Books by Leslie Evans

SPRING BLOSSOMS by Carole Gerber
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2013

"An artistic seasonal book, best appreciated by flower lovers. (Informational picture book. 4-7) "
The third in a seasonal series by Gerber and Evans (Winter Trees, 2008, etc.), this picture book presents 10 different spring-blooming trees. Read full book review >
AT THE SEA FLOOR CAFÉ by Leslie Bulion
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2011

From snapping shrimp with bubble-shooting claws to the Osedax worm that digests whalebones on the ocean floor, intriguing and unusual sea creatures are introduced in this collection of 18 engaging poems written in a variety of forms. A paragraph or two of identification and explanation follow each poem. This attractive small volume is illustrated with hand-colored linoleum block prints set on a blue-green background that darkens page by page as the reader descends. "Dive In!" introduces the habitat, and, on the last page, "Hooray for the Sea and the ROV" celebrates the ocean and the vehicles humans use to explore its deepest parts. One piece calls for two voices, a leopard sea cucumber and an emperor shrimp. Shape poems introduce the violet snail and a swarm of krill. These poems lend themselves to reading aloud, and many are short and catchy enough to be easily memorized. Concluding with a helpful glossary, a clear explanation of the poetic forms that points out rhymes, patterns and beats, suggested further resources and acknowledgements, this is an ideal title for cross-curricular connections. This gathering of humorous poetry and fascinating facts should be welcomed as a companion to Bulion and Evans' previous collaboration, Hey There, Stink Bug! (2006)—even the surprise among the school of krill on the endpapers will make readers smile. (Informational poetry. 8-12)Read full book review >
FACES OF THE MOON by Bob Crelin
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2009

Crelin opens with a question that young readers often wonder—why does the moon change shape? Unfortunately, his answer is difficult to grasp. Singsong phrases and forced rhymes stilt the science and muddle the conclusions. "Each changing face (or lunar phase) / repeats each nine-and-twenty days." Listeners may appreciate the rhythm, but most insight will come from the visual clues. Strategically placed die-cuts show the moon as it waxes or wanes with each page turn. Tabs are also cut into the border and marked with images of the changing moon, forming a timeline at the book's edge. Evans's block-print illustrations, carved with precision, echo the slices of moon that are shaved away. In contrast to the rhyming text, a simple end note clearly explains this lunar dance of shadow and light. Fun "Moon Memo-Rhymes" are also included to help remember moon facts. There is no doubt that the author knows his crescent from his gibbous phase; but alas, the verse style should have been limited to the memo-rhymes. Recommended for visual learners at best. (Informational picture book. 6-9)Read full book review >
WINTER TREES by Carole Gerber
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2008

Readers can almost hear boots crunching in the snow during this subtle, stylish wintry nature walk. A boy and his dog move from tree to leafless tree as the text describes the different shapes, textures and growth habits of their discoveries. The juxtaposition of words describing the trees and the images of boy and dog either making snow angels or a snowman together provides a needed playfulness to the quiet, informational and at times somewhat clunky rhymes. Evans's clean, nostalgic illustrations combine block print, collage and watercolor perfectly to invoke the peacefulness of newly fallen snow, bringing to mind, in the best way, a letterpress holiday greeting card. The simplicity of the illustrations sometimes foregoes the details of the trees for the sake of their muted and sophisticated style. It wouldn't serve as a field guide, nor is it meant to, but still works for the nature lover. A short glossary of trees is included in the back. Overall, a visually striking, cozy winter read. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
WINTER by Steven Schnur
ABC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 21, 2002

Schnur and Evans round out the year, producing another visually and verbally entrancing title following Autumn (1997), Spring (1999), and Summer (2001). Evans makes hand-colored linoleum blocks whose strong and supple graphic line sets off her rich colors. The images move from early winter through the holiday season to the drippy days late in the season, when you can leave your coat open and long for a bit of green. Schnur's deceptively simple acrostics trace the alphabet and the season, as for example, Q: "Q uickly we leap from / U nder warm covers / I nto sweaters and boots, / L ate for school / T his cold, snowy morning." The young girl in the picture is wrapped in a patchwork quilt as she glances at her alarm clock, her moon-and-star pajamas peeking out. While most of the pictures—and the poems—reflect a country air (duck ponds, rabbit burrows, horse-drawn sleighs), a greenhouse and a brick city street decked in holiday lights broaden the imagery. With this latest entry Schnur and Evans complete a most satisfying quartet that can be read with pleasure the whole year round. (Picture book/poetry. 3-8)Read full book review >
SUMMER by Steven Schnur
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 19, 2000

In the wake of Autumn (1997) and Spring (1999) come 26 more seasonal scenes, accompanying ingenious acrostic poems: "Blankets and umbrellas, / Endless miles of sand, / And one / Constant / Hum of wind and waves." In serene, neatly composed linoleum cuts filled with subtly modulated colors trimmed by the perfect use of the black line, Evans depicts shoreline and small town, gazebo, luxuriant gardens, and a picnic table crowded with goodies, all laid out for the enjoyment of a multiethnic cast of young folk. "Zigzag lines / Of stars / Divide the heavens / Into / Autumn's twinkling / Constellations," over a backyard campout to signal summer's end. It's another tour de force, as blissfully evocative as it is technically accomplished. Should be inspiration for classrooms, poets, and wordworkers. (Picture book/poetry. 6-8)Read full book review >
AUTUMN by Steven Schnur
ABC BOOKS
Released: Aug. 18, 1997

A strong graphic presentation is balanced against the clear simplicity of an ingenious text in this captivating picture book. Schnur (Beyond Providence, 1996, etc.) creates an acrostic for each letter of the alphabet on an autumnal theme. For example, for the letter F, ``FROST'' is spelled by reading the lines vertically; the text reads ``From the window the/Rows of/Orange Pumpkins/Seem clothed in/Thin white shawls.'' The first letters of each line appear in cherry-red type and the rest in black, set in a box on each page of illustration. While the words are not haiku, they partake of the spirit of that poetic form in their spare, direct, and emotionally telling worth. Evans's pictures, executed in hand-colored linoleum cuts, are full of saturated colors with an elegant use of the black line of that medium. Accessible and intimate, they depict people, animals, household objects, and outdoor scenes; warm and cozy, they complement and further define this friendly read-aloud. (Picture book. 3-8) Read full book review >