Books by Michael Rothman

Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"In spite of textual shortcomings, this book provides a worthy introduction to an awe-inspiring geographic area that will be unfamiliar to many and may encourage some to get outside and enjoy the woods. (Informational picture book. 6-10)"
Rothman's detailed, realistic full-bleed acrylic paintings dominate this survey of animal and plant life in the vast area of boreal forest that extends from the eastern Great Lakes across the northeastern U.S. into Quebec. Read full book review >
THE HEIRS OF PROPHECY by Michael Rothman
Released: June 1, 2012

"A fair, heroic fantasy for the school-age demographic."
A mysterious earthquake catapults the modern-day Riverton family into the fantasy realm of Trimoria, where their latent magical abilities put them in peril from the reigning dark sorcerer. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2000

The author of Making Animal Babies (p. 556) and other nature titles takes the reader to the rain forest of Costa Rica and describes the plants and animals living there. The text, printed over a solid color panel, is limited to a single column on the edge of each painting. Though long for reading aloud, the descriptions are lively and detailed. For example, "Unlike most other birds, bellbirds and quetzals have big mouths, which allow them to swallow wild avocados whole." Or, "Squeezing a moss-covered branch is like squeezing a soaked sponge; icy water trickles down your arm." The dark, lush, richly detailed paintings, which comprise most of each layout, capture the mood of the rain forest, though sometimes it is hard to locate the dozens of plants and animals in each panel, some with labels, but often without. The author occasionally provides scientific names and at other times uses common names. Readers may struggle to find Norantea costaricensis or the Tayra in other sources. Creatures are not drawn to scale so a golden toad in the foreground appears larger than a person in the background. Important details are lost in the gutter, when the painting spans the double page. The author concludes with places to write for more information, a list of Web sites, further reading, a map of the region, and a brief glossary. While the author does not provide enough information on the rain forest for school reports, he captures the flavor of this rich and alien environment. (Nonfiction. 8-10)Read full book review >
SEA ELF by Joanne Ryder
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

A particularly appealing entry in Ryder's ``Just for a Day'' series, evoking the experience of being a sea otter. The child addressed in the second person here is a girl, seen only on the first and last pages, who spends a day as an otter. The rest of the book describes the otter, dozing on a wave on a misty morning, diving through kelp for food, grooming (a note explains the importance of this for retaining warmth, which is why oil spills are life-threatening), sporting playfully with a frisky pup. Ryder's text is quietly melodious, gently conveying the otter's sensations while examining its behavior. Rothman brings it all vividly to life in full-bleed paintings that capture the shimmering sweep of the sea and the swaying underwater world in delectable blues and greens, with the lively, appealing otter and its companions as the center of interest. Unusually attractive. (Picture book. 4-9) Read full book review >
WINTER WHALE by Joanne Ryder
Released: Aug. 14, 1991

The best yet of Ryder's ``Just for a Day'' books: ``you'' are a boy whose imagination takes you from a rainswept beach to being a humpback whale, exulting in the experience of ``gliding up and down between...sea and sky.'' Ryder's evocative text dwells on the joy of movement and also considers the pod, a new calf, and its mother, and the whales' mysterious warm-water song. Rothman's whitecapped underwater vistas are gorgeous, from rich purple depths to light-drenched apple-green surface. An author's note extends the informational value. A fine celebration of this appealing creature. (Picture book. 4-10) Read full book review >
THE MOON OF THE MOLES by Jean Craighead George
Released: Jan. 19, 1970

In his seven-month life the male mole has dug four miles of runways-based on five major tunnel-routes—but he has "never been out of the soil"; he has not seen the light nor is he affected by day and night, living instead on a ten-hour cycle set by his body-needs: five hours to search for food, five to sleep. And his need for food is prodigious—a daily ounce to sustain his body-weight of only an ounce-and-a-half. Thus graphically do we meet the common eastern mole busy under the Great Plains in the generally dormant months of December and January. His heightened sense of smell and touch compensates for his feeble vision; his fur, appropriately for a mobile digger, has "no wrong way"; he is less endangered by enemies than by separation from his food supply—by the coyote's cutting off his tunnel rather than by the coyote itself. And by the bulldozer that cuts a tunnel open, exposing him for the first time to open air, strange smells, the electrifying light of the moon. Shortly he locates his hole and closes it up; the new highway built by the bulldozer will be "the frontier for generations of moles to come." Vividly informative—a remark that encompasses the potent pen drawings also. Read full book review >