home travel writing children's books Gift Items ABOUT MAXINE

There's a Babirusa in my BathtubGullible GusStory of RuthPeddler's GiftCirclemakerDay of DelightWhen I left the VillageSacred ShadowsHannahSamantha's SurpriseMarvelous MazeWitchWeka learns


Maxine Schur

It was homesickness while living in New Zealand that got me writing. Longing for San Francisco, I wrote down my childhood memories in this beautiful city. Soon my stories were published in The New Zealand School Journals, for PLAYSCHOOL, a BBC television show and as picture books. I became the children's book reviewer for "The Listener" and "Australia/New Zealand Bookworld". Returning to the U.S. I took a wonderful job as a full-time children's writer for Addison-Wesley Publishing and in 1980 founded my own children's educational software company. Today, I'm still dreaming up new ideas for children's books; it's a lifelong passion.



Member of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for more than 20 years

Coming in 2018
Brave with Beauty
Yali Books

     

Coming in 2017
Mirabelle in Paris
Pomegranate Communications 2017

Mirabelle is a fashion designer mouse who draws inspiration from her gorgeous Paris.
She’s a mouse with moxie! When her fabulous dresses disappear, Mirabelle must conquer her fear of heights and fly high above Paris to find them—fast!
A beautifully-illustrated picture book by celebrated artist, Jeanne de Sainte Marie.

  Mirabelle in Paris by Maxine Rose Schur  
       

There’s a Babirusa in my Bathtub!
Fact and Fancy about Curious Creatures

by Maxine Rose Schur, illustrated by Michael S. Maydak
(Picture Book for 1st through 5th grade)
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
ISBN 1584691182
Dawn Publications 2009

2010 Mom's Choice Award
ForeWord Review's 2009 Book of the Year (Silver)

Have you ever
bathed with a babirusa,
dove with a dugong
met a matamata, or
jumped with a jerboa?

No? Then this is the book for you!

You’ll encounter real, little-known animals with habits as curious as their names.  “There’s a Babirusa in My Bathtub!” is a bestiary of amazing facts and poetic fancy.  From Mexico to Madagascar, you’ll discover a wondrous assortment of unsung animals.  Not famous -- but fabulous!

Startling facts, silly poems and the thrill of a hidden picture hunt make this warmly illustrated smorgasbord of strangeness a sly and slippery segue from fiction to non-fiction.
Just One More Book.com

Because it both reinforces the basics of reading and develops a passionate interest in nature, There's a Babirusa in My Bathtub is not to be missed.
Wayne S. Walker Stories for Children Magazine 2010

“Maxine Rose Schur uses creativity to connect narrative and expository text throughout There’s a Babirusa in My Bathtub! Her use of poetry spawns the imagination of children about little-known animals. The book awakens the natural curiosity of children and inspires them to deeper levels of understanding in both reading and science. And for teachers she provides activities that reinforce phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary development.
Diana H. Brown, Director, National Reading Initiative, Performance Learning Systems

The poems, descriptions and fantastic facts awaken children’s curiosity, and the activities promote reading and comprehension.
2009 iParenting Media Award for Outstanding Product

A variety of witty, lively poems makes learning about these unsung animals fun—and fun to imitate by writing similar poems about well-known animals. Teachers and parents will appreciate the series of exercises in the back of the book that focus on the basics of reading: fluency, phonics, phonemic awareness, comprehension and vocabulary
iParenting 2009

This unique book will appeal to all animal lovers, who will enjoy both the catchy poems as well as the additional factual information provided on each animal and its habitat. It’s an especially good book for teachers and parents who are homeschooling their children since it encompasses both science and language arts through the combination of poetry and short factual essays on each animal.

What Kids Think: A group of 7- to 10-year-olds enjoyed both the poems and learning about these exotic creatures, which appeal to children’s love of everything weird, grotesque and dangerous!  
Margo Tannenbaum, September  2009,Toy Directory Monthly

 
There's a Babirusa in my bathtub
 
       

Gullible Gus
by Maxine Rose Schur, illustrated by Andrew Glass
ISBN 978061892710-4
Clarion Books
Houghton Mifflin 2009

Poor Cowboy Gus! He believes everything the other cowboys tell him, so he gets teased all the time. To cure his terrible case of gullibility, Gus visits Fibrock, a town full of liars. There he encounters Hokum Malarkey, who tells him three outrageous stories—while relieving him of all his money. But Gus doesn’t mind. If he can honestly say the words “I don’t believe it,” he’ll be cured forever.

With extravagant humor and lively language, Maxine Schur presents three tall tales within a frame story, each one just right for the chapter-book audience. Andrew Glass’s hilarious illustrations perfectly depict the hapless hero and the other larger-than-life characters that populate these wild and woolly adventures.

Named a 2009 Junior Literary Guild Selection

"This darn good yarn will have kids galloping through the pages..."
Kirkus Review

Andrew Glass provides a fine set of color drawings for this excellent chapter book. 
Diane C. Donovan, Midwest Book Review, August 2009

"Schur’s wildly extravagant humor makes these tales jump right up and tickle the reader’s funny bone.The funniest book on the shelf.”
Caryn Huberman Yacowitz, Parenting on the Peninsula

 
Gullible Gus
 
       

The Story of Ruth
Retold by Maxine Rose Schur, illustrated by Gwen Connelly
ISBN 1-58013-114-X
Kar Ben Publishing 2005
Ages 4-8

Here is the story of Ruth as you have never heard it before.  Told with poetry and depth, this retelling by Maxine Rose Schur evokes the authenticity of its time and place and captures a beautiful love story as well as the strength of two legendary women. A treat for children ages four to eight.

"Maxine Rose Schur’s beautiful retelling makes the story of Ruth accessible to children, with a book well suited to being read silently and allowed.  The story of Ruth is written in modern English and sprinkled with words to give the language the rhythms and sounds of an older text, without presenting difficulty for the reader. Schur handles the levirate marriage deftly. this masterful rendition of the ancient story of Ruth and Naomi will help make it accessible to younger readers, and will be enjoyed by adults and children.  Highly recommended for grades 1 to 5."
Marci Lavine Bloch, American Jewish Library Newsletter, Nov/Dec. 2005

   

The Peddler's Gift
by Maxine Rose Schur, illustrated by Kimberly Bulcken Root
(Picture Book for Kindergarten through 3rd grade)
ISBN 0-8037-1978-7
Dial Books, Penguin USA 1999

An original Russian-Jewish folk story. The wistful and moving tale of a boy who steals a toy from a foolish peddler only to discover he's not so foolish after all.

Winner of the Year 2000 Sydney Taylor Award
1999 Smithsonian Notable Book of the Century
1999 Bay Area Book Reviewers Association Award Nominee
A Bank Street College of Education 1999 Best Children’s Book of the Year
New York Public Library List of 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
A Year 2000 IRA Notable Book for a Global Society

"The combination of Schur’s poetic prose and Kimberly Bulcken Root’s gorgeous illustrations make The Peddler’s Gift a beautiful book to read, to look at, and to think about."
Linda Starr, Education World, 1999

"Fine storytelling, rhythmic and controlled."
The Horn Book

"This nuanced portrait of shtetl life opens a window onto a lost world."
Smithsonian Magazine

"A season standout!"
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"The author has a talent for developing complex themes with a luminous clarity of language."
American Jewish Library Newsletter

"This gentle story is written with a fine folkloric tone that evokes both the richness and simplicity of a time long past."
School Library Journal

"Schur writes with poetic grace... with color and depth, making a painful incident poignant and underscoring some of life's elusive lessons."
San Francisco Examiner

   
       
The Circlemaker
(Historical novel for 4th through 6th grade)
ISBN 0-8037-1354-1
Dial Books, Penguin USA, 1994

Based on meticulous historical research, The Circlemaker tells the exciting story of a boy fleeing the forced conscription of Jewish children in Russia in the year 1854.

1994 American Booksellers "Pick of the Lists"
1996-97 Mark Twain Award nominee
Winner of the 1994 Louis B. Dessauer Award
Winner of the Society of Children's Book Writers Work-in-Progress Grant.

"Atmospheric and suspenseful... maintaining an edge-of-the-seat tension until the very last words."
Publishers Weekly ( starred review)

"The genuinely evoked setting and the plucky boy's narrow escapes compel attention."
Kirkus Review (Pointer)

"Combines fast-paced adventure with a compelling sense of history."
Booklist (Focus Review)

"Taut and tender... pages seem to turn themselves."
San Francisco Examiner

"A gripping children's novel. Schur beautifully recreates long-ago times with small details."
The Contra Costa Times

"In this deftly told action packed story, Mendel faces many dangers and conflicts, including his own fears and a choice about doing what is right.  Mendel is a believable character in an exciting book that vividly brings to life a terrible time in history for Russian Jews. The Circlemaker is an excellent choice for middle school students.  An outstanding selection for reading aloud to classes, particularly in grades five through seven."
Bonnie O. Ericson, The ALAN Review, Winter 1995

 

The CircleMaker

The CircleMaker

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Day of Delight
by Maxine Rose Schur, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
(Picture book Kindergarten through 2nd grade)
ISBN 0-8037-1414-9
Dial Books, Penguin USA 1994

The spare, poetic text evokes an Ethiopian Jewish village as seen through the eyes of a villager boy on one Sabbath day. Illustrated by Caldecott Award winner Brian Pinkney.

A 1994 "American Booksellers Pick of the Lists"
Winner of the 1994 Parent's Choice Award
1994 Sydney Taylor Award nominee
Smithsonian "Best Children's Book of 1994"

" An economical evocation of an entire way of life... Fascinating" Publishers Weekly, (starred review)

" A gem."
School Library Journal

"Simple and tenderly told. A beautifully crafted book"
The Horn Book

 
Day of Delight
Day of Delight read by Gregory Hines for the CD "One People, Many Stories". To order toll free: 1 866 800-2665

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When I Left My Village
(Historical storybook 2nd through 4th grade)
ISBN 0-8037- 1561-7
Dial Books, Penguin USA 1996

Sequel to DAY OF DELIGHT, this is the wrenching story of an Ethiopian Jewish family's perilous escape to the Sudan in the mid 1980s and their miraculous airlift rescue by the Israelis. Beautifully illustrated by Caldecott Award winner, Brian Pinkney.

1996 American Booksellers Pick of the Lists,"
1996 Notable Book in Field of Social Studies
1996 Bay Area Book Reviewers Award Nominee
Winner of the 1996 Sugarman Family Award
Winner of the 1996 Sydney Taylor Award.

"...writing with pathos deepened by memorable imagery. A trenchant sequel to the acclaimed Day of Delight "
Publishers Weekly

"The narrative is both dramatic and lyrical: evocative images fill the book. With great artistry, Schur weaves history, adventure, and family drama into a polished narrative."
Kirkus Reviews, (pointered review)

"Provocative and emotional... a riveting family story."
The Horn Book

   
       

Sacred Shadows
(Young Adult Historical Novel)
ISBN 0-8037-2295-8 Dial Books, Penguin USA 1997

Based on true events in the author's family's life, this is a coming of age story of a German-Jewish girl living in Poland during the inter-war years. A powerful love story set against the anti-Semitic milieu of pre-holocaust Europe.

1997 National Jewish Book Award Finalist
A 1998 Notable Book in the Field of Social Studies
A 1998 Notable Book for a Global Society by the International Reading Association Society of School Librarians
1998 Honor Book
1998 Young Hoosiers Award Nominee

"Exquisitely Rendered"
The Horn Book

"A moving story, exquisitely told... a novel with the ring of authenticity as well as artistry."
The Contra Costa Times

"The magic of this book lies in the remarkable writing style of the author whose depiction of time and place is so vivid that you walk the streets and recognize the people."
Children's Literature

 

Sacred Shadows

Now in Paperback!

Sacred Shadows

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Hannah Szenes : A Song of Light
(Biography 5th through 8th grade)
ISBN 0827606621
The Jewish Publication Society, 1987, revised and reprinted in paperback 1999

Written with the support of Hannah Szene's family, friends and fellow paratroopers, this is a powerful and poignant biography of the acclaimed poet and World War II resistance fighter, Hannah Szenes. The book eloquently captures the spirit of the young woman who lived and died for her ideals.

A 1987 Notable Book in the Field of Social Studies
A 1987 National Jewish Book Award Finalist.

"Heart-piercing and soul-searing"
International Jewish Herald

"A compelling biography"
The Los Angeles Times

   
       
The Marvelous Maze
by Maxine Rose Schur, illustrated by Patricia deWitt Grush
(Picture book, Preschool-3rd grade)
ISBN 0-88045-132-7
Stemmer House, 1995

An original Renaissance fairy tale in which a clever but arrogant young prince orders a intricate garden maze built, and declares that the first princess to find her way out will be his bride. Many lovely princesses try but fail. Then the plain and plump 44th princess arrives and slyly teaches the prince about the importance of kindness, the beauty of nature and the power of love. A richly romantic tale exquisitely illustrated by Robin de Witt and Patricia de Witt Grush.

Wonderful story... a diamond jewel among picture books.
The Kemper County Messenger

"Maxine Rose Schur wraps a powerful message within a charming allegory" Book Review Center, Spalding University

The heroine who finds love despite her lack of glamour is admirable.
The Horn Book.

   
       

Samantha's Surprise
(book, audio tape and movie)
The American Girls Collection,
The Pleasant Company/Mattel
1986

Samantha: An American Girl Holiday
Warner Brother Films, 2004
produced by Julia Roberts.

A New York Times Critics Pick

Samantha Parkington, a nine-year-old orphan girl living with her grandmother in the America of 1904. While Samantha is excitedly preparing for Christmas. she learns that her Uncle Gard is bringing his girlfriend Cornelia to visit. The whole household is turned upside down, along with Samantha's plans. Samantha begins to resent Cornelia, but before Christmas Day arrives, she learns an important lesson about kindness. A lively, very human story that provides a window into 1904 America.

 

Samantha's Surprise

Samantha's Surprise

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The Witch at the Wellington Library
Viking Seven Seas Publishers New Zealand, 1978
Ages 4-7

What happens when an ugly witch takes up residence in the library?
Boo-tiful things!

The witch does cause some hilarious mischief with the library patrons but she is an artist as well. Her lovely paintings fascinate the community and despite her frightful appearance she finds fame... and love.

Full of suspense, surprise and humor, The Witch at the Wellington Library will delight readers not only at Halloween but throughout the year.

   
       

Weka Won't Learn
(picture book) alibris.com natureandco.com
Viking SevenSeas Publishers, New Zealand 1977

New Zealand has some of the most unusual native birds in the world. All of them flightless and very rare. In this paperback picture book, eight of these birds are brought to life in charming stories that highlight each bird's unique habits and characteristics. An engaging and educational introduction to New Zealand's natural world.

Ages 4-7

   
       
       
 

©Maxine Rose Schur 2015. Reproducing or copying photos and articles is strictly prohibited unless expressly granted by the owner. All photos are by the author unless specified.

 

 

Maxine Rose Schur  :    Author, Writer, Speaker, Actress

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