Books by David Ezra Stein

HUSH, LITTLE BUNNY by David Ezra Stein
Released: Jan. 22, 2019

"While this hardly reinvents the wheel, it is a solid addition to the children's lullaby-book genre. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Spend the day with a little bunny and their papa as they explore the world around them to the familiar tune of "Hush, Little Baby." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 11, 2018

"Unsurprisingly good. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A laugh-out-loud follow-up to Stein's 2011 Caldecott honoree, Interrupting Chicken. Read full book review >
HONEY by David Ezra Stein
Released: March 27, 2018

"Sweet as, well, honey, if a bit disingenuous. (Picture book. 3-5)"
A young bear wakes from hibernation with just one thought in mind: honey. Read full book review >
ICE BOY by David Ezra Stein
Released: April 11, 2017

"It misses the mark—skip it. (Picture book. 3-7)"
From chunk of ice to evaporation and back again, a young ice cube decides to break away from his ice tray to see what's beyond his destined outcome. Read full book review >
TAD AND DAD by David Ezra Stein
Released: April 21, 2015

"Caldecott honoree Stein makes another splash with this charming duo. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A tadpole and his father spend their days together amicably, but when Dad tries to tuck his son in for the night, things do not go as planned. Read full book review >
I'M MY OWN DOG by David Ezra Stein
Released: Aug. 5, 2014

"A charming person-as-pet story that will leave dog lovers chuckling. (Picture book. 2-4)"
An independent dog teaches his human a few tricks in this amusing role reversal. Read full book review >
DINOSAUR KISSES by David Ezra Stein
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"A kissing cousin to Bob Shea's Dinosaur vs.… series. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Chomping and stomping come naturally to an exuberant dinosaur hatchling. Kissing? That takes practice. Read full book review >
OL' MAMA SQUIRREL by David Ezra Stein
Released: March 21, 2013

"This effervescent tale brims with humor and vibrant characterization. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Don't let her size fool you: Ol' Mama Squirrel is as fierce as any lioness when it comes to protecting her young. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 11, 2012

"A playfully profound picture book that does its part in passing on good feelings. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Amelia's smile, brought on by a rain shower and seen by a neighborhood grandmother, catalyzes a cheery chain of happy consequences. Read full book review >
LOVE, MOUSERELLA by David Ezra Stein
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"Sometimes snail mail is just better. Here's proof. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Bestrewing lined sheets with crayon drawings, Polaroids, smudges, a ketchup packet (not a real one) and other signs of affection, a mouseling writes a newsy love note to her Grandmouse. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

"Closing with an intimate snuggle after Papa instantly dozes off, this tender iteration of a familiar nighttime ritual will be equally welcomed by fond parents and those children for whom listening to stories is anything but a passive activity. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Despite repeated vows to stop interrupting, a little red chicken can't resist jumping in to cut her Papa's bedtime tales short with plot giveaways—"DON'T GO IN! SHE'S A WITCH!"—and truncated, happy endings. Read full book review >
POUCH! by David Ezra Stein
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

With each vivacious bounce, a baby kangaroo seeks independence—bit by bit. Ready, more or less, to venture forth from his mama's pouch, this tenacious tyke now explores the world around him. With a few hops, Joey greets each creature he meets with a forceful, "who are you?" Their one-word responses alarm him; Joey quickly cries "Pouch!" as he returns to his mother's side. When Joey meets another joey, though, he gains courage with his newfound friend. Punchy dialogue zings during the kangaroo's brief interactions, and repetition successfully accelerates the story. Succinct phrases maintain playful pacing and provide a fluid read-aloud. The bold, white hand-lettered dialogue predominately placed against the vignettes expresses the toddler's fledgling growth. Rich colors, mostly in orangey-browns, golden yellows and rustic greens, evoke an earthy atmosphere. The background surroundings seamlessly blend, maintaining focus on the central characters, and soft curves convey maternal love as Joey's mother supports his maturity. Warm and inviting, this buoyant tale is hopping good fun. (Picture book. 2-5) Read full book review >
THE NICE BOOK by David Ezra Stein
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

Emotional literacy at its most basic. "Cuddle / nestle / nuzzle / Don't tickle / ...well, maybe a little." A variety of animals from bugs to elephants practice what it takes to be nice, demonstrating the actions in seemingly simple vignettes placed against flat, monochromatic backgrounds. There's plenty of humor here: A family of koalas clings together, three babies stacked, one on the other, hugging mama, who in turn hugs her eucalyptus tree; a nervous lemur looks askance at an elephant about to "pat," as, below, the text reads, "But don't stomp flat." The images were created with a mix of acrylic paints, ink and china marker, combined digitally—the effect is beautifully childlike. The animals' bodies are great blobs of paint, the broad brushstrokes clearly visible in a manner any kid who's used poster paints will recognize; their features are sketched quickly in with swift black lines placed just so. Although the trim is small, the images will be clearly visible for group sharing, and the playfully varied typefaces add extra interest to the compositions. Nice indeed. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
MONSTER HUG! by David Ezra Stein
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

With exuberantly posed figures and colors that don't always stay within his thick, scribbly lines, Stein captures a true sense of abandon in this celebration of the joys of play. A few big words caption each activity, as dragon-like Scaly Monster and yeti-ish Hairy Monster meet for Monster Hide and Seek (a challenge when trees, and even mountains, are too small to hide behind), using full-sized construction machinery as toys in a Monster Battle, comparing stinky Monster Breath and other games—most of which leave their tiny surroundings a shambles. In a scale-changing scene, the much larger monster parents show up at last, and before thundering off to bed the toothy buddies exchange the titular clinch. All in all, the most unrestrained Wild Rumpus since Max stirred up the Wild Things. (Picture book. 4-6)Read full book review >
LEAVES by David Ezra Stein
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

A young bear observing his first autumn is captivated by the leaves as they change color from golden to amber. His exuberance and wonder change to worry and consternation when he is unable to replace the first leaf and those that follow to the bare branches. Instinct overtakes him as he gathers a paw full of leaves, finds and fills a hole and burrows in for the winter. When he awakens the following spring, he observes, to his relief, that the leaves have returned to the branches. Seasonal change and animal behavior are simply and freshly conveyed through a young child's perspective with single-phrase captions and direct, vibrant watercolor illustrations. Bowed, listless branches echo little bear's down-turned curved shoulders and eyes as he gives up his battle to replace the fallen leaves. Stein does not tread on ground where others often do in over explaining a complex concept. He understands and honors the young, curious mind and allows readers to share the joy of a discovery in text and illustration. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
COWBOY NED & ANDY by David Ezra Stein
Released: July 10, 2007

Ned and his best friend, his horse Andy, have come to Abiline for some rest and relaxation. Ned spots a lovely lady and lands at her feet. He is entrusted with her lace hankie and is to return it the next day. But Andy feels left out and jealous, so he throws the hankie away. That little square of fabric becomes involved in a robbery and arrest before being blown right to Miss Clementine's front yard. But Andy truly wants Ned to be happy, so he gives him the hankie and all is well. The tale is slight and the characters totally cliché, but little ones won't mind. It's sweet and charming and all in the spirit of unwavering friendship. The colorful, fanciful drawings are akin to old-fashioned Saturday morning cartoons, and perfectly match the goofy proceedings. Not great literature, but good fun. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
COWBOY NED AND ANDY by David Ezra Stein
Released: July 1, 2006

Tomorrow is Cowboy Ned's birthday and he is far from home with only his trusty horse Andy to keep him company on the cattle drive. Andy decides that he must get a birthday cake for Ned, so he wanders out into the desert on a quest. He meets a cricket, an owl and a scorpion, but they are of no help. Finally a lonely old cowboy reminds Andy that Ned would enjoy his friend's company more than any other gift. So Andy runs back to Ned, the cattle sing "Happy Birthday," and all is well. Stein employs simple, direct sentences, crisp conversation and a smattering of vivid description to convey his gentle message to young readers. Bright, clear ink-and-watercolor illustrations in shades of blue and brown present Andy as a loving, warmhearted friend. He tosses and turns, unable to sleep; his expression is earnest as he speaks to the desert creatures; he is jubilant as he hugs his friend. Warm, fuzzy and friendly. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >