Books by Virginia Miller

Released: Sept. 1, 2002

Bartholomew, the pudgy butterscotch bear, rejoins his friends Little Black Kitten and George in this colorful counting story. Bartholomew seems to have done away with his favorite word, "Nah," in favor of his apple tree and all that can be done with it. Not least of all counting the red apples. As the green apples on his tree ripen one by one to candy-apple red, the reader counts them. On the far left of each spread, a bright color band pictures the plucked apples, and represents them with the appropriate numeral and the number spelled out. The rest of the spread is filled with Bartholomew and his two friends involved in activities with the majestic tree. As the uncomplicated story unfolds, readers see that, among other things, "He loves swinging from its branches," and hiding beneath its fallen leaves. When Little Black Kitten gets stuck high in the apple tree, the bigger bear, George, joins Bartholomew in the rescue. His friends are also willing to lend a hand when it comes to using those ten sweet apples in the ultimate delicious way. In a watercolor palate ranging from juicy bright to powder soft and outlined in crayon-textured black, Miller's (In a Minute!, 2001, etc.) illustrations are picture-perfect for youngsters. The text is bold and simple, and the format is varied so to appeal to any learning style, making counting almost effortless. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
IN A MINUTE! by Virginia Miller
Released: May 1, 2001

The lovable, toddler-friendly bear duo of George and Bartholomew returns in a humorous tale about waiting. Miller's (I Love You Just the Way You Are, 1998, etc.) affectionate pair enact a universal scenario for young children; George is busily doing his chores while young "Ba" trails after him, entreating George to come play. "In a minute, Ba" is George's inevitable response as he hurries through the daily housework. However, when George finally finishes and is ready to play, he receives a surprise: Ba doesn't want to play childhood games, he wants to play housework! Thus, Ba and George diligently bring in more firewood, do more laundry, and re-sweep the floors until the exhausted pair treat themselves to a nice luncheon and a well-earned snooze. Miller reveals a keen understanding and a wry appreciation of the parent/toddler relationship. With a gentle touch and a dash of humor, she sympathetically examines a familiar source of strife between a parent and child. The full-color drawings, rendered in soft pencil, are sweetly charming. Subtle colors compliment the gently blurred drawings, extending the cozy feel of the tale. Parents and children alike will enjoy repeated readings of this appealing and reassuring story. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1998

Bartholomew (or Ba) and George return (Be Gentle!, 1997, etc.) for another demonstration of unconditional love. Miller tackles one of the confusing toddlerhood feelings: sheer, unprovoked grumpiness. Bartholomew is having a bad day, for his ears are cold, his legs are stumpy, his porridge is lumpy, and his tummy is plumpy. George—an all-purpose ursine angel, brother, father, pal, guardian, caregiver, there-for-you archetype—always has a comforting word, gesture, or act. George is pure solace to younger listeners, and a sweet role model for older ones. The illustrations have a light, homey feel, a mix of humble domesticity and charm. (Picture book. 2-5) Read full book review >
BE GENTLE! by Virginia Miller
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

George, the big bear, and Bartholomew (``Ba''), the very little bear, return for another growing-up lesson (Go to Bed!, 1993, etc.), this time about how to treat a pet. Cautioned to be gentle with his new kitten, Ba gives her a squashing hug, wild rides on his swing and in his wagon, and a squirt with the garden hose. An ear-splitting drum serenade is too much, and the kitten runs away. Ba is ``sad and sorry'' and creeps away to his secret hiding place under his bed, where he finds the kitten. Having learned his lesson, Ba is ready now to be very gentle indeed, and the kitten sits on his lap and purrs. It's an endearing story, just right for toddlers struggling to tame their exuberance and to recognize the needs of those who are even smaller than they are. The facial expressions and body language of the kitten are priceless, and clear enough to help children recognize the wordless ways in which animals communicate. Six vignettes across the title spread show ways for Ba to play happily with his kitten. This book should have a long and happy life in veterinary offices, pet shops, and animal shelters, as well as in the usual outlets. (Picture book. 2-5) Read full book review >
GO TO BED! by Virginia Miller
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

In the two bears' third appearance, George is trying to put little Bartholomew to bed, only to get a determined ``Nah!'' (``Ba's'' only word here) to each suggestion, query, or command. Even after George's ``big voice'' elicits compliance, Ba giggles and wriggles before he finally hugs and snuggles and falls asleep, breathing a last, soft ``Nah.'' Though limned in rougher, more schematic lines than Firth's, these bears are close cousins to Waddell's (Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?, 1992), reenacting with precision and charm another variation of the classic ritual. The simple, totally authentic dialogue and cozily expressive art are just right for two-year-olds like Ba. (Picture book. 1-3) Read full book review >
ON YOUR POTTY! by Virginia Miller
Released: Aug. 19, 1991

The rough pencil illustrations are as carefully casual as the text of this simple, disarming story about a little bear whose usual response to any question is ``Nah!'' and who, despite the best efforts of big George to help him perform, at last triumphantly produces when he realizes that the time is right. Amusingly expressive art, nice light touch. (Picture book. 1-4) Read full book review >
SQUEAK-A-LOT by Martin Waddell
Released: May 24, 1991

In the repetitive cadence of a traditional nursery tale, a mouse seeks a playmate (`` `Can I play with you?' the mouse asked the bee. `Of course...We'll play Buzz-a-lot,' said the bee...But the mouse didn't like it a lot''). After trying several unsuitable companions, he finds his own kind—and makes a hit showing them all the exciting games he's learned: ``Woof-a-lot,'' etc. Skillfully crafted, appealing, and original; the brightly colored illustrations, deftly limned in broad, scribbly pencil, are perfect for group sharing. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >