Books by Jean Van Leeuwen

THE MISSING PIECES OF ME by Jean Van Leeuwen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 2, 2014

"This tightly written chapter book has just the right amount of pathos for middle-grade readers. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Hurt by her overworked mother's insistence that she's a bad girl, 10-year-old Weezie tries her best to prove her wrong. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2012

"This fresh and funny look at family life will have both children and adults chuckling. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Three interlinked short stories about a big rabbit family add up to a satisfying whole with humorous plots, witty text and utterly charming illustrations. Read full book review >
PAPA AND THE PIONEER QUILT by Jean Van Leeuwen
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2007

"Soft-edged acrylic illustrations convey a gentle perspective of the difficulties with the warm palette reflecting the courageous spirit of the pioneer family. (author's note) (Picture book/historical fiction. 5-8)"
Rebecca's Papa has wandering feet. Read full book review >
BENNY AND BEAUTIFUL BABY DELILAH by Jean Van Leeuwen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2006

"A fresh addition to the genre. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Van Leeuwen visits a familiar theme in this latest take on the havoc a new baby brings to a household and the attendant feelings of the older child. Read full book review >
CABIN ON TROUBLE CREEK by Jean Van Leeuwen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2004

"It works as both a solid historical novel and as an exciting survival tale. (author's note) (Fiction. 9-12)"
Trouble Creek was the site of a massacre ten years before. Read full book review >
THE GREAT GOOGLESTEIN MUSEUM MYSTERY by Jean Van Leeuwen
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2003

"A whisker-tingling adventure. (Fiction. 7-11)"
A trio of mice living in a dollhouse in a New York City department store decides to hitch a ride in a shopping bag in search of an adventure. Read full book review >
THE AMAZING AIR BALLOON by Jean Van Leeuwen
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2003

"Van Leeuwen brings him brilliantly back to life. (Historical fiction. 7-10)"
Based on a true story, Van Leeuwen's (Lucy Was There . . . , 2002, etc.) latest effort imagines the experience of 13-year-old Edward Warren, the sole passenger aboard America's first manned hot-air balloon, launched in 1784, a year after the Montgolfier brothers flew their balloon in France. Read full book review >
“WAIT FOR ME!” SAID MAGGIE MCGEE by Jean Van Leeuwen
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2001

"And just watch what happens when Maggie really grows up. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A poignant tale about a pint-sized tot who longs to be big. Read full book review >
SORRY by Jean Van Leeuwen
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2001

"His hillbillies are all bulgy noses and gawky limbs; the household details, countryside, and livestock as picturesque as they are parody. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Feuding over a trifle earns two brothers the lifelong sorrow of a severed relationship, a pathetic circumstance that Van Leeuwen manages to invest with a degree of censorious humor. Read full book review >
LUCY WAS THERE... by Jean Van Leeuwen
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2001

"The story's a sad but life-affirming one, and Morgan's a realistically drawn preteen with whom readers will identify. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Noted author Van Leeuwen ("Wait for Me!" Read full book review >
OLIVER AND ALBERT, FRIENDS FOREVER by Jean Van Leeuwen
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"A rewarding choice for new readers, with a gentle lesson about accepting help from a friend. (Easy reader. 4-8)"
Oliver Pig and his little sister, Amanda, have been staples of the easy-reader shelves for over a decade, with simple but satisfying stories in school and family settings. Read full book review >
HANNAH'S HELPING HANDS by Jean Van Leeuwen
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

"It's a fiery, realistic finish, but it will be the day-to-day details and how-to of colonial life that will keep readers intrigued. (b&w illustrations, not seen, map) (Fiction. 7-10)"
From Van Leeuwen (Hannah of Fairfield, p. 73, etc.), a second heartwarming portrait of a colonial girl and her family struggling to meet the challenges of pioneer life during the Revolutionary War. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1999

"Ventura's highly realistic artwork makes grand gestures toward the dramatic, but artfully remains true to the story line. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Blue Dog is one in a menagerie of toy farm animals in the collection of Big Billy, a gentle boy much taken with his cows and hens and horses. Read full book review >
HANNAH OF FAIRFIELD by Jean Van Leeuwen
Released: April 1, 1999

"Her story—especially the details that are usually relegated to sidebars and laundry lists in history books—will entertain and inspire anyone who is interested in the past. (b&w illustrations, not seen, map) (Fiction. 7-10)"
By 1776 the British army had taken control of two key areas, New York City and Long Island Sound. Read full book review >
NOTHING HERE BUT TREES by Jean Van Leeuwen
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Engaging, entertaining, unsentimental. (Picture book. 4-8)"
As an author's note explains, in the first half of the 19th century, settlers began to move into the land beyond Pennsylvania, into Ohio, and found a place of enormous, ancient trees. Read full book review >
AMANDA PIG AND HER BEST FRIEND LOLLIPOP by Jean Van Leeuwen
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 1998

"Van Leeuwen creates a comfortable world of safety and security in this feel-good, reassuring book. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In this entry in the Easy-to-Read series, ebullient Amanda Pig (Oliver and Amanda and the Big Snow, 1995, etc.) discovers that independence can be scary. Read full book review >
THE TICKLE STORIES by Jean Van Leeuwen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1998

"Whyte catches the specifics and the sensibility in her sharp watercolors that exaggerate the details but keep the emotions true. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Van Leeuwen's bedtime book will probably keep kids wide awake, particularly if readers follow the example set by Grandpop. Read full book review >
A FOURTH OF JULY ON THE PLAINS by Jean Van Leeuwen
FICTION
Released: June 1, 1997

"Sorensen's watercolors have the blurred, dreamlike quality of faded photographs, furnishing the proceedings with a sense of events that took place long ago. (Picture book. 5-8)"
From Van Leeuwen (Blue Sky, Butterfly, 1996, etc.), a fictional look at a Fourth of July celebration held by pioneers headed for Oregon. Read full book review >
TOUCH THE SKY SUMMER by Jean Van Leeuwen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 1997

"Perfectly captured by Andreasen are Luke's receptivity and vulnerability, his emotions thrown wide open, his faith in the magic of a place unwavering. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Every childhood ought to contain at least one summer moment like this—a pure idyll. Read full book review >
BLUE SKY, BUTTERFLY by Jean Van Leeuwen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 1996

"Face it she does; the author never whitewashes any of this family's pain but leavens the story with touches of humor and rounds it out with a realistically upbeat ending. (Fiction. 9- 12)"
Twig, 11, tries to remove any vestige of her father from her life after her parents separate. Read full book review >
OLIVER AND AMANDA AND THE BIG SNOW by Jean Van Leeuwen
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"In fact, this family's fun is enough to make even adults wish for a snowstorm. (Fiction. 5-8)"
The pig siblings are off in another Easy-to-Read adventure, this time enjoying a snow so deep that it is over Amanda's head. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"This elegant picture book offers readers an imaginative way of thinking about and rediscovering the Mayflower experience. (Picture book. 6-10)"
The journey on the Mayflower and the first winter and spring in Plymouth are narrated with poetic precision by an anonymous boy, whom Van Leeuwen (Bound for Oregon, 1994, etc.) subsequently identifies as the son of William Brewster, the religious leader of the colony. Read full book review >
BOUND FOR OREGON by Jean Van Leeuwen
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Westward ho-hum. (Historical Fiction. 8-12)"
In this plodding fictionalized account of a real girl's Oregon Trail experience, nine-year-old Mary Ellen Todd heads west in 1852 with her potter father, unemotional stepmother, and two younger sisters. Read full book review >
TWO GIRLS IN SISTER DRESSES by Jean Van Leeuwen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1994

"Quiet but insightful. (Fiction/Young reader. 6-9)"
An author best known for her easy readers about Amanda and Oliver Pig again explores the love and friction between siblings. Read full book review >
EMMA BEAN by Jean Van Leeuwen
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"A fine readaloud or early young reader. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A particularly endearing stuffed toy—a very long-earred rabbit, made by Molly's grandmother before her birth—survives the affection of the normally rambunctious child. Read full book review >
THE GREAT SUMMER CAMP CATASTROPHE by Jean Van Leeuwen
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1992

"Fans of the trio's earlier adventures (The Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper, 1975, etc.) will find this amusing romp perfectly consistent in tone and style with its award- winning predecessors. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Further adventures of Merciless Marvin the Magnificent and his gang, three mice who live in Macy's toy department but here suddenly find themselves wrapped up with a care package of goodies and shipped to a camp in Vermont. Read full book review >
GOING WEST by Jean Van Leeuwen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 1992

"A fine prelude or companion to Wilder's books, especially the perceptive illustrations. (Picture book. 5-9)"
A seven-year-old narrates the experiences of her family of five: setting out from their home in the East (Mama cries at leaving her sisters and her piano); leading the cow behind their covered wagon; building a log cabin on the prairie; the troubles of a first year (a failed crop and the loneliness before a neighbor moves in); renewed hope in the spring. Read full book review >
AMANDA PIG ON HER OWN by Jean Van Leeuwen
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1991

"Graceful, natural-sounding use of its easy vocabulary, a wise—and appealing—story, and simply drawn illustrations that nicely reflect the text's warmth make this an excellent addition to a popular, high-quality series. (Easy reader. 4-8)"
Little Amanda, left behind when her older brother starts school, experiences the joys of doing special things with Mother and also learns that she can be her own best friend. Read full book review >