Books by Melissa Bay Mathis

EARTHSONG by Sally Rogers
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1998

Olive Wadsworth's well-known verse, ``Over in the Meadow,'' has been adapted into a folksong by Rogers; now that song becomes a rollicking read-aloud counting book that glows with rich, jewel-like colors. The story begins in a grandparents' parlor, with `` `Sing!' said my grandpa. `Let's sing!' said we,'' and moves to one whale calf, two little pandas, three tigers (`` `Pounce!' said the mother. `We pounce!' said the three''), and so on. Each of the animals is endangered, and each is described further in the notes at the end. The poem proceeds through 11 wolves, then 40 crocodiles and 100 snakelets before returning to the grandparents and their grandchildren, and a call to share and to care for the earth. The bouncy rhythms carry the message sweetly; all of the animals have rather human expressionseven the gila monsters; and the family is wrapped in the beautiful tapestry of earth, beast, and bird that the grandmother was working on in the beginning. The music is included on the back of the jacket. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY TO BE A COW by Carolyn Lesser
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 23, 1995

What a wonderful way to teach children the months of the year, on a farm where every living thing is snug and secure. In January, it's a wonderful day to be a farm dog, pounding down a snowy lane and leaping through drifts. In brisk February, a warm light keeps fluffy chicks protected from draughts. No matter what the season, the animals adapt to the diverse weather conditions and thrive- -right through December, when the barn is a ``sturdy ship sailing on billows of snow.'' Luminous illustrations show the farm and outbuildings from various perspectives; Mathis lights up tree boughs to show the blossoms of May and a bluebird family, and bathes pink pigs, anxious to roll in the mud of rainy April, in a radiant glow. Month by month, Lesser and Mathis create an exuberant paean to life. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
GRANDAD BILL'S SONG by Jane Yolen
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 12, 1994

Jon asks a question of the others who were close to Grandad too: "What did you do on the day Grandad died?" In adroitly phrased verse, Yolen offers their varied responses and treasured memories: Grandma wept and remembered the man she married; Uncle Steve thought of the strong young father who could do anything; Mama lied to herself ("My daddy's not dead"); old friend Sam Temple remembers a lifetime of sharing; Great Aunt Rose "died along with him...he was my childhood.... [but] Nothing really ends." Last, Dad helps Jon sort through his own mixed feelings. Mathis creates illustrations in three harmonizing techniques, depicting photos of times past in black and white, Jon and his relatives in highlighted taupe and charcoal, and their most vivid memories in vibrant colors that signify their continuing power. An unusually sensitive and carefully wrought evocation of the impact of a death on a loving family.(Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >