Books by Trudy Ludwig

Released: July 3, 2018

"Similarly talkative youngsters struggling with social interactions may want to schedule their own laryngitis days. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A boy who talks too much gets some lessons on the importance of listening from his classmates…and laryngitis. Read full book review >
Released: May 6, 2014

"The story loses focus on occasion, but no one who reads it will forget the history. (vocabulary list, study guide) (Picture book/biography. 7-12)"
This book is a biography of Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener, but from time to time, he seems like a supporting character. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 8, 2013

"Accessible, reassuring and hopeful. (Picture book. 5-7)"
This endearing picture book about a timid boy who longs to belong has an agenda but delivers its message with great sensitivity. Read full book review >
 BETTER THAN YOU by Trudy Ludwig
Released: Sept. 13, 2011

This is a message book, and it makes no bones about it. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 24, 2010

Katie's mean treatment of a classmate results in expectable consequences. She meets with the principal, then weekly with a school counselor to learn more about "bullying behaviors." To make up for the hurt she caused, she turns her journal of those meetings into a book about bullying, narrated in a believable first-person voice. Borrowing design features from the popular Wimpy Kids series—lined paper, doodles and a typeface that imitates hand printing—this surprisingly useful self-help title is clearly aimed at upper-elementary-school readers. Among the "quick facts" Katie quotes (from studies cited in the backmatter) is that 74 percent of eight to 11-year-olds report that bullying occurs in their schools. While Katie used words, body language and silence to bully her friend Monica, she also describes cyber-bullying and physical bullying. Her counselor's six "empower tools" offer excellent responses beyond the well-meant but usually ineffective advice to ignore it, and she explains the difference between tattling—to hurt someone—and reporting—when someone is getting hurt. This fictional cure will resonate with its intended audience. (author's note, recommended resources for adults and children. (Fiction. 8-13)Read full book review >
TOO PERFECT by Trudy Ludwig
Released: May 1, 2009

This well-intentioned but highly didactic picture book focuses on the pitfalls of apparent perfection. Maisie believes that a girl in her class is perfect in looks, actions and life. However, through some classroom interactions, she quickly sees that all is not wonderful in Kayla's world. The pressure to be perfect and the subsequent loss of Maisie's self-confidence are assuaged by her sensible mother. Fields's Photoshopped oil illustrations are more than a bit weird, with Maisie an alarming shade of pinky peach and Kayla seemingly Asian American, in an unfortunate instance of stereotyping. Somewhat interesting uses of perspective in the illustrations echo the different points of view of the characters within. An afterword by a psychologist, an author's note giving tips for dealing with this problem, questions for discussion as well as a short bibliography weigh this Lesson down even further. While lacking in literary or pictorial merit, however, the book is one of few on a very timely social problem. (Picture book. 7-10)Read full book review >
TROUBLE TALK by Trudy Ludwig
Released: May 1, 2008

This purposive tale about gossip has great potential as a discussion starter. New girl Bailey loves to talk, but narrator Maya finds that too many of her observations are rude or inappropriate. Defining "trouble talk" as "Spreading rumors, saying hurtful things, and sharing information that isn't [one's] to share," Ms. Bloom, a school counselor, helps the young narrator to sort out her feelings about her vivacious but insensitive new friend. Ludwig acknowledges the lure of connection and the pleasure of sharing information about others but also exposes the harm that words can do. Luckily, she avoids a dry, preachy tone despite the seriousness of the subject. Prevost's simultaneously realistic and quirky illustrations combine watercolor, gouache, acrylic and collage, adding energy and emotion to the text and helping it to flow naturally. The informative foreword and backmatter will be useful to adults using the book with children. While it's unlikely to be any child's favorite read-aloud, an above-average presentation makes it a surprisingly successful picture book. (author's note, discussion questions, additional resources) (Picture book. 5-8) Read full book review >