Books by Shelley Rotner

WHAT'S THE WEATHER? by Shelley Rotner
Released: March 17, 2020

"Intermittent fog obscures introductory meteorology and climatology. (glossary, note from climatologist) (Informational picture book. 3-6)"
Full-color photographs accompany large-print text about weather and climate change. Read full book review >
COLORS by Shelley Rotner
Released: July 9, 2019

"There are plenty of picture books about colors, but they're not all love letters. This one is. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Explore colors through photographs. Read full book review >
HELLO SUMMER! by Shelley Rotner
Released: April 9, 2019

"A nice cap to a solid series: year-round fun. (Informational picture book. 4-7)"
Rotner completes her quartet of peeks at the four seasons with this last entry looking at the pleasures of summer. Read full book review >
HELLO WINTER! by Shelley Rotner
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A solid addition to Rotner's seasonal series. Bring on summer. (Informational picture book. 4-7)"
Rotner follows up her celebrations of spring and autumn with this look at all things winter. Read full book review >
HELLO AUTUMN! by Shelley Rotner
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"Bruce Goldstone's Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard. (Informational picture book. 4-7)"
Rotner follows Hello Spring (2017) with this salute to the fall season. Read full book review >
ALL KINDS OF FRIENDS by Shelley Rotner
Released: Sept. 1, 2017

"Just the ticket for starting conversations about the importance and fun of making all kinds of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)"
"Smart friends, funny friends"—just two of the many types of friends displayed in excellent photos and simple text. Read full book review >
I LIKE THE FARM  by Shelley Rotner
Released: Aug. 15, 2017

"Simple, encouraging text, charming photographs, straightforward, unpretentious diversity, and adorable animals—what's not to like? (Picture book/early reader. 2-6)"
This entry-level early reader/picture book pairs children with farm animals. Read full book review >
HELLO SPRING! by Shelley Rotner
Released: March 1, 2017

"Informative fun; engaging photography. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 4-7)"
The changes from winter into spring—especially in the northeastern U.S.—are illustrated with numerous colored photographs. Read full book review >
GROW! RAISE! CATCH! by Shelley Rotner
Released: Sept. 15, 2016

"This volume may even lure children (and adults) back to the farm. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 5-7)"
Engaging color photos depict smiling farmers and fishermen (and fisherwoman) and gleeful children eating their products. Read full book review >
WHOSE EYE AM I? by Shelley Rotner
Released: March 15, 2016

"Engaging and informative for readers and listeners alike. (index) (Informational picture book. 4-8)"
How do eyes work? Read full book review >
FAMILIES by Shelley Rotner
Released: May 1, 2015

"Vibrant photographs—especially action shots—will capture children's attention, build language skills and, one hopes, start conversations. (Picture book. 2-4)"
"We hope this book…will lead children and their parents to engage in conversation about their families." Read full book review >
BODY BONES by Shelley Rotner
Released: Oct. 1, 2014

"A fascinating introduction to bones. (glossary, index) (Informational picture book. 6-10)"
Lots of facts about bones fill this introductory look at the skeletal-system specifics of humans and several animals, though it is the photos overlaid with bones that readers will be most likely to remember. Read full book review >
YUMMY! by Shelley Rotner
Released: March 1, 2013

"Even with adorable children playing with healthy food, choose another for teaching the new dietary guidelines. (Informational picture book. 3-6)"
A photo essay depicts children preparing and eating healthy food. Read full book review >
BODY ACTIONS by Shelley Rotner
by Shelley Rotner, illustrated by David A. White, photographed by Shelley Rotner
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Very simple, accessible and appealing as a starting point for human-science learning. (Informational picture book. 3-6)"
Bright, clear photographs and design offer an unfussy look at anatomy for very young readers and listeners. Read full book review >
HOMER by Shelley Rotner
Released: March 1, 2012

"A howlingly good time. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Alex and Homer live, breathe and dream baseball. But this is Homer's story. Read full book review >
I'M ADOPTED! by Shelley Rotner
Released: Aug. 15, 2011

This introduction to adoption for very young children stands out in its clear, accessible approach to a topic that many adults may still find difficult to address, despite increasing societal openness. Read full book review >
Released: May 31, 2010

This photo-essay describes the decline of honeybees since 2004, their importance in pollination and the work of beekeepers, sending a chilling message to the very young. Rotner's photographs are bright and beautiful: happy children, glorious flowers and luscious fruits. The accompanying text, written in simple sentences, has little narrative flow. It opens with a beekeeper's discovery of empty hives, goes on to describe the role of pollinators, introduces beekeepers and then returns to label Colony Collapse Disorder on a double-page spread contrasting a full hive with an empty one. A list of questions about the decline of honeybees suggests causes; unidentified scientists are shown working on the problem. On a second spread of empty cells the author asks the bigger question, "How healthy is our earth?" following with pages of suggestions for action, websites for follow up and fast facts. The book concludes with profiles of the individuals who served as sources. Older readers will be well served with Loree Griffin Burns and Ellen Harasimowicz's The Hive Detectives (2010); this is less successful at meeting its audience's needs. (Informational picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
SHADES OF PEOPLE by Shelley Rotner
Released: Aug. 15, 2009

Author and photographer join forces again in this photographic essay on skin color. Having previously tackled family members, feelings and faiths (May Ways: How Families Practice Their Beliefs and Religions, 2006, etc.), they now showcase—in full color—many smiling, appealing, friendly, loving, creative, thoughtful, hugging, eye-catching young ones. The connection, rather than the difference, is that all these children are many different shades, "not colors, exactly…. / There's creamy, ivory, / sandy and peach, / coffee, cocoa, / copper and tan." And all of this is "our covering, like wrapping paper." The authors take care to state explicitly that "you can't tell what someone is like from the color of their skin." Children of many different ethnicities are here, sometimes in the same family. It's a heartwarming effort that teachers and families can embrace and will doubtless find its way into many a curriculum on celebrating difference. (Picture book. 3-6) Read full book review >
WHAT’S LOVE? by Deborah Carlin
Released: Dec. 23, 2008

Gorgeous black-and-white photographs accompany a series of statements that attempt to define—or at least encompass—"love." "Love is as big as a harvest moon, / as wide as a summer sky." As with any enterprise that goes this route—just how big is a harvest moon?—the success lies with the juxtaposition of image to text. A toddler giggles as a pigeon alights on his shoulder ("We love the animals...that are wild and free"); a little girl rests, dwarfed, against a huge tree trunk ("Love comforts us like a strong, old tree"). Beautiful yet, unlike the emotion it celebrates, somehow ephemeral. (Picture book. 3 & up)Read full book review >
EVERY SEASON by Shelley Rotner
Released: May 1, 2007

The team from Colors Around Us (1996) offers a similar reflection on the four seasons in (s)light free verse and high-resolution photographs, but no flaps this time. First comes spring, "when grass grows green" and flowers open and baby animals are huggable. Summer highlights include frolics in the water, going barefoot in the grass and the taste of fresh fruit. In autumn, "we pull up our hoods," watch the leaves turn and fall and watch the geese head south. In winter, snow blankets branches and buds, chickadees search for seeds and children drink hot chocolate, awaiting the next arrival of . . . spring! A generous serving of beautiful photographs (74 altogether) tells most of the story, with precision. And the minimal text deftly supports them, with a few typographical tricks (like the letters of "roar" getting progressively bigger). Harmonious achievement with subtle learning. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2006

Say what you will about the seashore, it is a stimulating place, a sensual extravaganza. You can revel in the surf, feel the misery of sand in your suit, listen to the roar of a seashell or gag at a waft from a drying bed of seaweed. Rotner is a partisan of the seashore and her gorgeous color photographs are transportingly sharp. All of the children in these pages are having a good time (even if the seaweed stinks), and their senses are getting a serious workout. The format is simple and direct: a bright picture, an uncomplicated caption. "Touch the cold water" or "Smell the fresh fish," for instance. Not a remarkable degree of originality—at a rather high price—but in its very ingenuousness, it agreeably gets the job done for a young audience. To every sense, there is a provocation at Rotner's seashore. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
PARTS by Shelley Rotner
by Shelley Rotner, photographed by Shelley Rotner
Released: April 1, 2001

Stunning full-color photographs and seven playful, brief poems about everyday objects will delight young viewers and care-givers who are invited to guess the objects described in word clues with several accompanying close-up photographs. For example, "Smooth and round / with a striped green skin / Red fruit, / black seeds hidden within / Garden ripe and / ready to eat / Taste the / WATERMELON, / juicy and sweet." The co-author/photographer of The Body Book (2000), Rotner here targets the familiar and important everyday icons of a young child's world with carefully chosen, intimate shots that invite repeated examination. Here is the tongue of a dog, a black wet nose, a half-curled tail, spotted fur, and then the double-page portrait of the whole dog with the punch line "A loyal DOG is one great pet." Other poems feature a tulip, school bus, bike, a child, and home. Endpapers and the back cover suggest new poems the viewer might write: showing parts of a cantaloupe, flowering tree, or fire truck. A terrific way of getting children to think about the whole by seeing the parts. Great for reading aloud, too. (Poetry. 3-8)Read full book review >
ACTION ALPHABET by Shelley Rotner
Released: June 1, 1996

The emphasis here is squarely on action; the alphabet takes a supporting role. Rotner (Wheels Around, 1995, etc.) creates superb full-color photographs—fiery chromatic items, the celebrants caught in midaction, all situated in luscious, ideal settings. Children leap against a crystal blue sky, dive into a perfect waterhole, run atop a great sward of grass while kicking a ball, ride a swing in a meadow of wildflowers. Rotner throws in a few counterpoints- -``Napping,'' ``Yawning''—to keep readers on their toes. There are also some oddball word-and-picture pairings, e.g., a child ``Undressing'' to get into an empty pool, another ``Vacuuming'' an already immaculate automobile. Only if children know uppercase from lowercase will they be able to determine the featured letter. Nevertheless, the photos crackle with an energy that brings attention to the accompanying words, which punctuate the page in bold white typeface. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
WHEELS AROUND by Shelley Rotner
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

Paint-box bright photographs of wheeled transportation cover the gamut from skateboards and wheelchairs to fire trucks and backhoes. There is a fine mixture of urban and rural vehicles, and the link between skateboards and dump trucks is one that will be new to many in the book's intended audience. Through judicious use of cropping and long shots, Rotner (Faces, 1994, etc.) varies what could have been a monotonous group of side views, and she uses the advertising on vehicles to adroit effect (she even manages to include a dinosaur). The pages are crammed full; an excellent use of borders and type boxes keep the ideas coherent and the book fun to pore over. A sparkling contribution to a popular subject. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
CHANGES by Marjorie N. Allen
Released: April 30, 1991

``All things go through changes as they grow,'' concludes this simple book using attractive color photos to compare fiddleheads to ferns, a blue sky to a cloudy one, the same trees in four seasons, eggs to birds, and finally a pregnant woman to a growing child. Adequate to develop the concept with young children, but weakened by carelessness in the text: milkweed blooms in June or July, not spring, and corn has usually finished growing before autumn. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >