Books by Geraldo Valério

AT THE POND by Geraldo Valério
Released: March 3, 2020

"A provocative drama inviting readers to question their own behaviors toward all of the creatures in their orbits. (Picture book. 3-7)"
This wordless narrative examines the assumptions humans make regarding their relationship to animals. Read full book review >
FRIENDS by Geraldo Valério
Released: March 5, 2019

"Gentle humor and a sense of wonder pervade this joyful aquatic fantasy. (Picture book. 3-6)"
In Blue Rider (2016), Valério employed explosive colors and forms to illustrate, sans text, the magic of reading; here the Brazilian-Canadian's wordless narrative depicts two friendships that blossom at the edge of the sea. Read full book review >
BLUE RIDER by Geraldo Valério
Released: March 6, 2018

"Valério excels at conveying the pure joy of color and form and, not incidentally, the ability of art and books to lift us up and away. (Picture book. 3-6)"
In the double-page spread immediately following the endpapers, the gazes of readers shift from a cityscape to a pale girl peering out of a skyscraper. Read full book review >
JUMP, LEAP, COUNT SHEEP! by Geraldo Valério
Released: Aug. 15, 2017

"A gentle charmer ideal for the youngest animal lovers, no matter which side of the border they inhabit. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Although the fauna presented in this simple counting book are not uniquely Canadian, the youngest animal lovers in Canada and beyond will appreciate the opportunity to practice a new skill. Read full book review >
TURN ON THE NIGHT by Geraldo Valério
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"More than a bedtime story: a treat from a masterful artist. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A little girl falls asleep—clutching her picture book and her stuffed-animal hen—and a joyous, wordless adventure unfolds. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 15, 2016

"Readers will enjoy identifying the cold-weather creatures and their outstanding attributes. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Canadian animals frolic across the pages and through the letters of the alphabet. Read full book review >
MY BOOK OF BIRDS by Geraldo Valério
Released: April 1, 2016

"A delight to browse, the book also provides resources to further engage budding ornithologists. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-16)"
An album of North American birds from a Brazilian-Canadian illustrator. Read full book review >
HALF-PINT PETE THE PIRATE by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
Released: Jan. 19, 2012

"Serviceable and forgettable. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of zzzzzz. Read full book review >
DO YOU HAVE A DOG? by Eileen Spinelli
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"Despite inherently child-friendly subject matter, a nonstarter. (Informational picture book. 4-8)"
A hodgepodge roundup of celebrity canines. Read full book review >
DO YOU HAVE A CAT? by Eileen Spinelli
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

Vibrant illustrations of cats throughout the ages are the saving grace of this rhyming story that can't quite get its focus straight. Each double-page spread presents one famous historical figure and his or her cat, with the occupation of each cat owner worked into the short text and additional historical or geographical context provided by the illustrations. The disparate cast of cat owners is from widely different eras, from Cleopatra to Albert Schweitzer, and the presentation is not organized chronologically, leading to a fragmented feeling for those who can place these figures in context. Additional biographical information is provided for each character on the endpapers, though the organization does not correspond to the order in the text, forcing readers to search through the pages for correlation. Despite these drawbacks, Valério's acrylic paintings of the clever cats in action are a treat. His bold, loose style uses brilliant colors, lots of motion and witty details to bring the feline friends to life. Kids with cats will enjoy this, even if they don't grasp much about the historical figures. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

This third collaboration between author and illustrator (Conejito, 2006, and Go to Sleep, Gecko!, 2007) derives from Micronesia, specifically the Marshall Islands. Little Sandpiper and great Whale have a surf war over territory. Each claims there is more of their kind; Whale calls forth his whale brothers and Sandpiper calls her sisters. More birds or more whales? Impossible to tell, so they next call for their cousins. Whale has an idea: If the whales eat up all the land, there will be no place for the birds to perch. Sandpiper has an idea: If the birds drink up all the sea, there will be no water for the whales. But, drying up the sea will also dry up the birds' food source, so they spit back the water and the whales spit back the island; the bragging contest ends in sharing "surf and turf." The telling is rich with a storyteller's voice and sound effects, while Valério's bright blues and yellows span the spreads with broad, brush strokes that mirror the setting of this symbiotic, ecology folktale. (source notes) (Picture book/folktale. 5-8)Read full book review >
THE HUNGRY GHOSTS by Julius Lester
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

When a sudden cold breeze wakes Malcolm David out of a sound sleep, he suspects ghosts and asks his ringring bird to wake him the next night "between Not-Yet-Yesterday and Almost-Tomorrow" to investigate. Sure enough, he finds Byron, Jessica and Lamont making certifiably spooky sounds. Only it isn't them making the sounds, the ghosts assure him, it's their stomachs. What's a ghost to eat? The next day Malcolm David cleans his room and figures it out. Lester tells his story in his characteristically assured voice, rendering this long tale one that will read aloud with ease. Valério complements the text with fluid acrylics that gently play with the author's whimsical imagery. Not just for Halloween, it's a solid, not-too-scary ghost story for any season. (Picture book. 5-9)Read full book review >
Released: June 3, 2008

"All aboard for Dreamland!" is the clarion call of this rhythmic bedtime read-aloud that opens with a giant megaphone blaring out a wavy set of railroad tracks. Train purists, though, will have to use their imaginations, as the first vehicle on the track is a white unicorn on wheels, transporting a motley crew of beaming, big-nosed passengers. The magical mystery train transmogrifies next into a series of wheeled buildings: "Full steam ahead to Wiggletown! / We zoom down Zig Zag Hill, / winding 'round and upside down / till no one can sit still." As the train chugs through the land of Strrrretch ("Chugga-chugga chuckle!"), a taffy-like pink elephant tickles its ears with its toes. As in many bedtime stories, the illustrations optimistically invoke the power of suggestion; the characters get sleepy and close their eyes as the train heads into "the drowsy town of Yawwwwwn." Valério's brightly colored, stylized paintings, textured with visible brushstrokes and the occasional cutout piece of graph paper, are just jaunty enough to fuel this giddy trip to Dreamland. (Picture book. 2-4)Read full book review >
IT’S MOVING DAY! by Pamela Hickman
Released: April 1, 2008

A variety of the animals that burrow into the earth for various purposes are the focus of this science picture book for very young children. At the beginning of spring, a woodchuck vacates its burrow for warmer pastures; a cottontail rabbit decides to use the winter burrow for the birth and raising of her babies. As the seasons progress, the author points out the circle of life via the use of the burrow by a salamander, raccoon, snakes, chipmunks, skunks and finally a woodchuck. Valério's acrylic illustrations jump off the page, giving a sense of movement and progress. He uses naturalistic swathes of color to portray the seasons and the animals, excellently conveying birth, renewal and the passage of time—indeed, the vivid and kinetic paintings are the real standout. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-7)Read full book review >
GO TO SLEEP, GECKO! by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

A Balinese folktale begins one starry night when the gecko complains to the elephant, who is the village boss, that he can't sleep because of the blinking of the fireflies. The next morning, the fireflies explain to the elephant that they blink all night because the buffaloes drop poop all over the road and travelers need to avoid it. The buffalo, showing equal thoughtfulness, explains that the rain washes his poop into the road's potholes to protect these same travelers. This does not appease the gecko, who demands that the elephant talk to the rain. The rain admits to pouring all night long, but this is to provide the mosquitoes with the water they need to survive. And without mosquitoes, what would geckos eat? Elephant's conclusion: "The world is all connected." Content with this explanation, the gecko is finally able to close his eyes and get a good night's sleep. Valério's bright acrylics, full of goofy grins and exaggerated noses, highlight the humor of this bouncy ecological fable. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
WHEN YOU ARE HAPPY by Eileen Spinelli
Released: April 1, 2006

A grinning girl with golden hair floats through the night sky on the star-spangled cover of this lyrical look at the power of a supportive family. The front matter includes a family tree that helpfully identifies the girl's parents, siblings and both sets of grandparents. In the first-person narrative, each relative in turn offers some sort of imaginative help to the little girl as she experiences different childhood feelings and fears. The soothing words of each relative address a child's deepest concerns, and "poems piled like pillows," "a blanket from leftover sun." The synergistic efforts of author and illustrator successfully incorporate elements of magical realism: People can fly, the moon can appear as a recurring character and a golden-haired girl can become Red Riding Hood, with the power to tame the wolf. Luminous illustrations in glowing, jeweled tones are filled with flowing lines that establish a dreamy quality, softening the lines between fantasy and reality. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
CONEJITO by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: April 1, 2006

MacDonald weaves context-translated Spanish and a simple campfire song into this easy-to-learn tale of a young rabbit who outwits three predators with some help from his canny Auntie. Bounding up the mountain to grow, "¡Gordito! ¡Gordito! ¡Gordito!" on Tia Mónica's cakes and cookies, Little Bunny encounters Señors Zorro, Tigre and León. Putting them off with a promise that he'll be much fatter coming back down, Conejito eats and dances with Tia Mónica until he's "healthy and strong and fat as a butterball!"—whereupon Tia Mónica pops him into a barrel and sends him rolling safely home. Valério uses warm colors in the full bleed illustrations, s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out the ears and tails of his rubbery figures to create a sense of exuberant motion. A lively, and less violent, variation on Betsy Bang's Bengali version, The Old Woman and the Red Pumpkin (1975), illustrated by Molly Garrett Bang. (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)Read full book review >
DO YOU HAVE A HAT? by Eileen Spinelli
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

In bouncy rhyme, Spinelli invites younger readers to contemplate the many shapes and uses of headgear throughout history, drawing on specific examples from Abe Lincoln to Carmen Miranda: "John Chapman had a hat. / They say he wore a cooking pot. / Some folks believe that, some do not. / If true—he was a sight indeed— / a pot-topped sower of apple seed. / Do YOU have a hat?" Valério makes his US debut with a set of smiling, fancifully stylized portraits, generally flanked by birds, bugs, or other small companions wearing similar hats. With a line or two of background for each historical figure supplied on the endpapers, this nicely expands the "hats as occupational markers" theme in Ann Morris's Hats, Hats, Hats (1989), and others. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)Read full book review >