Books by Lou Fancher

SOFIA'S STOOP STORY by Maria LaPlaca Bohrer
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 10, 2014

"Though a little heavy on the ethnic flavoring, the memories are as rich and savory as Nana's homemade sauce. (afterword) (Picture book. 6-9)"
A richly sentimental picture of a Sunday gathering from the author's youth. Read full book review >
WHEN MERMAIDS SLEEP by Ann Bonwill
Released: May 28, 2013

"Youngsters are sure to carry these images into their dreams. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Rhythmic lines will lull youngsters who are fully immersed in fairy-tale lore into a dreamy state. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2013

"Unexpected gifts for both Grammy and Hunter are the results from George's satisfying ending; the book is ideal for prompting discussions about ripple effects and the power of imagination. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A bond built on love, understanding and trust between a grandmother and her grandson proves pleasantly surprising for all involved. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 11, 2012

"An average version of an extraordinary tale. (author's note) (Picture book/religion. 5-8)"
Mora retells the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Read full book review >
IT'S MILKING TIME by Phyllis Alsdurf
Released: April 24, 2012

"It's a lovely, poetic picture. (Picture book. 4-7)  "
On a Midwestern dairy farm, a young girl helps her father with the daily milking chores, leading their Holsteins to the barn, feeding the calves, shoveling manure and washing up. Read full book review >
LISTEN TO THE SILENT NIGHT by Dandi Daley Mackall
FICTION
Released: Oct. 13, 2011

"A fresh take on the Nativity story is a tall order, but this beautifully realized offering sounds like a winner, in every way. (Picture book/religion. 4-8)"
Mackall cleverly turns the idea of a silent Christmas Eve night upside down with this poetic view of the first Christmas, focusing on the sounds made by each participant in the Nativity story. Read full book review >
GOYANGI MEANS CAT by Christine McDonnell
ANIMALS
Released: May 12, 2011

"A sensitive portrayal of international adoption, authentically and realistically done. (Picture book. 4-7)"
This beautifully illustrated, gentle adoption story stands out from most other treatments of the topic by honestly and reassuringly addressing the loss—of a birth family, a birth culture—inherent in adoption as well as the joy a new family experiences. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 8, 2011

The older sister of the composer Mozart was a child prodigy herself and toured with her little brother to great acclaim across 18th-century Europe. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 11, 2011

This team of three once again encapsulates the life of a famous figure with a childhood view, animated text and expressive oil-and-ink illustrations (The Boy on Fairfield Street, 2004). Read full book review >

SUNDAY IS FOR GOD by Michael McGowan
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 26, 2010

"Weekdays are for school. Read full book review >

THE KING’S TASTER by Kenneth Oppel
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2009

Narrated by a bespectacled beagle, Oppel's pedantic offering mixes a "be your authentic self" vibe with an admonishment not to spoil your appetite with sweets. Read full book review >

WHAT A GOOD BIG BROTHER! by Diane Wright Landolf
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 27, 2009

There are plenty of books for newly crowned big brothers and sisters out there, but most assume an underlying jealousy at their heart. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 6, 2009

Isaac and his father enjoy their nightly ritual of two stories read out loud before father listens to son's bedtime prayer. Read full book review >

AMAZING PEACE by Maya Angelou
POETRY
Released: Sept. 23, 2008

Angelou's poem considers peace as a joyous concept that rises up during the Christmas season, drawing in and including those of all faiths, sweeping everyone along with its power. Read full book review >

BUGTOWN BOOGIE by Warren Hanson
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2008

A boy walking home at dusk narrates his fantastic woodland discovery: a diminutive but raucous party in a tree trunk. Read full book review >

THE UGLY DUCKLING by Stephen Mitchell
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

An absolutely drop-dead gorgeous edition of the beloved Andersen tale. Read full book review >

THE CHEESE by Margie Palatini
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2007

Asking a question that has no doubt troubled millions of thinking children down through the years—just why should the cheese stand alone?—a rat grabs a napkin and sets off for the big chunk of cheddar that's fenced off down in the dell. Read full book review >

CASEY BACK AT BAT by Dan Gutman
ADVENTURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2007

Back in 1888, Mighty Casey struck out and left Mudville joyless. Read full book review >

STAR CLIMBING by Lou Fancher
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Feb. 1, 2006

Lush, rich illustrations highlight a fanciful nighttime adventure. Read full book review >

BEBOP EXPRESS by H.L. Panahi
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2005

What is it about jazz and children's books? Read full book review >

THE DANCING TIGER by Malachy Doyle
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2005

This kind of alchemy is all too rare, where the spaces between the words hold layers of meaning, and the images expand, expound and explode the text in lovely ways. Read full book review >

BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Jan. 13, 2004

"Once upon a time, there lived a boy who feasted on books and was wild about animals." Read full book review >

YOU’RE A BEAR by Mavis Jukes
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 9, 2003

A young child puts on a parent-sized hooded coat and presto—she's a grizzly bear, squeezing between living room "boulders," rambling through a "midnight breeze" from the refrigerator ("You're a bold bear / with a nose as cold as cheese . . . Read full book review >

MARGERY WILLIAMS’S THE VELVETEEN RABBIT by Lou Fancher
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

In his note to the reader, Fancher (The Range Eternal, p. 1222, etc.) writes, "I've shortened the text to allow more room for the artwork," as an explanation for this abbreviated version of the beloved classic. Read full book review >

THE RANGE ETERNAL by Louise Erdrich
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

Erdrich (Birchbark House, 1999, etc.) draws multiple meanings from the title in a poetic reminiscence founded on childhood memories. Read full book review >

NEW YORK’S BRAVEST by Mary Pope Osborne
FICTION
Released: Aug. 13, 2002

In response to September 11th, Osborne returned to her story of the legendary 19th-century New York City volunteer firefighter Mose Humphreys (American Tall Tales, 1991) and refashioned it into a stirring picture-book tribute to the 343 firefighters who died on that terrible day. Read full book review >

THE DAY OCEAN CAME TO VISIT by Diane Wolkstein
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

Wolkstein (Glass Mountain, 1999, etc.) elaborates on Elphinstone Dayrell's terse rendition of the West African "Why the Sun and Moon Live in the Sky," by giving Moon a larger, more active part. Read full book review >

ROBIN’S ROOM by Margaret Wise Brown
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2001

A timeless tale of creativity unfurled. Read full book review >

SILVER SEEDS by Paul Paolilli
POETRY
Released: March 1, 2001

It's hard not to like a book so deeply thought out in concept. Read full book review >

HORSEFLY by Alice Hoffman
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

In Hoffman's adult work, the intersection of fantasy and realism is sustained and the suspension of disbelief can be close to absolute (The River King, p. 585, etc.). Read full book review >

COPPÉLIA by Margot *Fonteyn
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

"The textured paintings—oil painting lavished across nubby tweeds, lace, brocades, and other fabric—highlight the events of this unforgettable story, sure to send balletomanes off in search of the nearest production of the ballet. (Picture book. 6-10)

"

The timeless tale of romance, suspicion, magic, and revenge is freshly retold, focusing on the feelings and actions of the characters: Dr. CoppÇlius as he comes to terms with his artistic gifts and broken dreams; Swanilda as she mischievously attempts to find the "daughter" of Dr. CoppÇlius; and Franz as he falls foolishly in love with a doll, but repents and wins Swanilda. Read full book review >

THE LOST AND FOUND HOUSE by Michael Cadnum
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

Cadnum (Edge, p. 797, etc.), known for his complex and challenging novels, proves equally adept at picture-book length in this quietly ruminative story about moving. A young narrator watches his old neighborhood recede through the rear window of his family's car, then explores his new house and yard, finding evidence of past residents, and making new friends. Read full book review >

MY MANY COLORED DAYS by Dr. Seuss
COLORS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

Pairing emotions with colors is nothing new to poetry (e.g., Mary O'Neill's Hailstones and Halibut Bones), but pairing impressionistic full-color paintings to the text of Dr. Seuss is a first. Read full book review >

Released: May 1, 1995

A characteristically wry morality tale in fur (or, more accurately, furs) from this country's best known storyteller, adapted from a track on his "Song of the Cat" recording (1991) and set to highly comical paintings by the illustrators of Jon Scieszka's Frog Prince, Continued (1991). Read full book review >

PEACH AND BLUE by Sarah S. Kilborne
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 3, 1994

Can a parochial toad find his everlasting in a peach bitten by wanderlust? Read full book review >

THE FIRST NIGHT by B.G. Hennessy
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

Creating illustrations with paintings on butternut wood, its delicate grain providing texture and its artfully roughened edges a weathered, rustic look, the artists use jewel-bright blues and rich earth tones to depict the shepherds following the star and the baby they find in the stable. Read full book review >