Books by Donna Rawlins

THE FIREFIGHTERS by Sue Whiting
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2008

Rawlins's preschoolers perfectly model the fun children can have when they use their imaginations. Using props they find around the school, Mrs. Iverson and her students pretend that a fire call has just come in. They race to dress and hop aboard their cardboard fire engine, "just like the REAL one." A wall in the midst of being painted red serves as their fire, which they quickly put out. While they are resting from their labors, a real fire truck pays a visit to the school, and two firefighters teach the students all about their jobs and fire safety. Whiting's final lines capture the essence of a preschooler's sense of the myriad possibilities that the future holds: " ‘You know, we're firefighters, too,' I tell the firefighters. ‘Just not the REAL ones like you. Not yet!' " The acrylic illustrations—vivid colors against appropriately blank-canvas white space—give concrete examples of the ways in which ordinary materials can become playthings. A spark to imaginations, with a little fire safety on the side. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
GUESS THE BABY by Simon French
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 21, 2002

A wry tale that captures a youngster's awe of babies and the comical disbelief that all adults emerged from infancy. A Show and Tell featuring a classmate's baby brother is the impetus for a discussion on babies. French includes typical children's perspectives on babies—odoriferous diapers, frequent crying—as well as some perspicacious reflections on baby-care, including a class discussion on the daily needs of infants: feeding, changing, affection, etc. French segues into a classroom guessing game in which all the students bring in their baby pictures for everyone to identify. The discovery of their teacher's baby picture leads to a droll discussion of Mr. Judd's babyhood, with the children imagining their beloved instructor in a pre-adult role. Rawlins's colored pencil and acrylic gouache paintings are a medley of brilliant hues and genial faces. Her playful classroom scene is idyllically rendered while the flashbacks of Mr. Judd's infancy are facetiously portrayed; one picture depicts a pint-sized version of the teacher in a pram, complete with dark mustache. The colorful collage of baby photographs encourages readers to join in on the fun, poring over the illustrations in an attempt to match baby to school child. A light-hearted tale with high kid appeal. (Picture book. 4-6)Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

The subtitle clarifies Little's approach in his first book: ``And More Little-Known Facts and a Few Fibs About Other Animals.'' Both droll and silly, it will need some book-talking to find an audience. The graphics and format are sophisticated; the text is wry and dense with information and deliberate misinformation. Some sections are funny: The ``Shoppers' Guide'' offers ten rules for telling apart a pineapple and an echidna (spiny anteater). On the page, spiny anteaters wind in and out the text and pineapples sit in a stately row. Other sections of the book (a short story called ``How Isabella spoke bird'') demonstrate just what an odd mix of fact and fiction this volume is, which LC catalogues as 591 (Animals-Miscellaneous). Fact-finders may not find the more fanciful flights helpful; these are sometimes so subtle that fibs and facts will be hard for children to tell apart. Nevertheless, Little has a lively imagination; after playing so fast and loose with nonfiction, it will be interesting to see what he comes up with next. (Nonfiction. 10+) Read full book review >
JEREMY'S TAIL by Duncan Ball
ADVENTURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

In an outrageously tall tale, blindfolded Jeremy is determined to pin the tail on a donkey—and not to peek. All unaware, he walks out the door, onto a bus, and then—by various means of transportation reported only in Rawlins's sumptuous illustrations—around the world and even into space before wandering back to pin the tail in just the right place. The sly interplay between the text, which reports only what the oblivious, vulnerable-looking Jeremy can sense without seeing, and the wild pictured adventures should keep young audiences giggling. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >