Books by Diane Palmisciano

THE SNEAKY SNOW FOX by Patricia Reilly Giff
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2012

"Not likely to sneak past the early-reader set. (Early reader. 5-8)"
Giff's Fiercely and Friends early-reader series limps along with this not-so-suspenseful tale. Read full book review >
THE BIG SOMETHING by Patricia Reilly Giff
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2012

"A disappointment from a noted writer in an era when outstanding early readers abound. (Early reader. 5-7)"
The Big Something doesn't end up amounting to much in this lackluster beginning reader. Read full book review >
KATE LARKIN, THE BONE EXPERT by Lindsey Tate
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2008

Eight-year-old Kate Larkin becomes a bone expert when she breaks her humerus, "the bone between the elbow and shoulder," as she explains. Partly a first-time-I-broke-a-bone book and partly an orthopedic textbook for the sneakers set, this offering for new readers walks them through the break, the hospital experience, the cast and the recovery. Kate's first-person narration is mature and intelligent, if a tad too easy with scientific details that seem to come straight from a pamphlet in a pediatrician's office. Black-and-white sketches and diagrams grace every spread and help keep the book grounded in the story of the broken bone. Kate's face looks appropriately worried, in pain or comforted, even when the prose seems a bit clinical for an eight-year-old. Children are always interested in accidents and broken bones and will respond to this straightforward tale of how Kate spent her summer holiday. (glossary, related activities) (Fiction. 7-9)Read full book review >
“MY GRANDMOTHER IS A SINGING YAYA” by Karen Scourby D’Arc
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

With alternating admiration and embarrassment, young Lulu presents her "Yaya"—Greek for "Grandma"—a former opera singer given to trilling out exuberantly at every opportunity. Palmisciano (Hannah and the Whistling Teakettle, 2000, etc.) gives Lulu's Yaya loud clothes, a pink bicycle, a shock of tightly curled, glossy black hair, and a big personality. The action climaxes at a Grandparents' Day picnic, where, amidst scenes of gray-haired elders of both sexes engaged in such typical activities as flirting and changing a diaper, Lulu struggles to keep Yaya quiet, fails utterly, and at last just joyfully joins in. The title becomes Lulu's song whenever she's in the mood to let go. Almost as free with her savory lemon soup and mouthwatering baklava as she is with a song, Yaya joins a chorus of memorable picture story grandmas, from Tomie DePaola's Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs (1973, 1998) to Arthur Dorros's Abuela (1991). (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
THE DOLLHOUSE MAGIC by Yona Zeldis McDonough
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2000

A simply written but touching holiday tale about cross-generational friendship. Sisters Lila and Jane are bewitched by the magnificent dollhouse displayed in the front window of Miss Amanda Whitcomb's house. Stopping by the window after school to gaze at the intricately wrought plaything is the highlight of the girls' day. Creating stories about the dollhouse and its contents helps the pair cope with the privations of the Great Depression; their Dad is out of work, they've moved out of their fine home, etc. An unexpected encounter with the eccentric, but friendly, older woman who lives inside the home marks the start of a special friendship. Miss Whitcomb welcomes the girls into her home, allowing them to play with her dollhouse. Despite their family's hardships, the girls exhibit remarkable grace as they, and their family, freely share of their goodhearted spirit with the lonesome spinster. The inevitable disaster occurs when Miss Whitcomb dies suddenly on Christmas Eve, leaving the children devastated. They soon learn that Miss Whitcomb has left them the dollhouse. Yet, her legacy is both physical and spiritual as the girls generously share their new treasure with the child who has moved into Miss Whitcomb's home. McDonough's attention to small details vividly recreates the ambiance of the Depression era. While the plot is predictable, the combination of the character's sweet nobility with McDonough's winsome prose is beguiling. Palmisciano's black-and-white illustrations, cheerfully drawn and with an eye for period details, lighten the emotional intensity of the tale. A wholesome and nostalgic period piece that's a moving affirmation of good will to all. An author's note provides further background information on the Great Depression. (Fiction. 7-10)Read full book review >
GETTING USED TO HARRY by Cari Best
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

Best (Taxi! Taxi!, 1995, not reviewed) has added another entry—one of the better ones—to the shelf of stories about adjusting to stepparents. When Cynthia's mom marries Harry, the shoe store man, the new couple dances around the room while Harry trills, ``Isn't love the berries!'' But Cynthia doesn't like being shunted to secondary status in her mother's life. In keeping with its relaxed tone, the book is short on scenes of Cynthia and Harry not getting along, but includes a sweet, extended episode where they reconcile when Cynthia gets insomnia. Smart and snappy, Best's words breeze across the pages as nimbly as ballroom dancers. The title may give the ending away, but was there ever any real doubt about the outcome? Palmisciano's watercolors accent the lighter-than-air tone. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
GET THE PICTURE, JENNY ARCHER? by Ellen Conford
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

Jenny Archer (Can Do, Jenny Archer, 1991, etc.) is disappointed when her grandfather's ballyhooed surprise for her turns out to be nothing but a used camera. When she sees an ad for a photography contest in Kid Talk magazine, however, she decides to give the camera a try. Her first roll is a disaster, but she reads the instruction booklet and tries again, looking for the perfect ``candied'' shot for the contest. She takes a picture of what she believes is a neighbor, Mrs. Katz, strangling her dog, Kiss-Kiss, and almost takes one of a plastic-covered car in neighbor Mr. Munch's driveway. Imagining that Kiss-Kiss is in danger and Mr. Munch is a car thief, Jenny writes anonymous letters of warning. The neighbors storm Jenny's house in a rage: Mrs. Katz accuses her of libel and demands the incriminating picture—which actually shows, not Mrs. Katz strangling Kiss-Kiss, but a large tear in the seat of Mrs. Katz's pants. Mr. Munch tells how Jenny spoiled his surprise birthday present for Mrs. Munch. Jenny apologizes, her parents give her a lecture on jumping to conclusions—she had also thought her mother was having a baby because of a baby-naming book she saw in the garbage—and there the story thankfully ends. Convoluted and dull. (Fiction. 7-9) Read full book review >
CAN DO, JENNY ARCHER by Ellen Conford
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 2, 1991

The school is buying video equipment with the proceeds from a scrap-metal drive, and the student who collects the most cans will get to direct the first film! Suddenly discovering that she's always wanted to make movies, Jenny springs into action- -plundering her neighbors' recycling bins, nagging her sitter and parents to buy more canned goods, even recruiting everyone in her grandparents' apartment building. It's not that easy—classmate Beth has turned from best friend to rival, and even the indomitable Jenny is temporarily discouraged when two big bags of her cans are inadvertently thrown away. Though little Wilson Wynn is the surprise contest winner, Jenny regains both friend and self-confidence by the end. A generous number of amiable b&w illustrations echo this light story's cheerful humor. Sixth in a popular series. (Fiction. 9-11) Read full book review >