Books by Matt Tavares

BECOMING BABE RUTH by Matt Tavares
Released: Feb. 12, 2013

"Flamboyant and amazingly talented, the Sultan of Swat receives due appreciation here. (author's note, statistics chart, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)"
An homage to the Bambino introduces a new audience to this great legend of baseball. Read full book review >
HELEN'S BIG WORLD by Doreen Rappaport
Released: Oct. 16, 2012

"A magisterial account. (author's & illustrator's notes, timeline, sources) (Picture books/biography. 6-10)"
Helen Keller's transcendent leap across the barriers of her blindness and deafness continues to inspire. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 14, 2012

"A baseball hero and an American hero, the last player to hit over .400 in a season; here, Ted Williams is introduced to a new generation of baseball fans. (author's note, statistics, bibliography) (Picture book/ biography. 6-10)"
Ted Williams' goal was, as the subtitle suggests, to be the greatest hitter who ever lived. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"A note about the author and her poem concludes this celebration, an ideal grandparent gift. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Wintry new illustrations recall the forgotten landscape of Child's traditional Thanksgiving travel song. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 26, 2010

"Acknowledgement is made that the quotes have been shortened and punctuation has been simplified, and their sources are included. (author's and illustrator's notes, timeline, bibliography, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)"
A striking cover close-up of Kennedy (with the title information on the back of the jacket, à la the author's Martin's Big Words, illustrated by Bryan Collier, 2001) introduces the reader to this biography of the 35th president of the United States. Read full book review >
HENRY AARON’S DREAM by Matt Tavares
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 12, 2010

"Very fine. (author's note, stats, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8-12)"
This book opens with a stark image: Readers look through a chain-link fence at white boys playing ball, a large WHITES ONLY sign dead center. Read full book review >
THE GINGERBREAD PIRATES by Kristin Kladstrup
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"An extra-large format makes this a fine choice for reading aloud to a group. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Captain Cookie is a gingerbread pirate, leader of a batch of buccaneer cookies baked by a boy named Jim and his mom. Read full book review >
LADY LIBERTY by Doreen Rappaport
FRIENDS AND SCHOOL
Released: May 13, 2008

"Closing with heartfelt comments from several immigrants or their children, this adds up to a stirring reminder of what Lady Liberty stands for. (author's and illustrator's notes, statistics, timeline, sources) (Poetry. 9-11, adult)"
"She will be massive but elegant, / as grand as any one of the / Seven Wonders of the Ancient World." Read full book review >
IRON HANS by The Brothers Grimm
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"An intriguing alternative to the other two. (Picture book/folktale. 8-10)"
Tavares's tidy, literal, clean-lined illustrations give this retelling of a particularly surreal Brothers Grimm tale some welcome grounding in reality. Read full book review >
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK by Michael Hague
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"No source notes, but thoroughly satisfying nonetheless. (Picture book/folktale. 5-8)"
Nesbit's wry 1908 telling casts Jack as a dreamy lad more adept at composing poems about "the Dignity of Labor" than engaging in it. Read full book review >
MUDBALL by Matt Tavares
by Matt Tavares, illustrated by Matt Tavares
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2005

"Play Ball! (author's note, bibliography) (Picture book. 6-10)"
Did Babe Ruth really point to the bleachers and then proceed to hit a home run to that spot? Read full book review >
OLIVER’S GAME by Matt Tavares
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 2004

"An intimate, poignant episode for fans who revel in the game's less tangible aspects. (Picture book. 7-9)"
The author of Zachary's Ball (2000) offers another tale of baseball dreams passing from one generation to another, grafted to atmospheric pencil illustrations that recall Chris Van Allsburg's early work. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"The moody illustrations suggest the drama and excitement of the magical night in an unusual way. (Picture book. 3-6)"
In a full-page introductory note, Tavares (Zachary's Ball, 2000) details the origins of the famous poem (attributed to Clement C. Moore some years after its first publication in a NY newspaper in 1823), which spurred the tradition in the US of hanging up stockings to be filled by St. Read full book review >