How nice that you have managed to find the virtual me. Please hit a lot of buttons and explore, look at dog photos and other assorted photographs, and CHECK OUT MY BOOKS! I update the pages fairly often.
It is not easy to put up all these pages that are full of information about me and my books for children when I'd rather talk about you, but I do it anyway.
I live in Plainfield, Vermont, the center of the universe, where 1200 other souls and I enjoy our used bookstore, the cafe at Plainfield Hardware, a gas station-convenience store, the original Positive Pie, our beloved food coop, the Cutler Memorial Library, and the glorious Green Mountains. I've been here a long time and the traffic is getting much worse, the winters are long, and the blackflies are terrible. I tell you this to discourage you from moving here. (Underneath my hostile exterior, however, I am a very nice person.)
I write books for children and I teach in the MFA program in writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.
"A stunning achievement." *in Kirkus. *in SLJ!
THE PRINCESS OF BORSCHT: November, 2011
From The New York Times Book Review, Sunday, November 13:
"When most girls contemplate princesshood, borscht probably isn’t their realm of choice. But when Ruthie’s grandmother, hospitalized with pneumonia, asks Ruthie to make her a batch from her “secret recipe,” mastering a soup made out of beets suddenly feels somewhat desirable. Schubert (“Ballet of the Elephants”) turns the story of a sick relative, not a particularly cheery topic, into a sweet and salty tale, warmed by Christensen’s lively sketches, about bickering Jewish neighbors and intergenerational caregiving."
FOR MORE REVIEWS, CLICK ON THE TITLE ON PAGE RIGHT.
Holiday House. Image c. Amanda Haley. August, 2011
"The joy of learning to read and write is the exciting story in this lively
picture book with large, sweet, colorful, cartoon-style illustrations that show preschooler Lucy having fun with her parents and her mischievous dog, Peanut...
Young children will enjoy returning to this warm, humorous offering again and again."
"Learning to read can be an adventure, as this determined little girl and her pup demonstrate...
The appealing character, lively pictures and mild suspense make for a warm family story that shows the fun of having a pet and provides a strategy for learning to read that youngsters will eagerly embrace. A strong choice for school or home reading."
Feeding the Sheep: FSG, March, 2010.
From KIRKUS REVIEWS"... U’Ren’s action-filled, brightly colored double-page spreads convey physical exertion and concentration as well as joy and satisfaction.There is a strong sense of depth and detail, and, in a subtle touch, the little girl’s play mirrors her mother’s work.The collaboration of text and illustration is seamless and presents a complex operation in a manner completely accessible and understandable to young readers. Lovely." 1/15/2010
From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: "...Its approach is unique, showing the loving relationship between a mother and her daughter through the seasons as the animals are fed and sheared; the wool is cleaned, carded, spun, and dyed; and a sweater is knitted. Schubert’s musical text has a predictable, soothing structure: “‘What are you doing?’ the little girl asked. ‘Feeding the sheep,’ her mother said. Snowy day, corn and hay. ‘What are you doing?’ the little girl asked. ‘Shearing the wool,’ her mother said. Soft and deep, sheepy heap.” ...Feeding the Sheep will teach and entertain the very young, and they’ll be examining their sweaters with greater appreciation." 3/1/2010
From BOOKLIST: "The physicality of the words, the fascinating facts, and the action-filled, brightly colored illustrations will capture kids' attention, as will the cozy bond between parent and child, working together and caring for their free-range animals."
I practice arabesques at about age four or five. I always wanted to be a ballet dancer. Don't I look exactly like the dancers below? By the way, I still love striped t-shirts.
Roaring Brook Press, 2006. The amazing true story of a ballet choreographed by George Balanchine for fifty elephants.
Houghton Mifflin, Fall, 2005. Cover image c. Mary Azarian.
Throughout the seasons in northern Vermont, Darrell helps his neighbors, never finding time to fix his own barn. When a windstorm passes through town, he finds his kindness to his neighbors returned.
Caldecott Medal winner Mary Azarian knows Darrell's Vermont world well, but this is the first time she's put a backhoe in a book.