Books by Jon J Muth

MAMA LION WINS THE RACE by Jon J Muth
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 25, 2017

"Delightful and sweet, with a dose of whimsy and the special appeal of fast cars and competition. (Picture book. 4-7)"
In this departure for Muth from his Zen books about Stillwater the panda, several stuffed animals speed across a glorious European countryside in classic race cars—and on one impressive motorcycle—and, with some strategic help from Mama Lion, everyone wins. Read full book review >
BATMAN'S DARK SECRET by Kelley Puckett
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 29, 2015

"Since young readers' interest in superheroes begins before they are typically ready for comic books, this lovely if thinly plotted picture book fills an important niche—though they may wonder where the action is. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Muth has earned admiration as a picture-book author/illustrator and as a comic-book artist; here, he expands the Dark Knight's origin story for a picture-book audience. Read full book review >
ZEN SOCKS by Jon J Muth
by Jon J Muth, illustrated by Jon J Muth
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Lessons of patience, compassion, and sharing, delivered gently. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-10)"
Stillwater, the wise panda from Muth's Zen picture books is back. Read full book review >
HI, KOO! by Jon J Muth
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

"Throughout, condensed poetic image coupled with spare illustration yields huge effect; in a word, magical. (Picture book/poetry. 3 & up)"
Long before photography, poets took to haiku, the poetic equivalent of a snapshot, and painters, to the suggestive medium of watercolor to capture the essence of moments in nature. Read full book review >
POEMS TO LEARN BY HEART by Caroline Kennedy
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 26, 2013

"From the sonorant and strange to the profound and challenging, the poems and paintings collected here are sure to capture readers of any age. (Poetry. 3 & up)"
A gorgeous collection of poems selected with commitment to memory in mind. Read full book review >
BLOWIN' IN THE WIND by Jon J Muth
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 1, 2011

"Big questions, posed with majestic simplicity—and packaged with a CD of the original track. (artist's afterword). (Picture book. 8-10, adult)"
Dylan's lyrics succeed here better than many other songs that find their way to picture books. Read full book review >
CITY DOG, COUNTRY FROG by Mo Willems
ANIMALS
Released: June 8, 2010

"The image of a happy dog treading water with a frog on his head says it all. (Picture book. 3 & up)"
In Willems's latest, a departure from his urban sensibility as well as his first book as solely the author, a dog from the city explores new territory when he moves to the country and befriends a frog. Read full book review >
THE CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Lauren Thompson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"For those who find the jolly traditional Santa overbearing, this quieter approach may be a soothing alternative. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Here's a Santa Claus unlike any other. Read full book review >
ZEN TIES by Jon J Muth
by Jon J Muth, illustrated by Jon J Muth
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

"A welcome return. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)"
In this companion to Muth's Caldecott Honor-winning Zen Shorts (2006), the wise and gentle Giant Panda Stillwater and his young friends are joined by Stillwater's young nephew Koo. Read full book review >
I WILL HOLD YOU ’TIL YOU SLEEP by Linda Zuckerman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"This isn't cheap sentimentality, but deep feeling and lovely art perfectly in tune. (Picture book. 4-9)"
The very model of an instantly beloved bedtime story, destined to replace any number of lesser, though popular efforts. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"While the actual collection is only so-so, there is excellence in illustration, Kennedy's introductions and as a way of showing children that all poetry need not rhyme and be funny. (index of first lines) (Poetry. 4+)"
Kennedy's focus here is on sharing the classic poets with children, and she emphasizes the closeness and warmth that comes from using poems to spark memories of times spent together as a family. Read full book review >
ZEN SHORTS by Jon J Muth
Kirkus Star
by Jon J Muth, illustrated by Jon J Muth
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2005

"The Buddha lurks in the details here: Every word and image comes to make as perfect a picture book as can be. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)"
Limpidly beautiful watercolors and a wry, puckish gentleness mark these three Zen stories, one for each of three children. Read full book review >
MR. GEORGE BAKER by Amy Hest
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

"There's not much story here, just waiting for the bus, but the moment is captured sweetly, just in time for school. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A gentle tale of intergenerational and interracial friendship. Mr. George Baker is Harry's 100-year-old ("no kidding") neighbor, a drummer man ("some people say he's famous"), who waits with Harry for the school bus. Read full book review >
NO DOGS ALLOWED! by Sonia Manzano
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2004

"Children will happily hitch a ride, laugh at the exaggerated but believable details and misadventures, and listen to the quiet chords of community and cooperation that underlie Iris's sunny account. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Sesame Street's "Maria" debuts with this effervescent tale of an extended Bronx family heading for the beach. Read full book review >
STONE SOUP by Jon J Muth
adapted by Jon J Muth, illustrated by Jon J Muth
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2003

"Despite atmospheric art and touches of gentle humor, this follow-up to his recent retelling of Tolstoy's Three Questions (2002) comes off as somewhat portentous and overwritten. (Picture book/folktale. 7-10)"
Muth transports a classic European trickster tale to China and turns it into an explicit, formalized philosophical lesson. Read full book review >
THE THREE QUESTIONS by Jon J Muth
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2001

"A soaring achievement. (Picture book. 6-10)"
Nikolai wants to be a good person but believes that he needs guidance. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Children might want to share this veteran writer's oblique, whimsical reminder to slow down and smell the printer's ink with their overscheduled parents. (Picture book. 7-9)"
The illustrator of Karen Hesse's Come On, Rain! (1999) places Charlip's (Peanut Butter Party, not reviewed, etc.) rushed young narrator amidst an extended, multicultural family and gives her a book that is recognizably this one, sometimes even open to the same spread. Read full book review >
COME ON, RAIN! by Karen Hesse
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1999

"Muth contributes fine watercolor atmospherics, in sultry summer scenes where the heat is almost palpable, and raucous wet scenes of jubilant dancers. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Hesse (Just Juice, p. 1600, etc.) hits some high notes in this story of parched summer days in the city. Read full book review >