Books by Laurel Molk

NO ROOM FOR A PUP! by Elizabeth  Suneby
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2019

"Perfect for young ones yearning for a pet. (Picture book. 4-7)"
At least when it comes to puppies, there's always room for one more. Read full book review >
THERE MIGHT BE LOBSTERS by Carolyn Crimi
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 9, 2017

"Just 'beachy.' (Picture book. 3-6)"
A little dog named Sukie overcomes her fear of all things "beachy" in this new picture book. Read full book review >
TAKE YOUR TIME by Eva Furrow
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 11, 2017

"A journey of self-discovery in a unique environment. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A Galápagos tortoise learns that everyone has his or her own appropriate rhythm. Read full book review >
EENY, MEENY, MINEY, MO, AND FLO! by Laurel  Molk
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 9, 2015

"Brisk and bouncy, this clever adaptation combines animals, action, humor, and typical sibling dynamics to create a lively and engaging escapade. (Picture book. 3-6)"
The pursuit begins immediately as the eponymous mice race across a swath of green grass on the dedication page. The boys begin the rhyme with the traditional tiger. Flo, a smaller, all-white mouse wearing a pink scarf, makes her first appearance here, standing nonchalantly on the tiger's paw. Her desire to participate is quashed by her brothers in a parallel text that's made up entirely of dialogue. She continues to try to join the fun as the boys chase down additional animals, including a female hippo and turtle, a somewhat scary boa constrictor (with no toes), and a very toothy alligator. Molk's illustrations, created in pen and ink and watercolor then digitally combined, keep the focus on the mice with only parts of most of the larger animals shown. Bright colors and energetic lines contrast pleasingly with watercolor washes that provide texture and interest. Simple, slightly cartoony features keep the mood light despite the preponderance of predators—and the slight frisson of danger in a couple of instances. Using a different, handwritten-style type for the dialogue keeps things clear, though read-alouds could still be a bit tricky. Read full book review >
WHEN YOU WERE JUST A HEARTBEAT by Laurel  Molk
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2004

This simple, abstract pregnancy tracker pairs deftly brushed watercolors of small birds and other growing things to a brief text phrased so that it could be read by a sibling or either parent. The visuals subtly suggest each stage of growth, as seasons pass: a line of delicate-footed salamanders scamper across the page "while you were growing fingers and toes," a gorgeous iris opens "about the time you were opening your eyes," and "when you were too big to roll over, the pumpkins were fat and round." Placed on broad expanses of white, each portrait will draw the eyes even of very young viewers, and when baby does at last put in an appearance, both the hands in which it is cradled and the accompanying sentiment—"We'll always keep on loving you"—send a message of unalloyed comfort and reassurance. An unusual counterpart to the more concrete reportage in the likes of Kes Gray's Baby On Board, illustrated by Sarah Nayler (p. 222). (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
OFF WE GO! by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Laurel Molk
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2000

Little ones know that Grandma's house is best! A mouse, a frog, a mole, a snake, a duck, and a spider tippity toe, hipppity hop, diggity dig, slithery slee, and scritchity scratch as they creep and dig, dash and freefall on their way to Grandma's house. Three rhymed lines and a refrain introduce each animal. Then, a cumulative verse, repeating only the action words, brings each animal into the picture one at a time until they are all cavorting pell-mell through the pages. Yolen's verse is occasionally vivid, but some of the adjectives and verbs she uses for rhymes are contrived. Molk's subdued watercolor illustrations are playful, graceful and gentle. Many have interesting details that draw the eye deeply into the picture. Spider webs in unexpected places, insects, imperfections in reeds, and lichens on logs increase the pictorial interest in the quiet two-page spreads and round out the action in the livelier ones. Without these pictures, the telling might still be engaging, but they are what set it above the ordinary. Pick this up, lickety split. (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
GOOD JOB, OLIVER! by Laurel  Molk
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

PLB 0-517-70976-7 Oliver, a rabbit, wants to compete in the big leagues in the annual strawberry-growing contest. He is determined to grow the biggest and best strawberries, despite the teasing of the larger rabbits: "Little bunnies grow little berries." With encouragement from his mother, Oliver goes ahead, and surprises everyone when he invents crafty ways to keep birds, gophers, and bears away from his patch; he outsmarts the others and grows a prize berry. While Molk's storytelling is entertaining, her watercolors steal the show. Her inventive use of the page makes the book practically boundless—bunnies on pogo sticks bounce out the top, gophers burrow out the bottom, and a springtime palette blooms in every corner. (Picture book. 4-7) Read full book review >
BENEATH THE GHOST MOON by Jane Yolen
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

From award-winning author Yolen comes this effervescent Halloween poem. On Halloween eve, all the field mice are dreaming of the ball they plan to have the next night. Unbeknownst to the sleeping mice, some mean-spirited creepy-crawly things slither out and destroy all the beautiful costumes. The mice are despondent when they see the mess and even consider moving away, but they are inspired to battle by one small white mouse. Egged on by her courage, the mice rally, making slingshots with wood and rubber bands, using bottle caps for shields, and gathering pebbles for ammunition. The creepy-crawlies are so scared that they run away. All except one, that is, who apologizes for his crimes and asks to be part of the mouse society. While most of the mice urge vengeance, the white mouse advocates forgiveness, which turns out to be the reigning spirit of the day. Destined to become a Halloween classic, this was written to be read aloud. Colorful, lighthearted illustrations are a fine complement to the wonderful words. Yolen's poetic pitch is perfect, and the story unfolds in a graceful, lovely fashion that will have young listeners begging, "Again! Again!" Happily, adults will be glad to comply. (Fiction. 4-8)Read full book review >
ON THE FARM by Lee Bennett Hopkins
edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Laurel Molk
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

Large-size, perceptively observed paintings make an appealing accompaniment to 16 poems (mostly available elsewhere and mostly about animals), including fine entries from Valerie Worth, David McCord, and William Carlos Williams. Not essential, but of good quality and pleasantly inviting. (Poetry/Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >