I’ve known Laura McGee Kvasnosky for over 25 years. I met her in an evening class at an art school on how to make picture books. It was taught by Keith Baker and was inspiring and bursting with the kind of info every newbie was looking for. There were several other luminaries in the class as well.

Laura’s grasp on what we were being taught was great and she was soon published. (It took me another 10 years.)  Her list of titles grew quickly, and I’ve loved every one of them. With a particular love of the half dozen or so Zelda & Ivy books. The two young fox sisters and their charming day to day activities.

When she came out with Little Wolf’s First Howling, coauthored and illustrated with her sister Kate Harvey McGee, a couple years ago, I was so happy to see it. It was kind of a new art style for her but employing the same technique she has used for previous books with just a little bit of updating. Laura still does the lovely line work. She scans it and sends it to her sister, Kate, who digitally colors it in a pastel look. It is beautiful and fun read-aloud.  If you haven’t seen it, you definitely need to take a look.

But this post is about her new release, SQUEAK! Again, coauthored and illustrated with her sister using the same technique and style.

SQUEAK! tells the story of the wilderness (seems like maybe Yosemite) waking up early. All set in motion by a wee mouse who squeaks when the breeze tickles its ear.

In this wonderfully cyclical story, the waking of one creature begets the waking of another. From chipmunks to trout, eagle to bear, wolf to bighorn, soon enough the whole forest, fields, mountains are wide awake. The spreads are all expansive and full of fun things to find on repeat readings.

Like Little Wolf’s First Howling, SQUEAK! is a rousing read-aloud, too. I know this firsthand because I saw it in action at Laura’s book launch earlier this week. She had kids in the audience responsible for each animal and they vociferously did their part during Laura’s reading of the book.

The book is full of Grrrrs and Ka-bonks and Wah-wooshes and a cacophony of other animal sounds—and of course, a squeak. Or two. A truly charming book that begs me to take a trip outside.

~kevan atteberry

The winner of MOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE SCARES: A ZOMBIE TALE from our Sept. 10 post is Kaitlyn Sanchez. Congrats Kaitlyn!


  1. Ohhhhhh! This charming book looks so fun to read out loud! A wonderful tribute to our animal kingdom too. Bravo and congrats!

  2. Oh this looks wonderful! Love it! I feel the same. Now I need to get outside. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have to find this book. I love stories like this as nature is inspiring to me.

  4. What a great partnership they have. The pictures are lovely. I like how the two cubs are playing while Mama bear announces she’s awake.

  5. Such a gorgeous picture book! I can’t take my eyes off the illustrations and the way Laura’s words curve and flow across the page.

  6. A beautiful book with an engaging, read-aloud text. I look forward to reading this new book from Laura and Kate.

  7. This looks like a must-have!

  8. I love the idea of this book. What a fun read. I will ask for it at my local bookstore.

  9. SQUEAK! looks fun and engaging, as do the other books by Laura and Kate. I’ll be checking them all out! Thanks, Kevan!!

  10. I love read alouds where the audience can participate. And kids do love making animal sounds! Thanks for the recommendation, Kevan.

  11. HELLO KEVAN! What a wonderful site — Thank you for including my books.
    And I want to also mention here that Kate and I could have never created our two collaboratively illustrated books without your help. Thank you for help in setting up the new computer/Wacom tablet and even more for teaching me the intricacies of Photoshop. Also, thanks for your wonderful books. Our family particularly loves the adorable blue stuffie Declan, who has a place of honor in Otto’s crib every night.

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