Books by Kate Banks

CITY CAT by Kate Banks
Released: Nov. 19, 2013

"A lovely, if unlikely, feline journey. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A black cat serves as European tour guide for child readers in this offering from Banks and Castillo. Read full book review >
PLEASE, PAPA by Kate Banks
Released: May 14, 2013

"A lesson in manners for children with sophisticated visual palates. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Practicing politeness gets Alice almost everything she wants for her imaginary barnyard. Too bad the horse makes a request of his own. Read full book review >
THE BEAR IN THE BOOK by Kate Banks
Released: Oct. 16, 2012

"A tribute to the power of books to connect and the love that parents everywhere show when they share books with children at the end of the day, this picture book is simply spectacular. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Banks and Hallensleben are together again (What's Coming for Christmas? 2009, etc.) with a heartwarming tale that compares one bear's hibernation to one little boy's bedtime-reading rituals. Read full book review >
THE MAGICIAN'S APPRENTICE by Kate Banks
Released: Aug. 7, 2012

"A moving, thoughtful apprentice tale. (Fantasy. 10-14)"
Sixteen-year-old Baz's coming-of-age journey exceeds all his expectations. Read full book review >
MAX'S CASTLE by Kate Banks
Released: Oct. 25, 2011

"This homage to the power of imagination is one ingenious and entertaining game of wordplay. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Banks and Kulikov's Max is back in his third escapade of wordplay. Read full book review >
THIS BABY by Kate Banks
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: July 5, 2011

"While there are elements of brilliance, poor design decisions keep this title from reaching its full potential. (Picture book. 4-7)"
In this lushly illustrated poem, a baby grows in the womb, while through the seasons the soon-to-be big sister wonders who this baby will become. Read full book review >
THE ERASERHEADS by Kate Banks
ADVENTURE
Released: April 27, 2010

"A bit gimmicky but nonetheless engrossing. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Banks imbues three pencil erasers—a pig, a crocodile and an owl—with earnest personalities and important jobs to do for an artistic boy, who is never named. Read full book review >
WHAT’S COMING FOR CHRISTMAS?  by Kate Banks
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 7, 2009

"Few Christmas stories meld both the Santa and Nativity aspects of the holiday, but this effort succeeds admirably with both memorable art and a satisfying story. (Picture book. 3-6)"
The anticipatory atmosphere of the Christmas season is deftly explored in this unusual view of the holiday by a talented author-and-illustrator team. Read full book review >
THAT’S PAPA’S WAY by Kate Banks
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2009

"Thick, matte stock completes the warmly rumpled look of this loving snapshot. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Father and daughter head out to fish in the early dawn; Papa picks up the earthworms with his fingers, while the narrator scoops them with her shovel. Read full book review >
MONKEYS AND THE UNIVERSE by Kate Banks
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 9, 2009

"An added bonus of astronomical information seamlessly embedded into the text contributes to the great success of this beginning reader. (Early reader. 6-8)"
This sequel to Monkeys and Dog Days (2008) develops the family relationships among big brother Pete, little brother Max and their parents. Read full book review >
MONKEYS AND DOG DAYS by Kate Banks
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 11, 2008

"For readers who are ready for a step up in difficulty from Henry and Mudge. (Reader. 5-9)"
Banks and Bogacki team up again (Mama's Coming Home, 2003, etc.), this time with their first book for new readers, which is also the first book in the Monkey Readers series. Read full book review >
MAX’S DRAGON by Kate Banks
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 19, 2008

Another winner from the pair that introduced Max in Max's Words (2006). Read full book review >
LENNY’S SPACE by Kate Banks
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 16, 2007

"Graceful and touching. (Fiction. 8-12)"
In this deceptively simple gem of a novel, Banks tells the story of Lenny Brewster, a bright but lonely nine-year-old who is gifted with a curious mind and a strong mechanical ability, but lacks the facility to see the world from another person's perspective. Read full book review >
FOX by Kate Banks
POETRY
Released: March 5, 2007

"Hallensleben's lush, brushy landscapes of sunny greens and moonlit blues, his coppery, winsome fox pup and Banks's wise, spare lines combine for a package sure to gratify preschoolers and caregivers alike. (Picture book. 2-6)"
The team behind The Great Blue House (2005) bestows yet another treat, this time tracing the maturation of a fox pup from his spring birth to fall, as he leaves his parents. Read full book review >
MAX’S WORDS by Kate Banks
FICTION
Released: Aug. 14, 2006

"It's a point that has been made elsewhere—most recently in Roni Schotter's The Boy Who Loved Words (March 2006), illustrated by Giselle Potter—but is always worth making again. (Picture book. 6-8)"
When a lad's request for a stamp or a coin from his brothers' collections is rudely rejected, he takes up collecting something far more valuable. Read full book review >
FRIENDS OF THE HEART by Kate Banks
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 7, 2005

"Life, death, love, friendship, superstition, self-discovery and more are examined in this sometimes belabored, sometimes joyful, ultimately tragic story. (Fiction. 12+)"
Banks's story has the slightly detached modern—and adult—sensibility of a New Yorker short story: The relationships of a group of vacationing friends and a loving, multigenerational family in Italy are described in both warm sensory waves and with a colder, steady current of psychological analysis. Read full book review >
THE GREAT BLUE HOUSE by Kate Banks
FICTION
Released: Aug. 10, 2005

"Hallensleben's saturated Van Gogh–like colors visualize this quiet reverie and testament to the joyful recurrence of life and the rhythm of the seasons. (Picture book. 4-8)"
With their signature simplicity and gentle insight, this accomplished picture-book team lyrically presents the life cycle of a house in nature. Read full book review >
THE CAT WHO WALKED ACROSS FRANCE by Kate Banks
ANIMALS
Released: March 2, 2004

"Beautifully realized. (Picture book. 5-8)"
With the rich palette and thick brushwork of Rouault or Gauguin, Hallensleben magically captures the light of France and the forthright courage of a small gray cat. Read full book review >
WALK SOFTLY, RACHEL by Kate Banks
FICTION
Released: Sept. 9, 2003

"Absorbing, powerful, remarkable. (Fiction. 11-15)"
"I used to have a brother," begins Rachel, 14, as she tells her story and that of her dead older brother, having found his journal. Read full book review >
MAMA’S COMING HOME by Kate Banks
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 3, 2003

"Still, children with stay-at-home fathers will see a reflection of their own family patterns and rhythms here, and to many readers the idea that parental roles are not fixed may come as a revelation. (Picture book. 6-8)"
The author of Night Worker (2000, illustrated by Georg Hallensleben) delineates another unconventional, if not necessarily uncommon, domestic arrangement. Read full book review >
CLOSE YOUR EYES by Kate Banks
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 24, 2002

"While not terribly original, parents searching for another way to convince little ones to go to sleep might give this one a try if for no other reason to share the pictures before bedtime. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A familiar dance between mother and child begins as the night descends on the jungle and the little tiger refuses to close his eyes and go to sleep. Read full book review >
DILLON DILLON by Kate Banks
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 27, 2002

"Extraordinary. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Established as a skillful writer of deceptively simple picture books about childhood curiosity and playfulness, Banks's first novel is intriguingly complex, enigmatic, and brilliant. Read full book review >
THE TURTLE AND THE HIPPOPOTAMUS by Kate Banks
ANIMALS
Released: May 2, 2002

"Because lines of text are shaped and placed on the page to suggest proper pacing and expression, and because young listeners will be eager to identify each rebus aloud, this quiet, rhythmic tale makes a perfect choice for shared reading. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The creators of The Bird, the Monkey and the Snake in the Jungle (1999) offer another engaging animal tale told with rebuses, this one featuring a small turtle trying to find a way to cross a river without swimming past a huge blue hippo. Read full book review >
A GIFT FROM THE SEA by Kate Banks
FICTION
Released: April 6, 2001

"Share this with a child at bed or rest time, but other rocks make less arbitrary, and more clearly articulated, journeys in such books as Meredith Hooper's Pebble in My Pocket (1996). (Picture book. 5-7)"
The luster dims a bit for the author and illustrator of Night Workers (2000) and their other wonderfully soothing picture books, as they go more for poetry than science in trying to give younger children a sense of our planet's antiquity. Read full book review >
HOWIE BOWLES AND UNCLE SAM by Kate Banks
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 21, 2000

"There are plenty of math jokes, both subtle and unrepentantly corny, included in the text and illustrations to keep readers laughing while they learn, along with Howie, the monumental importance of minding your numbers. (Fiction. 7-9)"
Banks's erstwhile hero Howie returns, and this time he's in hot water with Uncle Sam and the IRS. Read full book review >
THE NIGHT WORKER by Kate Banks
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Aug. 28, 2000

"The pictured warmth of the father-son relationship combines with restrained yet poetic text to make this "take your son to work night" a special one indeed. (Picture book. 2-6)"
The team behind And If the Moon Could Talk (1998) relates what happens one night when Alex achieves his wish to go to work with Papa, a nighttime engineer on a construction site. Read full book review >
HOWIE BOWLES, SECRET AGENT by Kate Banks
Released: Oct. 12, 1999

"This transitional chapter book rolls pleasantly along; it's amusing, with no surprises, and children may find it comforting. (b&w illustrations) (Fiction. 7-9)"
Banks (Baboon, 1997, etc.) pens a fast-paced novel about a hero to whom many children will relate: Howie, a real worrier. Read full book review >
THE BIRD, THE MONKEY, AND THE SNAKE IN THE JUNGLE by Kate Banks
Released: March 18, 1999

"A neat cipher of the rebus symbols appears in the border of every spread. (Picture book. 3-6)"
This short tour of the jungle from Banks (And If the Moon Could Talk, 1998, etc.) and Bogacki (The Story of a Blue Bird, 1998, etc.) features so many rebuses that it is more of a puzzle than a picture book, but a fun one at that. Read full book review >
AND IF THE MOON COULD TALK by Kate Banks
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: March 18, 1998

"Readers and listeners alike will find that the poetic text and molten illustrations glow, ember-like, long after the child of the book has been tucked in and the moon has murmured its good-night. (Picture book. 2-5)"
 Savor the endpapers, which open with a van Goghlike night scene of muted, window-lit houses clustered around a shining lake. Read full book review >
BABOON by Kate Banks
ANIMALS
Released: April 14, 1997

"First-rate lap and bedtime reading. (Picture book. 1-3)"
 Another intimate tàte-Ö-tàte between mother and child from the creators of Spider, Spider (1996); here a baboon takes her baby on a walk through the bush, providing gentle commentary on his pronouncements. Read full book review >
SPIDER SPIDER by Kate Banks
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 14, 1996

 As Peter watches a small spider crawl across the floor, he declares he will become one. ``And what will you do?'' his mother asks. Read full book review >