Duke the Dairy Delight Dog

Simon & Schuster, 1996

Duke, a scruffy homeless dog, adopts Darla’s Dairy Delight as his new home much to the alarm of its owner, Darla.


“Talk about happily ever after. Ernst’s signature illustrations fill each page with a variety of perspectives; this endearing tale gets more delicious with each encounter.” – Kirkus Reviews


- Show Me Reader’s Award



The Gingerbread Girl

Dutton Children’s Books, 2006


“This cute and clever sequel is the story of the Gingerbread Boy’s younger sister. Rationalizing that a sweet girl surely would not run away from them, the lonely old couple again attempts a gingerbread child. But she has other ideas: ‘I’ll run and I’ll run / With a leap and a twirl. / You can’t catch me, / I’m the Gingerbread Girl!’ … Ernst’s facial expressions are spot-on. Her illustrations reflect the country setting in both the muted colors and the gingham pattern of the borders and backgrounds. A wonderful addition to other happy-ending, empowered-girl, fairytale remakes.”

Kirkus Reviews


“On the cover, the candy-studded Gingerbread Girl with licorice-whip hair stares boldly out at readers. Kids won’t be able to resist following her inside.” – Booklist

The Gingerbread Girl

Goes Animal Crackers

Dutton Children’s Books, 2011


“Having outsmarted a greedy fox in The Gingerbread Girl, the youngster returns for another madcap chase. This time she’s the pursuer, dashing after a zoo full of cookie critters that have burst out of their box, through the door, and off to explore. Candy-coated artwork and boastful, buoyant rhymes add up to a sweet read-aloud treat. – Horn Book


“The girl heroine, large trim size, catchy rhymes and repeating refrain make this one sure to be a popular choice for group readings.” – Kirkus Reviews


 “Ernst’s oversized, jovial art carries the day.” – Booklist



The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book

Simon & Schuster, 2004


“Children who are tired of staid concept books will welcome this one – it literally turns the alphabet on its ear. Each page contains a large block letter enclosed in a square that, when viewed from a different direction – left, right, or upside-down (hence the title) – transforms into an entirely different object… With touches of humor and a great deal of creativity, Ernst fashioned this book out of cut paper and surrounded each block with a thick black border that sets off white words. Children will enjoy tilting the pages to see the transformations and will be motivated to come up with ideas of their own. – School Library Journal


“This is hands-on entertainment (and education) in which part of the pleasure is physically rotating the book to follow each letter’s permutations.”

Time Magazine


- ALA Notable Children’s Books

- Time’s Top Ten Everything

- NCTE Notable Children’s Books

- Philadelphia Please Touch Museum Award

- Capitol Choices (DC)

- Virginia Young Readers List

Sylvia Jean, Drama Queen

Dutton Children’s Books, 2005


“Few can match the flair of little piglet Sylvia Jean. For every activity, she has a perfect costume. When Mom gardens, Sylvia Jean wears a bee suit; at the grocery store, she shows off a headdress of cascading fruit. When a local shop announces a costume party, a thrilled Sylvia Jean resolves to find the perfect disguise… Ernst’s lively text bounces with dialogue and rhythm, while the Easter egg-colored illustrations extend the humor in detailed scenes of expressive Sylvia Jean and her wild ensembles.” – Booklist


“Ernst creates a dynamic personality for Sylvia Jean, with delightful details in the costumes and clever touches in illustrations and text that will amuse both children and adults. The polished illustrations and a pleasing design – with insets surrounded by zigzag borders – compliment the humorous story and funny dialogue." – Kirkus Reviews


Sylvia Jean, Scout Supreme

Dutton Children’s Books, 2010


“From the Sylvia Jean series, this picture book reveals that the main character is an avid Pig Scout. When the troop leader challenges her scouts to earn the Good-Deed Badge, Sylvia Jean reacts with over-enthusiasm…Well-chosen words and expressive pictures work together to tell this comical story seamlessly. A childlike crowd pleaser” – Booklist


“This charmingly illustrated book is fun and appealing to the young reader. Sylvia Jean’s scout troop discusses ways to help others, making this book a perfect tie-in to a unit on community involvement”

Library Media Connection


- Show me Reader Award List

- Bill Martin Jr. Award List

How Things Work in the Yard

Blue Apple, 2011


“From birds and their nests to a hose and sprinkler, this attractive informational title presents 21 familiar objects that might be found in a young reader’s suburban yard. Clear, clean cut-paper illustrations in pleasingly unsaturated colors are laid out in double-page spreads on a background of colored graph paper… Ernst has a clear sense of what her young readers might notice and wonder about. She also helps them make connections. A caterpillar page is followed by one on a butterfly; acorn is followed by squirrel. Some, like clouds and puddles, appear on the same spread. The definitions and explanations are clear and simple, and the author sometimes suggests an activity: making a dandelion chain, catching fireflies, painting rocks, even

jumping in puddles! A beguiling invitation to curious young readers and listeners to explore both the pages of the book and the world outside their doors.”

Kirkus Reviews


“Precise and pleasing.” – Booklist            “A sight to see.” – 100 Scope Notes

How Things Work in the House

Blue Apple, 2012


“Colorful, detailed, and quite useful. Once again Ernst offers a fresh look at familiar objects.” – Booklist


“ All of the household items you take for granted are explained in this colorful and handy volume. Following her How Things Work in the Yard (2011), Ernst comes indoors… readers will be fascinated by the simple explanations, the bright and whimsical illustrations, and the pleasing design of the volume. Children will begin by browsing and soon find themselves pulled into the stories behind the objects they thought they know. A good glimpse at how things work in our houses and a great way to encourage children to wonder about their everyday worlds.”

 Kirkus Reviews


Round Like a Ball!

Blue Apple, 2008


“With a string of rhythmic clues – ‘It’s round like a ball and it’s hot and cold…It’s round like a ball and it’s wet and dry…’ – Ernst invites readers to join an extended family in a simple guessing game that ends with an eye-filling triple foldout portrait of our planet. Featuring figures large and clear enough to be visible from the back row, along with a color scheme laid out in dappled brushwork and a page design incorporating die-cut holes and artfully placed text, this displays an uncommon narrative and visual harmony that will effectively draw even very young children into its theme of global awareness. Closing with a brief, discussion starting list of ways to conserve energy and natural resources, it stands with G. Brian Karas’s On Earth (2005) and even Charles Shaw’s classic It Looked Like Spilt Milk (1947) for its inspired simplicity.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


“With a story that reads like a guessing game as die-cuts slowly reveal the answer, this one stands out.” – 100 Scope Notes


Stella Louella’s Runaway Book

Simon & Schuster, 1998


“ ‘On Saturday morning, Stella’s library book disappeared as if in a magic act.’ So begins this rollicking tale of visual clues and reader anticipation as a cavalcade of characters retrace their steps throughout town in order to locate the child’s book. Clues to the name of the missing title are cleverly concealed in the dialogue and pictures, making this a great story for reading out loud… Ernst’s homey illustrations, rendered in soft pastels and pencils, are in perfect unison with the lively tone of the story. Children will enjoy studying each page for clues and hidden jokes. Order two copies—one for reading out loud and one for constant checkout."

 School Library Journal


- Bill Martin Jr. Award


Zinnia and Dot

Viking, 1992


“Two vain hens run afoul of a weasel’s trickery and prove, indeed, that pride goeth before a fall. When left with just one egg between them, they realize the value of cooperation and friendship… A winning tale of a friendship that triumphs over vanity.” – School Library Journal (starred review)


“The story zips along, the dialogue rolls off the tongue, and the humor (and subtext) can be appreciated by kids and adults. The wide, wild, and woolly artwork…is as feisty as the tale.”

-- Booklist (starred review)


- School Library Journal Best Book

- New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing


Wake Up, It’s Spring!

Harper Collins, 2004


“A simple celebration of the coming spring. The sun warms the earth, the earth wakes the earthworm, the earthworm sings to a seed, and so on, until numerous creatures as well as the members of a family and their pets are all dancing together in the sunshine and rejoicing that winter has ended…Beautiful pastel shades infuse the pages with the hues and happiness of springtime. In a few words, the text perfectly conveys the essence of the season. A good choice for storytime sharing.”

School Library Journal


“Unfailingly jovial.” – The Horn Book


This is the Van

That Dad Cleaned

Simon & Schuster, 2005


“ ‘The House That Jack Built’ gets taken for a new spin in the family van. From the moment Dad ushers his three children into the newly sparkling-clean vehicle (‘This is the van that Dad cleaned'), young audiences will guess what's coming.

 Familiar antics follow a stop at the fast-food window—teasing, playing, squabbling, spilling—as French fries and condiments fly: ‘This is the ketchup, now airborne, / that squirted the baby, all forlorn…’ Cartoon pictures show the children’s delight in the tornado of treats, as Dad drives blissfully unaware. His discovery of the mess is no cause for alarm, though: brother, sister, and even baby take up brushes and rags ‘early next morn’ to proudly proclaim, ‘This is the Van that we cleaned!’ A satisfying ending to a merry family ride.” – The Horn Book


Little Red Riding Hood

A Newfangled Prairie Tale

Simon & Schuster, 1995


“Little Red Riding Hood wears a hooded sweatshirt and rides her bicycle through farm fields to deliver muffins and lemonade to her grandmother in this cheerful contemporary rendering of the old tale…As in her earlier books, Ernst demonstrates her mastery over the picture-book form, with inventive plot and enjoyable characters succinctly drawn in the narrative and beautifully extended in the illustrations.”

 The Horn Book


“The spirited illustrations and rollicking narrative make this an ideal read-aloud choice.” – School Library Journal

The Letters are Lost!

