Books by Giselle Potter

BEATRICE SPELLS SOME LULUS AND LEARNS TO WRITE A LETTER by Cari Best
Released: Aug. 27, 2013

"Beatrice, whose own name is a bit of a L-U-L-U, is totally charming, and the story and artwork are a P-E-R-F-E-C-T M-A-T-C-H. (Picture book. 5-8)"
With email making the art of letter writing almost obsolete and texting turning spelling into truncated babble, this picture book is a clever and refreshing antidote. Read full book review >
WANT TO BE IN A BAND? by Suzzy Roche
Released: Feb. 12, 2013

"Fans of the Roches will appreciate in-jokes, like the mention of strawberry-apricot pie, but ultimately, this chronicle of perfecting skills and performing for ever larger audiences is too narrowly focused to provide encouragement, entertainment or inspiration. (Picture book. 6-8)"
While many children may answer the titular question in the affirmative, it seems likely that only (some) adults will appreciate the behind-the-scenes glimpse of one group's genesis offered by quirky songstress Roche. Read full book review >
CECIL THE PET GLACIER by Matthea Harvey
Released: Aug. 14, 2012

"Fans of Jenny Slate's Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2011) will find a kindred spirit in the stalwart glacier that eats pebbles and wears a tiara. (Picture book. 5-8)"
The oft-told tale of a child who yearns for a pet and a creature that craves a human gets a new twist when the latter is a baby glacier. Read full book review >
THE ORPHAN by Anthony L. Manna
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 27, 2011

"There can never be too many Cinderellas—well, maybe there can, but definitely make room for this one. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-8)"
In Greece, it is said that a girl is an orphan when she loses her mother, and that is the only word that names the protagonist in this Cinderella tale. Read full book review >
MOO, MOO, BROWN COW!  HAVE YOU ANY MILK? by Phillis Gershator
ANIMALS
Released: July 28, 2011

"Farmyard industry becomes a bedtime soporific. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Through creative tweaking, a familiar nursery rhyme, "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep," returns as a cadenced lesson in farmyard enterprise as well as a comforting bedtime lullaby. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2010

"Acknowledging Mary's long, worldwide career as an elegant, accomplished performer 'in beautiful shoes,' this sweet tribute neatly fills a niche in the panoply of titles about jazz greats. (afterword) (Picture book. 5-8)"
Macdonald teams with her sister for this celebration of Williams's talent as a jazz pianist. Read full book review >
SUGAR WOULD NOT EAT IT by Emily Jenkins
ANIMALS
Released: May 12, 2009

"Kids who are lectured at about what to eat will identify with stalwart Sugar, who knows what she likes. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A boy and a kitten engage in a battle of wills over feline food preferences. Read full book review >
WYNKEN, BLYNKEN, AND NOD by Eugene W. Field
POETRY
Released: May 13, 2008

"The hand-lettered text and mixed-media illustrations rendered in nighttime blues and greens lend an imaginative, dream-like quality to the ethereal text. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Field's 19th-century poem, originally entitled "Dutch Lullaby," serves as the vehicle for this visual exegesis of the celestial text. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"Barnum tends to outshine all of his contemporaries and successors, but here's at least a suggestion that his story wasn't the only one. (Picture book/biography. 7-9)"
Though so sketchy that his death (and the fact that the title is borrowed from his autobiography) isn't even mentioned, this profile of the indefatigable and once-renowned circus impresario captures the fascination with spectacle that drove him, alone and in partnership with P.T. Barnum, to organize a number of circuses, sideshows and other popular attractions. Read full book review >
THE LITTLEST GRAPE STOMPER by Alan Madison
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Feb. 27, 2007

"Kids will enjoy both Sixto's triumph and the overall goofiness of this small tall tale. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A fey piece of whimsy takes a lighthearted look at child labor. Read full book review >
THE BOY WHO LOVED WORDS by Roni Schotter
FICTION
Released: March 28, 2006

"A gift to precocious children and teachers as well. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A charmingly prolix tall tale of a boy so word-obsessed that he collects new words on slips of paper. Read full book review >
SLEEPING BOBBY by Mary Pope Osborne
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"Absent of the plucky, personality-rich heroines in their previous two outings, this one is an uninspiring disappointment save for Potter's art. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A third from the duo of Osborne and Potter, this one is less a feminist remake than simply a character gender swap. Read full book review >
CHLOË’S BIRTHDAY . . . AND ME by Giselle Potter
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2004

"Potter's tale will be much appreciated by readers of all ages who have suffered the pangs and pleasures of sibling relationships. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In this sequel to Potter's successful The Year I Didn't Go To School (2002), readers discover Giselle and her family in France, on the eve of her little sister Chloe's birthday. Read full book review >
WHEN CATHERINE THE GREAT AND I WERE EIGHT! by Cari Best
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 6, 2003

"The theme of intergenerational love is strong here, as Grandma teaches Sara to float on her back 'like a flower' in the aqua ocean. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A slice of urban life is cheerfully portrayed in this colorfully illustrated, first-person account of an ill-fated day trip to the beach. Read full book review >
TRUDI & PIA by Ursula Hegi
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2003

Excerpts taken nearly verbatim from Hegi's adult novel, Stones from the River (1994), form a surprisingly cohesive story for children about Trudi, a dwarf girl, who comes to accept herself after meeting a dwarf woman, Pia, at the circus. Read full book review >
THE YEAR I DIDN’T GO TO SCHOOL by Giselle Potter
NONFICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Fans of Tomie DePaola's ongoing autobiography, or Patricia Polacco's sentiment-steeped reminiscences, will enjoy this glimpse of a decidedly unconventional childhood sojourn. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 7-9)"
Potter (Brave Little Seamstress, p. 576, etc.) draws from family history for her first solo turn, recalling a tour of Italy that her puppeteering family undertook when she was seven. Read full book review >
THE BRAVE LITTLE SEAMSTRESS by Mary Pope Osborne
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 1, 2002

Switching genders in another traditional tale, the author and illustrator of Kate and the Beanstalk (2000) pit a clever, doughty seamstress against a swarm of flies ("Seven At One Blow"), three giants, a unicorn, a wild boar, and, most dangerous of all, a fearful king with a hundred knights. Read full book review >
QUENTIN FENTON HERTER III by Amy MacDonald
POETRY
Released: April 5, 2002

"Not to mention the laughter that readers will shower down upon them. (Picture book. 4-8)"
MacDonald's (No More Nasty, 2001, etc.) dazzling verse, clever as Scheherazade, is a beautiful choreography of words. Read full book review >
SHRINKING VIOLET by Cari Best
FICTION
Released: Aug. 6, 2001

"Wallflowers of all stripes will enjoy watching Violet putting Irwin in his place without raising the hostility level—a tricky, but effective, strategy. (Picture book. 6-8)"
The creators of Three Cheers For Catherine the Great (1999) deal inventively with an all-too-common situation in this tale of a shy child finding the inner stuff to withstand a bully's taunts. Read full book review >
GHOST WINGS by Barbara M. Joosse
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2001

"It includes a discussion guide and information on the Days of the Dead and monarch butterflies. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Joosse's (Alien Brain Fryout, 2000, etc.) sensitive tale of love, loss, and remembrance is set in a small Mexican town and intertwined with the lifecycle of monarch butterflies. Read full book review >
KATE AND THE BEANSTALK by Mary Pope Osborne
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Magical. (source note) (Picture book. 4-9)"
Osborne is not only the author of the wildly popular Magic Tree House series, but also a well-respected reteller of myths and folk tales (American Tall Tales, 1991, etc.). Read full book review >
GABRIELLA'S SONG by Candace Fleming
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"A disarmingly simple tale, this is inspiring and transporting. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Fleming (Madame Lagrande and Her So High, To the Sky, Uproarious Pompadour, 1996) celebrates music and its power to touch our lives. Read full book review >
MR. SEMOLINA- SEMOLINUS by Anthony L. Manna
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 1, 1997

"The illustrations, with skewed perspectives, eccentric characterizations, superb color sense, and whimsical angles and swoops of line, elevate the tale; readers will be looking for stronger future efforts from these three. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)"
Told in the fashion of a Greek folktale, this story from newcomers Manna and Mitakidou has neither the steam nor the invention to match the impressive artwork of Potter's debut. Read full book review >