Books by Gillian Shields

Released: Feb. 20, 2018

"A charming story of perseverance that's rooted in simplicity and nostalgia. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A rabbit family and a squirrel family want to be friends, but a stream separates the two. Read full book review >
DESTINY by Gillian Shields
Released: July 31, 2012

"For fans only. (Paranormal suspense. 12 & up)"
The fourth entry in this pure-gothic series continues to hit all the clichés of the genre as hard as possible. Read full book review >
ETERNAL by Gillian Shields
Released: Aug. 2, 2011

"Some readers will enjoy it, especially those with little experience in the genre. It's all been done, better. (Supernatural romance. 12 & up)"
This third book in Shield's continuing supernatural series (Immortal, 2009, etc.) can feed the needs only of those who crave 100-percent full gothic fiction. Read full book review >
LIBRARY LILY by Gillian Shields
Released: July 8, 2011

This gentle read presents a rosy-cheeked child, brand-new library card in hand, dazzled by the array of choices surrounding her on the shelves. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2011

Shields and Currey introduced a charming rabbit family with three children in When the World Is Ready for Bed (2009). In this successful sequel, a new baby joins the family. With just a few rhyming lines of text, this story of this baby bunny's arrival into a loving family makes a memorable addition to the welcoming-the-new-baby subgenre. As the family awaits the birth, they prepare the nursery with a cozy crib and new toys. Then the mother is shown with the new arrival and the family gathered around her. The relatives arrive, the baby is celebrated and the gentle ending reminds readers that though the family's wait for this "dearest baby of them all" is over, the world is still waiting for this new addition "to grow, and bloom, and be, and do." So much is packed into these few rhyming lines: all the hopes and dreams and love of the welcoming family and the potential for each new life to change the world. The large-format watercolor illustrations of the rabbits are done in a loose style with delightful details in the rabbits' home and costumes. The warm, golden backgrounds suggest a calm and contented world with a sunny future ahead. Expectant parents will love this as a gift, little ones will warm to the reassuring story of each baby's importance and bunny-rabbit aficionados will take this charming tale to heart. (Picture book. 2-5, adults)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

The sky is growing dark, and it's time for the flowers, the birds and every bunny to start thinking about bed. Shields's sweet, melodious rhyme and Currey's warm, lively watercolors trace the evening of a very appealing rabbit family after the sun goes down. From eating dinner, cleaning up with Mom and reminiscing about the day with Dad to tooth brushing, getting into bed, listening to stories, saying prayers and looking out at the stars, these bunnies have a very busy night. At last, satisfied, tucked in and sleepy, the bunnies quietly drift off, since after all, there's a lot to anticipate: "Always lovely, / Always new, / Tomorrow's waiting / Just for you." These bunnies owe a lot to Beatrix Potter; like hers, they sport clothing and human mannerisms, but in anatomy and posture they're very much animals. Children will be glad to snuggle up and be softly lulled to sleep by this soothing selection as they are simultaneously reminded of the necessity and comfort of a bedtime routine. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
PUPPY LOVE by Gillian Shields
Released: July 7, 2009

Esme Lamour lives in a penthouse on a soft bed, while Samuel Bloom lives in a crowded tenement. Esme dines on gourmet food and Samuel eats leftovers. Their lives are totally different. But one evening, when Esme gets lost in the park, Samuel comes to her rescue and they fall in love. They find a way to be together, in the penthouse of course, and happiness ensues. But there's a charming twist: Esme and Samuel are dogs. Although there is never a direct reference, Shields seems to have channeled Lady and the Tramp and moved it to the Big Apple, in a low-key, loving homage. Carefully crafted, image-filled phrases in snappy, fast-paced verse that employs simple rhymes in aabb form keep the action moving. Harbour's timeless New York is aglow in soft, gauzy pastels as the canines experience Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge and the diverse ethnic neighborhoods. It all hits just the right note of sweetness without being overly sentimental or cloying. A charmer. (Picture book. 4-9)Read full book review >
IMMORTAL by Gillian Shields
Released: May 1, 2009

Evie, a motherless and lonely scholarship student at the very posh Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies somewhere on unspecified moors of England, pursues a furtive and resolutely chaste late-night romance with Sebastian, whose good looks, dark moods, manipulative behavior and anachronistic speech will remind readers of Twilight's Edward Cullen. The narrative alternates between the present and the Victorian diary of Lady Agnes Templeton, who is linked to both Sebastian and Evie. The diary reveals their connections to Agnes (to whom Evie bears a striking resemblance and whom she sees in visions), but only hints at the worst of Sebastian's secret. Naturally, good must battle evil, while Evie must confront her demons and emerge damaged but victorious. Two-dimensional characters, overheated dialogue and a mishmash of predictable plotting cribbed from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Circle of Magic, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight yield a profoundly derivative reading experience. The door is left open for a sequel, but with so much worthwhile source material to read instead, readers will ask, why? (Fantasy. 12 & up)Read full book review >
TOM’S TREE by Gillian Shields
Released: May 1, 2009

Both trees and boys grow in their own way. Little Tom plants a seed near his house, and older brother Ned teases that it will never grow. But Tom is highly focused; his dreams for the tree vault ahead of its development. He imagines peacocks singing in the high branches and a tree house like a pirate ship. Days and weeks pass, and the ground remains unchanged; Tom gives up hope. But the seasons pass, and, when spring comes again, it's Ned who notices the beginning of a tree. Tom's dreams take flight again. He waters, watches and even builds a fence around his tree-to-be. Years pass. Tom grows up; his tree grows more slowly. Many years later, the adult Tom and his young son Edward visit the tall tree, in which Edward can see the peacocks and the pirate ship. Raynor's stylishly simple illustrations complement the minimalism of Shields's text, juxtaposing earthily round-headed, dot-eyed tots against Tom's florid imaginings. Subtle but sublime. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
DOGFISH by Gillian Shields
Released: Nov. 25, 2008

What's a boy to do when everyone has a dog but him? Why, ask for one, of course! But when mom refuses and points to the pet goldfish instead, the little protagonist attempts to make his case with both reason—a fish can't play fetch, go for walks or wag its tail—and a little manipulation—unleashing his most "hypnotizing eyes" on her. Mom doesn't take the bait: "if you can't have what you want, you could try to want what you have." Taking her advice to heart, the boy, with some patience and ingenuity, makes his aquatic pet a worthy canine substitute and finds real joy in his new "DOGfish." Shields playfully introduces readers to nuanced emotions such as irritation, sorrow and bliss, deftly developing the characters of both boy and mother. Taylor's digital illustrations, done in warm color harmonies, share the post-World War II-era optimism of the Little Golden Books. With clean, simplified graphics, expressive characters and friendly spherical shapes, the illustrations do much to enhance the text's appeal. An agreeable choice for those who know the will of the canine-obsessed youngster. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
THE PERFECT BEAR by Gillian Shields
Released: March 25, 2008

Shields's affecting tale chronicles an arrogant toy's transition from revered object to beloved companion. Upon his arrival at the home of a young girl, the stuffed bear—very conscious and proud of his immaculate finery—is appalled when his new owner wants to actually play with him. With sly humor Shields details the bear's disgruntled indignation as he endures being splashed with paint, given an impromptu bath and the like. However, when the now shabby bear becomes separated from his girl in a store, he experiences an epiphany, discovering that a person's—or stuffed bear's—worth cannot be measured by such superficial merits as their appearance. Blythe's full-color oil paintings are brimming with rich detail and texture. His expressive illustrations of bear employ subtle nuances, which perfectly illuminate the bear's persona and his emotional transformation. At the center of this whimsical tale is a gently reassuring message regarding the nature of love and acceptance that young readers will embrace. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
THE STARLIGHT BABY by Gillian Shields
Released: April 1, 2006

Shields offers a gentle little tale that can be read as an adoption story or one about the most basic kind of mother love. A baby in a garment of leaves cries, lying among the grasses and flowers, and calls to the stars, "can you love me? Will you be my mother?" But the stars don't answer. The babe inquires of the silver moon, of the west wind and the trees, and even of the stream and the wolf, beseeching each to hold or warm or protect, but each either refuses or ignores. A woman, who does not smile, "because she had no child," hears the baby's cry and is led from her vine-covered cottage by the moon, stream, wind and trees to find the babe and bring it home at the end of night. " ‘I will be your mother, little one,' she said." The dulcet watercolors are painted in meltingly soft pastels and swooping lines without being overly sweet, though the whole will not appeal to every taste. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >