Books by Joanne Ryder

A DRAGON'S GUIDE TO MAKING YOUR HUMAN SMARTER by Laurence Yep
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 15, 2016

"The story positively vibrates with fun. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
Following A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans (2015), the saga of Miss Drake, a dragon living in San Francisco, continues as she tries to train her pet human in the ways of magic.Read full book review >
A DRAGON'S GUIDE TO THE CARE AND FEEDING OF HUMANS by Laurence Yep
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 10, 2015

" Delightful whimsy. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
This comedy starring a 3,000-year-old dragon and a scrappy little girl takes young readers into a fantasy world situated right next to ours. Read full book review >
PANDA KINDERGARTEN by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2009

"EWSLUGp2008 is a better choice. (panda facts) (Informational picture book. 4-7)"
Ryder's latest focuses on the care and learning opportunities that are given to new panda cubs at China's Wolong Nature Preserve. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2007

"Solid information and pleasing poetry make this a charming package for introducing young readers and listeners to the world of toads. (Poetry/nonfiction. 5-8)"
The author-illustrator pair who produced Mouse Tail Moon (2002) returns with a cycle of 26 poems describing toad lives over the course of four seasons. Read full book review >
DANCE BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

"Overall, the conceit is clever even though it stumbles a bit. (Picture book. 4-6)"
The invitation reads, "Can't you come out tonight and dance by the light of the moon?" Read full book review >
BEAR OF MY HEART by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 26, 2006

"A must-have for the parents of young children and the libraries that serve them. (Picture book. 2-6)"
No matter what they are doing, what their moods are, or how far apart they may be, a bear parent reassures a bear cub that she will always be there: "You are the bear of my heart, dear, / and I am the one who loves you." Read full book review >
MY MOTHER’S VOICE by Joanne Ryder
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2006

"Supple, sweet and satisfying. (Picture book. 5-9)"
The cover image, of a young girl and her mom in the kitchen using serving spoons as their microphones while they sing, is a key to this resonant and openhearted paean to the sound of a mother's voice. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2006

"Perfect fare for young fans after Miela Ford's Bear Play (1995). (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)"
Ryder supplies two sets of captions in different point sizes—one for younger, the other for more able readers—to a gallery of big, color photos featuring two adorably fuzzy, alert-looking polar bear cubs in this engaging follow up to Little Panda: The World Welcomes Hua Mei at the San Diego Zoo (2001). Read full book review >
WON’T YOU BE MY HUGAROO? by Joanne Ryder
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2006

"A celebration of all things lovable, Ryder's tale is bound to strike a chord with fans and newcomers across the generations. (Picture book. 2-5)"
While the venue has changed from smooches to hugs, Ryder and Sweet remain faithful to the popular format of their earlier title, Won't You Be My Kissaroo? (2004) Playful rhymes describe the myriad hugs to be savored as a young zebra spends the day at an amusement park with friends. Read full book review >
WILD BIRDS by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2003

"Still, there is enough sustaining natural imagery here to launch more than a few young birders. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Ryder (Mouse Tail Moon, 2002, etc.) follows a fledgling birder as she watches and cares for birds in the wild. Read full book review >
MOUSE TAIL MOON by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Teachers in the early elementary grades will find this book useful both as poetry and as literature that effectively integrates interesting factual information. (Poetry. 6-9)"
This short, thematic poetry collection from Ryder (Big Bear Ball, p. 666, etc.) focuses on one night in the life of a common field mouse, though this mouse is an uncommonly accomplished rodent who writes first-person narrative poems describing a mouse's world. Read full book review >
BIG BEAR BALL by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2002

"The large typeface and brilliant colors encourage group sharing—and stomping. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Outlandishly dressed bears of all shapes and sizes romp and stomp at their monthly ball in this rollicking pairing of simple rhyming text and lusciously detailed, energetic illustrations. Read full book review >
A FAWN IN THE GRASS by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2001

"This quiet stroll will leave readers of any age with a deeper appreciation for the natural treasures all around them and add immeasurably to the pleasures of a walk of their own. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Inspired by a fawn's temporary residence in her yard, Ryder (Each Living Thing, 2000, etc.) offers a child's brief nature walk in simply written verse: "There's a squirrel who clings to the side of a tree. / There's the flash of a jay, / and the buzz of a bee." Read full book review >
EACH LIVING THING by Joanne Ryder
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2000

"An idyllic but responsibly conscious view of nature in a book as rich visually as it is textually spare. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Ryder's rhyming call reminds us to be aware of all living things and to treat them with respect and care. Read full book review >
TYRANNOSAURUS TIME by Joanne Ryder
Released: Aug. 1, 1999

"For readers already familiar with such realistic aspects of the dinosaurs' lives, this volume is a must- have. (Fiction. 6-9)"
PLB 0-688-13683-4 Two children uncover a curved, saw-edged fossil and are instantaneously transformed into a living, breathing Tyrannosaurus rex. Read full book review >
EARTHDANCE by Joanne Ryder
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1996

"Powerful, pulsing graphics and a valuable, almost incantatory, message. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Ryder (My Father's Hands, 1994, etc.) addresses readers in the second person, beckoning them to join in a cosmic appreciation of the earth and all it holds. Read full book review >
MY FATHER'S HANDS by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Lovely. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A poet who has frequently celebrated nature in her picture books evokes a child's relationship with her father and the gentle example he sets her by his own relationship with the natural world. Read full book review >
A HOUSE BY THE SEA by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1994

"An attractive addition. (Picture book. 3-8)"
In verse that echoes both Milne's whimsical make-believe and the cadence of Poe's ``Annabel Lee,'' a child imagines living by the sea: playing with the seals (``When I got too wet/or they got too dry,/we'd hug and we'd run/and we'd yell, `Good-bye' ''); wishing on the moon; being cared for by an octopus (``With an arm doing this/and an arm doing that,/he'd cook and make my bed''); and so on. Read full book review >
THE GOODBYE WALK by Joanne Ryder
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"This will never take the place of McCloskey's Time of Wonder, but it makes a nice additional purchase. (Picture book. 5-8)"
At summer's end, a middle-sized child—shown in the illustrations as a girl, while the author addresses the reader in the second person—makes a last visit to favorite scenes at the seaside where she's spent the summer. Read full book review >
SEA ELF by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Unusually attractive. (Picture book. 4-9)"
A particularly appealing entry in Ryder's ``Just for a Day'' series, evoking the experience of being a sea otter. Read full book review >
DANCERS IN THE GARDEN by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"LC classes this as fiction. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4+)"
Drawing on her own observations of Allen's hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) in San Francisco and on scholarly sources, Ryder follows a male through a typical day in which he encounters a female and mates (offstage). Read full book review >
WINTER WHALE by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 14, 1991

"A fine celebration of this appealing creature. (Picture book. 4-10)"
The best yet of Ryder's ``Just for a Day'' books: ``you'' are a boy whose imagination takes you from a rainswept beach to being a humpback whale, exulting in the experience of ``gliding up and down between...sea and sky.'' Ryder's evocative text dwells on the joy of movement and also considers the pod, a new calf, and its mother, and the whales' mysterious warm-water song. Read full book review >
THE BEAR ON THE MOON by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 14, 1991

"Grand story, beguiling bears, lovely book. (Picture book. 5-10)"
The author of several books about children who experience being animals in the wild (e.g., White Bear, Ice Bear, 1989) takes an even more imaginative approach to the bears' world with a polar bears' creation myth: In the beginning, the bears live in the sea. Read full book review >
WHEN THE WOODS HUM by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: March 22, 1991

"Ryder's text is graceful as well as informative; Stock's gentle illustrations not only reinforce the warm family relationship but serve to identify the cicadas at different stages. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Jenny's father explains the 17-year cicadas' life cycle and tells her about the last time they appeared (he was 12); together, they observe and admire the insects' during their brief appearance. Read full book review >
WHITE BEAR, ICE BEAR by Joanne Ryder
Released: March 24, 1989

A second-person narrative suggests that "you" (a lively boy who looks about eight years old) are inspired by the snow outside your window to become an "ice bear," and are transported to appropriate surroundings where you experience typical polar bear activities (including hunting, but not catching or eating, a seal). Read full book review >