Books by Mark Sperring

THE MOST WONDERFUL GIFT IN THE WORLD by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2019

"Beary merry and bright. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Good things may come in small packages, but the best things aren't things at all. Read full book review >
THE LITTLEST THINGS GIVE THE LOVELIEST HUGS by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"New and prospective parents may eat this up—if they find it before all the others like it. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Grown-ups glory in the hugs and snuggles of their offspring. Read full book review >
I'LL CATCH YOU IF YOU FALL by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 15, 2016

"This sentimental story of a return voyage carries an important message—let's all take care of one another. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A little boy on a perilous adventure at sea needs someone to see him safely home. Read full book review >
HOW MANY SLEEPS 'TIL MY BIRTHDAY? by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2016

"Cute if one-dimensional. (Picture book. 3-6)"
An anxious cub drives his father a little crazy with the anticipation of his big day. Read full book review >
YOUR HAND IN MY HAND by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 29, 2015

"Great either for a bedtime story or to celebrate a newborn; no one can refute the book's final words: 'with your hand in my hand, / we'll never feel lost.' (Picture book. 3-5)"
A caregiver adult mouse and its child mouse enjoy love and support along the path of life. Read full book review >
MABEL AND ME  by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 7, 2015

"A pretty package but lacking in substance and storyline. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A small mouse with delusions of grandeur strolls down a vaguely Parisian street with his best friend, Mabel. Read full book review >
MAX AND THE WON'T GO TO BED SHOW by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"A fun-filled revamp of the bedtime genre and a humorous choice for the not-quite-sleepy set. (Picture book. 3-6)"
"Please put your hands together for…MAX THE MAGNIFICENT!" Read full book review >
THE SHAPE OF MY HEART by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 2013

"While this may inspire children to create their own heart full of shapes they love, the title fails to deliver anything that has not been done before. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Singsong rhyming text introduces the myriad shapes encountered during the course of a child's day. But one shape—any guesses?—holds special significance. Read full book review >
MERMAID DREAMS by Mark Sperring
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: July 1, 2006

Like many kids, Meriam doesn't like to get ready for bed. But is Meriam really like other kids? When her mother tries to comb Meriam's tangled hair, a shell falls out. Meriam explains she's been lying in sand at the beach. Then her mother finds a piece of seaweed and Meriam reveals she's been diving deep, deep, deep beneath the ocean waves to where starfish live, dolphins play and octopuses dance. In fact, Meriam has managed to pluck a pretty pearl from the ocean's bottom for her mother. As Meriam continues her evening toilette, a little fish jumps out of her ear and a baby crab scuttles from behind her neck. What next? But Meriam is ready for bed, happy that she doesn't need to clean between her toes. Against an ocean-blue backdrop of floating fish, shells and stars, wondrously whimsical illustrations show the aquatic Meriam with her mass of tangled curls frolicking like a water baby in the sea. And the pictures take the story through to its surprising end. A perfect bedtime "tail." (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
THE FAIRYTALE CAKE by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2005

The text may run to just a few words per page, but the pictures in this heavily populated outing invite lingering as dozens of European nursery rhyme and folktale characters gather to prepare a huge cake, and then wheel it down the road to the house of a lucky birthday boy. Like Carol Jones's Gingerbread Man (2002), the Jolly Postman series and the like, this becomes a test of cultural literacy, made even more challenging by the lack of identifying commentary: How many of these figures, rendered in Langley's informal cartoons as young-looking folks and animals in antique costume, are recognizable? Is that the Knave of Hearts? There's Bo Peep, searching for her sheep on one page, and finding them on the next. That whiskered officer must be the Grand Old Duke of York, and look, there's the Gingerbread Boy riding one of a trio of little pigs. All gather at last to wish the starry-eyed lad a "Happy, Happy Birthday!" as he makes ready to blow out the candles. With guests like these, how could it be otherwise? (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
WANDA’S FIRST DAY by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2004

Wanda is a little witch girl setting off for her first day at school—by broomstick. She's a traditional sort of witch with a black, star-spangled dress and pointed hat, but somehow she ends up in a classroom where she doesn't fit in with the other little girls. Wanda finds herself in Miss Dewdrop's School with a collection of frilly fairy girls who use their wands instead of broomsticks to create magic. The teacher and the fairy girls are kind, and no one but Wanda seems to notice that she is different, so the little witch decides to stick with her unusual school placement. Though the themes of tolerance for others and blooming where you are planted are not novel, kids will like the funny details of Wanda's witch garb and food, as well as the vibrant, jewel-toned illustrations of Miss Dewdrop's School and students. The story is short and simple, appropriate for younger listeners who are intrigued with the current craze for pointed hats, magic spells, and special broomsticks in an out-of-this-world setting. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
FIND-A-SAURUS by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2003

Marty's mom has told him all about dinosaurs and now he wants to find one to be his pal in Sperring's highly imaginative picture book debut. Not buying mom's explanation that dinosaurs are long gone, Marty starts a fanciful search driven by a staunch belief that dinosaurs are simply good hiders. He looks under the bed, in the laundry basket, and up in the attic among other places, only to be disappointed with silly monsters, elves, aliens, and a host of additional make-believe or extinct creatures. Steele-Morgan's wonderful illustrations add to the magic of the story, depicting the fantastic discoveries in bold colors and textures that leave the reader eagerly anticipating Marty's next move. Especially pleasing are the fold-out dragon in the toy closet and the extra-large giant. Sure to be a hit with young children, but fun for adults as well. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >