Books by Clare Jarrett

ARABELLA MILLER’S TINY CATERPILLAR by Clare Jarrett
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

Expanding a familiar preschool finger rhyme, Jarrett delivers an appealing (and singable) confection capped with a double spread of facts about the life cycle of the butterfly. By leading with two new verses, before inserting the well-known one, the author signals to children and caregivers that something fresh and new is in store. Carrot-haired Arabella, after the inevitable admonishment from mother, builds a shoe-box home for the caterpillar, feeds it ("Curly cabbage, crisp and crunchy, / frizzy parsley, fresh and munchy") and observes its changes, from multiple skin-sheddings, to chrysalis-building and metamorphosis. Jarrett's airy pencil-and-paper collages utilize variable perspective, a chiefly pastel palette and ample white ground to carry the simple text. Cleverly, saturated primary hues link the butterfly's markings with Arabella's bright hat and shirt. Pleasing and useful, for storytimes as well as one-on-one sharing. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
THE BEST PICNIC EVER by Clare Jarrett
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2004

With big, loosely drawn color-pencil sketches, Jarrett lays out a minimal but tempting playscape: a seemingly deserted park that sprouts large and delightful friends for a solitary lad to romp with while his unflappable mother lays out a picnic. Young readers will envy Jack when a giraffe, an elephant, a leopard, and a tiger appear in response to his lonely plaint. Each politely accepts his invitation to sup later, but as for now, "let's play!" Jarrett fills her repeating, cumulative tale with words that are fun to say aloud—"Leopard went lollopy lollopy, and Elephant went tootley-toot-toot, and Giraffe went gallopy, gallopy behind them"—and ends, after a hearty meal of "hot dogs, pizza, chocolate milk, and strawberries," with fond good-bye waves all round. Would that every visit to the park could feature such a satisfying rumpus. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
JAMIE by Clare Jarrett
by Clare Jarrett, illustrated by Clare Jarrett
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2002

The surprise of caring for a strange animal is jovially chronicled in this sweet intergenerational offering. On a dark and stormy evening, a featherless chicken appears on Jamie and Grandfather's doorstep. They invite the bird in and warm him before the fire (drawn by Jarrett in waxy crayon comfort). They name him Thomas—a name inspired by Jamie's train set—and tuck him in him for the night in a pair of Jamie's old jumpers. The next day they bring Thomas to the vet, in an office filled with vats and jars enough to resemble an alchemist's, and then on to the feed store, with its overflowing shelves and bags of seed—all conveying a sense of rural plenitude and the wisdom of the ages. Thomas is full of beans—getting in the butter, leaving droppings everywhere, sitting on Grandfather's head in the middle of the night—so he is built his own caravan to live in. The next time Jamie returns to visit with Grandfather, Thomas has sprouted a fine set of feathers and—surprise—laid an egg. "We'll just have to call him Thomasina then," says Grandfather. A particularly affectionate tale, full of tenderness and caring for its quaintly absurd bird and her caregivers. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
CATHERINE AND THE LION by Clare Jarrett
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 2, 1997

Jarrett's first book shows great understanding of children as she treats the arrival of a new sibling in a positive way. When Catherine awakes, an enormous, genial lion is filling her doorway, with golden light filtering through his immense mane. She accepts this imaginary friend and, with endearing independence and self-assurance, includes him in all her activities: dressing herself, preparing her own cereal, remembering to take back a library book. She takes the lion to class, where he curls up with the children when they go to the mats for naps. At day's end, the girl says good-night to a baby sister, who is otherwise offstage; with that scene, the reason for the lion's appearance that morning begins to make sense. The girl's mother reads her a story and tucks her in—a fine finish to a day in the life of a new older sister. In skilled sketches done in loose line, Jarrett's illustrations have the friendly texture of crayons in scenes that fully convey a warm and secure world, where all routine events are subtly enlivened by the benevolent lion presence. The change in the household—and the child's adaptation to that change—is expertly handled. (Picture book. 3-5) Read full book review >