Books by Emily Arnold McCully

PETE WON'T EAT  by Emily Arnold McCully
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"New readers will eat this up. (Early reader. 5-7)"
This charmer of an early reader presents an ironic twist on the tried-and-true picky-eater character by casting him as a pig. Read full book review >
SAM AND THE BIG KIDS by Emily Arnold McCully
Released: April 1, 2013

"While this may open the door for discussion, the lack of a real conclusion may leave readers unsatisfied. (Easy reader. 4-7)"
Can there be a positive side to a pesky little brother who won't leave his big sister and her friend to their play? Read full book review >
THE HELPFUL PUPPY by Kim Zarins
Released: Aug. 15, 2012

"The earnest puppy doesn't chart any new territory, but cute little ones who want to be helpful like the big guys have a natural and enduring appeal to the preschool set. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A simple, old-fashioned story about a puppy adjusting to life on a family farm is complemented by sweetly nostalgic watercolor illustrations from Caldecott Medalist McCully. Read full book review >
BALLERINA SWAN by Allegra Kent
Released: April 15, 2012

"An enchanting tale for all, especially for lovers of ballet. Read the story, play the music and applaud. (Picture book. 3-8)"
A beautiful swan realizes her dream of dancing when cast in Swan Lake. Read full book review >
BALLYWHINNEY GIRL by Eve Bunting
Released: March 6, 2012

"To balance this perspective, pair this with Mummies, Bones, and Body Parts, by Charlotte Wilcox (2000). (Picture book. 6-10)"
Maeve and her grandpa find an Irish bog mummy when they are out cutting peat. Read full book review >
LATE NATE IN A RACE by Emily Arnold McCully
Released: March 1, 2012

"Once readers have tackled the words, this story deflates with alarming celerity. (Picture book/early reader. 4-8)"
McCully's beginning reader demonstrates that it takes more than words to make a story. Read full book review >
IN LIKE A LION OUT LIKE A LAMB by Marion Dane Bauer
FICTION
Released: March 21, 2011

"A good addition to the spring shelf, it is sure to find its way, roaring and bleating, to classrooms studying similes. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In Bauer's capable hands, the age-old simile of March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb is made quite literal. Read full book review >
THE TAXING CASE OF THE COWS by Iris Van Rynbach
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 20, 2010

"But well-behaved women rarely make history, as this sparkling account attests. (authors' note, sources) (Informational picture book. 7-10)"
At last—an engaging story that brings alive the term "women's suffrage" to young readers. Read full book review >
THE SECRET CAVE by Emily Arnold McCully
Released: Sept. 14, 2010

"Budding historians will be amazed by this story of curiosity and serendipity. (author's note, bibliography) (Picture book. 5-7)"
Part Hardy Boys, part archeology, this mesmerizing look at the discovery of the prehistoric cave paintings of Lascaux invites today's readers to experience the wonder of the event. Read full book review >
WONDER HORSE by Emily Arnold McCully
ANIMALS
Released: June 22, 2010

"Jim's talents were marvelous enough that they don't need this embellishment, which, sadly, detracts. (bibliography) (Picture book. 6-10)"
A fictionalized account of the story of Doc Key and his famous horse Jim Key. Read full book review >
GUTTERSNIPE by Jane Cutler
FICTION
Released: May 8, 2009

"Would she had developed that into a story instead of writing this fable. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Ben's mother works overtime at the factory and takes in boarders. Read full book review >
MANJIRO by Emily Arnold McCully
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 6, 2008

In this incredible true story, a poor Japanese boy, through fate and enterprise, bridges the cultural gap between Japan and America at a time when Japan was isolated from the world. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: July 15, 2008

In 1814, young Alice Cogswell captivated her next-door neighbor, Thomas Gallaudet, with her intelligence and spirit, although the child could neither hear nor speak. Read full book review >
CAT JUMPED IN! by Tess Weaver
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 19, 2007

"Human and feline foibles are spot-on with a purring finish: That "someone" isn't seen until the last page. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Weaver and McCully offer an amusing twist on the saying "curiosity killed the cat," with few words, but lots of animated artwork that details the funny feline frenzy. Read full book review >
VIOLET COMES TO THE COUNTRY by Melanie Cecka
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"Less pious than the first, Violet will appeal to cat fanciers. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The adorable little white cat with green eyes is back. Read full book review >
THE ESCAPE OF ONEY JUDGE by Emily Arnold McCully
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2007

"Gutsy—and very nicely done. (author's note, bibliography) (Picture book. 5-10)"
Just in time for Washington's Birthday comes this tale of young Oney Judge, personal slave to Martha Washington, and her quest for freedom. Read full book review >
CYNTHIA COPPERSMITH’S VIOLET COMES TO STAY by Jan Karon
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"First of an intended series about Violet that will, no doubt, continue the pious messages. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Three adorable kittens are born in a kitchen pantry. Read full book review >
MARVELOUS MATTIE by Emily Arnold McCully
BIOGRAPHY
Released: March 6, 2006

"As a portrait of a little-known independent woman, however, it deserves attention, though it is a pity that the bibliography doesn't point readers to such child-oriented works as Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh (2000). (Picture book. 7-10)"
A fictionalized biography introduces children to an enterprising 19th-century mill girl who invented, among other things, a machine to make square-bottomed brown-paper bags. Read full book review >
THAT’S WHAT LEPRECHAUNS DO by Eve Bunting
FANTASY
Released: Jan. 16, 2006

"Caldecott-winner McCully's sprightly watercolors bring prolific Bunting's cut-and-dried story to life. (Picture book. 4-9)"
The skies over the Irish countryside are clouding up: A rainbow is on the way. Read full book review >
NORA’S ARK by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
FICTION
Released: July 1, 2005

"An author's note describes the historical flood. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Grandma didn't want a new house: "That new house is just gravy." Read full book review >
SQUIRREL AND JOHN MUIR by Emily Arnold McCully
FICTION
Released: Sept. 10, 2004

"A lovely tribute to the gentle genius of the Sierras that gives dimension to the man and respect to his name. (bibliography) (Picture book/historical fiction. 5-8)"
Caldecott Medalist McCully again successfully creates a narrative that pairs a rambunctious girl character with a fascinating historical figure. 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 >
PICNIC by Emily Arnold McCully
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2003

"The added words, which are mostly snatches of dialogue or song, are more distraction than enhancement (the original was perfect in its wordlessness), but it's good to have this sprightly family adventure available again, and in a larger format, too. (Picture book. 5-7)"
In what promises to be the first of a series of do-overs, McCully offers repainted, but by-and-large identical, illustrations and a brief text for an originally wordless offering from 1984. Read full book review >
SING A SONG OF PIGLETS by Eve Bunting
POETRY
Released: Sept. 23, 2002

"Charming, buoyant, and year-round fun. (Picture book/poetry. 2-5)"
A celebration of the seasons by a veteran author and a Caldecott Medalist (Mirette on the High Wire, 1992). Read full book review >
THE BATTLE FOR ST. MICHAELS by Emily Arnold McCully
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"One rather jarring aspect of her art is Caroline's unexplained short-cropped hair, which perhaps is intended to reflect her unconventional nature, but which is out of place with the time period. (author's note) (Easy reader. 6-9)"
The War of 1812 is the period setting for this transitional chapter book from Caldecott Medalist McCully (The Orphan Singer, 2001, etc.). Read full book review >
KATIE’S WISH by Barbara Shook Hazen
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

The Irish potato famine of the 1840s, as seen through a little girl's eyes. Read full book review >
BLACK IS BROWN IS TAN by Arnold Adoff
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2002

"As the number of interracial families goes up but their representation in picture books remains vanishingly slight, this fresh rendition still makes a cogent statement. (Picture book/poetry. 4-7)"
The author and illustrator of this groundbreaking 1973 portrait of an interracial family (Adoff and his wife, the late Virginia Hamilton, were the models) reunite for this updated overhaul. Read full book review >
THE ORPHAN SINGER by Emily Arnold McCully
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"A sweet tale that will appeal to readers who enjoy fairy tales. (author's note) (Picture book. 6-8)"
Vivaldi's Venice is the scene for this somewhat melodramatic story of sacrifice for the greater good. Read full book review >
GRANDMAS TRICK-OR-TREAT by Emily Arnold McCully
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"A real treat. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
Caldecott winner McCully (Mirette on the Highwire, 1992, etc.) adds another to her stories and pictures of Pip's grandmas in I Can Read format. Read full book review >
THE FIELD OF THE DOGS by Katherine Paterson
ANIMALS
Released: March 31, 2001

"Still, an imaginative blend of a what-if (dogs could talk) and a problem novel (on how to tame a bully). (Fiction. 8-10)"
Talking dogs and nasty bullies make odd yet compatible bedfellows in Paterson's intriguing and eccentric new novel. Read full book review >
FOUR HUNGRY KITTENS by Emily Arnold McCully
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2001

"A nice story, but one that may need lots of prompting from adults for the young child to "read" by herself. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Caldecott winner McCully's latest effort is a wordless book in which a family of barnyard kittens explores its surroundings while they wait for Mama to feed them. Read full book review >
MIRETTE & BELLINI CROSS NIAGARA FALLS by Emily Arnold McCully
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"A weak addition to the series. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Feisty Mirette and Bellini have another high-wire adventure, this time at Niagara Falls, where they face dastardly treachery, but come through with skill and courage. Read full book review >
TEN GO TANGO by Arthur Dorros
ANIMALS
Released: April 30, 2000

"One tremendously fun introduction to numbers. (Picture book. 3-6)"
From waltzing walruses to rhinos doing the rumba, an eclectic collection of light-footed animals shake and shimmy their way through the numbers one to ten in this counting book and primer of basic dances. Read full book review >
MONK CAMPS OUT by Emily Arnold McCully
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2000

"McCully's pen and ink and watercolor illustrations tell the story with humor and charm and round out the spare text. (Picture book. 46)"
Monk's first camping experience is difficult, especially for his parents. Read full book review >
HURRY! by Harry Hartwick
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2000

"480) luminous watercolors provide a perfect complement to this well-told tale that despite, or perhaps partly because of, its old-fashioned ambience and carefully paced telling, conveys the irrevocability of loss and gives added urgency to the meaning of "hurry." (Picture book. 6-9)"
There's an elegiac quality to this gentle tale that takes place in a small town in Iowa on a Thursday afternoon in August of 1916. Read full book review >
AN OUTLAW THANKSGIVING by Emily Arnold McCully
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

"The snowy watercolor illustrations are charming as are the many illustrations of warm and friendly outlaws; the story may be predictable, but it includes moments of exhilarating adventure. (map) (Fiction. 8-10)"
Into a true account of an unusual 1896 Thanksgiving McCully (Beautiful Warrior, 1998, etc.) inserts Clara Maher and her mother, traveling from New York to Utah to join Clara's father before they go on to California. Read full book review >
BEAUTIFUL WARRIOR by Emily Arnold McCully
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1998

"Look for long and loud applause from those searching for competent heroines in unusual, yet credible, situations. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 From McCully (Popcorn at the Palace, p. 1225, etc.), a well- wrought story of two 17th-century Chinese women that opens with the birth of a baby girl whose steady gaze inspires her father to name her Jingyong, ``Quiet Courage.'' She is taught as a son would be, developing her qi, or vital energy, to such an extent that she wins a place as a Buddhist nun in the Shaolin Monastery, as well as a new name, Wu Mei, or ``beautiful warrior.'' The embodiment of the notion that inner strength defeats brute force, she helps Mingyi Wang, a village bean-curd seller, avoid marriage to the leader of a gang of thugs through the teaching of kung fu. Read full book review >
THE DIVIDE by Michael Bedard
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"The afterword makes reference to Cather's writings, but does not list specific sources for Bedard's text. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 A picture book about what Willa Cather may have experienced as a child when her family moved west. Read full book review >
POPCORN AT THE PALACE by Emily Arnold McCully
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"What readers will remember is the pioneer spirit behind this appealing tale and a spunky girlreal or notat its center. (Picture book. 5-8)"
 McCully (Starring Mirette and Bellini, p. 559) bases this tale on a piece of history from her own hometown, Galesburg, Illinois, and one of its innovative founders, Olmsted Ferris, who experimented with unusual crops. Read full book review >
STARRING MIRETTE AND BELLINI by Emily Arnold McCully
ADVENTURE
Released: April 14, 1997

"Combined with the agenda-laden, drastically abbreviated plotline, such bobbles, though minor, ground this follow-up. (Picture book. 6-9)"
 Alas for sequelitis, which so often produces watered-down offspring from even the most venerable parentage! Read full book review >
OLD HOME DAY by Donald Hall
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"In the end, however, this book and all its many charms are better suited to older readers. (Picture book. 9+)"
 Hall (When Willard Met Babe Ruth, p. 374, etc.) traces the history of Blackwater Pond, a small New England settlement, from its geological formation to a vision of its bicentennial celebration in August 1999. Read full book review >
THE BALLOT BOX BATTLE by Emily Arnold McCully
BIOGRAPHY
Released: July 1, 1996

"McCully's dark, vigorously brushed watercolors successfully evoke both period (1880) and personalities: Stanton is a glowering, formidable presence, while Cordelia, with her straight back, pinafore, and large hair ribbon is a poised, blonde soulmate to Mirette. (Picture book/biography. 6-8)"
 The author of The Bobbin Girl (p. 230) offers another strong, admirable character in this encounter between Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a young neighbor. Read full book review >
THE BOBBIN GIRL by Emily Arnold McCully
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1996

"Some will say McCully (The Pirate Queen, 1995, etc.) has surpassed herself. (Picture book. 6-9)"
 Rebecca Putney, ``Bobbin Girl,'' gazes out from the cover of this exceptional work and draws readers into the fascinating lives of the young women who were part of the unique social and industrial milieu of the mills in 19th-century Lowell, Massachusetts. Read full book review >
THE PIRATE QUEEN by Emily Arnold McCully
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 17, 1995

"In other words, readers old enough to grapple with the moral issues will love it. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 Many male pirates have fared less well in stories than Grania O'Malley, 16th-century female swashbuckler, who is presented in a consistently glamorous, if not outright admiring, light. Read full book review >
LITTLE KIT by Emily Arnold McCully
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1995

 Little Kit is at first delighted to be mistaken for a boy and given work with a flea circus. Read full book review >
MY REAL FAMILY by Emily Arnold McCully
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1994

"Predictable but satisfying; the Caldecott winner's endearing bears continue to express human feelings with amiable wit. (Picture book. 5-8)"
 After the bear family's latest theatrical triumph, little Sarah's nose is out of joint. Read full book review >
THE AMAZING FELIX by Emily Arnold McCully
FICTION
Released: Sept. 15, 1993

 An old-fashioned tale of kids making their not-so-ordinary way among the rich and famous. Read full book review >
AMZAT AND HIS BROTHERS by Paula Fox
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 1, 1993

"Not to be missed. (Folklore. 8-12)"
 A fine novelist passes along three stories told by Floriano Vecchi, born near Bologna (who heard them from his grandfather, b. 1850, who got them from his), explaining that these tales survive—with changes and additions in each generation—though Florian's village was destroyed in WW II. Read full book review >
ANNIE FLIES THE BIRTHDAY BIKE by Crescent Dragonwagon
FICTION
Released: March 31, 1993

 Small girl yearns for and gets bike, takes a few days to find her balance (with the help of a neighbor boy, apparently hired by her dad), six days after her birthday has done ``nearly six feet'' on her own—but after four more days is off on an independent outing. Read full book review >
GRANDMAS AT BAT by Emily Arnold McCully
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 30, 1993

"Baseball action and the amusingly caricatured grandmas are deftly drawn; best, the funny, true-to-life dialogue is sure to entertain beginning readers. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
 From the new Caldecott medalist, a third ``I Can Read'' book about Pip and her squabbling grandmas. Read full book review >
MIRETTE ON THE HIGH WIRE by Emily Arnold McCully
FICTION
Released: Oct. 21, 1992

"Intense colors, strong contrasts of light and shadow, and artistes and dandies straight out of Toulouse-Lautrec convey the atmosphere of Paris in la belle Çpoque—a real departure in style and subject matter from McCully's mouse-family adventures. (Picture book. 5-9)"
 Inspired by the exploits of the daredevil Blondin, an exotic, suspenseful story about the affection and loyalty between teacher and protÇgÇe: Mirette learns tightrope-walking from Monsieur Bellini, a famous wirewalker who has lost his nerve and is staying in her mother's Parisian boardinghouse because he can no longer perform. Read full book review >
IN MY TENT by Marilyn Singer
FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 1992

"McCully's impressionistic watercolors nicely reflect the quiet mood and warm interaction. (Poetry/Picture book. 4-8)"
 A cycle of poetic vignettes centering on the young narrator's tent (``what I like best is the color/suddenly orange/like an oriole landing/in the emerald woods/quietly saying, I'm here''), promised her during a snowfall ``On the day the twins were born.'' Most of the episodes occur during a summer camping trip: Dad's affectionately teasing wake-up call; getting a little lost in the woods; finding out that even baked beans are delicious here; regretfully taking down a spider's web with the tent. Read full book review >
BEAVERS BEWARE! by Barbara Brenner
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1992

"Competently written for the intended level, as well as informative and thought-provoking, but these values are somewhat undermined by the absence of an explanatory note. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
 In the ``Bank Street Ready-to-Read'' series, Level 2, a ``fact-based'' confrontation with nature, dedicated ``To Fred, who shared the experience,'' that cries out for a bit more information about the events that inspired the intriguing story. Read full book review >
SPEAK UP, BLANCHE! by Emily Arnold McCully
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Amusing dialogue and theatrical details plus McCully's appealing pictorial characterizations make this a sequel that's sure to please. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 The little sheep who joins the theatrical troup of bears introduced in Zaza's Big Break (1989) seems like a hopeless case: shy and retiring, she never speaks above a whisper; she's even a flop at collecting props. Read full book review >
GO AND HUSH THE BABY by Emily Arnold McCully
Released: Jan. 1, 1971

"Artfully synchronized for the reader who can take in at once the mother's pleading rhymes, Will's words to the baby, and the pictures-only interplay between baby and boy."
A mother who wants to paint, a baby that persists in crying, and a boy set to play baseball who's detained to "Go and hush the baby, Will./ It won't take long./ Go and hush the baby,/ Sing him a little song." Read full book review >
HOBO TOAD AND THE MOTORCYCLE GANG by Emily Arnold McCully
Released: April 30, 1970

Funny-punny or just a silly sally, depending on your sense of humor, or at least on how verbally precocious you are—and if you respond to a walking talking toad as gangbuster. Read full book review >