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Books & Awards

Awards & Recognition:
Body of Work

  • 1996 Ohioana Award for Children’s Literature – Alice Louise Wood Memorial
  • 2011 EECO Environmental Education Council of Ohio Charley Harper Award
  • Honored author at the Laura Bush Celebrates America's Authors inauguration event, 2001
5 Little Ducks cover
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5 Little Ducks

© 2016 Beach Lane Books

5 Little Ducks cover
  • Starred review from Kirkus Reviews
  • School Library Journal’s October Pop Picks
  • Bound to Stay Bound Books Cream of the Crop Fall 2016
  • Wall Street Journal “The Best New Children’s Books” (article), November 4, 2016
“A traditional rhyme serves as the basis for an adaptation with an expanded worldview. As the original, the story begins with five ducklings and a parent. But this time it’s Papa Duck doing the calling. The little ducks’ adventures take place over a week, with one fewer returning home each day. Rather than always going “over the hills and far away,” however, these five little ducks enjoy exploring new places and meeting new friends. They have fun playing in the woods with a winsome flying squirrel, frolicking with wild turkey chicks, imitating a turtle, wallowing in the mud, and splashing in a kiddie pool. On Saturday, however, all five respond to their father’s call, and the family is reunited just in time to share a day of rest on Sunday (mandated by Mama Duck). Two pages of information follow, offering close-up portraits and basic facts about some of the animals featured. As always, Fleming’s artwork, created by pulp painting with pastel pencil accents, is lively and appealing. Her clever tweaks to the familiar text allow her to showcase a variety of natural environments. Whether it’s a panorama of farmland or a shadowy woodland glade, each double-page spread offers plenty of intriguing details limned in bright colors. Packed with personality and charm, these five ducklings will waddle their ways into the hearts of readers and listeners.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred
“Fleming (Maggie and Michael Get Dressed) infuses a well-loved nursery song with the vivid hues of her signature pulp-painting illustrations in this joyful interpretation. The five tiny members of a mallard family waddle away from Papa Duck on Monday, headed ‘through the woods and far away,’ but only four return when Papa calls them home with a ‘Quack, quack, quack!’ The pattern repeats as the week rolls on, and also through a series of outdoor scenes—‘past the paddock,’ ‘across the fields,’ and ‘down the road’—giving a strong sense of the ducks’ rural environs. By Saturday, the family is reunited, and on Sunday everyone follows Mama Duck’s advice: ‘Today is the day we all rest!’ In addition to incorporating the days of the week into this adaptation, Fleming introduces farm and woodland animals (flying squirrels, wild turkeys, pigs, and more), further expanding the ducks’ world and readers’ experience. A closing section identifies these animals, as well as a girl named Anna, who splashes around with one duck in her wading pool on Friday. A fresh rendition of a favorite.” –Publishers Weekly
“Lush pulp-paper illustrations give vibrancy to an old nursery song…Textural tweaks, meanwhile, add sly modernity. Here, it is Papa Duck who quacks for his ducklings to return, each day welcoming home one fewer than went out. As the ducklings dwindle, dad is sad. When the family finally reunites, it is Mama Duck (“I know best”) who orders a day of rest in this richly-hued picture book for 1- to 3-year-olds.” –Wall Street Journal
Maggie and Michael cover
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Maggie and Michael Get Dressed

© 2016 Henry Holt and Company

Maggie and Michael cover
“This beautifully illustrated story by Fleming, using her signature pulp painting technique, is an amusing tale about young Michael’s creative attempt to get dressed for the day with the help of his dog Maggie. First, he finds yellow socks. But Maggie runs away with one. When it is returned, the socks end up on Maggie’s front paws. Next, it is time to choose a shirt and pants, but those also end up on the pup. When Michael remembers he has forgotten the undies, they become a hat for Maggie! Mom asks if Michael is dressed, and he quickly changes into the clothes that Maggie has been wearing. When Michael returns after his day, his great friend is waiting. An amusing introduction to colors, this simple book has humor in both the text and the illustrations. This story about playing with a puppy while procrastinating about getting dressed is one with which many young children can identify. VERDICT This tale about getting dressed with a hidden lesson about color identification is a delightful sleight of hand.” –School Library Journal
“Michael’s mother informs him that it is time to get dressed, but he has other ideas. The caramel-hued, rosy-cheeked preschooler with gingerbread curls and mischievous chocolate-brown eyes chooses to clothe his small dog, Maggie, instead of himself. This early concept book focuses on the colors of the shoes, hats, caps, and socks he puts on the dog. With her trademark style of jewel-toned dyed-paper-pulp paintings, Caldecott Honoree Fleming (In the Small, Small Pond, 1993) elevates this everyday activity. Through her soft, felted lines, readers share the comforting contours of Maggie curled up asleep as well as the pleased, overdressed pup reaching up for a kiss. Care has been taken in the typeface choices to echo the soft edges created by the images, and in the text, the colors’ names are highlighted in the corresponding hues and set in a separate, painterly type. The limited language and patterned repetition (‘Look, Maggie—socks. Yellow socks’) make this text accessible to beginning readers as well as enjoyable as participatory read-aloud. Visual humor abounds. Readers’ view of Michael's mom is of the hem of her stylish, flowered below-the-knee skirt, bare ankles, and ballet flats rushing past the doorway. A marmalade tiger cat and baby sibling watch all of the action from the background, and observant readers will enjoy their Easter-egg feature on the back cover. The joyful celebration of common activity radiates from every page.” –Kirkus Reviews
Go, Shapes, Go! cover
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Go, Shapes, Go!

© 2014 Beach Lane Books

  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Concept Books, 2015
  • Included in Six Skills by Age Six: Launching Early Literacy at the Library By Anna Foote, Bradley Debrick
  • Keystone State Reading Association (ILA affiliate) Reading List: Preschool
  • Read-On Wisconsin 2015-2016: Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
“Fleming’s signature pulp-painted backgrounds set the stage for a performance featuring an assemblage of shapes; created from patterned handmade papers, the forms are choreographed in their activity by a madcap mouse on wheels…‘Slide, SQUARE, and start the show!’ he cries, zooming around the double-page spreads.…Motion lines drawn with pastels combine with expressive verbs, rhyming couplets and playful phrases to animate the narrative: ‘Bibbity bop!’ Although Fleming presents a veritable smorgasbord of early learning (shapes, colors, directions and concepts), there is also a dramatic arc with tension and humor.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Tiny paper-collage Mouse gives various cut-paper shapes their marching—and rolling, bouncing, and slithering—orders in Fleming’s (Underground) celebration of concepts and perception. With oval wheels that give the impression of a windup mouse, the speedy rodent zooms across Fleming’s bold handmade paper backgrounds, directing the shapes on how to assemble themselves…When each shape has played its part to form a new whole, the resulting monkey looks ready to play. However, in his exuberance, Mouse crashes into the monkey, sending the shapes scattering. And when the rallying cry ‘SHAPES, find your places!’ comes, the paper pieces take on a spirit of their own, reassembling into, not a monkey, but another animal that has Mouse on the run.” –Publisher’s Weekly
“In this early concept book created by the masterful Fleming, a mouse ringmaster opens the shenanigans: ‘SHAPES are in place and ready to go!’...Kids will likely wiggle around, too, as they learn the shapes and act out the motions in the rhyming directives. As the shapes combine, a figure emerges: a monkey! He looks delighted, but the mouse loses control, careening across the page, and crashes into the monkey, sending the individual pieces flying. Tots will collapse in peals of laughter.” –Booklist
underGROUND cover
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underGROUND

© 2012 Beach Lane Books

  • Junior Library Guild Selection, 2012
  • Baby Buzz September 2012 Pick
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison); Science, Technology, and the Natural World; 2013
  • Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Title (CCBC), 2013
  • Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Master List (KSRA), 2013-2014
  • Read-On Wisconsin 2013-2014: Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
  • The Wyoming Buckaroo Book Recommendations, 2013-2014
  • Maine Regional Library System Cream of the Crop, 2013
“In this evocative ode to nature, Fleming returns to the backyard turf of In the Tall, Tall Grass and In the Small, Small Pond, but digs deeper—literally—to explore the teeming life found ‘Low down./ Way down./ Under ground.’...Fleming’s scenes simultaneously depict what’s underneath and just above the ground; created via her trademark ‘pulp painting’ process, the spreads have a marbled texture, and are rendered in bright sky blues, vibrant grassy greens, and the warm brown-reds of soil. Spiders and salamanders scamper on rocks and between blades of grass, pink earthworms and a chubby toad navigate ‘Squirm-ways and worm-ways’ in the dirt, a fox peeks from an underground den, and ants march through tunnels. All the while, a curious boy watches the activity and tends to his plants. Fleming’s luminous scenes invite close inspection and creature-spotting, and a key at book’s end contains facts on more than 20 featured animals.” –Publisher’s Weekly
“Bursting with her signature bold color and textured pulp paintings, Fleming’s latest tour de force affords an immersion into the backyard world below our feet. Economical and descriptive, the rhythmic text pairs with cross-section illustrations of the myriad creatures that burrow, dig, and funnel their way underneath the earth’s surface. Revealed amid the nests and tunnels, too, are other (and oft amusing) forms of subterranean deposits: seeds, root vegetables, old tools, keys, dog bones. Young readers will spot a connecting narrative arc in the artwork as a young boy helps plant and water a new cherry tree. An illustrated ‘Creature Identification’ index is appended, offering concise information about the underground habits of the wildlife. A first-rate picture book on every level and made-to-order for group sharing, this title reveals the fascinating ‘squirm-ways and worm-ways’ found in the natural world.” –School Library Journal
SHOUT! Shout It Out! cover
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SHOUT! Shout it out!

© 2011 Henry Holt and Company

  • Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio Best Book Award Gold Seal, 2011
  • Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best List, 2012
  • NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts, 2012
  • Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Master List (KSRA)
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Concept Books, 2012
  • Bank Street CBC Best Children's Books of the Year (Bank Street College of Education), Up to 5, 2012
  • Horn Book Recommended Concept Books, 2013
“Like an exuberant, slightly older sibling to The Everything Book, Fleming’s latest concept book invites preschoolers to show what they know by shouting it out. Mouse, a recurring critter in the author’s works, seems to have infiltrated a preschool class. Against speckled backgrounds of brilliant pink, orange, green, and purple, Mouse scampers through zippy images of numbers, letters, colors, animals, and modes of transportation. On each spread, exuberant, multiethnic children—mouths open wide—appear to yell out the names of the featured objects, visually encouraging readers to do the same (and make no mistake: there will be shouting). Fleming brings a new dimension to her signature pulp-painting technique, using swatches of patterned paper collage and marker accents on her figures. The approach gives everyone more prominent features and allows the kids to be portrayed in joyous full bellow. Children just learning their colors, animals, and ABCs will be invigorated, and those who have already mastered these basics will still enjoy the top-of-their-lungs review—as well as Mouse’s asides along the way.” –Publisher’s Weekly
Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy cover
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Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy

© 2010 Henry Holt and Company

  • BCCB Blue Ribbon Best Books of 2010
  • Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best List, 2010
  • Pittsburgh 10 Best Books for Babies Award, 2011
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 2011
  • Capitol Choices, 2004
  • Starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, The Horn Book Guide, and Booklist
“Although a human baby yawns on the book jacket, this soporific picture book introduces various animals at bedtime on each of the first 12 double-page spreads. The text begins, ‘Tiny baby panda, / sleepy, oh so sleepy. / Tiny baby ostrich, / sleepy, oh so sleepy. / Tiny baby lion, / sleepy, oh so sleepy. / Where's my sleepy baby?’ On one double-page spread after another, a baby animal closes its eyes to sleep, protected by a watchful parent. Written on a single page, the text would look like four stanzas followed by a coda. Though woven through with words used repeatedly in the verses, the ending shifts its sense and rhythm as subtly as breathing shifts when someone drifts off to sleep. Briefly the focus narrows to the human children, then broadens to include all the world's sleeping babies. Formed using Fleming’s signature medium of ‘pulp painting,’ which simultaneously creates the image and the paper that bears it, and accented with pastel pencil, the large-scale illustrations are bold in form and rich in color. With mesmerizing words rolling along, this large-format bedtime book does its job so well that it’s hard to repress a contented yawn when the story winds down to its quiet ending.” –Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp cover
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Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp

© 2008 Henry Holt and Company

  • Virginia Readers’ Choice List, 2009-2010
  • Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best List, 2009
  • ALSC (ALA) Notable Children’s Books, 2009
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 2009
“From its opening blue-bandanna endpapers to its cowpoke glossary on the back cover, this sweet, simple story is steeped in the stuff of the Wild West. Buster the dog (Buster, 2003) returns, once again faced with a crisis. Owner Brown Shoes is off on a trip, and Buster is sent to stay with Red Boots at Sagebrush Kennels Cowboy Camp. Though initially apprehensive, Buster soon warms to his fellow campers and, in spite of himself, starts to enjoy his rollicking, temporary home on the range. Fleming extracts remarkable expression from her signature paper-pulp illustrations, and the dude-ranch details delight. What’s more, the book package is terrific—from font choice and placement to the color-saturated, full-bleed illustrations. The real charm, however, rests in the careful, deliberate arc of the story. Rather than bringing Buster all the way home again, Fleming ends her tale as Buster closes his eyes, comfortable among his friends in the Sagebrush bunkhouse. Brown Shoes will be back, but Buster is safe and happy until his return.” –Booklist
“Buster the dog is NOT HAPPY that Brown Shoes is taking off for a weekend’s R&R and leaving him at Cowboy Camp in the care of Red Boots. A day later, though, after painting a ‘Wanted’ poster (of his friend Betty the white kitten, who gets to stay with Mrs. Pink Slippers), learning how to catch a ball, helping to build a fire under a kettle of beans and bacon and, with fellow canine campers, singing cowboy songs, Buster’s attitude has done a complete 180. Fleming’s masterly control of her paper-pulp medium shows itself in the poster’s lettered header, in the fine patterns of the neckerchiefs worn by all the campers and particularly in Buster’s wonderfully expressive body language. The colors really pop, too. Young tenderfeet anxious about sleepover camp will be reassured by Buster’s experience; they will also appreciate the cowpoke glossary (‘Chow. Food.’) on the back cover.” –Kirkus Reviews
Beetle Bop cover
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Beetle Bop

© 2007 Harcourt

  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best, 2008
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 2008
  • Starred review from Publisher’s Weekly
  • Featured in episode #902 (“Bugs/Beetle Bop”) of Reading Between the Lions
“Beetles come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and Fleming (In the Small, Small Pond) gives an exuberant shout-out to a slew of them in this eye-catching catalogue of backyard nature. Befitting the book’s title, Fleming’s verse dances across the pages—“Brown beetles,/green beetles,/not-often-seen beetles”—accented by changing font, color, and even direction in the layout of text. But young readers will especially want to pore over her bursting-with-color, dyed-paper-pulp compositions. As they do, they will glean information about beetle behavior (crashing into porch lightbulbs, gnawing on leaves or bark) and the beetle’s place in the larger food chain (being lapped up by a salamander’s tongue or snatched in a bird’s beak). Part boisterous read-aloud, part field guide for entomology enthusiasts, this arresting volume has something for everybuggy.” –Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“From ladybugs to lightning bugs, children will quickly be caught up in the bopping rhythm as the text flits and flies, buzzes and hums among the ‘Striped beetles/spotled beetles/all-over-dotted beetles.’ The type design and placement of the text are an integral part of the lush illustrations, and the balance between fun and fact will awaken youngsters’ curiosity. This perfect mix of art, science, and rhyme is a great addition to library collections and excellent for promoting literacy devclopment.” –School Library Journal
“As in her Caldecott Honor Book, In the Small, Small Pond (1993), Fleming creates a vibrant, exciting portrait of often-overlooked creatures. Here she uses expertly crafted fiber collage to celebrate beetles, and both words and pictures vibrate with the relentless energy of her subject. The rhyming couplets call out descriptions of beetles with the pounding rhythm of a chant: ‘Striped beetles, spotted beetles, all-over-dotted beetles.’ the beautiful images, colored in bright, saturated shades shot through with electric jolts of neon, magnify the places where beetles hide—under leaves, inside pavement cracks— drawing young children into the secret insect world where predators sometimes lurk. The final spread shows the beetles’ activity as a wild,joyful dance, which may inspire preschoolers to try out a creepy-crawly boogie of their own. A great choice for a restless crowd demanding a high-voltage read-aloud.” –Booklist
The Cow Who Clucked cover
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The Cow Who Clucked

© 2006 Henry Holt and Company

  • Kirkus Reviews Best Books for 2006
  • Children's Choices for 2007 (IRA and CBC project)
  • The Best Children's Books of the Year: 2007 (Bank Street College of Education)
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best, 2007
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 2007
  • AISLE Read-Aloud Books Too Good To Miss, picture books, 2007-2008
  • Starred reviews in Horn Book Magazine and School Library Journal
“A cow wakes up to find that she has lost her moo and is clucking instead. She visits various creatures throughout the countryside, clucking at them and getting answers in their natural sounds. ‘Cluck, cluck,’ said Cow. ‘Meow,’ said Cat. ‘It is not you who has my moo,’ said Cow. And on she went. The repetitive refrain, ‘It is not you who has my moo,’ has a sonorous charm and invites participation. Some readers will quickly realize that if Cow is clucking, she should go directly to Hen to find her moo. The Greek chorus of yellow chicks (who apparently follow Cow because she sounds like their mother) might be another wink to readers. When Cow at last finds Hen mooing, the two animals trade sounds and the chicks—silent up to this point—immediately find their own voice: ‘peep’. The gentle inside jokes, the animal sounds, and the repetitive phrase constitute only a fraction of this book’s appeal. Fleming is, after all, a thrilling illustrator whose pulp-painting technique brings subtlety and texture to densely colored art. Here, she creates a countryside inspired by Van Gogh, and the net result is some of her most sensational artwork to date. The layers of subtle humor and visual splendor are truly impressive.” –School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
The First Day of Winter cover
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The First Day of Winter

© 2005 Henry Holt and Company

  • Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio Best Book Award, 2006
  • New York Public Library’s List of One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Kirkus Reviews Best Books for 2005
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 2006
  • Ohio Choose to Read Program
  • Featured on NPR’s “Day-to-Day” Holiday Book Guide, 2005
“Vibrant, handmade paper compositions illustrate this secular spin on ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’ ‘On the first day of winter my best friend gave to me…a red cap,’ read the words, as richly textured images show a snowman (unadorned except for a scarlet hat) in a wide, snowy field. On subsequent days, the snowman receives more presents (two bright blue mittens; three striped scarves, and so on) from his best friend, a young, toast-brown child—until he is fully outfitted with winter accessories, including the final ‘ten salty peanuts.’ This is a winning choice on many levels. The beautiful illustrations, shown from unusual angles, contrast the vivid colors of cozy scarves, mittens, and curious animals (deer, squirrels) with the inviting white of the snow. The syllables of the text match easily with the tune of the familiar Christmas carol, making the book ideal for holiday lap sits. Fleming deepens the counting exercise with winter magic—the snowman who speaks, his friendship with a young child, and the simple, astonishing thrill of a snowy day.” –Booklist
Buster cover
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Buster

© 2003 Henry Holt and Company

  • Publisher’s Weekly Best Children’s Books, 2003
  • ABC Best Books for Children, 2003
  • New York Public Library’s List of One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 2003
  • Chicago Public Library’s 2004 Best of the Best List
  • Capitol Choices, 2004
  • Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Title (CCBC), 2004
  • Starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly
“Two’s a crowd when a feline interloper disrupts a contented pooch’s way of life in this clever cross between picture book and chapter book. Buster lives a dog’s life, to be sure. He loves his ‘dishes with his name painted on them in curvy letters,’ his large grassy yard and Brown Shoes, the owner who takes him to the park whenever he asks. But this ideal picture changes the day that ‘the big box’ arrives—containing not spicy sausages, as hoped, but a white cat named Betty. The furry new addition tries her best to get Buster’s attention (‘She slept in Buster’s dishes with the curvy letters. Buster ignored her. She ran up and down and around Buster’s tree. Buster ignored her’) but Buster reaches his limit and runs away, only to get lost in an unfamiliar park. It’s Betty, in surprising fashion, who leads Buster home. Fleming (Alphabet Under Construction) brings a cheerful childlike tone to her text, along with abundant touches of humor and tenderness—and a clear understanding of pet (and child) dynamics. In a fresh-looking style that will especially appeal to beginning readers, she breaks her tale into brief ‘chapters,’ each bearing a title suited to the scenario (‘The Big Box,’ ‘Lost,’ etc.). Her signature colored pulp paintings exhibit a smooth confidence as Fleming varies her compositions from full-bleed spreads to spot illustrations, all in a joyous palette dominated by snappy greens and yellows. Buster, a lively auburn pup who looks like he could be part fawn, is a scene-stealer with his expressive eyes and lifelike movements. And Buster won’t be the only one happy to see ball-of-fluff Betty at book’s end.” –Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
Alphabet Under Construction cover
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Alphabet Under Construction

© 2002 Henry Holt and Company

  • ALSC (ALA) Notable Children’s Books, 2003
  • Chicago Public Library’s 2004 Best of the Best List
  • Nick Jr. Magazine Best Books for ages 1-3, 2002
  • Texas Library Association 2x2 Reading List, 2003
  • Children's Literature Top Choice List, 2003
  • Oppenheimer Toy Report Gold Medal, 2003
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2002
  • Parent & Child Teacher’s Picks: The Best New Books
  • Capitol Choices Under Seven List, 2002
  • South Carolina Picture Book Award (SCASL)
  • Starred review from Booklist
“Fleming offers an engaging conceit executed in a marvelous medium. A hardworking mouse is building the alphabet: on each page the industrious rodent creates a letter using an activity beginning with that letter. Mouse dyes the D—a shimmery tie-dye effect; levels the L (using a pile of bricks and a carpenter’s level), and quilts the Q. Most of these actions are related to construction or artwork, and each letter, usually much larger than the mouse, is sturdily indicative of itself. For instance, the W being welded is made of wrought iron lattice. Fleming has poured colored cotton fiber through hand-cut stencils to make her illustrations, which are thus bold in outline and shape and vivid with an almost incandescent coloring. Although this has the simplicity of many alphabet books, it also has momentum as the project moves forward, and ingenuity in its execution. The exhausted mouse’s month of hard work is rewarded: the last page shows the completed alphabet. A handsome poster of the alphabet is included.” –Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
Pumpkin Eye cover
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Pumpkin Eye

© 2001 Henry Holt and Company

  • The Best Children's Books of the Year: 2002 (Bank Street College of Education)
  • Starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Booklist
  • Reading Rockets: Ten Books for Halloween
“All eyes in a Halloween story hour will be riveted to this stellar story of trick-or-treaters enjoying the deliciously scary nature of this special night. Images of eyes peek out throughout the story with golden cat eyes, lighted windows in houses, and the pie-shaped eyes of jack-o’-lanterns looming on oversized pages. Fleming (The Everything Book, 2000, etc.) uses her signature medium of cotton pulp poured into hand-cut stencils to create the shapes for her paper collages with midnight-blue backgrounds lit by a full moon. Each double-page spread has a rhyming couplet set in huge white type, relating a pitch-perfect story full of heart-pounding excitement (‘toes curl, heads swirl, things bump, hearts thump’). The brilliant design includes creative text placement and superb left-to-right flow as the trick-or-treaters work their way down the street, becoming more excited and animated as the night progresses. Those who object to witches will want to skip this one, as ‘wretched witches roam the street’ and fly through the sky on the final page—but for those who celebrate Halloween in all its spooky glory, this story seems destined to become an essential read-aloud for October story hours.” –Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
The Everything Book cover
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The Everything Book

© 2000 Henry Holt and Company

  • New York Public Library’s List of One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Publisher's Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2000
  • American Bookseller Pick of the List, 2000
  • Nick Jr. Magazine Best Books for Ages 1-3
  • Texas Library Association 2x2 Reading List: Ages 3-6, 2001
  • Parenting Reading Magic Award, 2001
  • ALSC (ALA) Books to Grow On, 2003
  • Featured in The New York Times “Children's Books; Everything You Always Wanted to Know*” (article), November 19, 2000
  • Starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly
“Part concept book, part word book and part nursery rhyme anthology, Fleming’s (In the Small, Small Pond) vibrant picture-book hodgepodge surely lives up to its title. Exuberant spreads teeming with brightly hued animals, plants, objects and for the first time in Fleming’s oeuvre a cast of children, introduce numbers, colors, the alphabet, body parts and seasons. Simple rhymes (‘Cock-a-doodle-do!/ Hello! Good day!/ Good morning to you!’), most of them anonymous, are interspersed throughout, like gentle breaks between more learning-oriented pages. Fleming is at the top of her game, depicting a seemingly endless number of bold color combinations using her technique of ‘painting’ with dyed cotton pulp and handmade stencils. Her richly textured compositions beg to be pored over and touched. Fans will delight in seeing familiar elements from many of Fleming’s earlier works (In the Tall, Tall Grass; Lunch; Count!) freshly updated here. And readers young and old will want to accept the challenge of finding the 119 ladybugs that crawl or fly across the pages of this lively outing.” –Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“This is a gorgeously illustrated 64-page compendium of nursery rhymes and much of the basic life information that caring parents un-self-consciously and naturally introduce to their babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Colors, shapes, numbers, the alphabet, names for body parts, the seasons -- all the first concepts children learn are endearingly presented in Fleming's vibrant, distinctively textured style. And, just for fun, tiny ladybugs are hidden among these objects, undetected except by the most keen-eyed young insect hunters. A key in the back of the book reveals how many appear on each page.” –The New York Times
Mama Cat Has Three Kittens cover
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Mama Cat Has Three Kittens

© 1998 Henry Holt and Company

  • ALSC (ALA) Notable Children’s Books, 1999
  • Children’s Choices for 1999 (IRA and CBC project)
  • Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Title (CCBC), 1999
  • New York Public Library’s List of One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Nick Jr Magazine 10 Can’t Miss Classics, 2000
  • Books to Read Aloud to Children of All Ages, 2012 Edition, Bank Street College of Education
  • Capitol Choices, 1998
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 1998
  • Parenting Reading Magic Awards, 1998
  • Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, 2002, California Department of Education
  • Starred reviews from The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books and School Library Journal
  • Great Lakes' Great Books Award Winner, 2001, Grades PreK-1
  • Michigan Reader's Choice Award Nominee, 2001, Grades Pre K - 1
“From Peter Rabbit to the Poky Little Puppy, there’s one in every family—one offspring who marches to the beat of a different drummer. In Fleming’s (In the Tall, Tall Grass) chipper picture book, the odd kitten out is Boris, an orange tabby who prefers to nap while his mother and siblings sharpen their claws and chase leaves. But when Mama Cat and kittens Fluffy and Skinny curl up for a rest, Boris is ready to pounce (if only to find his next napping spot). Fleming’s self-proclaimed love of cats (she lives with seven) permeates this somewhat slight but playful outing, as she accurately captures feline behavior and movement. The repetition of simple phrases and actions is also sure to be a hit with toddlers. In her vibrant artwork, composed with boldly colored cotton fiber pulp and stencils, Fleming creates a sense of texture and depth unique to her medium. Mama Cat’s luxurious black fur is speckled and contoured with blue and flashes of fuchsia, an unusual but effective color combination, which endows Mama with both dimension and significance. On every page, the cats’ eyes shine brightly in varying tones of fluorescent yellow and green. In addition to following the frolicking felines from scene to scene, young children will have great fun spotting trios of caterpillars, ladybugs, snails and bumblebees as well as a leery mouse who manages to stay out of the cats’ path.” –Publisher’s Weekly
“As Mama cat leads her kittens through a garden adventure, Fluffy and Skinny carefully follow her example (cleaning paws, chasing leaves) while Boris naps. The surprise comes when Boris is ready to frolic and the others are too exhausted to play. Preschoolers will request repeat readings of this delightful story and enjoy searching for the smaller creatures found on each page. Fleming's kittens, created by pouring colored cotton pulp through hand-cut stencils, are large and bold and set against colorful backdrops. An excellent choice for reading aloud to groups.” –School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
Time To Sleep cover
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Time to Sleep

© 1997 Henry Holt and Company

  • New York Public Library’s List of One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Title (CCBC), 1998
  • Society of Illustrators The Original Art, 1998, Silver Medal
  • Parentdish.com Top 100 Books for Infants
  • The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 1998, Bank Street College of Education
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 1997
  • Capitol Choices, 1997
  • NCTE Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for Pre-K—Grade 6, 12th Edition: 1996-1998
  • Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001, H.W. Wilson
  • Vermont Red Clover Children’s Choice Picture Book Award Nominee
  • Starred review from Kirkus Reviews
“A well-wrought bedtime book from Fleming (Where Once There Was a Wood, 1996, etc.), who sends little ones cheerfully off to their dreams. When Bear smells winter in the air, she knows it’s time to sleep, and she will, just after she tells Snail. Snail recalls the frost on the grass this morning and knows Bear is right—it’s time to sleep, right after Skunk is told. It is Ladybug who carries the news full circle back to Bear, snoring in her cave. Sleepy goodnights end the book as white flakes appear in the dark forest. The illustrations, created by pouring colored cotton pulp through hand-cut stencils, feature boldly life-like small animals and insects who face the coming of winter in a simple, truthful manner. Visual delight and solid natural history aside, the joy of the story is the way in which it incorporates childlike attempts to delay bedtime and a beautifully turned, humorous ending. A perfect fit for the audience.” –Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
Where Once There Was a Wood cover
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Where Once There Was a Wood

© 1996 Henry Holt and Company

  • ALSC (ALA) Notable Children’s Book, 1997
  • Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001, H.W. Wilson
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 1996
  • Starred review from Kirkus Reviews
Already a favorite of preschoolers, Fleming (In the Small, Small Pond, 1993, etc.) takes an appreciation of the natural world a giant step further. Rhythmic verse—'Where once there was a wood/a meadow/and a creek . . . sit houses side by side/twenty houses deep'—demonstrates that there was another sort of community before people arrived, 'where once the brown snake/slithered and slipped out of sight.' An ecology lesson it surely is, but it's also a celebration of the earth and its creatures. Illustrations in vivid jewel-and-earth tones appear on handmade paper; the woods, creeks, and meadows are clean and inviting, and, bringing balance to the presentation, the new houses are not without their charms. The lively back matter, titled 'Welcome Wildlife to Your Backyard Habitat,' offers substantial, easily executed suggestions for encouraging wildlife around the home; it's information just right for family and classroom sharing. Perfect for Earth Day observances, a book that's as welcome as spring. –Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“This ardent plea for the conservation of wildlife habitats contains some of Fleming’s (In the Small, Small Pond; Lunch, see p. 70) most accomplished artwork ever. Her paintings, composed of richly dyed and textured cotton rag fiber, sustain an emotional but controlled intensity. Through a combination of earthy browns and grays, occasionally splashed with bold yellow, red and blue, Fleming depicts a graceful natural world that she fears is disappearing. In the form of a single brief verse, she accompanies her art with a chronicle of creatures displaced by a newly erected housing development, ‘where once the heron fished/ and speared his glittering food…/ sit houses side by side/ twenty houses deep.‘ Four well-designed pages follow the text with specific, practical suggestions about how communities and and individuals can help ‘welcome wildlife’ to a backyard habitat. Addresses for further information and useful, anecdotal hints are also included. A beautiful call to action.” –Publisher’s Weekly
Barnyard Banter cover
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Barnyard Banter

© 1994 Henry Holt and Company

  • ALSC (ALA) Notable Children’s Book, 1995
  • American Bookseller Pick of the List, 1994
  • New York Public Library‘s List of One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • School Library Journal Best Books of 1994
  • Parenting Magazine 40 Outstanding Children‘s Books
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 1994
  • ALSC (ALA) Babies Need Words Every Day: Stories to Share
“Each in their niche—hens in the henhouse, mice in the grain bin, and so on—the animals make their traditional exclamations as the barnyard goose careens through, chasing a bright yellow butterfly. Lush colors, startled, wide-eyed animals, and bold, black print make each page of this latest offering from a new Caldecott honoree (In the Small, Small Pond, 1993) jump with activity. Good for either group or lap reading; up close, you can really appreciate the texture Fleming creates in her specially handmade paper by incorporating such materials as coffee grounds and oats. Youngsters can responding to a repeated question (‘Where's goose?’), and the familiar animal voices will please them; here, they can also enrich their vocabularies with such descriptives as ‘wallow,’ ‘paddock,’ and, of course, ‘banter.’” –Kirkus Reviews
“Richly mottled papers in sumptuous collage introduce an energetic and noisy assortment of domestic and wild animals in this barnyard tour. Each double-page spread features a particular animal rendered in vigorous, rough-hewn forms. A rhymed scheme in three quatrains forms the minimal text. ‘Donkeys in the paddock, hee, haw, haw / Crows in the cornfield, caw, caw, caw / Crickets in the stone wall, chirp, chirp, chirp / Frogs in the farm pond, burp, burp, burp.’ Set in large black letters, the initial phrase appears in a line on the left-hand page, while the sounds tumble through the pictures in various formation. The simple catalog of animals and their sounds is extended into a bit of a guessing game with the presence of a red-billed goose who pursues a yellow butterfly through each scene. Three times, once after each fourth animal, the verse is punctuated with the question, ‘But where’s Goose?’ There’s a satisfying answer in the concluding sequence, which collects all of the animal sounds against a grassy hummock filling most of the spread, while the back end of goose marches off the page to appear next in full splendor with a loud “honk, honk, honk,” and still in pursuit of the butterfly. The texture, color, and humor of each page invite the eye to linger, and readers will undoubtedly return to favorite scenes. The mice cavorting across a rust-red grain bin with actual grains embedded in the painting and the blue, black, and purple crows cawing against a yellow-green cornfield are among many views to be savored. The imaginative illumination of a very basic and familiar scheme is masterful.” –Horn Book
In the Small, Small Pond cover
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In the Small, Small Pond

© 1993 Henry Holt and Company

  • ALSC (ALA) Caldecott Honor Book, 1994
  • ALSC (ALA) Notable Children’s Book, 1994
  • ALSC (ALA) Notable Children’s Videos, 2002 (Video produced by Weston Woods, narrated by Laura Dern)
  • American Bookseller Pick of the List, 1993
  • New York Public Library’s List of One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Ohioana Book Award: Juvenile Fiction, 1994
  • Parent’s Magazine Reading-Magic Award: Outstanding Children’s Book, 1993
  • Parent’s Magazine Best Kids’ Books of 1993
  • Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 1993 Editors’ Choice
  • School Library Journal Best Books of 1993
  • NCTE Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for Pre-K—Grade 6, recommendations, 1993
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 1993
  • Phoenix Picture Book Honor Award (ChLA), 2013
“Denise Fleming has followed her award-winning book, In the Tall, Tall Grass (Holt), with a glimpse into another ecosystem. Employing the same method of pouring colored cotton pulp through hand-cut stencils, she creates eye-catching compositions in which bold, vibrant forms are superimposed on a watery blue-green palette. The rhymed text consists of three or four words, primarily verbs, printed large on each page and arranged so that they seem to move along with the images. Herons lash and lunge, whirligigs circle and swirl, and swallows sweep, swoop, and scoop in alliterative harmony…Belying the adjectives in the title, this large attractive book is open and expansive; and it discloses more information than might appear at first glance, though the art alone is excuse enough for repeated visits.” –Horn Book
Lunch cover
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Lunch

© 1992 Henry Holt and Company

  • New York Public Library’s List of One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • ALSC (ALA) Notable Children’s Book, 1992
  • School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, 1992
  • New York Public Library’s List of One Hundred Picture Books Everyone Should Know, 1997
  • Children's Choices for 1992 (IRA and CBC project)
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 1992
  • Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, 2002, California Department of Education
  • Starred review from Kirkus Reviews
  • NCTE Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for Pre-K—Grade 6, 10th Edition: 1988-1992
“Again using her unique medium—brightly colored pulp applied to a screen to make ‘handmade paper in which the stenciled images have become a part of the paper itself’—the author of Count! creates a lively introduction to the colors: a simple story about a mouse who eats nine fruits and vegetables whose juices leave patches of stain on the appealing little creature, who tracks them across the clean, white pages and then exhibits them for identification in the last illustration. With large areas of brilliant, subtly modulated color and handsome compositions incorporating boldface type, a beautifully crafted book that’s sure to delight young audiences.” –Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
Count! cover
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Count!

© 1992 Henry Holt and Company

  • New York Public Library‘s List of One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Publisher's Weekly 50 Best Books of 1992
  • Parenting Reading-Magic Award: Outstanding Children‘s Book, 1992
  • Master Reading List for Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, 1993 & 1994
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 1992
  • NCTE Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for Pre-K—Grade 6, 10th Edition: 1988-1992
  • Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001
  • Starred review from School Library Journal
“Fleming’s latest title quickly calls young readers to attention. This introduction to the numbers one to 10—plus 20, 30, 40 and 50—also serves as a lively romp through the wild kingdom. Each spread clearly labels a numeral and animal, and depicts the appropriate number of creatures exhibiting characteristic behavior. An exclamatory phrase then helps to identify the animals’ activity. For instance, eight vibrant toucans flock toward one pink berry while the text reads ‘Share, toucans!’ Two pages sporting the phrase ‘Count again!’ and ‘Count again, please’ appear near the end of the book and act as rapid reinforcers. The bold, nearly neon illustrations feature Fleming's inventive dyed-pulp painting technique—the result is a collage that crackles with life. The resounding vitality and immediacy of this selection turn a counting lesson into an exhilarating experience.” –Publisher’s Weekly
“The substance here is traditional—numbers from one to ten introduced with animals to count; the idea extended with tens to 50—but the presentation is outstanding. Like the art in Fleming’s eye-catching In the Tall, Tall Grass (1991), these illustrations are rendered in a unique medium using colored pulp from which she creates her own handmade paper. In the collage-like result, there are both areas of subtly modulated color with cloud-like edges and the crisper definitions of cut paper. The brilliant tones and bold juxtapositions will nourish the imaginations of babies too young for the number concepts; the handsome design and exquisite balance of vibrant colors will make the book a favorite until the child is old enough to consider the final appealing spread with the numeral ‘50,’ the words ‘fifty bees,’ 50 marks grouped in tens, and 50 stylized bees headed up and away. Fashioned with care, intelligence, and artistry—a delight.” –Kirkus Reviews
In the Tall, Tall Grass cover
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In the Tall, Tall Grass

© 1991 Henry Holt and Company

  • ALSC (ALA) Notable Children’s Book, 1991
  • American Bookseller Pick of the List, 1991
  • Boston Globe-Horn BookAward Honor Book, 1992
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice, 1991
  • School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, 1991
  • NCTE Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts, 1991
  • Redbook Children’s Picturebook Award, 1991
  • Children’s Choices for 1992 (IRA and CBC project)
  • ALSC (ALA) Notable Children‘s Books in the Language Arts, 1991
  • Master Reading List for Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, 1993 & 1994
  • Booklist Best, First Novels for Youth, 1991 (ALA)
  • ALSC (ALA) Books to Grow On, 2003
  • Books to Read Aloud to Children of All Ages, 2003; Bank Street College of Education; United States
  • Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001, H.W. Wilson
  • Children's Choices, 1992, International Reading Association
  • Booklist Editors' Choice: Books for Youth, 1991
  • Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, 2002, California Department of Education
  • School Library Journal: Best Books, 1991
  • Please Touch Museum Book Award Winner, 1992
  • Redbook Children's Picturebook Awards Winner, 1991
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison), 1991
  • Books to Read Aloud to Children of All Ages, Bank Street College of Education)
  • Starred reviews from Booklist and Horn Book Magazine
“A terrific story-hour book. As day turns to night, a caterpillar crunches and munches his way through the tall, tall grass. Along the way, he watches hummingbirds dart and dip; ants lug, pull and tug; and snakes slip, slide, and glide. Using a staccato text, Fleming nevertheless manages to evoke both the creatures who live in the grass and the way they spend their time. The two-page spreads that reveal all these goings-on are impressionistic in execution and boldly colored in grassy greens, sunny yellows, and evening blues, making the art easily accessible—and appealing. Besides a treat for eyes and ears, this can be used as an introductory nature lesson.” –Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
Maker of Things cover
AVAILABLE FORMATS:
  • Maker of Things is no longer being printed, but used copies are frequently available through AbeBooks or your local used bookseller.

Maker of Things (Meet the Author Series)

© 2003 Richard Owens Publisher

“This book is one of the newest in the “Meet the Author” series…In the book featuring artist and author Denise Fleming, Fleming presents a brief look at her childhood and her life, sharing photographs as though the reader were sitting beside her and looking into a photo album while discussing childhood stories together.

“Children will likely find it humorous that Fleming shares a grade school report card indicating that she did well academically but needed to improve her behavior, specifically listening attentively and talking out of turn. Also interesting is hearing how family members and childhood classes and activities contributed to her journey toward becoming an artist. These descriptions help child readers imagine how their own childhood lives may be helping to shape their future.

“Fleming then gives a thorough explanation of how she goes about her work. Her description of her personal writing process—from inspiration to ideas recorded on note cards through many drafts of the text—is presented understandably for a young audience. Photographs show images that inspire her, from her backyard flora to the many creatures in her life. Her fascinating process of creating illustrations as single sheets of handmade paper is clearly depicted through close-up photos.” –Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children

★ ★ ★


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