School Library Journal ★ "Niko’s journey will resonate with budding artists and inspire young audiences of all abilities to create something meaningful. A must-have."
Kirkus "Conceptual and thoughtful, like Niko's own pieces."
Booklist "An insightful and supportive celebration of creativity and imagination."
CHARLOTTE ZOLOTOW HONOR BOOK
NYPL BEST BOOKS FOR KIDS
Twiniversity "...a delightful romp through the urban jungle of Manhattan."
Kids' Book Buzz "One quote from this book that I really liked was, 'New York also has quiet places and places where I can explore.' A cool picture with this quote was of a man who was reading. It turns out the man is Hans Christian Andersen!"
The Next Kid Thing "The photos are compelling, the text is relatable and the story is timeless. New York is My Playground embraces the innocence of children and the simplicity of the juggernaut that is NYC."
Kirkus Reviews ★ "Readers may never look at concrete, or shaped, poetry in the same way again."
Publishers Weekly ★ "This is arguably Raczka's best poetry work to date."
School Library Journal ★ "This winning assortment should find place in most libraries."
Bulletin of the Center for Childrens Books ★ "Raczka's poems pack a double punch, first with the expectedly deft shaping of the verses themselves, and secondly with the visual twists built into each title."
KIRKUS BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Kirkus Reviews "Assisted by brilliantly expressive pen-and-ink caricatures from award-winning cartoonist Burr, Raczka makes the most of historical trivia, lampooning a wide variety of presidential idiosyncrasies. Lighthearted and entertaining…"
School Library Journal "This petite treat cracks open history via a little light mockery in the form of 43 clerihews..."
Publisher Weekly "These poems are satisfying bursts of sarcasm and wit."
Kirkus Reviews ★ "Santa himself is the purported author of this calm but bright collection... Anyone interested in haiku or poetry for children will find this collection a rare treat."
Publishers Weekly ★ "This is Christmas from the heart—with scarcely a toy in sight."
School Library Journal "Quiet haikus written by Santa Claus are gift-wrapped in lovely folk-inspired, jewel-toned spreads. A lovely and enticing addition."
NCTE NOTABLE POETRY BOOK
Kirkus Reviews "…the repartee between the whining batter and the umpire is delightful, as is Joy's highly imaginative, definitely rule-breaking pitching style. The old ball game is still great fun."
Booklist "…a good addition to the slim number of picture books about girls who excel at sports."
School Library Journal "There's a not-so-subtle message here, but it's delivered with pitch-perfect tone. This playful retelling wins a place for itself alongside the many iterations of Casey's tale."
Booklist ★ "More than just clever gimmicks, the poems leave room for moving lines with a depth that invites imaginative wandering. Sure to have wide classroom appeal."
Horn Book "The lemonade here is cool and refreshing, and it makes you want to do some squeezing yourself in this playground where poet meets Scrabble nerd."
Publishers Weekly "Raczka's poems are all produced from the letters in single words, magnifying and playing on their meanings…there's a subtle humor and power at work in many, and readers may be spurred to construct their own."
ALA NOTABLE BOOK
NCTE NOTABLE BOOK
Kirkus Reviews "This rollicking fall frolic is sure to arouse a chorus of hearty negatives in every audience as children race to point out the mistakes in both the text and the illustrations. A true celebration of fall certain to be a winner with teachers and children alike."
Publishers Weekly "With giddy abandon, Cameron's bustling, mixed-media artwork has fun with this story's gleefully wacky premise. Even observant kids may not pick up on all of the art's switcheroos on the first read."
Children's Literature "It's a fun read-aloud, and children should enjoy finding all the mix-ups."
School Library Journal "Art lovers will read this for pleasure, but report writers will also be fascinated by the information in this well-organized survey."
Booklist "…short biographies written in conversational, jargon-free text introduce seven great artists, as young beginners and then as creators of famous works. Great preparation for a gallery visit, this will appeal to older readers, too."
Kirkus Reviews "The author clearly enjoys introducing and decoding "high" art to kids. The whole package is intriguing, pleasing and inviting."
School Library Journal ★ "This is haiku at its most fun. All libraries should grab it for their collections."
Horn Book "Raczka and Reynolds are a winning team, and the results will start many boy (and girl) readers thinking about turning their own experience into a seventeen-syllable poem."
Booklist "Non-rhyming poetry can be a tough sell for kids. For some, though, haiku is less intimidating, thanks to its brevity and reliance on rigid rules—and intimidating is one thing this book is not."
KENTUCKY BLUEGRASS AWARD
School Library Journal "Raczka pairs paintings with quotes from their respective creators. The artists' words provide insightful glimpses into their philosophies or personalities. A clever and inspiring addition to the series."
Children’s Literature "Each image was clearly carefully chosen with children in mind… Speaking of Art perfectly blends biography with art in a way that preschoolers to middle school students will enjoy."
School Library Journal "In this clever art history book, Raczka makes Johannes Vermeer's masterpieces accessible… The tone throughout remains light and conversational, as readers are encouraged to think about the details and stories found in each work of art."
Children’s Literature "Raczka has hit upon an innovative way to introduce the Dutch painter and his works to young art-lovers: interviewing the characters in seven of the famous paintings."
CHILDREN'S CROWN AWARD
BOOKLINKS LASTING CONNECTION
LMC EDITOR'S CHOICE
School Library Journal "Whether it is the knockout punch of George Bellows's Dempsey and Firpo or the fiery blasts of Diego Rivera's The Conquest of Mexico, this art is not about sitting still."
Kirkus Reviews "Raczka, an artist and a reliable purveyor of workmanlike and generally lively introductions to major works of art for kids, here trains his educated eye on 18 movement-rich paintings that each exhibit child appeal."
Children’s Literature "…this book does a good job of making art exciting…"
Booklist "An obvious choice for museum-bound children to glean a few basics of what they’re about to see, this is also indispensable for any middle-grade classrooms introducing art history."
School Library Journal "The art chosen to illustrate each style is in some cases perfect–van Eyck's The Arnolfini Portrait illustrates Naturalism; in others, surprising-Courbet's The Stone Breakers is a little–seen painting that is nonetheless a fine choice to illustrate Realism."
Booklist "Well suited to reading aloud, this evocative picture book celebrates the joys of summer."
School Library Journal "…this book will rally children's imaginations and creativity for a spirited discussion, craft project, or writing about this special time of year."
Children’s Literature "The rhythmic text and active pictures invite young readers to join in the fun and could inspire them to come up with their own lists and pictures of summer wonders."
Kirkus Reviews "A delightfully delivered message appears on every page of this bright, appealing art book: Read! An eclectic selection of paintings in which the subject is reading and a melodic text makes a winning combination."
School Library Journal "Through 23 works of art, Raczka shows the timeless appeal of reading. This eye-catching collection is a welcome addition."
Kirkus Reviews "The simple, playful rhymes make this celebration of winter a solid choice for sharing with toddlers and beginning readers alike."
School Library Journal "The book's quick pace and cheerful pictures make it a perfect choice for seasonal storytimes. The variety of activities and families introduced also makes it a great conversation starter for one-on-one sharing."
Children’s Literature "The book has fun phonics, with silly words like gooey and squirrely, shovely and zippery all describing the wonderful world of winter."
Booklist "In the voice of a gallery tour guide, Raczka introduces 13 famous works of art from across the world…an exciting way to introduce children to a wide range of artwork and to prepare them for a gallery visit."
Children’s Literature "Art can transport us all over the world and back in time. This book is a journey around the world and through time via 13 pieces of art…"
Kirkus Reviews "There is a lot to love about the fall, as readers can see in this action-packed, rollicking book of noun-oriented rhyme. Overall, a vivid and lively introduction to the season that preschoolers will particularly enjoy."
School Library Journal "In catchy rhyme, Raczka celebrates the smells, tastes, holidays, experiences, and changes in nature that make the fall special."
Kirkus Reviews "The eye-catching format is brilliant…"
Booklist "The final comment, “America is a work in progress,” brings history and art together. Great for teachers as well as children interested in art."
Children’s Literature "Snap, snap, snap, the ideas flow with the rhythm of a ten second television commercial spot. But slow down and really look and the images are still there, safe and sound on the pages of a book."
School Library Journal "In this top-notch introduction to self-portraiture… Raczka has chosen carefully; within his 14 examples, he manages to include three women, a range of cultures, and a span of periods and ages."
Booklist "The most striking and involving part of the book is the series of well-chosen portraits… an intriguing starting place for children inspired (or assigned) to create their own self-portraits."
Children’s Literature "Many styles and eras of European and American art are represented, including a careful rendering by thirteen-year-old Albrecht Durer in the fifteenth century…"
Booklist "A fine seasonal read-aloud choice for story programs or lap-sit sessions."
School Library Journal "Enliven your theme lists for seasons, spring, verbs, or just fun with this cheerful picture book."
Kirkus Reviews "Raczka's catchy rhyming text is told mostly in gerunds ("sunning, warming, thunderstorming"), and Stead offers simple pleasant acrylic paintings for each."
School Library Journal ★ "Raczka has a great eye–a welcome attribute in the creation of art books for children. His strength lies in selecting images high in child appeal and combining them in fresh, provocative ways."
Booklist "…Raczka encourages kids to approach sculpture by reinforcing the message that there are no wrong answers to the question of what a sculpture represents."
Children's Literature "...Bob Raczka's 3-D ABC is likely to stimulate children, along with their parents and teachers to take a closer, more informed look at art."
School Library Journal "Raczka deserves an A+ for cleverness…this book is an amusing way to introduce children to famous works of art."
Children's Literature "Instead of considering each work of art individually, Raczka asks the reader to view them as pairs… a delight to share with children of all ages, thought-provoking, amusing and, in its very sly fashion, educational."
School Library Journal "This simple yet imagination-expanding method of experiencing art will captivate youngsters."
Booklist "Raczka's short, rhyming text gives structure to the book, but the color reproductions of well-chosen, vivid paintings steal the show. This art book rests on a simple concept, beautifully executed."
Kirkus Reviews "This is a work to examine again and again. A delightful, insightful introduction to the world of art."
School Library Journal "Raczka introduces more than two dozen famous artworks... His selections are as diverse as a Greek vase, a Bridget Riley Op Art painting, an African mask, a Romare Bearden collage, a Louis Comfort Tiffany lamp, and a Pablo Picasso sculpture... The eclectic collection is woven together with simple rhyming couplets."
Library Media Connection "The crisp font and vibrant illustrations make this suitable as a read-aloud for any age group."
NCSS/CBC NOTABLE SOCIAL STUDIES TRADE BOOK
School Library Journal "The singularity of artistic vision is celebrated in this gentle text."
Children’s Literature "A simple rhyming text emphasizes the unique vision of each of the sixteen featured artists and closes with a statement validating the individual way each reader sees the world."
Booklist "Illustrated with famous twentieth-century works by such artists as Georgia O'Keefe, Rene Magritte, and Grant Wood, this singsong poem gets to the heart of what artists do: create unique perspectives of the world."
ILA CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD
ILA TEACHER'S CHOICE