Books by Julie Downing

SPOOKY FRIENDS by Jane Feder
Released: Aug. 1, 2013

"Move over, Frog and Toad, to make room for this delightful new title. (Early reader. 5-8)"
Vampire Scarlet and mummy Igor are very good friends. "The trouble was, they could never agree on anything." Read full book review >
FIRST MOTHERS by Beverly Gherman
Released: Sept. 11, 2012

"There's not much for kids about presidential mothers, and at least this book covers every White House resident so far. (bibliography, author's note) (Nonfiction. 7-11)"
Behind every great man….And behind many of our presidents, there's also an unknown woman. This book sheds light on our leaders' mothers and how their influences possibly shaped the founding dads. Read full book review >
THE ICE CREAM KING by Steve Metzger
FANTASY
Released: March 1, 2011

A little boy loves ice cream more than anything else in the world...or does he? Read full book review >
PLAY WITH ME by Michael Elsohn Ross
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2009

"While there is nothing to mark this as an outstanding title, it is a welcome affirmation of play and connection in young children's lives. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Five scenes of children and parents at play interspersed among images of frolicking animal families create a gentle celebration of intergenerational fun. Read full book review >
NO HUGS TILL SATURDAY by Julie Downing
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 16, 2008

"Grown-up readers will just have to hope that their own little ones don't get any ideas. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Felix and Mama have some very special hugs they share: soft snuggles, super squeezes and monster mashes. Read full book review >
HOW DO YOU KNOW? by Deborah W. Trotter
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 13, 2006

"A heartwarming look at the bond between an inspiring mother and her child as they share the natural world with each other. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A foggy morning is a wonderland for a curious child in Trotter's debut. Read full book review >
THE FIREKEEPER’S SON by Linda Sue Park
ADVENTURE
Released: March 22, 2004

"A lovely telling that will bring readers back to read or hear this story one more time. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Drawing once again on her heritage, Newbery Medalist Park tells a tale rooted in the history of Korea. Read full book review >
TOM MOUSE by Ursula K. Le Guin
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2001

"And the soft colors and somewhat misty look of the art are in keeping with the mood: daring yet protected. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Adventure tales aren't often as quiet as this item, which takes a low-key approach. Read full book review >
THE CHICKEN SALAD CLUB by Marsha Diane Arnold
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 1998

"Despite the illustrations full of warm and cozy details, this nostalgic, personal book is so unlikely- -more of a prescription for youngsters than a description of their real lives—that it may fail to find an audience. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The story of a boy who visits his 100-year-old great-grandfather every day after school to hear his tales is imbued with elements of wishful thinking. Read full book review >
WATER VOICES by Toby Speed
HUMOR
Released: March 23, 1998

 Riddle fanciers will enjoy this book, in which Speed (Whoosh! Read full book review >
ROBIN HOOD IN THE GREENWOOD by Jane Louise Curry
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Curry expertly captures the tone of traditional versions in this vigorous, good-humored rendition. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction/folklore. 8-10)"
 Continuing the tale begun in Robin Hood and His Merry Men (1994, not reviewed), Curry introduces Friar Tuck and Marian by having both of them battle Robin to a draw, sends the merry men out to trick and frustrate the Sheriff of Nottingham repeatedly, and brings Robin and the king (Richard, presumably, though he's never named) together. Read full book review >
A LIKELY LAD by Gillian Avery
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 30, 1994

"This first US edition features appropriately humorous pencil illustrations. (Fiction. 10-12)"
 Turn-of-the-century working-class England comes to life in this tale of an endearing and inquisitive boy. Read full book review >
SOON, ANNALA by Riki Levinson
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

 Completing the story of one family's 1910 immigration to New York (Watch the Stars Come Out, 1985, ALA Notable), Levinson focuses on middle child Annala, who's beginning to learn English while she waits impatiently for little Sammy and Elly, left behind with Aunt Marya. Read full book review >
CABBAGE ROSE by M.C. Helldorfer
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 31, 1993

"A little earnest, but interesting and visually attractive. (Picture book. 4-9)"
 The author of several original tales creates another strong female protagonist: a gifted young artist so plain that her brothers call her ``Cabbage.'' When a passing magician gives her a brush that makes whatever she depicts become real, Cabbage's greedy brothers demand one luxury after another; so Cabbage paints a window, escapes through it, and is soon known for her (magic-free) art and summoned to the palace, where the prince comes to value her for herself (it's he who adds ``Rose'')—as Cabbage realizes only after using the brush, one last time, to paint her mirrored self as conventionally pretty. Read full book review >
A RIDE ON THE RED MARE'S BACK by Ursula K. Le Guin
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"An entrancing young reader, perfect for sharing aloud. (Fiction. 4+)"
A beautifully crafted tale, drawing on Scandinavian folklore (including Peer Gynt) and recalling the theme of Andersen's The Snow Queen, yet told with such freshness and grace that it seems entirely new. Read full book review >
THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF WO TI by Nathan Zimelman
ANIMALS
Released: March 31, 1992

"Zimelman tells his story with a leisurely grace that begs for sharing aloud; Downing's watercolors are colorful and pleasingly designed, with the cat—like many a fine villain—easily stealing the show. (Picture book. 4-9)"
 All is peaceful in the garden of Peking's Summer Palace; hunger is locked on the other side of the high walls until Kitti Ho, chased by a gang of boys and dogs, takes refuge inside. Read full book review >
MOZART TONIGHT by Julie Downing
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: April 30, 1991

"Attractive; useful. (Biography/Picture book. 5-8)"
 Flashing back via an informal narration by Mozart to his wife while on their way to the first performance of Don Giovanni, Downing touches on significant events throughout Mozart's life, concluding with the opera's warm reception. Read full book review >