise indeed."
Facile would be the best adjective to apply overall to these ten stories, and only Updike's "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth" (recently anthologized in Spinner's Live and Learn, KR, p. 693, J-241) and Doris Lessing's "Flight" escape that designation entirely. Read full book review >
JANEY by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: May 30, 1973

"Janey it's lonely all day long since you moved away" . . . and so as the soft brown and yellow drawings show a little girl walking alone reading at home or being tucked into bed, the text proceeds with the memories she mentally addresses to her absent friend: how Janey's voice sounded, how she skipped rocks in a pond, how they could sit together without talking, etc. There is no false cheer in the form of a new friend at the end, only the vague hope that "maybe some day we'll grow up and live near each other again" — and the consolation for similarly lonely readers that someone shares their feelings. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 25, 1972

"This is one of Zolotow's more dewy-eyed tributes to friendship."
Zolotow's brief repetitive text (presumably one little girl talking to her friend) is given the dimension it lacks by di Grazia's palpably rendered pictures of two bundled-up little girls, first seen against a drear brown landscape ("Dark black clouds and the wind sighs. . . . Read full book review >
WILLIAM'S DOLL by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: May 10, 1972

"William Pene Du Bois' pictures complement the gentle mood while softly emphasizing that William is quite a hand with the basketball too — and if you find Ms. Zolotow's tender affirmations substantial enough for girls, there's no reason to withhold them from little brother."
An attempt 'to overcome sex stereotypes in a small picture book that seems as much a lecture for rigid parents as a reassurance for nonconforming boys. Read full book review >
RIVER WINDING by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Nov. 30, 1970

"The book design lacks organization, unity; the poems just lack character."
Vapid verses on nature, the seasons, some other things; 22 of them, trifles all, rhymed or unrhymed or awkwardly half-rhymed. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1970

"MPSLUGetc, etc. During the arbitrarily construed 'week,' the vegetable boat comes, Lateef and his father fish, he whispers with a friend, fondles a young chicken and suchlike—affording a glimpse of daily doings without a grasp of the milieu."
A set of photos with captions that observation could supply without explanations that would convey knowledge. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1969

"One does see a real child slicking up for school, learning to add on an abacus, helping his father bring in nets and mend them, fetching flat bread from an old woman and going to the well for water, etc, etc; one wishes; disparately, that the teacher weren't named Miss Acropolis, that the abacus were identified, that the author would withhold her applause."
This is the fifth of the new series of Face to Face Books (see Bernheim, Reit, Roberts & Weiss above), and the only thing one can say about the group as a whole is that each will have to be evaluated separately. Read full book review >
MY FRIEND JOHN by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: March 13, 1968

"It's a slightly off-center approach to the give-and-take of best-friendship, aptly drawn out by Ben Schechter who has few equals for glowering determination or the sidelong smile."
Another much-in-little with a complementary thesis similar to the conclusion of If It Weren't For You (1966, 509, J-169) by the same team. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1967

"Walter Stein's imaginative drawings, his sharp lines and soft washes and spots and squiggles."
On a succession of sparkling, surprising pages appears a series of bad, bad poems. Read full book review >
WHEN I HAVE A LITTLE GIRL by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Nov. 3, 1965

"It staggers, while it delights, the imagination that all the way back to Neanderthal days, mothers were probably restraining their daughters from tickling the fox-faced furs of the imposing ladies in front of them."
From the illustrations, the girl narrator could be one of Eloise's cousins— on the brunette side of the family but also directly descended from the same double jointed imp. Read full book review >
SOMEDAY by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: March 24, 1965

Wryly stated and amusingly illustrated, these are the dreams of glory shared by small girls — nothing muscular, no mountains climbed, armies conquered or animals felled but Someday: "I'm going to come home and my brother will introduce me to his friends and say 'This is my sister.' Instead of 'Here's the family creep'"; or, "My mother and father are going to say, 'Why are you going to bed so early?'" Fun in three nicely laid on colors for low pressure laughter in an area usually reserved for boys. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1964

"Not up to this author's standards."
A somewhat fragile looking little boy tells his even littler sister about all the heroic deeds he will accomplish when he grows up. Read full book review >
THE WHITE MARBLE by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Nov. 14, 1963

"The activities of the children are reflected adding spark to the quiet episode."
In poetic language, the well known author describes a companionable meeting of two children on a hot heavy summer evening in the park. Read full book review >
THE SKY WAS BLUE by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: May 22, 1963

"Our own day and age is presented with a bleakness in furnishings and housing that is really too extreme— even for the desired contrast."
An afternoon trip through a photograph album takes a little girl back through three generations of her family and emphasizes the differences that time has brought in clothing, furnishings, houses and transportation. Read full book review >
Released: May 18, 1961

"Father's excitement over his gift and its obvious link to the last myth he was working on results in his recovery and the family's return to the glorious countryside and their home."
Fantasy elements weave magic into a realistic tale of a little girl compelled by circumstance to live in the big noisy city, but whose heart resides in the fragrant countryside of her happiest days. Read full book review >
THE THREE FUNNY FRIENDS by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: April 12, 1961

"Children who have had 'funny friends' like this little girl's trio will respond joyfully to her little tale and to Mary Chalmer's soft expressive illustrations."
Although no one in the family could see them, the little girl in the new town had three extraordinary playmates to keep her happy. Read full book review >
IN MY GARDEN by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Aug. 19, 1960

"A book to dream over, which not only introduces the child's mind, but her senses, to a world of phenomena."
A little girl reviews the seasons as they leave their impression on her garden. Read full book review >
BIG BROTHER by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: March 16, 1960

"Big or little, readers will warm to these two children in little battles and their final reconciliation."
Big brother, as the protector or the tormentor, has figured in both children's and adult books. Read full book review >
OVER AND OVER by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: Sept. 18, 1957

"A happy book for three and four year olds to call their own, with expanded captions that beginning readers will find satisfaction in reading to themselves."
... children will wish to pore over the pleasant pictures in the simple story of the holiday round which highlight childhood's year. Read full book review >
NOT A LITTLE MONKEY by Michele Chessare
Released: June 15, 1957

Just right for two-to-fours, the humor of this true-to-life story of a mischievous little girl who blocks her mother's attempts to clean house will elicit giggles from the lollipop set. Read full book review >
THE MAGIC WORD by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: June 15, 1953

"Clever curves and angles in Eleanor Dart's pictures."
The magic word that David's mother says he must say if he wants to lick the cake bowl, turns out to be PLEASE. Read full book review >
Released: June 15, 1953

"Healthy and amusing."
Young Sandy makes about as much racket around the house imaginable. Read full book review >
INDIAN INDIAN by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: June 15, 1952

"Leonard Weisgard's Indian boy and animal pictures are full of love and the big feelings of nature."
Young Indian Indian, because he went to verify for himself the rumors of a big white horse lying in a field of daisies, gets his heart's desire- his own pet- when he finds, waters and comforts the broken legged animal. Read full book review >
THE STORM BOOK by Charlotte Zolotow
Released: June 15, 1952

"Paper over board perishable despite the cloth spine and reinforced stitching."
The pictures by Margaret Bloy Graham tell the story of the accompanying text — and for my part tell it better than the text does. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 25, 1944

"A book that could be used with pre—school children or given to first grders as a primer."
First class primer material dealing with thoroughly familiar scenes, people and activities of any city children whose playtime takes them to a city park. Read full book review >