Books by Janet Schulman

PALE MALE by Janet Schulman
Released: March 11, 2008

A lengthy text tells the story, again, of the red-tailed hawk that thrilled the birdwatchers of Central Park and ruffled the feathers of the residents of 927 Fifth Avenue. The fierce predator's eye that gazes out at readers from the front jacket give the book its raison d'être: So's exquisite watercolors. Her swift brushstrokes take on an energy all of their own as they depict Pale Male terrorizing pigeons, tending to his chicks and serenely taking up residence on the luxury apartment building that became the locus of so much controversy. Schulman's story is more complete than either Pale Male, by Jeanette Winter, or City Hawk: The Story of Pale Male (both 2007), which each told more compact slices of the hawk's adventures. Readers will learn of Pale Male's past romances and of his chicks' successes on their own, making this a worthwhile next step for youngsters captivated by either of the two earlier books. It is undeniably duplicative, however, and stands out much more for its illustrations than for the story. (author's note, bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-12)Read full book review >
10 TRICK-OR-TREATERS by Janet Schulman
Released: Aug. 9, 2005

Schulman gives the traditional count-down book a Halloween twist in this adaptation of the classic rhyme involving monkeys bouncing on a bed. When ten children embark upon an evening of candy-collecting, they meet up with a motley crew of Halloween creatures. From a harmless toad to a monster on the prowl for candy, the trick-or-treaters' numbers lessen by one with each eerie encounter. Schulman's verses successfully match the bouncy rhythm of the traditional rhyme while incorporating more whimsical aspects of Halloween into the descriptions of the children's activities. Davick's brightly hued illustrations go a long way to distill any frightening overtones in the tale. Each creature encountered is carefully depicted as harmless; the bat bears a smiling visage, the "mummy" is obviously a fellow trick-or-treater with purple polka-dotted underwear poking out of its wrappings, etc. Vibrant depictions of clever costumes will set readers to dreaming of their own Halloween escapades and the last page recaps with a Halloween candy graph representing the numerals ten through zero. (Picture book. 3-8)Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 14, 2003

Brilliant watercolors bounce off the page in this charming romp through the seasons. Happy yellows, pinks, greens, and blues pop against bright white backgrounds as readers follow a little brown bunny's life over a year. The bunny lives near a garden that, aside from a nuisance of an old cat, is portrayed as a miniature Eden. She gorges on the summer harvest, hops among the fall pumpkins, and finds a bunny friend to hibernate with in the winter. So's (The White Swan Express, p. 1397, etc.) minimal style and delicate hand create a lush environment while picturing just enough for the reader to focus on. Delicate dabs of pink and brown make a bunny's face that actually seems to twitch and nibble on the page as a few soft brushstrokes of red and green create a juicy strawberry patch. Shulman's (Countdown to Spring, 2002, etc.) sweet, maternal, though somewhat unimaginative, language lets the artwork have the spotlight, while providing a comforting, well-paced narrative. The content never becomes weighed down with its seasonal curriculum and the compact trim size fits the story's light mood. To lighten moods even more, in the garden during the following spring "the brown bunny returned. The gray bunny came too. And guess what came with them? Their three new little bunnies!" In an increasingly complicated world, the simple joy projected here goes down easy. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

Spare, bright brushstrokes capture the very essence of spring newly sprouting in a simple countdown from 10 ladybugs to "1 Easter Basket filled with treats for all the animals." So's (The Ugly Duckling, 2001, etc.) palette is spring-like without being pale—it has a musical sweetness, with each simply depicted creature expressive and lively among blossoms across a plain white background. Schulman's (You Read to Me and I'll Read to You, not reviewed, etc.) very brief text portrays each creature in vivacious spring activity (quacking, scurrying, creeping) and invites counting each one . . . and, at the end: " ‘Thank you!' said the happy animals. Now count them all again." A small gem. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >