Books by Stephen Krensky

THE LAST CHRISTMAS TREE by Stephen Krensky
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 16, 2014

"The pint-sized tree isn't quite dead wood, but it never comes to life as a believable character the reader can care about. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A scraggly, undersized evergreen tree finds a home on Christmas Eve in this sentimental story that turns the unwanted tree into an anthropomorphic main character. Read full book review >
OPEN WIDE! by Stephen Krensky
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: July 29, 2014

"Enjoyable propaganda. (Board book. 1-2)"
Baby Sam, a reluctant eater, finally takes a bite with the help of the spoon-as-airplane trick. Read full book review >
I AM SO BRAVE! by Stephen Krensky
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: July 15, 2014

"A comforting celebration of everyday courage with lots of charm to boot. (Board book. 1-3)"
This upbeat ode to conquering fears will resonate with tots both timid and not. Read full book review >
I KNOW A LOT! by Stephen Krensky
Released: July 2, 2013

"This appealingly illustrated, confidence-boosting board book will inspire little ones to think of—and perhaps catalog aloud—all of the important things they already know about their world. (Board book. 1-3)"
Krensky offers an unassuming celebration of a child's burgeoning knowledge about the big, wide world she lives in. Read full book review >
NOW I AM BIG! by Stephen Krensky
Released: Aug. 1, 2012

"Should give toddlers a satisfying dose of independence. (Board book. 2-4)"
A young toddler reflects on his life and contrasts all things he did as a baby to what he can do now. Read full book review >
THE WIZARD MOUSE by Dean Morrissey
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"A gentle tale—no serious dark-magic threats here—that grips through its visual lushness. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Rollie is a curious, young field mouse discontent with his life in the field. Read full book review >
THE GREAT MOON HOAX by Stephen Krensky
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2011

"EWSLUGp2006 sets the bar. (afterword) (Picture book. 8-10)"
Krensky spins a wisp of history into a diaphanous tale that's accompanied by arty illustrations that fail to add substance or even a sense of period. Read full book review >
PLAY BALL, JACKIE! by Stephen Krensky
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2011

"A worthy homage to a baseball legend. (author's note, photos, bibliography) (Picture book. 7-10)"
Matty and his father, avid Dodgers fans, are in the stands for the first game of the 1947 baseball season. Read full book review >
NOAH’S BARK by Stephen Krensky
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2010

"While this choice makes the book plenty ecumenical, it also will render readers unfamiliar with the story mystified at Noah's foreknowledge of the flood and determination to build the ark. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Krensky uses the basic elements of the Noah's Ark story for his own original pourquoi tale of how the animals came to have their own distinctive sounds. Read full book review >
MOTHER’S DAY SURPRISE by Stephen Krensky
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2010

"Ember's illustrations are equally pallid; Violet has teeny fangs and what looks a little like a rattle, but it's clear all she eats is marshmallows. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Young Violet likes "sliding and slithering and shedding her skin whenever it got old," as well as distinctly un-snakely activities such as racing with rabbits, hanging with bats and fooling around with chipmunks. Read full book review >
CHAUCER’S FIRST WINTER by Stephen Krensky
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 6, 2009

"Krensky's text shines in its use of dialogue, if not in its observance of natural history, and kids who can overlook its logical gaps will probably get a chuckle or two out of it. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Chaucer, a little bear cub, decides not to hibernate so he can keep playing with his friends, a fox and a squirrel, all winter. Read full book review >
ADVENTURE
Released: June 2, 2009

"A well-intentioned miss. (6-24 mos.)"
The road to heck is paved with intentions like the one that produced this book. Read full book review >
SPARK THE FIREFIGHTER by Stephen Krensky
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"Haley's amusing watercolors lighten up what could be a scary subject, but it's probably not the best choice for children who particularly fear fire. (Picture book. 4-6)"
In the town of Hardscrabble, volunteer firefighters aren't easy to come by. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 1, 2008

"A top-notch introduction for schoolchildren of any age. (chronology) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)"
Krensky tells the remarkable story of George Washington Carver with humanity and grace. Read full book review >
SISTERS OF SCITUATE LIGHT by Stephen Krensky
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2008

"Relying on a dramatic use of light and color, Schuett's illustrations intensify the suspense in this little-known historical incident with real-life heroines whose quick-witted defense of their town is sure to inspire. (historical note) (Picture book. 6-10)"
When the British threaten their town during the War of 1812, two patriotic sisters outwit the marauding redcoats in this true story. Read full book review >
BIG BAD WOLVES AT SCHOOL by Stephen Krensky
ANIMALS
Released: June 26, 2007

"His unshakeable self-confidence echoes that of the budding florist in Marie-Odile Judes's Max, the Stubborn Little Wolf (2001), and makes for an amusing contrast to the wimpy wallflower in Delphine Perret's The Big Bad Wolf and Me (2006). (Picture book. 6-8)"
A lupine black sheep if ever there was one, Rufus blows off all of his classwork at Big Bad Wolf Academy to lounge in the meadows, howl at the moon and generally fool around. Read full book review >
FANTASY
Released: Jan. 9, 2007

"Gilty' of being a good read, despite the lack of anything to suggest whether it is an original story or a folktale. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Is it possible? Read full book review >
THE CRIMSON COMET by Dean Morrissey
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"The text, a sketchy mix of prose and rhyme, provides the perfect blend of wonder and matter-of-fact for this adventure-filled nocturnal flight. (Picture book. 6-8)"
In another nighttime fantasy overflowing with visual extravagance, Morrissey sends two children to the Moon aboard a spaceship constructed from battered, photo-realistically depicted antique toys and bric-a-brac. Read full book review >
HANUKKAH AT VALLEY FORGE by Stephen Krensky
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"A beautiful and excellent bit of historical drama and fiction based on two analogous events in history. (Picture book. 7-12)"
Taking a small segment of American Revolutionary history noted in Jacob Rader Marcus's United States Jewry 1776-1985, Krensky constructs a story around an American soldier's Hanukkah observance one cold December night at Valley Forge. Read full book review >
MILO THE REALLY BIG BUNNY by Stephen Krensky
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2006

"For a clearer take on the same theme, there are any number of other choices. (Picture book. 6-8)"
This tale of a clumsy, oversized rabbit who comes through in the clutch is a flop from start to finish. Read full book review >
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

"Considering the recent hail of titles for younger readers that highlight George Washington's feats, this offers a timely reminder that others played important roles in the Revolutionary War, too. (author's note, map) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)"
Infused with a blue glow, Harlin's nautical paintings add an oddly spectral air to this fictionalized account of the Atlantic crossing made by John Adams and his son to France in 1778, in search of support for the beleaguered Patriot army. Read full book review >
PAUL REVERE’S MIDNIGHT RIDE by Stephen Krensky
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

"A good introduction to the start of the Revolutionary War. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-12)"
In a departure from other Paul Revere stories, Krensky (How Santa Lost His Job, 2001, etc.) tells the tale from the perspectives of Paul Revere, British General Gage, and his commander, Lord Percy. Read full book review >
HOW SANTA LOST HIS JOB by Stephen Krensky
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"Keep on truckin', Santa. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Assembly-line workers are being replaced by machines—but Santa? Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 14, 2001

"A terrific introduction to a historical character who was the heroine of her own fabulous tale. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)"
The tiny (less than five feet tall) sharpshooter known as Annie Oakley began life as Phoebe Ann Mozee on an Ohio farm. Read full book review >
LIONEL AT SCHOOL by Stephen Krensky
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Readers will recognize themselves and their friends in these authentically childlike characters and episodes; better yet, they'll enjoy them. (Fiction. 4-8)"
Krensky's appealing primary-grader (Lionel in the Summer, 1998, etc.) takes on school challenges sure to interest beginning readers, and once again Natti's cheerful, two-to-a-spread, pencil, colored-pencil, and watercolor wash illustrations accompany them. Read full book review >
TAKING FLIGHT by Stephen Krensky
BIOGRAPHY
Released: July 1, 2000

"Attractive, realistic watercolor illustrations on almost every page elevate the text and recreate the miracle of early flight, with the cover showing one of the Wrights clinging to the controls and truly flying by the seat of his pants. (Nonfiction. 7-9)"
Who were those daring young men in the first flying machines? Read full book review >
LIONEL IN THE SUMMER by Stephen Krensky
FICTION
Released: June 1, 1998

"Beginning readers will be engrossed by the engaging content and encouraged by the fluid text. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Lionel and his family are back for more adventures in this latest Easy-to-Read installment. Read full book review >
BREAKING INTO PRINT by Stephen Krensky
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"It's a gorgeous format that does complete justice to the subject. (chronology) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)"
From an author who has written about this topic before, though fictionally (The Printer's Apprentice, 1995), a brief history of book-making (subtitled ``Before and After the Invention of the Printing Press''), from illuminated manuscripts created by monks and Chinese attempts at movable type, through Gutenberg's press and the subsequent explosion of the printed word. Read full book review >
MY TEACHER'S SECRET LIFE by Stephen Krensky
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Adinolfi's eccentric, color-drenched artwork makes the after-hours classrooms look somewhat eerie, but mostly snug. (Picture book. 4-6)"
A boy figures he's got the scoop on his teacher's life once the last bell rings: Mrs. Quirk tidies the halls with the rest of the teachers, works out with the gym teacher, sups on leftovers from the cafeteria, listens to a story, and, along with her colleagues, unfurls an air mattress from her desk drawer at bedtime. Read full book review >
STRIKING IT RICH by Stephen Krensky
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Beginning readers will cherish this brand of history. (maps) (Nonfiction. 6-9)"
History in highly congenial style—wit sizzles in both text and illustration—marks this entry in the Ready-to-Read series a winner. Read full book review >
THE PRINTER'S APPRENTICE by Stephen Krensky
FICTION
Released: June 1, 1995

"But Krensky (The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps, 1994, etc.) makes good use of historical fact, his plot moves along smoothly, and the ideas and ideals are worth reading about; for many readers, this first meeting with Peter Zenger may not be their last. (Fiction. 8-10)"
Two young apprentices in colonial New York get involved in the most controversial event of their daythe arrest and trial of printer Peter Zenger. Read full book review >
THE IRON DRAGON NEVER SLEEPS by Stephen Krensky
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1994

"Impressionistic crosshatched drawings; afterword. (Fiction. 8-11)"
The abortive strike staged in 1867 by Chinese workers on the Sierra Nevada portion of the transcontinental railroad, as perceived by 10-year-old Winnie Tucker, daughter of a Central Pacific mining engineer who is superintending the blasting of the Summit Tunnel. Read full book review >