Caldecott Honoree Holly Meade begins her children's-book projects with lots of sketches. Painting, stamping and finally collaging get her to her finished illustrations. Kirkus called her latest book, If I Never Forever Endeavor, "[a]n irresistible invitation to test those wings and fly," in a starred review. Meade lives and works on the coast of Maine.
A present-tense evocation of the season leads ineluctably to Halloween: "WHEN neighbors rake fallen leaves into piles, / and the sky is that certain deep blue, / and bins of pumpkins arrive at the grocery store… / THEN bring one home and scoop and carve…." Read full book review >
Carlson celebrates the crowning (so to speak) achievement of John Batterson Stetson, a Philadelphia hatmaker who went West for his health in the 1850s and invented the emblematic piece of cowboy gear still identified with him, heavy enough to keep off the rain, wide enough to block the sun, tough enough to stand years of abuse—or, as some said, ``you can smell it across a room, but you just can't wear it out.'' Meade surrounds this lively odyssey with a kaleidoscope of brightly painted collage cowboy scenes, taking her ruddy-bearded artisan from his boyhood home in New Jersey to the gold fields of Pikes Peak, then back East where he found his fortune at last. Read full book review >
In the late 19th century, American schooners brought ice, refined sugar, and other goods to Santo Domingo to exchange for cocoa and coffee beans, and out of that Appelbaum spins a fine story of two children who love chocolate ices. In the tropical summer of the island, a girl helps her parents collect, harvest, and prepare cocoa beans, which require a lot of coaxing before the transcendent chocolate flavor is released. Read full book review >
From the author of A Clay Marble (1991), a charming, repetitive rhyme (subtitled ``A Thai Lullaby'') in which a mother shushes all the creatures, from a tiny mosquito to a huge elephant, in and around her thatch-roofed house so that her baby can sleep in the blue cloth hammock. Read full book review >
Another happy collaboration from the producers of This Is the Hat (1992), this time a trip around all seven continents to show animal and human mothers (but no fathers!) crooning to their sleepy babies. Read full book review >
Van Laan (Possum Come a-Knockin', 1990) tells another story with a rambunctious lilt: a circular tale about a hat, dropped by an old man, put to amusing uses by a variety of humans and other creatures before getting back to its original owner. Read full book review >