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 […]

BELOW – paperback edition!

© Nina Crews 2006. BELOW – “Jack lived in a tall narrow house…”[/caption]   BELOW is now available as a print-on-demand paperback! Last fall, I got the news that one of my favorite books, BELOW, was going out of print. I’ve had other books go out of print before and I have always felt disappointed, but rarely surprised. This time I was surprised. BELOW had been named an ALA Notable book and a Junior Library Guild selection. Sales were never big, but steady, and the book was always a hit when I read it aloud to school groups. I was also in the midst of […]

A Neighborhood Photo Shoot: Expected and unexpected challenges

A couple of reviewers have commented (very nicely) on the naturalism of my photographs of children. Many of my favorite photographers like Helen Levitt, Andre Kertesz and Roy DeCarava created images that capture the beauty of unexpected and unguarded moments. But this, like all things, does require some effort. In my case I use an extra tool when things don’t quite go my way, Photoshop. Mega Sashes and Glass photo ©Nina Crews When I planned the image I wanted for “Do Your Ears Hang Low” I imagined a group of kids hamming it up in front of a shop window filled […]

Snowball

©Nina Crews 1997 Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers The weather report says “Snow.” Yet there is no sign of it on Monday, or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday. But oh, when it comes, it is as thick and white and wonderful as the young narrator dreamed. Zip up your jacket and come outside. It’s snowing! Kirkus – A spirited companion to Crews’ debut, One Hot Summer Day (1995)…Every scene is fresh and unpredictable, and the model’s face perfectly reflects the exclamations of the caption-like text. It’s a short tale entirely from a child’s-eye view—from a child’s heart—and a celebration of snow […]

Sky High Guy

© Nina Crews 2010 Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company Whether they’re trekking to a magical island to hunt dinosaurs or saving a city from destruction, Jack and his action figure Guy have exciting adventures. Sometimes Jack’s little brother, Gus, joins them. But when Guy gets caught in a branch while skydiving, Jack and Gus must launch operation rescue! In this companion to Below, Nina Crews uses her trademark photo-collage style to tell a playful story where innovative ideas and teamwork save the day. School Library Journal – “Jack starts out thinking of himself and Guy as the perfect […]

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 […]

Below

Below interior art

© Nina Crews 2006.  Nina Crews Studio Paperback Edition ISBN: 9780692434475 • ALA Notable Book 2007 • Junior Library Guild Selection 2006 • Read On Wisconsin book of the month December 2006 Jack and his action figure Guy have many adventures together, and the tall, narrow staircase in Jack’s house provides the perfect setting. Jack and Guy climb mountains, visit cities, and explore forests. But one day Guy falls down a hole in the stairs, and it’s up to Jack to rescue him. What is going on below the stairs? Only Guy knows. Publisher’s Weekly – “This fanciful look at […]

Jack and the Beanstalk

©Nina Crews 2011 Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company ISBN: 9780805087659   Jack receives beans from his neighbor and – lo and behold! – those beans lead him up a beanstalk and into the company of giants. How will he ever get back home? In her innovative photo-collage style, Nina Crews freshens up a beloved children’s tale for today’s young readers. Kirkus – A contemporary urban version of the ancient tale of beans and boy, with spiky parts rounded off. This Jack gets a jar of brightly colored beans for doing chores for his neighbor, and he plants them beneath […]

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 – […]