Books by Harriet Ziefert

MAX AND SARAH BUILD A SNOWMAN / MAX Y SARAH HACEN UN MUÑECO DE NIEVE by Harriet Ziefert
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"Well-suited for today's bilingual learning environments, if not a particularly rich read. (Easy reader. 6-8)"
Max and Sarah's simple indoor game of hide-and-seek moves to the wintry outdoors where, with help from Mommy, they build a snowgirl and a snowboy. Read full book review >
ARE YOU MY BROWN BEAR?/¿ERES MI OSO PARDO? by Harriet Ziefert
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"A simple story with cute illustrations, but the lack of care given to the Spanish translation results in an unbalanced bilingual book as a whole. (Bilingual early reader. 5-8)"
This title is one of several by Ziefert in the bilingual ¡Hola English! series, intended to appeal both to Spanish-speaking readers learning English and the reverse. Read full book review >
IT'S RAINING CATS AND FROGS / ¡LLUEVE GATOS Y RANAS! by Harriet Ziefert
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"A playful, useful outing. (Early reader. 6-8)"
It is raining so hard "it's raining cats and frogs," prompting choices about what to wear and do in the showery outdoors. Read full book review >
WHAT SHIP IS NOT A SHIP? by Harriet Ziefert
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"The prolific Ziefert has provided a game that everyone can play. (Picture book. 4-9)"
Wordplay forms the basis for an intriguing guessing game as trios of similar things are followed by something different. Read full book review >
WHERE IS THE ROCKET? by Harriet Ziefert
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 12, 2014

"An appealing goodnight book, though all those questions might suggest an earlier bedtime in order to accommodate them all. (Picture book. 2-4)"
A mobile inspires a child's dream of flying in a rocket. Read full book review >
IT'S TIME TO SAY GOOD NIGHT by Harriet Ziefert
Released: Sept. 13, 2013

"A successful offering from a well-matched pair. (Picture book. 1-4)"
A child greets the day and then says goodnight in this circular picture book. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 9, 2012

"Too finicky by half to have its day in court. (Picture book. 4-8)"
"The Princess and the Pea," courtesy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.Read full book review >
ROBIN, WHERE ARE YOU? by Harriet Ziefert
Released: June 25, 2012

"Skip this one. (Informational picture book. 5-8)"
Lucy goes birding with her grandfather, learning to use binoculars and identifying many birds before they finally find a robin. Read full book review >
LUCY RESCUED by Harriet Ziefert
Released: April 24, 2012

"A sweet take on the bumps in the road home for one shelter dog. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Lucy may have been rescued from the animal shelter, but this pup takes time to adjust to her new, loving family. Read full book review >
PUPPY IS LOST by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"These eye-catching design features should appeal to young readers, though the story is on the underdeveloped side. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Max has lost Puppy; Puppy has lost Max. Read full book review >
MY DOG THINKS I'M A GENIUS by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"Have the easels handy; inspiration is inevitable. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)"
Boy and dog share the utter pleasure of creating art. Read full book review >
GRANDMA'S WEDDING ALBUM by Harriet Ziefert
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2011

"A disappointingly bland treatment of an always-popular subject. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Following a game of make-believe, a grandmother shows her grandchildren her wedding album. Read full book review >
TAKE CARE OF ME FROM A TO Z by Harriet Ziefert
ABC BOOKS
Released: April 1, 2011

"No eXcuse. (Picture book. 3-5, adult)"
Setting a new standard for whiny neediness, an unseen narrator presents an alphabetical series of demands, beginning with "Adore me," and continuing on through "Kiss me," "Notice me," "Warm me" and "eXcuse me" to (with a picture of two figures on a bicycle) Read full book review >
ONE RED APPLE by Harriet Ziefert
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Sept. 16, 2009

"Growth and change become wondrous things in this well-conceived and -executed nature story. (Picture book. 5-10)"
Readers follow an apple from tree to market to mouth; when birds pick the seeds from the nibbled core, a tree sprouts, bursting with blossoms in spring and providing a new crop of apples in summer. Read full book review >
MY FOREVER DRESS by Harriet Ziefert
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2009

"Though the creative focus on fashion excels, the narrative's earnest delivery struggles in its authenticity. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A girl's cherished party dress receives striking renovations through Murphy's bright mixed-media collage. Read full book review >
YOU AND ME: WE’RE OPPOSITES by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2009

"While none of the animals declares, 'Buy this book, not that one,' this does pack a triple punch—the concept-book format pleases parents, the illustrations and guess-ability of the opposites suit a storytime setting and children will go ape over the animals. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Zoo animals explore the ways they are different in this latest from Ziefert. Read full book review >
FURRY FRIENDS by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: March 11, 2009

"The differences are subtle, but interesting to explore—expressions, colors and number of features change, creating many avenues for conversation between grown-up and toddler as well as providing basic animal-identification opportunities. (18-36 mos.)"
An oversized book distinguished by SAMi's trademark clean design and use of die-cuts encourages toddlers to examine small differences in facial features and expressions. Read full book review >
MIGHTY MAX! by Harriet Ziefert
ADVENTURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2008

"Though Mighty Max may not actually save the day, and certainly deserves a more heroic ending, he'll put smiles on readers' faces. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Mighty Max, as he calls himself, is an ordinary young boy who likes to wear a red cape. Read full book review >
SNOW PARTY by Harriet Ziefert
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"Varied perspectives offer long-shots and close-ups, deep purples and blues in the background allowing the coal-eyed, carrot-nosed folk to fairly glow at their gala. (Picture book. 4-8)"
"[W]hen the first snow of the year falls on the first day of winter, [the snowpeople] have a snow party!" Read full book review >
HANUKKAH HAIKU by Harriet Ziefert
HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"An exuberant delight. (Picture book. 4-10)"
Eight simple poems in Haiku form, one for each night of Hanukkah, tell of family traditions and the joy of lighting the candles together, playing dreidel, eating latkes and applesauce, receiving shiny coins or Hanukkah gelt, singing and dancing and, of course, hearing the story of the Maccabees. Read full book review >
ABC DENTIST by Harriet Ziefert
ABC BOOKS
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"Murphy's mixed-media collages add dimension and humor to what may become a classic prep for a visit to the dentist's office and is a neat companion to its predecessor, 2007's ABC Doctor. (Informational picture book. 4-8)"
In alphabetical order, this cheery offering provides a succinct overview of a visit to the dentist. Read full book review >
A BUNNY IS FUNNY by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2008

"Read it aloud for best effect; young children will name all the creatures with enthusiasm. (Picture book. 3-6)"
"There are birds with big beaks, / but not even a few can / hold as much fruit / as the beak of a toucan." Read full book review >
PLAY! by Harriet Ziefert
by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by SAMi
SIZE, SHAPES & PATTERNS
Released: May 1, 2008

"Fun, age-appropriate ingenuity."
Triangle, circle, square, rectangle, oval: Brightly colored die-cut pages allow toddlers to encounter these basic shapes in a variety of incarnations. Read full book review >
LOTS AND LOTS by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2008

"A winner."
The tricky concept of relative number receives a cheery elucidation in this oversized board book. Read full book review >
MESSY BESSIE by Harriet Ziefert
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2007

"Readers will need a discerning eye to discover the secrets hidden within them without feeling the need to go clean their own rooms. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Bessie, an untidy mouse, awakens one morning to a mess of monumental proportions. Read full book review >
GRANDMA, IT’S FOR YOU! by Harriet Ziefert
Released: June 1, 2006

"A good springboard to a craft project; otherwise, a slight, pleasant tale. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Little Lulu fashions a unique birthday gift for her grandmother. Read full book review >
BIGGER THAN DADDY by Harriet Ziefert
Released: May 1, 2006

"Young readers and listeners, whether from single-parent households like this or otherwise, will smile too. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Ziefert enters Charlotte Zolotow territory with an intimate bit of give-and-take between little Edward, who wishes he were bigger, and his father as they walk home from the playground, engage in a bit of playful role reversal (" ‘You've been a bad boy,' said Edward. ‘And you haven't finished your juice.' ") and then get ready for bed. Read full book review >
ME! ME! ABC by Harriet Ziefert
ABC BOOKS
Released: May 1, 2006

"Use selectively. (Picture book. 3-5)"
In a terse alphabet for the self-absorbed, Bergen digitally adds an occasional background or detail to 26 close-up views of the vinyl animal characters she manufactures, which appear with such demanding captions as "Admire me," "Buckle me," "E-mail me," "Gimme!" Read full book review >
MOMMY, I WANT TO SLEEP IN YOUR BED! by Harriet Ziefert
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Nov. 1, 2005

"A perfect read before falling asleep. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A sweet nighttime routine is followed by tears when Charlie can't sleep in his own bed—he doesn't know how. Read full book review >
THE BIGGEST JOB OF ALL by Harriet Ziefert
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2005

"Ziefert's cozy tale encourages young dreamers to contemplate the possibilities of their own glorious futures. (Picture book. 3-6)"
In this sweetly sentimental tale, a little girl ponders the ultimate in grownup accomplishment. Read full book review >
CIRCUS PARADE by Harriet Ziefert
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Lois Ehlert's Circus and Dr. Seuss's To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street are better bets. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Clowns, bears, monkeys, majorettes, acrobats, bands and strong men are among the many who march when the circus parade comes through town. Read full book review >
BUZZY HAD A LITTLE LAMB by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2005

"That's what school is all about, Ziefert suggests in her subdued way: learning to use the old bean in new and constructive ways. (Picture book. 2-5)"
How do you cope when the thing you depend on for your security can't come with you to school? Read full book review >
BEACH PARTY! by Harriet Ziefert
ADVENTURE
Released: April 1, 2005

"Splash!' (Board book. 1-5)"
This play rhyme in board book form invites young listeners to sashay like a menagerie of marine life, each one with its own verb: "Can you walk like a penguin? Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

"Make an appointment with Margaret O. Hyde's Disease Book (1997) instead. (Nonfiction. 7-9)"
Working with a medical doctor, the prolific Ziefert embeds basic information on the causes and symptoms of colds, stomach- and headaches, zits, blisters, allergies, and other common maladies in a slurry of heavy-handed humor (the "purpose" of carsickness "is to spread vomit all over the back seat of the car, so that parents can learn a lesson about long, boring car rides!") and lame versified asides: "I have a little plantar wart / That goes everywhere with me. / It's quite happy on my foot / But I think it's UGH-a-lee!" Read full book review >
THIS IS THANKSGIVING by Harriet Ziefert
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

"The art is simple but as appealing to the young eye as a tray of bonbons, and is sure to make at least one reader drool. (Board book. 2-5)"
In a sturdy board book, Ziefert and Zemke salute the bounty of Thanksgiving. Read full book review >
ONE SMART SKUNK by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

"Collections in need of easy, bright science-influenced titles could do worse, but this isn't essential. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Rebecca, the skunk of the title, lives under a suburban back porch. Read full book review >
SIMMS TABACK’S BIG BOOK OF WORDS by Harriet Ziefert
NONFICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"The only misstep is the telephone, a black number with a dial and a cord that children may not recognize at all. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Caldecott Medal-winner Taback wields a strong black line and vibrating color on each of these pages, where an object sits on a plain white background. Read full book review >
BUZZY’S BOO-BOO by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2004

"Then again, this little read may be just what the doctor ordered. (Picture book. 2-4)"
Ziefert and Bolam team up again in this short but sweet foray into the bumpy landscape of childhood tumbles. Read full book review >
33 USES FOR A DAD by Harriet Ziefert
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2004

"Altogether, a fun way to show children that dads do many things in families and to tell dads they're appreciated. (Picture book. 2-8)"
Like moms, dads need credit for all the "jobs" they do in the family. Read full book review >
ROCKHEADS by Harriet Ziefert
NUMBERS AND COUNTING
Released: April 26, 2004

"Beware: may cause rock-crafting urges in older siblings. (illustrator note) (Picture book. 2-4)"
Rocks with smaller-rock noses and painted-on eyes and mouths are nicely photographed and placed atop simply drawn bodies in this read-aloud for the nursery set. Read full book review >
HEALTH
Released: Dec. 1, 2003

"Among the other excellent books available on the topic, this one lacks bones—it doesn't quite stand up. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-7)"
Ziefert provides a quick scan of the skeleton, organized along the old neck-bones-connected-to-the-shoulder-bone routine, with a lot of names of the bones, a few trivial asides—the topmost neck bone is called the Atlas, because it holds up the head—and not enough solid information. Read full book review >
HOME FOR NAVIDAD by Harriet Ziefert
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 29, 2003

"Children will strongly identify with her dream, at the end of the long day, of her mother wrapping her in her arms on Christmas day. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Cohen's reds, greens, and blues practically glow, and the sharp black outlines that he lays on them, particularly to highlight the human characters, recall both children's drawings and the winning nonchalance of Ludwig Bemelmans. Read full book review >
YOU CAN’T BUY A DINOSAUR WITH A DIME by Harriet Ziefert
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2003

"Not for beginning savers or spenders. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Ziefert offers a tale about saving, spending, and saving again. Read full book review >
A DOZEN DUCKLINGS LOST AND FOUND by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: March 24, 2003

"An afterword offers interesting information about the Muscovey ducks that are so charmingly pictured. (Picture book. 2-5)"
When Farmer Donald removes 12 broken fence posts from the ground just before Mother Duck marches her 12 ducklings across the pasture, a gentle misadventure occurs. Read full book review >
LUNCHTIME FOR A PURPLE SNAKE by Harriet Ziefert
COLORS
Released: March 24, 2003

"An artist is born. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Ziefert and McKie (Egad Alligator!, 2002, etc.) team up again with a story about the creative process. Read full book review >
31 USES FOR A MOM by Harriet Ziefert
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 2003

"Funny and oddly tender, moms and kids alike should enjoy continuing the list. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The team that listed 39 Uses for a Friend (not reviewed) finds fewer uses for mothers, but at least as inventive ones. Read full book review >
SENSES
Released: Dec. 1, 2002

"Point out the 'Let's Read and Find Out' series to children who want to probe a bit deeper. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)"
Aiming to raise the consciousnesses of newly fledged readers about their sensoria, the prolific Ziefert presents a breezy tally of basic facts about smell, touch, taste, hearing, and sight. Read full book review >
CHRISTMAS HAS MERRY! by Harriet Ziefert
HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"For those who like their Christmas sugarplums tart rather than sweet. (Board book. 1-6)"
The inverted logic of this patterned text by Ziefert (Halloween Has Boo, 2002, etc.) will be amusing to adult readers, but the humor may be lost on most of the traditional audience of the board book set. Read full book review >
EGAD ALLIGATOR! by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: March 25, 2002

"A wonderful addition to any collection. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Little Gator doesn't feel tired, so he decides to go exploring instead of taking a nap. Read full book review >
MURPHY MEETS THE TREADMILL by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"Well, maybe, but there's no denying Murphy's charm, nor Ziefert's infectious, lighthearted spirit, which Bolam snares with her simple, rosy paintings. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Ziefert and Bolam (Clara Ann Cookie, Go to Bed, not reviewed, etc.) have combined their talents again to introduce Murphy, the burly yellow Labrador who loves to eat. Read full book review >
BIRDHOUSE FOR RENT by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"But the seductive art makes it more than worthwhile to explain. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Told from the unusual first-person point of view of a birdhouse, this picture book begins with the arresting announcement, "I am a birdhouse," over a picture of a birdhouse sporting a For Rent sign. Read full book review >
NO KISS FOR GRANDPA by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2001

"A piquant tale that will strike a chord with readers on both sides of the age divide. (Picture book. 2-5)"
In a wry tale of toddlerhood, young Louie, firmly engrossed in his own world, has a hard time aligning his wants in accordance with other's desires. Read full book review >
WHAT DO DUCKS DREAM? by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2001

"Who would have thought a cat might dream of wearing red high heels? (afterword) (Picture book. 5-7)"
With a nod to Freud for her inspiration, Ziefert suggests that animals dream just as people do. Read full book review >
SOMEDAY WE’LL HAVE VERY GOOD MANNERS by Harriet Ziefert
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"The deadpan delivery of Ziefert's pragmatic text, combined with Demarest's waggish illustrations, makes for a raucously funny tale and a rambunctious read-aloud. (Picture book. 4-8)"
An etiquette guide for the very young—with an ironic twist. Read full book review >
HATS OFF FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY! by Harriet Ziefert
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2000

"Hats off indeed to this splendid parade of a book. (Picture book. 2-5)"
The business of a parade is to march along with style and zip and knock the socks off those who watch. Read full book review >
FIRST HE MADE THE SUN by Harriet Ziefert
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2000

"Children will enjoy poring over the illustrations of all the critters in this gentle and unique introduction to the creation story. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Ziefert (Hats Off for the Fourth of July!, see below, etc.) draws from a traditional African-American folktale by the same title to invoke the creation story from Genesis. Read full book review >
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD by Harriet Ziefert
Released: Feb. 1, 2000

"The potential pleasure of reading is sacrificed to pure mechanics, making basal readers look like poetry. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Ziefert and Bolam have collaborated on more felicitous projects than this clanky reworking of a familiar tale. Read full book review >
ELEMENOPEO by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Though perhaps not up to Thatcher Hurd's Art Dog (1996), this cat displays a promising imagination, and young readers, whatever their artistic proclivities, will enjoy making his acquaintance. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Meet Elemenopeo, a chubby black-and-white cat who takes pride in being able to come and go as he pleases, but discovers a hidden talent when his cat door is closed for repairs. Read full book review >
WHEN I FIRST CAME TO THIS LAND by Harriet Ziefert
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 18, 1998

"Antique ads, photos, ticket stubs, newspaper clipping, and stamps pasted into the art augment the period of history in a grand story about a brave generation who won't soon be forgotten. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In a lighthearted look at the immigrant experience, Ziefert retells a cumulative 19th-century American poem that describes a cheerful man who comes to the US, buys a farm, sets up house, and makes a life. Read full book review >
PUSHKIN MEETS THE BUNDLE by Harriet Ziefert
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1998

"This take on the new-baby situation is rendered in bright, flat gouache colors; there is a fair amount of humor in the illustrations and Saaf shows a nice command of visual pattern and repetition, full of child appeal. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Pushkin, a very personable white dog in a red sweater, loves his life, living with his people, Kate and Michael, on a quiet street, sharing their lives and sleeping in their bedroom. Read full book review >
THE MAGIC PORRIDGE POT by Harriet Ziefert
FANTASY
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"It's just not much fun; the confines of the form, worked to such advantage by Minarik, Lobel, and Rylant (and Nola Buck—see review, above), make for a flat-footed telling here, and since most children know a version of the tale, there's no suspense to engage them. (Fiction/folklore. 4- 7)"
With beginning readers in mind, Ziefert (The Tweeny-Tiny Woman, 1995, etc.) retells the traditional story of the magic pot that won't stop cooking in this entry in the Easy-to-Read series. Read full book review >
THE TWEENY-TINY WOMAN by Harriet Ziefert
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"For readers able and willing, try Paul Galdone's charmingly scary edition (1984). (Picture book/folklore. 5-7)"
This retelling of an old English ghost story is designated Level 2 in this publisher's Easy-to-Read series (the books at this level have so few words that they look more like small picture books than easy readers). Read full book review >
PETE'S CHICKEN by Harriet Ziefert
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Although the spirited, goofy drawings in which all the children are presented as rabbits are partially redeeming, the overplayed message of this book is too didactic. (Picture book. 4+)"
Pete knows that he is one-of-a-kind. Read full book review >