Books by Sue Ramá

IT'S TIME FOR PRESCHOOL! by Esmé Raji Codell
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2012

"While this introduction may help a few pre-preschoolers, there are better options out there. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Codell walks children step by step through the sights, sounds and activities of preschool. Read full book review >
DADDY ADVENTURE DAY by Dave Keane
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2011

A young boy narrates a special time spent with his dad. Daddy Adventure Days have some rules: there's no reading the newspaper or calling work. There are perks, too: Surprises often happen, and the narrator "always get[s] a lot of great stuff." Today's Daddy Adventure Day is dedicated to going to the boy's first big-league baseball game. But things don't start out too well for dad: He is woken way too early by the thumping of a baseball rolling down the stairs, and he's grouchy about missing his paper and not being able to call the office. The contrast between the hyper-excited boy and the laid-back dad provides gentle humor. Ramá's saturated watercolors and collage skillfully depict the boy's many happy moments, such as his wide-eyed wonder as he gazes upon the "green checkerboard" field, his surprise at being given a caught foul ball and his utter contentment as he and his dad lay on the couch at the end of the eventful day. Keane's classic pairing of a father-son relationship and baseball will be best shared one-on-one. As a blueprint for father-son fun, it's not a bad one. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
SUBWAY RIDE by Heather Lynn Miller
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2009

Take a ride on subway trains all around the world. Beginning in Cairo, a multicultural group of children rides the trains in ten cities, zigzagging from stop to stop around the globe. The brief text is in serviceable near-verse ("Rumbling, roaring— / blurring speed. / Silver bullet. / Rushing breeze"), but barely registers against Ramá's vibrant digital collages of watercolor art. Vivid colors and blurred lines evoke a bustling cheer. Cleverly composed to suggest both depth and action, the pictures tell most of the story: Atlanta's dark tunnels, Chicago's El (a slight deviation from the underground theme), jazz combos in the Stockholm stations and so on, an iconic ticket indicating from place to place where readers and riders are. The book ends with crisp thumbnail portraits of the subways in the cities, which also include London, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. The offbeat idea is deftly handled and should trigger further study. (Picture book. 4-6)Read full book review >
FIX IT, SAM by Lori Ries
by Lori Ries, illustrated by Sue Ramá
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2007

Toddler Petey's hero is his brother Sam, who can fix anything, as he proves again and again in the brothers' latest outing. Petey is trying hard to build a special fort, but his desires and abilities often do not coincide. He needs help cleaning up the toys he has ransacked, replacing the pillowcase, putting the books back on the shelf and un-snagging the blanket from the top bunk. At every turn, he asks Sam for help, and though Sam's eyes may roll, he never fails to come to the rescue. Petey does his part by thanking Sam and providing encouragement. But it's Petey who finds the final solution to the sagging blanket tent, proclaiming that he can fix anything. The love between the brothers and Petey's toddler enthusiasm are obvious in Rama's pencil, crayon and watercolor illustrations. The roughly drawn edges, bright colors and sometimes scribbled style suit the text's exuberance perfectly. A loving tribute to brothers everywhere; may Sam's stories continue. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
YUM! YUCK! by Linda Sue Park
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2005

Park follows Mung-Mung: A Foldout Book of Animal Sounds (2004) with an equally international array of human exclamations—in about two dozen tongues, and uttered by a multicultural cast of children depicted on foldout leaves. Placed in a busy marketplace in Ramá's vigorously drawn, digitally finished watercolors, the children go from simple pleasure to a chorus of dismay—"Oh-gah!" (Yoruba) "Ay!" (Spanish) "Oy!" (Polish) "Oo-wah!" (Japanese) "Yikes!" (English)—when an accident with a spice cart covers all their snacks in pepper. Then they go back to joy—"Voy!" (Farsi) "Vov-vov!" (Swedish) "Po-po!" (Greek) "Hui!" (German) "Wow!" (English)—when furnished with replacements. English equivalents all come last, and are hidden beneath the folds, which gives young audiences a chance to try out the less familiar sounds while guessing what emotion is being expressed. The authors head off potential cavils by noting at the end that variants, both of expression and of pronunciation, exist within each language. An entertaining companion for its predecessor, or other like-themed titles, such as Hank De Zutter's Who Says a Dog Goes Bow-Wow? (1992). (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
SUPER SAM! by Lori Ries
by Lori Ries, illustrated by Sue Ramá
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2004

Brief text and bright, bouncy illustrations combine to create an appealing, if slight, story. The plot is simple: sturdy preschooler Sam borrows his baby brother's blue blankie and ties it around his neck to become "Super Sam." Everyday objects are transformed as he leaps over tall buildings (a pile of pillows), lifts a (toy) truck into the air, climbs a cliff (a bunk-bed ladder), and escapes from a wild bear (a stuffed teddy). Baby brother Pete is most impressed until Sam accidentally steps on his finger. When neither truck nor teddy soothes Pete's pain, Sam generously gives up his cape. Ries tells the story in short sentences, using only 53 words, including 12 repetitions of the phrase "Super Sam." Rama's illustrations, executed in colored pencil, water-soluble crayon, and watercolor, have a childlike appeal. Round-headed kids with simply drawn features cavort in a vividly colored bedroom. There's some inconsistency in the backgrounds, but this doesn't really detract from the illustrations' energy and charm. Imaginative and fun, Sam's antics will amuse and possibly inspire young listeners. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >