Mystery Beans Make Magical Squash!

Back in 2006, I came across a short article in The Park Slope Courier about a young boy who planted some mysterious beans. The article went on to describe how the boy and his father had come across a seed packet in a local hardware store, but they had not been able to identify the plant. There was a picture of the fourth grader holding up what looked like a four and a half foot long string bean. That and the headline were enough to inspire me to write my own version of Jack and the Beanstalk. The book came out […]

A good book for a hot summer day

One Hot Summer Day © Nina Crews, HarperCollins Publishers August in New York City – “Dogs pant. Hydrants are open. Women carry umbrellas for the shade.”  Those words were written over twenty years ago during another hot, sticky New York summer and come from my very first picture book, One Hot Summer Day – now in print for twenty years! One Hot Summer Day sketch for page 4-5 Much has changed in the Brooklyn neighborhoods I photographed for this book and the young girl, who stars in the story, is now a grown woman. Not everything changes, however, the experiences of young children at play […]

Climbing the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk © Nina Crews. Published by Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. I am so pleased that my retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk will be published next week! I started thinking about the story way back in 2004 and wrote my first drafts in 2006. It’s about time! The visual possibilities excited me first. I loved the idea of a huge beanstalk curling into the sky past a brick apartment building. Jack and the Beanstalk © Nina Crews I then did a little online research and learned that that the story as I […]

I’ll Catch the Moon

©Nina Crews 1996 Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers The moon! There it is, outside the window, shiny as a new quarter. The child narrator imagines building a ladder to outer space, going up and up, until she can hold the silver circle in her hands. And what a magical time they have together! School Library Journal – The book has striking visual images and while there is no strong story line, it does capture and convey a child’s power to imagine and wonder. May 1996  

The Neighborhood Mother Goose

©Nina Crews, Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 9780060515737 • ALA Notable Book 2005 • Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts (NCTE) • Texas Library Association 2×2 Reading List 2005 • New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2004 • CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Council) Choice 2004 • Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Children • School Library Journal Best Books 2004 • Kirkus Reviews 2004 Editor’s Choice List • Parenting Magazine Books of the Year 2004 • Cuyahoga County Public Library Children’s Books to Read and Own Every day, children the world over sing, shout, and celebrate Mother […]

One Hot Summer Day

© Nina Crews 1995 Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers ISBN:9780688133931 • CCBC Choice 1995 • Junior Library Guild Selection 1995 It is summer and it is HOT. Dogs pant. Women carry umbrellas for the shade. But the running, dancing narrator is busy. Drawing. Teasing her shadow. Eating Popsicles. Here is a perfect book for all seasons: If you are cold, it will warm you, and if you are hot–well, the sky is darkening, and the big drops are ready to fall. Nina Crews makes a stunning debut with a book bursting with emotion, truth, and beauty. Horn Book July/August 1995 – […]

The Neighborhood Sing-Along

©Nina Crews 2011 Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 9780061850639 • Bank Street Children’s Book Committee – Building Blocks Selection for Children Five & Under Playground songs and classroom songs, silly songs and sweet songs, wake–up songs and bedtime songs… Everyday, children, parents, friends, brothers, and sisters sing songs to one another. Nina Crews brings her energetic style of illustration to this collection of thirty-four perennial favorites. From “Miss Mary Mack” (watching fireworks from her balcony) to “London Bridge” (built by a brother and sister in the living room) to “Skip to My Lou (in a rolling green park), the songs […]