Viking, 1996


“Alphabet blocks star in a series of delightfully constructed adventures as Ernst turns a hand, deft and practiced in storymaking, to playful use of the ABC scheme. ‘Long ago the letters were all together, neat and tidy’ in a green wooden box on red wheels. On successive pages, each block is set in the lower corner of a framed vignette. Sturdy, simple drawings follow the adventures of the lost blocks in the yard, in the playroom, and around the house. ‘A flew high in an Airplane…D was a Dog’s tasty toy.’…The whole scheme, with the old-fashioned blocks and toys, is a quite traditional alphabet book beautifully rendered. A final invitation prompting children to create their own adventures with the reassembled blocks has creative appeal for readers of all ages. – The Horn Book


“Ernst gets high marks for having everything just right: the colors, the size, the appeal…FUN!” – Booklist

Goldilocks Returns

Simon & Schuster, 2000


“Fifty years later, she’s changed her name and launched her own business called Goldi’s Locks and Keys. Still, she’s having a terrible time forgiving herself for her childhood break-in at the bears’ home. To make amends, Goldi returns to the cottage of the bears and provides her services as interior decorator and housekeeper.”

Book Links


“The pictures hum with funny details.” – Booklist

Sam Johnson and the

Blue Ribbon Quilt

Lothrop, 1983


“In turn-of-the-century Rosedale, a quilting farmer is an unacceptable oddity, so Sam Johnson challenges the women in the town to a blue-ribbon contest to set matters right.”

-- scholastic.com/teachers


“A very special addition to the growing list of non-sexist books for children.” – School Library Journal


“The way the men and women combine their stitching into a handsome prize winner is a triumph.”

 The New York Times Book Review

When Bluebell Sang

Bradbury, 1989


“A singing cow’s talent brings her stardom, but she soon longs to be back at the farm – if she can get away from her greedy manager.” – scholastic.com/teachers


“A delight from beginning to end, this story has it all – a winning heroine, an evil villain, and a plot both dramatic and comic… summed up in one word: fun.”

Booklist (starred review)

Hannah Mae O’Hannigan’s Wild West Show

Simon & Schuster, 2003


“Hannah Mae is a hamster-herding Annie Oakley. She has no code but a good heart, and I liked her.”

The New York Times Book Review


“A rootin’-tootin’ picture book about living out your dream.”

The Horn Book

Ginger Jumps

Bradbury, 1990


Ginger is a circus dog that longs to be part of a real family. Summoning up her bravery, the homesick pup finally finds the little girl of her dreams.


“The large format, eye-catching pages, delightful collection of dogs, and circus setting make the book a welcome addition to picture-book collections and a natural choice for sharing aloud.”

School Library Journal (starred review)


“Ernst’s quiet wit works well with the story’s strong message – some-times you have to swallow scared feelings if it means finding love.” -- Booklist


Bear’s Day

Cat’s Play

Penguin Putnam, 2000


“This pair of beguiling board books focuses on a busy toddler and his playmates… Pastel-colored backgrounds in soft lavenders, soothing yellows and luminous pinks are a perfect backdrop for Ernst’s gentle images illuminating the magic of friendship… Cuddly sweet, these board books are made for lap-sharing and read-aloud sessions.”

 Kirkus Reviews


- Parenting Best Books of the Year

Miss Penny and Mr. Grubbs

Bradbury, 1991


“This book about growing vegetables is delicious…A story that invites young readers to outsmart and laugh at grown-ups.” – Booklist (starred review)


“…not only a country-fair winner, but a story time and read-alone prize as well.” – School Library Journal


- Pick of the Lists, American Bookseller


The Luckiest Kid

on the Planet

Bradbury, 1994


“Ernst’s sage commentary on the correlation between attitude and experience comes delightfully gift-wrapped, with well-timed comic writing and rounded, pastel cartoons glistening with good humor.” – Publishers Weekly


“A humorous yet touching vignette of friendship and human nature.” – The Horn Book

Walter’s Tail

Bradbury, 1992


“Everybody thinks old Mrs. Tully’s new puppy is adorable, especially his ever-wagging tail – until he gets big and bumptious and the tail becomes a constant menace…”

Kirkus Reviews


“a bright, cheerful yarn with a hero bound to wag his way into everyone’s heart.” – Booklist


Squirrel Park

Bradbury, 1993


“Like his buildings, Stuart’s architect dad is ‘big, straight, and powerful.’ When he gives Stuart a first job, designing a park, he also gives him rulers and a t-square to make sure all paths are straight….Ernst, with her usual wit and panache and cheerfully assertive colors achieves still another picture book success.” – Kirkus Reviews


The Three Spinning Fairies

Dutton, 2002


“One of the Grimms’ funnier and lesser-known tales receives an expansion and a new ending. When the Queen hears that Zelda, the Royal Baker’s daughter, loves to spin, she immediately promises Zelda her son’s hand in marriage if she can spin three great roomsful of flax. It sounds like a good deal – except that Zelda hates to spin, hates work of any sort… general silliness keeps didacticism from the story, making it one that kids are sure to ask for a second time.” – Kirkus Reviews


“a fresh, zany feel…an appealing fairy tale takeoff, perfect for story time.” – Booklist

The Tangram Magician

Abrams, 1990


“Based on the Chinese puzzle game, this story follows a magician as he changes into a variety of shapes, which the reader can also create with the accompanying stickers.”

 The Book Depository