above:  Wild mustangs…    In the past   wild horses used to roam freely in the western plains of America but slowly over many decades millions of them were killed by cattle ranchers protecting their grazing lands, or by hunters selling them to slaughterhouses for pet foods and fertilizers… until  Wild Horse Annie  took up the cause to protect them…   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 compassionate driving force behind Federal Laws that were passed in the early 1970’s to protect the lives of wild horses and burros on public lands… and how she also elicited the help of 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
 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 have all gathered to say farewell to a beloved pet who 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
 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  -a 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    “...The attractive full-page--and, accordingly, brightly colorful--illustrations mix realism and whimsy" - Booklist   -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!  In order to bring peace back to their jungle they must figure out a way to calm this wild thing... and quickly!    "Forceful writing and the improbable gracefulness Salerno bestows on this kicking, biting, punching machine makes this a furiously fun read."    -Publishers Weekly
 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 who escapes from her cold, cramped vegetable bin with a desire to explore the outside world... and eventually makes her way to Paris where she becomes a famous hat designer. Along the way she is befriended by a loyal monkey named Anton, and wins the admiration of hat wearers around the world.    "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
 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 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    PRIDE  made  Amazon’s  list of  Best Non-Fiction Picture Books for 2018
 click upper right corner of images to enlarge   above:  preliminary test illustration to develop the main character and the overall feel of the intended images for a new story, still in progress, written by Steven:  Ellis The World’s smallest Elephant   Young Harriet proves to skeptical Mr. Fossy that Ellis is real, and not just a flight of her overactive imagination.    see Steven’s complete list of published picture books to date
 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 eating  everything  in his path -with his alarmed parents in hot pursuit.    "Children will delight in growling loudly along with Harry's tummy, turning story time into a rumbling, tumbling feast."  -Kirkus Reviews
 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-brothers baseball team in history.    "A captivating story, impeccable layout, and glorious illustrations make this historical account an unqualified winner."      -New York Times Book Review    View a posting on Steven's blog on how the illustrations for this picture book were created.    -New York Times Notable Book 2012  - California Young Readers Medal winner 2015  - Booklist Editor's Choice 2012  - CCBC Choices 2013  - ALA Notable Children's List 2013  - Wall Street Journal Best of 2012  - NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2013  - Junior Library Guild selection
 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 he applies for the job... but things don't go well at all. However Pantaloon is  very  persistent!    "Delicious! ...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!"  -Kirkus Reviews   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:  the opening spread depicting little Rosie racing along with her owner on his bicycle.   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
 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 on 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
 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
 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, and in his mind making him totally unique. He becomes unbearably bossy with the other farmyard animals... until a trip the circus (sort of) open his eyes.    "...children are likely to be dazzled by the illustrations; it's a spectacular debut for Salerno."  -Kirkus Reviews
 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)