Books by Debbie Bertram

MY NEW BIG-KID BED by Debbie Bertram
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"A big-time missed opportunity. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Fears of a new bed can be complicated when a dinosaur's added to the mix. Read full book review >
THE BEST BOOK TO READ by Debbie Bertram
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 24, 2008

In Bertram and Bloom's rhymed tale, a librarian introduces a troop of youngsters to books on all sorts of subjects—exploration, science, cooking, pets—that the illustrations interpret by transporting a couple of youngsters into a representative scene. The librarian holds up a cookbook by Martha Muffin on the left-hand page; the full-bleed image on the facing page depicts three of the kids baking a cake, and so on. Garland's distinctive artwork is well known by now, with its combination of soft and sharp elements, its cutout feel and subtle warping. The illustrations' good cheer complements the feel-good message well, although the product-placement of his books irks, even if intended as tongue-in-cheek. The uneven text, however, hurts the most, some of it rolling along, some of it an off-beat mouthful: "Here's a book about being a trainer. / ‘Sit!' ‘Stay!' and ‘Play dead!' / ‘Do not jump on Mom's bed!' / Training dogs will become a no-brainer." This well-intentioned celebration of reading is not, alas, the best book for the job. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
THE BEST TIME TO READ by Debbie Bertram
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 26, 2005

Bertram and Bloom's The Best Place to Read (2003) took on the social geography of reading. This sequel addresses not so much the best time to read as the best people to read with—and that means just about anyone, anytime. In consistently upbeat, rhyming sequences, a young boy races about his house seeking someone to share his new book. He'll be happy to read to them, but the results are disappointing: Mom's cooking, dad's mowing, big brother—as big brothers will—wants him to beat it and all the others, even the dog, are busy, too. Well, there's always the captive audience of stuffed animals. The story is a gentle tribute to sharing and the pleasures to be found in reading, if only on the boy's part—until the end, when the family shakes free from their distractions. Garland's artwork is hit or miss; either you will be taken with his brand of alternately fuzzy and sharp elements and their seemingly 3-D qualities, or those beady eyes will give you the creeps. Still, there's no time like the present to deliver this message. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
THE BEST PLACE TO READ by Debbie Bertram
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 28, 2003

If a good man is hard to find, that's nothing compared to a good reading chair, as Bertram and Bloom's youthful protagonist discovers when he goes looking for the right place to read his new book. Using an ear-pleasing rhyme scheme, readers follow the boy from chair to chair as each presents a problem: "A new book for me— / I can't wait to read! / I run to my own little chair. / I'm growing too tall and the seat is too small, / So I am not comfortable there." As seen through the illustrations, a slick fusion of soft and razor-edged computer images that sport electric coloring and quirky shading, the boy travels through his house, finding each chair encumbered by animals, noise, burst seams, sprinkler systems, disruptive siblings, and wayward springs. But he is a dogged soul, pushing on until he comes to an undeniably fine spot for a youngster to curl up with a book: "The best place to be, just my book, Mom, and me—" It's a sweet ending, one that avoids being mawkish because it has been so hard-won. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >