Books by Elivia Savadier

Elivia Savadier has illustrated many books for children, two of which received the Sydney Taylor Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries. No Haircut today! is the first book she has written and illustrated. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Ms. Sava


WHEN YOU MEET A BEAR ON BROADWAY by Amy Hest
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

A little girl kindly helps a lost bear cub she meets on Broadway as they set off together to find his mother. When his plaintive call finally leads his mother to him, the girl waves goodbye and runs home to tell her own mama all about her adventure. Hest's sweet, very slight tale has an air of innocence about it as the little girl instructs readers on the proper, polite way to behave in this situation. This is a New York in which a child can go confidently about her neighborhood on her own, knowing that she will safely return home to her own mother. Savadier's delicate black-line drawings capture, with just-right accuracy, a busy Upper West Side neighborhood filled with shops and people and apartment buildings. The girl and the bears are brightly defined while the settings are rendered in soft, autumn colors. The endpapers expand the Broadway scenes as they provide a preview of the tale at the beginning and a bit of an epilogue at the end. Gentle and winning. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
WILL SHEILA SHARE? by Elivia Savadier
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2008

There have been a number of attempts to address the difficult concept of sharing for toddlers, but Savadier approaches the topic for very young children in a very simple story. She uses a lot of white space with smallish, colorful, cartoonish drawings of Sheila, who grows progressively pinker with irritation as suggestions of sharing make her more and more annoyed. The first half of the story lists a number of occasions on which Sheila would not share whatever she happened to be holding at the time, especially with her infant sibling. The second half shows the adults discussing instances when Sheila can and has shared. When Sheila is faced with eating green beans, she is more than happy to share them with the family pet. Nana is always met with a shared kiss and hug, as well as the occasional glass of juice. Ultimately, Sheila receives so much approbation for sharing with her family members that she is more inclined to continue the behavior. The text is large and black with important words emphasized. This simple story should be just at toddler and preschooler's level of understanding as well as offering some relief to frustrated adults. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
TIME TO GET DRESSED! by Elivia Savadier
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2006

"Solomon likes to dress himself." Thus begins an hour-long quest to get Solomon attired and fed. As Daddy presents each item of clothing, Solomon responds with, "Me!" At the end of half an hour, Solomon has one arm through the sleeve of his shirt, pants on his head, a sock on his hand and a shoe tied around his ankle. Daddy, his own attire askew, helps Solomon put them in their proper places. But breakfast is a repeat skirmish. Patient Daddy gives Solomon another half hour to get the cereal in his mouth (on his hands, in his hair . . . ), then ends it by helping Solomon put on outdoor wear. Repeated sentence beginnings will allow youngsters to chime in and feel like they are reading. Savadier's watercolors are perfect. Lack of a background paired with minimal detail keep the focus where it belongs—on Solomon's struggle for independence and on the interaction between a son and his father, wonderfully captured in facial expressions. A must for any collection catering to toddlers and their harried parents. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
THE EIGHT NIGHTS OF CHANUKAH by Lesléa Newman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2005

Borrowing from the poetic format of the popular Twelve Days of Christmas, Newman has created a similar rhyme for the Chanukah holiday. This jingle begins, "On the first night of Chanukah / I clap my hands to see . . . / A present waiting for me" and then proceeds to add: two Maccabees, three challahs, four matzo balls and so on until all of the ingredients for a Chanukah celebration are included. A simple explanation completes the rhyme in an appended note followed by a glossary for the items mentioned. Savadier uses ink-pen lines with bright watercolor washes of cherubic young faces playing before a casually dressed assortment of adults. Perhaps this can be an introduction for a new yearly song to add to the season's plethora of traditional ditties. (Picture book. 2-4)Read full book review >
NO HAIRCUT TODAY! by Elivia Savadier
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2005

Boys of all ages resist haircuts. But Dominic really needs one. The graphic black strokes, jabs and squiggles that depict the young boy's crazy hair say it all, but to clarify, his hair is "LONG in some spots and SHORT in other spots. Some parts are curly. Other parts are STRAIGHT." Dominic's mother cuts everyone's hair but her son's, because when he sees scissors, he screams. When he senses how upset his mother is about this, Dominic panics (" ‘MOMMY! Are you mad at me?' he asks"), but they kiss and hug and make up, mixing their hair up together and postponing the inevitable butting of heads. So . . . "NO HAIRCUT TODAY!" But, as the final page reveals, there will probably be one tomorrow. The story is spare, as is the art, but the type mirrors the maniacal mishmash of Dominic's hair, some words long, some short, some curly, some capitalized or italicized, some bold. Scissor-shy children (and their parents) may be comforted to know they're not alone, either in their battle of wills or at the barbershop. (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
BOO HOO BOO-BOO by Marilyn Singer
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2002

When trying to do anything new or exciting, there are apt to be some minor bumps and bruises and the children featured in this story manage to shake off their falls and try it again. While the message that it is a good idea to keep going even though they have received a setback is clear, it is unclear whether the children eventually learn that trying to skip rope in a long dress is a bad idea or that running through the house with a toy wrapped around one's waist might lead to another fall. Rhyming text with repetitive sounds fill the text. Illustrations rendered in watercolors seem sloppy rather than childlike, spilling over the pages in a haphazard manner. An overly simplistic message and unremarkable illustrations keep this tale from hitting its mark. Boo hoo, this one is a boo-boo. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
I LOVE SATURDAYS Y DOMINGOS by Alma Flor Ada
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 2002

With English- and Spanish-speaking grandparents, the child in this story explores the wonders of both cultures. Saturdays are reserved for Grandma and Grandpa. On these days she eats pancakes, plays with Grandma's owl collection, and listens as Grandpa tells of traveling to America on a steam ship. On Sundays, the little girl visits with Abuelito and Abuelita. At their house, breakfast is huevos rancheros, and to celebrate her birthday they have a piñata. She learns of her Abuelita's Native American heritage and her Abuelito's life on a Mexican ranch. The left-hand side of each double-paged spread describes her Saturday activities; the right describes a similar activity at her other grandparents' house, with a sprinkling of Spanish terms. Even those without a background in Spanish will recognize familiar words and be able to decipher the meaning of unfamiliar ones through the illustrations and context. Bright and colorful watercolor paintings highlight the diversity and similarity in this multicultural celebration. Children eager to explore their own heritage will enjoy watching as the heroine embraces all the diversity in her life. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
I SWIM AN OCEAN IN MY SLEEP by Norma Farber
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1997

Farber (When It Snowed That Night, 1993, etc.) begins her sleeptime fantasy quietly: ``Night is dark,/Night is deep,/I swim an ocean in my sleep.'' In Savadier's whimsical ink and gouache illustrations, a small boy in red-striped pajamas swims through an imaginative underwater world. He plays with a mermaid, rides on a whale, and dances to the rhythm of a clamshell castanet. Finally he rises out of the water, clinging to a huge red balloon, for ``now it's time/to step once more/wakened on the morning shore.'' Especially appealing is the final picture of the sleep-tousled, bemused boy, sitting on a bed strewn with sand and seashells. There are nice moments in the text as well, but sometimes the perceptions of the author intrude, resulting in a narrative that wavers between the child's point of view and a more sophisticated perspective. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
THE UNINVITED GUEST by Nina Jaffe
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

Seven stories for different Jewish holidays, with brief explanations of some of their rituals. Selections range from the folkloric to a retelling of Yiddish writer I. L. Peretz's Yom Kippur story, ``Miracles on the Sea,'' with an original tale by Jaffe and another based on ancient rabbinical writings thrown in. This handsome collection features watercolor illustrations that nicely reflect the different moods here with art in different styles, at times reminiscent of Marc Chagall—and of Brian Wildsmith. The title piece (a composite of themes from several sources) is especially poignant and sweetly told. Though the stories aren't of equal caliber, this should be particularly useful for libraries with a strong Judaica interest. Notes on sources; glossary; bibliography; recommended reading list. (Folklore. 6+) Read full book review >
TREASURE NAP by Juanita Havill
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1992

It's too hot to sleep, so Mam† takes Alicia and baby Ram¢n downstairs, blows the fan over ice cubes toward them, and tells them the true story her own mam† used to tell when it was too hot: Little Rita made a long trek on foot, somewhere in Central America, to a mountain village to say goodbye to her grandfather before her family moved to the US. In the end, Alicia is allowed to play with the things that Grandfather gave to Rita, which Mam†—who is Rita's granddaughter—still treasures: a serape, a pito (flute), and a birdcage. An unassuming yet telling story that effectively honors the Latin American heritage; Savadier makes a fine debut, the primitive style and richly glowing colors of the illustrations for the inner tale contrasting nicely with the monumental simplicity of the appealing characters she depicts for the framing story. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >