Picture Books

The author on the ship, the RMS Queen Mary

STEM Books

Secrets of the Snow Globe (Science Makes It Work series)

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Floss Pottage

Learn about the science behind the enchantment of a snow globe in this STEM/STEAM picture book, SECRETS OF THE SNOW GLOBE!

A curious kid discovers how magnification and density make her favorite collectible possible.

After starting to collect snow globes with the help of her grandmother, Lily has questions. She wants to know who invented them, what the snow is made of, and how the tiny scenes look so magical when she peers inside. As she researches and experiments, Lily learns about light waves, magnification, and density—all while gathering ingredients to make her own snow globe.

The Wonder of Color (Science Makes It Work series)

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Floss Pottage

Discover the bright, beautiful science of color in this vibrant STEM/STEAM picture book, THE WONDER OF COLOR!

An art contest inspires one young painter to learn about light waves, prisms, and the color wheel.

When Ms. Vega announces a mural painting contest at school, James can’t wait to design a picture to fill the library wall. But as he explores color, he has a lot of questions about where color comes from and how our eyes see it. As he experiments and reads, James learns about prisms, the color wheel, and light waves―all while working on his colorful contest entry.


“Searching for a subject for a classroom art project leads a young student to discoveries about light, colors, and paint.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Growing Food in the Garden (Science Makes It Work series)

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Francesca Rosa

How does a garden grow? A young boy finds out for himself in this engaging STEM picture book story.

A trip to the farmers market turns into a lesson on growing plants.

On a trip to the farmers market, Daniel discovers that there’s a lot he doesn’t know about plants. He sets off to learn everything he can, from how photosynthesis works to what role bees play in helping plants grow. Armed with this new knowledge, he decides to join the fun and put his plant-growing skills to the test at a local community garden. The results are yummy!


“Inspired by eating fresh produce from the farmers market, a young boy learns about a few of the scientific concepts behind gardening.” ―Kirkus Reviews 


A Perfect Paper Plane (Science Makes It Work series)

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Francesca Rosa

A young girl plans a surprise for her best friend – one that includes creating a perfect paper airplane that flies high and true and far.

A young scientist and her friends experiment to develop the ideal design for a paper airplane.

Gracie and her friend Victor want to make the perfect paper plane: one that will fly far without quickly crashing or veering off course. But just as they are starting to make big breakthroughs in their experiments, Victor gets injured and has to stay at home while he recovers. It’s up to Gracie to carry on the research and find a way to lift her friend’s spirits.

The Sound of a Guitar (Science Makes it Work series)

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Francesca Rosa

Dazzled by her cousin’s rock & roll show, a budding musician sets out to become a guitar star – and learns about sound along the way.



“Sweet notes aplenty in an episode featuring a young DIYer with both music and science in her life.” —Kirkus Reviews

Elections / Voting / Presidents

If I Were President

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan

IF I WERE PRESIDENT is a classic Presidents’ Day book—and a fun and inspiring read for any child who aspires to the highest office in the land!

Imagine living in the White House, a mansion where you wouldn’t have to leave home to go bowling or see a movie! Imagine a chef to cook anything you like. “Two desserts tonight, Madam President. No problem!”

If you were president, you would work in the Oval Office, get help making decisions from people in your cabinet, and be in charge of the armed forces. The Secret Service would follow you everywhere, and Air Force One would carry you on trips, sometimes to other nations.

A multicultural cast of children imagines what it would be like to be president. Readers will be so caught up in the fun they won’t realize that the book is also an ingenious teaching device and discussion starter. A note about the presidency accompanies the story.

Awards and Honors

  • Selected by Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics for the 2017 Teach A Girl To Lead project with 2000 copies distributed to each woman in Congress, the women serving in all state legislatures and four women governors. Many of these leaders shared the book with children in their states or districts.
  • Society of School Librarians International Honor Book, Social Studies
  • IRA Los Angeles’ 100 Best Books
  • Featured in Woman’s Day Kids’ Day Section “Great American Reads”
  • Featured for Presidents’ Day on WGN-TV Bozo Show
  • Selected for Chicago Public Schools Literacy Enrichment Program, with 3500 books distributed to 127 schools
  • Selected as a Boston Public Schools Close Reading lesson text
  • Has been featured at the gift/museum shops of the White House Historical Association, the Mount Rushmore History Association and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
  • Featured in Books Kids Will Sit Still For: A Read-Aloud Guide (Vol. 3) by Judy Freeman (Libraries Unlimited)


“This easy picture book provides a nice introduction to the presidency for primary-grade children.”—Booklist

“Beginning with campaign speeches and posters, six children of varied racial backgrounds take turns posing as the president while providing information about the rewards and responsibilities of the position.”—School Library Journal

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at www.albertwhitman.com.

If I Ran for President

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Lynne Avril

The critically acclaimed title IF I RAN FOR PRESIDENT is the perfect choice to help readers learn about elections, celebrate Presidents’ Day or prepare for a visit to our national presidential landmarks.

Imagine starring in commercials and traveling in your own campaign bus! Or seeing your face on bumper stickers and T-shirts!

If you ran for president, you would get to do these and other fun things, but you would also have to do a lot of hard work. You would study the nation’s problems, tell the American people about your platform, select a running mate, and debate your opponents on live television. Finally, in November, Election Day would arrive. You would keep your fingers crossed and wait for the results—will you be the next president of the United States?

A multicultural cast of children imagines what it would be like to run for president. The entertaining yet informative text is a good conversation starter for discussions on the election process. A note about this process accompanies the story. The author, Catherine Stier, is no stranger to politics—her previous book, If I Were President looked at the various responsibilities of the president. Lynne Avril’s cheerful illustrations perfectly complement the lively text.

Awards and Honors


  • Selected for The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) AFTRA’S Daytime Emmy®-nominated “Storyline Online” literacy program, with an animation-enhanced read-aloud by the young actors of the popular TV show THIS IS US https://storylineonline.net/books/if-i-ran-for-president/
  • Catherine Stier received an invitation to the Mount Rushmore bookstore for a book signing event for If I Ran for President and If I Were President
  • Selected by the Houston Bar Association for their 2012 Constitution Day observation and read by members to school children in 100 Houston area schools
  • Scholastic Lucky Book Club selection
  • National Braille Press Children’s Book Club Selection
  • Library Media Connection Editor’s Choice Award
  • R.E.A.L. Men Read Reading List/Atlanta Public Schools
  • Featured in Best Books for Children: Preschool Through Grade 6 (9th Edition) by Catherine Barr and John T. Gillespie (Libraries Unlimited)


“Children will come away with a better understanding of the complex election process, and, just maybe, an enduring respect for it.”—Booklist

“This title is a step above the usual election books, both in content and entertainment value…Libraries will want this kid-friendly title.”—School Library Journal

“This would be an outstanding tool for teachers to use as a starting point for classroom discussion.”—Library Media Connection

“This book would make an excellent contribution to a social studies class leading to further discussion of the democratic process.”—Children’s Literature

Stier enthusiastically describes the processes of running for and electing a president in the United States…the first person text imagines six kids on the campaign trail, from declaring candidacy to moving into the White House.”—The Horn Book Guide

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at www.albertwhitman.com.

A Vote Is a Powerful Thing

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Courtney Dawson

“A vote is a powerful thing – powerful enough to change the world!”

Callie knows there’s a presidential election coming up. Her class is having an election, too, about an issue that affects them all–the class field trip! She’s about to witness first-hand what a difference a vote can make – even a single vote – and along the way will find out about the election process and why people have fought for the right to vote throughout history. A great kids-eye look at the power of the vote.

Awards and Honors

  • Starred review, School Library Journal
  • Starred review, Youth Services Book Reviews
  • Named an Apple Books Official “Fall’s Most Anticipated”
  • Selected by the Houston Bar Association for their 2022 Constitution Day observation and read by members to school children in 100 Houston area schools
  • Featured on the Atlanta Parent list of books to help kids “navigate the complex world of politics”
  • Featured on the Colours of Us (coloursofus.com) “18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Voting and Elections”


“This book helps children make the leap from abstract concept to concrete understanding of the importance of these decisions and why voting matters… an inspiring read.” —STARRED REVIEW, School Library Journal

“This is the perfect book for helping young children understand the election process in our country.” —STARRED REVIEW, Youth Services Book Review

“A galvanizing read for children interested in politics or parents who hope to instill such interests.”—Publishers Weekly

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at www.albertwhitman.com.

Today on Election Day

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by David Leonard

TODAY ON ELECTION DAY celebrates the Democratic process with a lively classroom of “Future Voters!”

The school gym is a polling place, and Bailey, Ren, David, Meg, Aiden, and Isabella know all about Election Day and voting! Bailey helped her Aunt Julia run for a seat on the city council. Aiden goes with his grandpa to vote. David’s brother Jake will be voting for the first time. Meg talks about how years ago, some citizens were not permitted to vote. A perfect picture book for future voters of America, Today on Election Day will simultaneously entertain and educate.


“A proudly buoyant tour of Election Day in the U.S.A.”—Kirkus Reviews

“…a welcome purchase, especially in an election year”—School Library Journal

“Election vocabulary is woven throughout the story in a natural way…it offers an effective way to introduce elections to younger students”—Library Media Connection

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at www.albertwhitman.com.

Outdoors & Nature

If I Were a Park Ranger

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Patrick Corrigan

Know a national parks fan? An aspiring park ranger?  Or any kid who loves nature?  IF I WERE A PARK RANGER showcases our national parks as six kids depict the work our dedicated park rangers do each day!

If you were a national park ranger, you’d spend each day in one of the most treasured places in America. You’d have an amazing job protecting animals, the environment, and our country’s natural and historical heritage, from the wilds of Denali to the Statue of Liberty!


“A great way to introduce children to a not-often-depicted career path and maybe to spark some interest in our country’s national treasures as well.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Delightful….engaging and filled with fun facts….a recommended pick for children who love nature and the outdoors.” —School Library Journal

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at www.albertwhitman.com.

Extra Special

When a Kid Like Me Fights Cancer

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Angel Chang

The first thing you learn when you have cancer is that it’s something you fight.  And you learn it’s not your fault. Sometimes a good kid has to deal with a bad disease

When a young child finds out he has cancer, he learns a lot right away. He learns that cancer is something you fight, and that cancer isn’t anyone’s fault—especially not his. He discovers that many things change with cancer, but some of the most important things stay the same. He also learns that having cancer is easier when everyone around him wants to help him fight.

Awards and Honors

  • 2021-2022 South Carolina State Picture Book Award Short List Nominee


“Hits a comforting note in the final item the protagonist learns: ‘I am not fighting alone.’ Targeted and right on target” – Kirkus Reviews

“Written by Catherine Stier, who is a cancer survivor herself, and with some lovely illustrations by Angel Chang, When a Kid Like Me Fights Cancer provides a way in which the entire family can speak about cancer together…Stier writes in a way that engages all, and her style of language and simple sentences can help children understand a complex and heavy topic” – The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health

“The author presents the topic of cancer diagnosis in a gentle way. Chang’s colorful, conceptual, stylized illustrations are heartfelt and complement the text…An indispensable tool for parents and caregivers grappling with pediatric cancer, and a solid addition to most collections.” – School Library Journal

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at www.albertwhitman.com.


Bugs in My Hair?!

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Tammie Lyon

BUGS IN MY HAIR?! tackles the problem of head lice in a light-hearted way while offering information and reassurance.

When Alex spills milk on his football jersey and Morgan’s braid unravels, they both say, “These things happen.” But Ellie LaFleur, who is practically perfect, sniffs, “Not to me.” And it’s true. Ellie’s nails are always filed, her clothes are snazzy, and her long locks are lovely. So when Ellie’s head begins to itch, she’s sure it’s an allergy.

“BUGS IN MY HAIR?!” blurts Ellie when her mother and the school nurse give her the bad news: Ellie has head lice. “These things happen,” says Ellie’s mother. At home, Ellie and her mother talk to the doctor and read the papers from the school nurse. Then they shampoo, comb, and do laundry. Ellie even writes a note for kids who get head lice—“These things happen,” it says.

The author includes a note for concerned parents. Catherine Stier’s light look at this all-too-common problem is sure to strike the right note with stressed-out kids and families. Tammie Lyon’s humorous paintings complete this reassuring tale.

Awards and Honors

  • Named a “Best Children’s Books of the Year” by the Bank Street College of Education
  • Featured in Best Books for Children: Preschool Through Grade 6 (9th Edition) by Catherine Barr and John Gillespie (Libraries Unlimited)


“Stier has taken a difficult topic and turned it into a charming story that demystifies the fears and false information surrounding lice infestation.” —School Library Journal

“Stier packs in lots of useful information in the wry story of immaculately groomed Ellie, who goes to the nurse’s office at school with itchy hair and discovers that she has lice. How could ‘absolutely perfect’ Ellie have lice?”—Booklist

“This title will be reassuring to both children and their caregivers”—Remarkable Reads

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at www.albertwhitman.com.

Barnaby the Bedbug Detective

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Karen Sapp

BARNABY THE BEDBUG DETECTIVE introduces a new kind of hero — a small dog with big dreams!

Maybe I’m not the hero type. But I can dream. Sometimes I dream I’m a rescue dog, saving a child lost in the woods. Or a guide dog, helping a person who cannot see. Or a police dog, tracking sneaky robbers. But when I wake up, I must face the truth. It’s mostly big dogs who do those jobs. And I’m just Barnaby, a small mutt living in an animal shelter.

Barnaby has big dreams, but he finds his true calling when he’s adopted into a loving home and becomes a bedbug-sniffing dog—helping to find hidden bedbugs in hotels, on airplanes, in movie theaters, and even in people’s homes!

Turn to the last page of the book to meet an adorable, REAL-LIFE bedbug detective, Bernie!


“Stier visits a timely subject in this informational picture book…there is plenty of useful information here…friendly illustrations dispel some of the misconceptions about bedbugs.”—School Library Journal

“Meet Barnaby, who will not only charm readers with his scrappy smile, but also educate them about bedbugs.”—Library Media Connection

“Cheery illustrations painted in acrylics help to create believable, engaging characters and a positive atmosphere…Overall, a reassuring introduction to a potentially scary subject”—Kirkus Reviews

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at www.albertwhitman.com.

What’s Bugging Nurse Penny? A Story About Lice

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Suzanne Beaky

Meet a cheerful school nurse who can deal with anything – earaches, tummy aches and even especially pesky problems – in her own surprisingly upbeat ways.

Nurse Penny is a fun and funky school nurse who wears honeybee earrings and a butterfly smock and carries a ladybug purse. But there’s one kind of bug she’d rather not have around. . .head lice! So she calls a special school assembly to talk about those pesky critters—what they look like, how to avoid them, and how to get rid of them. After all, lice can happen to anyone—even the school nurse!


“Nurse Penny will dazzle readers with her radiant personality, ladybug handbag, and butterfly-adorned nurse’s outfit.”—School Library Journal

“In this clever and colorful picture book, the author and illustrator successfully combine words and pictures to create an informative story about a sensitive subject for young students.”—Library Media Connection

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at www.albertwhitman.com.

Historical Fiction

Welcome to America, Champ!

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Doris Ettlinger

WELCOME TO AMERICA, CHAMP, a stirring picture book set in WWII England, offers a glimpse of the WWII War Brides voyages on the famous ship, the Queen Mary.

Young Thomas celebrates as his widowed mother marries Jack, a kind American serviceman stationed in WWII England. But Thomas realizes someday he and Mum will move faraway to Jack’s home in America.

Once the war ends, Thomas is about to embark on a history-making event — the “Bride and Baby” voyages of 1946. Great ships are readied to transport tens of thousands of “soldier brides,” ladies from across Europe who, like his mother, married American servicemen. They will cross the Atlantic, crowded in small cabins with their babies and children, to awaiting husbands in the United States.

Thomas is excited to sail aboard the famous RMS Queen Mary. But is he brave enough to leave England — forever?

In this hope-filled WWII and immigration story, Stier and Ettlinger present an extraordinary historical event as experienced by one spirited boy from England.

Awards and Honors

  • Named a “Best Children’s Books of the Year” by the Bank Street College of Education


“Young readers will quickly identify with Thomas’s mingled fears and excitement as they realize that moving to a new country offers challenges as well as hope for the future.”—International Literacy Association

“Heartfelt watercolor illustrations bring to life the anxiety and tentative joys of this unique historical situation.”—Booklist

“Catherine Stier provides readers with another look at immigration and its impact on families, while the stunning illustrations done by Doris Ettlinger provide a beautiful backdrop to this narrative.”—The Children’s Bookshelf

For more journal reviews, please visit the Sleeping Bear Press website at www.sleepingbearpress.com.