Books by Janet Lawler

WINTER CATS by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2019

"Feline aficionados (and others) will not be left cold. (Picture book. 2-7)"
Willy is an indoor cat, but outside looks enticing. Read full book review >
MIRABEL'S MISSING VALENTINES by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"This may not help similarly shy kids, but it may give readers some inspiration. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A shy mouse gains some courage and some new friends, bringing the town together in the process. Read full book review >
FRIGHT SCHOOL by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2018

"Readers may pick up a few frightening pointers of their own for Halloween night, but will they make the grade? (Picture book. 4-7)"
Where else but Fright School will goblins, ghosts, and ghouls learn to scare trick-or-treaters? Read full book review >
LOOKING FOR A LULLABY by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2016

"Readers unfamiliar with the TV series may be left scratching their heads, and even for those who are fans, Tiny's dilemma feels overlong. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A British stop-motion animated series makes the jump across the pond to print. Read full book review >
THE PREHISTORIC GAMES by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"For athletic dino action, stick with the Dino-Sports series by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott. (glossary, pronunciation guide) (Picture book. 4-7)"
Though the ancient Greeks hadn't yet invented the Olympics, this is what they might have looked like had the dinosaurs participated in the contests. Read full book review >
RAIN FOREST COLORS by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"Readers will not only practice their colors, they'll get an inkling of what a colorful and wonderful world we live in. (Informational picture book. 2-8)"
Stunning animal photos introduce children to 10 basic colors in this latest from National Geographic Kids. Read full book review >
LOVE IS REAL by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 23, 2013

"An admirable message delivered in a lackluster manner—pass. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Real love is expressed through the many seemingly small acts that take place every day. Read full book review >
OCEAN COUNTING by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 14, 2013

" A great counting and learning combination. (Informational picture book. 3-5)"
Gorgeous photographs and straightforward counting offer preschoolers a few facts about some ocean animals. Read full book review >
SNOWZILLA by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 2, 2012

"Ultimately like Snowzilla—fluff. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Community dissension and compromise are brought down to a kid's level in this tale of a giant snowman. Read full book review >
A MOTHER’S SONG by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2010

From spring through winter a mother celebrates her bond with her daughter in syrupy, limping doggerel. "Listen with me / to the happiest birds / calling, ‘Good morning!' / with chirp-chirping words." The verse marches along in lockstep, forcing unnatural stresses to maintain scansion. While there is the occasional fresh image—"Feel summer showers / fall cool on our toes, / before running off / to wherever rain goes"—the text is only distinguished by its appeal to the maudlin. Kemly's soft pastels largely reflect the text's aesthetic, but she adds a small black-and-white dog to most double-page spreads, which provides continuity and a bit of fun. There's no question this mother-daughter pair is enjoying each other's company, but this is far from the only book with such a portrayal. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
TYRANNOCLAUS by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

Tyrannoclaus is the Santa of the dinosaur world, and he's having a bad Christmas Eve. First one of the dinosaurs eats the gift list, and then the volcano under the North Pole erupts, causing Tyrannoclaus and his sleigh full of toys to fall into a crevice. Several flying dinosaur assistants save the day in a dramatic rescue through fire and ash, and the presents are delivered in time to all the good dinosaur children around the world. Shroade's large-format design uses mainly double-page spreads, with a palette of dazzling, hot colors that make the dinosaurs appear to pop off the pages. The spreads of the volcano are exciting, but not too scary. Young dino devotees will enjoy the rhyming text and the dramatic combination of Christmas, dinosaurs and steaming hot lava. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
IF KISSES WERE COLORS by Janet Lawler
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2003

Jay's brilliant imagination and artistry make this rather pedestrian, baby love song shine. The text is a simple and just-short-of-saccharine rhyme of parent-to-baby kisses: "If kisses were acorns, a forest would grow / of beautiful oak trees, in row after row. . . . If kisses were blankets, / you'd always be warm, / wrapped up from the cold / during winter's worst storm." It's all very sweet and affectionate. Jay's pictures, however, partake of the wonderful inspiration that made her art for Picture This (2000) and A World of Wonders (p. 48) so remarkable. She uses alkyd oil paint on paper with a crackling varnish; the result seems to capture sunlit colors behind a slightly crazed glass surface. Her pictures inhabit a dreamlike landscape where a baby sits in a sunflower-decorated carriage nearly as tall as a tree, and animals in exuberant dress (the bunny is wearing polka dots, the elephant a striped bathing suit) dance beneath a rainbow. The sun wears a smile, and the acorn, facing a page of oaks, is a winsome and solid presence with a face like a grandfather clock. A distant and not as wittily composed cousin to Baby Hearts and Baby Flowers (2001), but the pictures repay reading and rereading. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >