Books by Melanie Hope Greenberg

I LOVE YOU AMERICANLY by Lynn Parrish Sutton
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Thoroughly misconceived and poorly executed. (Picture book. 5-7)"
An adverbial tour from sea to shining sea. Read full book review >
MERMAIDS ON PARADE by Melanie Hope Greenberg
Released: May 1, 2008

In a tribute to Brooklyn's annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade, a fictional young narrator suits up and marches with an array of Mermaids, Neptunes and other sea denizens along the boardwalk and Surf Avenue, past the judges' stand then down to the beach for the ceremonial ribbon-cuttings that "open" the ocean for summer frolicking. Clad in a variety of fanciful (and often plainly homemade) costumes, the marchers parade through Greenberg's delicately detailed, accurately drawn streets, under the elevated subway and past the famed amusement park. A good time is plainly had by all. A historical note and directions for making a paper mermaid tail cap this celebration of a colorful, distinctive local tradition. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2005

One early morning, a young narrator greets Digger, the backhoe. Digger responds: "Grrr-clank!" its big teeth digging and lifting as it scrapes a hole in the earth. Soon Dump Truck arrives, rumbling and rattling. As the scene widens the reader can see that the hole, set among inner city buildings, is expanding. When the Digger has done his job, a cement mixer arrives, then a tall crane. Soon girders rise up among the banging and clanging of heavy machinery and busy men in yellow hats. Skipping a few steps, a brick building, abruptly appears. Where once was a dirt pit, is now a new community center. For readers fond of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel this will pale in comparison, but Rockwell conveys a glowing message with the construction of a place for creative gathering. The toy-like appearance of the characters and trucks and the spring-bright palette will appeal to the youngest in the all-things-wheeled-and-noisy set. Youngsters, moreover, will have a blast hearing and making the mechanical sound effects. (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
A CITY IS by Norman Rosten
Released: April 1, 2004

Greenberg's bright, populous Brooklyn and Manhattan street scenes bustle with energy, buoying this undistinguished gathering of posthumously published snippets from poet/playwright Rosten. Written in plain, broken-cadenced language, the choppy poems celebrate city sights, sounds, and seasons, but don't often rise above the level of: " . . . the birds sing while taking a bath / in puddles and wet grass. / What fun when it rains!" The art, however, rewards repeat visits, as Greenberg, in characteristic folk-art style, follows a mother and child from their own busy Brooklyn street to South Ferry, Washington Square, Central and other parks, glimpsing along the way fire trucks and fireworks, skyscrapers and subway stations, playgrounds, bridges, and people at work or play. Visually, at least, the finest valentine to New York (or at least, two of its five Boroughs) since Kathy Jacobsen's My New York (1993). (Picture book/poetry. 6-9)Read full book review >
SUPERMARKET by Kathleen Krull
Released: Sept. 15, 2001

A behind-the-shelves look at the inner workings of supermarkets offers readers an in-depth examination of how the myriad foodstuffs come to be available in the grocery store. From the laborers in the fields and delivery trucks racing across town, to an overview of each section of a modern grocery store, readers observe the many steps required to provide the ultimate conveniences. Krull skillfully distills a huge morass of information into palatable, bite-size morsels of information. However, the text lacks definite linear progression. Rather, it has a tendency to jump back and forth among the topics. She moves from describing the farms that produce our staples into a discussion on the economic development of early communities and then on to a description of the food pyramid—all fundamentally interconnected, but presented in a dizzying whirl of information. Greenberg's meticulously detailed illustrations are like grocery stores themselves: a kaleidoscope of sights and colors. Included in the pictures are intriguing tidbits of trivia: how potato chip companies know when to send product out, favorite ice cream flavors, etc. The end result is a tremendous amount of information, both visual and textual, for readers to assimilate. Yet after wading through it all, readers—both young and old—will never look at a supermarket with such innocent complacency as before. A fascinating peek into an amazingly complex industry that is virtually taken for granted by most of us. (Nonfiction. 4-8)Read full book review >
THE WIND’S GARDEN by Bethany Roberts
Released: April 1, 2001

Just in time for spring, Roberts (A Mouse Told His Mother, 1997, etc.) shows young readers that nature's beauty can be appreciated for both its tamed and wild sides. Inside the white picket fence a woman, accompanied by her dog, plants seeds in a freshly dug patch of earth, while outside the fence the wind blows all kinds of seeds hither and yon. While the domestic garden is watered and weeded by the woman, nature's garden gets rain but is weeded not at all. Flowers grow in tidy rows in the woman's garden, but nature's garden grows until it is wild and bright with plants and flowers in lush chaos. In direct, short sentences the text describes with brevity what the artwork shows in tantalizing brilliance. It is Greenberg's (On My Street, not reviewed) illustrations that could inspire the reader to become a young gardener. Each page shows thickly painted flora in two-dimensional, vivid glory. The author's note contains care instructions and a short list of flowers that can be grown in a first-timer's garden. Parents beware; it also contains a tip on how youngsters can help the wind by blowing dandelion seeds. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1995

It's not always easy to be best friends, especially when the friend is two years older and has an eccentric imaginationthat's the premise of this very funny book. Heather meets Lizzie, 10, on the day her family moves into a new house. Lizzie investigates the new family, bringing a store- bought pie and a warning to check it for mold. The next warning is about the spider plants that killed the old lady who used to live in their house. It's not a comfortable beginning, but it is a clear indication of an interesting summer ahead. Greenberg's sketchy b&w illustrations catch the upbeat tone of the book; there is an annoying discrepancy in the last picture, between art (girls in shorts, no sign of a hat) and text (one pulls glasses out of her skirt, the other is wearing a hat). This is not a realistic book, but Spinelli's first novel buoyantly addresses the ``problem'' of a great imagination in someone who is sensitive (though not necessarily to others' feelings). With its easy-to-read format and entertaining story, this looks like a hit. (Fiction. 7-10) Read full book review >