Books by Stacy Innerst

CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2019

"For lovers of books and libraries. (afterword by Lansky, author's note, illustrator's note, Yiddish glossary, further resources, source notes, photographs) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)"
One young man seeks out a unique collection of Yiddish books to preserve them and their lost world. Read full book review >
THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF PUDDING TAT, ADVENTURING CAT by Caroline Adderson
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 2, 2019

"Lovers of animal fantasy drawn to the book will find themselves taking in some history they likely never would have thought themselves interested in before. (Historical fantasy. 8-12)"
A cat with albinism traipses in and out of some of early-20th-century North America's landmark moments. Read full book review >
RUTH BADER GINSBURG by Jonah Winter
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"A beautiful example of what a picture book can be. (glossary) (Picture book/biography. 8-12)"
How did a book-loving girl grow up to be a Supreme Court justice? Read full book review >
THE MUSIC IN GEORGE'S HEAD by Suzanne Slade
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Bravo! (author's note, illustrator's note, timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)"
Slade illuminates George Gershwin's creative process, from inception to premiere of "Rhapsody in Blue." Read full book review >
THOMAS JEFFERSON GROWS A NATION by Peggy Thomas
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"It is no small feat to choose but a few facts about such a well-documented life; the choices made and the method of telling are both exemplary. (timeline, further information, notes) (Nonfiction. 9-12)"
Using Thomas Jefferson's own admissions of passion for both his new country and agriculture, details are given about a few of his activities, inventions, and accomplishments, beginning after the Revolutionary War. Read full book review >
THE ELEVATOR GHOST by Glen Huser
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 12, 2014

"This creepy gathering of stories creates buzz and possibility but in the end falls short. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Rumors abound that the Blatchford Arms is haunted—just the kind of place where a quirky babysitter like Carolina Giddle can brew her ghost tales for a cauldron of young apartment dwellers. Read full book review >
THE BEATLES WERE FAB by Kathleen Krull
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 14, 2013

"Parents and (more likely) grandparents who want to introduce children to their favorite band would do better to play a song or two on whatever device is handy—though as Brewer and Krull note, the transformative impact of the Beatles was such that kids may not even recognize the originality of their music. (Informational picture book. 7-9)"
Many adult readers will agree wholeheartedly with the title of this heartfelt paean to the Fab Four, but unfortunately, Krull and Brewer don't quite manage to offer enough evidence to effectively convey to children the Beatles' unique appeal and immense contributions to pop culture. Read full book review >
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 12, 2011

"A 'pure-dee' delight for storytime. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A tall-tale version of the invention of blue jeans by a New York peddler who came late to the California gold rush but saw a need and filled it. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 1, 2010

Not many biographies of the 16th U.S. president begin "Poor Abraham Lincoln." This one does and goes on to list the reasons why the man's life was "hardly fun," but then it gets right to the titular theme: "But Lincoln had his own way of dealing with life. Not many people remember it today. It was all about laughing." (In a lovely acrylic painting of the famous Lincoln log cabin, an escaping plume of "HaHaHaHas" mirrors the chimney smoke.) It wasn't just jokes: "Words mattered," and Lincoln's witticisms are quoted liberally throughout: "Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." Innerst's gorgeous, textured paintings, many of them caricatures, are varied and inventive: When Lincoln's great height is described in the text, his head and feet are cropped off the page. It's a quirkily specific biography, but, as with Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora's wonderful George Washington's Teeth, illustrated by Brock Cole (2003), it reveals the human side of an American icon in an unusual, lively and thought-provoking way. (authors' note, sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)Read full book review >
THE WORM FAMILY by Tony Johnston
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

A well-intentioned episode derailed by illustrations that are, to say the least, problematic. Johnston lays out her theme upfront—"Rejoice in who you are. Rejoice in who everyone else is!"—then develops it in lively prose, laced with rhymes and partial rhymes, by following an extended family of worms whose efforts to find a home are stymied by violent receptions from a succession of non-worm neighbors. At last, to a chorus of "We are Worms and we are proud! We are long and we are LOUD!," they raise their chins (" ‘We don't have chins,' said Blanche. ‘Never mind,' said Mother, ‘pretend' "), defiantly dig in—and receive an unexpectedly warm welcome. So far so good—but the vermiform cast's brown skin, straightened hair, exaggeratedly thick lips, and wide eyes often come off as decidedly unfunny caricatures. Steer young readers to such equally joyous, and better conceived, celebrations of diversity as Sheila Hamanaka's All the Colors of the Earth (1994) or Sam Swope's Araboolies of Liberty Street (1989). (Picture book. 7-9)Read full book review >
M IS FOR MUSIC by Kathleen Krull
ABC BOOKS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

Sophisticated paintings in olive, tan, gray, rust, aqua, and black raise the age level of the appeal of this abecedarian collection of musical terms. Text and art cooperate marvelously; each spread contains additional terms, musicians, composers, and instruments painted into the background. On the "A" page, the text states, "Aa is for anthem and accordion," and those are pictured, but the illustrations also include the words "allegro," "alto, " "a cappella, " "aria, " and a labeled portrait of Louis Armstrong. The pastiche of images and terms resembles collage and will intrigue those interested in researching the more obscure terms. After "zydeco and zither," the punnily titled "Musical Notes from A to Z" provides information on each letter's main entries, but not the ones that appear in the art. Best for those ready to explore an interest in music, this will also appeal to those just learning the alphabet. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >