Books by Nancy Carpenter

Released: Jan. 1, 2019

"Whether to educate or to entertain, this book succeeds on neither front, told as it is from a colonialist viewpoint. (Informational picture book. 4-8)"
An account of a presidential search for notoriety. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"Some issues with design and tone but a mostly worthy appreciation of the women who stood and stand (if, sometimes, only figuratively) next to the presidents. (Poetry/collective biography. 7-10)"
"We know Eleanor Roosevelt, Abigail Adams, / but what about those other madams"? Read full book review >
BIG BEAR'S BIG BOAT by Eve Bunting
Released: Sept. 24, 2013

"This story is more than just a tale of sticking to your vision—it's a small world unto itself. A keeper. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Bunting and Carpenter (Little Bear's Little Boat, 2003) team again with a story riding on a Thoreau-vian sensibility with a Zen serenity. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2013

"Although inevitably and consciously reminiscent of Make Way for Ducklings, this book impresses all on its own with its fine design, compelling story, expressive images and gentle environmental message. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Based on events that occurred in Montauk, N.Y., in 2000, this title begins when Mama and her five little ducks go for a walk. A surprising fall leads to a dramatic rescue and this endearing story that's sure to warm hearts for years to come. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2012

"Riveting reading, well-timed for the centennial of the Titanic's sinking. (afterword) (Picture book. 4-8)"
Based on a true story of shipwreck and rescue, Carbone's tale is leavened with narration by Anthony, a venturesome lad whose penchant for playing pirates helps him through the harrowing event. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 27, 2011

"Go ahead, break a few dishes in the washing machine, see the humor and enjoy this fine poke at every science fair that ever was. (Picture book. 4-8)"
What would happen if a stand-up comedian—a good stand-up comedian, like Robin Williams or George Carlin (minus those seven famous words)—were to choose the question for a science experiment? This, in these pages, is what would happen. Read full book review >
IMOGENE’S LAST STAND by Candace Fleming
Released: Oct. 13, 2009

Armed with gumption and grit, a young history maven takes on her town to prevent the historical society's demolition. Read full book review >
MY UNCLE EMILY by Jane Yolen
Released: May 1, 2009

"Carpenter's nostalgic, pastel-hued pen, ink and digital-media illustrations capture the atmosphere of late-19th-century Amherst as well as Gil's special relationship with his famous aunt in this poetic vignette. (Picture book. 6-8)"
A six-year-old boy stalwartly defends his spinster aunt in a touching incident based on an event in poet Emily Dickinson's life. Read full book review >
M IS FOR MISCHIEF by Linda Ashman
Released: July 1, 2008

"Picking up where the many descendants of Struwwelpeter leave off, these character portraits aren't likely to change anyone's behavior set, but they'll certainly elicit nods of recognition, even from younger children. (Picture book. 7-9)"
The illustrator of Jenny Offill's 17 Things I'm Not Allowed To Do Anymore (2007) builds on a clear knack for depicting deceptively fresh-faced children with this extended alliterative gallery of malfeasants. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

"Some readers may find this young envelope-pusher entertainingly spirited, but there are sure to be those who are going to balk at the notion of pretending to be sorry and having it work. (Picture book. 6-8)"
A lass tallies her pranks and ensuing punishments in this Judith Viorst-like plaint. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 6, 2005

"A rollicking good story, the narrative is followed up by an author's note that explains the facts known about Morris and resources for further exploration. (Picture book. 5-9)"
A fictionalized biography of woman suffrage pioneer Esther Morris introduces her to readers at the age of six, as she studies her mother making tea and decides, "I can do that." Read full book review >
APPLES TO OREGON by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"The pun-filled text and puckish pictures by the team that created Fannie in the Kitchen (2001) spin a pip of a yarn that is just downright delicious. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The subtitle ("Being the [Slightly] True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries [and Children] Across the Plains") sets the tone and describes the plot, but the flavor is in the folksy telling of this clever tall tale that humorously portrays a family's trek west from Iowa to Oregon to plant their father's fruit trees. Read full book review >
BABY RADAR by Naomi Shihab Nye
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"A tour de force for poet and artist both. (Picture book. 3-6)"
This stream-of-consciousness view of the world from stroller-level will leave both parents and their two-ish passengers in stitches. Read full book review >
Released: May 19, 2003

"The tradition continues, both for the little boat and for Bunting, who just goes on delivering classy tales of youthful metaphysics. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Another healthy serving of charm and life lesson from the dependable Bunting, this time concerning destiny by way of a rowboat. Read full book review >
ABE LINCOLN by Kay Winters
Released: Jan. 1, 2003

"Columba in The Man Who Loved Books (1981). (Picture book/biography. 7-9)"
In a moving tribute to the power of books and words, Winters (But Mom, Everyone Else Does, p. 1239, etc.) introduces a young backwoods child who watched "peddlers, pioneers, / politicians, traders, slaves / pass by," down the old Cumberland Trail, until "his ideas stretched. / His questions rose. / His dreams were stirred"—and he was caught with a love of learning that carried him "from the wilderness / to the White House." Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2002

"An original tale just waiting to be told, the coloration and patterns in paisleys and plaids piece together this cozy and fetching story, one that is a delightful fabrication. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Grandmother knows a long, hard winter is coming and she wants one more armful of firewood. Read full book review >
FANNIE IN THE KITCHEN by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: May 1, 2001

"Delicious! (Picture book. 7-10)"
Hopkinson (Band of Angels, 1998, etc.) documents domestic history in the making, using real people and fleshing out a true, little-known episode. Read full book review >
Released: May 31, 2000

"With a keen understanding of children permeating the pages and an abundance of humor and adventure, young audiences will find this one irresistible. (Fiction. 7-10)"
From the hilarious to the hair-raising, this beginning chapter book chronicles the capers of two curious siblings. Read full book review >
LOUD EMILY by Alexis O’Neill
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

"An appealing nautical tale, this will have reflective readers wondering why whales would come to the rescue of a whaling ship, but O'Neill's language has a roll and verve that captures her young heroine's spirit perfectly. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Seven-year-old Emily, a petite child with stentorian pipes, takes ship with whispery Captain Baroo and his "kind but luckless" crew rather than enroll in Miss Meekmeister's School for Soft-Spoken Girls. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Woodruff combines swift pacing, historical detail (Harriet Tubman makes an appearance), humor, suffering, depth, and precise characterizations, for wholly satisfying page turner. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Readers don't have to have read Dear Levi (not reviewed) to enjoy this sequel, a gripping historical novel that covers two boys' journeys from innocence to manhood. Read full book review >
A SISTER'S WISH by Kate Jacobs
Released: April 1, 1996

"The story perpetuates gender stereotypes (the boys play rough, and with guns, while the girl picks flowers and serves imaginary tea), but it does so with the ring of truth. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Warm, expressive pastels reinforce a text inspired by Jacobs's song about a girl burdened by brothers (stepbrothers, half- brothers, whole brothers) and wishing for a sister. Read full book review >
WASHING THE WILLOW TREE LOON by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Note on Bird Rehabilitation'' is included. (Picture book. 5-8)"
An involving tale to help youngsters understand the effects of oil spills by focusing on the travails of a single loon. Read full book review >
SITTI'S SECRETS by Naomi Shihab Nye
Released: March 1, 1994

"Mona's narrative concludes with an explicit, heartfelt plea for peace, addressed to the President of the US; but the universal humanity that's implicit in her lyrical portrait of Sitti is more powerful still. (Picture book. 4-9)"
Drowsing in bed or aloft in her swing at home in the US, Mona recalls visiting ``Sitti'' (Grandma) on ``the other side of the earth.'' Though Sitti speaks only Arabic (she and Mona ``talked through my father, as if he were a telephone''), the two had their own language of gestures and glances, hums, and claps. Read full book review >
LESTER'S DOG by Karen Hesse
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

The unnamed narrator shivers as he watches Lester's dog light out after a car—he's had his own run-ins with the big creature and knows better than to tangle with him. Read full book review >
BUS RIDERS by Sharon Phillips Denslow
Released: March 31, 1993

"A hoot. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Grandfatherly, competent Lee has a game with Louise and Warren, the nice, quiet kids who are first on his route: at the second stop, where five obstreperous boys and their five unruly dogs careen on, he offers an after-school candy bar for the child who guesses which dog (Black Toe, Short Ribs, Fly, Wipeout, or Quinn) will be first on. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"The events are unexceptional, but narrated with grace and a good sense of childhood's pleasures (though none of its conflicts or frustrations); the soft, realistic color illustrations appealingly depict a snowy, old-fashioned northeastern Christmas. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In her first picture book, the well-known columnist tells a bland but warmhearted story: a nice family with three young children choose their Christmas tree at a farm and happily decorates it together; when the children feel sad about putting the tree out with the trash, Mom comes up with an ingenious way to hold onto its lingering fragrance—a basketful of needles that will keep the gradually diminishing Christmas smell. Read full book review >
MASAI AND I by Virginia Kroll
Released: Sept. 30, 1992

``I felt the tingle of kinship flowing through my veins,'' reports Linda of learning about the Masai in school. Read full book review >