Picture Books and Early Readers by Donna Jo Napoli

THE HERO OF BARLETTA

illustrated by Dana Gustafson

1988 Carolrhoda Books (ISBN 0-87614-277-3) (pb 1992 Dell)

reviews

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: Teased by the other children because of his tremendous size, Nico saves the town against an invading army.

 

 

ALBERT

illustrated by Jim LaMarche

2001 Harcourt (ISBN 0-15-201572-8) (pb 2005)

  • Kentucky Bluegrass Award winner
  • American Booksellers Association Pick of the Lists
  • Children’s Book Sense 76 List
  • SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL Best Books
  • Los Angeles Times Best Book
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Children's Book
  • starred review PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
  • starred review SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • boxed review BOOKLIST
  • New York Public Library Children’s Books 2001
  • New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books 2001
  • Bookbuilders West annual award
  • nominated Arizona Young Readers Award
  • nominated South Dakota Prairie Bud Award
  • Hicklebee’s Selection
  • Renaissance Learning recommended list
  • published in Korean (2005 Jakeunchaekbang ISBN 89-89773-36-9)

reviews and more reviews

Playwright, lyricist, and composer, Alex Ishkanian, has created a musical version of ALBERT, which travels to schools and libraries in the New York City vicinity, and can be licensed out to school, community, and professional troupes so that it may have a life in other locations.  To have a listen to the song “Each Twig,” click here and scroll down until you see Albert holding Mother Cardinal as she sits in her nest.                                                                                                        

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ... flawless prose… A magical marriage of art and text.

 


HOW HUNGRY ARE YOU? (mathematics tale)

coauthored with Richard Tchen

illustrated by Amy Walrod

2001 Simon& Schuster (ISBN 068983389X)

  • starred review PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

reviews

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:... a charming story of friendship, it also serves as an introduction to simple division. … humorous and realistic...


ROCKY THE CAT WHO BARKS

coauthored with Marie Kane

illustrated by Tamara Petrosino

2002 Dutton (ISBN 0-525-46544-8)

For a bilingual (American Sign Language - English) version of this book, click here.

reviews

From BOOKLIST:...energetic story. Exaggerated facial expressions and body language are used to great effect, enabling preschoolers to "read" this delightful tale on their own.

 

FLAMINGO DREAM

illustrated by Cathie Felstead

2002 Greenwillow (ISBN 0-688-16796-9)

  • Bank Street College Best Books of the Year
  • Zooba.com recommended for parenting about grief
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book
  • Renaissance Learning recommended list

reviews

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:... aesthetically appealing and emotionally affecting ...simple and straightforward... depicts the stages of grief in an accessible and age-appropriate manner. ....

For readers of FLAMINGO DREAM, the following website is helpful for children and parents dealing with death: http://www.healing-stories.com

 

HOTEL JUNGLE

coauthored with Shelagh Johnston

illustrated by Kenneth J. Spengler

2004 Mondo Publishing (ISBN 1-59336-002-9)

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From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:... playful chaos ... fun-filled cartoons depict perfectly anthropomorphized animals...


PINK MAGIC

illustrated by Chad Cameron

2005 Clarion Books (ISBN 0-618-15985-1)

  • in Portuguese (PRESENTE MAGICO Caramelo, Sao Paulo, Brazil ISBN 85-7340-440-X)

reviews

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:... a brother and sister who refreshingly exude a real warmth for one another. ...

 

BOBBY THE BOLD

coauthored with Eva Furrow

illustrated by Ard Hoyt

2006 Dial Books for Young Readers (ISBN 0-8037-2990-1)

To see the ASL signs used in this book, visit this browser.

reviews

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ... illustrations dance across the pages as Bobby swings and frolics. .. well-written ... about acceptance and being true to oneself ...should find a home on most library shelves

 

THE WISHING CLUB: A STORY ABOUT FRACTIONS (mathematics tale)

illustrated by Anna Currey

2007 Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (ISBN-13: 978-0-8050-7665-3)

  • in Korean (Gimm-Young Publishers, Seoul , Korea ISBN 978 89 349 3972 6)

 

reviews

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ... realistic story about fractions. ... The mix of magic and math is irresistible. ... librarians will want the pleasure of reading it aloud and exploring the possibilities the author provides ...

 

 

CORKSCREW COUNTS: A STORY ABOUT MULTIPLICATION (mathematics tale)

coauthored with Richard Tchen

illustrated by Anna Currey

2008 Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (ISBN 0-8050-7664-6)

 

reviews

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: . .. endearing creatures ...engaging cast of neighborhood children, messy party decorations, the pig dressed up in bows, and the parrot causing chaos

 

READY TO DREAM

coauthored with Elena Furrow

illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft

2009 Bloomsbury USA (ISBN 978-1-59990-049-0)

 

reviews

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ... decorative dots and swirls of indigenous Australian art... A useful introduction to a radically different culture...

 

THE EARTH SHOOK: A PERSIAN TALE

illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

2009 Hyperion Books (ISBN 978-1-4231-0448-3)

  • selected for the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show 2009

reviews more reviews another review

For a description of Donna Jo's visit to Iran in 2005, click here.

From MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW:... beautiful modern children's fable ... a mystical quest to discover, or to remember what it means to be human. ...unforgettable experience for all the children lucky enough to read or have it read to them.

From KIRKUS: ...A gorgeous, discussion-provoking read-aloud.

 

HANDY STORIES TO READ AND SIGN

coauthored with Doreen DeLuca

illustrated by Maureen Klusza

with accompanying DVD by Adrian Blue and Janiah Mitchell

2009 Gallaudet University Press (ISBN 978-1-56368-407-4) with accompanying DVD (ISBN 978-1-56368-433-3)

 

reviews

Product description: ... a bilingual, fun approach to help beginning readers, deaf and hearing, improve their comprehension of both English and American Sign Language ... the perfect bilingual book for teaching children to read and sign.

From MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW... a top pick for young readers

 

MAMA MITI: WANGARI MAATHAI AND THE TREES OF KENYA

illustrated by Kadir Nelson

2010 Simon & Schuster (ISBN 978-1-41693-505-6)

  • winner of the Anne Izard's Storytellers' Choice Award
  • winner of the Frances and Wesley Bock Book Award
  • Black-Eyed Susan Book Award list, Maryland Association of School Librarians
  • Elementary California Readers list for 2013
  • starred review KIRKUS
  • starred review PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
  • nominated for the NAACP Image Award
  • Best Books of the Year list ESSENCE magazine
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
  • Amelia Bloomer Project Recommended List
  • used as the focal point for the Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute, summer 2013
  • published in Chinese (Chang-Tang Int. Publishing Co., Taichung, Taiwan ISBN 978-986-6347-25-2)
  • published in Japanese (Suzuki, Tokyo ISBN 978-4-7902-5223-8)

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To hear the author reading the book, click here.

To have a storyteller come to your class and tell a tale about Mama Miti as well as other African tales, visit the website of Diane Macklin.

 

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:... breathtaking … a vivid portrait of the community from which Maathai's tree-planting mission grows.

From KIRKUS: …. This is, in a word, stunning

Above is a photo of children in Cura Orphanage (outside Nairobi) in Kenya, reading MAMA MITI. The orphanage currently (as of 2011) cares for 50 children who have lost their parents to AIDS, providing safety, health, and a new family, full of hope.

group photo at MATI

Above is a photo of teachers in the first "dance" session at the Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute in summer 2013.

 

THE CROSSING

 

illustrated by Jim Madsen

2011 Simon & Schuster (ISBN 978-1-4169-9474-9)

  • starred review PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

 

review

 

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ...poetic descriptions of the landscape and journey... a refreshing new angle ...

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ...the sights, sounds, and smells of his incredible journey...a beautiful, atmospheric narrative that explores the possibilities of that momentous expedition [Lewis and Clark].

From NEW YORK TIMES:..poetic text and lush artwork tell an evocative story...

 

A SINGLE PEARL

 

illustrated by Jim LaMarche

2013 Hyperion (ISBN 978-142314557-8)

  • published in Spanish (Ediciones Obelisco, Barcelona, ISBN 978-84-16117-01-7)

 

 

 

 

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ...this resonant book from the creators of Albert follows a grain of sand’s metamorphosis into a pearl. Napoli’s lyrical narrative imbues the tiny grain with emotions.

From BOOKLIST: ... story of discovering self-worth...a thoughtful reminder that everything matters.

 

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HANDS & HEARTS

 

illustrated by Amy Bates

2014 Abrams (ISBN 978-1-4197-1022-3)

 

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From KIRKUS: This mother-daughter beach outing features an added layer: Throughout the day, they use American Sign Language to communicate...delightfully descriptive simplicity...will lead youngsters to imagine the feelings of a soft sea breeze and the sun on their faces...emphasizes the loving bond between the two.

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ...profound calm and quiet joy... poetic summertime story...

From childrensbooks.com: This is a beautiful and important book that introduces a child to ASL through a beautiful and accessible story.

From READING TODAY ONLINE (International Reading Association): ...utter joy and delight of a beach outing ... touching story about the special bond between mother and daughter.

TAKE YOUR TIME

coauthored with Eva Furrow

illustrated by Laurel Molk

2017 Henry Holt and Company (ISBN 978-0-8050-9521-0)

 

 

 

From KIRKUS: Slowing down and taking time to appreciate everything around you is precisely the value this simple story reflects. A journey of self-discovery in a unique environment.