Books by Sarah Garland

AZZI IN BETWEEN by Sarah Garland
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"A positive but not blandly idealized portrayal of challenges displaced people face. (Graphic picture book. 7-9)"
Though given a British setting, this sensitive tale of a young war refugee slowly adapting to a new life will strike chords of sympathy and recognition almost anywhere. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 29, 2013

"A useful journalistic examination of a troubling societal phenomenon."
A freelance journalist from Louisville, Ky., returns home to chronicle litigation that would end public school desegregation—a lawsuit filed by African-American parents on behalf of their children. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2011

"Garland packs a lot of learning into her good-hearted tale of friendship and helping. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Eddie gets the opportunity to help new neighbors with their fixer-upper house and to make a haven for the birds. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2009

"A valuable exploration of an important cultural phenomenon, but Garland's sympathy for her subjects occasionally clouds her examination of the gangs' seemingly pointless sadism."
Startling revelations of how bigotry and gang violence are transforming once-bucolic suburbs. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

It's Grandad's birthday, and Eddie's mum has completely forgotten. How can she make a meal on time? With help from Eddie and his little sister Lily, of course! Together, they start the bread, but a neighbor comes by to show off her new baby. Can Eddie and Lily knead it alone? No problem. Mum returns to make the loaves. Tomato sauce for the spaghetti is next. Unfortunately, the cat brings a mouse inside, and Mum has to take care of it. Eddie and Lily continue on, through this and more interruptions, baking apples and cake (complete with Lily's secret ingredient). The food is ready, but how will everything taste? "Mmmm!" sighs Grandad. The text, while on the long side, moves along in sprightly fashion, just like the kids; after each interruption, Mum returns to remark on the project's effects on Lily: "What an eggy, watery, tomatoey, floury little fairy princess you are." Colorful watercolors showcase each stage of this comforting story of a family working together. Sure to be a hit with young cooks. (recipes) (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
BILLY AND BELLE by Sarah Garland
Released: June 1, 2004

Published in England in 1992, this American edition of a warmhearted picture book is sure to offer reassurance and comfort. Little Belle gets to go to school for the first time with her big brother Billy, because Mum is going to the hospital to have a baby. A comfortable morning chaos with burnt toast and lost socks leads the parents in a cab to the hospital and the kids to school, where Billy shows his pet hamster and Belle has a pet spider. When Belle loses the spider, she releases all the other pets in her search, but everyone claims their own and all is well. Dad makes dinner ("tea" in the British text) and a neighbor sits for the kids while he fetches mom and new baby brother Adam from the hospital. Garland illustrates all of this in limpid, sunny colors and a beautiful, vibrant line; Dad is of African descent, Mum has blonde spiky hair, and all three children are various shades of latte or chocolate. Very nice. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
DASHING DOG! by Margaret Mahy
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

No one can string together a set of rollicking rhymes quite like the talented Mahy (Down the Dragon's Tongue, 2000, etc.), author of over 150 works for children. She introduces readers to an unnamed standard poodle, a dashing fellow in both demeanor and behavior who is modeled on Mahy's own pet. The dapper dog is picked up from the groomer by his loving family comprised of parents plus three children, and they all enjoy a promenade in a town beside the ocean. The lively canine immediately breaks free and launches into a variety of adventures with sand, seaweed, seagulls, cats, other dogs, and a messy patch of briar roses. When the younger daughter of the family slips away and falls into the ocean, the sturdy (and dirty) poodle rushes to the rescue, saving the day in a dramatic conclusion. Mahy's rhyming text is filled with rich vocabulary and tongue-twisting, humorous phrases that beg to be read aloud with lots of expression. The oversized format and the large, motion-filled watercolors by Garland make this an excellent choice for reading to a group. Garland has a flair for showing the dog in motion in all sorts of humorous positions, and her expressive illustrations help to create a distinct personality for the charming chocolate-brown poodle. Give that dashing dog a bone. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
TEX THE COWBOY by Sarah Garland
Released: June 1, 1995

Six chapters (with old-fashioned titles, e.g., ``Tex and Bad Hank) in the life of Tex, a hapless cowboy with a drooping mustache, and his horse Gloria. She's a Wild West version of a jalopy, and invariably saves the daywins the prize at a rodeo, saves a stagecoach, discovers treasureand helps Tex overcome his wily nemesis, Hank Bones the Bad. Garland (Billy and Belle, 1992, etc.) rounds up this comedic piece of work into a comic-book format, three rows of frames per page, with terse captions printed at the top of each frame, and goofy commentary coming from the small, funny characters in the watercolor-and-ink pictures. Parodic sketches of the Old West, with a cowhand's understated sense of humor. (Picture book. 7-10) Read full book review >
BILLY AND BELLE by Sarah Garland
Released: June 1, 1992

Today Belle is going to school with big brother Billy for the first time, because Dad (who is black) is taking ``Mom'' (blond) to the hospital: a new baby is coming. It's an exciting day—while trying to find the spider she adopted when she discovered it was ``pet day,'' Belle inadvertently releases all the other pets (tortoise, mouse, caterpillar, etc.), but they're soon found. Home again, after ``tea'' (spaghetti), Dad fetches Mom and baby Adam (the same day). It's good to have a new-baby book that focuses on the drama of the older children's activities. Garland's pleasantly informal illustrations—in varied spreads and frames with the dialogue in comic-strip balloons—nicely convey the family's warmth and the school's lively clutter. But: it's an obviously British book with universal appeal, and multicultural is in—so why these clumsy efforts to deny the authentic setting? (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >