Books by Eileen Spinelli

ANOTHER DAY AS EMILY by Eileen Spinelli
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 13, 2014

"A witty and endearing story with a timeless message. (Verse fiction. 9-12)"
Spinelli's free verse presents a summer of self-acceptance for one girl. Read full book review >
WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING by Eileen Spinelli
Released: Feb. 1, 2013

"A lovely way to promote acceptance of introverts by themselves and others. (Picture book. 3-7)"
What do you do when no one is watching? Read full book review >
COLD SNAP by Eileen Spinelli
Released: Oct. 9, 2012

"This may not be the most exciting or enthralling winter tale, but it is perfect for sharing during readers' own cold snaps—calming, reassuring, charming. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A community caught under the pall of a weeklong cold snap comes together in this cozy, old-fashioned story that is high on both charm and appeal. Read full book review >
TOGETHER AT CHRISTMAS by Eileen Spinelli
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"The group sheltering together against the elements has echoes of Jan Brett's The Mitten (1989), but this time the protective structure has room for all to take cover in safety. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Ten tiny mice find themselves outside in the snow on Christmas Eve, seeking shelter and companionship. Read full book review >
MISS FOX'S CLASS GETS IT WRONG by Eileen Spinelli
Released: July 1, 2012

"This lesson on gossip and rumors goes down like a spoonful of sugar. (Picture book. 4-8)"
When her class starts to see Miss Fox in the frequent company of Officer Blue Fox, rumors start to fly that their teacher is in trouble with the law. Read full book review >
JONAH'S WHALE by Eileen Spinelli
Released: March 1, 2012

"A spiritually satisfying whale of a tale. (Picture book. 4-9)"
The familiar biblical story is told from the perspective of the swallowing whale. Read full book review >
A BIG BOY NOW by Eileen Spinelli
Released: Feb. 1, 2012

"A nice addition to the "growing up" books that not only deals with an obstacle to overcome, but features a main character that is slightly older than most in this genre. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Spinelli and Lloyd celebrate the self-confidence that arises from a child's achieving the milestones of growth, including the ups and downs of riding a bike sans training wheels. Read full book review >
THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 25, 2011

"The author's point may be that any joyous celebration with a happy family is a perfect Christmas, but this class-based comparison doesn't seem to be the aptest focus for a children's holiday story. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Spinelli and Adinolfi team up again for a look at another perfect holiday celebration, following the same families chronicled in their collaboration on The Perfect Thanksgiving (2003). Read full book review >
DO YOU HAVE A DOG? by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"Despite inherently child-friendly subject matter, a nonstarter. (Informational picture book. 4-8)"
A hodgepodge roundup of celebrity canines. Read full book review >
MISS FOX'S CLASS SHAPES UP by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2011

"The combination of can-do attitude and cute animals may make it hard not to jump on the wellness bandwagon; the challenge is just to keep from falling off. (Picture book. 6-8)"
In her fourth outing, when Miss Fox notices sleepy students, rumbly tummies and huffs and puffs at recess, she realizes that her class needs some help getting into better shape. Read full book review >
NOW IT IS SUMMER by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2011

"The soft visual and verbal cadences make this as apt for bedtime reading as for providing reassurance to impatient young mouselings that present joys will indeed in time give way to future ones. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Reprising the theme of Now It Is Winter (2004) this companion volume is likewise (as Kirkus wrote at the time) Read full book review >
DO YOU HAVE A CAT? by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

"Kids with cats will enjoy this, even if they don't grasp much about the historical figures. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Vibrant illustrations of cats throughout the ages are the saving grace of this rhyming story that can't quite get its focus straight. Read full book review >
BUZZ by Eileen Spinelli
ADVENTURE
Released: July 6, 2010

"Entertaining enough, but heavy handed. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Buzz , a busy little bee, enjoys flying around chatting with her friends about the latest town news. Read full book review >
THE DANCING PANCAKE by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 11, 2010

"Choose readers who'll enjoy, rather than envy, Bindi's parents' reunion at the end. (Fiction. 9-11)"
Eleven-year-old Bindi copes with her parents' separation and an unsettling move, supported by a gently colorful cast of characters. Read full book review >
TODAY I WILL by Eileen Spinelli
NONFICTION
Released: Oct. 13, 2009

"Less useful for library collections, this would make an excellent gift. (Nonfiction. 10 & up)"
The celebrated husband and wife team up to present a inspirational calendar book. Read full book review >
MISS FOX’S CLASS GOES GREEN by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"Does only half the job. (Picture book. 4-8)"
As in their earlier release, Peace Week in Miss Fox's Class (2008), Spinelli and Kennedy present a blueprint for social action. Read full book review >
PRINCESS PIG by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: June 9, 2009

"A great addition to storytime collections. (Picture book. 4-8)"
When a freak wind deposits the Picawash County Pickle Princess's sash on Pig, she suddenly begins to wonder if she really might be a princess. Read full book review >
WHEN PAPA COMES HOME TONIGHT by Eileen Spinelli
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: April 28, 2009

"While Spinelli's verse scans as gracefully as in its companion, this makes for an odd alternative-family portrait. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Spinelli's When Mama Comes Home Tonight, illustrated by Jane Dyer (1998), celebrated the nightly reunion of working mother with child. Read full book review >
SILLY TILLY by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2009

"A surefire hit for storytime and shared reading sessions. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Silly Tilly is the farm comedian, entertaining all the animals with her goosey, goofy behavior. Read full book review >
PEACE WEEK IN MISS FOX’S CLASS by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2009

"Kennedy's bright line-and-color illustrations depict a multi-species classroom of endearingly childlike animals. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Fed up with squabbling, Miss Fox declares a Peace Week. Read full book review >
HUG A BUG by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 2008

"Endearing, if you like hugging, and light as a feather. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Twenty-two brief sentences accompany lighthearted illustrations to extol the virtues of hugging. Read full book review >
THE BEST STORY by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2008

"And that makes it the best." (Picture book. 5-8)"
What makes the best story? Read full book review >
CALLIE CAT, ICE SKATER by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"A rare gem of a lesson in today's competitive, award-seeking society. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Callie lives for winter and skating. Read full book review >
HEAT WAVE by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: July 1, 2007

"As lovely an evocation of one community as one could hope to see. (Picture book. 3-8)"
"Sun sizzled. Hair frizzled." Read full book review >
WHERE I LIVE by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2007

"All in all, a pleasing portrait of the healing that can follow an all-too-common childhood trauma. (Fiction/poetry. 7-11)"
First-person free-verse poems describe the emotional journey made by one little girl when her family is forced to move. Read full book review >
SUMMERHOUSE TIME by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 22, 2007

"Sophie's humorous outlook, combined with Spinelli's lyrical blank prose, makes for a book that's as light and satisfying as a summer breeze. (Fiction. 7-10)"
All year, Sophie eagerly anticipates the month of August, aka summerhouse time, when her extended family rents a house by the beach. Read full book review >
SOMEDAY by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2007

"Charmingly depicted and child appealing, kids will respond to the subtle message that it's okay to dream big. (Picture book. 4-7)"
What little girl (or boy) doesn't fantasize about what the future may bring? Read full book review >
POLAR BEAR, ARCTIC HARE by Eileen Spinelli
POETRY
Released: March 1, 2007

"Still, such light, inventive, easy-to-understand poetry is worth reading, either alone or aloud. (endnotes) (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)"
In this natural complement to Judy Sierra's Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems (1998), illus by Jose Aruego & Ariane Dewey, Spinelli offers rhymed introductions to an arctic menagerie that ranges from orcas ("What's black and white / [but not a penguin]? / What's fast and fierce / [but not a bear]?") to snow fleas, with the occasional wildflower or iceberg tucked in for good measure. Read full book review >
WHEN YOU ARE HAPPY by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2006

"Luminous illustrations in glowing, jeweled tones are filled with flowing lines that establish a dreamy quality, softening the lines between fantasy and reality. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A grinning girl with golden hair floats through the night sky on the star-spangled cover of this lyrical look at the power of a supportive family. Read full book review >
THE BEST TIME OF DAY by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"Great as a springboard for group sharing. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Each segment of the day is special to someone in this rural outing from Spinelli. Read full book review >
CITY ANGEL by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

"Hard to tell, but Brooker's pictures are wonderful. (Picture book. 4-8)"
City Angel, an urban, updated patron saint, hovers above the city skyline, intervening to make good things happen: petting the baker's kitchen cat, planting seeds in a vacant lot, soothing a cranky child, assisting a firefighter and a homeless man, helping the player make the basket in the corner game, and having some fun herself, cruising on a skateboard. Read full book review >
DO YOU HAVE A HAT? by Eileen Spinelli
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"With a line or two of background for each historical figure supplied on the endpapers, this nicely expands the "hats as occupational markers" theme in Ann Morris's Hats, Hats, Hats (1989), and others. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)"
In bouncy rhyme, Spinelli invites younger readers to contemplate the many shapes and uses of headgear throughout history, drawing on specific examples from Abe Lincoln to Carmen Miranda: "John Chapman had a hat. / They say he wore a cooking pot. / Some folks believe that, some do not. / If true—he was a sight indeed— / a pot-topped sower of apple seed. / Do YOU have a hat?" Read full book review >
NOW IT IS WINTER by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"A lovely winter story. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Jolly cut-paper snowflakes festoon acrylic paintings in this gentle paean to living in the now. Read full book review >
I KNOW IT’S AUTUMN by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

"This would go nicely with Cynthia Rylant's In November (2000) and Douglas Florian's Autumnblings (2003). (Picture book. 4-8)"
The dedication page and the one facing display pictures of a pumpkin and a gorgeous spray of chrysanthemums, so readers know right away they are in good hands. Read full book review >
FEATHERS by Eileen Spinelli
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2004

"This lively companion to the likes of Kate Kiesler's Wings on the Wind (2002) and Douglas Florian's ever-clever On the Wing (1996) finishes with sketchy endnotes that elaborate on information delivered in the verses. (Poetry. 7-10)"
McCue's clean-lined, brightly colored close-ups of smiling birds, all in natural settings framed by garlands of vines, flowers or patterned ribbons, will draw children to these 27 impish rhymes, each of which celebrates a particular kind of bird. Read full book review >
WHILE YOU ARE AWAY by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2004

"Libraries near military bases might want to order multiples. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Children in three families miss a parent made absent by service in the military. Read full book review >
IN OUR BACKYARD GARDEN by Eileen Spinelli
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2004

"By the end, readers will feel like members of this engaging family. (Poetry. 7-10)"
In a series of free-verse observations, a child tracks a year's changes in her extended family through episodes in her grandparents' garden. Read full book review >
SOMETHING TO TELL THE GRANDCOWS by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

"The lack of any sort of historical note would hurt a lesser tale, but Emmadine will win readers over. (Picture book. 4-10)"
Emmadine the cow has no exciting stories to tell her grandcows, so she signs on with Admiral Byrd for a trip to the South Pole. Read full book review >
WHAT DO ANGELS WEAR? by Eileen Spinelli
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"Dulcet and delicious—a charming bedtime story. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Spinelli takes a hoary cliché—the rhymed picture book—and turns it into a lovely, lilting paean to childhood and play. Read full book review >
THE PERFECT THANKSGIVING by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"The jovial celebration of a national feast day highlights the common thread of loving kinship present in both households. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Spinelli depicts divergent and contrasting family lifestyles in this holiday dual scenario. Read full book review >
THREE PEBBLES AND A SONG by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"An indirect but eloquent reminder that art, too, is a staff of life. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Unlike the rest of his family, Moses the mouse can't focus on gathering supplies in anticipation of the coming winter. Read full book review >
MOE MCTOOTH by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: April 21, 2003

"Spinelli's spare, heartfelt language captures the essence of what's important in life, and Bronson's offbeat, curvy oils are as warm and fuzzy as Moe himself. (Picture book. 3-7)"
In this very sweet tale, Moe McTooth's an outdoor cat, and life is good . . . that is, until winter comes and he turns into a shivering, "hungry fur sack of a cat." Read full book review >
BATH TIME by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2003

"Sure to provide the incentive for wet and wonderful fun. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Bath time can be fun time, especially when you can include all of your favorite floating friends. Read full book review >
RISE THE MOON by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2003

"Perhaps this surrealistic lullaby will be sweetly soporific to some, but its forced rhythms and oblique verbal and visual metaphors are more likely just to leave readers yawning. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)"
A benevolent, beaming moon casts its golden glow across the pages, but questionable choices by both author and illustrator relegate this rather esoteric effort to the lesser designation of lovely mood piece. Read full book review >
WANDA’S MONSTER by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"A must for chasing away those nighttime jitters with a hearty dose of giggles. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A wonderfully insouciant approach to taking care of those pesky critters that lurk in closets. Read full book review >
KITTYCAT LULLABY by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"Warm and inviting: an ideal wind-down tale for bedtime. (Picture book. 3-5)"
A young kitten is softly serenaded off to sleep in this cozy tale. Read full book review >
IN MY NEW YELLOW SHIRT by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: July 1, 2001

"Spinelli tries valiantly, but it's simply not the easiest thing in the world to get all hepped up about receiving clothes as a birthday present, and anyway, who needs a yellow shirt to pretend to be a trumpet or a tennis ball? (Picture book. 2-5)"
A young boy gives his imagination some major exercise as he tries to convince a friend that his aunt's birthday gift of a yellow shirt is just the cat's pajamas. Read full book review >
SOPHIE’S MASTERPIECE by Eileen Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2001

"Sophie may physically resemble the proud, angry protagonist of Kate Hovey's Arachne Speaks (2000), but her generosity of spirit gives her a very different character. (Picture book. 7-9)"
The creators of When Mama Comes Home Tonight (1998) weave another affecting tale, in which a gentle, eight-legged artist spends her last strength on a gift to a newborn baby. Read full book review >
HERE COMES THE YEAR by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2001

"Spinelli (Sophie's Masterpiece, 2001, etc.) and Narahashi (A Fawn in the Grass, 2001, etc.) have produced an impressive new calendar that will please both the eye and ear. (Picture book. 4-8)"
"I am . . .," declare the months, as they introduce themselves, starting from the first, January, waking a red-haired child, "easing you out of your cuddle-down sleep" and ending with the last, December, "slowing the evening rush, pulling a blanket over the earth, dusting your dreams . . . hush . . . hush." Read full book review >
NIGHT SHIFT DADDY by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2000

"In this cozy lap-read each full-page illustration is exquisitely rendered in deep, rich tones sure to invoke sweet dreams. (Picture book. 4-7)"
In lyrical rhyming verse, Spinelli (When Mama Comes Home, 1998) has captured the affectionate ritual of a father and young daughter as they prepare for bedtime. Read full book review >
LIZZIE LOGAN GETS MARRIED by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 1997

"While the friendship between the two girls is believable, the humor is often strident and forced; at times it's even derivative of such books as Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, without Judy Blume's easy hilarity. (Fiction. 7-10)"
 The friends from Lizzie Logan Wears Purple Sunglasses (1995) return, and now Heather's best friend, the bossy Lizzie, is getting married. Read full book review >
LIZZIE LOGAN WEARS PURPLE SUNGLASSES by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 1995

"With its easy-to-read format and entertaining story, this looks like a hit. (Fiction. 7-10)"
 It's not always easy to be best friends, especially when the friend is two years older and has an eccentric imaginationthat's the premise of this very funny book. Read full book review >
IF YOU WANT TO FIND GOLDEN by Eileen Spinelli
COLORS
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Nice. (Picture book. 5-8)"
 ``...watch the morningrise melt/across rooftops/and splash against windows./There's a man on the street corner/who plays golden saxophone./Listen to the music,/dance in the sun...'' For the usual colors and more (black, white, copper, gray), Spinelli's imaginative text, sampling all the senses (the smell of green onions, the taste of cilantro), occasions Schuett's attractive full-bleed paintings, featuring the city scenes described in lush symphonies of color, each with a thematic hue. Read full book review >
BOY, CAN HE DANCE! by Eileen Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 16, 1993

"Good fun. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 Stevens puts a time-honored message in a buoyant new setting: Tony's father is a hotel chef who expects Tony to become a chef, too; he has no sympathy with his son's greatest interest- -dancing—which he's done constantly since before he could walk. Read full book review >
SOMEBODY LOVES YOU, MR. HATCH by Eileen Spinelli
FICTION
Released: Jan. 30, 1992

"A charming book with a real plot, its amiable tone beautifully complemented by the intriguing illustrations. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 Colorless Mr. Hatch—who works in a shoelace factory and eats a cheese and mustard sandwich for lunch every day with, just occasionally, a prune—is jarred from his reserve by receiving a huge Valentine box of candy with a card that says only, ``Somebody loves you.'' Amazed, he samples it, shares it at work and, buoyed by his friendly reception, sympathetically helps several people out on the way home (e.g., he watches the newspaper stall so that its proprietor can take his cold to the doctor). Read full book review >