Books by Laurie Krebs

WE’RE ROAMING IN THE RAINFOREST by Laurie Krebs
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2010

Three children exploring the Amazon River forest between dawn and dusk encounter a wide variety of animals that describe their customary activities in rhyming couplets, each beginning with an appropriate verb. " ‘Snooze,' yawn the sloths, all ready to doze. / ‘We'll nap in the trees as we cling by our toes.' " The text is set in a quirky but legible type against Wilson's lively background illustrations, created with printed papers, printing ink and acrylic paints. Appropriately, the children (black, brown and white) are dwarfed by the scenery. These busy, colorful pictures emphasize the lush plant life, and the animals are easily identifiable. Following the poem, nine pages of endnotes include a roughly accurate map and description of the Amazon rainforest, three examples of indigenous peoples—the Matis, the Yanomami and the Ribereños (more properly a mixture of peoples)—conservation issues and short descriptions of the 14 animals mentioned. Brenda Z. Guiberson's Rain, Rain, Rain Forest, illustrated by Steve Jenkins (2004), provides a more informative introduction, but this cheerful addition to Krebs's travel series will be welcomed in storytimes. (Informational picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
THE BEEMAN by Laurie Krebs
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2008

A patterned rhyme introduces a beekeeper and his work. On double-page spreads, the acrylic paintings with a slightly distorted, oddly appealing perspective clearly illustrate the process of caring for honeybees, evidence of illustrator Cis's research for the project. Suited up like his beekeeping grandfather, the small boy telling the story helps quiet the hive with a smoker. When it is opened, he sees the queen, drones and workers inside. He watches his grandfather remove the frames, extract the honey and prepare the hives for winter. Finally, Grandmother's apple-and-honey muffins (recipe included) make the effort worthwhile. Dedicating her story to her beekeeping husband, Krebs describes the process simply for young listeners, highlighting important vocabulary which is defined in more detail in exposition for older readers at the end. The text was previously published by National Geographic with illustrations by Melissa Iwai in 2002. Libraries that don't own that version will welcome this attractive reissue. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

While ultimately it may not entirely work as story or history, Krebs offers a glimpse into a part of human culture most youngsters—or oldsters—may not know at all. In rhyme, she tracks China's Silk Road, evocatively used these days as a metaphor for all kinds of cross-cultural memes, as a kind of exotic school chant. There's a running chorus, "We're riding on a caravan, a bumpy humpy caravan," and there's the first-person plural narrative, also rhymed, from Xi'an to Kashgar as silks are traded for wool, rice for bread. The yearlong trek ends at Kashgar's Sunday market, which still exists today. The colorful pictures, made with bits of silk brocade and marbled paper collage as well as watercolor, show many kinds of costume and many ages and genders of caravan travelers. The pictures are busy with animals and wagons, desert and mountains. Author's notes cover some background, but no sources are given. Adult readers will probably yearn for more information, but children will enjoy the bouncing rhythm and the intricate images. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2003

In a fresh, bright successor to Tom Feelings's classic Moja Means One (1971), Krebs (The Beeman, 2002) and Cairns (The Spider Weaver, 2001, etc.) team up to invite readers to tour the Serengeti with a group of young Maasai, counting animals in English and Swahili as they go. The text's easy, natural rhythm makes reading aloud a pleasure, "We all went on safari / Where the treetops intertwine. / We met mischievous monkeys, / So Doto counted nine." Each sharply detailed scene glows with jewel-like color, set off by the traditionally dressed human figures' heads and limbs. In the end, all settle down comfortably for a twilight sing: "We all went on safari, / In the sunset's fading light. / We built ourselves a campfire / And bid our friends ‘Good night.' " Further information about the Maasai, Tanzania, the ten children's Swahili names, and the equal number of wild creatures met along the way close this brilliant, horizon-expanding outing. (map, counting pronunciation guide) (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
THE BEEMAN by Laurie Krebs
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

A beekeeping grandpa stars in debut author Krebs's witty ditty modeled after The House that Jack Built. "Here is his jacket, / with zippered up hood / that covers his face / just the way that it should / when he visits his hives as / the Beeman." Told from the granddaughter's perspective, rhyming text introduces beekeeping equipment, processes, and the roles of each bee in the hive (including queen bee, drones, workers, and house bees). Iwai's (Hannah's Christmas, 2001, etc.) full-bleed acrylic-on-board illustrations picture adult and child in the backyard bee farm; text and vignettes—of a jacket, leather gloves, and beehive—appear in quarter-spread panels. Unfortunately, Iwai's static figures compromise the vitality of her refreshing palette. In one spread, for example, adult and child—both in bee suits—appear against a backdrop of green trees, bushes, and a sun-dappled lawn; stiffly lifting the beehive, the grandfather looks as if he's about to fall backward. Nevertheless, Iwai does a good job representing the bees; a dramatic close-up depicts "house bees" fanning the nectar in an intricate geometric honeycomb. Teachers wishing to supplement studies of community will find Krebs's debut useful for its introduction to the social structure of bee-dom; librarians will likely notice a buzz for the book around Grandparent's Day too. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >