above:  Wild mustangs on the American western plains   Wild Horse Annie -Friend of the Mustangs , written by  Tracey Fern  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  -published by  Farrar Straus Giroux , 2019   The inspiring true story of American  Velma Bronn Johnston  (1912-1977), horse lover and animal-rights activist who was the driving force behind Federal Laws passed in the early 1970’s protecting the lives of wild horses and burros on public lands… and how she elicited help from thousands of children to bring attention to this pressing issue.    “Salerno’s full-page mixed-media illustrations exude the expanse of the West and invite intimacy with Annie all while maintaining a playful air of adventure. Readers will root for Annie and the mustangs she fought to protect”   -School Library Journal    “Salerno's sun-drenched illustrations capture the equally hardy spirits of the mustangs and Annie herself. . . An uplifting tale of animal rights, perseverance, and kids' power to make a difference”   -Kirkus Reviews    “Salerno’s illustrations combine loping lines, sketched details, and rubbed textures to conjure the vanished west of the mid-20th century, and they cleverly balance a running mustang herd with letters stampeding from Annie’s typewriter”   -Publishers Weekly    “This look at how one motivated individual and an army of young idealists can effect change may leave readers with the encouragement needed to tackle their own campaigns”    -The Horn Book    - A Junior Library Guild Selection
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  Margot sheds a tear and walks away...   Tim's Goodbye  -written & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  Farrar Straus Giroux , 2018.   Margot and her friends are gathering... but why? Vincent brings balloons, Melinda brings her French Horn, Otto wears his best hat.   It all seems like a mystery until a visual twist within a key illustration reveals they’ve all gathered to say farewell to a beloved pet that has died.    "This uncomplicated tale of love, loss, friendship, and hope is a great addition for library collections"   -School Library Journal    "the balloons add an important buoyancy to the telling, providing a possible entree to matters of the spirit, if readers desire it... A succinct text and an uncluttered design provide space to discover and process a loss”   -Kirkus Reviews    "This gentle story might be just the introduction some readers seek"   -The New York Times Book Review    “Quiet and sweet, illustrated in a retro style that makes it feel timeless for young people experiencing the loss of a pet”   -Booklist Online
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  (cropped view)  Edwin Binney  in his dark, gritty, smoke-filled factory that produced black inks, black dyes, and black pigments for industrial uses, day after day after day…   The Crayon Man  -written by  Natascha Biebow  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  -published by  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt , 2019    see Steven’s blog post on making the illustrations for The Crayon Man     This is the success story of American inventor Edwin Binney -manufacturer in the early 1900’s of black inks, black dyes, and black pigments -until the day he was inspired to invent and produce the first smudge-free COLOR crayons made just for kids… which he and his wife named  CRAYOLA  crayons.   The initial box had just 8 colors and cost 5¢. Crayola Crayons went on to become one of the most iconic and popular brands ever.      “Salerno’s illustrations reflect the formality of the era, which he playfully disrupts with splashes of color: in one spread, a line of pigment-spattered workers end a day of crayon experimentation. Readers are likely to be fascinated by the process of “grinding, grinding, grinding up rocks and minerals into fine powders” and the rich colors that result”   -Publishers Weekly    “Biebow’s first nonfiction picture book flows with conversational smoothness ... The attractive full-page -and, accordingly, brightly colorful - illustrations mix realism and whimsy"     -  Booklist    "In this chatty, engaging picture book, Biebow provides the historical context around the invention of Crayola crayons....What [Caldecott Medalist] Jon Klassen achieves emotionally in his characters' eyes, Salerno manages with eyebrows here"   -Kirkus Reviews    -A Junior Library Guild Selection    -An Amazon “Best of the Month” selection in Children’s non-fiction
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  first jungle sighting of the feared  wild child    WILD CHILD  -written & illustrated by  Steven Salerno , published by  Abrams Books for Young Readers , 2015.   The jungle animals have their lives turned upside down when the most terrible and fearsome creature of all shows up one day... the  Wild Child!  And In order to bring peace back to their jungle they must figure out a way to calm this wild thing, and quick!    "Forceful writing and the improbable gracefulness Salerno bestows on this kicking, biting, punching machine makes this a furiously fun read"   -Publishers Weekly    “Bright, sketchy illustrations in crayon, gouache, and digital media will work for group read-alouds or one-on-one sharing. VERDICT Wild children and their caregivers will get a kick out of this jungle romp”   -School Library Journal    “Both the vivid images and the action-packed vocabulary, many of the action verbs are in bold font, bring the story to life”   -School Library Connection    “A two-toothed toddler needs no wolf suit to be wildest thing of all in this high-volume prequel to a certain well-known classic. Salerno crowds broad, bright, cartoon jungle scenes with huge animals who growl, roar, stomp their feet, and gnash their teeth with thrilling ferocity… A salutary lesson in jungle parenting”   -Kirkus Reviews
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  designer Gilbert Baker creating the very first Rainbow Flags   PRIDE The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag  -written by  Rob Sanders  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  Random House , 2018.   On June 25th 1978 a new flag was unfurled in San Francisco… a flag with rich, beaming rainbow colors that would become a symbol of hope and pride for millions of LGBTQ people across the world. The inspiring story of activist Harvey Milk, designer Gilbert Baker and their roles in the birth of the symbolic, rainbow colored Gay Pride Flag.    “Salerno's retro style—detailed but fluid drawings of figures set against paisley-patterned backgrounds—gives fitting, '70s-era bohemian undertones”   -Kirkus Reviews    “A poignant and uplifting biography”   -Publishers Weekly    “With its emphasis on pride and hope, this title will make a strong addition to classroom and school library collections to support discussions of character and equality. Recommended for all collections… The illustrations are vibrant and lively, taking inspiration from 1970s fashions and styles while emphasizing the effectiveness of symbols”   -School Library Journal    "Salerno’s strong art has a colorful seventies vibe…”    - Booklist    "Pride is a beacon of (technicolor) light"   -Entertainment Weekly    "I couldn't be more thrilled the world now has this book"    - Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of MILK    "A tribute to a leader under treated in young people's literature"   -The Bulletin of the Center For Children's Books    -A Junior Library Guild Selection    -Amazon   Best Nonfiction Children’s Books of 2018    -Brightly’s 20 Must-Read Picture Books of 2018    -The 2018 Nerdies: Nonfiction Picture Books    -The 2019 Rainbow Book List
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  Coco finds a sewing basket and makes herself a beautiful green hat... Now she's ready to go out and see the big world!   Coco the Carrot  -written & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  Marshall Cavendish Books for Children , 2005.   Coco is a curious carrot that escapes from her cold, cramped vegetable bin, with a desire to explore the outside world. Along the way she is befriended by a loyal monkey named Anton, makes it all the way to Paris, and wins the admiration of hat wearers around the world by becoming a famous hat designer.    "Salerno's elegant graphics recall Jean Cocteau's pen-and-ink caricatures or the fashion-magazine style of Chelsey McLaren. The frills and loop-de-loops of his curvaceous lines complement the extravagant absurdity of the characters and plot twists"   -Publishers Weekly    “Salerno turns a silly plot into a credible adventure of the imagination with his watercolor-and-gouache illustrations. The bold lines and colors create an energy that fills each page of this madcap story. Readers will never view the vegetable bin in the same way after reading this action-packed adventure”   -School Library Journal
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  neighborhood kids gather in the first days of spring to play some backyard baseball together, in a small seaside town in New Jersey back in the late 1920's.   Brothers at Bat  -written by  Audrey Vernick  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt , 2012   The true story of a New Jersey family with 16 children... and the 12 brothers formed a professional baseball team, competing in the 1930's, '40's, and '50's. In 1996 they were honored by the  Baseball Hall of Fame  as the longest playing all-brother baseball team in history .   View a posting on Steven's blog on how the illustrations for this picture book were created.    "A captivating story, impeccable layout, and glorious illustrations make this historical account an unqualified winner”   -New York Times Book Review    “Painted in a bright palette of greens, yellows, and blues, Salerno’s mixed-media illustrations, shaded in black crayon, are an immediate attention-getter, the thick, horizontal brushwork contributing to a strong sense of movement”   -Publishers Weekly    “Salerno’s lively drawings, rendered in black crayon, gouache, watercolor and pastel with digital color added, complement the action, striking a balance between detail and expansiveness”   -Kirkus Reviews    "This story of a real American family whose bond was the game is brought to vivid life through illustrations"     -Horn Book Magazine    "Striking black crayon, gouache and watercolor paintings enhanced with digital color provide a solid backup to the tightly written narrative. A very pleasing slice of American history"   -Cleveland Plain Dealer    "A remarkable story"   -Wall Street Journal    "A lively story about family loyalty and love of the game, pulled from the sidelines of baseball history"  - Publishers Weekly ,   STARRED REVIEW   "A delight not to miss"     -School Library Journal,  STARRED REVIEW   "A story of brotherly—and baseball—love"   -Booklist,  STARRED REVIEW   "Vernick's wry and rousing narration is perfectly matched by Salerno's mixed-media pictures."   -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books ,   STARRED REVIEW   -A   Junior Library Guild Selection    -A   California Young Readers Medal winner 2015   - Booklist Editor's Choice 2012   - CCBC Choices 2013   - ALA Notable Children's List 2013    - A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book winner 2013   - A   Wall Street Journal Best of 2012    -A NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2013    -A New York Times Notable Book 2012    -A 2012 Booklist Editor's Choice    - A South Carolina Picture Book Award nominee 2013-2014    - A Bank Street College's Best Children's Books of the Year List 2013    - AN IRA Teachers' Choices 2013 Reading List    - A Children's Sequoyah List (Oklahoma) 2015    - A Monarch Award List (Illinois) 2014    - A Red Clover List (Vermont) 2013    - An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal 2012    - A Jury Selection Society of Illustrators, Original Art Show 2012
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  Harry devours the flowers, the garden hose, and even the mailbox...   Harry Hungry!  -written & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  Harcourt Children's Books , 2009.   Harry's tummy is rumbling and growling... and Mamma's snacks for him are not  nearly  enough. Harry is soon out the door and devouring  everything  in his path -with his alarmed parents in hot pursuit.    “Salerno's bright, sweeping illustrations and offbeat perspectives instantly capture this tiny tot's insatiable energy, which is made all the funnier by his incongruously innocent-looking kewpie 'do. The chomp of Harry's mouth reverberates across the page, as does the grrrrrrgrrrrrrr of his prodigiously rumbling belly… Children will delight in growling loudly along with Harry's tummy, turning story time into a rumbling, tumbling feast"   -Kirkus Reviews    "To the retro-sixties line and colors popularized by such artists as Mo Willems and Bob Shea, Salerno adds an anarchic, very contemporary energy that’s all his own"   -Horn Book
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  Father encouraging his son little Tumbo, explaining that someday soon he will be able to trumpet, as all elephants can.   Little Tumbo  -written & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  Marshall Cavendish Children's Books , 2003.   A young elephant has not yet developed the skill of trumpeting... his attempts are mere squeaks. One day he gets captured by a couple of shady hunters and taken far away from his family to be sold at the market. Tumbo must learn to TRUMPET, and quickly, if he ever wants to be reunited with his family again.    "In a retro style that pays homage to Ludwig Bemelmans and H.A. Rey... Filled with intrigue, bravery and triumph, this smartly served tale of adventure will likely engage young book lovers"   -Publishers Weekly
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  the Baker needs help at his busy bakery... so places a  Help Wanted  sign in the window.   Pantaloon  -written by  Kathryn Jackson  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  Golden Books/Random House , 2010.   Pantaloon is a poodle with a sweet tooth, and when the Baker places a HELP WANTED sign in the bakery window Pantaloon applies for the job... but things don't go well at all. However Pantaloon proves to be a  very  persistent and determined pooch!    "Salerno's lively and colorful new illustrations for a 1951 text show the adventures of Pantaloon, a poodle who can never get enough of those baked-and-iced things on display in the bakery! …The story is still delicious, and the retro-styled art shows the funny actions and adventures in full openings. It should attract the delighted attention of young readers from its cake-and-cookie-decorated endpapers to the sunny-hued interior images that are so appropriately reminiscent of the old Golden Books”    - Kirkus Reviews    “The stylized, retro-looking full-color illustrations are snappy and appealing, and breathe new life into this classic for another generation”   -School Library Journal    NOTE:  This new version of  Pantaloon  is a remake of the popular 1951  Little Golden Books  title of the same name, which originally was illustrated by Leonard Weisgard.   See a posting on Steven's blog about this picture book project, a remake of the 1951  Pantaloon .
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  Rosie is  not  afraid of having a soapy bath.... but thunder storms completely unnerve her!   BOOM!  -written by  Mary Lyn Ray  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  Hyperion Books/Disney , 2013.   Rosie is a small dog, but brave. Well, except when it comes to thunder and lightning... The first rumble and clap of thunder sends her cowering behind the furniture!    "Illustrator Salerno creates a breezy, retro feel reminiscent of classic Curious George illustrations. Broad brush strokes and scratchy textures in a subdued palette convey energy and emotion as the storm approaches"   -Kirkus Reviews    “Salerno’s mixed-media compositions feature willowy lines and splashes of color and texture. The vintage aesthetic evokes small-town life in a simpler era, while enormous typographical “booms” and “cracks” bring to life the ferocity of the storm”   -Publishers Weekly
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  the story begins when baby is not sleepy at all, escapes from the crib, and is now on the move!   Go-Go Baby!  -written by  Roxane Orgill  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno , published by  Marshall Cavendish Children's Books , 2004.   This energetic, curious baby is constantly on the move... via stroller, bus, train, ship -and seemingly never,  ever  gets sleepy! Much to the exhaustion and frazzled nerves of big sis and mom!    "It is great fun to read aloud. Sinuous black lines- energetic, expressive, sophisticated- delineate Baby, her fellow travelers, and the big city folk they move among. Everybody knows a bundle of energy like Go-Go Baby"   -Childrens Literature    “Go-Go Baby won't sleep until she's seen everything in the city that moves...deft text... stylish retro spreads... A winner”   -Publishers Weekly    ”This will rev up the wheels at a toddler storytime or serve as a great sibling read-a-loud”    -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books    -A Jury Selection Society of Illustrators, Original Art Show 2004
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  John Hercules Po and his 19 girl classmates dig a tunnel to China and walk along the Great Wall...   19 Girls and Me  -written by  Darcy Pattison  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno , published by  Philomel Books/Penguin Young Readers , 2006.   On the first day of Kindergarten John Hercules Po is startled to see his classmates are 19 girls! Through their imaginative recess adventures visiting the Himalayas, the Great Wall of China, the Amazon jungle, and even the moon, they all become 20 friends.    "Salerno's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are wonderfully imaginative. Through using the contrast of grayish hues for the school related pictures with the intense color burst of the recess illustrations, he conveys the uplifting sense of freedom the children experience when they surrender themselves to play”   -KIrkus Reviews    “The mixed-media illustrations include wild color combinations and dizzying perspectives that provide the backdrops for the children, drawn in a stylishly simple but endearing style”   -School Library Journal
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  one of the  springtime  season spread illustrations, of the little dark haired girl walking in the rain …  for the unique  math equation poems :   raindrops x leaves = pearls on green plates    puddles ÷ raindrops = circles    Mathematickles  -written by  Betsy Franco  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  -published by  Margaret McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster , 2003   Math haiku that tickles your brain. Fun words take the place of numbers in all sorts of math equations, becoming playful, beautiful, sassy, and creative in this whimsical romp through the four seasons, seen through the eyes of a young girl and her cat.    “The author mixes math and language as she frolics through the four seasons. Franco plus Salerno add up to plenty of fun in this nimble brain teaser ”  -Publishers Weekly , STARRED REVIEW   “These cleverly conceived and lively little poems teasingly blend words with mathematical concepts and symbols. Imaginative double-page, watercolor-and-gouache illustrations rev up the fun, season by season.  Words + math + seasons = an enchanting collection ”   -School Library Journal  STARRED REVIEW   “Franco adds to her mathematical oeuvre with this clever collection of poems written in the form of equations and grouped by seasonal themes… Salerno's illustrations, rendered in watercolor and gouache, with bright colors and broad, grainy brush strokes, have a nostalgic feel… By incorporating the language of mathematics, Franco pushes readers to view the poems through a different lens-and with a more critical eye”   -Kirkus Reviews    “By incorporating the language of mathematics, Franco pushes readers to view the poems through a different lens-and with a more critical eye”   - Horn Book , STARRED REVIEW   - A Junior Library Guild Selection    - A Children's Book Club of the Month selection    - A South Dakota Prairie Bud Award
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  The Princess pup is out for a walk with the butler…   Princess Puppy  -written by  Sue Fliess  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  A Little Golden Book/Random House Children’s Books , 2016.   A day in the life of a charming, pampered pup leading up to her entry in the prestigious Blue Ribbon Dog Show along with all her other pedigreed puppy pals.    LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS  have been loved by children for over 75 years. When they were first published in 1942, high-quality books for children hadn’t been available at a price most people could afford. Little Golden Books changed that.   Priced at just 25 cents and sold where people shopped every day, they caused an instant sensation and were soon purchased by the hundreds of thousands.  Created by such talented writers as Margaret Wise Brown (author of  Goodnight Moon ) and Richard Scarry, Little  Golden Books have helped millions of children develop a lifelong love of reading. Today, Little Golden Books feature beloved classics such as  The Poky Little Puppy  and  Scuffy the Tugboat,  hot licenses, and new original stories–the classics of tomorrow, ready to be discovered between their sturdy cardboard covers and gold-foil spines.
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  Chuck first spies the little magic blue seed...   Chick Chuck  -written by  Bill Martin Jr.  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  Winslow Press , 2000.   A rooster named Chicken Chuck eats a blue seed and magically sprouts a large blue feather from the middle of his forehead, in his mind making him totally unique. However he becomes unbearably bossy with the other farmyard animals... until a trip the circus opens his eyes (sort of).    "Children are likely to be dazzled by the illustrations; it's a spectacular debut for Salerno"   -Kirkus Reviews    “What really makes this book, however, is the art. The hologramlike cover, with its silver, foil-like background, beckons youngsters. The blue feather is decorated with silver filigree, a leitmotiv repeated to the endpapers. The retro-looking mixed-media illustrations are reminiscent of fanciful 1950s designs. The same page may include dazzling color images along with soft-black charcoal outlines. The former highlight the plot action while the latter accent the pastoral setting. Every page is a whimsical visual treat”   - School Library Journal
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  Little Melanie is too busy building a tower with her blocks and ignores Mom’s insistence that it’s time to get ready for bed…   Bedtime!  -written by  Christine Anderson  & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by  Philomel Books/Penguin , 2005.   A charmingly stubborn girl is ever so busy with the important endeavor of building a magnificent block tower for her lively stuffed animals to live in… ignoring Mom’s request to get ready for bed. So Mom engages the family dog in a way to cleverly lure Melanie into her bedtime rituals…    “Salerno's watercolor, gouache, and ink artwork has a stylized, modern retro look and a dynamic use of line. The illustrations maximize the action and provide plenty of humorous touches. This is an irresistible approach to the ups and downs of bedtime rituals”   -School Library Journal    “The thought of missing more of the beloved [bedtime] ritual sends Melanie flying to brush her teeth and change clothes. Just in time for her favorite story... Salerno's facial expressions are the perfect accompaniment, capturing by turns the thoughtfulness, triumph, curiosity, accusation, dismay and worry that pass over Melanie's face. The retro look of the colors and design work well, too. Sure to be a favorite for parents and children alike…”   -Kirkus Reviews
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  one of the  endpapers  color variations for  Stampede!    Stampede! -poems for the Wild Side of School  -written by Laura Purdie Salas & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  published by Clarions Books/Harcourt Children's Books, 2009   Trials and tribulations of being a kid in school, charmingly told through 18 poems …that through metaphor humorously connect animals and kids.    “Salas captures 18 of them in very short, first-person rhymes, and like fugitives from The Island of Dr. Moreau, the children in Salerno’s supple, loosely drawn cartoon illustrations sport an array of evocative animal ears, tails, patterned clothes, and altered facial features. The wild verses are positively shot through with simile and metaphor, and young readers will run just as rampant, flocking to these pitch-perfect portrayals of their peers and selves”   -Booklist    “A large, riotous picture book collection...with spot-on emotional truths...It's a satisfying whole worth reading and rereading aloud and LOUD”   -Poetry for Children
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   endpaper art  for the picture book,   Wild Horse Annie  -Friend of the Mustangs  -written by Tracy Fern & illustrated by  Steven Salerno  (Farrar Straus Giroux 2019)   see the illustrations for   Wild Horse Annie