Books by Christine Ross

A PILLOW FOR MY MOM by Charissa Sgouros
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1998

Sgouros debuts with a terse story that packs a wallop—and it ought to, for its subject is grief. A young girl misses her mother, who has entered a hospital: "She used to read to me and play games. She would tell me stories and I would tell her jokes. She's in the hospital now." As her mother is uncomfortable much of the time, the girl has made her a special pillow. "When she puts her head on it, she says she thinks of me and smiles." Suddenly, a mere page later, the child says, "I have the pillow now." It is a comfort, something to be held close, and even inhaled. Sgouros encapsulates the nettles of worry and the flood of grief, giving them rawness; still, there is no sense of resignation or self-pity. Instead, she addresses the certainty of loss, the easing of sadness, and living with pain. Just as affecting are Ross's illustrations, expressing all the vulnerability of the young girl's plight. (Picture book. 5-9) Read full book review >
THE WHIRLYS AND THE WEST WIND by Christine Ross
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

When the wind blows their parents away, the Whirly children check the phone book's emergency pages for help, but to no avail. So they settle in to wait, while the ``muddle'' in the house becomes a ``mess'' and then a ``maze where nothing could be found.'' Finally, since no one else is looking after them, they decide to do it themselves. On Jack's two days, they go to school; on Flora's, they stay home and play pirates; the baby's cozy agenda includes stories and early bed. On the seventh day, they tidy up—to their parents' delight when they finally blow in again. Ross brings just the right touch to this fanciful blend of license and responsibility, both in her brisk, tongue-in-cheek narrative and in softly cross-hatched, amusingly detailed illustrations of the wide-eyed kids enjoying and coping with their independence. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
LILY AND THE PRESENT by Christine Ross
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

Lily's new brother ``came into the world with nothing,'' and Lily would like to get something ``big and bright and beautiful'' to supplement his other, boring presents. At Biggs' Department Store, she purchases a big crocodile, a bright chandelier, and a beautiful wedding cake, cheerily saying (as her mother does), ``Charge it, please.'' Alas—none of these grand things will go out the store's revolving door; abandoning them, one by one, Lily admits to herself that they weren't appropriate anyway and uses her own money to buy a balloon: ``And perfect it was.'' With just the right balance between imaginative fantasy and satisfying realism, this reworking of a popular theme makes a stronger, more satisfying story than Lily and the Bears (1991). Again, Ross's color-pencil art is humorous and appealing, though much of the delicate detail will be lost in group sharing. (Picture book. 4- 8) Read full book review >
LILY AND THE BEARS by Christine Ross
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1991

Lily, not liking to be a child, dons a bear suit each morning—with manners to match, which her parents deplore but don't try to change. On a zoo trip, she's mistaken for a real bear and put in a cage with two enormous, ferocious-looking specimens who are apparently the first not to be taken in by her disguise (``Real bears don't have zippers down their fronts''); Lily escapes, having learned her lesson—or has she? Now she's a deep-sea diver: ``Big and brave.'' The brief story here is not well developed—there's no clue as to why Lily needs a facade— but this New Zealander's soft, detailed illustrations are amusing, while her narrative is brisk and pleasantly wry. Children may enjoy comparing this to Where the Wild Things Are. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >