Books by David Ellwand

THE MYSTERY OF THE FOOL AND THE VANISHER by David Ellwand
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

Beautiful photographs are juxtaposed against subtly quiet text in this unusual fantasy. While rambling on the Downs, the narrator discovers a chest containing documents of a strange occurrence. The chest belonged to an Isaac Wilde: a photographer who, after taking employment on an archaeological site, stumbles upon the fairy world after the dig disrupts their mound. He sets out—and manages—successfully to photograph a fairy but, to his chagrin, he is mocked by his employer and peers and is then accused of presenting a forgery. After giving Wilde a ruthless taunting, his boss mysteriously vanishes, and only Wilde—and now the readers—knows the ultimate truth behind his disappearance. An open-ended conclusion and a collection of "evidence" leave readers to discern the characters' fates. A naturalistic slant to the photography helps make the fantasy concept plausible. Visually interesting, but the slow pace and vagueness may not hold the interest for some. However, fans of the fairy realm will most likely be enchanted by this subdued tale. (Fantasy. 10 & up)Read full book review >
CINDERLILY by Christine Tagg
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

Waving his digital wand, Ellwand poses balletic figures made from flower parts against black backgrounds for an uncommonly elegant, theatrical rendition of the fairy tale. Just an upended stem with slender, graceful lily stamens for limbs and a twist of dried petals for dress, Cinderlily arrives at the Sultan's palace in a pumpkin coach with sunflower wheels; those petals open to dazzling white curls as she enters, and she leaves one behind when they revert at midnight. In the pared-down plot, the Sultan, quite dashing in his iris-petal pantaloons, quickly tracks Cinderlily down, upon which her stepsisters, instead of suffering just deserts, merely slip offstage. Written in stumbling meter and printed in a set of ornate typefaces, the text doesn't measure up to the inventive art—but children will know how the story goes anyway. An eye-catcher. (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)Read full book review >
TEN IN THE BED by David Ellwand
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2001

Popular children's songs are given a new twist as these lovable teddy bears follow the rhyming actions. Ten teddy bears are tucked into bed under a white blanket, "and the little one said, ‘Roll over! Roll over!' " The well-loved teddy bears, with threadbare paws, smashed noses, and gnawed-on ears, tumble across the pages as they struggle to roll over and make more room in the bed. Wriggly text, mimicking handwriting, describes the bears' activity as they fall one by one out of bed. Finally, when there is only one more little bear in bed, "the little one said ‘I'm lonely!' " So all the bears climb back in bed to snuggle down for the night, inviting young readers to flip back to the first page to start the counting game again. Soft pastel and white backgrounds highlight the teddy bears antics. The oversized board-book format makes for easy lap reading and encourages tiny fingers to turn the pages by themselves. Fans of the bears will also want to look at Clap Your Hands: An Action Book (ISBN 1-929766-50-5), featuring the teddies as they act out another popular song. Irresistible furry fun. (Board book. 2-5)Read full book review >
EMMA'S ELEPHANT by David Ellwand
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

Recent fans of Some Smug Slug (1996) may appreciate a different kind of animal alliteration in this book, whose pages are formed by a striking set of black-and-white photographs of kids and their animal allies. While not an alphabet, many letters are represented: ``Simon's slithery snake'' is seen wrapped about his neck, ``Rachel's rascally rat'' perches atop her hat, ``David's dotted dog'' rests sleepily beside its owner. Each portrait is a deliberate character study, up close and personal. Some are playful, others more contemplative in their composition, and likenesses between kids and their animal friends will not be overlooked. Aside from being a collection of posed, interesting photos, the book could be used in animal-naming sessions, or for wordplay that extends the alliteration. Cats, dogs, ponies, and goldfish are to be expected, but the book concludes with a bounce on Emma's enormous elephant, the largest animal of all. A collage of fun, spontaneous-looking outtakes fills the endpapers, and may prompt children to pick up their cameras and take a few shots themselves. (Picture book. 1-4) Read full book review >