Books by Nancy Hayashi

I WANT TO HELP! by Diane Adams
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"This misses the riotous humor and innocent naughtiness that make Olivia and Eloise such delicious fun. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Emily Pearl, that not-so-helpful but very independent girl, is back in her second outing, this time "helping" at school. Read full book review >
CAMP K-9 by Mary Ann Rodman
Released: May 1, 2011

Can skittish Roxie keep her big secret from fellow summer campers? Riding the bus with a variety of canine breeds (all in bright yellow T-shirts), long-eared Roxie looks nervous. She's afraid the others will tease her if they find out she's brought her blankie, hidden in her pooch pouch. All are nice and helpful except for Lacy, a tall poodle who tries to intimidate everyone. She steals Roxie's bunk in the Mutt Hutt and, when the two are Splash pals together, manages to overturn their canoe. The next day, her mean pranks continue; she disrupts the craft table, leaves her pooch pouch out for others to trip over and crashes into the Frisbee players. Later, Lacy doesn't show for Pup Paddle Time at the pond; reluctantly, a search party is formed. They find Lacy in the Mutt Hutt, clinging to her blankie. The shocked silence that follows is broken when Roxie bravely confesses her blankie secret. Soon every other pup follows suit—"Best friends rock both night and day / Camp K-9 pups, yip yip hooray!" Roxie's present-tense narration contains all the right details of both activities and feelings. Hayashi's clean pictures, in watercolor, pen and colored pencil, have a gentle look, apt for target audience. This empathetic tale should calm the nerves of all novice campers-to-be. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
I CAN DO IT MYSELF! by Diane Adams
Released: March 1, 2009

Emily Pearl is just big enough to terrorize the household with her can-do attitude: "And if just for one second her mom tries to help, / Emily says, ‘I can do it myself!' " As in this simple refrain, approximate and exact rhymes roll rhythmically along while Hayashi's watercolor, pen and colored-pencil art tells the real story. The text treats Emily as if she were the big girl she thinks she is, while the illustrations reveal a loving environment where a wise (and sometimes exasperated) mother allows her confident daughter to learn. Emily begins pouring herself juice through a funnel into a glass, uses a toilet-paper roll and clothespins to curl her hair, plays trombone upside down, delivers cat food on the back of her fast-moving remote-control car, until bedtime, when the shadows fall and she welcomes Mom's hug and a good story. The interplay between art and text will work well for the group reader who can enjoy the spontaneous giggles that will erupt at storytime or for one-on-one in-the-lap fun. (Picture book. 2-5) Read full book review >
RAYMOND AND NELDA by Barbara Bottner
Released: March 1, 2007

Bottner's story of a friendship that has hit a snag is a very mild affair, as it doesn't present any new pathways to explore in this already heavily scrutinized terrain. What it does deliver is a healthy dose of sincerity, pure and simple. Raymond and Nelda are the best of chums. They dance and sing and fool around all the day long. One afternoon, Nelda attempts a twirl for Raymond. She gets dizzy and falls. Raymond laughs, which gives Nelda the fantods; he's laughing at her, not with her. Raymond thinks she's overreacting. Who, after all, threw his ball into the lake in a fit of pique? They are miserable apart, but too proud to reconcile until Florence, their letter carrier, suggests a tool of peace. Even though the scheme appears not to work at first, the story, along with art by Hayashi, gives an easy grasp of both sides of the misunderstanding, and provides a way out for any reader in the same fix. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
I KNOW IT’S AUTUMN by Eileen Spinelli
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

The dedication page and the one facing display pictures of a pumpkin and a gorgeous spray of chrysanthemums, so readers know right away they are in good hands. Spinelli's gentle rhymes and Hayashi's cozy images take them through the season: jackets coming out from the boxes in the closet under the stairs; a farmer's market in town; turkey stickers on spelling words; apple-picking and hayrides. Although the young female narrator clearly lives in the country, her yellow school bus and busy classroom will be familiar even to city kids. The details are just right, from the teapot on the breakfast table to the mail and keys under the window to the dog who is everywhere. This would go nicely with Cynthia Rylant's In November (2000) and Douglas Florian's Autumnblings (2003). (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
WANDA’S MONSTER by Eileen Spinelli
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

A wonderfully insouciant approach to taking care of those pesky critters that lurk in closets. When Wanda cowers in fear of the monster she's sure inhabits her closet, her family tries the traditional methods of allaying her fears. Yet Dad shines a light inside, Mom does a thorough cleaning, and her older brother scoffs at her concerns, to no avail. It's Granny who helps Wanda see things in a different light. Granny believes there just might be a monster hiding inside Wanda's closet and she cautions her to feel sympathy instead of fear for the poor little guy; after all, she reveals, monsters are notoriously shy. Granny's unique perspective enables Wanda to overcome her worries. Soon she's tossing toys, pillows, and other creature comforts into the closet for her resident monster. When it's time for the monster to move on—Granny advises they only stay for 17 days—Wanda is ready, too. Spinelli (Here Comes the Year, p. 265, etc.) addresses a common childhood dilemma with panache and wit. Fearful closet-phobes will soon be longing for a monster of their own to pamper. Hayashi's (What Did You Do Today, p. 486, etc.) watercolor-and-pencil illustrations strike just the right balance between pragmatism and whimsy. Vibrantly colored vignettes depicting familiar domestic scenes are juxtaposed with delightfully quirky depictions of a purple, horned, long-nosed, and rather pitiful-looking monster sequestered in the closet. A must for chasing away those nighttime jitters with a hearty dose of giggles. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
WHAT DID YOU DO TODAY? by Kerry Arquette
Released: April 1, 2001

All the animals on the farm are busy: the dog is deep into mischief, the cat is companionably teasing, whereas the pig practically glories in his cool mud, and all the other animals—and a child—report their activities in a swinging, compelling rhyme. The refrain, "That's what I did today," concludes one animal's two-page spread and ties it to the "What did you do today" of the next in line to show off. The pictures usually follow as well, so the bunny has chosen to eat his carrot in the strawberry bush where the spider has "found a spot without a trace / Of hanging webs of silver lace." Joining the spider in that scene is the bee that will report on the next page. A charming Asian boy follows the antics and performs his chores, earning him a well-deserved sleep at the end of the day. Hayashi's (My Two Grandmothers, 2000, etc.) softly hued watercolors, combined with dramatically bright prismacolor pencil, deftly engage the eye. When the dog carries his young master's pig slippers away, the cat tries to teach the dog to purr, and the pig hefts his bottom into the mud, the sprightly rhyming text comes alive. Working its way from the dog to the cat and on through a bee, a bear, an ant, a fish, and a bird, all bases are covered in this joyful romp. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

Parents (and grandfathers, if any) stay in the background as a child gaily introduces her Grammy Lane and Bubbe Silver. Elizabeth customarily visits both in turn: Grammy Lane lives on a farm, loves snowy weather, and lets Elizabeth drive the tractor; Bubbe Silver heads south at the first sign of winter, takes Elizabeth to her club for golf and lunch, and feeds her gefilte fish with extra fiery horseradish. During the holiday season, Elizabeth helps Bubbe Silver make latkes and sings songs in Hebrew, then repairs to Grammy Lane's for pie and carols. Later, deciding that it's her turn to start a family tradition, Elizabeth invites both to a special party—for grandmas only. In restrained, simply drawn watercolors, Hayashi (Bunny Bungalow, 1999) gives the grandmas different lifestyles but the same warmth and air of quiet dignity. The characters here are generic, unlike, for instance, those in Emily McCully's Grandmas at the Lake (1990), but young children growing up in less idyllic mixed-heritage families might take heart from seeing the ease with which Elizabeth moves easily from one milieu to the other. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1992

Events ``gang a-gley'' when Leona and next-door neighbor Eddie plot to stay home from school. Leona convinces her mother that's she's ill, then sneaks through an accommodating tree to Eddie's room with a backpack of goodies—only to discover that he's not home. Trapped in his closet when his mother enters, Leona escapes via the tree, where she leaves her backpack to avoid discovery by the sitter. By this time she really is ill; moreover, her mother, coming home early, finds the backpack. Meanwhile, in school, Eddie fares no better. A klutzy dreamer cursed with bad judgment, he has forgotten to collect leaves for his homework assignment. When he attempts to remedy this oversight with the help of classmate Otis (who always gets him into trouble) he gets caught and is faced with raking leaves as atonement. Still, friendship prevails: in the end, he and Leona are planning a science-fair exhibit, friendship intact and spirits high. Transitional readers will enjoy the good fun enhanced by Hayashi's comical b&w drawings in this fast-paced, entertaining story. (Fiction. 7-10) Read full book review >