Books by True Kelley

LOTS AND LOTS OF COINS by Margarette S. Reid
Released: March 1, 2011

Reid's introduction to U.S. coins and coin collecting is comfy and encouraging though somewhat short on the history of our national coins, despite its talk of "a coin is a piece of history you can hold in your hand." The book's strongest suit is introducing coin collecting as a family activity. Through a narrative in which a boy and his father enjoy coins together, each of our everyday nickels and cents are introduced, and the personages, design motifs and symbolism explained. Kelly's light-handed yet vibrant and busy artwork keeps readers' attention on the page, even when the author veers into coin mathematics (which this story may well have skirted altogether or taken care of in one page rather than the half dozen it gets). Since this is a book primarily concerned with U.S. coinage, those pages could have been given over to their fascinating past, including state coins, gold coins, Indian Head pennies and the like. Fortunately, Reid devotes a whole page to the Fugio cent—Ben Franklin's penny—which is such a piece of whimsical delight, it might have kept the whole notion of money in some sensible perspective, if it had been left in circulation. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
SCHOOL LUNCH by True Kelley
Released: Sept. 15, 2005

A marvelously cute and clever look at school lunches features Harriet, the school cook who is tired out from trying to please all the kids, so she takes a vacation. However, things are not a vacation back at Lincoln School, where Mr. Fitz, the principal, hires one substitute chef after another. This one cooks only greasy foods, that one's food is too rich and fattening, a third found another job and the final one was a witch who served biting cupcakes. The teachers are not any better when their turns come to cook. Throughout, the students send Harriet letters and pictures they have drawn telling her about the cooks and the awful food. But all their pleas fail to roust Harriet from her tropical paradise until a telegram arrives saying the kids are not healthy. This sends her scrambling back to the school, where she arrives in the nick of time. Kelley's illustrations are truly a stitch—the facial expressions are right-on, and the students' drawings of their new lunches are hysterical. Unfortunately, the cover does not do the interior justice. It's hard to say whether this will turn readers on or off school lunches, but worth a laugh nonetheless. (Picture book. 4-10)Read full book review >