Books by E.B. Lewis

E. B. Lewis recently won a Caldecott honor for Coming on Home Soon. He lives in Folsom, New Jersey.


ALL DIFFERENT NOW by Angela Johnson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 6, 2014

"The richness of this book's words and images will inspire readers to learn more about this holiday that never should have been necessary…but was. (Web resources, glossary) (Picture book. 5-9)"
Johnson tells a tale of Juneteenth in Texas through the eyes of a child, while Lewis' earth-toned watercolor illustrations capture the quotidian aspects of the way of life emancipation ended. Read full book review >
TROUPER by Meg Kearney
by Meg Kearney, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Released: Nov. 1, 2013

"Sure to tug the heartstrings, this is a lovely and satisfying tale. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Trouper, a three-legged stray dog, narrates the story of his life to his new owner in this compelling, beautifully illustrated book based on a true rescue story. Read full book review >
TEA CAKES FOR TOSH by Kelly Starling Lyons
Released: Dec. 6, 2012

"A charmer; all that's missing are the hugs. (recipe) (Picture book. 4-7)"
Detailed watercolor art pairs precisely with earnest, delicate prose to create a gentle yet substantive picture book. Read full book review >
EACH KINDNESS by Jacqueline Woodson
Released: Oct. 2, 2012

"Something of the flipside to the team's The Other Side (2001), this is a great book for teaching kindness. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Woodson and Lewis' latest collaboration unfolds with harsh beauty and the ominousness of opportunities lost. Read full book review >
UNDER THE BAOBAB TREE by Julie Stiegemeyer
Released: May 1, 2012

"A subtle, captivating glimpse of another way of life, with a regrettably generalized author's note about the significance of the baobab tree in African culture. (Picture book/religion. 4-8)"
A brother and sister travel to a special gathering under a gigantic baobab tree in this quiet, beautifully illustrated story set in a rural area of an unnamed African country. Read full book review >
HOME IS WITH OUR FAMILY by Joyce Hansen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Dec. 21, 2010

"Still, young readers will find the setting fascinating, and this will pair well with Tonya Bolden's nonfiction Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl (2005). (Historical fiction. 9-12)"
It is 1855 in Manhattan and Maria Peters is 13 years old. Read full book review >
ROBIN HOOD AND THE GOLDEN ARROW by Robert D. San Souci
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"It is a feast to look upon, although, sadly, Marian does not figure in this version, so there are no female figures at all. (author's note) (Picture book/folktale. 5-9)"
The roots of this particular Robin Hood tale date to the 15th century. Read full book review >
JACKIE'S GIFT by Sharon Robinson
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"The true story, retold by Jackie Robinson's daughter, presents some valuable lessons about friendship and acceptance in a gentle way, well-matched with understated watercolor illustrations that capture Jackie's famous smile. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)"
Young Steve Satlow is a big baseball fan living in Brooklyn in the late 1940s, and he can scarcely believe his good fortune when Jackie Robinson and his family move in nearby. Read full book review >
THE SECRET WORLD OF WALTER ANDERSON by Hester Bass
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

A gorgeous chronicle of a versatile southern American artist. Read full book review >
STARS ABOVE US by Geoffrey Norman
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"A flawed but welcome addition to the sparse cadre of trade titles on this topic. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Norman's first picture book explores a child's fear of the dark as a manifestation of, and metaphor for, acute separation anxiety. Read full book review >
HOMEGROWN HOUSE by Janet S. Wong
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 19, 2009

"Kids anticipating or recovering from moving should feel right at home. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A young girl frets about moving to a new house while yearning for a "homegrown" house like her grandmother's. Read full book review >
THE NEGRO SPEAKS OF RIVERS by Langston Hughes
POETRY
Released: Jan. 6, 2009

"The beautifully reverent, serene cover image will persuade all to look inside. (Picture book. 5 & up)"
A visual paean to Hughes's enduring poem, Lewis's images make a personal connection to a taproot of feelings. Read full book review >
I WANT TO BE FREE by Joseph Slate
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"Not up to either contributor's standards, but a passable selection where slave tales or Christian inspirational tales are needed. (Picture book. 6-8)"
"Before I die, I want to be free. / But the Big Man says, ‘You belong to me.' " A young slave in the South escapes only to be tracked down and shackled, but he manages to break free again. Read full book review >
KEEPING THE NIGHT WATCH by Hope Anita Smith
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2008

"Something of a disappointment visually, but the essential poignancy shines through. (Poetry. 10-14)"
C.J. and his family return in this companion to 2003's The Way a Door Closes, winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in 2004. Read full book review >
NIGHT RUNNING by Elisa Carbone
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 8, 2008

"An excellent way to teach history, this belongs in every library. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)"
Based on a true story the author came across while writing the historical-fiction novel Stealing Freedom (1998), this beautifully illustrated picture book tells of the attempt of a young slave boy to escape his situation and go north. Read full book review >
PITCHING IN FOR EUBIE by Jerdine Nolen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

"Finely rendered realistic paintings bring life to Lily and her family in this story about taking responsibility and being there for a family member who needs help. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Lily is thrilled when her sister Eubie wins a college scholarship. Read full book review >
LILY BROWN’S PAINTINGS by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

"Lovely and buoyant. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Lewis's dynamic brush combines two art styles to show the interaction between a girl's real life and her imaginative life inside her paintings. Read full book review >
NIGHT BOAT TO FREEDOM by Margot Theis Raven
FICTION
Released: Nov. 2, 2006

"Handsome and affecting. (author's note) (Picture book. 6-9)"
Drawing from hundreds of histories recorded in the Federal Writers' Project's Slave Narrative Collection, Raven quilts a composite tale set on the border between Kentucky—a slave state—and free Ohio. Read full book review >
ACROSS THE ALLEY by Richard Michelson
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"A beautiful blend of story and art. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Jewish Abe and African-American Willie are best friends, but only secretly at night, through the windows of their city apartment buildings. Read full book review >
HAPPY FEET by Richard Michelson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 2005

A valentine to the renowned Savoy, narrated by a lad born on the day it opened in 1926 and illustrated with eye-filling watercolors featuring sharply dressed hep cats and hot, high-steppin' crowds. Read full book review >
DANITRA BROWN, CLASS CLOWN by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: July 1, 2005

"A charmer. (Picture book/poetry. 8-10)"
Danitra Brown is back and so is her friend Zuri. Read full book review >
MY BEST FRIEND by Mary Ann Rodman
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2005

"Lovely. (Picture book. 4-7)"
At the pool each week, six-year-old Lily tries to impress and emulate seven-year-old Tamika. Read full book review >
THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE by E.B. Lewis
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

"The musical score is included. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The well-known African-American spiritual serves as the text for this evocative interpretation, looking at one boy's cheerful personality as a shining light in his own neighborhood. Read full book review >
COMING ON HOME SOON by Jacqueline Woodson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Longing, loneliness, pride, and doing what needs to be done shine off the pages and into the hearts of readers. (Picture book. 5-8)"
In a perfect pairing with Woodson's text, Lewis manages to make his rich watercolors glow with the light of memory in a simple story of another time of war. Read full book review >
WHEN YOU WERE BORN by Dianna Hutts Aston
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"Sure to have a huge audience. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Welcome-baby books make for joy when not squashed by gooey sentimentality, and this one works. Read full book review >
CIRCLE UNBROKEN by Margot Theis Raven
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 2004

In solemn Gullah cadences, an old woman passes on to a grandchild centuries of history embodied in the Sea Islands' distinctive sweetgrass baskets, as in equally solemn watercolors, Lewis takes the tale from an ancestral African village, through the Middle Passage and slavery days, to changes brought by the automobile and distant modern wars. Read full book review >
SOMETIMES MY MOMMY GETS ANGRY by Bebe Moore Campbell
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Carefully designed to lend subtle support to families and counselors as well as to the child with a limited understanding of the situation. (Picture book. 7-10)"
Campbell addresses the frightening and depressing effects a parent's mental illness can have on her child and subtly presents coping strategies for the youngster. Read full book review >
JOE-JOE’S FIRST FLIGHT by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 10, 2003

"An author's note discusses African-Americans in aviation. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Beautiful watercolor illustrations highlight a touching account of African-American airport workers' aspirations. Read full book review >
TALKIN’ ABOUT BESSIE by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"Brave Bessie Coleman," the first black woman in the world to earn a pilot's license, has been the subject of several recent picture book biographies: (Fly, Bessie, Fly, by Lynn Joseph, 1998; Fly High!, by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger, 2001; Nobody Owns the Sky, by Reeve Lindbergh, 1996). Read full book review >
LITTLE CLIFF AND THE COLD PLACE by Clifton L. Taulbert
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"It's to be hoped there will be many more to come. (Picture book. 5-9)"
In 1950s Glen Allan, Mississippi, Little Cliff is introduced to the wider world by a map and an enthusiastic teacher. Read full book review >
LITTLE CLIFF’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL by Clifton L. Taulbert
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2001

"An affecting sequel to Little Cliff and the Porch People (1999) that was the first to offer some of Taulbert's characters from his adult memoirs to young readers. (Picture book. 5-7)"
The first day of first grade looms, and Little Cliff has sadly lined up his toys to bid goodbye: " ‘I can't play with y'all no more. Read full book review >
BIPPITY BOP BARBERSHOP by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"And their steadiness and warmth are equally applauded in Lewis's sure-handed watercolors—Miles is totally adorable—inviting enough to make readers want to go out and get a trim. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Tarpley and Lewis return to the theme of their first collaboration: I Love My Hair (1997). Read full book review >
THE OTHER SIDE by Jacqueline Woodson
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

"Award-winning Lewis's lovely realistic watercolor paintings allow readers to be quiet observers viewing the issue from both sides. (Picture book. 5+)"
Race relations, a complex issue, is addressed in a simple manner through the eyes of two young girls, one black and one white, on either side of a fence that divides their yards and, in fact, the town. Read full book review >
I LOVE MY HAIR! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"Lewis's imaginative and warm interpretations of these exchanges as well as the inclusion of bits of African-American cultural history expand the personal content. (Picture book. 3-6)"
 Tarpley's first book for children joins a growing list of titles about African-American hair—linking it to issues of self- esteem and acceptance. Read full book review >
STAYING COOL by Nancy Antle
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

"An atmospheric story of intergenerational affection, this is set in a very specific urban, African-American milieu, carefully captured in Lewis's watercolors. (Picture book. 7-10)"
 Boxing is an unusual subject for the picture-book audience. Read full book review >
ONLY A PIGEON by Jane Kurtz
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1997

"Scenery and portraits alike exhibit great skill in portraying the city and one boy's place in it, while the elegant storytelling is suffused with the quiet tension of the pigeons in danger. (glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)"
 Jane Kurtz (Trouble, p. 383, etc.) and her brother, newcomer Christopher Kurtz, offer an unusual and well-written story set in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—a tale that could be a jumping-off place for a number of topics. Read full book review >
CREATIVITY by John Steptoe
Released: Feb. 17, 1997

"Lewis's full-spread watercolors under a readable text happily complement this warm story of friendship. (Picture book. 6-10)"
A posthumously published story by Steptoe (Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, 1987, etc.) demonstrates his usual themes of positive self-image and acceptance of cultural heritage, this time presenting young African-American Charles's reaction when "this new dude walks in" to Mr. Cohen's classroom. Read full book review >
MAGID FASTS FOR RAMADAN by Mary Matthews
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 22, 1996

"There's a shortage of books that explain Islam to children; this one has but limited usefulness. (Picture book. 6-10)"
 Magid, who is eight, wants to join the other members of his family in honoring Allah by fasting for the month of Ramadan. Read full book review >
THE MAGIC MOONBERRY JUMP ROPES by Dakari Hru
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1996

"Lewis's expressive watercolors bring to life the languid summer days of childhood and the warm embrace of a neighborhood. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 An engaging story about two girls whose passion for jumping rope is enriched by the gift their uncle brings them from East Africa. Read full book review >