Books by Irene Haas

BESS AND BELLA by Irene Haas
Released: Jan. 1, 2006

Bess is playing outside with her doll when out of the snowy sky falls Bella, a little bird with a lot of suitcases. So begins a whimsical tale full of warmth and imagination. Bella's many suitcases hold tea things (she explains that she got started flying south late, because of packing, but she flew anyhow "until frost on my wings made me fall FALUMP from the sky"). Then a bunch of doggy firefighters come by to put out a fire and Bess invites them to tea. After they rescue a mouse baby and Bella's Mary Poppins-like valise supplies the makings of marmalade mousse for mice, it begins to snow and Bess is called in for supper. Bella lives in Bess's room all winter and in spring, when she returns to her nest, a very interesting child appears outside Bess's window and asks if she wants to come out to play. Sweetly soft watercolor and pastel images—a full page facing text, a small ornament as header or footer—cheerfully delineate bird, doll, dogs, mice, plaids and patterns, florals and tea things. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
WAS IT A GOOD TRADE? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
Released: May 1, 2002

Like Adoff's newly recast Black Is Brown Is Tan (p. 404), this pairs a text published decades ago (1957) with new art from the original illustrator. In a series of trades, a rotund little man in a gingham suit swaps his knife for a wife, her cake for a rake, and so on, generally getting the better of each transaction, until at last he presents his wife with a whale. Being a commonsensical sort, she trades in the whale—for a knife. The verses are gathered at the end, with music adapted from a folk tune. Haas doesn't stray far from her original compositions; her figures are redrawn and freshly colored, but they still dance in sequential vignettes across oblong white spreads as in the first edition. Young readers who find Old Mother Hubbard hilarious will giggle over this similar-sounding nonsense rhyme. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1997

An opulent book that sports sumptuous watercolors, a lively tempo, and clever energy. A frog jumps through Lucy's window on a summer's night, with an invitation to a party and a magic paper hat. Lucy shuffles outside, and ``a finger of moonlight touched the hat and FOOF! Lucy was as little as a leaf.'' Lucy hails a bird's- nest taxi; they stop for Madame Mouse (``Zut! I am late!), Inchworm (``I inch while I sleep,/I inch while I wake,/I inch until,/my little feet ache''), and a wee Japanese doll, lost years before and still hoping to be found. A huge owl threatens to eat them, but the taxi makes a fast escape. When the owl makes an appearance at the party, he is disarmed by the news that the birthday party is for him. ``How kind! Tonight I'll eat cake—not bugs. Do you mind?'' Before the evening's end, Inchworm becomes a moth and the doll regains its owner. Haas touches the story with rhyme here and there, infuses it with hope and old-fashioned enchantment, and loads the artwork with details that continue to reveal themselves upon additional readings. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >