Synopses & Reviews
Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Steins expressive tale about familial love is full of funny, tender family dynamics that will evoke nods of recognition and lots of laughs.
Tad the tadpole loves spending every minute with his awesome dad, whether theyre swimming together, catching flies, or sleeping. But now little Tad is getting bigger. Hes growing new limbs and jumping to new heights. His dad is proud, but when Tads accomplishments carry over into nighttimebringing lots of wiggling, croaking, and kicking in his sleeptheir lily pad starts feeling mighty crowded! When Tad finally realizes it might be time for a bed of his own, will Dad be ready?
"As he did in Interrupting Chicken and Pouch!, Stein again shows his skill at finding laughs in commonplace situations. Ol' Mama Squirrel keeps her squirrel children safe from a variety of intruders (cats, owls, repairmen) with a combination of noise, bluff, and bloody-minded indignation. When a dog threatens, she 'clattered in the high branches. chook chook chook! She chattered in the low branches. chook chook chook! She scrabbled right side up and upside down while she scolded that dog.' Stein's all-too-real vignettes of the angry squirrel's arched eyebrows and waving fists are funny all by themselves, and when a sneering grizzly bear shows up and the suspense builds, Ol' Mama Squirrel doesn't flinch. The book gallops along without pausing for breath, and there's something deeply gratifying about the story of a mother whose perfect confidence assures that her children will always be safe. Yet Stein makes it possible to sympathize with the victims, too: 'They must put crazy powder in the nuts around here!' says the dog she's chased off. A rousing and rowdy readaloud. Ages 3 5. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
To Bear, in his first year, everything is new. He lives on a tiny island with a few trees, flowers, berries, and butterflies, and he dances with joyuntil he sees a leaf fall to the ground. He wonders, "Are you okay?" More leaves fall. "He tried to catch them and put them back on . . . but it was not the same." As he watches the leaves fall and blanket the ground, he grows sleepy, finds a cavelike hole, fills it with leaves, and burrows into it to sleep away the winter. In spring, he joyfully welcomes the tiny leaves unfolding on the trees. The narrative works seamlessly with the freewheeling, expressive artwork. Created with bamboo pen, the energetic, sensitive drawings are tinted with subtle shades of color. Just as Stein uses white space effectively in the art, he uses "white space" well in the spare, precise text, leaving some details for children to notice in the pictures alone, such as how the leaves have been stuck back on the trees by spearing them onto the living twigs. Teachers will find this picture book a natural for curriculum units on leaves or hibernation, and children will enjoy seeing fall anew through the eyes of a big-hearted character more innocent than themselves. Wonderfully simple and simply wonderful for sharing with children. —Booklist, starred review
"Showing [Stein's] customary gift for spot-on evocations of childlike voice and sensibility. . . . Sometimes snail mail is just better. Here's proof."
"A clever and enticingly child-friendly format. . . . . Young ones will have more than their fair share of fun, and they'll understand the longing for someone who's gone away."
"Mouserella's ebullience comes through on every page. . . . Delightfully precocious letter. . . . Exercise in joyful self-expression."
"Will prompt children to think about their own letter writing. Those who have never written a letter will be encouraged to do so."
* “As he did in Interrupting Chicken and Pouch!, Stein again shows his skill at finding laughs in commonplace situations. . . . All-too-real vignettes of the angry squirrels arched eyebrows and waving fists are funny all by themselves. . . . The book gallops along without pausing for breath, and theres something deeply gratifying about the story of a mother whose perfect confidence assures that her children will always be safe. Yet Stein makes it possible to sympathize with the victims, too. . . . A rousing and rowdy readaloud.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Reminiscent of the little fishes triumph in Leo Lionnis Swimmy. . . . Kids will go nuts for this title . . . one can only imagine that Steins Little Chicken from his Caldecott Honor-winning Interrupting Chicken would love it, too, given its focus on keeping little ones safe. This effervescent tale brims with humor and vibrant characterization.” Kirkus Reviews
“Lively, loose, gestural drawings. . . . Human parents will admire [Mamas] singleness of purpose, and youngsters will chuckle at the way she challenges danger with a familiar wag of a finger, raised eyebrow, and fierce hands-on-hips stance that lets us all know, ‘And that takes care of that!” The Horn Book
“Expressive watercolor and ink illustrations. . . . Zany, blocklike animals are drawn with animated gestures, drawing readers into the humorous, but caring subject of a mothers love. Storytellers will find themselves animating Mamas frantic gestures and youngsters will enjoy the short, fast-paced passages on each page.” School Library Journal
“An amusing ode to the strength of maternal love and an affectionate depiction of the small but sassy squirrel, and mamas everywhere will appreciate Ol' Mama Squirrel's of motherly protection. Kids will be tickled by Ol' Mama Squirrel's equal-opportunity scolding. . . . Young listeners will also enjoy chiming in on repeated phrases. . . . The boxy-shaped squirrels are both adorable and comical. . . . Stein is particularly gifted at creating effective and funny compositions. . . . You'd be off your nut if you squirreled this title away . . . share it aloud for some giggles and grins.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The delightful tale of a curious baby kangaroo, from the creator of Leaves
When you?re new to the world, every hop brings another surprise! Joey wants to go exploring, but everything he discovers is almost too exciting. Bees, rabbits, birds . . . other creatures can be scary! But Mama is never far away, and who knows?Joey might even make a friend.
David Ezra Stein?s gentle story will amuse and comfort readers.
This simple, charming story of a young bear's first autumn is perfectly suited to board book format. Bear is surprised when the leaves start falling off the trees, but when he tries to reattach them, it doesn't work. Eventually, he gets sleepy, and burrows into the fallen leaves for a long nap. When he wakes up, it's spring-and there are suddenly brand-new leaves all around, seeming to welcome him.
With its childlike main character and graceful illustrations, Leaves is a great way to teach the youngest children about the changing seasons.
It?s so nice to be nice!
. . . well, maybe a little.
Love was meant to be passed on.
An adorable menagerie of irrestible animals populate this gentle look at friendship. Getting close to someone is an art and these little creatures demonstrate the simple ways to show you care. David Ezra Stein?s expressive illustrations ooze charm and will inspire readers to be very nice indeed.
It?s a young bear?s first autumn, and the falling leaves surprise him. He tries to put them back on the trees, but it doesn?t work. Eventually, he gets sleepy, and burrows into the fallen leaves for a long nap. When he wakes up, it?s spring?and there are suddenly brand-new leaves all around, welcoming him.
Graceful illustrations and a childlike main character offer the perfect way to talk to children about the wonder of the changing seasons.
Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein's delightful tale of a baby kangaroo's first hops toward independence is perfect for board book audiences. Joey wants to go exploring, but at first he isn't sure he's ready to leave Mama's safe, warm pouch. Touching on a universal childhood experience, this sweet tale celebrates trying new things.
From the time they leap out of bed until they hug each other good night, two rambunctious young monsters make the world their playground. And playtime between such great friends is colossal fun, and sometimes earth shaking business.
David Ezra Stein?s simple, descriptive text and lively illustrations are full of humor, playing with size and perspective as the monsters play familiar games on an enormous scale. Children will delight in the monsters? antics, and get a kick out of the twist at the end of the story?the monsters might be as tall as mountains, but they?re just kids, after all!
Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Steins lively tale is a fantastic read-aloud, and feisty Mama Squirrel will have fierce mamas everywhere applauding!
Ol Mama Squirrel has raised lots of babies, and she knows just how to protect them. Whenever trouble comes nosing around, she springs into action with a determined Chook, chook, chook!” and scares trouble away. Her bravery is put to the test, however, when a really big threat wanders into town and onto her tree. But no matter what, Mamas not about to back down!
About the Author
David Ezra Stein (www.davidezra.com) received a Caldecott Honor for Interrupting Chicken and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award for Leaves, which was also a Publishers Weekly Best Book, a Kirkus Reviews Editors Choice and a School Library Journal Best Book. He also wrote and illustrated Ol Mama Squirrel; Love, Mouserella; Pouch!; and The Nice Book. He lives in New York City. Large portions of the art for this book were created with a four-and-a-half-year-old on his lap and a baby wandering the studio floor and gnawing on art supplies.