Books by Monica Kulling

CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 3, 2019

"The eyes of a loving daughter make a compassionate lens for this moving story. (bibliography) (Picture book. 6-10)"
Kulling and Dvojack bring the migrant history of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to life for young readers. Read full book review >
AUNT PEARL by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 6, 2019

"A poignant look at a homeless woman and her family—a constellation too rarely seen. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Marta and Dan's mom wants to help her transient sister, Pearl, who's accustomed to couch surfing, hostels, and park benches. Read full book review >
DR. JO by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 9, 2018

"An interesting, informative introduction to an unknown woman trailblazer. (afterword, sources, websites) (Picture book/biography. 7-9)"
Jo wanted to become a doctor, quite uncommon for a girl in late-19th-century America. Read full book review >
MARY ANNING'S CURIOSITY by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 16, 2017

"An alternative to the shelf full of picture-book biographies, for readers who may find Sheila Cole's Dragon in the Cliff, illustrated by T.C. Farrow (1991) hard to read or get. (bibliography) (Historical fiction. 9-11)"
Carved out and buffed up from historical records, an imagined account of the great fossil hunter's early life and groundbreaking career. Read full book review >
ON OUR WAY TO OYSTER BAY by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Interesting but never compelling or heartfelt. (author's note, websites) (Picture book. 7-9)"
In 1903, 8-year-old millworkers Aiden and Gussie carry pickets demanding an end to child labor practices. Read full book review >
ZAP! NIKOLA TESLA TAKES CHARGE by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Storywise, this admiring introduction to one of the foremost inventors of the electrical age sparkles, but it doesn't provide a steady, dependable source of information. (Informational picture book. 4-8)"
Nikola Tesla arrived in the United States nearly penniless, but he had engineering skills and a grand dream. Read full book review >
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALICE BABETTE by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2016

"A rose is a rose, and loving friendship is loving friendship, as this sweet celebration makes clear. (Picture book. 5-8)"
When Alice Babette wakes up on her birthday, she's certain "it will be a day filled with surprises." Read full book review >
GRANT AND TILLIE GO WALKING by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Though the factual information about Grant Wood is scanty, this fanciful story represents the power of friendship and the role of the familiar in the creative process. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-7)"
Loosely based on the life of Grant Wood, this is the story of the artist's search for inspiration and his discovery that home—and a cow named Tillie—was all he needed to be happy. Read full book review >
THE TWEEDLES GO ONLINE by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 12, 2015

"No spam, no robocalls, no fundraising appeals…those were the days. Maybe it's time for a crokinole comeback, too. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Riding the cutting edge of change continues to bring mixed blessings for the Tweedles, a turn of the century—the 20th century—clan. Read full book review >
WHEN EMILY CARR MET WOO by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 15, 2014

"A well-meaning story that unfortunately lacks the originality, creativity and spirit of its subject. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A picture book offers glimpses of the life of the iconic Canadian artist Emily Carr. Read full book review >
THE TWEEDLES GO ELECTRIC by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 18, 2014

"A fine joke, well-delivered, and as clever as it is timely. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Mr. Tweedle springs for a new car in this impish tale. After all, it is a new century: the 20th. Read full book review >
LUMPITO AND THE PAINTER FROM SPAIN by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 15, 2013

"A delight for dog lovers, if not particularly useful in arts education. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A sweet-natured story about a real little dachshund (lump means "rascal" in German) who won Picasso's heart. Read full book review >
GOING UP! by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 9, 2012

"Not much for school-report fodder, but in the annals of American invention, Otis definitely rates the attention this profile (the first separate one for young readers since the 1970s) brings him. (Picture books/biography. 6-8)"
A buoyant if free-wheeling tribute to Otis—inventor not of elevators themselves, but of a safety brake that eased public fears of riding in them. Read full book review >
MERCI MISTER DASH! by Monica Kulling
ANIMALS
Released: April 12, 2011

Mr. Dash may be a mixed breed, but he is a most fastidious dog, well mannered, well dressed and very well behaved. Brightly colored acrylic paintings show Mr. Dash at his best: dressing for the day, thanking customers at the gift shop of his owner, Madame Croissant, and quietly snoozing at her feet. Only Sundays pose a problem—that's when Madame Croissant's granddaughter Daphne comes to visit. An active, red-haired wild child, Daphne insists on putting Mr. Dash in a variety of undignified situations, from dropping food on his head to wrapping him up like a baby. Unable to take it another minute, Mr. Dash unceremoniously removes himself from Daphne's red wagon, only to hear her shriek in fear when she decides to ride it downhill. Will Mr. Dash find a way to save the day? Of course he will. "Merci, Mr. Dash!" Generously sprinkled with easily understood French phrases, this well-paced portrait of patience and toleration ends with a satisfying nap by the fire and the promise of a quiet, Daphne-free day. Children will empathize with Daphne and Mr. Dash and perhaps gain an understanding of both positions. A good choice to generate discussion, this will appeal to energetic youngsters and dog lovers alike. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
IT’S A SNAP! by Monica Kulling
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 11, 2009

As a reprieve from long hours in the banking business, George Eastman pursued photography as a hobby. In 1877 this was a demanding pastime that involved armloads of equipment and an arduous chemical process. He imagined a better way and tinkered for several years to create dry plates and then film. The resulting invention, the Kodak camera, put photography into the hands of the mass public for the first time. It's challenging to explain the origins of a device that is currently ubiquitous (for the many readers who will wonder what "film" is, there is a concluding note that mentions digital photography). Kulling's narrative frames this history in relatable terms through Eastman's life and work. Some details of his processes are obscure, and a few phrases may confuse young readers ("George had a brain wave"). Slavin's pen-and-ink-with-watercolor illustrations depict the time, while grayscale scrapbook-style pictures evoke the look of early photography. This inaugural title in the Great Idea series is lively, but the unsourced dialogue and the absence of any bibliography or suggestions for further reading is regrettable. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >