Books by Melissa Sweet

LITTLE RED WRITING by Joan Holub
Released: Sept. 24, 2013

"Every writers' group should start with this story. (Picture book. 7 & up)"
Exploding with puns, wordplay and the irrepressible desire to re-imagine "Little Red Riding Hood" one more time, Holub and Sweet bring forth some actual useful writing advice—that's not just for beginners. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2013

"Very fine indeed. (Picture book/biography. 5-9)"
A sparkling picture-book biography of the dauntless organizer of the titular strike. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 8, 2013

"A splash of vibrancy about a self-taught master. (historical note, author's note, illustrator's note, references) (Picture book/biography. 5-11)"
This outstanding portrait of African-American artist Horace Pippin (1888-1946) allows Pippin's work to shine—and his heart too. Read full book review >
SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER by Susan Hood
Released: Sept. 25, 2012

"Hood and Sweet succeed admirably in creating a new twist on an identity story while cleverly introducing Spanish words and exotic creatures. (endnote, glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)"
While Spike, a tiny axolatl salamander, practices being the monster he believes he is, the other animals call him cute and funny because he is small. Will Spike show his true nature?  Read full book review >
MRS. HARKNESS AND THE PANDA by Alicia Potter
Released: March 13, 2012

An unlikely American explorer brings the first panda to the West.

When New York socialite Ruth Harkness set off in 1936 to fulfill her deceased husband's goal of finding and capturing a panda in China, her friends tried in vain to discourage her. Read full book review >

A GIANT CRUSH by Gennifer Choldenko
Released: Dec. 22, 2011

Newbery Honoree Choldenko (Al Capone Does My Shirts, 2004) and Caldecott Honoree Sweet (A River of Words: The Story of Williams Carlos Williams, written by Jen Bryant, 2008) combine talents to tell the appealing tale of Jackson, a rather large rabbit, who is struggling with the often embarrassing, nerve-racking and exhilarating feelings of his first crush.

Valentine's Day is coming, and Jackson's friend Cooper notices Jackson is acting differently: He stuffs a special valentine with chocolates, brings a flower to school that then disappears and worries that rival Carter is cute classmate Cami's boyfriend. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Oct. 31, 2011

"This clever marriage of information and illustration soars high. (bibliography of adult sources, quote sources, acknowledgements, period photo) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)"
This bright, brimming picture biography commemorates Tony Sarg, a brilliant, self-taught artist whose innovative helium balloons delighted legions of Macy's parade watchers from 1928 on. Read full book review >
RUBIA AND THE THREE <i>OSOS</i> by Susan Middleton Elya
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 7, 2010

The perennially popular "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" assumes a Spanish accent in this contemporary retelling. Read full book review >

EASY AS PIE by Cari Best
FICTION
Released: March 30, 2010

Enthusiastic pie lover Jacob unwinds after school with his favorite TV program, Baking with Chef Monty. Read full book review >

CHARLOTTE IN LONDON by Joan MacPhail Knight
FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 2009

It's 1895, and Charlotte, formerly of Boston, is leaving Giverny, France, where her father studies painting with Monsieur Monet, for London, where her mother hopes to model for John Singer Sargent. Read full book review >

DAY IS DONE by Peter Yarrow
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

Yarrow's (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) well-known song conveys the truth that parental presence brings peace to frightened children in a difficult world; on the CD that accompanies this book, his gravelly voice melds with the bright children's chorus and his daughter's nimble soprano. Read full book review >

ABC BOOKS
Released: June 9, 2009

Sierra's reliably commendable verse teams with quirky illustrations from Sweet to produce an alphabet-bedtime hybrid with plenty of appeal for families. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: Aug. 1, 2008

With plain words, appropriate to the style of this master of clear and precisely worded poetry, and brilliant images, Bryant and Sweet introduce Williams and his poetry in a fresh, accessible way. Read full book review >

TUPELO RIDES THE RAILS by Melissa  Sweet
ANIMALS
Released: April 7, 2008

In a winsome tale laced with doggy humor, an abandoned canine tags along with a pack of other four-legged fellows searching for new homes, before finding a companion to call her own. Read full book review >

BABY BEAR’S BIG DREAMS by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

Yolen captures the universal wish of young children to be older and more grown-up without giving up the protective care and admiring love of their parents. Read full book review >

ANIMALS
Released: April 9, 2007

In this whimsical tale set in South Louisiana, readers meet a blue-headed rooster who, due to a case of the chicken measles, loses the will to trumpet the morning wake-up call. Read full book review >

CHARLOTTE IN NEW YORK by Joan MacPhail Knight
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

This author-illustrator pair successfully continues the conceit of the child of a fictional 19th-century American painter living in Giverny, in Paris and now in New York. Read full book review >

WON’T YOU BE MY HUGAROO? by Joanne Ryder
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2006

While the venue has changed from smooches to hugs, Ryder and Sweet remain faithful to the popular format of their earlier title, Won't You Be My Kissaroo? (2004) Playful rhymes describe the myriad hugs to be savored as a young zebra spends the day at an amusement park with friends. Read full book review >

BABY BEAR’S CHAIRS by Jane Yolen
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

A wee bruin extols, in sly Goldilocks fashion, the virtues of the various sized chairs in his house. Read full book review >

SCHOOLYARD RHYMES by Judy Sierra
NONFICTION
Released: July 12, 2005

Drawing on her Ph.D. in folklore, Sierra has compiled an upbeat selection of dozens of schoolyard rhymes and funny poems, complemented by Sweet's charming illustrations in watercolor and fabric collage. Read full book review >

MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: July 1, 2005

Calmenson, herself a former kindergarten teacher, explores that world in this collection of original poetry. Read full book review >

CARMINE by Melissa  Sweet
ANIMALS
Released: April 4, 2005

The illustrator tries her hand at words and images in this delightful alphabet and fairytale twist. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 27, 2004

This winsomely imagined account of an episode when Audubon was 18 years old joins the flocks of commemorative works. Read full book review >

I LOVE YOU, TOO! by Eve Bunting
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

An adorable small volume is just the right size for little hands and says just the right words for little voices. Read full book review >

GIGGLE-WIGGLE WAKE-UP! by Nancy White Carlstrom
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 14, 2003

In an ebullient burst of playful language, Carlstrom's tale whisks readers through a youngster's Monday routine. Read full book review >

MOONLIGHT by Cynthia Rylant
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

Moonlight's a night-loving, night-prowling cat, but Halloween night's her special favorite. Read full book review >

MY GRANDMA IS COMING TO TOWN by Anna Grossnickle Hines
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2003

This joyous story impressively invokes a toddler's love for his distant Grandma. Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

A collection of original poems offers cheery readalouds for very young children. Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: May 8, 2002

For armchair archaeologists, young and old, this imaginary trip to Egypt in 1924 will be golden delight. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: March 25, 2002

Repeating the inspired formula of Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women (2000), Sweet's exuberant collages add both information and visual energy to lively profiles of more than a dozen female adults or children who have Found Something Significant. Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

An assortment of two dozen rhymes touts the triumphs of toddlerhood in this wonderfully affirming collection. Read full book review >

NOW WHAT CAN I DO? by Margaret Park Bridges
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

With a little ingenuity, a sagacious mother turns rainy-day doldrums into dynamic adventures in housework. Read full book review >

DIRTY LAUNDRY PILE by Paul B. Janeczko
FICTION
Released: June 30, 2001

Janeczko (A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems, p. 411, etc.) advocates using poetry in the classroom daily, and teachers who are introducing the concept of point of view will find some unique ways to get the point across through these poems. Read full book review >

TEN LITTLE LAMBS by Alice B. McGinty
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2001

In her debut picture book, McGinty depicts a slumber party that takes a sleepless turn in a comical counting rhyme. Read full book review >

BOUNCING TIME by Patricia Hubbell
ANIMALS
Released: April 30, 2000

An energetic tot bounds through her day in this jaunty tale from Hubbell (Sidewalk Trip, 1999, etc.). Read full book review >

BATS AROUND THE CLOCK by Kathi Appelt
ANIMALS
Released: April 30, 2000

Lights, camera, action; it's American Batstand, a 12-hour marathon of nonstop shake, rattle, and roll hosted by the ageless Click Dark. Read full book review >

CHARLOTTE IN GIVERNY by Joan MacPhail Knight
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2000

A fictional diary captures the Giverny of 1892 through the eyes of its little-girl owner, in this charmingly constructed conceit. Read full book review >

LOVE AND KISSES by Sarah Wilson
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

Small, sweet, and silly, Wilson's book exhorts readers to "Blow a kiss and let it go. / You never know how love will grow." Read full book review >

WILL YOU TAKE CARE OF ME? by Margaret Park Bridges
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1998

Parent and child kangaroos charmingly express their immeasurable love in this appealing story, with echoes of Runaway Bunny. Read full book review >

PINKY AND REX AND THE SCHOOL PLAY by James Howe
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1998

Pinky and Rex (Pinky and Rex and the Bully, 1996, etc.) return in this entry in the Ready-To-Read series, intended for emerging readers to tackle independently, with a plot to draw them in but little grace or style in the writing. Pinky wants to be the star in a school stage production; Rex isn't interested, although she attends the try-outs in support of Pinky. Read full book review >

MONSTERS IN CYBERSPACE by Dian Curtis Regan
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 1997

As readers of Regan's Monsters in the Attic (1995) already know, Rilla Harmony Earth (formerly Rilla Pinowski) receives a different monster in the mail every month. Read full book review >

PINKY AND REX AND THE BULLY by James Howe
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1996

This anachronistic entry about a popular duo in the Ready-to- Read series addresses gender issues for newly independent readers. Read full book review >

A HOUSE BY THE SEA by Joanne Ryder
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1994

In verse that echoes both Milne's whimsical make-believe and the cadence of Poe's ``Annabel Lee,'' a child imagines living by the sea: playing with the seals (``When I got too wet/or they got too dry,/we'd hug and we'd run/and we'd yell, `Good-bye' ''); wishing on the moon; being cared for by an octopus (``With an arm doing this/and an arm doing that,/he'd cook and make my bed''); and so on. Read full book review >

SYCAMORE STREET by C. B. Christiansen
FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 1993

Best friends Angel and Chloe, who enjoy ``pretending'' together, have no time for new boy Rupert, who makes a pest of himself until Chloe discovers (while Angel's on vacation) that he's a good pretender, too. Read full book review >

PINKY AND REX AND THE NEW BABY by James Howe
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 31, 1993

Perhaps because Rex is a little older than the expectant siblings found in many picture books, her experience is the reverse of theirs: her worries about being supplanted come before her parents bring home new adopted brother Matthew. Read full book review >

PINKY AND REX GO TO CAMP by James Howe
FICTION
Released: March 31, 1992

Fifth in an appealing series of early chapter books about two close friends, boy and girl, whose names reflect their characters' reversal of stereotypical roles. Read full book review >

ROSIE'S BABY TOOTH by Maryann Macdonald
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

When Rosie, the appealing little rabbit introduced in Rosie Runs Away (1990), loses her first tooth, admires it so much that she's reluctant to part with it. Read full book review >

PINKY AND REX AND THE SPELLING BEE by James Howe
FICTION
Released: April 30, 1991

One of two new books about the likable best friends introduced in 1990. Read full book review >