Books by Marcellus Hall

DUDDLE PUCK by Karma Wilson
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Encouragement for all who waddle to the beat of a different drummer. (Picture book. 6-8)"
A newly arrived duck who would rather oink, neigh, and even belt out "HIP-HIP HOORAY!" than quack has all the farmyard's residents aflutter. Read full book review >
WHAT'S NEW? THE ZOO! by Kathleen Krull
Released: June 24, 2014

"A romp through zoo history presented with pizzazz. (sources) (Informational picture book. 4-8)"
For at least 4,400 years, people have collected and displayed animals for entertainment, education and enlightenment. Read full book review >
EVERYONE SLEEPS by Marcellus Hall
Released: May 2, 2013

"An inventive if not wholly successful look at the nighttime world of nature. (Picture book. 3-6)"
An imaginative pug with insomnia explores the night world of sleeping animals with a dreamlike narrative in rhyming text. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2012

"A sweet sentiment and a great way to get kids pumped about school and learning—Miss Frizzle would be proud. (Picture book. 4-7)"
North and Hall pair up for another imaginative what-if offering (Because I Am Your Daddy, 2010, etc.), this time introducing young readers to different modes of transportation. Read full book review >
FULL MOON AND STAR by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Released: Aug. 1, 2011

Two young friends separately discover playwriting and then realize the benefits of cooperation. Read full book review >
Released: July 6, 2010

While most of the farmer's animals enjoy their critter foods (chickens chomp chicken feed, geese gobble corn, horsey nibbles hay), cow inexplicably loves cookies. Well-executed, bouncing rhyme will have children bobbing their heads as the farmer makes his feeding rounds and cow sneaks sugary treats. Hall's sure-handed strokes of graphite carve out friendly, watercolor animals and farm vistas. Something wonderfully retro spreads across these pages of perky-eyed creatures. Their eyebrows pop from their foreheads with classic, expressive "U" shapes; fields of dirty greens, mustardy tans and khaki browns conjure up the comforting palette of mid-20th-century picture books. The farmer's red gingham shirt and navy overalls recall the traditional, bright colors of the same era, while a perfect blue sky hovers above. Children might miss these subtle allusions, but they will still bask in the book's warmth. Text settles comfortably both within the artwork and the bordering white space, seamlessly integrating sounds and story with illustration. This self-assured, simple and successful picture book closes with a goofy, age-old punchline that will get giggles every time. (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2010

This Y-chromosome companion to Because You Are My Baby (2008) follows a similar format, positing a hypothetical and its follow-through on each double-page spread: "If I were a scientist, we would dig up ancient bones / And find the biggest dinosaur the world has ever known." As in the previous edition, as well, the scansion stumbles and the rhymes sometimes struggle; moreover, the statements occasionally don't make much sense. The sentiment is crystal-clear, however, and Hall's simply gorgeous retro-styled watercolors depicting a dad with his dark-haired daughter and her dolly go to town with each premise—the image of the three of them surfing is nothing short of breathtaking in its jewel-toned splashy motion. The final hypothetical—"if I were a wizard"—ties them all together ever so neatly. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
CITY I LOVE by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Released: April 1, 2009

In 18 very short poems, Hopkins returns to one of his favorite subjects, adopting a child's voice (or once a mother pigeon's) to express deep affection for city life, sights, buildings, noises, subways, entertainments and seasons. Reminiscent of Marc Simont's art but with a more sinuous, energetic line, Hall's watercolor urban scenes capture the big city's scale while depicting both its bustle and its quieter corners. Tucking in identifiable landmarks or the occasional non-Roman sign, he takes a backpack-toting canine tourist and a small blue bird from San Francisco to Cairo, New Orleans to London, and leaves them at last on a building top, gazing sleepily out onto a generic moonlit skyline. Though ten of the selections were previously published in some form, their overall simplicity lends each an enduring freshness: "Sing a song of cities. / If you do, / Cities will sing back / to you." Endpaper maps identify the cities depicted, though a key to assist untraveled children in the game is absent. (Picture book/poetry. 7-10) Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2008

A young mother expresses her love and commitment to her inquisitive baby through a limitless variety of possible vocations. From sailor to mountain climber, castle builder to geologist, pizza chef and astronaut, mom's universe will always include her child's participation. "If I were a diver, we would tour the ocean floor—Shipwrecks, crab holes, coral reefs, and much more to explore." Watercolors reminiscent of Ross MacDonald's style set in darker and lighter russet shades add a softened tone to the rhymed text. Despite the depiction of a young genderless baby with endless wide-eyed wonder, author and illustrator present one powerful-thinking mom providing a world of intriguing choices for both little girls and boys who would, nevertheless, not wish to be called a baby. Yet as nighttime falls and all is said and done, mom's magic of love allows for every child's wishful sleepy dreams. An energetic and inspiring testament to motherhood. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >