Books by John Lawrence

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE NORTH by Philip Pullman
ADVENTURE
Released: April 8, 2008

"Elegantly decorated with Lawrence's engravings and faux-realia, it is both understated and lovely. (foldout game) (Fantasy. 12+)"
In his characteristic compactly rewarding prose, Pullman offers another glimpse into the world of His Dark Materials, less heady than Lyra's Oxford (2003) but somberly satisfying. Read full book review >
SEA HORSE by Chris Butterworth
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2006

"An absorbing look at these unusual fish, though assignment-driven readers may prefer one of the introductions illustrated with photos, such as Twig C. George's Seahorses (2003). (closing note, rudimentary index) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)"
Superimposing vinyl-cut figures over wood-grain patterns and using a palette of greens and muted, orangey reds, Lawrence creates a private watery world through which small seahorses glide inconspicuously. Read full book review >
TINY’S BIG ADVENTURE by Martin Waddell
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2004

"Like Jane Simmons's Come Along, Daisy (1998) or Waddell's own Owl Babies (1992), illustrated by Patrick Benson, this makes comforting reading for timorous little mice of the two-legged sort. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Under the watchful eye of his big sister, a very small mouse ventures out into the wide world for the first time. Read full book review >
THIS LITTLE CHICK by John Lawrence
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"The rhyme's not a cumulative one, but there's enough repetition to encourage even reticent young listeners to chime in. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Young fans of "Old MacDonald" and similar singalongs will "Moo," "Ribbit," and "Oink" right along with this adventurous chick, who wanders away from Mother Hen to find playmates of different species. Read full book review >
THE MYSTERIES OF ZIGOMAR by Allan Ahlberg
NONFICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"It's not a bad book, but it's not on par with collections by Prelutsky, Silverstein, and Dahl, and not even up to Ahlberg's own high standards. (Anthology. 6-12)"
 A haphazard collection of poems, musings, noodlings, and heavily revised fairy tales from Ahlberg (The Better Brown Stories, 1996, etc.). Read full book review >
THE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION by Susan Hill
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Long on misty-eyed description, short on plot and character development, Hill's (King of Kings, 1993, etc.) treacly tales are illustrated with unappealing dark woodcuts, many of them too small. (Fiction. 5+)"
 This single-author holiday anthology fairly drips with sugary nostalgia for a storybook version of an English Christmas. Read full book review >
CHRISTMAS SPIRIT by Robert Westall
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Westall doesn't pander to young readers—they have to be able to translate his Britishisms and have some sense of history- -but the end result is richly detailed, atmospheric, and deeply imagined fiction. (Fiction. 8+)"
 Set in grimy Depression-era industrial cities in northern England, these two holiday tales from a veteran British writer (The Stones of Muncaster Cathedral, 1993, etc.) give young readers something to really cut their teeth on. Read full book review >
KING OF KINGS by Susan Hill
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"An inviting book for a holiday evening. (Fiction/Picture book. 5+)"
 The author of The Glass Angels (1992) offers a briefer Christmas story: an appealing vignette set near the docks of contemporary London, where a few residents cling to old homes among warehouses and building sites. Read full book review >
THE WORD PARTY by Richard Edwards
POETRY
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Index. (Poetry. 5-10)"
 Forty-seven short poems—most lighthearted but a few serious (and one or two downright silly), and some previously published in England—with lots of mouth-filling words (not always in the dictionary: ``dumbledor''), whimsical names (Mr. Marrumpeter, Uncle Fazackerly, Lady Belinda Fox-Gore), and sing-songy rhythms. Read full book review >
SHADES OF GREEN by Anne Harvey
POETRY
Released: May 26, 1992

"Acknowledgments are large enough to read and arranged by author: other publishers, please emulate! (Poetry. 10+)"
 A big anthology of nature poetry with 190 selections—mostly British and from the 20th-century—interesting because of the high quality of the poetry and because it includes a number of lesser- known poets and, along with the usual lyrical pieces, two groups (``So They Are Felled'' and ``Goodbye to Hedges'') of elegiac and satirical verses lamenting the encroachments of Progress. Read full book review >
AH, SWEET MYSTERY OF LIFE by John Lawrence
Released: April 13, 1990

"Call it The Second Best."
Dahl's first new book in eight years—a slender collection of the elegantly ironic stories that he does better than anyone else alive—is cause for celebration, even though the stories aren't among his best or most recent—or even new to his dedicated readers. Read full book review >
EMILY'S OWN ELEPHANT by Philippa Pearce
Released: Aug. 1, 1988

"Offbeat and engaging."
From a well-loved British author (Tom's Midnight Garden), a not-quite-believable story: Emily's father talks about cutting down the big trees around their country home, or tearing down the old shed, but Emily and her mother tell him that he just doesn't have enough to do; besides, they may come in handy. Read full book review >