Books by Kevin Hawkes

THE THREE MOUTHS OF LITTLE TOM DRUM by Nancy Willard
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Inventors and pie lovers will find this one delicious. (Picture book. 4-9)"
Little Tom Drum's love of strawberry pie leads to a lot more than he bargained for. Read full book review >
REMY AND LULU by Kevin  Hawkes
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"Readers will find themselves with their noses to the pages to observe and enjoy the stylistic variation. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Behind every great painter there's a great painter who's a dog. Read full book review >
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH by Anne Isaacs
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"True love is no tall tale in this delightfully overblown story of a plucky widow, a herd of greedy cowboys and a Texas summer so hot the chickens lay hard-boiled eggs. (Picture book. 5-8)"
There's nothing like the unexpected arrival of a millionaire widow to spur a stampede of Texas cowboys. Read full book review >
SANTA FROM CINCINNATI by Judi Barrett
Released: Oct. 2, 2012

"The droll, understated wit of the text and the delightfully comical, skillfully planned illustrations make this a story that will delight both children and adult readers. (Picture book. 4-8)"
It's Santa Claus the prequel in this witty exploration of Santa's younger years. Read full book review >
JUST BEHAVE, PABLO PICASSO! by Jonah Winter
Released: Feb. 1, 2012

"An energetic and affectionate introduction to an artist who was always somewhat larger than life. (biographical note) (Picture book. 5-10)"
A terrific opening—a serene, classical landscape interrupted by Pablo Picasso's exuberant burst through the canvas of this bucolic scene—leads into a simplified look at Picasso's artistic development from adolescent prodigy through his 20s. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Aug. 1, 2011

"Children of all ages will be charmed by this collection that demonstrates that poet-translators often make the best ambassadors. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)"
A charming collection of poems finds an American audience in a splendid translation. Read full book review >
THE WICKED BIG TODDLAH GOES TO NEW YORK by Kevin  Hawkes
Released: April 5, 2011

"A memorable excursion for city residents and would-be tourists alike. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Still called "Toddie" (though now he looks more like a preschoolah), the Bunyanesqe Mainer first met in The Wicked Big Toddlah (2007) tours the Big Apple—both with and without his normal-sized parents. Read full book review >
A PIG PARADE IS A TERRIBLE IDEA by Michael Ian Black
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 7, 2010

"A preposterous, porcine pleasure. (Picture book. 5-8)"
"Like most children you have probably thought to yourself at one time or another, I bet a pig parade would be a lot of fun." Read full book review >
A BOY HAD A MOTHER WHO BOUGHT HIM A HAT by Karla Kuskin
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 2010

"Look for grandma's blue in-line skates! (Picture book. 3-8)"
Hawkes produces new illustrations to accompany Kuskin's cumulative poem, originally published in 1976, which begins simply enough—a mother buys a boy a red, woolly hat. Read full book review >
BARTLEBY SPEAKS! by Robin Cruise
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 4, 2009

"A sweetly underscored paean to the beauty of quiet. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Wee toddler Bartleby is almost as inscrutable as his Melvillean namesake, though a sight more cooperative. Read full book review >
CHICKEN CHEEKS by Michael Ian Black
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 6, 2009

"No butts about it, this is a perfect collaboration of text and illustration. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Actor/comedian Black produces a winner with his first children's book. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 23, 2008

With customary vivacity and a fine sense of irony, Krull portrays her subject as a genial family man who suffered reverse after reverse thanks to a bad combination of deep-seated optimism and zero business sense—but pulled through when his love of storytelling and sense of audience at last led to a novel that instantly became (she notes) the Harry Potter of its day. Read full book review >
THE DRAGONFLY POOL by Eva Ibbotson
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"The book, based on the author's own childhood experiences, is a romantic tale of friendship, loyalty and heroism, and her fans will not be disappointed. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
Ibbotson's multi-stranded story begins in England at the start of World War II and ends six years later. Read full book review >
VELMA GRATCH & THE WAY COOL BUTTERFLY by Alan Madison
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 9, 2007

"Hawkes deftly replicates the wingspan of a monarch butterfly in Velma's thick ponytails, giving the general impression of a girl emerging from her old self into her new. (Picture book. 5-8)"
First-time first-grader Velma Gratch finds that extricating herself from the grandiose shadows of her older sisters is a daunting task. Read full book review >
THE WICKED BIG TODDLAH by Kevin  Hawkes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 12, 2007

"Lynne Bertrand's New Hampshire-based Granite Baby (2005). (Picture book. 3-5)"
Setting and plot play equal roles here, as Hawkes pays tribute to his home state of Maine in the course of a big sister's affectionate account of her outsized little brother's first year or so. Read full book review >
WHEN GIANTS COME TO PLAY by Andrea Beaty
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"A slight story, but Beaty's language and Hawkes's pictures make it enormously appealing. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A day of play, with two reeeeeeeeeally big friends. Read full book review >
LIBRARY LION by Michelle Knudsen
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"Consider this a less prescriptive alternative to Eric A. Kimmel's I Took My Frog to the Library (1990), illustrated by Blanche Sims—and it doesn't hurt that the maned visitor is as huge and friendly looking as the one in James Daugherty's classic Andy and the Lion. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Knudsen and Hawkes pick a perfect setting to express the idea that breaking rules can sometimes be a good thing. Read full book review >
ME, ALL ALONE, AT THE END OF THE WORLD by M.T. Anderson
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"A work that requires—and is eminently worthy of—many re-readings. (Picture book. 6-10)"
A solitary idyll is disturbed by easy entertainment in this gorgeous, complex fable. Read full book review >
GRANITE BABY by Lynne Bertrand
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 6, 2005

"Fans of Jerdine Nolen's Big Jabe (2000), Catherine Anderson's Steamboat Annie and the Thousand Pound Catfish (2001), and similar outsized yarns will holler with glee at this new arrival. (Picture book. 7-9)"
Considerably taller than average, this original tale pits five towering, talented but not naturally maternal sisters against a wee baby whose continual howls actually rise in a cloud to cover parts of three New England states. Read full book review >
THE STAR OF KAZAN by Eva Ibbotson
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 10-13)"
Ibbotson, master of the "poor orphan makes good" tale, offers another eminently satisfying example, this one wrapped in a valentine to Vienna, the author's natal city. Read full book review >
MY LITTLE SISTER HUGGED AN APE by Bill Grossman
ABC BOOKS
Released: Sept. 28, 2004

"The hugging spree ends with a final, aw-shucks embrace of big brother, who's been following along with a camera—a perfect end to the best touchy-feely read-aloud since Grossman's like-themed Donna O'Neeshuck Was Chased By Some Cows (1988), illustrated by Sue Truesdell. (Picture book. 5-8)"
The adventurous younger sibling who Ate One Hare—and so much more—back in 1996 returns, no older, to hug her way exuberantly through an alphabet of flamboozled creatures, from Ape to Zebra. Read full book review >
THE HAUNTING OF GRANITE FALLS by Eva Ibbotson
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2004

"Readers will be happy to comply. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Combine a quintet of homesick Scottish ghosts, a Texas millionaire and his sickly daughter, the impoverished last scion of the Clan MacBuff, and a trio of fascistically inclined malefactors, and you get a terrifically tongue-in-cheek outing, originally published in the UK in 1987. Read full book review >
SIDEWALK CIRCUS by Paul Fleischman
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2004

"A lovely tribute to the endless power of imagination. (Picture book. 2-7)"
The splendor of everyday life is revealed in this quietly exciting wordless offering. Read full book review >
NOT JUST A WITCH by Eva Ibbotson
FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"Not Ibbotson in top form, but sure to be snapped up by the legion of new fans she's gained in the Harry Potter interregnums. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Well-intentioned witches follow their hearts instead of their heads, with nearly disastrous results, in Ibbotson's latest caper. Read full book review >
THE MAN WHO MADE TIME TRAVEL by Kathryn Lasky
FICTION
Released: April 2, 2003

"Younger readers will discover both the historical significance of Harrison's invention and why he 'became the hero not only of clockmakers, but of dreamers and ordinary people everywhere who learned by doing and daring.' (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)"
The creators of The Librarian Who Measured the Earth (1994) team up again to profile a brilliant, little-known scientist: John Harrison, the 18th-century inventor of the marine chronometer. Read full book review >
A CHRISTMAS TREASURY by Kevin  Hawkes
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"No new ground is broken in this volume, but Hawkes's illustrations are appealing, especially his costumed animal characters, and readers will be drawn to the attractive cover with the title in raised golden letters. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Hawkes (Handel Who Knew What He Liked, p. 1352, etc.) illustrates this large-format anthology of Christmas stories and poems with his luminous, detail-filled paintings featuring muffler-wrapped field mice, a comical dog in a Santa suit, and a traditional St. Read full book review >
HANDEL WHO KNEW WHAT HE LIKED by M.T. Anderson
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"Handel himself, with his cherubic face and large fuzzy white wig, bounds from almost every page, fairly glowing with good will and music. (chronology, discography, further adult reading) (Biography. 8-12)"
Readers don't need to know anything about the composer to enjoy this lively biography, but it is hard to imagine anyone reading these pages who wouldn't want to run right out to hear the "Water Music" or a snatch of the "Messiah." Read full book review >
DIAL-A-GHOST by Eva Ibbotson
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"While much of this territory may seem familiar, it is never old to young readers who like their humor laced with blood-curdling screams, and just can't get enough. (Fiction. 8-14)"
If R.L. Stine, Charles Dickens, and Lemony Snicket gave a writers' workshop, any resulting fiction might not be a literary masterpiece, but it would have deliciously wicked currency with young readers. Read full book review >
TIMOTHY TUNNY SWALLOWED A BUNNY by Bill Grossman
POETRY
Released: March 31, 2001

"His deep-dish colors mind the music and the footwork of Grossman's highly visual wordplay. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Eighteen slaphappy poems play nimbly with words, names, and crazy situations. Read full book review >
JOURNEY TO THE RIVER SEA by Eva Ibbotson
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

"Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Known for witty, entertaining fantasies, Ibbotson (Dial-a-Ghost, p. 744, etc.) dispenses with magic wands and mythical creatures here and dishes up her best work yet—a topnotch 1910 adventure featuring exotic, vividly evoked locales, a caricature-rich cast filled with likeable (as well as thoroughly despicable) characters, and enough plot to fill an entire trilogy. Read full book review >
ISLAND OF THE AUNTS by Eva Ibbotson
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Like her previous books, this will ride high on 'Others Like Harry Potter' lists for its style of humor, sturdy young protagonists, and array of fantastical beings. (Fiction. 11-13)"
A mischarted island becomes a refuge for injured sea creatures—including a few mythical ones—in this now-poignant, now-farcical adventure from the author of The Secret of Platform 13 (1998). Read full book review >
JASON'S BEARS by Marion Dane Bauer
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2000

"Children, especially those with overactive imaginations, will be cheered by Jason's refound boldness, and will understand perfectly well from whence it really springs. (Picture book. 68)"
A child finds courage in a cookie and exacts sweet revenge on a pesky big brother, in this triumphant tale. Read full book review >
WESLANDIA by Paul Fleischman
Released: June 1, 1999

"Children will be swept up in Wesley's vision, and have a fine time visiting Weslandia. An alphabet appears on the endpapers. (Picture book 5-9)"
Wearing purple sneakers and a bemused expression, Wesley knows he's an outcast: he dislikes pizza, soda, and football, and fleeing his tormentors is "the only sport he was good at." Read full book review >
MY FRIEND THE PIANO by Catherine Cowan
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"The piano serenades the girl with symphonies carried to the shore on breezes from distant climes while she composes 'for pots and pans,' a musical undertaking that serves those wretched parents right. (Picture book. 5-9)"
A girl discovers the piano and starts composing in this entry from Cowan (My Life With the Wave), a very loose adaptation of a story by An°bal Menterio Machado. Read full book review >
THE POOMBAH OF BADOOMBAH by Dee Lillegard
ADVENTURE
Released: April 13, 1998

"The timing of the ending is ideal, cutting short the giddiness with the turn of the page, and leaving readers wishing for another visit to Badoombah. (Picture book. 4-8)"
If, as defined by the author, to poombah is to infuse something with extraordinary energy, then consider Lillegard (Tortoise Brings the Mail, 1997, etc.) endowed with such powers. Read full book review >
MARVEN OF THE GREAT NORTH WOODS by Kathryn Lasky
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Unlike Gary Paulsen's bittersweet northland novella, The Cookcamp (1991), over which hangs a vague sense of unease, this book is a happy adventure that brims with rugged excitement. (Picture book. 6-10)"
With a daughter's fitting reverence, Lasky tells the story of her father, Marven, who was sent away from his family at the age of ten to work in a logging camp. Read full book review >
BOOGIE BONES by Elizabeth Loredo
FANTASY
Released: Aug. 18, 1997

"Exceptionally silly. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Boogie Bones just loves to dance, hardly slowed by his condition: He is a skeleton who lives in a graveyard. Read full book review >
PAINTING THE WIND by Michelle Dionetti
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Children will come away with an understanding that art is a different way of seeing, that name-calling always hurts, and that kindness may be rewarded—but those messages are laid out with a hand that is occasionally heavy. (Picture book. 6-10)"
Dionetti tells ``A Story of Vincent van Gogh,'' viewing the familiar story of the painter through the eyes of his real charwoman's fictional youngest daughter, Claudine. Read full book review >
THE ENORMOUS SNORE by M.L. Miller
FICTION
Released: Sept. 12, 1995

"Hawkes's paintings are elegant, peppered with comedic touches; their soft focus reins in the energy of the piece and somewhat fuses the many disparate parts. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Letty, separated from her itinerant family during a storm, happens across a kingdom where the royal snore is driving the subjects to distraction. Read full book review >
NIKOLAI GOGOL'S THE NOSE by Catherine Cowan
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Any book that inspires children to read Gogol (as this one does), and that doesn't butcher the original in the process (as this one doesn't), is well worth the asking price. (Picture book. 5+)"
Tucking into his morning loaf, Ivan the barber discovers the nose of the Deputy Inspector of Reindeer. Read full book review >
THE LIBRARIAN WHO MEASURED THE EARTH by Kathryn Lasky
NATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Bibliographies for both Lasky and Hawkes; a note and an afterword place the librarian in histical context. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 5-10)"
The story of Eratosthenes, a scholar of the third century b.c. Read full book review >
BY THE LIGHT OF THE HALLOWEEN MOON by Caroline Stutson
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"A must. (Picture book. 4-10)"
Stutson's first is a catchy, lilting cumulative tale with glorious comical/scary illustrations. Read full book review >
HIS ROYAL BUCKLINESS by Kevin  Hawkes
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 16, 1992

"The verse narrative stumbles a bit, but Hawkes's paintings of his fantasy adventure glow with vitality and humor, while the theme of a small person winning autonomy is dramatized with unusual panache. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Hawkes (Then the Troll Heard the Squeak, 1991) tells another ebulliently offbeat tale. ``The giants stole Lord Buckley and crowned him their king''—carrying the lad off to a northern land where they coddle him, but don't ``let him slide or bump or run'' lest he break. Read full book review >
THE TURNIP by Walter de la Mare
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"It's good to have a sampling of his worthy collection available in such attractive format. (Fiction. 6-10)"
From the poet's collection of literary retellings (Told Again, 1927, o.p.), the first half of one of the Grimms' shorter tales, extended into a classic story about two brothers, ``as different as chalk from cheese.'' The rich one is ``a mean and merciless greedyguts''; the poor, a paragon of generosity. Read full book review >
LADY BUGATTI by Joyce Maxner
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 16, 1991

"248) provides bright, boldly designed paintings that catch the ambience and slyly extend the humor but don't have William Joyce's high style—which gave Nicholas its amusingly satirical tone. (Picture book. 5-9)"
The author of the fanciful Nicholas Cricket (1989) spins another gossamer-light story about urbane insects at a sophisticated party—in this case, dinner followed by a theatrical event, where the elegant hostess (``in her orange gown with black dots all around'') awards the prize for the best performance. Read full book review >