Books by Deborah Ruddell

THE POPCORN ASTRONAUTS by Deborah Ruddell
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 24, 2015

"A scrumptious set of food-themed poems for budding gourmets, ripe for hours of read-aloud fun. (Picture book/poetry. 4-10)"
Ruddell's collection of 21 bite-sized poems whets even the littlest of literary appetites. Read full book review >
A WHIFF OF PINE, A HINT OF SKUNK by Deborah Ruddell
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 10, 2009

Twenty-three evocative poems about forest animals, beautifully illustrated. Literary variety serves this collection well, with many different lengths, rhyme schemes and moods. The common elements in Ruddell's verse are economy and an observer's respect for her subjects. Deer horns are "velvet crowns," and even the humorous poem about the beaver ("True Believer / Waterproof Weaver / Overachiever / Roll-Up-Her-Sleever") is praiseful. She avoids the cute and obvious metaphor; rather than trotting out tired masked-bandit imagery, she instead pictures the raccoon regarding his reflection: "the mysterious mask / the whiskers beneath, / the sliver of cricket / still stuck in his teeth." Other subjects include snails, a salamander, a raccoon and a hoot owl, "working on his timing / and his quavery technique." Similarly, Rankin's watercolors show respect via their accuracy and detail, while still capturing the various flavors of the poems. Her caroling coyotes look appropriately scruffy, and her feuding woodpeckers are sublimely hotheaded. A wild turkey glares at a child's hand-tracing portrait; a toad regrets eating "the slug-on-a-stick." An excellent collection with broad age appeal. (Picture book. 4-10)Read full book review >
TODAY AT THE BLUEBIRD CAFÉ by Deborah Ruddell
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 27, 2007

Ruddell's debut features 22 delightfully diverse poems taking a new view of various feathered friends. Subtitling her collection, "A Branchful of Birds," she covers a wide spectrum. There's the predictable woodpecker and owl, blue jay and cardinal, but also ibis, bobolink, vulture ("A Vulture's Guide to Good Manners") and many other less common birds. Similarly, variety reigns in the verse and approach to each subject. Lyrical imagery fills the paeans to the swan and the eagle; "Hoopoe Voodoo" is a model of wordplay drollery ("You people who pooh-pooh the hoopoe"), and "Toucan Tour Guide" depicts an adventure in Peru (in a canoe). Rankin's watercolors use a muted palette, and in nearly every case, smartly spotlight the subject bird with additional artistic detail. Her sense of humor matches Ruddell's perfectly, depicting the birds arriving at the Bluebird Café dressed in top hats or fedoras and "Good Old Puffin" defying the cold in beak-warmer and knitted cap. A refreshing step up from nursery rhyme and a terrific introduction to poetry, with a smile attached. (Picture book/poetry. 4-9)Read full book review >