Books by Leo Dillon

NEVER FORGOTTEN by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: Oct. 11, 2011

"A totally absorbing poetic celebration of loss and redemption. (author's note) (Picture book/poetry. 7-12)"
A searing cycle of poems describes a father's grief after his son is taken from their home in Mali and enslaved in America. Read full book review >
THE SECRET RIVER by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Released: Jan. 4, 2011

There are no fish left in the rivers and streams; hard times have come to the forest, and everyone is poor and hungry. Read full book review >

THE GOBLIN AND THE EMPTY CHAIR by Mem Fox
FICTION
Released: Sept. 22, 2009

An unspecified medieval setting, an outwardly grotesque creature who is tender and compassionate, sad humans beset by difficulties, three tasks performed by the hero and a moral about looking beyond appearances; all of these are familiar elements in the fairy-tale tradition. Read full book review >

MAMA SAYS by Rob D. Walker
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2009

Flawed but still impressive, this illustrated collection of brief snippets of advice will particularly appeal to progressive parents eager to foster understanding and compassion in their children. Read full book review >

MOTHER GOOSE: NUMBERS ON THE LOOSE by Leo Dillon
NUMBERS AND COUNTING
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

Long-limbed numbers and letters, anthropomorphic insects, stalwart vegetables, inventively dressed animals and other unusual creatures join multiethnic humans in a cheerful march to the irresistible rhythm of Mother Goose in this selection of numerical nursery rhymes. Read full book review >

JAZZ ON A SATURDAY NIGHT by Leo Dillon
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

The Dillons deliver their take on one of children's publishing trends du jour. Read full book review >

EARTH MOTHER  by Ellen Jackson
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

A wry and cosmic look at the interdependence of all things, wonderfully illustrated by the inimitable Dillons. Read full book review >

THE PEOPLE COULD FLY by Virginia Hamilton
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 9, 2004

"They say the people could fly. Read full book review >

ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

From the creators of The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese (1997), a less ambitious outing: five tales from a workshop run by Norman (15 years ago), illustrated with art that tries to look like leaded stained glass. Read full book review >

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? by Margaret Wise Brown
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2004

The Dillons create an eldritch world for this philosophical rhyme, which was first published 50 years ago with misguidedly twee art by Barbara Cooney. Read full book review >

ONE WINTER’S NIGHT by John Herman
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

In this poetic Christmas Eve tale, Martha, a young cow about to give birth, seeks shelter, just as Joseph leads Mary, who's in the same condition, on the same quest. Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

A tribute to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson captures the rhythm of the famous tap dancing he did all over the city: in the street, behind doors that were both open and closed to him, in crowds, in upscale neighborhoods as well as "the skids," in the park, and ultimately, on stage. Read full book review >

MANSA MUSA by Khephra Burns
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

Illustrated by the Dillons (Two Little Trains, p. 561, etc.) at their most magisterial, this original tale of the youth of Kankan Musa, the most renowned royal descendant of the great king of Mali, Sundiata, makes a grand, compelling, sumptuously presented narrative. Read full book review >

TWO LITTLE TRAINS by Margaret Wise Brown
FICTION
Released: May 31, 2001

Brown's adorable bouncing rhyme about trains has been inventively re-imagined by two award-winning illustrators. Read full book review >

THE GIRL WHO SPUN GOLD by Virginia Hamilton
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

Hamilton (Bluish, 1999, etc.) turns her elegant style to a West Indian-based version of the Rumpelstiltskin story. Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 1, 1998

The Dillons illustrate the familiar verses of Ecclesiastes in the King James version, one spread for every double-edged phrase, e.g., "a time to mourn, and a time to dance." Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 1, 1997

This collection is not only the handsomest gathering of Inuit folktales ever, but one that will bring readers as close to a living oral tradition as printed material can. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

A volume with as broad appeal as Hamilton's The People Could Fly (1985). Read full book review >

THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE by Nancy Willard
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

In the spirit of Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch (1991, ALA Notable), a reworking of a tale popularized, as explained here, by the poet Goethe as well as by Dukas, whose music fueled the Disney version. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1993

Taking as her theme the "joyous anthem of freedom," beginning with "No more auction block for me," Hamilton samples documented African-American lives from 1619 through the Civil War. Read full book review >

NORTHERN LULLABY by Nancy White Carlstrom
Released: Oct. 21, 1992

In gently cadenced verse, Carlstrom personifies features of the natural world and animals of the Far North as family members to whom a Native American child speaks: "Goodnight Grandma River/Frozen below/With lullaby ripples/of pale gleaming light...Goodnight Sister Owl/Quiet your cry,/Fold the night sky close/under dark feathers." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

Bosch, the late-medieval Dutch artist, painted extraordinary surreal scenes, their whimsical details meticulously depicted. Read full book review >
THE RACE OF THE GOLDEN APPLES by Claire Martin
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

Abandoned by her father because she's not a boy, the infant princess Atalanta becomes the protege of the goddess Diana and is raised by a bear, learning to outdistance all the forest creatures. Read full book review >