Mathers, Petra 1945-
Mathers, Petra 1945-
Born March 25, 1945, in Todtmoos, Germany; immigrated to United States; married Michael Mathers; children: one son. Religion: "Trying hard to be good." Hobbies and other interests: Opera, classical music, reading, nature, family and friends.
Office—c/o Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, 1240 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
Children's book author and illustrator. Worked in a bookstore in West Germany and for German encyclope- dia publisher Brockhaus for three years; painter; freelance illustrator, 1983—, and author, 1985—.
Ezra Jack Keats Award, 1985, for Maria Theresa; Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year Award, New York Times, 1986, for Molly's New Washing Machine, 1988, for Theodor and Mr. Balbini, 1990, for I'm Flying!, and 1999, for Lottie's New Friend; Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book designation for Illustration, 1991, for Sophie and Lou; Silver Medal, Society of Illustrators, 1995, for Kisses from Rosa, and 1999, for Lottie's New Friend; Horn Book Picture Book Honor List designation, 2001, for A Cake for Herbie.
Maria Theresa, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1985.
Theodor and Mr. Balbini, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1988.
Sophie and Lou, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1991.
Victor and Christabel, Knopf (New York, NY), 1993.
Kisses from Rosa, Knopf (New York, NY), 1995.
"LOTTIE'S WORLD" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED
Lottie's New Beach Towel, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1998.
Lottie's New Friend, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1999.
A Cake for Herbie, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2000.
Dodo Gets Married, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2001.
Herbie's Secret Santa, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2002.
Miriam Chaikin, How Yossi Beat the Evil Urge, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1983.
Miriam Chaikin, Yossi Asks the Angels for Help, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1985.
Laura Geringer, Molly's New Washing Machine, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1986.
Leslie Kimmelman, Frannie's Fruits, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1989.
Susan Arkin Couture, Block Book, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1990.
Alan Wade, I'm Flying!, Knopf (New York, NY), 1990.
Verna Aardema, Borreguita and the Coyote: A Tale from Ayutla, Mexico, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.
Leah Komaiko, Aunt Elaine Does the Dance from Spain, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1992.
Richard Kennedy, Little Love Song, Knopf (New York, NY), 1992.
Norma Farber, When It Snowed That Night, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.
Karla Kuskin, Patchwork Island, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
Carol Purdy, Mrs. Merriwether's Musical Cat, Putnam (New York, NY), 1994.
Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Grandmother Bryant's Pocket, Houghton Mifflin (New York, NY), 1996.
Mary McKenna Siddals, Tell Me a Season, Clarion (New York, NY), 1997.
Lynne Jonell, Mommy Go Away!, Putnam (New York, NY), 1997.
Campbell Geeslin, On Ramon's Farm: Five Tales of Mexico, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1998.
Lynne Jonell, I Need a Snake, Putnam (New York, NY), 1998.
Lynne Jonell, It's My Birthday, Too!, Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.
Campbell Geeslin, How Nanita Learned to Make Flan, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1999.
Lynne Jonell, Mom Pie, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.
Lynne Jonell, When Mommy Was Mad, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.
Jack Prelutsky, The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders: Rhymes, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 2002.
M.T. Anderson, Strange Mr. Satie, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.
Shirley Mozelle, The Kitchen Talks: Poems, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2006.
Rosemary Wells, The Miraculous Tale of the Two Maries, Viking (New York, NY), 2006.
Sara Pennypacker, Pierre in Love, Orchard (New York, NY), 2007.
Jack Prelutsky, In Aunt Giraffe's Green Garden: Rhymes, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 2007.
Petra Mathers, a four-time winner of the annual New York Times award for Best Illustrated Children's Book, has earned accolades for the depth and complexity of her artwork, which features richly hued, flat shapes. "In all of her books, including those she has illustrated for other writers, Mathers creates stunning, highly original, and richly detailed illustrations that perfectly complement, enhance, and extend the stories," stated Linnea Hendrickson in an essay for the St. James Guide to Children's Writers. Mathers often serves as both writer and illustrator, and her highly regarded original picture books feature stories about quietly eccentric people and animals, "characters whose comical pathos and quiet courage strike a chord of recognition in … readers," noted an essayist in Children's Books and Their Creators. In her illustrations for Jack Prelutsky's poetry collection The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders: Rhymes, for example, Horn Book contributor Joanna Rudge Long noted: "Demurely naive, her cheerful, delicately delineated human and animal characters focus on their activities with becoming modesty and grace, whether in expansive scenes glowing with subtle color or in vignettes set off by ample white space." Calling Mathers's artwork "fresh and original," the Children's Books and Their Creators essayist also deemed it "straight from the heart."
Mathers was born during the last year of World War II in the Black Forest region of Germany. As a young woman, she worked in a bookstore, but eventually moved to the United States, married, and had a son. Her first career was as a painter, and she had gallery exhibitions of her work in Cannon Beach, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. For several years, however, Mathers worked as a waitress to make ends meet. In 1980, she was able to enjoy an adventurous respite when she and her husband spent some time in the South China Sea. When they returned, the couple settled on Long Island. Mathers moved into book illustration when she traveled to New York City and showed her portfolio at Harper & Row. Her first illustration project was creating artwork for Miriam Chaikin's How Yossi Beat the Evil Urge, which was published in 1983.
Maria Theresa, Mathers's debut as an author/illustrator, won her an Ezra Jack Keats medal in 1985. The Maria Theresa in question, a chicken, belongs to Signora Rinaldo, a New York City apartment-dweller who loves opera. Signora Rinaldo also loves breakfast, and keeps a chicken coop on her rooftop for fresh eggs. The woman is devastated, therefore, when the door is left open one day and Maria Theresa escapes. The hen makes it to the subway and from there, by hiding in someone's shopping bag, suddenly finds itself in a new world: the countryside. When the traveling bird comes across a traveling circus, it finds it all so fantastical that it must be the opera she has long dreamed of. The circus hires Maria Theresa to perform with Miss Lola, an egg juggler who performs while riding aboard a cow. Back in Manhattan, Signora Rinaldo listens to only the saddest arias, until a visit to her suitor's country home results in a reunion between the two friends and a new life for both of them. According to Carol Brightman in the New York Times Book Review, the book's pages "combine an attention to both the commonplace and the arcane which marks the best of children's literature. [Mathers's] … final tableau of circus folk (and fowl) dancing the Tango Argentine outside Miss Lola's Air-stream is a triumph of this vision." Noting that the author/illustrator's "flat, primitive style … produces a consistently engaging, other-worldly quality," Donnarae MacCann and Olga Richard added in the Wilson Library Bulletin that Maria Theresa features "seductive, surreal imagery."
Theodor and Mr. Balbini, winner of a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book award, stars a dog and his owner; Theodor the dog is Mr. Balbini's life, but their relationship changes when the dog suddenly gains the power of speech. As soon as the once-happy Theodor is able to articulate his demands, he begins to complain about all manner of things to his owner, even going so far as to bemoan the lack of a color television while watching cooking programs. Mr. Balbini is disconcerted by the remarkable development, but when Theodor decides to learn French, the dedicated dog owner finds a teacher. Madame Poulet finds her new pupil fascinating, and eventually Theodor moves in with her. Now alone, Mr. Balbini wishes for Theodor to return, but to return to the way he was before he could talk. Fortunately, a dinner invitation to Madame Poulet sets all to rights, when Madame's dog Josephine—as well as Madame Poulet—takes a shine to the lonely man. At story's end Mr. Balbini and Madame Poulet agree to trade hounds, but a romance seems likely as well. "The story's offbeat humor remains fresh and surprising to the end," noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer, and in the Wilson Library Bulletin MacCann and Richard wrote that Mathers "rivets the viewer's attention with some extraordinary surrealist paintings."
Mathers's third original picture book, Sophie and Lou, follows Sophie, a painfully shy mouse, as she develops into a more confident, outgoing rodent. When a dance studio opens across the street, Sophie is fascinated by it. She is too timid to enroll in classes, but when she opens her window, she can hear the music and the instructors' voices. After pushing her furniture against the walls, she practices along with the class in her own living room. One evening, the doorbell rings, and Lou, another mouse, asks Sophie for a dance; they waltz off together. "Astute readers will notice that Lou appears throughout the illustrations as a bashful observer to Sophie's transformation," wrote Denise Anton Wright in a review of Sophie and Lou for School Library Journal. "This gently paced story is sweetly inspirational," assessed a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
In Victor and Christabel a pair of crocodiles are the heroes. Victor, a museum guard devoted to his job, becomes enchanted when a new work, "Cousin Christabel on Her Sickbed," is added to the paintings on display in his wing. The work of art depicts a frail but lovely crocodile, an image emanating a deep sadness. Victor begins to bring the painting flowers and even installs a little night-light to keep it company during his off-duty hours. Amazingly, it seems that the two-dimensional Christabel looks increasingly more cheerful; eventually readers discover that the beautiful crocodile was once free, but was imprisoned in the two-dimensional painting by her cousin, an evil magician. "Once hung in the museum under the benign gaze of Victor, the painting is exposed to a new magic, that of the redemptive power of love," explained Kathryn Harrison in her review for the New York Times Book Review. Remarking that Mathers's illustrations reveal the illustrator's "sly sense of humor," Harrison added that youngsters will demand a second reading of Victor and Christabel in order to "catch all the amusing details." Wilson Library Bulletin reviewers MacCann and Richard cited in particular Mathers's use of color and perspective in giving dimension and verve to the story. "As illustrator, Mathers showcases this cast of eccentrics with gorgeous art," the critics concluded.
A difficult period in the author/illustrator's childhood was the basis for her picture book Kisses from Rosa. Set in Germany in the years just after World War II, the tale revolves around Rosa and her family as they
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struggle to make ends meet. When her mother has to go to a sanitarium to cure her tuberculosis, Rosa is sent to stay with relatives on a farm in the Black Forest area. It is a difficult adjustment, and the girl misses her mother terribly at first. Her aunt helps her write a letter every Sunday, and Rosa concludes each with a unique kiss to help her mother get better. The rhythm of life in the country soon begins to grow on the girl, however, and when it is time to leave her aunt and cousin and return home, Rosa will miss her new friends. Reflecting the story's basis in Mathers's personal history, actual family photographs from the author's childhood appear on the book's end papers. A Publishers Weekly critic wrote that, "as a writer, Mathers sets a leisurely pace for the story, lingering lovingly on the small details." Kisses from Rosa, noted Ellen Mandel in a Booklist review, "memorably reflects the pain of separation and the joys of healing and reunion."
Among the books Mathers has written and illustrated are the picture books in the "Lottie's World" series. In the first installment, Lottie's New Beach Towel, Lottie the chicken and best friend Herbie the duck plan a picnic outing at the beach. Lottie's aunt sends her a lovely new beach towel that same day, and the gift proves to have a number of practical and surprise purposes: the chicken uses it to protect her feet from the hot sand, makes a sail from it when Herbie's boat stalls, and loans it to a bride whose veil is swept away by a strong breeze. The tale concludes with Lottie writing a thank-you note to her aunt. "Mathers paints a portrait of a winsome heroine characterized by unflagging practical resourcefulness and bursts of romantic inspiration," declared a Publishers Weekly contributor of the book, while Kathleen Squires wrote in Booklist that Mathers's "canny use of line, light, and shadow perfectly conveys the wind, the tide, and the time of day." In a Horn Book review, Martha V. Parravano also delivered strong praise for the author/illustrator. "Everything about the book has the feeling of being thought through—and you get the feeling that Mathers is doing it all for her own as well as for her readers' enjoyment," Parravano asserted.
Mathers expands Lottie's world in Lottie's New Friend, A Cake for Herbie, Herbie's Secret Santa, and Dodo Gets Married. In Lottie's New Friend, a tale to help young readers deal with issues of jealousy and self-esteem, Herbie grows resentful when Lottie befriends an exotic new neighbor, Dodo, who possesses a charming accent and fuchsia plumage. Herbie, feeling ousted and afraid of losing Lottie, wishes Dodo far away, but when Lottie must leave town for a brief time, Herbie comes upong Dodo in an emergency. After heroically resuing her, the two form their own bond of friendship. "Mathers offers a wise look at the often contrary and confusing dynamics of close friendships," remarked a Publishers Weekly review, and Susan Dove Lempke wrote in Booklist that the book's "delightfully expressive watercolors show Herbie's feelings beautifully."
A third book in the "Lottie's World" series, A Cake for Herbie finds the lovable Herbie attempting to win first prize—a big layer cake—in a local poetry contest. Using his talent with words, the duck composes an alphabet poem all about food. When the day of the contest finally arrives, Herbie anxiously awaits his turn to deliver his poem. Unfortunately for Herbie, his best friend Lottie is ill in bed and is not there to comfort him when the audience of snooty birds boos him off of the stage. Embarrassed, Herbie takes refuge near the dumpster of a nearby restaurant where the workers take him in and lift his spirits and delight in his poetry. At the end of
the night, the appreciative restaurant staff presents Herbie with a cake of his own, and more importantly, with a healthy dose of encouragement. Reviewing A Cake for Herbie, a Publishers Weekly critic praised the book, writing that "Mather's droll, economical text and vibrant … visuals … combine seamlessly to portray Herbie's anticipation, anxiety, humiliation, and grateful sense of belonging." In Booklist Ilene Cooper wrote that Mathers's "text is a delight, but even more charming is the artwork."
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The "Lottie's World" books also include Herbie's Secret Santa and Dodo Gets Married. In Dodo Gets Married Dodo meets Captain Vince, who has confined himself to his house after losing his leg during a helicopter rescue mission. While Dodo seeks to draw out the curmudgeonly Vince, Vince refuses to leave home because he fears that his friends will pity his physical condition. As they spend more time together, Vince's attitude toward life begins to change, and he and Dodo become engaged to be married. Despite a few wedding-related mishaps, the two birds manage to get hitched and embark on a happy life together. In Herbie's Secret Santa a surreptitious treat causes guilt pangs in poor Herbie, and in what a Kirkus Reviews writer described as a "witty, understated text," Mathers "deftly shows … how hard it is to apologize to those whose trust has been violated." Jody McCoy, reviewing Dodo Gets Married for School Library Journal, called the story "whimsical" and "heartwarming," adding that "Mathers's message-that there is someone for everyone—is warmly delivered." "Mathers has a genuine gift for the offbeat and tender," wrote Booklist contributor Graceann A. DeCandido in another review of the book, the critic complimenting Mathers's illustrations as "full of winsome detail." In Booklist, Diane Foote expressed a general consensus on the entire "Lottie's World" series, writing of the holiday-themed story that in Herbie's Secret Santa Mathers's "quiet words and pictures convey the simple happiness of good friendship."
Mathers teams up with writer Lynne Jonell for several picture books that feature brothers Christopher and Robbie, among them Mommy Go Away!, I Need a Snake, It's My Birthday Too!, Mom Pie, and When Mommy Was Mad. In Mom Pie the brothers are distressed that their mother is too busy preparing a family dinner to pay attention to them. In order to soothe their hurt feelings, Christopher suggests that they make a "Mom pie," using some of their mother's belongings as ingredients. When she sees the pie dish filled with bunny slippers, an earring, and the like, Mommy is less than enthusiastic. However, when the brothers explain that they created the pie to remind them of her, she takes a break from her preparations and spends time with the boys even after the dinner guests arrive. In Booklist, Stephanie Zvirin praised Mathers's "precise, naive, stick-figure illustrations," noting that the drawings "look a lot like kids' own early artwork." A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that, "thanks to Jonell's light touch and Mathers's talent for distilling the action to its emotional essence, the story's resolution is roundly satisfying."
Other books that have benefited from Mathers's illustrations include Strange Mr. Satie, M.T. Anderson's picture book biography of French composer Erik Satie, and Pierre in Love, a simple love story by Sara Pennypacker. GraceAnne A. DeCandido praised the work in Booklist as a "deliciously offbeat look" at an eccentric musician in which Mathers's artwork "strikingly reflects the composer's life and times by using surrealistic elements," and School Library Journal contributor Jody McCoy wrote that Anderson's "hauntingly compelling biography" captures the "period, place, and bohemian brilliance of Satie's life" in illustrations that "are superb in their crisp, colorful clarity." Calling the book's illustrations of Satie and his odd life "transcendent," Horn Book reviewer Lolly Robinson concluded that in Strange Mr. Satie "Both author and illustrator seem to have channeled Satie's spirit of risktaking in their verbal and visual depictions of the composer's artistry." Reviewing Pierre in Love for Booklist, Ilene Cooper wrote that Mathers's "watercolors have a deceptive, childlike simplicity that draws in readers, with color, detail, and a warm expression of feelings." In Horn Book, Roger Sutton also cited Mathers's artistic contributions to Rosemary Wells's The Miraculous Tale of the Two Maries as exemplary, writing that the illustrator's paintings for the folk-tale adaptation "have majesty, delicacy, and affection, with a homely spirit that matches the tale."
Mathers has said that she often finds it difficult to begin a new project. She procrastinates and fears that "any moment the children's book patrol will drive up and take all my stuff away and seal off my studio," she told St. James Guide to Children's Writers. "But all the while, slowly, a story comes together, crude and on wobbly legs…. I am doing exactly what I want to be doing with plenty of room for improvement," she concluded.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Evans, Dylis, Show and Tell: The Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2007.
Hearn, Michael Patrick, and others, Myth, Magic, and Mystery: One Hundred Years of American Children's Book Illustration, Roberts Rinehart, 1996.
Silvey, Anita, editor, Children's Books and Their Creators, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.
Mathers, Petra, Theodor and Mr. Balbini, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1988.
St. James Guide to Children's Writers, edited by Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Booklist, October 15, 1993, Carolyn Phelan, review of When It Snowed That Night, p. 446; May 15, 1994, Carolyn Phelan, review of Patchwork Island, p. 1681; November 15, 1994, Linda Ward Callaghan, review of Mrs. Merriwether's Musical Cat, p. 613; November 1, 1995, Ellen Mandel, review of Kisses from Rosa, p. 476; May 15, 1996, Leone McDermott, review of Grandmother Bryant's Pocket, p. 1592; April 1, 1997, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Tell Me a Season, p. 1339; October 16, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of Mommy Go Away!, p. 415; May 15, 1998, Hazel Rochman, review of I Need a Snake, p. 1632; June 1, 1998, Kathleen Squires, review of Lottie's New Beach Towel, p. 1632; December 15, 1998, John Peters, review of On Ramon's Farm: Five Tales of Mexico, p. 754; March 1, 1999, Hazel Rochman, review of It's My Birthday, Too!, p. 1207; July, 1999, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Lottie's New Friend, p. 1952; December 1, 1999, Anne Ayres, review of How Nanita Learned to Make Flan, p. 710; January 1, 2000, review of It's My Birthday, Too!; May 1, 2000, Ilene Cooper, review of A Cake for Herbie, p. 1666; March 15, 2001, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Mom Pie, p. 1404; April 15, 2001, Graceann A. Decandido, review of Dodo Gets Married, p. 1566; May 15, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of When Mommy Was Mad, p. 1601; November 1, 2003, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Strange Mr. Satie, p. 512; March 1, 2006, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Miraculous Tale of the Two Maries, p. 90; March 15, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of The Kitchen Talks: Poems, p. 49; December 15, 2006, Ilene Cooper, review of Pierre in Love, p. 47.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2002, review of When Mommy Was Mad, p. 22; September, 2003, review of Strange Mr. Satie, p. 5.
Horn Book, September-October, 1991, Ellen Fader, review of Borreguita and the Coyote, pp. 605-606; March-April, 1993, Maeve Visser, review of Aunt Elaine, p. 197; November-December, 1993, Nancy Vasilakis, review of When It Snowed That Night, p. 723; March-April, 1995, Ann B. Flowers, review of Mrs. Merriwether's Musical Cat, p. 188; November-December, 1995, Maria B. Salvadore, review of Kisses from Rosa, p. 729; July-August, 1996, Hanna B. Zeiger, review of Grandmother Bryant's Pocket, p. 460; September-October, 1997, Lauren Adams, review of Mommy Go Away!, p. 559; May-June, 1998, Martha V. Parravano, review of Lottie's New Beach Towel, p. 334; May, 1999, review of It's My Birthday, Too!, p. 316; May, 2000, Martha V. Parravano, review of A Cake for Herbie, p. 298; January, 2001, Lauren Adams, review of Mom Pie, p. 83; March-April, 2002, Joanna Rudge Long, review of The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders: Rhymes, p. 225; September-October, 2003, Lolly Robinson, review of Strange Mr. Satie, p. 634; March-April, 2006, Roger Sutton, review of The Miraculous Tale of the Two Maries, p. 177.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002, review of When Mommy Was Mad, p. 494; November 1, 2002, review of Herbie's Secret Santa, p. 1622; August 1, 2003, review of Strange Mr. Satie, p. 1011; February 1, 2006, review of The Miraculous Tale of the Two Maries, p. 138; March 1, 2006, review of The Kitchen Talks, p. 236.
New York Times Book Review, August 11, 1985, Carol Brightman, review of Maria Theresa, p. 20; November 9, 1986, Arthur Yorinks, "Misappliance," p. 54; September 10, 1989, review of Frannie's Fruits, p. 32; November 14, 1993, Kathryn Harrison, "Tender Is the Crocodile," p. 62; March 15, 1998, Margaret Moorman, review of Mommy Go Away!, p. 23; August 15, 1999, Jane Fritsch, review of Lottie's New Friend, p. 25; May 2, 2001, Kathleen Krull, "Lovebirds: Can a German-accented Dodo and a One-legged Bird Find Happiness?," p. 28.
Publishers Weekly, June 21, 1985, review of Maria Theresa, pp. 102-104; June 24, 1986, review of Theodor and Mr. Balbini, p. 112; July 25, 1986, review of Molly's New Washing Machine, p. 186; February 23, 1990, review of Block Book, p. 217; August 10, 1990, review of I'm Flying!, p. 444; February 22, 1991, review of Sophie and Lou, p. 218; June 7, 1991, review of Borreguita and the Coyote: A Tale from Ayutla, Mexico, p. 65; December 20, 1991, review of Little Love Song, p. 81; October 26, 1992, review of Aunt Elaine, p. 70; July 19, 1993, review of Victor and Christabel, p. 252; September 20, 1993, review of When It Snowed That Night, p. 33; April 11, 1994, review of Patchwork Island, p. 63; August 1, 1994, review of Mrs. Merriwether's Musical Cat, p. 78; July 10, 1995, review of Kisses from Rosa, p. 56; February 5, 1996, review of Grandmother Bryant's Pocket, p. 89; January 6, 1997, review of Tell Me a Season, p. 72; September 22, 1997, review of Mommy Go Away!, p. 79; June 8, 1998, review of Lottie's New Beach Towel, p. 60; October 12, 1998, review of On Ramon's Farm, p. 75; March 1, 1999, review of It's My Birthday, Too!, p. 68; March 8, 1999, review of Lottie's New Friend, p. 66; November 1, 1999, review of How Nanita Learned to Make Flan, p. 82; May 15, 2000, review of A Cake for Herbie, p. 116; September 25, 2000, review of I Need a Snake, p. 120; January 1, 2001, review of Mom Pie, p. 92; May 7, 2001, review of Dodo Gets Married, p. 246; May 14, 2001, review of Lottie's New Beach Towel, p. 85; October, 2002, Maureen Wade, review of Herbie's Secret Santa, p. 61; September 1, 2003, review of Strange Mr. Satie, p. 89; March 27, 2006, review of The Miraculous Tale of the Two Maries, p. 82; December 18, 2006, review of Pierre in Love, p. 62.
School Library Journal, December, 1986, Leslie Chamberlin, review of Molly's New Washing Machine, p. 86; June, 1989, Patricia Dooley, review of Frannie's Fruits, p. 90; June, 1991, Denise Anton Wright, review of Sophie and Lou, p. 86; March, 1992, Kathleen Whalin, review of Little Love Song, p. 248; December, 1993, Corinne Camarata, review of Victor and Christabel, p. 91; July, 1994, Heide Piehler, review of Patchwork Island, p. 95; May, 1997, review of Tell Me a Season, p. 114; June, 1998, Angela Reynolds, review of I Need a Snake, p. 111; March, 1999, review of On Ramon's Farm, p. 174; December, 1999, Selene S. Vasquez, review of How Nanita Learned to Make Flan, p. 96; June, 2000, Patricia Pearl Dole, review of A Cake for Herbie, p. 122; May, 2001, Jody McCoy, review of Dodo Gets Married, p. 129; July, 2001, Luann Toth, review of Mom Pie, p. 84; February, 2002, Lauralyn Persson, review of The Frog Wore Red Suspenders, p. 126; June, 2002, Helen Foster James, review of When Mommy Was Mad, p. 98; October, 2003, Jody McCoy, review of Strange Mr. Satie, p. 143; March, 2006, Catherine Callegari, review of The Miraculous Tale of the Two Maries, p. 204.
Wilson Library Bulletin, June, 1985, Donnarae MacCann and Olga Richard, review of Maria Theresa, pp. 686- 687; March, 1989, Donnarae MacCann and Olga Richard, review of Frannie's Fruits, pp. 82-83; May, 1994, Donnarae MacCann and Olga Richard, review of Patchwork Island, p. 94.
Eclise Web site, http://www.eclipse.rutgers.edu/ (March 3, 2007), "Petra Mathers."