It seems like I’m learning something new every day that I paint.  In Daddy’s Song, my newest picture book, I had to figure out how to make “rain fall up instead of down” and “turkeys ride their bikes to town”! There are flying kitties, reindeer driving sports cars, and elephants riding carousels! Exactly the kinds of things that every illustrator should know how to do! 
Windows With Birds
Windows With Birds
written and illustrated by Karen Ritz
Boyds Mills Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1-59078-656-7
A cat discovers a new world. The cat loves its home, a house with places to climb, places to hide, windows to watch, and a mouse to chase. There’s a boy who fills his water dish and scratches him in just the right spots. Best of all, the windows have birds. One day the boy takes the cat to a strange, new home, high above the ground. The cat hides, and cries, hoping the boy will bring it back to the old house. In time, however, the cat discovers that this new world has wonders of its own.
Daddy's Song
Daddy's Song
written by Leslea Newman
illustrated by Karen Ritz
Henry Holt, 2007, ISBN 978-0-8050-6975-4
Before I tuck you in tonight,
Kiss your cheek and shut the light,
The last thing left for me to do
Is sing my Daddy’s song to you.
And what a song it is! Ice-cream cones fall from the sky, foxes play baseball, reindeer ride in fancy cars, kangaroos bake birthday cakes, panda bears twirl hula hoops, and rain falls up instead of down.
The imaginative rhythmic text and evocative full-color paintings make this fun and reassuring good-night book ideal for Father’s Day.
Fanciful and lit with whimsy, it begins, "If ice cream cones fall from the sky, / And cats grow wings and start to fly," and soars from there. Joyful, brimming pictures are evocative and intimate. Each illustration shows the creatures in bright, dreamscape colors and doing perfectly impossible things while the little girl, always in her soft pajamas, plays along… Capturing a heartwarming moment as tuck-in time becomes a cozy, loving ritual.
Max Talks to Me
Max Talks To Me
written by Claire Buchwald
illustrated by Karen Ritz
Gryphon Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-940719-03-3
Alex and his dog, Max, are true friends—the kind that share each other's excitement, comfort each other when they are sad, wait together when parents are away, and have fun wherever they are. Alex is learning that every good relationship is a mutual one.
"…a story of love and devotion between a child and his beloved furry friend and the caring behaviors that allow such a rich relationship to develop. This heartwarming account, with illustrations that capture the essence of their special friendship, will make a fine addition to any child’s bookshelf!”
Mandy Sue Day Mandy Sue Day
written by Roberta Karim
illustrated by Karen Ritz
Clarion Books (1994); ISBN 0395661552, $14.95
Ages 4-8

Using her senses of taste, hearing, touch, and smell, a blind girl enjoys a special day on the farm. Watercolor illustrations.

Remember That Remember That
written by Leslie Newman
illustrated by Karen Ritz
Clarion (1996); ISBN 0395661560
Ages 4-8

A young Jewish girl's relationship with her grandmother changes with age, and yet, very much stays the same. Story treats the subject of aging with sensitivity and feeling. Watercolor illustrations.

Nominated for the 1997 Minnesota Book Award

Someplace to Go Someplace to Go
written by Maria Testa
illustrated by Karen Ritz
Albert Whitman (1996); ISBN 0807575240
Ages 4-8

Ten-year-old homeless Davey tries to keep safe and warm from the end of the school day until he can meet his mother and older brother when the shelter opens at eight o'clock. Watercolor illustrations.

Ian's Walk
Ian's Walk: a Story about Autism
written by Laurie Lears
illustrated by Karen Ritz
Albert Whitman (1998); ISBN 0807534803
Ages 4-8
Ian has autism, and his sisters learn to see things through his eyes on a trip to the park. Watercolor illustration.
IBBY Award 1999
Dorothy Gray Award 2000
Children’s Crown Gallery Award nomination 2002
Pick of the Lists, American Bookseller
"So genuine are the paintings of narrator Julie, her big sister, Tara, and her younger autistic brother, Ian, that the three children look as though they will continue walking, tying a shoe, or feeding the ducks just as soon as the page is turned. . . Through its simple plot, the story conveys a complex family relationship and demonstrates the ambivalent emotions Julie feels about her autistic brother."
Waiting for Mr. Goose Waiting for Mr. Goose
written by Laurie Lears
illustrated by Karen Ritz
Albert Whitman (1999); ISBN 0807586285
Ages 4-8

Stephen, who has trouble sitting still and paying attention, surprises himself when he summons up the patience to catch and help an injured goose. Includes information on attention-deficit disorder. Watercolor illustrations.

Ben Has Something to Say Ben Has Something to Say:
a Story about Stuttering
written by Laurie Lears
illustrated by Karen Ritz
Albert Whitman (2000); ISBN 0807506338
Ages 4-8

Ben has a stuttering problem, but finds a way to express himself for something important. Watercolor illustrations.

A Family That Fights Family That Fights
written by Sharon Chesler Bernstein
illustrated by Karen Ritz
Albert Whitman (1991); ISBN 0807522481
Ages 4-8

Story about a young family living with family violence. Pencil illustrations.

My Grammy My Grammy
written by Marsha Kibbey
illustrated by Karen Ritz
First Avenue Editions (1988); ISBN 0876143281; paper ISBN 0876145446
Ages 4-8

Eight-year-old Amy learns patience when she has to share her bedroom with her grandmother who has Alzheimer's disease. Pencil illustrations.

Tall Boy's Journey Tall Boy's Journey
written by Joanna Halpert Krauss
illustrated by Karen Ritz
Carolrhoda Books (1992); ISBN 0876147465
Ages 9-12

When Kim Moo Yong, a Korean orphan boy, is adopted by an American couple and makes a long plane journey to their house, he finds it a strange and terrifying experience, until he begins to adjust to his new way of life. Watercolor illustrations.

back to Books menu
Copyright © 2005- Karen Ritz. All rights reserved.
If you'd like permission to use something on this website, please contact the author. Site designed by Winding Oak.