Books by Jennifer Ward

MAMA DUG A LITTLE DEN by Jennifer Ward
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 21, 2018

"A storytime delight for the nature shelf. (Informational picture book. 4-7)"
Catchy rhymes describe the cozy spaces 13 animals find, make, and use. Read full book review >
FEATHERS AND HAIR, WHAT ANIMALS WEAR by Jennifer Ward
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 7, 2017

"The artwork is spectacular, but its factual content is not so well-presented. (Informational picture book. 2-6)"
Sparse, rhyming text and lush collages impart elementary facts about different animals' body coverings. Read full book review >
WHAT WILL GROW? by Jennifer Ward
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"Rich with organic material, this choice is as warm and patient as the ground that nurtures the seeds to new life. (Informational picture book. 2-5)"
Pine cones. Acorns. Dandelion fuzz. Sunflower seeds. Children are delighted by these natural treasures. But what will become of these little nuggets of life? Read full book review >
THERE WAS AN OLD MUMMY WHO SWALLOWED A SPIDER by Jennifer Ward
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 21, 2015

"For preschoolers who want a Halloween book that is more silly than scary. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Ward and Gray exchange the little old lady for an old mummy, and the book gets pleasantly goofy from there. Read full book review >
MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST by Jennifer Ward
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 18, 2014

"A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers. (author's note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)"
Echoing the meter of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create. Read full book review >
THE SUNHAT by Jennifer Ward
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"Rosa loves her sun hat in any form it takes, and readers will appreciate it as well. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Rosa, a bouncy poppet with cowgirl boots and a little backpack, is on her way to school when the wind takes her red sun hat away in this Southwest-set tale inspired by the Ukrainian folktale "The Mitten." Read full book review >
WHAT WILL HATCH? by Jennifer Ward
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 12, 2013

"Science for the very young is done best through joyous learning; education will certainly hatch from these pages. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Eggs come in many different shapes and sizes, but the most important question to young, curious minds is what will hatch? Read full book review >
THERE WAS AN ODD PRINCESS WHO SWALLOWED A PEA by Jennifer Ward
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

The familiar song gets a princess makeover in this second of its like from Ward (There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog, 2010; illustrated by Steve Gray). Read full book review >
THERE WAS AN OLD MONKEY WHO SWALLOWED A FROG by Jennifer Ward
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2010

Old monkey swallows bits and pieces of the rainforest to a cumulative refrain, a rhythm and melody straight from that little old lady: "He swallowed the toucan to squawk at the bat. / He swallowed the bat right after the cocoa. / He swallowed the cocoa to sweeten the frog. / I don't know why he swallowed the frog. / What a hog!" Gray's shiny digital illustrations show the eater so fat in the end that the only movement possible is his stomach's "rumble rumble rumble... / Yours would too... // if you swallowed a jungle!" There is no regurgitation here, just an inside view of the googly-eyed cocoa, mango, vine, toucan, iguana, leopard, sloth, tapir, crocodile, etc., all alert and smiling crazily. Ward uses a few too many creatures to maintain the attention of the toddler-and-preschool group, which would be the standard audience for the rhyme, but older children familiar with the original can wink at the slick, goofy art and enjoy the over-the-top comic scenario, perhaps as part of a rainforest unit. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
THE BUSY TREE by Jennifer Ward
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Gentle rhyming couplets describe the different parts of an oak tree and the roles they play in feeding and sheltering the animals of the forest. From the roots and bark to the leaves and acorns, Ward pays tribute to each in simple-seeming phrases that sneakily introduce good vocabulary, such as boughs, hatchlings, scurry and prowl. "These are my branches, leafy and high, / a sidewalk for squirrels that soar through the sky." The tale comes full circle as the boy and girl who take shelter under that tree find some acorns and plant another generation of busy trees. In her debut picture book, Falkenstern's oil paintings are a wonder. The animals are rendered with such realism and depth as to seem ready to come right off the pages, each claw, feather and whisker perfectly placed. The broken eggshells give the impression of delicacy, while the dew on the leaves looks as if a touch will leave a finger wet. An amazing exploration of an oak-tree habitat for the youngest readers. (Picture book. 3-8)Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: March 15, 2000

The authors give new lyrics to the familiar rhyming folksong `Over in the Meadow,` here counting ocean mothers and their offspring one to ten from manatee to octopus. Some rhymes seem forced, but young listeners will still enjoy chanting along: `Somewhere in the ocean where the seas and rivers mix / lived a mother tiger shark and her little pups SIX. / `Cruise!` said their mother. `We cruise!` said the six, / so they cruised and they hunted where the seas and rivers mix.` The authors conclude with `fun facts` about the animals and a simplified musical score for the folk song. Facts are neither scientific nor specific enough to be very helpful. For example, `sea turtles—some sea turtles grow to be really big, bigger than a really big man.` How big is that? The illustrations are big, bright, and slightly cartoonish. All these creatures are smiling, and octopus, hermit crabs and others have excessively goggly eyes. The endpapers invite viewers to look for hidden numbers in the illustrations, but they are not easy to find. A counting book with an ecology message with a modicum of appeal. (glossary, musical score) (Nonfiction. 3-6)Read full book review >
WAY OUT IN THE DESERT by T.J.  Marsh
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1998

Marsh and Ward's quick tour of the Sonoran Desert introduces readers to both local fauna (such as the horned toad, javelinas, tarantulas, Gila monsters, roadrunners, and scorpions) and flora (palo verde, ocotillo, saguaro, and prickly pear). Their observations are set to the rhythms of "Over in the Meadow," for this is also a counting book: "Way out in the desert where the wildflowers grew/lived a mother hummingbird and her little hummers two." Spengler has hidden each of the numbers in his full-page illustrations, which transport readers right into the thick of the environment and provide a better sense than the text of the animals and plants of this habitat. A glossary at the end of the book provides a more detailed account of the creatures. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >