Books by Rebecca Emberley

SPARE PARTS by Rebecca Emberley
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Children aren't really the natural audience for this heartfelt tale of second chances; save it for over-40s just starting out again. (Picture book. 4-8)"
FLATLAND by David Sayre
Released: Sept. 1, 2014

"This metaphor for death is just too metaphorical to succeed. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A brightly colored blob arrives in Flatland, makes relationships and builds a community, then leaves. Read full book review >
THE ITSY BITSY SPIDER by Rebecca Emberley
Released: Aug. 21, 2014

" Give this one a miss. (iPad nursery-rhyme app. 1-4)"
Based on a favorite classic finger rhyme, this app features accompanying music and vocals by jazz musician Peter Black. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 29, 2013

"The usual morals about the consequences of treachery or the inflexibility of innate nature don't apply here in this uncharacteristically unsatisfying retelling. (Picture book/folk tale. 6-8)"
It's all about the squabble in this odd variation on a fable that usually, to clearer purpose, pairs a suicidal scorpion with either a hard-shelled turtle or a vulnerable frog. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 16, 2012

"The Emberleys offer such a joyful, imaginative interpretation of the classic that even the youngest will understand the unstated message to 'eat, drink and be merry.' (Picture book. 4-8)"
In this playful riff on Aesop's fable, an ant's load is made light when her spirit is lifted by the grasshopper's music. Read full book review >
MICE ON ICE by Rebecca Emberley
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"An accessible, inviting title for brand new readers. (Picture book/early reader. 4-6)"
The latest collaboration from the father-and-daughter team is nice indeed. Read full book review >
THE LION AND THE MICE by Rebecca Emberley
Released: Sept. 15, 2011

"Likely a bit more turquoise and abstract than Aesop had in mind, but fantastic visual fun. (Early reader/folktale. 2-5)"
Aesop's lion and mouse (or mice, as this case has it) have never looked more stylish. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

In this rollicking interpretation of "If You're Happy and You Know It," brightly colored, digitally created monsters à la Caldecott Medalist Ed Emberley's Big Scary Green one run amok, wriggling and roaring, stomping and twitching! The never-frightening creatures are rendered in eye-popping psychedelic colors against a flat black background and feature horns, antennae, claws, teeth and any number of eyes. It's a family affair: The father-daughter pair cleverly interprets the text with lots of satisfying onomatopoeia and monstrous movements, while Rebecca Emberley's daughter, performing songwriter Adrian Emberley, provides an online version available for download. Monsters are instructed to snort and growl, smack their claws, stomp their paws, twitch their tails and perform other monster-appropriate activities on command, and it's impossible not to picture young children dancing along to the dynamic beat, with glee. Not for a quiet storytime but great for nursery and school groups or lively one-on-one reading, this will be a favorite with adults and children alike, allowing for both imaginative play and a raucous but structured outpouring of energy. Roar roar! (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Against white backgrounds, objects of the same color are grouped, spread by spread. Red/rojo features las fresas (strawberries), los corazones (hearts, in this case the Valentine's Day variety) and las mariquitas (ladybugs), as well as a couple of items that are not sui generis red, el auto (car) and los guantes (gloves, or, as pictured here but not glossed as such, mittens). Los guantes are also fuzzy; each spread includes one tactile element, including a shiny, ridged fish (el pez), roughly sparkly stars (las estrellas) and the smooth belly of a frog (la rana). The busy-ness of the layout steers this title to a slightly older audience than the author's elegantly simple My Colors/Mis Colores (2000), but it has the virtue of a larger vocabulary. Buy as an adjunct to, not a replacement for, the earlier title. (Ages 1-3)Read full book review >
THERE WAS AN OLD MONSTER! by Rebecca Emberley
Released: July 1, 2009

Three generations collaborated to create this catchy spin on the storytime classic. This particular monster—a speckled purple critter with horns, claws and a natty green skirt positioned against a black background—swallows (ugh) a tick, quickly followed by ants ("scritchy-scratch, / scritch, scratchy scratch"), a lizard, a bat, a jackal ("I swear I heard him cackle") and a bear. The contents of the distressed monster's ever-expanding belly are visible throughout—no wonder "he STILL felt sick." Written by Rebecca Emberley, illustrated in eye-popping Technicolor by the author and her father, Ed Emberley, and set to music by the author's daughter, Adrian Emberley (available for download from Scholastic's website), this agreeably stomach-turning tune will doubtless see heavy storytime action. (Picture book. 3-6) Read full book review >
CHICKEN LITTLE by Rebecca Emberley
Released: March 1, 2009

An old chestnut of a tale comes to rip-roaringly glorious, hilarious, gorgeous life in the hands of two picture-book masters. When Chicken Little is knocked senseless by a well-placed acorn, the only thing to do is to grab an umbrella to "protect his scrambled noggin" and head for the hills sans plan. In his travels he is joined by Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, Loosey Goosey and a host of other mindless fowl. Clever Foxy Loxy momentarily tricks the group into "hiding" from the falling sky in his mouth, but an ill-timed sneeze releases them and, when last seen, backside-to over Foxy Loxy's ears on the colophon, the bird brains are beating a hasty retreat. Emberley fille 's dry wit ("Still no plan") acts as the perfect complement to Emberley père's art, which leaps off the page, mixing colors with crazed combinations that provide the perfect balance between text and image. Ideal for reading aloud and as a visual stimulant, this title is bound to become the favored version for children and adults alike. (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)Read full book review >
PIÑATA! by Rebecca Emberley
Released: April 1, 2004

Emberley's mixed-media look at the piñata features a vibrant red background on which she has displayed the objects, mostly formed of cut paper, which form her illustrations. The story itself—written in both English and Spanish—primarily focuses on the objects contained within the piñata—bubble gum, rubber balls, hair ribbons, paper umbrellas—all of which Emberley lays out across the pages, either in cut-paper versions or with the objects themselves. The story's brief; opening and closing sentences explain that the piñata is used for parties and that it's broken to allow the gifts inside to spill out. In addition she has provided a historical comment on the origins of the piñata, an appendix of directions for making one's own, and a "naming" page that encourages the young reader or listener to identify the various toys in both languages. Attractive, jaunty, and perfectly pitched both for preschoolers and the youngest students and for their parents and teachers. (Picture book/crafts. 3-6)Read full book review >
MY MOTHER'S SECRET LIFE by Rebecca Emberley
Released: April 1, 1998

A mother's exasperated shout of "This place looks like a three-ring circus!" borders on the literal in this ambiguous concoction in which a young girl's daytime nap leads to dreams of the circus. When her mother goes upstairs to take a break, a young girl dreams of acrobats and clowns, bareback riders, and a lady on a flying trapeze who rescues the child. A few imprecise clues tweak readers into questioning what's real and what's imagined: The mother carries a mysterious black hat upstairs with her; a lot of overheard thumping and bumping ensues. The story relies heavily on the suggestion of the title, for within the pages there's no mention of the mother's secret life. That the girl's cat has the smell of popcorn on his breath at the end of the fantasy is the only indication that the circus events were not just a dream. Emberley arrays the fantasy realm with bright feathers, glitter, beads, tinsel, and neon-colored mesh netting; children won't miss the details of a mother's sparkling nail polish, a broken string of pearls, or the sequined tip of a clown's shoe. (Picture book. 4-6) Read full book review >