Robert Burleigh Books

Book Reviews - Books for Building Your Library

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Robert Burleigh has published 40 books for children. We share a few of our favorites below and try to illustrate for you the diversity of genre and styles that Robert employs. You will enjoy exploring his themes of emotional connection, artistic inclination, and historic adventure.

Into the Woods...

"O Father, Father, my dream is this: To paint each creature as it is!" In this week's feature book, Robert Burleigh writes an imagined letter from the famed naturalist Audubon to his father. Audubon explains his desire to "hold to his dreams" and become an artist, despite his father's misgivings. A lyrical read aloud with vivid illustrations of nature.

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Click here to view this book in Amazon +

That Book Woman

Next week's feature book explores the issue theme of reading habits. A boy named Cal lives high in the barren Appalachian hills with his family, and unlike his sister,he has no use for books or reading. That is, until astrong and determinedtraveling librarian slowly changes his mind. This tribute to the Pack Horse Librarians of the 1930s isa gentle reminder of the importance of books and the joy of learning to read.

Goodbye, Sheepie

Robert Burleigh's newest book is a sensitive story about the death of a young boy's beloved pet dog, Sheepie.Readers will feel Owen's sadness, yet find hope in his father's encouragement to focus on the good memories of Sheepie.Burleigh handles a difficult subject with tenderness and honesty.

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Click here to view this book in Amazon +

Langston's Train Ride

This vibrant book engages the reader with brilliant mixed-media collages and sensory images. Burleigh takes us along on a train ride during which Langston Hughes, age eighteen, is inspired to write his first famous poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." Readers will enjoy the rhythmic and inspirational story of how Hughes follows his dream and comes to believe in himself as a writer.

Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth

This grand slam of a story profiles the baseball legend Babe Ruth. Burleigh cleverly intermingles emotionally charged prose with vintage-style baseball cards that give information about "the Babe." Mike Wimmer's realistic oil paintings, reminiscent of Norman Rockwell, convey the exciting and magical spirit of the game.

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Click here to view this book in Amazon +

Lookin' for Bird in the Big City

A teenaged Miles Davis arrives in New Yorkcity,"the land of bebop," in search of his jazz idol Charlie "Bird" Parker.Burleigh's fictionalized account of Davis'sexperience in the cityis full ofrhythmic lines andstriking similes. Dramatic landscapesin pencil, oil, and watercolorperfectly complement thestory of a young musician pursuing his dream.

I Love Going Through this Book

Follow a spirited young boy as he literally journeys through the pages of this book, and you will no doubt "love going through this book" as well! Each page is a new scene to investigate, from a page like a wall ("So what! I'll hoist my ladder and climb") to a page like a meadow ("I'll stroll and take my time"). Mischievous animal friends accompany the boy on this charming and clever journey for young children.

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Click here to view this book in Amazon +

Messenger, Messenger

In Messenger, Messenger, another Robert Burleigh book for younger readers,weare on the gowith thebig-city bicycle messenger Calvin Curbhopper.Burleigh's rhythmic, rhyming couplets keep us moving with Calvin in the bustling city: "Messenger, messenger/ Keepin' the groove/ Always, always/ On the move."

Hoops

This poetic tribute to the game of basketball captures the thrill of split-second moments and emotions on the court.The intensity of the game is felt throughBurleigh'spoem ("throat on fire?â??? asphalt burning beneath your shoes"), as well as the pastel drawings by Caldecott Honor artistStephen T. Johnson.

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Click here to view this book in Amazon +

Into the Air: The Story of the Wright Brothers' First Flight

Experience Burleigh's versatilitythrough this story told in classic comic-bookstyle.Thisis an inspiring book about the Wrightbrothers' pursuit of a dreamthat everyone thought was "ludicrous." A great supplement to a unit on flight or a lesson about the value of perseverance.