Books by Mary Wormell

Released: April 18, 2001

What has gotten Bernard's shorts in a twist? Usually placid, this bold, black rooster is today a feathery explosion of indignation, chasing away Tommy the ginger cat, Toby the dog, and even the young child, Lucy. "Why are you so cross?" his victims chorus. The answer comes at last (there's a visual hint at the beginning, but most readers are going to have to go back to catch it) when Bernard takes on a horse, who kicks him up onto the stable's roof. Bernard's mood undergoes a rapid change as he climbs a tree to crow—at the new rooster weathervane just placed atop the barn. Once again the highest rooster around, Bernard settles back into his old geniality. Wormell's bold linoleum cuts are a nice change from the usual flowery colors of farmyard picture books and seem the perfect choice to depict an angry rooster and slightly frazzled animals. Young fans of Nancy Tafuri's picture books and similar barnyard brouhahas as well as Wormell's earlier farm books (Why Not?, 2000, etc.) will be drawn to this—and will agree that there's a bit of Bernard in everyone. (Picture book. 4-6)Read full book review >
THE SPOTTY PIG by Dick King-Smith
Released: April 21, 1997

From King-Smith (The Stray, 1996, etc.), the story of a spotty pig, Peter, who thinks his spots are ugly and says so to his friend, Joe, a cat. Peter embarks on a series of unsuccessful attempts to rid himself of the spots, but summer sun doesn't fade them, autumn leaves don't blur them with dirt, winter snow doesn't freeze them white, spring rains don't wash them off. Instead, Peter's spots grow larger as he does. Woe is he until he meets Penny, with all the virtues a young swain might hope for: beauty, similar interests, and spots—just imagine his elation when Penny presents him with 13 spotty piglets. Wormell's linocuts are charming, as is King-Smith's text, replete with his gently wry humor. Unfortunately, this take on the old Ugly Duckling story is without much suspense: Once Penny appears, Peter's journey to self- acceptance simply stops. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
HILDA HEN'S SEARCH by Mary Wormell
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

One can't help but compare newcomer Mary Wormell's Hilda Hen's Search to Christopher Wormell's A Number of Animals, 1993's spectacular counting book. Both feature chickens, both sport eye- catching prints (one line, the other block), both come from a Wormell, and their covers appear to have been separated at birth. While Christopher's book brings the viewer from numbers one through ten in style, Mary's follows Hilda's search for a suitable nesting site. One place is too busy, another's too noisy, or scratchy, or windy, or risky. But a dollhouse— currently untenanted—serves just the purpose for raising her brood. Mary's linocut illustrations can't compete with Christopher's Munchian block prints—their color is too washed, the line work solid but unspectacular. On the other hand, both chickens are on an important quest, and both find an answer to their needs through a well-tempered perseverance. Wormell vs. Wormell? Either would grace any shelf. (Fiction/Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >