Books by Elsa Warnick

CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

The Divine Hours is a popular series of prayer manuals for adults written by Tickle, a well-known religious educator. This addition to her series is aimed at very young children, offering three short, original prayers for each day of the week. An introductory poem explains that the prayers are to be read in the morning, at rest time and at bedtime, although many of the prayers are more general in subject and suitable for any time of day. The prayers are written in a simple, gentle style, often using a structured format with soothing repetitive phrases. The author uses the terms God and Lord (but not Father), and there are no references to Jesus or to any specific religion or religious practices. Warnick's watercolor illustrations in soft pastels provide a pleasing setting for the prayers, which are inserted in white inset blocks decorated with spot illustrations of animals, plants and toys. A concluding author's note for adults explains Tickle's approach to fixed-hour prayer. Her intent is that her collection can be used by families of any religion. (Nonfiction. 2-5)Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2000

The team that collaborated on two previous titles in this series, They Swim the Seas (1998) and Ride the Wind (1997), turns its attention to the overland migration of various groups of animals, including the Lapps of northern Norway. An afterword discussing migration in general briefly mentions several other animals. This section would have profited by continuing as it began with small portraits of the animals under consideration; readers are familiar with wolves and bears, which are illustrated, but may not be able to see in their mind's eyes the European bison, Przewalski's horse, and the saiga, which are not. The journeys of animals treated more fully seem to have been chosen on a desultory but primarily mammalian basis. The migrations of some—caribou and elephant—are clearly shown to be purposeful, whereas the routes of polar bears, traveling on `shifting ice floes and pack ice,` are reported to have definite aims, though no substantiating evidence is offered. Overburdening the capacity of home range pushes Norwegian lemmings into a search for new territory, the largest migration occurring once every 30 years or so. Faced with a body of water, they jump in and try to reach new land, thereby giving rise to the notion that they are suicidal. Described as `small rodents about the size of a fist` (a heavyweight boxer's fist? a six-year-olds?) a couple of lemmings are shown fighting to the death under population pressure in a full-page, otherwise work-a-day illustration. This purportedly informational book may arouse more questions from attentive young readers than it answers. (Nonfiction. 69)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

This entertaining history of household objects provides the inventors, the ideas or needs behind the innovations, and the dates they were invented. Separate chapters address bathrooms (toilets, sinks, bathtubs), cooking (stoves, toasters, refrigerators), cleaning up (laundry machines, irons, vacuum cleaners), telephones, pens and pencils, typewriters, and more. Rubin (Emily in Love, 1997, etc.) explains how the idea for the book came about; when she was remodeling her kitchen and chose her new stove, its red knobs so "dazzled" her that she began thinking about good design. Others have thought about good design, too; in 1938, Rubin points out, household objects began to be recognized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as "applied arts." The large black-and-white pictures, especially of the early prototypes, offer clear reference points for the progression of machinery through the ages. Computers, cellular phones, Caller ID—readers will never take them for granted again after reading about their remarkable predecessors. (index, not seen, notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-12) Read full book review >
BEDTIME by Elsa  Warnick
by Elsa Warnick, illustrated by Elsa Warnick
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

A low-key bedtime book for toddlers has a gossamer plot and a simple presentation of familiar objects. "It's nighttime. Here are your toys. Now it's time to put them away and close the curtains." Among the most complex illustrations is a toy box with toys scattered on the floor; among the starkest paintings are close-ups of a potty chair and toilet paper on a roll. The objects are always recognizable, even the lovingly rendered fixtures—an antique sink and a claw-foot tub. The book winds up with "Your pillow waits for you and the night-light is on. It's bedtime. Good night." With its whispered text and precise renderings, this is a gentle addition to the bedtime-book shelf, sure to lead children off to sleep. (Picture book. 1-3) Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

In a companion book to Ride the Wind (1997), Simon (see review, above) turns his attention to the migratory habits of marine plankton, plants, fish, and mammals. From alga called spirogyra, spread by moving currents, to the nesting patterns of sea turtles to the great gray whale's legendary 4,000-mile trek from Baja to the Bering Sea, Simon astounds readers with the marvels of migration. The author poses questions to which the answers can't be known, but curious readers may find themselves frustrated, wanting to know how scientists manage to study tuna traveling three times faster than the boat from which they're observed. Lilting, liquid watercolors in all the gray-greens of the sea majestically portray barnacle-dappled whales, rushing salmon, or marching spiny lobster. A rougher fit with the picture-book format is the book's continuous narrative, without organizational headings and with additional information about each migrator appearing in a five-page addendum titled, "More About Ocean Journeys." Still, Simon and Warnick beautifully succeed in capturing the wonder of the migratory process. (Picture book. 7-10) Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1997

Birds, butterflies, bats, spiders, and seeds journey on the air: blown by the wind, flying, gliding, and ballooning. Some animals follow a cycle of migration, while others make one-way journeys to new places. Simon (Wild Babies, p. 64, etc.) describes at length (for the format) some of the mechanisms of and reasons for flight, devoting most of the book to annual migrations of birds and insects, devoting a page of text each to the Arctic tern, American golden plover, albatross, lesser snow goose, swallow, monarch butterfly, locust, greylag goose, and free-tailed bat, among others. The pages devoted to ballooning spiders and seed dispersal become marginal by comparison. Warnick, in her first book, produces gray-green washed watercolors that are handsome but lack precision and details, e.g., the monarch shown in the life cycle looks frail and incomplete. (Nonfiction. 10-12) Read full book review >