Jean's website will continue to be updated. She continued to work up to the very last, as she had always wished. Check works from Jean are forthcoming!

Ice Whale
by Jean Craighead George (Author) , John Hendrix (Illustrator)

From the most celebrated children’s nature writer of our time comes a posthumous Icer Whale Covernew novel in the tradition of her Newbery award-winning Julie of the Wolves.W

"In 1848 in Barrow, Alaska, a young Eskimo boy witnesses a rare sight—the birth of a bowhead, or ice whale, that he calls Siku. But when he unwittingly guides Yankee whalers to a pod of bowhead whales, all the whales are killed. For this act, the boy receives a curse of banishment. Through the generations, this curse is handed down. Siku, the ice whale, returns year after year, in reality and dreams, to haunt each descendant. The curse is finally broken when a daughter recognizes and saves the whale, and he in turn saves her. Told in alternating voices, both human and whale, Jean Craighead George’s last novel is an ambitious and touching take on the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and the earth they depend on."

Publishers Weekly Review

Ice Whale
Jean Craighead George, illus. by John Hendrix
(Dial; 978-0-8037-3745-7)

"George returns to the northern Alaska setting of her Newbery-winning Julie of the Wolves in this expansive story, which the author's children, Twig George and Craig George, completed after her 2012 death. Spanning two centuries—from 1848 to 2048—the novel interlaces the stories and perspectives of a family of Yankee whaling captains; generations of an Yup'ik clan cursed after one of them inadvertently discloses the location of a pod of whales to greedy whalers; and Siku, a bowhead whale that shares a deep bond with the tribe. While the first narrative track sheds intriguing (and sobering) light on whaling strategies and history, the latter two are emotionally involving and expose the interconnectedness of humans and whales with eloquence and insight. In one of many hard-hitting moments, Siku's "grief was heard through the ocean" after he sees his mother killed by a harpoon. Jean Craighead George's knowledge of and talent for depicting the natural world are in full evidence in this immersive epic that combines themes of conservation and native mysticism. A powerful finale for the author and a fine tribute to her literary legacy."

Read some reviews and articles of and about Ice Whale:

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Now Available!
Galápagos George
Illustrations by Wendell Minor

Galapagos George

"This is the storyof the famous Lonesome George, a giant tortoise who was the last of his species, lived to be one hundred years old, and became known as the rarest creature in the world. His story gives us a glimpse of the amazing creatures inhabiting the everfascinating Galápagos Islands."

Read a review of Galápagos George by Waking Brain Cells

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The Buffalo are Back
The Last Polar Bear coverWith paintings by Wendell Minor.

When the first Settlers came, seventy-five million buffalo roamed the Great Plains. By 1900, there were none.

As the buffalo fell, nature lost its balance. The tough green grass did not grow, the larks did not sing, and terrible storms began to blow. The prearie was in trouble, and the buffalo was the key to it all.

Today, the buffalo and its home have made an incredible comeback. How did it happen? This stirring picture book tells the story, from the Plains Inians to the cowboys, Theodore Roosevelt to the Dust Bowl, and finally, to the grasslands ansd nature preserves that now protect America's heartland–where herds of buffalo roam once more.

Buffalo on the Great Plain


Beginning with the symbiotic relationship that the buffalo had with the American Indians and the land itself, George explains how westward expansion and poor decision-making on the part of the American government led to the animals' near extinction. As a result of those actions, the land became barren and inhospitable to any real crop growth, which contributed to the dust storms of the 1930s. Eloquent and affecting, the writing transports readers onto the plains and into the past, making the devastation sobering and real. And when the resurgence of both the buffalo and the land is described, it is with jubilation and relief. Accompanied by beautiful, single- or double-page watercolor illustrations that are rich with detail, the prairie comes to life. Excellent for sharing aloud with a group, this title provides a unique perspective on an integral time in American history. A must-have for most libraries.

The Buffalo Are Back, the latest ecodrama from veteran nature writer Jean Craighead George, focuses on how the buffalo went from numerous, to near extinction, and, eventually, to recovery. George's book touches on a lot of topics (e.g., settler and Indian relationships, the Dust Bowl, President Theodore Roosevelt's preservation efforts, etc.), with the plight of buffalo remaining the backbone of her compelling narration. Wendell Minor's rich paintings evoke time and place with measured nostalgia. Back matter includes suggestions for "Places You Can Visit Where Buffalo Roam" as well as a bibliography.

Beginning and ending with the joyous birth of a calf, George describes the eradication of bison from the American plains, subsequent ecosystem damage, return of the species and restoration of the tall grass prairie in this companion to The Wolves Are Back (2008). … Minor's expressive and lushly detailed paintings have texture and depth, supporting and enhancing the text. Environmental good news. (sources, websites) (Informational picture book. 5-10)

From the creators of The Wolves Are Back, this graceful story explores how the American buffalo almost became extinct. Minor's striking naturalistic paintings of buffalo and a dust bowl landscape mirror George's sturdy, reflective prose… A tribute to an American icon and to the power of preservation.

Purchase The Buffalo Are Back at, click here

The Last Polar Bear
The Last Polar Bear coverWith paintings by Wendell Minor.

The world is warming, and the ice is melting. Tigluk must save the last polar bear. This tale highlights the importance of coexistence between humans and animals for survival on our warming planet. Acclaimed artist Wendell Minor's lush, realistic paintings bring to life the beauty and fragility of the Arctic and the lives of those people and animals who call it home. THE LAST POLAR BEAR reminds readers that awareness and conservation are causes to support, a message that parents and children alike will embrace.

Naturalist writer Jean Craighead George has crafted a moving contemporary tale that highlights the importance of coexistence between humans and animals for survival on our warming planet. Acclaimed artist Wendell Minor's lush, realistic paintings bring to life the beauty and fragility of the Arctic and the lives of those people and animals who call it home. THE LAST POLAR BEAR reminds readers that awareness and conservation are causes to support, a message that parents and children alike will embrace.

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Sacramento Book Review:
The Last Polar Bear
By Jean Craighead George

HarperCollins • 37 pages
Global warming is a reality and, though it might be a heavy topic that most parents aren't quite ready to explain with children in the age range this book is intended for (4-7), as responsible adults, starting early could be the key to saving the planet. Educating our children at a young age that every action carries a much more long-term impact on our world than what is obvious in the moment. The Last Polar Beartells the story of Tigluk, a young Eskimo boy, and his wise grandmother Aka, and the coming fate of the polar bear, as a result of the melting ice floes due to global warming. Beautifully illustrated with colorful, realistic paintings by Wendell Minor, The Last Polar Bear is a simple story with a powerful challenge. The future of such a majestic creature as the polar bear is precarious and their very survival depends on all of us. Readers young and old alike will love this sweet little book with a big message. All living things are connected, and we all need to be observant of our actions and deeds and be responsible. Our own future is at stake, not just that of the polar bear.

Author Jean Craighead George finds a gentle way to make it easier to start early in educating the youth of our planet to take responsibility and to do their part to insure the future of all creatures for generations to come, before it's too late.
Reviewed by Laura Friedkin

The adorable bears in the well-executed artwork may spark children's interest in the broader issues, while inducing "awww"s from young and old alike.

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Jean's Wonderful Recent Book Release!
The Last Polar Bear cover

Jean's latest book, Pocket Guide to the Outdoors • Based on My Side of the Mountain, created with Twig C. George

"Generations of readers have escaped into the woods with My Side of the Mountain, the story of a city boy named Sam who learns to live in the wild. Now, Newbery winner Jean Craighead George offers an easy-to-follow guide for fans who want to live the adventure—just like Sam. Learn how to start a fire, build a shelter, catch a fish, identify useful plants, and much more. Hands-on activities are perfect for backyard campers or an afternoon stroll through the park. Illustrated with black-and-white drawings and packed with activities, naturalist trivia, and practical wilderness tips, this entertaining and informative handbook is your guide to outdoor fun."*

Celebrate a classic wilderness story and live your own outdoor adventure with the My Side of the Mountin Pocket Guide to the Outdoors. This fun an easy-to-follow guide, from a legendary family of naturalists and writers, is packed with illustration, activities, and practical wilderness tips.

Includes how to:

  • Build a Shelter
  • Start a Fire
  • Catch a Fish
  • Find Water
  • Tie Useful Knots
  • Track Animals
  • Navigate by the Stars
  • Identify Edible, Medicinal and Poisonous Plants
  • And Much More

Jean's "The Cats of Roxville Station"
The Last Polar Bear coverJean's book, The Cats of Roxville Station ,with illustrations by Tom Pohrt, has been released.

The Cats of Roxville Station has been selected by The New York Public Library for the prestigious "Childrens Books 2009 - 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing" list.

In the fields by Roxville Station, where the wild house cats live, there is a hidden world. Alongside wildlife and humans who barely notice them, the cats of Roxville fight for territory, hunt, and are hunted...




January 2009
2009 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of the seminal Newberry Award winning book, My Side of the Mountain. Join Jean in a look back at the book which has touched so many lives. She reflects on the story's conception, and how the book took shape. She may answer some of the questions you have always been curious about in this video taped in December of 2008. How many lives have been touched and changed by this important work?

Note: The companion book to the 50th Anniversary Edition of "My Side of the Mountain" mentioned by Jean in the video above is called "Pocket Guide to the Outdoors", and was realeased in 2009.

November 2008
The Deluxe Edition CD version of One Day in the Woods has just been released and is now available. Here is what's written on the CD jacket:

'Today is a special day in the woods — the beautiful ovenbird is due to return from South America and Rebecca is determined to find and protect it from extinction. Follow her into the forest as she discovers a world where squirrels fly, deer vanish into thin air and reappear, and ducklings leap fifty feet down from holes in trees. Jean Craighead George’s beloved naturalist adventure has been enchantingly adapted for the musical stage by noted composer Chris Kubie. With vibrant performances by Alan Arkin, Patrick Collins, Barbara Dana, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, and others. One Day in the Woods is a celebration of woodland life for all to enjoy.

New Release! - One Day in the Woods

Purchas this CD at CD BabyYou can purchase this CD at CD Baby - click image above.

Jean Craighead George’s book, Julie of the Wolves won the prestigious Newbery Medal, the American Library Association's award for the most distinguished contribution to literature Jean and Chrisfor children in 1973. My Side of the Mountain, (the story of a boy and a falcon surviving on a mountain together) was a 1960 Newbery Honor Book. She is counted amongst the world’s most lauded authors of books for children and young adults.

Chris Kubie has composed for award-winning films and television specials including “Bobby Kennedy: In His Own Words” for HBO”, “The Peoples Palace: Secrets of the New York Public Library” for PBS, “Radio City Music Hall: The Story Behind the Showcase” for A&E, several television series for The Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel, as well as hundreds of children’s audio books and videos. '


March, 2008:
Jean's book for learning-to-read-ers, Goose and Duck, has just been released. Here's the blurb from the inside book cover:Goose andDuck

Whatever I did, Goose did. Whatever Goose did, Duck did. When I sat down, Goose sat down. Duck sat down too.

What's a little boy to do when a goose and a duck think that he's their mother? Especially when they follow him around, doing everything he does!

Newbery Medal winner Jean Craighead George's comic story and Priscilla Lamont's lively art make for a silly tale about boys, geese, ducks, and the rhythms of nature.

November, 2007
Jean's new book, The Wolves Are Back, published by Dutton Children's Books, is a book about the good that wolves do. Anyone can tell "the wolves are back" by looking at Lamar Valley, Yellowstone. The grass has grown. (Grass-eating elk run to the hills away from the wolves). The trees are growing and holding back the Wolves Are Backerosion along the river. (They are not trampled by the buffalo). The birds are back in the meadow. (The grass-and-tree-eaters are in the hills).

When the trees come back so do the beaver, and because the beaver makes ponds, the moose are back, as well as frogs and ducks. Through a wolf pup's adventures the return to the balance of the nature is seen because "The Wolves are Back."

Wendell Minor, illustrator, and Jean Craighead George, author, have returned Yellowstone for many sequential years to see life come back to Lamar Valley. Minor's watercolors of the wolves and valley are extraordinary.

Jean's book, Luck, The Story of a Sandhill Crane, was released in March of 2006 and published by HarperCollins. As these great LUCK, The Story of a Sandhill Cranebirds fly north this spring, some going as far as Siberia, the story of Luck, a slightly confused young crane, will appear in bookstores. Luck is an appealing character that memorizes man-made objects, not the landscape, as he flies north. Wendell Minor, the award winning artist, has out-done himself with this book. His art is both beautiful and poignant. A source of his inspiration was a trip to the Platte River in Nebraska with Jean and her family to see 500,000 sandhill cranes come down to eat and rest.

Julie of the WolvesMore wonderful news is that Julie of the Wolves is being filmed by Robert and Andy Young Productions Inc. The father and son have filmed wildlife award winners, documentaries on Eskimos and human dramas. They are an independent company who love Julie and her story. This film will be a last, it is in the hands of the right film makers who will be right out there on the Arctic tundra with Julie and the wolves!

My Side of the Mountain

My Side of the Mountain was selected by the New York Librarians as the 2005 book to represent the state at the National Book Festival, sponsored by Laura Bush and the Library of Congress.


A DVD about Jean...

If you've ever wondered how best-selling children's author Jean Craighead George Storytellerworks and lives, then join her in this entertaining and educational documentary to find out. You'll see inside her home, look over her shoulder as she writes, listen in as she answers fan mail, and meet her talkative parrot named Tocca. Charlie Craighead wrote, photographed and  directed the Storyteller  film.

Then go on the road with Jean to the locations of My Side of the Mountain and The Summer of the Falcon to hear how those stories began. Follow her to Utah to meet the wolves that will star in a movie about Storyteeller DVDher Newbery Medal winning book Julie of the Wolves. Go with her to Yellowstone Park and to the Platte River as she begins to write new books set in these fascinating places.

Each chapter of this delightful film is punctuated with Jean's comments and insights into how she thinks and works. This documentary was beautifully shot in some of Jean's favorite places, with original music by Chris Kubie.

For more information, to see a preview, or to order a copy of Storyteller from Lunchbox Lessons, click image above!

If you want to see previous 'What's New' information, please click below!
What's New-Main Page| What's New-Archive Two | What's New-Archive One