Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pouch! Starred Review

Booklist has honored my forthcoming book Pouch! with a starred review.

Since I don't subscribe to Booklist, I can't link to the review, but here's an excerpt:
. . . Neatly embodying the way a young child’s drive toward independence seesaws with fear of the unknown, the panicky little kangaroos are vulnerable, appealing, and funny. The short, pithy text tells a story young listeners will immediately understand, right down to its heartening conclusion. . . . The artwork has a fresh, energetic quality that suits the story well. Stein, who won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award for Leaves (2007), once again shows his talent for creating a fresh story in a few well chosen words and illustrating it with humor and verve.

School Library Journal also wrote a very lovely review, and here are some tidbits as well:
Stein continues to create deceptively simple yet very affecting picture books. . . . Stein’s choice of easily identifiable animals (a bee, a rabbit, and a bird) is particularly apropos, giving the book universality. . . . The repetition will appeal to the intended audience, as will the chance to identify each animal Joey meets. The subtle sophistication of the story gives it broad appeal. . . .

Thank you Reviewers!

Friday, August 7, 2009


Hey folks,

Back in February I wrote and illustrated a wee reader called Tim and Sam for Hooked on Phonics' total revamping of their Learn to Read program. In doing so, I was pleased to join the company of such children's book stars as Rosemary Wells and Michelle Knudsen.

I was assigned the kindergarten level, and given a list of a hundred or so 3-letter words with which to write a compelling story. This resulted in Tim and Sam, the tale of a race between a fox and a bulldog. It is based on the sentence, "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." I had a lot of fun with the vocabulary challenge, and with letting the art speak the volumes that the text couldn't.

So now iParenting has awarded HOP with their Media Award for Outstanding Products. My book is a small part of the total package, but I'm glad to have been involved. Congrats to HOP.

[Thanks to Amy Kraft for the last two photos used here. (They are from the HOP blog.)]

See ya at the races,