Books by Claire Freedman

BEAR'S BOOK by Claire Freedman
Released: May 14, 2019

"Reading, writing, listening, helping, thanking: Bear and his animal friends can inspire young readers in family, school, or library settings. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Bear is a great reader, but when he wants to write his own book, he suffers from a common malady: writer's block. Read full book review >
DON'T WAKE THE YETI! by Claire Freedman
Released: Sept. 1, 2017

"Thomas Hobbes would approve of this yeti's natural state, but perhaps he should go by his other name: abominable. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Perhaps it shouldn't come as a great surprise that yetis are big, hairy, emotional, flea-bitten, slug-eating, gas-blowing gross-outs. Read full book review >
I LOVE YOU, BABY! by Claire Freedman
Released: Aug. 29, 2017

"Sure to find love on the baby-shower circuit. (Picture book. 1-3)"
A love song of sorts from parent to child, illustrated with animal families and a surfeit of snuggles. Read full book review >
Released: March 7, 2017

"Four-wheeled fun, if a little unbalanced. (Picture book. 3-5)"
The big trucks work hard all day, and at night they sleep, just like us. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"Sweet and appealing for the preschool set and a winning gift purchase for the grandparent crowd. (Picture book. 3-5)"
The extraordinary bond a young child enjoys with a grandparent is expressed through a series of activities they share. Read full book review >
DRAGON JELLY by Claire Freedman
Released: July 7, 2015

"After one reading, the party is over—pass. (Picture book. 3-5)"
A cuddly, lime-green monster gets ready for a bash. Read full book review >
SPIDER SANDWICHES by Claire Freedman
Released: July 15, 2014

"No more than a side dish next to the appetite-killing courses dished out by Shel Silverstein, by Adam Rex in Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (2006) and by so many others. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Freedman climbs aboard an already overcrowded bandwagon with this catalog of gross-out goodies in Max the monster's larder. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 3, 2013

"Be sure to keep your visit with this undergarment-obsessed pirate crew nice and brief. (Picture book. 4-8)"
There's too little that's loony in this tale of piratical pantaloon-loving thieves, in spite of its cheery premise and art. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 5, 2010

The author and illustrator of Aliens Love Underpants (2007) go to the well again, describing in stumbling verse and colorful but unexceptional art how the dinos wiped themselves out squabbling over their prehistoric panties. Seeing cavemen modeling newly invented fur boxer shorts, the envious dinosaurs steal the concept, but they discover certain design flaws: "The pants from Woolly Mammoth coats / Made Stegosaurus itchy. / Diplodocus was really mad. / His briefs were way too pinchy!" Irritation quickly escalates into fury, and the ensuing autogenocide both leaves the cavemen (there are no women in evidence) relieved and leads to a closing "Don't forget briefs saved Mankind. / They're not just underwear!" Children may find Cort's cartoon pictures of big, grumpy-looking dinosaurs sporting undies loud with polka-dots and other patterns briefly (so to speak) amusing. (Picture book. 6-8) Read full book review >
ON THIS SPECIAL NIGHT by Claire Freedman
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

A group of farm animals is drawn together by an unusually bright star shining over a stable in their neighborhood in this sentimental Nativity story. The narrative focuses on a gray kitten who is tenderly cared for by his mother in their home in a barn. They follow the other animals to the stable under the star, and as a group they enter and stand before the straw-filled manger in the final spread. The kitten describes his great happiness at this special baby, but unfortunately the baby is not shown in the illustration, which may leave readers confused and dissatisfied. Though Mendez's large-format illustrations are appealing and the simple story is accessible to preschoolers, the ending demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the needs of this age group, who need to see to believe. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
I LOVE YOU, SLEEPYHEAD by Claire Freedman
Released: May 1, 2008

The tender reassurance of a mother's affecting presence at bedtime is a universally appreciated theme (hence its ubiquity), here handsomely rendered by Mendez in fuzzy-edged full-page paintings of animal families, accompanied by a gentle, sometimes lyrical, sometimes imbalanced rhyme. "Look, little child, / as the night is unfurled, / The animals are going to bed / all around the world." The sleepy-eyed fawn feels safe by her mother, and yawning lion cubs snuggle up to a watchful lioness. Waddling ducklings huddle, little bear cuddles, while mother otter cradles baby "in the dappled moonlight." Young owls, a baby penguin, rabbits, monkeys, a panda and whale cub all feel close and safe as each, in turn, is kissed and told to "Sleep, my child, sleep, / ‘neath the moon's silver light. / I love you, sleepyhead, / sweet dreams—goodnight!" A visual lullaby of love and peace sadly hampered by the limping scansion. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
ONE MAGICAL DAY by Claire Freedman
Released: May 1, 2007

What child can resist a picture book featuring a multitude of sweet baby animals? Fetching illustrations of adorable animal babies greatly enhance the rhyming text, which tells the spare tale of one summer day in the country. Many of the pictures show parents. The text is slight, but Macnaughton's widely varied color palette will keep children's attention. From a faun's awakening at dawn, to the end of the evening and a fluffy young owl, young animals frolic, sleep, eat and generally look adorable. Attention to detail is clear in the sketches of plants, and especially the butterflies that float through the pages, linking the animals together. A good bedtime book, this is likely to be popular with both parents and children. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2007

Though not entirely sappy, this inoffensive collection of bedtime rhymes doesn't exactly charm, either. A series of animal families—bunnies, bears, mice—go through the bedtime rituals of bath and story and goodnight hugs and kisses. The illustrations are by various artists, each listed in the credits on the verso, although they maintain some unity of image: soft colors, rounded shapes, gentle light, lots of stars. Some of the animal families wear clothes, and some do not, but all live in pretty homes, some of which are tucked into natural habitats like rabbit holes or burrows. A good indication of the tone: "In the glow of the lamplight, / We're tucked in so snug, / With our favorite toy, And a goodnight hug!" It will surely find its audience. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
SQUABBLE AND SQUAWK by Claire Freedman
Released: Nov. 15, 2006

When best friends Piglet and Yellow Hen get into a big argument, the other animals intercede. Piglet and Yellow Hen do everything together. One sunny day, Yellow Hen is making daisy chains for herself and some other animals when Piglet runs over and wants to play catch. A small spat mushrooms into a "huge row," with both refusing to apologize. Sheep and Cow and Duck come up with an ingenious plan to get the two friends back together. Using an old rubber glove and some feathers, they make a fake Yellow Hen and stick it in the back of Farmer Barrow's truck. A distraught Sheep tells Piglet that Yellow Hen's about to be taken to market. Just as Piglet grips the crate that holds the fake Yellow Hen, the real Yellow Hen rushes onto the scene. There's a quick reconciliation, with a mutual promise never to fight again. Shearing's light and lighthearted watercolors fit nicely with the simple story about friendship. (Picture book. 3-5) Read full book review >
NEW KID IN TOWN by Claire Freedman
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Mouse rides into town sporting a cowboy hat, boots with spurs and riding a pony on a stick. The new kid in town, he receives a warm welcome from all the neighbors, from Badger to Giraffe to Donkey. But each welcome comes with a warning: "Beware!" A big, bad bully lives on the hill, "He's huge and hairy, and wild and scary" and he will eat Mouse for sure. After unpacking and tidying up his house, fearless Mouse sets out (on his stick pony) to tame Big Wolf. His kind words take Wolf by surprise and in no time he's crying on Mouse's shoulder, "I've never had a friend before!" And down the hill they go to meet the rest of the guys. Oversized pages feature warmly colored characters that could be someone's stuffed animals, creating immediate child appeal—and that wolf is a charming goofball. The unsubtle message is that kindness and apricot muffins will melt the heart of a bully. The more useful one is that sometimes the conventional wisdom is just plain wrong. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
SNUGGLE UP, SLEEPY ONES by Claire Freedman
Released: June 1, 2005

A myriad of young exotic animals end their day and rest their sleepy eyes in this rhythmic bedtime read. Each page offers an abundance of lavish color—the savanna terrain and friendly-faced, yet life-like animals drawn with vivid oil pastels. "The sun paints the sky / a warm, glowing red. / It's time to stop playing, / it's time for bed." Among others, a baby hippo cuddles close to mom; leopard cubs snuggle together; and wee porcupines curl up in a spiky ball. They are all safe and sound, warm and cozy, as the sun dips below the horizon. Mischievous monkeys have a last frolic and an elephant rumbles a deep lullaby. Each young creature begins its slumber as an inky purple envelops the night and it's time for dreaming. A sensory treat all around, but the flowing cadence of the rhyming couplets will lull young sleepyheads pleasantly into la-la land. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
DILLY DUCKLING by Claire Freedman
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

The wind blows away one of Dilly Duckling's downy feathers and she enlists the help of friends to get it back. While chasing dragonflies and blue butterflies one sunny morning, Dilly is dismayed to find that a gust of wind has blown away one of her feathers. After a dizzy chase, she first bumps into her friend, the porcupine, and then a field mouse; both try to help Dilly retrieve the elusive bit of fluff. Tired and frustrated, a resigned Dilly goes home to tell her mother, who lets her know that losing her fluffy feathers is all part of growing up. Bright acrylic paintings seem blown across the pages by the same winds that have stolen Dilly's feather. A breezy look at the changes of growing up. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT by Claire Freedman
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

Archie the bear is having a hard time getting to sleep despite the valiant efforts of his babysitting grandmother in a soothing story that's certain to appeal to even the most resistant young sleeper. Grandma's obviously a pro at the art of sleep induction, offering a host of snuggly friends into the bed, a warm glass of milk, and even a lullaby. The final effort proves successful: "She smiled a secret smile as she remembered putting Archie's mother to bed when she was little." Parents will be especially touched by the ensuing night-time routine that has been passed down through the generations. Tyger's adorable illustrations fit the text perfectly, with gentle yet colorful renderings that capture the special moments between Archie and his grandmother. A real bedtime treat for both parents and children alike. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
HUSHABYE LILY by Claire Freedman
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

A noisy farmyard is keeping Lily awake, but Mother Rabbit solves the problem by taking her on a tour of the grounds, allowing her to see for herself how all of the animals are preparing for bed. A visit to the pond earns Lily a lullaby from a goose. A cow offers her a bedtime story, making Lily yawn in response. A generous hen fashions a comfortable bed for Lily out of straw. As the owl hoots, the pigs squeak, and the dreaming donkey softly brays, Lily is coaxed towards sleep by the gentle sounds on the settling farm. A sleepy foal pricks up his ears at a sound in the night, but his mother comforts him, telling him, "It's only little Lily snoring!" Muted illustrations, alternating between full-bleed paintings and small vignettes, mimic the quiet tale of one small bunny's struggle against sleep. A bedtime treat for the ears. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
GOOSEBERRY GOOSE by Claire Freedman
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

The clear light of autumn breezes through these pages, as Gooseberry Goose practices landing, taking off, gliding, and doing loop-the-loops. His buddies barely have time to watch his flying practice, however, as Mouse is making his nest warm for the winter, Squirrel is gathering acorns, and Beaver has to finish his dam. Gooseberry is beginning to worry that he should be doing something to prepare for winter, too, when his mama gently reminds him that by practicing his flying, he is getting ready for the long journey south. Cabban's animal folk are neatly portrayed and anthropomorphized, and Gooseberry's joy in flying is nicely done. English author and illustrator capture a certain openhearted Brit approach to animal stories that is very attractive, and the double-spread, full-bleed pictures are full of sky and leaf. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

Kyle wakes up to find that he has misplaced his smile and goes looking for it everywhere, only to realize that it's been there all along. When Kyle wakes up grumpy, his mother sends him out to play. He's convinced that he's lost his smile, and his friends attempt to help him find it in a number of ways. Parrot makes silly noises, Orange Monkey makes funny faces, and Elephant blows big bubbles—but nothing seems to lift Kyle's mood. After visiting his friends, Kyle comes across Little Lion Cub who has lost his way home. They decide to continue their search together and Kyle attempts to cheer up Little Lion Cub by trying out all of the silly tricks that his friends used to try to cheer him up. They finally find Little Lion Cub's home and it seems that Kyle has found his smile along the way. Bright and bold illustrations fill each page with color, making this an attractive story as well as one with a worthwhile lesson. Young readers will laugh as Kyle makes bird noises, monkey faces, and blows bubbles, adding a little levity to a fairly predictable story. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >