Books by Claire Masurel

TWO HOMES by Claire Masurel
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2001

Rising above the standard fare in this genre, with their deadly prose and workaday illustrations, this offering is not afraid to state the obvious: Alex's mommy and daddy don't live together. Alex matter-of-factly explains it: "Daddy lives here. Sometimes I live with Daddy. Mommy lives there. Sometimes I'm with Mommy." Writing about a now-common experience for many young children, Masurel (Good Night!, 1997) has successfully created a reassuring addition to the separated-parents bibliotherapy booklist. Alternating between Dad's and Mom's, Denton's watercolor, gouache, and ink illustrations display an intimate knowledge of the complete lives of the city-dwelling Mom and the country-living Dad. At Mommy's there's a big, comfy chair to cuddle up in and read; at Daddy's a child-sized rocking chair. There are separate but equal accommodations, too, including a dog at Dad's and an aquarium full of fish at Mom's. Alex is nearly gender-neutral, dressed in a kid uniform of cotton pants and shirt (red at Dad's and blue at Mom's) with straight hair bobbed at ear length. This portrayal allows all children the opportunity to identify with the young narrator. On page after page, Alex and his parents engage in the pleasant common activities of early childhood, from playing dress-up with an assortment of friends, taking a bath, and shucking peas at Dad's, to baking gingerbread men at Mom's. An extremely positive take on an often-painful subject. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
TOO BIG! by Claire Masurel
Released: May 1, 1999

Masurel's story is a funny and sympathetic turning of the tables on that childhood blight of being "too small." Charlie wins Big Tex—a blue-and-white striped dinosaur—at a carnival. He is large, towering not just over Charlie, but his mother and father as well. So Tex is often left at home while Charlie goes on adventures to the store, park, and circus, with other, smaller toy friends. One day, when Charlie is feeling sick, these toy friends conspire to get lost, and Tex gets his chance, accompanying the boy to the doctor's. Tex finds no doors closed to him thereafter. There is a heavy identification factor that will pass no child unnoticed, and Masurel exhibits a dexterous use of language that is intelligent, accessible, and euphonious. Wakiyama's accompanying illustrations are exquisite. Making sport of light and shadow, as well as distant perspectives that are still emotionally revealing, she creates a dinosaur for all ages: alluring, comforting, loyal, soothing to the eye, and silent. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >
GOOD NIGHT! by Claire Masurel
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: April 1, 1994

The little girl is about to tuck herself in when she notices the ``everyone'' else is missing. Running from place to place in her cozy timbered house, she gathers half a dozen toys: her bear from the kitchen (``Silly Max. It's not time to eat! It's time to go to bed!''), a doll from the bookcase, a dragon from the TV, and so on. Last is Daisy, a rubber duck; while she's collecting her from the tub the child also uses the potty and brushes her teeth. The role reversal is a grand way to put the child vicariously in charge of the bedtime ritual. Henry's appealing little girl, scurrying from room to room, recalls Lena Anderson's lively, disarming characters. Simple, repetitive, and reassuring; a perfect bedtime book. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >