Books by Kimberly Bulcken Root

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE PONY EXPRESS? by Verla Kay
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2010

"Layne Johnson (2010). (Picture book. 4-7)"
In her characteristic stripped-down verse, Kay fashions the attributes and enterprise of the Pony Express, which is celebrating its sesquicentennial. Read full book review >
THE WEE CHRISTMAS CABIN by Margaret Hodges
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 15, 2009

"While this adaptation's nice enough, it's worth waiting till the kids are older and introducing them to the original, perhaps with Max Grafe's 2005 illustrated edition. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Oona, abandoned as a baby, grows into "the prettiest and gentlest-mannered lass in the county," but no one wants a tinker's child. Read full book review >
DADBLAMED UNION ARMY COW by Susan Fletcher
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2007

"Root's droll style perfectly portrays the story with homespun flavor and military-blue-dominant illustrations that express human and bovine characteristics. (Picture book/historical fiction. 5-8)"
Most picture-book war stories are long on history but short on humor—until now. Read full book review >
CLOWN CHILD by Amy Littlesugar
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2006

"Properly old-fashioned and slightly exaggerated figures fill the blue, red and gold Midwestern prairie landscape amid scenes of times gone by. (Picture book. 6-8)"
An odd tale of a little girl who longs to run away from the circus. Read full book review >
THE DOLL WITH THE YELLOW STAR by Yona Zeldis McDonough
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Root's gentle, delicate paintings balance the grim realities. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Claudine, a French Jewish girl, goes to live with relatives in America during WWII, shortly after her eighth birthday. Read full book review >
DON’T FORGET WINONA by Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2004

"The first-hand voice brings the journey to life, personalizing the hardships the family weathers and characterizing an unforgettable little girl. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-7)"
As drought forces a family from their farm in Oklahoma, their trip west via Route 66 is recounted in first-person voice by the older sister of Winona, a rambunctious little girl who loves to laugh, sing, and run around instead of listening to her sister, who's responsible for her. Read full book review >
THE STORYTELLING PRINCESS by Rafe Martin
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2001

"An inside joke between book and reader that just isn't funny enough. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A tepid story about stories from a noted reteller of traditional tales. Read full book review >
THE BIRDS OF KILLINGSWORTH by Robert D. San Souci
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2001

"Without an adult's encouragement, however, young readers may not pick this up or stay with it on their own. (Picture book. 6-9)"
In contrast to the common tendency to set straightforward stories for children in rhyme, San Souci (The Silver Charm, below, etc.) has taken a narrative poem and set it in prose. Read full book review >
BIRDIE'S LIGHTHOUSE by Deborah Hopkinson
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 1997

"Hopkinson notes that although Birdie is a fictional character, she was inspired by several real lighthouse keepers, among them Grace Darling of England and Abigail Burgess Grant of Maine. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Root's evocative watercolor and pen-and-ink drawings in deep sea blues and greens are perfectly allied with Hopkinson's stirring tale, set off the coast of Maine in 1855, of a girl's life as a lightkeeper. Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF THE RANCH by Alice McLerran
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 1996

"Well-placed watercolors evoke the colors of the changing desert as well as the mood of the family as they face their many travails. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Set in 1919 on a homestead on a desert mesa outside Yuma, Arizona, this is a charming re-creation of a year in the life of McLerran's grandparents. Read full book review >
PAPA'S BEDTIME STORY by Mary Lee Donovan
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1993

"A lovely book to share. (Picture book. 2-8)"
A story that elaborates the pattern of the circular tale beginning ``It was a dark and stormy night.'' Here, it's ``a warm and rumbling night in June'' when, in a peaceful and cozy cabin, a baby says, ``tell me a bedtime story.'' Papa's story begins in the same way as the book, but now it's a barn owl begging for a story, while his papa's tale concerns a family of chipmunks. Read full book review >
HUGH CAN DO by Jennifer Armstrong
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"An attractive book that will be fun to share aloud. (Picture book. 4-9)"
In an original tale with a folkloric lilt, a persistent orphan in need of a toll for the bridge to what he hopes will be good fortune goes on an ``Old Woman and Her Pig''-style quest: the Toll Man requests a loaf of bread; the baker asks Hugh to get his grain ground; the miller needs his apron mended; and so forth. Read full book review >