Books by Frané Lessac

Frané Lessac is the compiler and illustrator of Camp Granada, and has also illustrated many other books for young readers. She lives in Fremantle, Australia, with her family.


THE BOOK BOAT'S IN by Cynthia Cotten
Released: April 1, 2013

"Jesse's pride of ownership and the closing scene of Jesse writing his name and the year in his very first book will resonate with book lovers of all ages. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A pleasing historical tale about a boy willing to work hard for what he desires most—a book. Read full book review >
THE GREATEST LIAR ON EARTH by Mark Greenwood
Released: Oct. 9, 2012

"Rougement merits a shoutout, though a more historically rigorous one might play better than this Aussie import. (afterword) (Picture book/biography. 7-9)"
A freestyle tribute to a turn-of-the-20th-century yarn spinner whose wild accounts of supposed exploits in exotic climes earned him great, if brief, notoriety. Read full book review >
DRUMMER BOY OF JOHN JOHN by Mark Greenwood
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"A joy to read. Play calypso music and celebrate! (author's note, glossary and pronunciation guide, author's sources) (Picture book/biography. 3-8)"
Winston, a boy in Trinidad, wishes that he could play in a band and win free rotis, the delicious island specialty prepared by the Roti King and presented to the best performers at Carnival. Read full book review >
HEART OF TEXAS by Laura Krauss Melmed
ABC BOOKS
Released: May 1, 2009

"A very simple keyed map is included. (Informational picture book. 7-9)"
Though the alphabetic conceit doesn't work as well for an entire state as it did for their tours of Washington, D.C. (2003), and New York City (2005), Melmed and Lessac gamely present a high-spots roundup of history, prehistory, places and annual events to give students and prospective visitors at least a taste of Texas. Read full book review >
CLOUDS by Anne Rockwell
NATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"Pair this one with Julie Hannah's The Man Who Named the Clouds, illustrated by Joan Holub (2006), for some background and more in-depth information. (cloud facts, "Create a Cloud") (Informational picture book. 5-7)"
The latest in the popular Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science series, this Stage 1 title explores the different cloud types, their names and the weather each brings. Read full book review >
THE DONKEY OF GALLIPOLI by Mark Greenwood
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2008

As a lad in England, Jack Simpson worked at a beachfront donkey ride—an experience that came in handy years later when, as an ANZAC stretcher-bearer, he discovered a donkey cowering in a Turkish gully. Read full book review >
NEW YORK, NEW YORK! by Laura Krauss Melmed
ABC BOOKS
Released: June 1, 2005

"EWSLUGp2004 for some real Big Apple excitement. (Picture book. 3-7)"
From the American Museum of Natural History (A) to the Bronx Zoo (Z), an alphabetical exploration of places to visit and famous sites in the Big Apple. Read full book review >
MONDAY ON THE MISSISSIPPI by Marilyn Singer
FICTION
Released: April 6, 2005

"Vibrant gouache illustrations in a naïve style help bring the Mississippi and its surroundings to life. (author's note) (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)"
This unique introduction to Old Man River combines poetry, art, history and geography into a multifaceted whole that just keeps rolling along down the path of the mighty river's progress. Read full book review >
CAPITAL! by Laura Krauss Melmed
ABC BOOKS
Released: Jan. 1, 2003

"An attractive package that tries to be too many things to too many people. (Picture book. 6-8)"
An alphabetic celebration of the various sights and attractions of Washington, D.C., falls victim to a fuzzy definition of its audience. Read full book review >
O CHRISTMAS TREE by Vashanti Rahaman
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Lessac's naive, vibrant illustrations are just right in their depictions of this charming story of Christmas in a land with no snow but plenty of spirit. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 A conventional title gives way to a surprising story about the unique Christmas traditions that have sprouted in the West Indies. Read full book review >
GOOD RHYMES, GOOD TIMES by Lee Bennett Hopkins
POETRY
Released: June 30, 1995

"Lessac's vivid multicultural urban landscape is as accessible as Hopkins's enthusiastic verse; adults will find this a pleasure to read aloud, with its celebration of events important to children: the loss of a tooth, a new puppy, or a Valentine from someone special. (Picture book/poetry. 4-7)"
 A poet known for his theme-based anthologies (Small Talk, p. 469, etc.) collects nothing but his own work in a pretty picture book. Read full book review >
THE WONDERFUL TOWERS OF WATTS by Patricia Zelver
NONFICTION
Released: May 1, 1994

"The book is sure to engender interest in his achievement. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 5-10)"
 How the Italian immigrant Simon Rodia spent decades building the renowned towers next to his bungalow in ``a poor neighborhood that was half town, half country, outside the city limits of Los Angeles.'' The employee of a tile company, ``Old Sam'' used broken tile and bottles, mirrors, shells, and a miscellany of found objects to surface fantastical shapes, ``a lacy web of steel, covered with a skin of concrete.'' Though her simple narrative is short on such specifics as dates, Zelver conveys the wonder and mystery of his long labors, concluded at the age of 80. Read full book review >
NOT A COPPER PENNY IN ME HOUSE by Monica Gunning
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"An appealing tribute. (Poetry/Picture book. 4-10)"
 Quiet, gracefully cadenced descriptions by a Jamaican-born author make a likable complement to Lessac's affectionate evocations of the island scene. Read full book review >
THE FIRE CHILDREN by Eric Maddern
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: June 1, 1993

 A warmhearted Akan pourquoi tale that explains why people come in so many different colors: When the first man and woman become lonely, they make children out of clay. Read full book review >
CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL by Irving Burgie
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: Sept. 18, 1992

"Lessac's brilliantly decorative primitive paintings, sprinkled with jewel-like details like a Caribbean version of the Unicorn Tapestries, sing with gloriously intense island colors: the perfect complement to these wonderfully singable songs. (Nonfiction. 3+)"
 Catchy calypso songs, many of the 13 familiar (``Day-O''; ``Michael Row the Boat''; ``Yellow Bird''; ``Kingston Market''), four actually written by Burgie (who worked with Harry Belafonte as ``Lord Burgess''), the rest traditional songs that he's arranged. Read full book review >
NINE O'CLOCK LULLABY by Marilyn Singer
FICTION
Released: March 29, 1991

"A useful, attractive concept book. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 Beginning in Brooklyn, N.Y. at nine p.m., Singer samples activities that might be taking place simultaneously around the world, moving west to east, including an anomalous Indian time- zone (half an hour different) and contrasting points in the same zones (Zaire and Switzerland). Read full book review >