Books by Michael Garland

CAR GOES FAR by Michael Garland
Released: April 1, 2013

"An inviting, accessible title for new readers. (Early reader. 5-7)"
Garland's little red car invites children along for a ride to reading success. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 22, 2012

"Children with parents serving in the armed forces will be especially fond of this version of the beloved poem. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Santa and his reindeer get lost in a blizzard, but the U.S. military comes to the rescue in this ingenious parody of "The Night Before Christmas." Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2012

"From the beaver's coat to the tiger lily's petals to the snakeskin, this fish tale is a keeper. (Picture book/early reader. 4-8)"
Take a conventional story, add a new art technique—and voilà, a striking picture book is born. Read full book review >
OH, WHAT A CHRISTMAS! by Michael Garland
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"A lighthearted lift for the holiday season, though the pat ending renders it a little more 'ho-ho-hum' than 'ho-ho-ho.' (Picture book. 4-8) "
Roly-poly Santa plunges to the ground when his sleigh breaks, and he meets an unlikely cast of reindeer substitutes. Read full book review >
GRANDPA'S TRACTOR by Michael Garland
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2011

A grandfather and his grandson share the sweetness of reminiscence and evoke a bygone era. Read full book review >
SUPER SNOW DAY SEEK AND FIND by Michael Garland
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 2010

"Once consumed, however, it's not likely kids will return to this busy and ultimately plotless book. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Aggressively digital illustrations and a MacGuffin of a plot send a little boy on a monumental seek-and-find adventure on a snow day. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2009

"A good way to get kids to see the silver lining. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Cuyler continues her That's Good! Read full book review >
MISS SMITH AND THE HAUNTED LIBRARY by Michael Garland
FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

"It's rare for books about the magic of reading to be themselves magical, and this, alas, is no exception. (Picture book. 5-8)"
When Miss Smith takes her class to a spooky old library, the kids are dubious; they get downright anxious when librarian Ms Creeper reads a few characters out of Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook: the Hound of the Baskervilles, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dracula, etc. Fright turns to fun when Ms Creeper passes out cookies and cider. Read full book review >
THE BEST BOOK TO READ by Debbie Bertram
FICTION
Released: June 24, 2008

"This well-intentioned celebration of reading is not, alas, the best book for the job. (Picture book. 3-7)"
In Bertram and Bloom's rhymed tale, a librarian introduces a troop of youngsters to books on all sorts of subjects—exploration, science, cooking, pets—that the illustrations interpret by transporting a couple of youngsters into a representative scene. Read full book review >
AMERICANA ADVENTURE by Michael Garland
HISTORY
Released: May 1, 2008

"EWSLUGp2008, this is unlikely to provide children with either basic facts or more than a few moments of entertainment. (Picture book. 8-10)"
Garland's attempt to conduct a seek-and-find tour across the United States and through its history quickly collapses into a confusing jumble of faces, places and quotes. Read full book review >
THAT’S GOOD! THAT’S BAD! IN WASHINGTON, DC by Margery Cuyler
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: July 1, 2007

"This is only worth it if a unit on DC is a big part of your curriculum. (Picture book. 3-6)"
On a visit to the nation's capitol, a boy and his class hop aboard a DC Duck. Read full book review >
HOW MANY MICE? by Michael Garland
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2007

"A boon for educators teaching word problems, this is sure to be a hit with every child who likes to seek and find. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Garland cleverly turns a foraging expedition by ten hungry mice into a math and counting lesson for young readers. Read full book review >
KING PUCK by Michael Garland
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2007

"An author's note includes the origin of the legend and a photo of the author's Irish ancestors. (Picture book. 5-8)"
In the Irish town of Killorglin, they hold a festival where they crown a local goat as King Puck. Read full book review >
MISS SMITH READS AGAIN! by Michael Garland
DINOSAURS
Released: July 1, 2006

"Still, the combination of dinosaurs, exciting adventures and a decidedly unconventional teacher who literally brings her lessons to life traverses familiar territory for Magic School Bus fans, and the glossy, elaborately detailed illustrations are another draw. (Picture book. 6-8)"
The second-grade teacher with the fiery orange brush cut and leather jacket introduced in Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook (2003) returns, opening her magical volume to transform the classroom into Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World. Read full book review >
POOCH ON THE LOOSE by Steven Kroll
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"A map of Max's journey is included on the endpapers. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Bart is a little terrier who lives in a huge apartment building in New York City with his owner, Max. Read full book review >
THE BEST TIME TO READ by Debbie Bertram
FICTION
Released: July 26, 2005

"Still, there's no time like the present to deliver this message. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Bertram and Bloom's The Best Place to Read (2003) took on the social geography of reading. Read full book review >
THE GREAT EASTER EGG HUNT by Michael Garland
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

"Not essential, but an inviting romp, falling on the visual complexity scale somewhere between Joan Steiner's Look-Alikes Junior (1999) and the hyper-busy-ness of Where's Waldo? (Picture book. 5-7)"
Garland places realistic but processed-looking patterned eggs, hens, chicks, real and chocolate bunnies, baskets and other Easter-ish iconography in multiple layers for this browser's-delight companion to Mystery Mansion (2001) and Christmas City (2002). Read full book review >
GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE MARTIANS by Stu Smith
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2004

"Additional even for fractured fairy-tale collections. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A rhyming twist of an old favorite designed to satisfy space lovers, too. Read full book review >
MISS SMITH’S INCREDIBLE STORYBOOK by Michael Garland
FANTASY
Released: July 1, 2003

"A brief but animated invitation to the pleasures of reading, as well as a tribute to unconventional teachers everywhere. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Zack's new second-grade teacher confounds his expectations, not so much with her black leather jacket and flaming red brush-cut, as with the big, ornately tooled book she carries—which, when opened, disgorges real pirates, pigs, knights, dragons, and the like as she reads. Read full book review >
JOAN OF ARC by Ann Tompert
BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 1, 2003

"Next to Josephine Poole's searching version, with its powerful illustrations by Angela Barrett (2000), or Diane Stanley's richly detailed rendition (1999), this comes across as a bland, superficial portrait of one of history's most surprising movers and shakers. (Picture book/biography. 7-9)"
Tompert (Pied Piper of Peru, 2002, etc.) draws on early sources for this simply phrased retelling of the familiar legend, quoting Joan directly and letting contemporaries do the moralizing: "Even the King of England's secretary wept. ‘We are all lost,' he cried. ‘We have burnt a good and holy person.' " The author rounds off her tale with an account of how King Charles, "filled with Joan's winning spirit," drove the English from most of France, and of Joan's subsequent canonization. Read full book review >
THE BEST PLACE TO READ by Debbie Bertram
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 28, 2003

"But he is a dogged soul, pushing on until he comes to an undeniably fine spot for a youngster to curl up with a book: 'The best place to be, just my book, Mom, and me—' It's a sweet ending, one that avoids being mawkish because it has been so hard-won. (Picture book. 3-6)"
If a good man is hard to find, that's nothing compared to a good reading chair, as Bertram and Bloom's youthful protagonist discovers when he goes looking for the right place to read his new book. Read full book review >
CHRISTMAS CITY by Michael Garland
NONFICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"The story concludes when Tommy finally finds his aunt waiting for him (on Santa's lap), holding a wrapped present for her nephew. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Children who enjoy searching out every last item in the I Spy series will enjoy this complex search-and-find puzzle and story combination with over 200 items to find throughout the volume. Read full book review >
CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Michael Garland
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"Disappointing. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Enchantment is in the air as Emily builds a snowwoman in her yard, topping her off with an old coat, a carrot nose, a straw hat, and a fancy name—Katrina. Read full book review >
THE PRESIDENT AND MOM’S APPLE PIE by Michael Garland
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2001

"The colorful, playful illustrations capture the energy of the comical situation and effective double-page spreads are backdrops of small-town life with Taft's figure dominating the pages surrounded by round-faced, rosy-cheeked people. (Picture book. 5-8)"
This enjoyable tidbit of historical time will no doubt have kids remembering William Howard Taft, 27th president of the US, for at least one thing: his size (over 300 pounds) and his love for food, thanks to the jolly, rotund depictions of the balloon-shaped man. Read full book review >
ICARUS SWINEBUCKLE by Michael Garland
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2000

"Extreme close-ups and panoramic vistas create an edgy, surreal vision with the inarguable premise that dreams are more fun than work. (Picture book. 69)"
"When pigs fly" takes on an added dimension in this retelling of the Icarus myth. Read full book review >
AN ELF FOR CHRISTMAS by Michael Garland
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

"The proportions and depths of field are discomfittingly exaggerated, except for a scene in which the northern lights are on display above Santa's workshop—there the otherworldliness perfectly matches the event. (Picture book. 3-8)"
The text in Garland's book has little merit, and appears mostly as an excuse for the digital artwork. Read full book review >
DIARY OF A DRUMMER BOY by Marlene Targ Brill
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"Abetted by Garland's startling paintings, which depict the faces in a photo-realistic fashion but allow other details in the scenes to remain as sketchy as memory, Brill's book succeeds as fiction, and will have many uses in the history classroom. (bibliography, further reading) (Nonfiction. 9-11)"
A picture book for older readers, based on fact and done in diary form, tells the story of Orion Howe, a 12-year-old Civil War drummer boy who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and who was the subject of an ode in the Atlantic Monthly, reprinted at the back. Read full book review >
SAINT PATRICK by Ann Tompert
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"As the story pales, Garland's curious, mixed-media illustrations, with a variety of digitalized patterns, become that much more compelling. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The lineaments of Saint Patrick's life comprise the barest of bones in this work from Tompert (How Rabbit Lost His Tail, 1997, etc.), which is less biography than leap in the dark. Read full book review >
ELECTRA AND THE CHARLOTTE RUSSE by Corinne Demas Bliss
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"A real problem is the pacing of the words and art: Some pages are heavy with text, others have only a line or two, and the text of the last scene is separated from its illustration by a full-page close-up of a parrot. (Picture book. 7-9)"
A funny tale to which most readers will relate, that gets off to a great start and then trails off, though realistically. Read full book review >
LEAH'S PONY by Elizabeth Friedrich
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"An afterword places the story's events historically. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Friedrich (The Story of God's Love, 1985, not reviewed, etc.) tells a moving story of family love and gives a reminder of what matters. Read full book review >
DINNER AT MAGRITTE'S by Michael Garland
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1995

"It will be easy for children who have read this book to become absorbed in the artist himself—Garland (Circus Girl, 1993, etc.) provides a perfect stepping stone to the real thing. (Picture book. 6-9)"
A book of oil paintings in the style of Magritte, placed in the context of a story. Read full book review >