Books by Laura Francesca Filippucci

ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Reporting in verse on his world-spanning travels, naturalist B.B. Barnswhitten sets out in search of 14 rarely (or never) seen creatures from the golden toad to the Loch Ness Monster. He has no success, but sharp-eyed readers will, as Filippucci hides animals and animal shapes in each lushly detailed land- or seascape's rocks, clouds and foliage. Irritatingly for adults and confusingly for children, the still-extant creatures aren't distinguished from the extinct and imaginary ones until a set of profiles at the end, which provides basic information on habitat, description, behavior, diet and status (extinct, endangered, nonexistent). The light, tongue-in-cheek presentation is at war with such grim entries as the Steller's Sea Cow's: "Extinct, 1768 (only 27 years after being discovered by Steller), due to overhunting for meat and oil." Though the poet sometimes labors—"I searched the night jungle, / I looked high and low, / For the curious parrot, / The strange kakapo…"—fans of Graeme Base's Water Hole (2001) and its ilk will enjoy playing "spot the beastie," as long as they aren't in it for the information. (Picture book. 7-9) Read full book review >
THE CEMETERY KEEPERS OF GETTYSBURG by Linda Oatman High
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2007

High builds on true events for this child's-eye view of the Civil War battle and its aftermath. His father having marched off to fight for the Union, seven-year-old Fred Thorn huddles down with his pregnant mother when the great battle begins to rage all around. Then, amid the devastation afterwards, he courageously pitches in to help her begin digging graves for the dead. Writer and artist both effectively capture the battle's scale and terror. High tells the tale in measured, intense free verse, paired to Filippucci's finely detailed paintings of wide, peaceful landscapes that are transformed into scenes of ruin, strewn with dead horses and shattered trees. Fred closes with his mother's later meeting with President Lincoln at the renowned dedication of the military cemetery, and the words of the Gettysburg Address. Readers will be touched and sobered by this deeply felt glimpse of battle, and what follows. (author's note) (Picture book. 7-9)Read full book review >