National Science Teaching Association Best STEM book of 2021

NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

JLG Gold Standard Selection 

Macmillan/Henry Holt Fall 2020
Macmillan/Henry Holt Fall 2020

NSTA Best STEM book of 2021

NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2021

Junior Library Guild Selection



"A winning combination of lyric description, accessible explanation, scientific history, feminism , and accomplishment."

"...the pacing and format will entice both engaged and reluctant readers; and the exhilaration of a new discovery is captured with a sense of wonder that is sure to inspire children and draw attention to the world of science."




SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:  "James's picture book biography spotlights Marie Tharp, a White geologist and oceanographic cartographer who helped revolutionize scientific knowledge of Earth. This first-person narration clearly explains the connections between aspects of Tharp's childhood, controversial scientific theories, and the sexism that kept her from conducting field research. Tharp's ambition and independent spirit are quite evident. Using direct quotes (sourced in the back matter) and real images (some created by Tharp, also sourced in the back matter), James paints a vivid narrative portrait of her subject. This titles excels in the scientific explanation of Tharp's work of translating sonar data. She utilized math and geology to create a revolutionary map of the ocean floor, which added significant evidence to further validate the theory of plate tectonics. Speech bubbles and panels allow readers to connect with the humanity and personality of  Tharp. Readers will also gain a better understanding if the science and math concepts that were used to make this map...VERDICT James provides a deep dive into the STEM concepts and the detailed process that Tharp employed to show the world what lies at the bottom of our oceans. Highly recommended for public and school libraries."


THE HORN BOOK: This picture-book biography of geologist and oceanographic cartographer Marie Tharp (1920-2006), who revolutionized the world's understanding of the ocean's floor, begins with a child asking the adult "Miss Tharp" about her career. The page-turn then brings us to Marie as a child. She is a curious (James shows her talking to grasshoppers. cumulonimbus clouds, and imagined ship figureheads) and determined girl who, despite being dismissed because of her gender, knows she'll "turn the world of geography upside down". James dives into Tharp's postsecondary studies to earn multiple degrees, then into her work at Columbia University to plot sounding data of the ocean floor, which led to her discovery of rift valleys on the seafloor and radically changed the scientific community's views on the theory of continental drift. Tharp's work with physiographic diagrams is explained in a detailed and easily understandable way, and the illustrations –rendered a comics-style format with an effective use of panels and speech balloons –incorporate maps of the ocean floor. Most of the backgrounds are based on Tharp's original works. This empowering accessible account of Tharp's career serves as a reminder that "sometimes it is hard to convince people to believe something new" – and show readers precisely how the groundbreaking Tharp did just that. Appended are an afterward, a selected bibliography, photos, and source notes. JULIE DANIELSON



"...using speech balloons as well as standard text, the graphic-novel -style presentation is appealing and James makes good use of maps, charts, and other images related to Tharp's work. These are helpful  in understanding her findings and their significance. An engaging introduction to Tharp and her significant contributions to geology and cartography." — Carolyn Phelan

Creston Books  Fall 2015
Creston Books Fall 2015


"Adinolfi expertly layers mixed media comprising colored pencils, gouache, stamping and more to create texture and movement on the static page.  Add vibrant colors in saturated hues, and the story's dreamlike environs come to life.  Full of gentle rhythm and repetition, this deceptively simple, layered poetic tale will charm its way into readers' hearts and begs to be read over and over again."


A STARRED REVIEW FROM Publishers Weekly 

"The idea that letting someone go can sometimes be the best way to love them isn't an easy one to share with children (or parents for that matter), but Van and Adinolfi do so with grace and aplomb."


Children's Book Council HOT OFF THE PRESS READING LIST featured title for the month of November 2015.  


THE LITTLE TREE was one of eight books chosen by Los Angeles Times for their Holiday Book List. 


A lovely review from THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW! December 18, 2015


Henry Holt Square Fish
Henry Holt Square Fish

Family Fun Magazine Best New Books

"Adinolfi's vibrant gouache, colored paper and collage illustrations provide much to be thankful for."


New York Times Books Review

"This could be  great read-aloud book, with its humor and its bumptious illustrations, which use to great effect many of the techniques children learn in art class."


School Library Journal

"...the vivid double-page art work is filled with action and energy.  Colorfully clothed characters, vibrant back rounds and almost touchable textures make each page fresh and appealing."


Washington Post

"JoAnn Adinolfi's zany gouache and collage illustrations grace this tale as wonderfully as Mrs. Archer's whipped-cream swirls adorn her beauteous desserts."


Henry Holt
Henry Holt

The New York Times

"Goofy, cartoonish, mixed-media illustrations with their background asides like little mariachi figurines and marked-up homework stuck to the refrigerator provide plenty of atmospheric chaos."


Publishers Weekly

"Merrily underscoring the differences between two households, Adinolfi's quirky mixed-media art is a playful jumble of geometric shapes and holiday motifs."


Horn Book

"...the jolly collage art ties it all together, depicting each family's traditions with finesse."



HarperCollins  I Can Read
HarperCollins I Can Read


"The art has the right amount of daffy and spooky-eerie faces and clacking bones, in strong colors- to set the tone for these six stories."


Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Adinolfi's pointy and naively drawn figures are skewed to suit the offbeat mood and the saturated colors (especially in the purply blue nocturnal scenes) provide a theatrical touch that keeps the proceeds from being too scary whether in rich full-bleed images ir spiky bits of spot art."

HarperCollins Math Start Series
HarperCollins Math Start Series


"...but the highlight of the book is the effective design.  An intelligent blending if white space and colors make each double-page spread visually stand out.  A box on one side or each page helps children keep track of multiplying lizards, and a closing section offers adults a few more ideas for easy math education."


School Library Journal

"Using brilliant colors, a variety of transportation modes and plentiful lizards, LIZARDS demonstrates counting by 5s and 10s.  Murphy's rhyming text is short and simple and children can add up the reptiles on each spread.  The final striking "lizard show" spread is jubilant, resembling fireworks on the page."

G.P. Putnam's Sons & Create Space
G.P. Putnam's Sons & Create Space


"Adinolfi's art is steadily fun-offbeat in the right ways-with the characters looking like they've been ironed onto the page, somehow frozen in motion."


Publishers Weekly

"Adinolfi's working in fluorescent hues and a genially raw mixed-media style leaves no doubt that the title character is a woman possessed."