Books by Ed Briant

PETAL AND POPPY AND THE MYSTERY VALENTINE by Lisa Clough
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 29, 2015

"Stick with Elephant and Piggie, Mouse and Mole, and Minnie and Moo. (Early reader. 5-7)"
Petal and Poppy discover the identity of their mystery valentine. Read full book review >
PETAL AND POPPY AND THE SPOOKY HALLOWEEN! by Lisa Clough
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 26, 2014

"Although this husband and wife team put forth a good effort, the characters have only mild appeal when compared to the likes of Elephant and Piggie or Frog and Toad. (Graphic early reader. 4-8)"
Good friends Petal and Poppy alternate fears during Halloween night in their third series adventure. Read full book review >
PETAL AND POPPY by Lisa Clough
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2014

An elephant and a rhino can't see eye to eye, but they eventually find a helpful middle ground. Read full book review >
I AM (NOT) THE WALRUS by Ed Briant
YOUNG ADULT
Released: July 8, 2012

"The witty nonchalance of both dialogue and narration keeps this rock-'n'-roll romp light and entertaining and successfully balances it with suspense. (Mystery. 12 & up)"
Toby's life in Port Jackson, England, is frankly weird. Read full book review >
CHOPPY SOCKY BLUES by Ed Briant
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2010

Fourteen-year-old Jason Smallfield comes to understand that things are not always as they seem in a coming-of-age novel that packs a punch. Jason's father is a well-known movie stuntman, an expert in all things "choppy socky"—karate, defenestration and other fighting skills. Trevor Smallfield, according to Jason, is a man who lied, cheated and deserted his family, and Jason has never forgiven him, but the protagonist comes to realize that his parents, friends and Tinga, the girl he's falling in love with, aren't always what they seem. Could this be true of his father as well? Though everything Jason knows about girls comes from porn magazines, his relationship with a real girl named Tinga is appropriately sweet, restrained and tentative, and his growing understanding of the people in his world is subtly evoked. In a field of fine coming-of-age novels for girls, here's one that boys will get a kick out of. (Fiction. 12 & up)Read full book review >
IF YOU LIVED HERE YOU’D BE HOME BY NOW by Ed Briant
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Briant's latest, a wordless fable about imperiled nature, spans two generations in colorful panels. A boy reads a book about woodland animals with his dad, then presses a fallen leaf within. He departs in a dream sequence, book in tow, in quest of those animals, meeting an enormous, owlish creature festooned in autumn leaves. The crash of falling trees interrupts their revelry in the teeming forest, as runaway construction encroaches. The illustrations cleverly depicts nature's waning grip on the boy: The older he gets, the fainter grows his memory of the leaf-creature. Cut to a future of flitting hovercraft in a completely built landscape. The boy's now a dad, who takes his son camping after the lad's incidental rediscovery of the animal book. While Dad can conjure the memory of the leaf creature, only his son spies it—though they share a rewarding glimpse of the remaining wildlife. While a few of the many panels don't smoothly telegraph the action and emotion, the overall effect is crisply resonant. Affecting, and a nice choice for family sharing. (Picture book. 3-6) Read full book review >
DON’T LOOK NOW by Ed Briant
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2009

Minor greed, outsized imaginations and a couple of boys collide in almost wordless sequential panels suggestive of James Stevenson, Jon Agee and Mad magazine. On a tiny patio, two playmates tussle over stuff—a toy ship in an inflatable pool, a bike, bowls of ice cream. Each kid snaggles the other's temporary possession via the time-tested technique of shouting, "Don't look now but there's a..." Conjuring a giant snake, a winged dragon, a striped tiger and more, one boy fleeces the other until—yikes!—their umbrella table plummets through cracking concrete to a creature-teeming milieu surpassing their wildest invocations. In the volcanic jungle where they alight, that contested bike dangles precariously and an ice-cream bowl perches in a tree, freezing the tuckus off a bird that mistakes it for a nest of eggs. When the ice cream attracts a monster, the boys flee—pedaling, diving and bursting upward, to bunk beds, books and—one gathers—rumpuses to come. Briant's bright palette and storyboarding expertise produce kid-pleasing results wry enough to elicit adult chuckles. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
GIZMO by Barry Varela
by Barry Varela, illustrated by Ed Briant
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2007

Engineering becomes art in this sprightly tale of a huge but useless machine saved from the wrecking ball. Written in rhymed free verse, the tale opens with Professor Ludwig von Glink waking one morning with an idea for a perpetual-motion device. He's wrong—but so entrancing is his mechanical gizmo that he decides "to work up some specs / and see if I can make this / mingle-mangle of intricate / jury-rigged gimcrackery / yet more complex." Cheered on by his wife (dressed, as he is, in a lab coat) and five children, the Professor proceeds to wreath the entire house in gears and rods, pulleys, slides and pinwheels. Then a hard-nosed Building Inspector shows up. Using quick strokes of pen and brush, Briant creates buoyant, increasingly crowded cartoon scenes featuring a magnificent construct that almost conceals the house around and through which it snakes—and which is saved by the last minute appeal of the City Contemporary Art Museum's strong-minded Director. Like another recent iteration of the theme, Dayle Ann Dodds's Henry's Amazing Machine (2004), illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker, the unusual language adds great read-aloud potential. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
A DAY AT THE BEACH by Ed Briant
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2006

A perfect summer day at the beach includes swimming, gazing at the fish, taking photos, building sandcastles—and two and a half hours in the car! A drive to admire the ocean with Dad turns into a myriad of back-and-forth trips to the house as the two siblings wish for something else upon each arrival: swimsuits, goggles, a camera and sand shovels. On the last trip, Dad drives the pickup truck, the back piled high with everything but the kitchen sink. The two still manage to want something he didn't bring, but Dad comes up with a clever solution and gives them something they always want—time with him. Too bad he didn't think of this resolution four car trips ago. While the story is uninspiring, the artwork may motivate young readers to explore materials in new ways. Briant created his unique scenes by computer compositing digital photos of wire and clay figures and cardboard sets. The result resembles claymation. The cover flap states, "[Dad] has just what they need to make their day at the beach the best ever!" It's too bad that for most of the story, this means a driver's license and a vehicle. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
SEVEN STORIES by Ed Briant
by Ed Briant, illustrated by Ed Briant
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

Playing it (more or less) straight in the text but not in the pictures, Briant chronicles a young insomniac's efforts to get to sleep, stymied by noises all around, from bumps and shrieks in adjoining apartments, to voices in the hallway and commotions down in the street. The ruckus is created by a set of unusual but familiar fellow residents, from a giant searching for his goose and three irritated bears catching an interloper in one of their beds, to a lovely party-goer losing a slipper as she runs down the front steps and a raggedly dressed wolf trying to entice a trio of piglets to come out and play. Briant creates a simply drawn setting and a multiethnic (not to mention multi-species) cast for this nighttime urban symphony—from which the wakeful narrator finally finds surcease by pulling a pea out from beneath her mattress: "Then I turned over once, turned over twice. And fell fast asleep." A restful alternative to the likes of Jerome & Jarrett Pumphrey's Creepy Things Are Scaring Me (2003), illus by Rosanne Litzinger. (Picture book. 5-7)Read full book review >
PAPER PARADE by Sarah Weeks
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2004

Forced to stay inside while a parade passes outside, a child produces a parade of her own in this tippety-tappety take on turning lemons into lemonade. Bad timing: just as band music comes floating in the window, baby brother Joe needs "a nap, nap, nap." So his apartment-bound big sister sets to with paper and scissors, constructing marching figures to a rattling, drumbeat commentary: "Tickity tee / Follow me! / Ba-rum-pum-pum / Here we come!" After dozing off for a brief parade dream, she then suspends her creations on a coat hanger over baby's crib. Briant rolls, pleats, and curls brightly colored papers to make models and modeler both, then poses them artfully against pastel backgrounds. This high-stepping debut (for him) makes an infectiously hand-clapping, toe-tapping read-aloud, as well as an invitation to the pleasures of handmade play. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >