Books by Peter McCarty

THE TREE IN THE COURTYARD by Jeff Gottesfeld
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 8, 2016

"Anne Frank has been memorialized properly—elsewhere. (afterword) (Informational picture book. 8-11)"
Nature watches as humans wage war. Read full book review >
BUNNY DREAMS by Peter McCarty
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Arbitrary and lacking closure, this is more like a real dream than a sleepy-time tale. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Rabbits have group dreams—very peculiar ones. Read full book review >
FIRST SNOW by Peter McCarty
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 31, 2014

"Children will easily identify with Pedro's hesitation as well as his triumph over his fears, while the subtle patience and acceptance offered by the other youngsters provides a nice balance. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Why does everyone seem to love snow? Read full book review >
FALL BALL by Peter McCarty
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 3, 2013

"A likable ode to the perennial pleasures of autumn and friends. (Picture book. 2-5)"
McCarty distills a crisp essence of late fall into a few familiar images: a bouncy ride home on the school bus, an impromptu game of football (the American kind) amid piles of leaves, the first flakes of snow in early dusk and the cozy warmth of the house after play. Read full book review >
CHLOE by Peter McCarty
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2012

"Beautifully benign illustrations conjure powerful familial feelings. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Who wouldn't want to put on a monster show in a big, cardboard box or pop bubble wrap at rapid-fire speed? Read full book review >
THE MONSTER RETURNS by Peter McCarty
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 31, 2012

"It might lack the mild menace of its predecessor, but it satisfies in its supply of companionship all around. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Jeremy hatches a plan to cope with his monster's unexpected return. Read full book review >
HENRY IN LOVE by Peter McCarty
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2010

With precise figures placed in vignettes on a gorgeous creamy stock, McCarty tells a sweetly simple, utterly sincere schoolyard love story. Each with one of Mrs. Calico's blueberry muffins in his backpack, cat Henry, his older brother Tim and Henry's dog friend Sancho head off to school—where rabbit Chloe, "the loveliest girl in his class," sits in the back row, surrounded by a field of love-induced poppies. When, despite Sancho's advice ("You're not going to talk to a girl, are you?"). Henry approaches her at recess, a combination of acrobatics and a game of tag makes them friends. And when their teacher rearranges the class seating so they are next to one another, a snacktime carrot-and-muffin swap (with poppies festooned around them) cements the relationship. There's nothing sly or cynical here—just a celebration of the moment. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
JEREMY DRAWS A MONSTER by Peter McCarty
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

With simplicity and quiet depth, a boy creates a challenge and meets it. In Jeremy's isolated corner of his "three-story apartment building," the pen-lined black-and-red bricks are dark and detailed, while on the other end, color and shading fade into blankness. This illustrative pattern continues throughout: Generous white space spotlights and protects the sparse figures and objects, giving them clarity. Jeremy (with a pen, Harold-like) draws a blue monster with a self-entitled personality. "Draw me a sandwich," it demands, then a toaster, checkerboard, telephone and hat, never saying thank you. It departs (Jeremy's relief is palpable) but returns and displaces Jeremy from bed. A pale-blue watercolor square, superimposed over the bed and free-floating window, gently connotes nighttime. McCarty's distilled text doesn't spell out intention, but "The next day, Jeremy drew a bus ticket and a suitcase." Seeing the monster off onto an out-of-town bus leaves Jeremy next to a group of watercolor children with varying pen-lined hair. They invite him to play and he accepts—monster gone, loneliness banished. Neat and unassuming. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
FABIAN ESCAPES by Peter McCarty
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2007

Hondo the dog and Fabian the cat are back, and this time, it's Fabian's turn for an outdoor adventure. After Hondo returns from a normal walk around the block, the cat leaps out the window. McCarty contrasts each pet's parallel activities in humorous ways: Fabian smells—and eats—flowers, while Hondo goes for the butter in the kitchen. Signature pencil illustrations are as meticulously rendered and palely luminous as ever, yet often belie benign-sounding textual details. When Fabian "meets the neighbors," McCarty depicts a stare-down between cat and three intent-looking dogs. Opposite "The neighbors are happy to play chase with their new friend," the dogs pursue Fabian, who runs flat out. Hondo, ready for another walk (after dress-up play with the household toddler, and extensive napping), encounters Fabian, bolting inside after spending a good part of the day hiding under the porch. Beautifully composed, well-balanced text and illustrations result in a lovely reprise of Hondo and Fabian (2002), a Caldecott Honor title. Children will enjoy the story's gentle, rhythmic exploration of pet relationships. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
MOON PLANE by Peter McCarty
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

A boy's imagination carries him to great heights in this gentle adventure. When an airplane flies overhead, a small boy watches from the ground and wonders what it would be like to glide above a car on the highway, to soar past a train and to venture beyond a sailboat on the ocean. The aspiring little astronaut fantasizes traveling into outer space aboard the airplane and landing on the moon where he could jump and fly across the lunar landscape. But his imaginary moonwalk ends in time for him to be tucked safely into bed where he can pursue more aerial dreams. Softly shaded granular pencil drawings in muted grays echo the quiet text and capture the weightless wonder and timeless silence of flight in outer space. A simple and reassuring adaptation of the home-away/home-again theme with a lunar twist. Good bedtime fare. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
T IS FOR TERRIBLE by Peter McCarty
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

McCarty uses the soft, rounded forms and muted colors of his Caldecott Honor-winning Hondo and Fabian (2002) to similarly tongue-in-cheek effect. Here, Tyrannosaurus Rex makes a bid for sympathy: didn't he come from a humble little egg? Didn't he too have a mother? Can he help it if the ground shakes when he runs, or that he's just not cut out to be a vegetarian? Children may chortle at the repeated scenes of T. Rex toothily attempting to justify himself to smaller, cowed-looking prey—or maybe not: the humor of the disconnect between the art's harmonious, gentle look and the true nature of the creatures portrayed may be more apparent to sophisticated sensibilities. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
HONDO & FABIAN by Peter McCarty
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2001

Sepia-toned, subtly textured pencil drawings on cream-colored paper give this pet's-eye view of a day's adventures an air of polished, if slightly distant, elegance. Hondo the dog and Fabian the cat rise from their favorite snoozing spots to go in different directions: Hondo, to play on the beach with a furry friend; Fabian, to escape a toddler's clutches, and later to unroll some toilet paper. Both show unusual restraint—this may present a credibility problem for pet-owners—in passing up, respectively, a tempting bucket of just-caught fish, and a turkey sandwich, but after Hondo's return the two chow down from side-by-side pet dishes, then it's off to slumberland once again. Captioned by a very brief, present-tense text that passes the point of view back and forth, the illustrations convey a feeling of comfortable interspecies amiability more akin to Steven Kellogg's A Rose for Pinkerton (1981) than Donald Hall's I Am the Dog, I Am the Cat (1994). (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
LITTLE BUNNY ON THE MOVE by Peter McCarty
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

A fresh look at a reassuring theme, with unusual and beguiling illustrations. Little Bunny is on the move, "from here to there," past a cow, a pig, sheep, and the train tracks, through a fence, and past a little girl who wants to make a pet of him. On this journey, Bunny has little time to sleep, for he must go where he must—home, it turns out, where he is surrounded by his family, and where there are carrots. Bunny lives in a beautifully textured and shaded landscape done in a kind of grisaille, like medieval manuscripts painted in shades of grey. Colors, when used, are elusive—the palest green suggests grass, the barest swath of dim orange tints the carrot—and heighten the brilliant use of white for the bunny, sheep, daisies, clouds, and the shadows of the landscape. Toddlers and caregivers alike will be soothed by a child-sized adventure, brought to sweet closure. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
FROZEN MAN by David Getz
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

The ``Iceman'' was found in 1991 in the ôtztal Alps on the border between Austria and Italy. When two mountain climbers came upon the body, they suspected that it was a dead—perhaps murdered—mountaineer. They contacted the authorities, who nearly destroyed the body removing it from the ice. Luckily, more informed people arrived and realized that this was no ordinary accident victim. They suspected the body was extremely old. Little did they dream that the Iceman was actually over 5,000 years old—the oldest, best- preserved human body ever discovered. Through studying the body, scientists have learned much about the late Stone Age. Not only was the Iceman himself recovered, but also his tools, clothing, food, and gear. A find like this is a bonanza for archaeologists. Because of the circumstances of the Iceman's death—the time of year, the protected location, etc.—scientists now have a record of how our ancestors used to hunt, dress, prevent disease, and more. Getz (Almost Famous, 1992, etc.) explains the incredible story of the Iceman clearly and concisely, simply enough for a child to understand but in enough depth to satisfy a curious lay adult. (Index; glossary; bibliography) (Nonfiction. 7-9) Read full book review >