Books by Meilo So

MY MOM IS A FOREIGNER, BUT NOT TO ME by Julianne Moore
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"A confusing mess. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A chorus of children with foreign-born mothers join voices to express their side of the immigrant experience. Read full book review >
BRUSH OF THE GODS by Lenore Look
Released: June 25, 2013

"A cheerful introduction not only to Wu Daozi, but to the power of inspiration. (Picture book. 4-9)"
The life of the classical Chinese painter Wu Daozi is imagined as a magical artistic adventure. Read full book review >
ALEX THE PARROT by Stephanie Spinner
Released: Oct. 9, 2012

"Bird lovers will be charmed. (author's note) (Informational picture book. 5-10)"
Irene Pepperberg's African gray parrot learned to speak and understand English so well he changed both public and scientific beliefs about animal communication and cognition. Read full book review >
WATER SINGS BLUE by Kate Coombs
Released: April 1, 2012

"Share this admirable appreciation with a wide audience. (Picture book/poetry. 4-10) "
Twenty-three poems and evocative watercolor paintings pay tribute to the wonders of the ocean world. Read full book review >
THE CAT’S TALE by Doris Orgel
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"So's bright, humorous watercolor illustrations capture the intimacy between Willow and Mao and add punch to the competitive drama of the folktale river race, its sassy storyteller and the intergenerational subtext. (author's note) (Picture book/folktale. 4-7)"
In this feline retelling of a Chinese tale about how the years were named for 12 different animals, a little girl's cat provides personal perspective. Read full book review >
PALE MALE by Janet Schulman
ANIMALS
Released: March 11, 2008

"It is undeniably duplicative, however, and stands out much more for its illustrations than for the story. (author's note, bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-12)"
A lengthy text tells the story, again, of the red-tailed hawk that thrilled the birdwatchers of Central Park and ruffled the feathers of the residents of 927 Fifth Avenue. Read full book review >
THAT SPECIAL LITTLE BABY by Jane Ann Peddicord
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"This joyful testimony to a child's progression is bound to appeal to a preschooler's sense of pride in their recent gains. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Peddicord creates a heartfelt story commemorating the wonderful development that occurs between infancy and early childhood. Read full book review >
READ A RHYME, WRITE A RHYME by Jack Prelutsky
NONFICTION
Released: Oct. 11, 2005

"Though the volume's intent is as a springboard to writing poetry, the thoughtful selections and So's winning watercolors make this a successful poetry collection even without the writing prompts. (author's note, indexes of titles and authors) (Picture book. 5-8)"
Prelutsky has invented a method he calls "poemstarts" to help children get started in writing poetry. Read full book review >
HURRY AND THE MONARCH by Antoine Ó  Flatharta
ANIMALS
Released: June 14, 2005

"EWSLUGp2000 for a thought-provoking alternative to the fluttering hordes of conventional nonfiction on monarchs. (afterword) (Picture book. 6-8)"
A migrating monarch lights on a tortoise's back for a brief conversation, resumes her long journey to Mexico, returns to the tortoise's garden the next Spring, and continues on to a final rest as the eggs she leaves behind hatch and grow to maturity before the tortoise's eyes. Read full book review >
CENTRAL HEATING by Marilyn Singer
POETRY
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

"Its engaging design will surely entice readers to open and read, perhaps in front of their own candle, hearth, or stove. (Poetry. 7-11)"
Continuing their series of poetic evocations of the natural world, Singer and So present 19 poems about fire, this time printing in a curving, delicate red font and choosing a powerful red for the illustrations. Read full book review >
GOBBLE, GOBBLE, SLIP, SLOP by Meilo So
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 9, 2004

"A tale that should be in every storyteller's repertoire, in one form or another, this lively retelling makes a welcome replacement for Jeanne B. Hardendorff's out-of-print rendition, Slip, Slop, Gobble (1970). (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 5-7)"
A feline gourmand with a bad attitude eats everything and everyone that comes into reach, then gets its comeuppance at the hands—or pincers—of a pair of tiny crabs in this "Fat Cat" variant. Read full book review >
HOW TO CROSS A POND by Marilyn Singer
NATURE
Released: Aug. 12, 2003

"Take it for its frequently splendid parts, not its whole. (Poetry. 8-12)"
The team behind Footprints on the Roof (2002) returns to present another slim, elemental celebration. Read full book review >
A BUNNY FOR ALL SEASONS by Janet Schulman
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 14, 2003

"In an increasingly complicated world, the simple joy projected here goes down easy. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Brilliant watercolors bounce off the page in this charming romp through the seasons. Read full book review >
THE WHITE SWAN EXPRESS by Jean Davies Okimoto
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 21, 2002

"A must buy for all libraries and a lovely gift for new families of all stripes. (extensive afterword) (Picture book. 4-9)"
Young readers will love this story of how four Chinese babies come to be welcomed into new families in North America. Read full book review >
HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"No library should be without this well-designed, beautiful, and informative resource. (Nonfiction. 5 )"
The authors—Simonds, who has studied and written about Chinese culture and cooking for 30 years, and Swartz, the vice-president of The Children's Museum, Boston—have collaborated to present a rich and eclectic collection of Chinese traditions. Read full book review >
THE UGLY DUCKLING by Kevin Crossley-Holland
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 11, 2001

"Those who own Jerry Pinkney's 1999 adaptation will find that this offering is far from duplicative, both textually and pictorially, but despite its lovely text and the skill of its illustrative technique, it will still likely be an additional purchase. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Crossley-Holland's stately retelling of a familiar tale hews closely to Hans Christian Andersen's original text, simplifying and tightening the plot elements and excising some of the more mawkish sentimentality. Read full book review >
IT’S SIMPLE, SAID SIMON by Mary Ann Hoberman
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2001

"Readers who never have liked the way the Gingerbread Boy meets his end will be pleased by Simon's escape—easily. (Picture book. 6-8)"
In sketchy, expressive watercolors, So (Tasty Baby Belly Buttons, 1999, etc.) deftly shifts the scene from city sidewalk to jungle path as a strolling lad takes on more and more difficult challenges from animals met along the way. Read full book review >
FOOTPRINTS ON THE ROOF by Marilyn Singer
POETRY
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"Esbensen's venerable Cold Stars and Fireflies (1984) makes a nice accompaniment. (Poetry. 7-10)"
Nineteen poems, some rhymed, are paired with So's (Countdown to Spring, p. 50, etc.) ink drawings. Read full book review >
COUNTDOWN TO SPRING by Janet Schulman
NUMBERS AND COUNTING
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

"A small gem. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Spare, bright brushstrokes capture the very essence of spring newly sprouting in a simple countdown from 10 ladybugs to "1 Easter Basket filled with treats for all the animals." Read full book review >
WISHBONES by Barbara Ker Wilson
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 30, 1993

"A sophisticated, powerful re-imagining of an often overprettified tale. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)"
 A Chinese version of Cinderella in which the role of the dead mother's benevolent spirit (or fairy godmother) is played by the magic bones of a great fish—the special pet of the heroine before it was killed by her jealous stepmother. Read full book review >