Books by Gerald McDermott

MONKEY by Gerald McDermott
Released: May 1, 2011

"This final volume in McDermott's sextet of trickster tales is as full of kid appeal and entertaining as the rest and, like them, will power many an energetic read-aloud. (Picture book/folktale. 5-10)"
Monkey wants some mangoes and Crocodile wants some monkey—and neither is about to give up in this traditional Indian trickster tale. Read full book review >
PIG-BOY by Gerald McDermott
Released: April 1, 2009

"Good rascally fun. (Picture book/folktale. 3-5)"
Joining McDermott's other trickster tales meant for keiki ("very young children" in the Hawaiian language) is the tale of the shape-shifting pig whose annoying and greedy habits land him in endless trouble with both the king and the goddess Pele. Read full book review >
CREATION by Gerald McDermott
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Accessible to small children but resonant enough for older ones, reverent and magnificent. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-10)"
Decades of turning myth into gorgeously imaged picture books culminates in McDermott's powerful rendering of the creation story. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"A fine addition to the body of work by a proven master. (Picture book/folktale. 5-8)"
Jabutí, the flute-playing tortoise, may not be as well known in North America as some of his fellow tricksters like Coyote or Ananse, but there are many stories about him in Amazonian folklore, first recorded as long ago as 1875. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Still, lively, visually splendid, and sure to appeal. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)"
Another trickster tale from McDermott (Raven, 1993, etc.), focusing on Coyote's foolish pride. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1993

"A splendid setting for an important myth. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-10)"
Hero and mischief-maker Raven is central to Native American myths of the Pacific Northwest, as McDermott explains in a gracefully written note. Read full book review >
ZOMO THE RABBIT by Gerald McDermott
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

A rabbit asks the sky god for wisdom, and learns that he must first fool three animals. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1991

"McDermott (1975 Caldecott for Arrow to the Sun) provides lively, well- designed illustrations in a popular style, adding pleasantly to the story's humor. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Since he's a hippopotamus, Marcel is deemed unworthy to be a baker; he must scrub pots in the king's kitchen. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1990

"The telling here has a well-honed, Irish lilt; the illustrations, by a Caldecott winner, are lively, expressive, and well sprinkled with sprightly men in green."
A story that draws heavily on the familiar tale about a man who wins three magical gifts that a false innkeeper then tries to purloin (cf. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1986

"McDermott is working on an animated film, to include this story and two others."
A lighthearted romp of a nightmare, retold with simplicity and an engaging lilt. Read full book review >
SUN FLIGHT by Gerald McDermott
Released: May 30, 1980

"Overall, both the telling and the pictures have a distancing effect."
In this version of the Daedalus and Icarus story, McDermott returns to the lush sun and earth colors of Arrow to the Sun, but adds a good share of sparkling Aegean blue and a dramatic black background for his blue and violet labyrinth. Read full book review >
THE KNIGHT OF THE LION by Gerald McDermott
Released: Feb. 1, 1979

"Probably McDermott's approach is best reflected in his grainy black-and-white illustrations, which are flamboyantly melodramatic (one lightning-lit pose is pure Superman)—but even at that level the writing falls short."
In this incident-packed but mindless retelling of an Arthurian romance, Sir Yvain sets out in search of adventure and glory, achieving true manhood only after a series of trials. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 18, 1977

"Eye-catching to be sure, the pictures are least effective—even ludicrous—when they come closest to depicting narrative action (see the queen of Byblos rushing into a chamber as her baby cries, Osiris' eye peeks foolishly from a column, and Isis, in a blue, snakelike swish, changes from woman to bird)—and totally unresponsive to any changes in mood."
McDermott's latest venture in world mythology employs the Egyptian story of how Osiris the Pharaoh became Osiris god of the underworld—after his envious brother Set ("the animal headed one") traps him in a coffin-like chest and later chops him to bits. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1975

"Another striking performance."
A stonecutter's insatiable quest for power is a theme well suited to McDermott's aggressive, highly stylized designs, and the Japanese origin of this version of the "Fisherman and his Wife" idea is acknowledged in the traditional printmaking motifs and architectural forms that are incorporated in his brilliantly colored semi-abstract displays. Read full book review >
Released: May 20, 1974

"McDermott's fusion of primitive costumes, motifs and legend with contemporary design and color sense is highly ambitious — and, in this instance, explosively, elementally beautiful."
The gold, ochre and black of the stylized pueblo, the Boy's transformation from a Kachina-like silhouette into an arrow strong enough to reach his father the Sun and, finally, the explosion of color as Boy enters the Sun's four chambers to confront monster lions, serpents, bees and lightning — all add up to a richer, more kinetic, more functional balance between story and visual effects than were to be found in McDermott's highly praised Anansi the Spider. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 30, 1972

"A dayglo stunner for the jaded eye."
Like the similarly spectacular Anansi the Spider (p. 576, J-184), this is adapted from an animated film and it's difficult not to hear the pulsing jazz music that seems to be visualized on these dynamic, semi-abstract pages, which are distinctly African in patterns and motifs but just as distinctly cinematic in their vibrant color and kinetic energy. Read full book review >