Books by Janet Wyman Coleman

EIGHT DOLPHINS OF KATRINA by Janet Wyman Coleman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"During a time of so much destruction, these eight dolphins became a symbol—they banded together and found their way home, just like the human residents of the Gulf Coast. (sources) (Informational picture book. 6-9) "
A spark of hope in the wake of a devastating natural disaster. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Illustrated with a fine array of early mini-cameras, hollow-heeled shoes and cleverly disguised weapons displayed at Washington D.C.'s International Spy Museum, this breezy if disjointed tour sweeps from Hammurabi's palace to Moscow's Butyrka Prison. Along the way, it peeks at triumphs and milestones in the history of intelligence-gathering while introducing a host of spies, traitors, double and triple agents, spy rings, femme fatales, plots and ploys, all the way down to the recent revelation of the NSA's Domestic Surveillance Program. Supposedly arranged by topic, it's a hodge-podge of short passages, photo captions, side essays and glossaries—over-designed, under-edited and sans index, but perfect for random dipping. Coleman focuses on the human side of the story, so budding 007s may want to pair this with the more high-tech oriented likes of Richard Platt's Eyewitness Spy (2000). (bibliography, illustration credits) (Nonfiction. 10-13)Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"How can you paint American history without baseball?" asked artist Ralph Fasanella. This well-written, child-friendly history addresses the game of baseball as it relates to the culture of the nation. The evolution of the game is presented, but this is not a play-by-play account. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, the work is copiously illustrated with photographs of artifacts from the exhibition. There are the requisite paintings, drawings, and photographs, but there are also advertising signs and figures, sculptures, illustrated scorecards, games, weather vanes, quilts and needlework, and other objects that are entirely unique. A large number of these works were created by anonymous artists. Folk art is a reflection of the world of ordinary people and baseball has been very much a part of America for almost its entire history. A great addition to the literature of the great American game. (Nonfiction. 8+)Read full book review >
FAST EDDIE by Janet Wyman Coleman
ANIMALS
Released: April 30, 1993

The author describes this fantasy about an escalating battle between the suburban Plotkin family and its strong-willed neighbor as ``nonfiction''; indeed, though Eddie (a feisty, amoral raccoon), his friend Puff (a cat who's adept—but not always successful—in manipulating her family), and hilariously bumbling Kitty (a golden retriever) express themselves in words, they are portrayed from the ironical perspective of a human who has endured, and been much amused by, their interactions. Eddie is on a collision course with the nice Plotkins; he not only Houdinis his way into their garbage but engages in gratuitous mischief—like tracking mud onto their white porch furniture- -despite his friends' warnings about the gun Mr. Plotkin plans to use if his trap fails—as it must: Eddie knows all about traps. This episodic first novel, told in brief, cinematic takes of the various characters, loses momentum midway; but the animal's antics and lively dialogue are consistently entertaining, while the denouement—Mr. Plotkin relents, but his gun misfires and Eddie is hurt—is too cleverly appropriate, and too funny, to reveal here. An easily read story that would also make a fine readaloud. Frequent b&w illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 8-12) Read full book review >