Books by Jos. A. Smith

CLAUDE MONET by P.I. Maltbie
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"Admirable. (author's note, reproductions of Monet's work, index/glossary, list of Monet paintings in U.S./Canadian collections, illustrator's note) (Picture book. 5-9)"
A handsome and child-friendly introduction to the Impressionist master. Read full book review >
THE WITCH’S CHILD by Arthur Yorinks
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"Pair this with Audrey Wood's Heckedy Peg (1987), illustrated by Don Wood, for an effective fright-fest. (Picture book. 6-8)"
A bit of TLC accomplishes what a mighty witch's powers cannot in this pointed melodrama. Read full book review >
GREGOR MENDEL by Cheryl Bardoe
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"A lovely tribute. (author's note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8-12)"
The life and work of the father of modern genetic study receive a quiet exploration in this offering, published in association with The Field Museum. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2003

"An excellent example of what picture-book biography can be. (Picture book/biography. 5-9)"
The son of a wealthy planter in the West Indies, naturalist and frontiersman John James Audubon devoted himself to difficult journeys through American forests, swamps, mountains, and plains in search of plants and animals unknown to science. Read full book review >
EEK! CREAK! SNICKER, SNEAK by Rhonda Gowler Greene
Released: March 1, 2002

"On repeated reads, kids will eagerly join in with the word sounds as they anticipate the child-size victory. (Picture Book. 4-7)"
When all the town is fast asleep, two creatures crawl and creep, making eerie sounds and playing scary tricks on children. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 30, 2001

"Smith's own well-crafted watercolor paintings add welcome harmony to the painters' dissonant relationship and make the book into a comprehensible, enjoyable whole. (author's note, artist's note, bibliography, art credits, brief biographies) (Nonfiction. 8-11)"
Post-Impressionists Van Gogh and Gauguin were two prodigiously talented painters whose short-lived collaboration (less than three full months in the late fall of 1888) was both astonishingly productive and fraught with conflict. Read full book review >
ELWOOD AND THE WITCH by Nicholas Heller
Released: Sept. 30, 2000

"Capturing the bright clueless look in Elwood's eyes and a touch of the sinister in the witch's raging expression, Smith creates exactly the right amount of hysteria to put the story over the top. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Elwood the pig's chance encounter with a witch's broom sets magic in motion. Read full book review >
HURRY! by Jesse Haas
by Jesse Haas, illustrated by Jos. A. Smith
Released: May 30, 2000

"A satisfying, lyrical story of rural life, handsomely illustrated with watercolor paints, colored pencil, and watercolor pencils. (Picture book. 5-8)"
"Hurry! Hurry!" Read full book review >
BANDIT'S MOON by Sid Fleischman
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"What holds it together is the tense but warm relationship between Annyrose and Joaquin; Fleischman infuses their scenes with charm and offers plenty of excitement set in an intriguing historical period. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Fleischman (The Abracadabra Kid, 1996, etc.) tells a meandering but effective story of a Mexican outlaw and a spunky "gringo" girl. Read full book review >
THE GIANT by Nicholas Heller
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"The giant, sweet-faced and benign, but very large, looks suitably ready to burst off the page. (Picture book. 5-9)"
The giant in the painting in Mrs. Bell's living room is so realistic he looks ``quite ready to jump off the canvas onto Mrs. Bell's carpet.'' And that's exactly what he does. Read full book review >
CLAY BOY by Mirra Ginsburg
Released: May 1, 1997

"Fans of the gingerbread boy and Jack Kent's retelling of Fat Cat (1971) will relish this hungry clay Frankenstein and his shattering comeuppance. (Picture book/folklore. 5-7)"
Ginsburg (The Old Man and His Birds, 1994, etc.) borrows freely from Russian folklore to create her own version of the tale of the ravenous clay boy. Read full book review >
GIFT HORSE by Betty Levin
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

The author of Fire in the Wind (1995) pens an engaging story about a boy and his horse. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1996

"A lark. (Picture book. 5+)"
A charming fantasy from the author of the Newbery Honorwinning novel, The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (1995). Read full book review >
GOBLINS IN GREEN by Nicholas Heller
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"The goblins are funny and childlike; if all of their ilk had this much personality, their appearance each year wouldn't be limited to the weeks leading up to Halloween. (Picture book. 4+)"
From A to Z, the surprises never let up, and neither do the brightly festooned goblins who cavort through the attic of a spying boy and girl, donning a wacky assortment of human costumes in a mirror image of kids on Halloween. Read full book review >
MOWING by Jessie Haas
by Jessie Haas, illustrated by Jos. A. Smith
Released: May 1, 1994

When Gramp takes the horses out to mow hay, little Nora comes along; it's not safe for her to ride while the cutter bar is lowered, but she can help by watching for animals in the tall grass. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1994

When the Flints decide they're too old to cope with the blackbirds, crows, and raccoons that take an annual toll on the corn they've always shared with neighbors, three kids organize a cooperative effort and convince the couple, after all, to plant such poetically named favorites as Golden Queen, Sunglow, and Starshine. Read full book review >
STEP BY STEP by Diane Wolkstein
Released: April 1, 1994

"Long a favorite in Wolkstein's storytelling repertoire, a spare, well- honed tale in an appealing setting that will make it a winner with the preschool set. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Right from the title page, where the little ant sits on a chair backed with mapleseeds to don four red sneakers, children will gleefully enter Smith's world of enormous-looking grasses and leaves as seen from an insect's point of view. ``Step by step'' she travels from home, over stones and under branches, to meet her friend, a grasshopper. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 29, 1993

"Something different, and very nice, for the Christmas collection. (Picture book. 5-9)"
From the renowned author of The Dark is Rising series, a Christmas tale in which the Three Kings, in the guise of truck drivers, bring a Christmas tree to a poor family: a gentle story of fraternal affection and childlike faith, with the miraculous ending diminished not an iota by the trailer park and truckstop setting. Read full book review >
CHIPMUNK! by Jessie Haas
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Just right to share with the younger preschoolers, as well as a book beginning readers will enjoy. (Picture book. 3- 7)"
``All Puss wanted was a place to put her chipmunk so it couldn't get away,'' begins this comically succinct reprise of a conflict of interests in a country household. Read full book review >
STOPPING FOR A SPELL by Diana Wynne Jones
Released: May 1, 1993

"Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 8- 12)"
Three stories, each with several chapters, whose remarkable comic events turn on magic. Read full book review >
Released: March 31, 1993

"Serfozo's gracefully honed text, perfectly in tune with a small child's concerns, is nicely served by Smith's realistic, humorous illustrations—which slyly reveal that Benjamin has been a little lonely at home. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Like many a preschooler, Benjamin has a favorite thing: Dad's old shoes, which he wears constantly, through dust or mud, dry leaves or snow. Read full book review >
'MINE WILL,' SAID JOHN by Helen V. Griffith
Released: Aug. 19, 1992

"Griffith's concise narration is briskly humorous, while Smith's realistically painted figures, silhouetted on a clean white ground, have a lively appeal that recalls Ted Rand's illustrations. (Picture book. 4-8)"
John wants a puppy; his parents hope he'll settle for something quieter. Read full book review >
JIM UGLY by Sid Fleischman
Released: April 14, 1992

"Fine helter-skelter melodrama. (Fiction. 10-13)"
For 12-year-old Jake Bannock, "Jim Ugly" seems like a good name for his buried father's wolflike dog, but that low opinion changes when Jake figures out that his father isn't dead after all and he and the dog set out on a hopeful search for him. Read full book review >
MATTHEW'S DRAGON by Susan Cooper
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"Thoroughly satisfying. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A nifty variant on the theme of a bedtime adventure with a fabulous friend. Read full book review >