Books by Nora Hilb

IT'S A GIFT! by Gabriela Keselman
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 13, 2014

"Very little fun and lots of preaching do not make a good story. If the lesson is to give away all your stuff until you have nothing left, what child wants to learn that? (Picture book. 4-7)"
Anthropomorphic animals enact something of a frenzy of giving and receiving. Read full book review >
THE MAGIC BALL OF WOOL by Susanna Isern
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"Friendship, crafting and a touch of magic all in one. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Knitting needles create a world of delight for small forest animals and a means of rescue for a blue whale in this Spanish import. Read full book review >
LITTLE CHICK AND MOMMY CAT by Marta Zafrilla
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2012

Talk about your nontraditional families…

Little Chick was just an egg when Mommy cat, who can't have kittens of her own, adopted him from a hen with too many chicks to feed. After he hatches, he thinks he is a cat like everyone around him. Mommy lets him know his "real" mother was a hen and promises to teach Chick everything he needs to know. Some of the neighborhood cats are a little too interested in Chick, but Mommy keeps him safe. When the other cats stare, Mommy tells him it's because their family is different; Chick thinks being like everyone else would be boring. When he goes to bird school, his classmates ask many questions, like is it true his Mommy can't fly? And does she really have a long tail? Chick has all the answers thanks to his Mommy cat. He thinks he has the best family in the world! Spanish poet and author Zafrilla and Argentine illustrator Hilb have crafted an excellent piece of bibliotherapy for adopted children. The bright, colored-pencil illustrations of pudgy chicks and cats add exuberance to the simply and wryly told tale.

Works equally well at promoting acceptance of differences and as a general read-aloud. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
SLITHER SLIDE, WHAT'S OUTSIDE? by Simon Shapiro
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2012

"Yet another spark for young imaginations. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Similar to Hilb's Wiggle Giggle Tickle Train (with co-author Sharon Jennings and photographer Marcela Cabezas Hilb, 2009), this imaginative romp shows kids using nature to fuel their creative play through all the seasons of the year. Read full book review >
WIGGLE GIGGLE TICKLE TRAIN by Nora Hilb
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2009

The imagination of preschoolers gets a boost of realism from photographs in this collaboration. Following an ethnically diverse group of children through their day of play, the authors highlight not only their pretend play but the other activities that occupy their time: coloring, playing in the pool, pouring water for the dog, getting a ride on Dad's shoulders. Bouncy rhyming verses use simple language and great rhythm to engage the youngest listeners: "Up with the sunrise, / color it bright. / Dazzle and sparkle, such fiery light. / Good morning!" Left-hand pages feature Marcela Cabezas Hilb's photographs of the objects depicted in the text, in this case a fiery sunrise. Right-hand pages show Nora Hilb's charming watercolor illustrations of adorable children engaged in pretending. While the artwork is detailed, there are no backgrounds to divert the focus from the children's activities. Preschoolers will certainly see sticks, boxes and chairs in a new light. An enthusiastic salute to the power of imagination. (Picture book. 2-4)Read full book review >
MAMA’S WILD CHILD/PAPA’S WILD CHILD by Dianna Hutts Aston
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2006

While one among many in the "If I were your . . . " genre, this stands out, nonetheless, for its softly sweet illustrations and the factual information it presents. Unlike most flip books, this one does not simply repeat, substituting "papa" for "mama." Instead, six different animals and their young are highlighted by each parent as they tuck their own "wild child" into bed at night. From the jungle and the ocean to Antarctica and the plains, the habitats and animals are widely varied. Facts are nestled both in the text itself and in a separate sentence within the illustration. The focus is on some of the more amazing facts about the animal kingdom—llama mamas hum to communicate, while male seahorses can become pregnant the same day they give birth. Even if these fail to sustain, the onomatopoetic descriptions of some animal behavior surely will—papa fish catch stray fry in their mouths and "spit-tooey" them back into the nest. Hilb's illustrations are amazingly realistic in color and form, but at the same time tailored to a younger audience—the animals have soft expressions and could easily be stuffed toys. Nicely done. (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
LEO’S TREE by Debora Pearson
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2004

In a sort of prequel to The Giving Tree, Leo's father plants a "scratchy, branchy" linden in the yard to mark Leo's birth. Boy and tree grow through several sets of seasons, until a second tree joins the first to mark the arrival of Leo's little sister Sophie. Gardeners will cringe to see Leo's dad carrying Sophie's sapling by its trunk rather than its bundled root-ball, then planting it far too close to Leo's tree—but Hilo's earlier scenes of toddler and growing tree together on a sunlit lawn, surrounded by flowers, birds, and plush toys, do project an engagingly idyllic air, and the pared-down text—"Rosy cheeks rosy trees / Crunchy golden linden leaves / Leo creeping / Crawling standing . . . / Leaves and Leo all fall down!"—will draw new readers. A tried-and-true theme, pleasantly iterated. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >