Out of Print

A Year of Birds

Meet Ellie, whose home is visited by birds throughout the 12 months. Vibrant linoleum block prints, hand colored, bring readers into each scene as Wolff identifies the birds but telling more in the superb illustrations. …a quiet, lovely book. ~Publisher’s Weekly 1984 ALA Notable Book

The Pen That Pa Built

  In this warm display of old-fashioned know-how and family spirit, a blanket is made from scratch—from the shearing to the carding, spinning, dying, and weaving. And it all starts in the pen that Pa built. Told through Ashley Wolff’s vibrant artwork and with David Edwards story, this illustrated history of 1830s North America celebrates […]

The Bells of London

Conveying the spirit of bustling Elizabethan London, whose many churches the verses celebrate we learn the story of a girl’s affection for a pet bird. Using the same linoleum block technique as in A Year of Birds, Wolff has fashioned, for an old nursery rhyme, splendid illustrations that convey the spirit of Elizabethan London and her […]

Stella & Roy

In the park one Sunday, Stella challenges her younger brother to a race around the lake. Given that she is riding a big-wheel trike while Roy’s toddler-style four-wheeler is pushed rather than peddled (“It was built for coasting,” the narrator explains), Stella’s victory seems certain. But the curious girl is distracted by several natural displays, […]

Goody O’Grumpity

Goody, a Pilgrim, bakes a spice cake and the children come running, first to lick the bowl and then, best of all, to sample the cake itself. Wolff takes this 1937 poem by  Newberry medalist Carol Ryrie Brink, and brings it to life with her bold, detailed, hand-colored linoleum prints. The action is simple. The illustrations provide […]

Doctor Bird Three Lookin’ Up Tales From Jamaica

Here, in a trio of folktales, a top-hatted Doctor Bird uses magical powers plus his own wisdom to teach other creatures important lessons. Working in her characteristic combination of black gesso and rich gouachs, Wolff (previously paired with Gerald Hausman for How Chipmunk Got Tiny Feet) features lush foliage and exotic lizards and monkeys in dark outline and […]

A String of Beads

A young girl explains that she and her grandmother collect beads and make jewelry. Readers unobtrusively learn all of the basics about beads: who, what, where, when, and why and are also exposed to cultural history, natural history, and even some math. The narrator speaks with a true child’s voice, fresh and colloquial (“Grandma laughs […]

Come With Me

  A small boy choosing a puppy anticipates all of the activites they’ll share when the puppy is big enough to come home with him. Double-page watercolors in a wide but misted palette, with soft contours and no harsh lines, perfectly suit the quietly joyful mood of innocent love, showing details of their prospective adventures […]

A Garden Alphabet

Follow the 26-step planting and harvesting program of a horticulturally minded dog and frog. A fine anthologist (The Poetry Troupe, 1977) fashions garden facts and practices into adequate, if sometimes forced, verse. Wolff’s gardener is an appealing dog, both assisted and impeded by other creatures in various scales (a frog friend is dog- sized); some […]

A Year of Beasts

In every month of the year, beasts of all kinds live in the fields and forests around Ellie and Peter’s house. Illustrator Ashley Wolff presents a kaleidoscope of subtly changing seasons and moods. With hand-tinted linoleum block prints and spare text, she brings a warm, family feeling to her depiction of the seasonal cycle. ~San […]

Some Things Go Together

Wolff has created luminous illustrations to go with this reissue of Zolotow’s 1969 text. The poem is still fresh and appealing, as different pairs of things are linked together: “Peace with dove/Home with love” or “Gardens with flowers/Clocks with hours.” The rhythm of the language is soothing, making it a terrific bedtime story. The poem […]

She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain

The beloved folk song bounces and hoots in this expanded version set in a little town in the Southwest where an array of animals awaits a visitor’s arrival, all the while preparing a guest room and a huge fiesta. Wolff’s festive and funny illustrations, done in gouache and pastels, enhance the merriment of Sturges’s rhythmic verses. […]

Only the Cat Saw

With Amy’s family busy, only the cat sees things going on outside. Throughout the night the alert cat keeps his eyes on other wide-awakes like himself while the parents and children sleep. In the morning, though, while the cat snoozes, only Amy sees the beautiful butterfly resting on her windowsill.Wolff’s third book features full-color paintings […]

My Somebody Special

With its skillful interplay of text by Sarah Weeks and art, this story taps into one of the verities of preschool, the anxiety of being the last one picked up. “Our busy day is almost through./ Somebody special is coming for you./ Somebody special will open the door,/ and you’ll be the one they’re looking […]

Me Baby You Baby

As the day dawns, two mothers wake their toddlers (“Stretch baby, yawn baby, here comes the dawn, baby”), and head off for the zoo. The two toddlers discover animal babies (“Warm baby, cold baby, tucked-in-a-fold baby”), snack, run, play, and finally return home with their mothers. After dinner, each washes up and heads for bed, “Sleep […]

Little Donkey Close Your Eyes

This tender, musical, onomatopoetic poem addressed to a sleepy child smoothly and soothingly slides along as each baby creature is gently exhorted to stop its activities and close its eyes. Some are winningly mischievous: the donkey makes faces, the monkey throws coconuts, the piglet squeals. Others are quietly sweet: the lambs graze, the wild birds peep, […]

Home to Me, Home to You

This story alternates between the point of view of a young girl at home and that of her mother, who’s been away on business for a week. As they describe their individual activities, they both express their excitement that they will soon be together again. What makes this book satisfying is its thoughtful, well-defined structure as […]

Home Sweet Home

A lovely, tender poem that extols nature’s wonders, calling for blessings upon many things: each flower and tree, bear and hare, whale and snail, ant and cactus plant, stream and moonbeam, etc., culminating in a special blessing for each birth on Earth. The lines of large, clear print are placed in gentle curves upon magnificent double-page […]

How Chipmunk Got Tiny Feet

Why do certain animals have stripes while others have wings, feathers and tiny feet? Drawing from Coushatta, Navajo, Tsimshian traditions, Gerald Hausman uses native origin stories to explain the ways of the world. Illustrated by the dazzling artwork of Ashley Wolff, each story has a message, and always the message is the same: Here is the world… […]

Block City

Brimming with lively details of knights, sailors and peasants engaged in work and play, Wolff’s picture book version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Block City” begins with a young boy and his dog spread out on the floor with a collection of building blocks. His castles and turrets all finished, he drifts off to sleep, and the […]