Books by Sharon Phillips Denslow

IN THE SNOW by Sharon Phillips Denslow
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

The natural beauty and wonder of winter abound in this light and lovely tale, as birds, squirrels, rabbits, a mouse and an opossum arrive at different times during a day and evening to feast on seeds and corn kernels thoughtfully strewn in the snow by an unseen hand. Readers discover at the end that a young boy, who lives in a house nearby, is the benefactor who begins his rounds the next morning with more treats. Then the animals return for second helpings. Denslow's rhyming, rhythmic text is much enhanced by Tafuri's characteristically soft, lush, very detailed paintings. The animals are beautifully rendered and touchable; note the grinning opossum, mouth brimming with seeds, in an enchanting two-page spread. A fine, warm addition for wintertime story hours. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
ALL THEIR NAMES WERE COURAGE by Sharon Phillips Denslow
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

An epistolary tale offers young readers insight into life during the Civil War. Sallie, 11, loves horses, and her best friend Isaac loves to draw. So, they decide to make a book, using letters from Civil War generals telling about their horses and featuring Isaac's illustrations. Sallie begins writing to the generals and her brother William, in the Union army, assures her in one of his revealing letters from the front that the generals will write as a diversion, to keep from going mad. Sure enough, Sallie and Isaac begin receiving responses. General Robert E. Lee writes about Traveller, Stonewall Jackson about Little Sorrel, and several other generals respond, too. By story's end, their book about horses is done, Sallie has grown up, and William has returned home. The original premise works well, telling an appealing story with plenty of details about farm life, war, and the place of horses in the Civil War era. (note to readers, afterword) (Fiction. 7-11)Read full book review >
GERGIE LEE by Sharon Phillips Denslow
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2002

Most main characters speak but in this delightfully charming story about J.D.'s summer on his Grandmother's farm, the title player moos—Georgie Lee is a cow, and a right smart one at that. The opening chapter establishes the ambience when J.D. and Grandmother can't understand why, on such a hot day, Georgie Lee is standing absolutely still in the cool creek. As they watch, little fish school under the cow's spotted belly and, one by one, jump up and catch the flies crawling on her. When all the flies are gone, the full fish swim back to their hiding place, Georgie Lee has a long, cool drink and smiles as she heads back to her grass hill. The cleverly subtle writing meshes details and dialogue with homespun flair as in the incident when Grandmother climbs a tree to join J.D. and can't get down. J.D. asks, "Did you ever see a cow up a tree?" Grandmother answers, "Not yet." And sure enough, at the end of the story, there's Georgie Lee, amidst tree branches. The delicate black-and-white drawings softly accentuate the episodes of symbiotic relationships between animals and people. "Why do tumblebugs make balls out of cow manure?" J.D. asked. In her unflappable wisdom, Grandmother answers, "Ever try rolling something that's not round?" Country and city kids alike will grin over the trio's encounters with a haunted house, a neighborhood goat, a giant catfish, and a huge storm in this deceptively simple first chapter book. (Fiction. 7-9)Read full book review >
BIG WOLF AND LITTLE WOLF by Sharon Phillips Denslow
ANIMALS
Released: April 30, 2000

Thanks to this delightful family, we now know the words to the songs the wolves are howling. Little wolf needs one more goodnight song before bedtime. He sits on father's knee and father sings a funny ditty about himself. Then father and son take turns singing about who they are, what they do, and the kinds of fun they have. Suddenly, a movement in the bushes startles them. When the scary thing turns out to be a teasing Mother wolf, they chase her through the bushes. Finally, they all sing a last good-night song and go to bed. The simply drawn pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are effectively framed on each page. Many are set into a strongly colored background. Occasionally, bugs or stars can't be contained within the frame, jumping out of the margins. When exciting events happen, words jump out at the reader, too. A charming, appealing story that is just right for bedtime. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
ON THE TRAIL WITH MISS PACE by Sharon Phillips Denslow
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 1995

Miss Pace, elementary school teacher, cools her heels at a dude ranch over summer vacation. So happens that on said dude ranch resides her beau, Last Bob. So happens that also on said dude ranch are vacationing her students, the twins Phil and Bill. A charming romance follows therefrom, with the boys conspiring to get the sweethearts together as much as possible. Denslow keeps the twins goofily sweet (just where are their parents, anyhow?), Miss Pace patiently game, and Last Bob, well, he's cut in the classic cowboy mode: ghostly, strong, silent, mustachioed. When Miss Pace and Last Bob get a kiss in under the aurora borealis's shimmering curtain of light, it sure is a pretty sight. So simple a love song should not be treated lightly: It is an endangered species that deserves protection. Karas's western landscapes feature a happy mix of media—acrylic paintings and dried wildflowers, bandannas and twine, leather and pewter cowboy boots. The entire assembly gets an additional lift from its modestly altered-state, cartoon style: streams warble, peaks tower, The Big Empty beckons, the night sky croons. Happy trails. (Picture book. 4-7) Read full book review >
BUS RIDERS by Sharon Phillips Denslow
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 1993

Grandfatherly, competent Lee has a game with Louise and Warren, the nice, quiet kids who are first on his route: at the second stop, where five obstreperous boys and their five unruly dogs careen on, he offers an after-school candy bar for the child who guesses which dog (Black Toe, Short Ribs, Fly, Wipeout, or Quinn) will be first on. Today, it's Warren who guesses right; but Lee isn't driving that afternoon. He's out for weeks (gall bladder), replaced by three hilariously caricatured substitutes: Thelma S. (mules, frowsy hair, flowered purse); Willie (ponytail, boombox, toenails ``big enough for any kid to see!''); and assistant principal Mr. Dodds (brown pinstripe over sagging baby- blue socks, sits on fat yellow pages, scowl, ruler). After a month, it's grand to see Lee's smiling face again—and he hasn't forgotten Warren's candy, either. Carpenter's ebullient, witty art, its vibrant colors dominated by intense school-bus yellow, is half the fun. A hoot. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
HAZEL'S CIRCLE by Sharon Phillips Denslow
ANIMALS
Released: March 31, 1992

Hazel's ``circle'' is a neighborhood journey on which, accompanied by her pet rooster, she makes deliveries and exchanges: there are eggs for artist Rae Allen, who paints Hazel's toes and gives her homemade grape juice to carry along; at Bet and Clyde's, she leaves more eggs and some juice and picks up Roger's snake—which she leaves at his house, her last stop, where she also takes a swim before heading home. The cheerful story is packed with charming details, all lovingly recorded in stylized illustrations notable for their glowing colors, lively, decorative design, and many imaginative embellishments—e.g, the rooster's checked bow tie, matching the band on Hazel's hat, and the flowers garlanding many of the scenes. Delightful. (Picture book. 4-7) Read full book review >