Synopses & Reviews
and#160; All day, Whale swims through the ocean, wearing a poster advertising the big upcoming art exhibition. He visits the eel who wriggles abstract patterns in the sand, the squid who paints with ink, and the hammerhead shark who builds sculptures from salvage. Whale sees his friendsand#8217; confidence and creativity and wishes he could be an artist too, but he doesnand#8217;t know what to make and insists heand#8217;s too ungainly to create art. Then one day, with the unexpected help of some bioluminescent plankton, he discovers his own distinct point of view and talent.
From the award-winning author-illustrator of What Animals Really Like, hailed by School Library Journal as and#147;sublime silliness,and#8221; comes another inspiring tale about defying expectation and finding the artist within.
Praise for Whale Shines
"At its core, Robinsonand#8217;s (What Animals Really Like) story is a tried and true tale of a wallflower realizing his potential. But her understated, offbeat voice and visualsand#151;a mashup of classicism and graphic novel sensibilitiesand#151;makes this a standout: up-to-the-minute modern in its irreverence and offhandedness, yet timeless in its understanding of a characterand#8217;s yearning."
and#151;Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Sharp contrasts between light and dark are beautiful."
"Children will embrace and understand the sincere, undervalued message of art as substantive and a way to and#147;share oneand#8217;s world.and#8221; This inspiring tale of artistic collaboration between the whale and bioluminescent plankton will be shared again and again."
and#151;School Library Journal
"The watercolor and pencil art makes excellent use of the spreadsand#8217; wide horizontality; while the art projects and, indeed, the underwater world are on the literal side for such an artistic-themed story, thereand#8217;s a murky charm to life in the briny deep... Whatand#8217;s particularly appealing here is the casual inclusion of a wide variety of approaches to art, making this an entertaining lead-in to art projects, especially those involving the natural world."
and#151;Bulletin of The Center for Childrenand#8217;s Books
"Three-time Caldecott winner Wiesner (Flotsam) introduces a desert lizard named Art, a self-important portrait painter who undergoes a metamorphosis, inside and out, when his pesky lizard friend, Max, decides he wants to paint, too. 'What should I paint?' asks Max; the narcissistic Art says, 'Well... you could paint me.' Literal-minded Max begins applying blue to Art's knobbly skin. A series of philosophical questions arises: is Art still Art when his painted coat bursts off him mid-tantrum, like a reptilian sun gone nova? Is he still Art when Max douses him with water and the remaining color drains right out of him, rendering him transparent? Is he still Art when his outline collapses into a pile of tangled wire? As Max attempts to reconstruct his friend, an early effort has Art resembling a preschooler's spiky drawing of a monster ('More detail, I think,' Art says drily). This small-scale and surprisingly comedic story takes place against a placid backdrop of pale desert colors, which recedes to keep the focus squarely on the dynamic between the two lizards and the wide range of emotions that Wiesner masterfully evokes. Ages 5 8. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"A thought-provoking exploration of the creative process....Funny, clever, full of revelations to those who look carefullyand#8212;this title represents picture-book making at its best."and#8212;School Library Journal, starred review
"Children will giggle and marvel....Triple Caldecott winner Wiesner delivers a wildly trippy, funny and original interpretation of the artistic process."and#8212;Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"This small-scale and surprisingly comedic story takes place against a placid backdrop of pale desert colors, which recedes to keep the focus squarely on the dynamic between the two lizards and the wide range of emotions that Wiesner masterfully evokes."and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Sophisticated and playful, this beautiful mind-stretcher invites viewers to think about art's fundamentals: line, color, shape, and imaginative freedom."and#8212;Booklist, starred review
"[A]and#160;visual meditation on the effects of illustrative style. . . . Detailed with Wiesner's signature craft and wit."and#8212;The Horn Book
"Longtime children's book legend David Wiesner takes exciting risks with his newest book about two art-making critters."and#8212;The Huffington Post
Praise for Deborah's first book, BLUE CHICKEN:
"Breathtakingly beautiful meta-illustrations will draw many eyes to this tale of a curious chicken who spills some paint... Delicate and durable, visually sophisticated yet friendly: simply exquisite." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Full of surprise and emotion... The book has much to pore over on every page, and children will want to experience the action over and over again." - School Library Journal, starred review
"The spare, poetic text allows the images to shine... this delightful treat emphasizes the joy of breaking free of conventional boundaries and turning accidents into art." - Booklist, starred review
"While the artist is away, the chickens will indeed play, and Deborah Freedman has captured their antics in this book overflowing with joyful fun." - BookPage
"... all will appreciate the sheer joy of a book that celebrates color and innocent mischief." - Horn Book Magazine
Praise for THE STORY OF FISH AND SNAIL:
“The theme of books as doorways into rich new adventures couldnt be more vividly conveyed, and the resolution of the conflict between two sweet friends provides encouragement for other 'snails' to try new things.” - Publishers Weekly
Praise for Deborah's first book, BLUE CHICKEN:
"Breathtakingly beautiful meta-illustrations will draw many eyes to this tale of a curious chicken who spills some paint... Delicate and durable, visually sophisticated yet friendly: simply exquisite." —Kirkus, starred review
"Full of surprise and emotion... The book has much to pore over on every page, and children will want to experience the action over and over again." —School Library Journal, starred review
"The spare, poetic text allows the images to shine... this delightful treat emphasizes the joy of breaking free of conventional boundaries and turning accidents into art." —Booklist, starred review
"While the artist is away, the chickens will indeed play, and Deborah Freedman has captured their antics in this book overflowing with joyful fun." —BookPage
"... all will appreciate the sheer joy of a book that celebrates color and innocent mischief." —Horn Book Magazine
Praise for THE STORY OF FISH AND SNAIL:
“The theme of books as doorways into rich new adventures couldnt be more vividly conveyed, and the resolution of the conflict between two sweet friends provides encouragement for other 'snails' to try new things.” —Publishers Weekly
“…[a] sweet little story…” —School Library Journal
* "A charmer of a chicken. . . Here's hoping that Peggy has many more big adventures."
and#8212;Kirkus, starred review
* "Walkerand#8217;s ink and photo collage illustrations are dreamlike in appearance. Admirers of Janet Morgan Stoekeand#8217;s and#8220;Minerva Louiseand#8221; books (Dutton) will relish the chance to meet another charming chicken."
and#8212;School Library Journal, starred review
"The subtle color palaette remains constant, regardless of Peggy's surroundings, exuding a calm throughout that is emulated by the varied illustration formats, the text, and Peggy herself."
and#8212;Horn Book Magazine
"Walker creates a gorgeous, rain-washed cityscape, inhabited by anonymous figures in muted colors and photo-collaged images of passing buildings; the lone chicken, walking confidently within the crowd, receives only casual attention."
andquot;An endearing tale of ambition fulfilled.andquot;
andquot;Tusaand#39;s illustrations are cheery and absolutely full of life: Readers can almost hear the music Elva does.andquot;
andquot;Quiet humor...provides a tender accompaniment to this meditation on fulfilling oneand#39;s dreams.andquot;
andquot;This charming book artfully and evocatively explores the joy that comes from following your dreams.andquot;
andmdash;School Library Journal
"Wiesner captures perfectly the aura of a giant storm from a child's perspective. A family weathers a hurricane; the next day, in the post-hurricane yard, the two boys in the family play on a great fallen elm, imagining it to be a jungle, a pirate ship, and a space ship. A handsome book, affording opportunities for sharing fears and dreams of adventure." -- Copyright © 1991 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.
"We wouldn't wish a real hurricane on children, but this book will give them a taste of the magic of the moment when the lights go out." School Library Journal, Starred
Max and Arthur are friends who share an interest in painting. Arthur is an accomplished painter; Max is a beginner. Max's first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various artistic media, which turn out to have unexpected pitfalls. Although Max is inexperienced, hes courageousand a quick learner. His energy and enthusiasm bring the adventure to its triumphant conclusion. Beginners everywhere will take heart.
Every day, Snail waits for Fish to come home with a new story.
Today, Fish's story (about pirates!) is too grand to simply be told: Fish wants to show Snail. But that would mean leaving the familiar world of their book—a scary prospect for Snail, who would rather stay safely at home and pretend to be kittens. Fish scoffs that cats are boring; Snail snaps back. Is this book too small for the two feuding friends? Could this be THE END of The Story of Fish and Snail?
Deborah Freedman, author of Blue Chicken, has created a sweet and playful story about friendship that truly jumps off the page.
A young girl longs to play the violin in this beautiful, moving new book from Mary Lyn Ray and Tricia Tusa that shows it's never too late to follow your dreams.
A young girl longs to play the violin in this lyrical story that shows itand#8217;s never too late to pursue your dream. More than anything, Elva wants a violinand#8212;but her parents say no. So she pretends. When she should be brushing her teeth, Elva rehearses for recitals. When she should be learning subtraction or going to sleep, she imagines playing all the music in the world. The years pass, but Elva never forgets her childhood wish, and so one day she takes a deep breath and follows her heart . . .
Swept away by gusty wind and deposited on an unfamiliar city street, Peggy the hen goes for a walk, taking in the sights, and manages to make her way back home with new friends and a new routine that includes trips to the city. An engaging and funny picture book on the important theme of independence.
Peggy the hen is contented with her quiet existence and daily routine. When a powerful gust of wind sweeps her up and deposits her in the midst of a busy city, she explores her new surroundings, makes new friends, and cleverly figures out how to get homeand#8212;with a newly kindled appetite for adventure. Evocative full-color paintings follow Peggyand#8217;s journey, offering comical details that reward repeated viewing. This reassuring tale and its unruffled heroine invites discussions of exploration, safety, and resourcefulness
A tale of creativity, friendship, and the fine art of compromise.and#160;
Two mouse friends have two distinctly different uses for leftovers.and#160;and#160;and#160;Edgar loves to build with them.and#160;and#160;and#160;Toby loves to eat them.and#160;and#160;and#160;This makes life challenging.and#160;and#160;and#160;So Edgar sets out to find someone who will appreciate his creations as art, and not as lunch.and#160;and#160;and#160;This sly, appealingly understated, and warm-hearted book is the American debut of the author/illustrator Sofia Eldarova.
When a storm is raging, David and George are glad to be inside the house, snug and safe. In this spectacular picture book by Caldecott Honor recipient David Wisener, a fallen tree becomes the threshold to the limitless voyage of the imagination, which David and George share as only true friends--and brothers--can.
About the Author
David Wiesner's interest in visual storytelling dates back to high school days when he made silent movies and drew wordless comic books. Born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey, he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. While a student, he created a painting nine feet long, which he now recognizes as the genesis of Free Fall, his first book of his own authorship, for which he was awarded a Caldecott Honor Medal in 1989. David won his first Caldecott Medal in 1992 for Tuesday, and he has gone on to win twice more: in 2002 for The Three Pigs and in 2007 for Flotsam. He is only the second person in the award's history to win the Caldecott Medal three times. David and his wife, Kim Kahng, and their two children live near Philadelphia, where he devotes full time to illustration and she pursues her career as a surgeon.