Books by Daniel Howarth

HOPPY PASSOVER by Linda Glaser
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2011

Violet and Simon, endearingly good-natured Jewish bunny siblings, offer very young readers a first look at the annual spring celebration by hopping through all the traditional foods and rituals of the preparation for and participation in a happy family Passover Seder. A patient Grandma and Grandpa answer questions and explain the special dinner while the children set the table, learn about the significance of the Seder plate, eat a bit more parsley and charoset ("More bricks, please," says Violet) than is required and have their first taste of matzo. The story of the Exodus is lightly touched on through references to slavery and freedom, while the anticipation of Elijah's visit adds mystery to a joyful evening. Culminating with family singing and declarations of "what I love best about Passover," this emotionally satisfying story packs a lot of information into a relatively small package. Sweet furry faces and floppy ears and a spring-hued home add the right amount of holiday charm for preschoolers. They'll be especially eager to sample the charoset Violet is so eager to eat when they notice the recipe that's included. (Picture book/religion. 2-4)Read full book review >
PADDYWACK by Stephanie Spinner
ANIMALS
Released: April 27, 2010

This Step into Reading Level 3 entry tells the story of a young girl named Jane and her pony, Paddywack. What makes this stand out from other pony titles is that it is told by Paddywack: "When I first got Jane, she did not know how to ride." Jane's worst offense, though, is in failing to remember his treats. After he escapes his stall and jumps the garden fence to get them himself, Jane realizes that giving him treats will improve his performance. But when she forgets to bring treats to the big horse show, will Paddywack understand or throw the competition? Howarth's illustrations, though largely pedestrian in execution and reproduction, accurately depict the riding ring, equipment and jumps. Paddywack himself, though, is full of personality; his facial expressions and body language speak volumes. With an enjoyable story so close to reality (and to the dreams of those who yearn for a pony of their own), this is sure to find readers. (Early reader. 5-8)Read full book review >
HOPPY HANUKKAH!  by Linda Glaser
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Sibling bunnies Violet and Simon do not remember celebrating Hanukkah last year and are excited to learn from Mama and Papa that the holiday will begin at sundown. Simon wants to light all the candles and blow them out, but Papa places the menorah in the window for all to see and explains one candle is lit each night of the week. Grandma makes delicious-smelling crispy latkes fried in oil and Grandpa teaches the dreidel game. For this rabbit family, it now truly feels like a "hoppy Hanukkah." Howarth's soft, bright illustrations of an extended floppy-eared family offer details of a Judaic home in this gentle introduction to the rituals of a traditional celebration that young families can follow as they create a Hanukkah atmosphere in their own homes. (Picture book. 2-4)Read full book review >
A WILD FATHER’S DAY by Sean Callahan
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2009

When the kids give Daddy a card that says, "Have a wild Father's Day," he suggests they "act like animals all day long!" So they hop like kangaroos, stretch like cats, run like cheetahs and so on. Howarth's bright but unremarkable illustrations depict father and children in the act and then juxtapose those images with the trio transformed into the animals in question, the dad animal always sporting his specs and the children in blue baseball cap (brother) and pink sneakers (sister). The text provides descriptive accompaniment for those spreads, some more fortuitous than other—"Grapple, grapple, grapple!" seems, while accurate, a little peculiar for the bears' wrestling. It's undeniably sweet enough (if not a little too), but ultimately provides nothing particularly new. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
FOR EVERYONE TO SHARE by Gillian Lobel
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2008

While his sleeping brothers and sisters snuggle up to mother, Little Mouse ventures out of the cozy nest to discover new smells, the brightness of daylight, a furry coated buzzing bee, flowers, the sun in the bright blue sky, a blue-and-purple butterfly, singing birds, whispering grasses, starry daisies and dewdrops on a spider's web. Wondering what all these marvels could be, Little Mouse, about to return home, meets his searching mother, who explains his discovery of the beautiful world, which is there "for everyone to share." Howarth's animated paintings depict a cuter-than-cute mouse making his way through a natural garden setting rendered in blends of green, yellow and pale blue. This latter-day Miranda's discovery of his brave new world is an undeniably feel-good story. However, the overlong and repetitious text may leave young readers—and will more certainly leave their grown-ups—wishing they'd chosen something with rather more emotional complexity, such as Martin Waddell's Tiny's Big Adventure (2004). (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
I LOVE YOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER by Jonathan Emmett
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

Father and daughter mice beautifully illustrate the special bond between parent and child in Emmett's latest. Littletail and Longtail spend the day in the forest playing games: chase, hide-and-seek and follow the leader. Although Littletail is good at these games, Longtail is always better. But Longtail reassures her that he won't always be better—someday she will be faster, cleverer and just as big as he is. But one thing will always be the same, no matter what: "I love you always and forever." This is one of those standouts where text and illustrations are in perfect unison. Howarth's huge mice take center-stage, giving readers a mouse's perspective and highlighting his masterful portrayal of facial expressions. He achieves the ideal balance between cuteness and realistic detail. Like others in this style, this has the potential to begin a loving tradition in any young family. (Picture book. 2-8)Read full book review >
WHO’S BEEN EATING MY PORRIDGE? by M. Christina Butler
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

Little Bear continually turns up his nose at his breakfast of porridge, refusing to eat it even with addition of nuts, berries, and honey. Mommy Bear devises a plan to encourage her cub to eat. Placing the bowl of porridge out on a tree stump in the yard, she tells him that if he won't eat it, Old Scary Bear will. Day after day the porridge disappears. If there is no such thing as an Old Scary Bear, then who is eating all of the porridge? Sweet illustrations rendered in earthy tones depict an increasingly worried Little Bear as he tries to understand the confusing story. A poor message seems to suggest that if parents frighten their children with imagined creatures, they will eat. Solves a common dilemma with some questionable parenting. Misses the mark. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >