Books by Ed Young

MIGHTY MOBY by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"Stunning illustrations and authentic words grace this unusually sophisticated picture book. (Picture book. 5-10)"
Following Nighttime Ninja (2012), Young and DaCosta collaborate once again, this time infusing the sense and spirit of Moby-Dick (with a twist) into a picture book. Read full book review >
NIGHTTIME NINJA by Barbara DaCosta
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 18, 2012

"This relatively gentle tale celebrating the power of imagination fails to cover new territory but is executed quite well. Good to share at bedtime with antsy adventurers but too subdued a choice for die-hard Ninjago fans. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Debut picture-book author DaCosta pens the quietly suspenseful quest of a ninja on a late-night mission…to the kitchen! Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"A felicitous pairing of two children's literature pros to encourage our sense of wonder. (Picture book/poetry. 5-12)"
Poems in varied forms urge readers to marvel at animals living in surprising environments. Read full book review >
THE MASTERWORK OF A PAINTING ELEPHANT by Michelle Cuevas
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 11, 2011

"A touching, singular story of a painting elephant and the boy he lovingly fosters. (Fiction. 6-12)"
A little boy and a nurturing elephant embark on a memorable search and find adventure, fame and the meaning of home. Read full book review >
THE HOUSE BABA BUILT by Ed Young
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 3, 2011

"Sophisticated, inventive art invites close viewings for patient readers in this unusual family story. (foreword, time line, author's note) (Picture book/memoir. 7-12)"
Flashes of multi-media brilliance illuminate this darkly colored, leisurely paced memoir of childhood in Shanghai. Read full book review >
MOON BEAR by Brenda Z. Guiberson
ANIMALS
Released: May 11, 2010

"Tempting but not nutritious. (Informational picture book. 4-7)"
With a series of questions and haiku-like answers, Guiberson (Ice Bears, 2008) introduces young readers and listeners to bears from a far-off place. Read full book review >
HOOK by Ed Young
Kirkus Star
by Ed Young, illustrated by Ed Young
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2009

"Arresting and absorbing, this tale soars. (Picture book. 4-8)"
An unusual bird soars through striking art and powerful imagery. Read full book review >
TSUNAMI! by Kimiko Kajikawa
Kirkus Star
by Kimiko Kajikawa, illustrated by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"A visually powerful and dramatic tribute to one man's willingness to sacrifice everything for others. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Through quick thinking and personal sacrifice, a wise old Japanese farmer saves the people of his village from a devastating tsunami in this simple yet striking story based on Lafcadio Hearn's "A Living God." Read full book review >
WABI SABI by Mark Reibstein
Kirkus Star
by Mark Reibstein, illustrated by Ed Young
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"Simply beautiful. (notes, translations of Japanese haiku) (Picture book. 6-10)"
The Japanese concept of wabi sabi, or the art of finding "beauty and harmony in what is simple," is explored textually and visually in this story of a Japanese cat named Wabi Sabi who wonders what her name means when a visitor asks her mistress. Read full book review >
TWENTY HEARTBEATS by Dennis Haseley
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2008

A wealthy man engages a great painter to create an image of the faithful horse that runs to him in 20 heartbeats. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: June 1, 2006

"A striking, inspiring tribute. (afterword) (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)"
A gorgeously illustrated praise-song illuminates the yearnings and achievement of Tenzing Norgay, recently recovered from history as the Nepalese Sherpa who, along with Sir Edmund Hillary, conquered Mount Everest in 1953. Read full book review >
MY MEI MEI by Ed Young
Kirkus Star
by Ed Young, illustrated by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2006

"By the close, of course, exhibiting the collusive, boundary-pushing exuberance of young siblings, the girls sweetly ask, 'Can we have another Mei Mei?' (author's note) (Picture book. 4-7)"
Young's own daughters, successively adopted as babies in China, inspire this tender celebration of love flowering between sisters. Read full book review >
BEYOND THE GREAT MOUNTAINS by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

It's uncanny how much handmade paper, torn and painted just the right way, can resemble clouds, or how its texture mimics a craggy mountainside. Read full book review >
SHANGHAI MESSENGER by Andrea Cheng
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Wonderfully evocative. (Fiction/poetry. 8-14)"
Half-Chinese Xiao Mei (May in English) is 11, going alone from Ohio to visit her extended family in Shanghai. Read full book review >
I, DOKO by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

"The dynamic, jewel-toned pastel, collage and gouache illustrations, bordered and flecked with gold give dignity, richness and power to a traditional Asian tale that embodies both the Golden Rule and respect for the elderly. (Picture book. 5-8)"
The epigraph from Kung Fu Tze—"What one wishes not upon oneself, one burdens not upon another"—aptly summarizes this simple parable set in Nepal. Read full book review >
THE SONS OF THE DRAGON KING by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2004

"Terrific in conjunction with an art program—less successful as a story on its own. (author's note) (Picture book/folklore. 6-10)"
The illustrations outshine the story in this traditional Chinese tale of how the Dragon King helps each of his nine sons find a way to exploit his personal attributes to the overall benefit of the people. Read full book review >
TAI CHI MORNING by Nikki Grimes
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

"While it might be hard to find an audience for this, it opens up possibilities for history, culture, and poetry classes for middle grades. (Poetry/travel. 8-12)"
In 1988, poet Grimes was part of an artists' tour of China, performing, reading, traveling, and teaching. Read full book review >
WHAT ABOUT ME? by Ed Young
by Ed Young, illustrated by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2001

"Heathered paper makes an earthy background for these expertly designed, uncluttered pages. (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 4-7)"
This ancient Sufi tale, with beautiful new collage-and-watercolor illustrations, follows a familiar narrative structure. Read full book review >
MONKEY KING by Ed Young
Kirkus Star
by Ed Young, illustrated by Ed Young
ANIMALS
Released: March 31, 2001

"This visually and thematically rich creation by one of our finest picture book artists is wonderful both to read aloud and to peruse and ponder at leisure. (Picture book/folktale. All ages)"
Using a combination of handmade and bought papers, Young has created a dazzling collage adaptation of the traditional Chinese legend of the Monkey King. Read full book review >
THE HUNTER by Mary Casanova
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"As much about the changing character of Hai Li Bu's community as about his own selflessness, this multilayered tale will leave readers moved and thoughtful. (Picture book/folk tale. 7-10)"
In this spare retelling of a Chinese folk tale, a hunter receives a wonderful gift that ultimately costs him his life. Read full book review >
DESERT SONG by Tony Johnston
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Pictures and text are gentle and poetic, suggesting the mystery of the desert at night, where all is not as quiet as it might first appear. (Picture book. 4-8)"
When twilight comes to the Sonoran desert, bats fly from their cave "like dry leaves blowing, like shadows on the wing," searching for insects. Read full book review >
THE LOST HORSE by Ed Young
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1998

"Three multi-jointed, delicately wrought puppets—or dolls—are included; although it may be difficult for children to envision reenacting this cerebral tale on the puppet stage, Young's words of encouragement may be enough to get them engaged. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)"
In this retelling of a Chinese folktale from Young (Mouse Match, 1997, etc.), the wise man, Sai, conveys to others how what appears bad is often good, and what first seems good fortune can be bad. Read full book review >
MOUSE MATCH by Ed Young
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"It's a polished, effective presentation, for lap-sharing or story hours, and evidence that Young continuously redefines his role as a picture-book creator. (Picture book/folklore. 5-9)"
The mouse-parents of a cherished mouse-daughter seek the greatest and most powerful suitor for her; the sun begs off, for it humbly admits it can be eclipsed by a cloud. Read full book review >
GENESIS by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 28, 1997

"While not for those who want a literal illustration of Genesis, this beautiful book honors the Word and the story. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Young (Night Visitors, 1995, etc.), with his sure elegance, exceptional take on nuance and suggestion, and the palpable luxury of his colors, creates a compelling version of the Judeo-Christian creation story. Read full book review >
VOICES OF THE HEART by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

A labor of love for a versatile illustrator (see review, above) introduces some Chinese characters and invites readers to muse upon human nature. Read full book review >
PINOCCHIO by C. Collodi
by C. Collodi, illustrated by Ed Young
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 10, 1996

"It's an energetic rendition that invites the audience to meet again the mischievous puppet with all his foibles, setting the stage for an Oz-like ending that reaffirms the power of good. (Fiction. 6+)"
What most readers know of Pinocchio is a wooden puppet whose nose grows from telling lies. Read full book review >
OCTOBER SMILED BACK by Lisa Westberg Peters
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Children may not connect with this on their own, but it may make an accessible prelude to more formal poetic encounters. (Picture book. 5-8)"
October Smiled Back ($14.95; Sept. 1996; 32 pp.; 0-8050-1776-3): Personification is difficult to present in poetry directed at young children, but Peters (The Hayloft, 1995, etc.) achieves some success with this quiet ramble through a single year. Read full book review >
WHITE WAVE by Diane Wolkstein
adapted by Diane Wolkstein, illustrated by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Still, where copies are tattered, or for those who missed it the first time around, this is a beautiful volume. (Picture book/folklore. 3-7)"
Wolkstein (Esther's Story, 1996, etc.) revisits an exquisite Chinese folktale she first published in 1979. Read full book review >
THE TURKEY GIRL by Penny Pollock
adapted by Penny Pollock, illustrated by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1996

"A graceful, dreamy episode. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)"
Unlike most Cinderella variants, this retelling of a Zuni story ends unhappily, and hinges on the main character's unfaithfulness. Read full book review >
NIGHT VISITORS by Ed Young
by Ed Young, illustrated by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 17, 1995

An enchanting Chinese folktale is enhanced by the subdued, mesmeric style of Young (Donkey Trouble, p. 1360, etc.). Read full book review >
DONKEY TROUBLE by Ed Young
by Ed Young, illustrated by Ed Young
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

A traditional fable (not sourced, but often attributed to an Arabian folktale) about an old man and his grandson who go to the market to sell their donkey. Read full book review >
CAT AND RAT by Ed Young
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"Inclusion of a page of horoscopes along with the Gregorian equivalents to the animals' years will intrigue readers, but the story may not keep them involved to the end. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)"
According to the notes at the beginning of the book, when the Chinese calendar was created, the animals ran a race, and the 12 who came in first had a year named after them. Read full book review >
LITTLE PLUM by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 28, 1994

"A trickster tale rich with meaning and handsomely set. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-10)"
Drawing on two Chinese-language versions of a traditional tale about a boy even smaller than Tom Thumb, Young portrays a hero who's sure to endear himself to listeners and storytellers alike. Read full book review >
IBLIS by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim
adapted by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim, illustrated by Ed Young
NONFICTION
Released: April 1, 1994

"A beautiful and powerful offering. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4+)"
A retelling of the Fall, based on an Islamic version dating from the ninth century. Read full book review >
SADAKO by Eleanor Coerr
by Eleanor Coerr, illustrated by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 27, 1993

"A sensitive adaptation that makes a classic story accessible to a younger audience. (Biography/Picture book. 6-9)"
Using soft-focus pastel images (created for a 1990 video) and a shortened text, Coerr's poignant story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (1977) is recast in picture-book format. Read full book review >
MOON MOTHER by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 30, 1993

"Young's full-bleed art, rendered in pastels, is vibrant with sumptuous color; the dazzling, sunstruck mist of early dawn is especially arresting, and the elemental, cloudlike forms truly bespeak a universal beginning. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In a lovely creation tale (drawn from Charles E. S. Wood's 1901 collection of ``Myths of the North American Indians''; not attributed to any tribe), plants come first, with no one to eat their fruits until a lonely ``spirit person'' makes animals, then ``images of himself.'' Since the men are hunters, he gives the animals defenses (most effective is the skunk's). Read full book review >
RED THREAD by Ed Young
by Ed Young, illustrated by Ed Young
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 24, 1993

"Another splendid achievement for this fine artist. (No source given, but LC classes this in 398.21.) (Folklore/Picture book. 4+)"
With an imaginative, innovative use of traditional elements of Chinese art recalling Young's Lon Po Po (1990 Caldecott Medal), another spellbinding Chinese tale. Read full book review >
SEVEN BLIND MICE by Ed Young
ANIMALS
Released: April 29, 1992

"Exquisitely crafted: a simple, gracefully honed text, an appealing story, real but unobtrusive values and levels of meaning, and outstanding illustrations and design—all add up to a perfect book. (Picture book. 3+)"
A many-talented illustrator (Lon Po Po, 1989, Caldecott Medal) uses a new medium—collage—in an innovative reworking of ``The Blind Men and the Elephant,'' with splendid results: a book that casually rehearses the days of the week, numbers (ordinal and cardinal), and colors while memorably explicating and extending the theme: ``Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.'' The mice (first seen as an intriguing row of bright tails on the elegantly spare black title spread) are the colors of the rainbow plus white; they, the white text, and the parts of the elephant (as they really are and as the mice imagine them) are superimposed on a dramatic black ground. Read full book review >
WHILE I SLEEP by Mary Calhoun
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: April 23, 1992

"The idea here is trite, but Young's imaginative visualization is a pleasure. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Like Ginsburg's Asleep, Asleep (below), another bedtime survey of sleepers, inspired by a child's questions. Read full book review >
WHAT COMES IN SPRING? by Barbara Savadge Horton
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1992

"A lovely first book, with a text worthy of its beautiful setting. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A gracefully poetic conversation between a mother and daughter links the cycling of the seasons to the child's own birth. Read full book review >
THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
POETRY
Released: March 31, 1992

A prolific illustrator (Caldecott winner for Lon Po Po, 1989) takes on one of the 19th century's most enduring narrative poems, providing six double-spread and two single-page illustrations in glowing, impressionistic pastels plus many vignettes rendered in charcoal. Read full book review >
DREAMCATCHER by Audrey Osofsky
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: March 1, 1992

"A quiet glimpse of family affection and other universals within a particular traditional culture. (Picture book. 0-4)"
With a willow twig and nettle-stalk twine, an Ojibway baby's sister weaves a weblike ``dreamcatcher'' to hang above the crib and sift out bad dreams. Read full book review >
GOODBYE GEESE by Nancy White Carlstrom
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 7, 1991

"Like the boy who asks the questions here, young children will be intrigued by the author's nicely developed metaphor; but it's Young's lovely illustrations that give the book its distinction. (Picture book. 4-9)"
In poetic dialogue, Papa personifies winter in response to a child's queries: ``Does winter have eyes? Read full book review >
THE DOUBLE LIFE OF POCAHONTAS by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 28, 1983

"Buoyant and affecting."
What, one might wonder, does Fritz see in the hackneyed subject of Pocahontas? Read full book review >
THE GIRL WHO LOVED THE WIND by Ed Young
Released: Nov. 20, 1972

"It's all a little too impalpable to be a story hour favorite, though Yolen tells it with her usual grace and the elegant, patterned illustrations which the editors compare to Persian miniatures suit the opulent artificiality of the setting."
The story of a rich merchant who tries in vain to protect his beautiful daughter from the world is a familiar one and apparently rather limited in its capacity for vitalizing variation. Read full book review >