Books by Jill Tomlinson

Released: Dec. 1, 2006

Suzy, a little striped cat, lives with a fisherman and his four sons in France. One day, she unknowingly falls asleep in a basket that's part of a hot-air balloon and ends up in England. The crux of the story is her effort to return to "Chez-moi." Even though an old lady takes her in, Suzy grabs every opportunity (she thinks) to find a way home: She rides a surfboard, swims beside a channel swimmer, gets stranded on a submarine and pussyfoots aboard a ferry boat to France. When she climbs the boat's mast, she sees a French fishing boat ahead—with her family aboard! Home at last. Brush strokes on the canvas background of the soft-edged illustrations add texture to the gentle, sweet quality, while the action scenes humorously depict Suzy's encounters, but overall they lack the buoyancy of Mary Calhoun's Hot-Air Henry (1981). (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

New color illustrations introduce an English classic about a small barn owl—unfortunately and inexplicably named "Plop"—who learns to love the dark. At his mother's suggestion, Plop, who thinks the dark is scary, asks various people about it. Each (among them a boy, a scout, and an astronomer) gives him a personal reason for appreciating the night. At last, a black cat leads him away from his sleeping parents to the rooftops where, looking over the sleeping town, Plop realizes that the night really is beautiful, and that he really is a night bird. The full-page pastel illustrations are full of rich night hues of deep blue skies, light, and shadow, and smaller sketches on alternate pages show the little owl with his new acquaintances. Plop, though a fledged bird, appears smaller and softer than his owl parents and is a thoroughly endearing creature in these pictures, and the art carries the story over several weak spots. In one of Plop's less convincing encounters, a grandmotherly woman tells him that she likes the dark because it is kind, and she can forget that she is old—an idea more sentimental than true. In another—less universal than the fear of the dark that the tale addresses—a girl tells him that the dark is necessary so that Santa can come and fill the stockings for Christmas Day. But the fireworks that the boy invites Plop to watch are reflected in the big dark eyes of the young barn owl and his parents—a nicely dramatic depiction of the awe that night can hold. Parents and children are likely to overlook some pedestrian moments in the story for the overall reassurance it may bring. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >