Books by Jennifer A. Ericsson

WHOO GOES THERE?  by Jennifer A. Ericsson
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

A hungry owl in a tall tree watches, listens and waits for his dinner. He tries to match the sounds he hears with the prey he eats, but is often incorrect in his guesses. "Shuffle, shuffle." "Whoo goes there?" thinks Owl. "Is it an opossum—a fat little opossum just right for my dinner?" But it turns out to be a porcupine. And so it goes for Owl. Even when he does finally spy a good dinner, his efforts at catching it are thwarted. The repetitive phrases and guessing format are well suited to a young audience, who will likely enjoy giving reasons why Owl would not want to eat the animals he sees. On the flip side, however, the text may be a little long for them and there are no visual clues to ground children's guesses. Kitchen's artwork is very detailed; many of his meticulously drawn animals appear ready to walk right off the pages, while the muted palette suits the nighttime setting. A mixed bag, this needs a carefully chosen audience. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
A PIECE OF CHALK by Jennifer A. Ericsson
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

A little girl uses her driveway as a canvas, and makes a masterpiece with her box of chalk. A bright sunny day and a brand new chalk box, "with long perfect sticks all smooth and dusty," are enough to stimulate her artistic impulses. Going through the colors one by one, Ericsson's text has a poetic feel, and not the usual tight rhyme but a lovely lyricism: "I take a piece of grass, a spring green one, green is the grass, sprouting near the wall." Just as she finishes her picture, with a gray cloud, it starts to rain. The colors run together and she finds . . . two rainbows! One's in the sky and the other at her feet. Shapiro's simple illustrations capture the rough shapes and textures of the little girl's artwork against its more polished background. A simple, powerful message in a simple, powerful setting. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
HOME TO ME, HOME TO YOU by Jennifer A. Ericsson
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

Ericsson crafts a tale addressing a common occurrence in contemporary family life: separation due to business travel. In her compassionate story, a mother and child reunite after the mother's weeklong business trip. She slowly builds each character's anticipation over the course of a day, moving the text smoothly back and forth from the mother's perspective to her daughter's as they describe their activities and emotional state throughout Mommy's long journey and daughter's long wait. Although it lacks any lyrical tone, the narrative offers a fictionalized yet truly life-like accounting of this scenario. Despite her style of factual reporting, she does convey how much the parent and child are on each other's minds as they go through the day's activities. Wolff's colorful, full-bleed illustrations neatly contrast the homey, suburban environment of the child with the more urban scenes of a busy city and airport in the mother's travel, helping young children visualize their parent's work and travel environment. Young readers experiencing their first separation, as well as their more seasoned counterparts, will find equal comfort in this offering. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
SHE DID IT! by Jennifer A. Ericsson
Released: March 15, 2002

A quartet of sisters wreaks merry mayhem in this mirthful tale of sibling life and strife. From the moment they arise, chaos ensues as the girls hurl themselves whole-heartedly into the day. Trailing in their wake is a series of untidy, rumpled rooms and one increasingly exasperated mother. Amid the commotion, their mother periodically interjects with the futile question of who's responsible—to which she receives the time-honored response, "She did it!" Eventually the impromptu pillow fights, seismic destruction of the breakfast area, mud-splattered laundry, and a bout of fisticuffs prove too much for their harried parent and the sisters are banished to their room. This time of respite inspires the girls to make amends and clean up in a heartening show of solidarity. Ericsson's rhyming couplets are fast-paced and witty, keeping the story bustling along right up to its satisfying conclusion. Westcott's twinkling, cartoon-style illustrations comically capture the hubbub and turmoil of a house full of busy bodies. The full-page spreads are brimming with humorous details—the antics of the family cat and dog alone warrant a second look-through. A bushel-full of fun. (Picture book. 3-8)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

Annie wants to be the most beautiful kid in the world for her grandmother, who is coming to dinner. The starched green ensemble her mother recommends just won't do: It's itchy and tight, with no Çlan, no pizzazz. So Annie cobbles together an outlandish costume of her favorite pieces of clothing and jewelry, chosen for comfort and shine. When Grandma enters, she is likewise decked out in high style, and her first words declare Annie the most beautiful kid in the world. Ericsson (No Milk!, 1993) takes this ode to dressing up right out of real life; Annie's behavior has nothing to do with rebellion or rugged individualism but with a small girl's absolute focus on the articles of dress that she believes will look nice. The text may be too minimal to inspire children who don't share Annie's interests; to them she may come across as frenetic in the extreme, despite the best efforts of Meddaugh, whose illustrations are all sharp black outlines and splashes of candy color. (Picture book. 3+) Read full book review >
NO MILK! by Jennifer A. Ericsson
Released: March 24, 1993

``A dairy cow. A city boy. A silver pail. A wooden stool''- -everything but the expertise. Result? ``No milk''—not in response to a pat or a kiss, food or a joke, entertaining tricks or anger. At last, the placid cow grows impatient with the boy's obtuseness; and when she stands over the pail, the boy realizes what he should do. The circumstances are so implausible that they may amuse knowledgeable children—and even some city kids—with their exaggeration, but the story is most effective as a parable. The futility of inappropriate efforts makes an obvious subtext to the succinct quatrains; children will also enjoy chiming in with the reiterated ``But no milk!'' Making her first US appearance, Eitan—an Israeli who has been nominated for the Andersen Award- -provides freely rendered illustrations in pastel and gouache, with bold designs, vibrantly expressive figures, and brilliant colors accented with dramatic black (especially the formally dressed little boy's suit). A fine debut for Ericsson, who's especially fortunate in her illustrator. (Picture book. 3-8) Read full book review >