Featured books by G. Brian Karas

As an Oak Tree Grows

By: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

On a sunny summer day long ago, a boy planted an acorn. From that grew an oak tree that survived for more than two centuries until it was felled by lightning. Simple but lush illustrations depict the evolution of the world surrounding the oak and how it remained useful in the "furniture, firewood and mulch." And soon, another oak begins to grow.

The Village Garage

By: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Fiction

The workers at the village garage are busy all year long! They're busy from spring clean up to fall leaf collection, keeping their town safe and clean. Cartoon-like illustrations highlight the informative, engaging text.

Young Zeus

By: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Myths and Legends

Young Zeus — the Greek god who grew up to rule on Mount Olympus — is introduced with contemporary language and lighthearted illustrations. The large format effectively supports the myth's grand proportions.

Books illustrated by G. Brian Karas

7 x 9 = Trouble!

By: Claudia Mills
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction

Wilson, a third grader, struggles with multiplication. He wishes he were as smart as the other kids in his class, or even his little brother, Kipper, who is a kindergarten math wiz. Wilson perseveres, however, and not only passes his times table test but gains a pet!

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story about Knitting and Love

By: Michelle Edwards
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Fiction

When Sophie was born, her neighbor made Sophie a hat. Now that Sophie is big, she makes pom-poms for Mrs. Goldman’s hats. Sophie then makes a very special hat for Mrs. Goldman especially for when they walk the dog, Fifi. Instructions for hat-making are included at the end of this charming story of friendship.

A Poem in Your Pocket

By: Margaret McNamara
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Poetry

Mr. Tiffin's class studies similes, metaphors and different types of poetry in preparation for a visit from a real poet for the school-wide celebration of National Poetry Month. In sharing with Ms. Crane, Ellinor discovers that she holds a "poem in the pocket of my mind." Child-like illustrations combine with a gentle story which dispels many misconceptions about poetry.

Clever Jack Takes the Cake

By: Candace Fleming
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales

Jack is invited to the princess' birthday party but is too poor to buy a worthy gift so instead bakes a cake. It never gets delivered, however, but the clever boy gives the most lasting gift of all: an engaging story. Lively language and humorous illustrations are used in the original story told in the tradition of a folktale.

Incredible Me!

By: Kathi Appelt
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Fiction

While everyone has a nose, toes, and hair, no one has them just alike — and so a girl with bouncy red ponytails celebrates her uniqueness, the “incredible me!” Engaging child-like drawings romp across the pages with rhythmic, rhyming text.

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

By: Katherine Applegate
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Nonfiction

Ivan lived like a human until he began to grow into a silverback gorilla. He was just an infant when captured by poachers in his native country in Africa and was in captivity for over half his life. Using spare text and evocative illustrations, Ivan's story comes into focus for younger readers. Those interested in Ivan's story will learn more from the back matter and may be interested in reading Applegate's Newbery Medal winning The One and Only Ivan (Harper).

Lemonade in Winter

By: Emily Jenkins
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Fiction

An entrepreneurial sister and her brother decide to make and sell lemonade on a snowy winter day. It's a chance for Pauline to help John-John learn about money, have a bit of fun, and meet some neighbors. Playful language and quirky illustrations turn a dull day into an adventure.

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

By: Candace Fleming
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Fiction

Try as he might, Mr. McGreely cannot outwit three clever and hungry rabbits as they feast on his vegetable garden — muncha, muncha, muncha! But there's always something to be grateful for as both the gardener and the rabbits learn in this funny, alliterative tale.

Night Job

By: Karen Hesse
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Fiction

The young narrator joins his father as he works as Friday night custodian in a school. The boy packs lunch before they ride off to work. Gentle text and soft illustrations evoke the bond between them and the boy’s imaginative musings during the night job. 

Oh No, Gotta Go!

By: Susan Middleton Elya
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Fiction

It's Sunday and the family is on an outing in the car, when the mama hears the dreaded, "Oh no, gotta go" — and so begins the frantic search for a bathroom. The romp is funny and fast, with words in Spanish and English that turn a familiar experience into an introduction to another language.

Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems

By: Jane Yolen, Andrew F. Peters
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Poetry

A large format is used to present a variety of nighttime poems by a variety of poets, neatly organized in three sections: "Going to Sleep," "Sweet Dreams," and "In the Night." Gentle, whimsical illustrations enhance the mood of each poem that will be appreciated especially when shared aloud.

The Dinosaur Expert

By: Margaret McNamara
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction

Kimmy, a budding paleontologist, is thrilled that Mr. Tiffin is taking her class on a field trip to the natural history museum. Her confidence is shaken, however, when Jake asserts that girls can’t be scientists. However, wise Mr. Tiffin makes a point to show her the discovery made by a woman scientist. KImmy notes her favorite (and very real) female paleontologists at the conclusion of this engaging book.

Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World

By: Selby Beeler
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales

Lighthearted illustrations provide just the right tone for brief looks at what happens when children lose their teeth in various places around the world. The title indicates what is done in Korea while an American child awaits the tooth fairy's exchange. A map provides a quick glimpse of this intriguing, quick world tour just right for browsing.

Whale Trails: Before and Now

By: Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction

A girl explains how her family once hunted whales but now use their family-owned boat to take tourists out to whale watch. Illustrations in color show the contemporary narrator and boat, while sepia-toned images depict the history. Interesting bits of African American history are embedded in this engaging, educational, and accessible story.

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"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox