Books by Sheldon Greenberg

FLOOD FISH by Robyn Eversole
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

When it rains in the arid Australian outback a river that has been dry fills up with water, and with fish. Big fish. Nobody is sure where they come from, but the boy narrating the story thinks that perhaps the rocks in the bed feel the water and their sides crack open into gills. Everyone has opinions, but no real answers. When the river dries up again, the fish are gone, leaving no trace. It's a mystery. Eversole (The Magic House, 1992) grounds the story in facts in an author's note. The phenomenon is worthy of comment, but the brief text, with its mix of speculation and outright fantasy, is labored, and no match for the glorious illustrations. The oil paintings, with the texture of the canvas still visible, feature broad swaths of intense color: aquamarine in swimming scenes, the violet gray of a rainy day, and the brilliant red earth of the outback. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
I NEVER KNEW YOUR NAME by Sherry Garland
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

New to the apartment complex, a boy troubled by his own losses observes an older youth's loneliness. Addressing the teenager (who, we learn at the end, has committed suicide), the narrator describes how he watched the older boy make friends with a stray dog, how he heard his own sister make fun of him, and how he sympathized with the other boy's despondency as classmates set out for the prom. The narrator thought of trying to make friends, but his own hopelessness discouraged him. The last night, he had backed off when he saw that, while feeding the pigeons on the roof, the older boy was weeping. Later, the ambulance came. In Garland's graceful text, each quiet incident telegraphs a failed connection. Although no one reaches out to this young man (or to the narrator), each failure to do so is clearly presented as a missed opportunity. Greenberg makes his picture-book debut with generalized impressionistic paintings that reflect the somber tone, characterizing the lanky blond suicide as shy and introspective, a nice, ordinary-looking youth whose gestures toward friendship are too tentative for his self-absorbed peers to notice. A disturbing, careful, and thought-provoking book. (Picture book. 6-10)*jus Read full book review >