Thursday, January 8, 2015

13 Kids' Books Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Paul O. Zelinsky is a one-time Caldecott medalist and three-time Caldecott honor winner. He has been illustrating children's books since 1978, and according to his website bio, he was first inspired to follow this career path by a class he took at Yale which was co-taught by Maurice Sendak. This is a list of selected works for which he has provided the artwork.

Toys Series

This trilogy by Emily Jenkins (also known to YA readers as E. Lockhart) is a set of beautifully written stories about the inner lives of sentient stuffed animals. These books have wide appeal - they work as family read-alouds, chapter books for beginners, and comfort reads for older kids as well as adults. The are listed here in order of publication, but Toys Come Home is a prequel.

Novels by Beverly Cleary

I know Paul Zelinsky best as the artist who drew Leigh Botts in Dear Mr. Henshaw. In fact, he is the illustrator of three Beverly Cleary books: 

  • Dear Mr. Henshaw
    In letters to his favorite author, eleven-year-old Leigh Botts reveals his feelings about his father's frequent travel, bullies in school, and many other occurrences from his daily life.
  • Strider
    In this sequel to Dear Mr. Henshaw, Leigh is now fourteen and in love with running, a red-haired girl named Geneva, and a dog named Strider. 
  • Ralph S. Mouse
    This is the third book in the series about an adventurous mouse who rides a motorcycle. It follows The Mouse and the Motorcycle and Runaway Ralph.

Picture Books

  • Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs
    A tall tale about a very large woman who lassos tornadoes and drinks lakes dry. There is a second picture book about the same character entitled Dust Devil.
  • Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham
    As the animals present the alphabet letter by letter, Moose finds it difficult to wait his turn. A companion book, Circle Square Moose uses a similar concept to teach shapes.
  • Doodler Doodling by Rita Golden Gelman
    This tongue twister of a story shows what can happen with a blank page, a pencil, and a ton of imagination.

Other Titles

  • The Random House Book of Humor, selected by Pamela Pollack
    A collection of excerpts from funny favorite children's novels.
  • Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones
    In this, Diana Wynne Jones's last book, explores what happens to a young orphan who finds herself in foster care in a house of dark magic.
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