Jane Wattenberg
Author and Illustrator

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Jane Wattenberg is the author/illustrator of many eye-popping photo-collage books for children.  The NY Times squawked, “Yowza!” for her hip-hop adaptation of HENNY-PENNY.  Her NEVER CRY WOOF! is howls of fun.  Her accordion novel for babies, MRS. MUSTARD’s BABY FACES is celebrating its 25th year in print. Jane lives with her husband Sam on a hill in San Francisco where she raises chickens and goats, ducks and bees.  The honey harvested is as sweet as sweet can be and the egg yolks, the color of the sun. Jane’s newly illustrated book is THE DUCK AND THE KANGAROO by Edward Lear  (Greenwillow Harper/Collins Fall 2009). While traveling around Australia looking for the Johnny Depp of Kangaroos to star in her book, Jane met up with all sorts of odd critters along the way.  Photographing the ducks was another story altogether!  Edward Lear’s naturalist art, and that of others from the 18th and 19th C, is woven into the photo pages as well.  This is an interspecies romance, a love song, lush and roo-mantic.

Published Books
Mrs. Mustard's Beastly Babies (Board Book)
by Jane Wattenberg (Author) Reading level: Baby-Preschool  Board book: 7 pages Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 1, 1990)

Directly from Jane http://mrsmustard.goodsie.com/beastly-babies

ISBN-10: 0615485812

Jane Wattenberg's follow-up to the extremely popular Mrs. Mustard's Baby Faces finds her whimsical babies accompanied by some of their favorite animals. Together, they cover a wide range of emotions from fierce to funny and friendly. The question is: who's mimicking whom? Full-color illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

From --AMERICAN BOOKSELLER, Pick of the Lists, March 1990
This colorful fold-out board book alternates photos of wild animal faces with photos of baby faces in the same pose. It is a hilarious and offbeat approach to baby board books.


-  the 21st C edition from Mrs. Mustard’s Books.

in a new boxed  STROLLER CARDS SET perfect for snapping onto the baby’s stroller, FALL 2011 from Chronicle Books

Reading level: Ages 3 months to 3 years! Board book: 10 pages Publisher: Chronicle Books; Crds edition (August 17, 2011)

Babies will go ga-ga over these fun photographic stroller cards. This set includes five double-sided cards displaying babies in a variety of moods smiling, crying, pouting, and more. An infant-friendly mirror on the last card lets little ones get in on the action by peering at themselves! Easy to attach to a stroller, backpack, or diaper bag, these cards won t get lost, and provide great entertainment for toddlers on the go.

The Duck and the Kangaroo               

by Edward Lear (Author), Jane Wattenberg (Illustrator) Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover: 40 pages Publisher: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins (September 29, 2009) ISBN-10: 0061366838

 ISBN-13: 978-0061366833  



Meet Duck.

Duck has a yen for travel and adventure. Duck also has some very wet, cold feet and a gift for loyalty and compromise.

Meet Kangaroo.

Kangaroo has been around the world and back, and is looking for a little bit of luck.

Or a duck.

When Duck and Kangaroo meet, it’s a match made in . . . heaven.

Ah, love—ain’t it grand?

And who so happy,—O who, As the Duck and the Kangaroo?

A Starred Review from School Library Journal !!!

Lavishly illustrated collages using photographs and painted images by more than 20 world-renowned Naturalists help to bring Lear’s nonsense poem to life. Marvelously detailed insects, birds, reptiles, and botanical prints grace the pages in this rhyming tale of the love between a duck and a kangaroo. The mallard, tired of pond life and longing to see the world, begs to be taken for a ride. Kangaroo has only one objection: “‘Which is, if you’ll let me speak so bold,/Your feet are unpleasantly wet and cold,/And would probably give me the roo-Matiz!’ (O my achy bones, that is) said the Kangaroo.” So, with Duck wearing a crocheted cloak and worsted socks humorously knitted to fit webbed feet, the two take off on their adventures around the world. The various poses of the photographed kangaroo and duck add to the humor of the preposterous but sweet relationship. And Duck’s yellow eyes speak volumes: longing, chagrin, and love for Kangaroo. This title’s delightfully silly verse, paired perfectly with elaborate pictures to scrutinize, should not be missed.–Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI

Mrs. Mustard's Baby Faces (Mrs. Mustards) [SPECIAL EDITION] (Board book) by Jane Wattenberg (Author) Reading level: Ages 9-12 Board book: 14 pages Publisher: Chronicle Books; Revised and Enlarged! edition (September 20, 2007)
ISBN-13: 978-0811859677

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly  This small-sized assemblage of baby photographs folds out, accordion-style, showing happy, beaming faces and frowning, crying faces. Wattenberg has captured 14 ingratiating infants in a delightful "gallery." ..... Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --

Featured in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY December 2007
Featured in Walter and Valerie’s Best Books for Children 
Sold over 80,000 copies

Never Cry Woof!
by Jane Wattenberg (Author, Illustrator) Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover: 40 pages Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (March 1, 2005)

Bix, a braggart dog, gets bored while watching sheep and cries wolf to get the other dogs to come to see him, only to find that they are not so ready to come again when he really needs their help.

Children’s Choice Award for 2006, from IRA and CBC Children’s selection of best books voted on by 10,000 kids in USA.


This Is the Rain
by Lola M. Schaefer (author), Jane Wattenberg (Illustrator),   Reading level: Baby-Preschool Hardcover: 40 pages Publisher: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins; 1st edition (August 7, 2001)
ISBN-10: 0688170390
ISBN-13: 978-0688170394 \
Editorial Reviews

Starred Review from Kirkus

This is the ocean, / blue and vast, / that holds the rainwater from the past." And this is the irresistible refrain of a stunning picture book on the water cycle, written as an innovation on the "This Is the House that Jack Built" pattern of cumulative text, which Schaefer used similarly in This Is the Sunflower (2000). Her rhyming storyline builds with a rhythm as steady as rain on a rooftop, following the cycle of water transformations and adding another element to the text with each refrain. Wattenberg's (Henny-Penny, 2000, etc.) glowing photographic collage illustrations feature an azure sea and a radiant golden-yellow sky with photos of real storm clouds or a black night sky with starfish stars. Her version of the vast, ancient ocean teems with fish, shells, treasure chests, and muted images of dinosaurs of ages past. Schaefer and Wattenberg have created the essential water-cycle title for younger children, imparting solid scientific information (we'll forgive the underwater dinosaurs) with memorable text and stunning art. Librarians will want this for story hours with water or rain themes; teachers will want it for water-cycle studies; and kids will want it for its clever rhymes, striking art, and mysterious sunken dinosaurs. As essential to library collections as rain is to summer sunflowers.

From Publishers Weekly " Wattenberg's full-bleed photo collages, used so effectively in her Henny Penny, here depict stunning natural images: a single sunflower stands sentry-like in a vast, gold-splashed meadow; a school of emerald fish seem to be airborne at the base of a waterfall; a gray cloud oozes over a seashore. And there's a soupcon of sly jokes as well Wattenberg has a fondness for sneaking dinosaurs into her ocean scenes, and the final montage sports umbrella-toting birds and seahorses. Her layer upon layer of photo images creates a giddy visual landscape that is simultaneously ironic and iconic.   Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist  ...  The surreal montages of crisp photographs demonstrate the concepts effectively, occasionally using visual jokes. (Some birds, a sea horse, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex carry tiny umbrellas; the night sky is filled with golden starfish.) Even details such as the colors of the words in the text are artfully arranged. A subtle, well-crafted introduction for young children to a complex subject. Todd Morning Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


by Jane Wattenberg Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover: 40 pages Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2000)

ISBN-10: 0439078172

ISBN-13: 978-0439078177
"Chickabunga!" The alarmist chicken and all her funny feathered friends are back! Henny-Penny thinks the sky is falling when an acorn smacks her on her fine red comb. Come flock along as she and her barnyard pals take a side-splitting trip around the world to tell the king. Jane Wattenberg masterfully retells the classic tale, combining wit and ingenuity in a rhythmic text. The brilliantly conceived photo-compositions are filled with hilarious details, sure to make the imaginations of readers of all ages take flight.

From School Library Journal Starred Review
This is a hip, updated version of the old folktale. The colorful photo-collage art places Henny-Penny in locations around the world from Stonehenge to the Egyptian pyramids to the Taj Mahal as she leads her friends to seek the king. The expressive language, the design, the typeface, and the artwork all enhance the frantic pace and modern mood of the story. "'SHAKE, RATTLE, AND ROLL! THE SKY IS FALLING! IT'S COMING ON DOWN! Henny-Penny saw it and heard it and it SMACKED her on her fine red comb." The barn fowl in the photos always appear to be a bit puzzled while their physical attitudes show them strutting, pondering, and consulting maps. The fox couldn't appear wilier as he lures the group to his den, which has a welcome mat at the entrance. While her friends are being devoured in "FOXY-LOXY's LUNCH ROOM"-complete with take-out signage-the flaky hen, hearing Cocky-Locky's crow, remembers "CHICKA-CHICKA-BUNGA! I FORGOT TO LAY MY EGG TODAY!" and runs home, unharmed. This book is a hoot! It has surefire appeal, especially to reluctant readers. At the same time, the clever and sophisticated presentation will appeal to more advanced readers. Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Starred Review: The Kirkus Review

'Tis the season for sassy retellings of classic tales, as in Marjorie Priceman's Froggie Went A-Courting (see above). Wattenberg recasts the "sky is falling" routine into a version that kids familiar with rap and hip-hop will immediately comprehend. When whacked on the head with an acorn, that fine red hen Henny-Penny squawks, "Chickabunga! The sky is falling! It's coming on down! I must run and tell the King." And so she heads out, picking up rooster Cocky-Locky, Ducky-Lucky, and Drake-Cake, Goosey-Loosey and Gander-Lander (that Glam-Gal and that He-Hunk) and so on even unto Turkey-Lurkey. But Foxy-Loxy lures them astray with promises of a shortcut to the King, so only Henny-Penny escapes. (The back cover illustration muses, "Was it REALLY all my fault?") The pictures are photomontages of actual fowl belonging to the author with key images—a golden crown, Stonehenge, the Tower of Pisa, the Parthenon, among other famous architectural wonders—set in a wild landscape that ranges from craggy hills to forest glens. The text works with italics, all capitals, boldface, and rubrication to keep the energy going. And while Henny-Penny never did tell the King the sky was falling, she does lay one humongous egg. Sure to evoke lots of giggling at story hour.

More Awards

CCBC Bulletin Dozen Booklist 2006- A Chicken Dozen- favorite books 

BCCB Blue Ribbon Award for Best Books 2000

CCBC 2001 Best Book Choices, University of Wisconsin

Nominee for the BABRA award,
Bay Area Book Reviewers Best Books Award held in San Francisco,April 2001

Featured in Walter and Valerie’s Best Books for Children

Starred review: Publisher’s Weekly, Henny-Penny.Amazon Books  “What We Are Reading.” Selection.

 Book of the Week, University of Wisconsin, CCBC