Linda Kranz

Reviews for Books by Linda Kranz

You Be You, Only One You, and Adri

“This book has a beautiful message, it’s beautiful to look at, and it’s great for all ages — children through adults. We put the book in the customer’s hand explaining that the author has hand-painted each rock, and when they finish reading the book they buy it, and often many copies.”

—Sue Luebeck, The Bookies

Love You When

Review By Jane Cowles

Love You When by Linda Kranz is a sensory exploration of the concept of unconditional love. My favorite line is: I only have to look at you and by your expression I know what you are thinking. This line reminds me that is love an open and unconditional willingness to receive and accept. Kranz clearly describes love as a state of being; an awareness, not just a feeling. Love is within each and every one of us.

I love how Kranz reassures us with simple daily occurrences, to illustrate love. Fireflies, rainbows, butterflies, clouds, leaves and stars are there for all to see. We all have the power to imagine, create and be free. Love is that power. Kranz’s imagery and words are a reminder of the universal quality of love.

Her descriptive words are accentuated by rock collages in which she magically creates a moment in nature by blending together rocks of all colors shapes and sizes. I truly feel the wonder of nature and an element of surprise as I turn each page.

This book is a delight for children and lovers alike. It calms the mind and alleviates the anxiety we feel when separated from a loved one. For it is comforting to know that we can be reminded of love by looking at natural wonders. This is particularly comforting for young children as they fall asleep at night. For adults it is a reminder that curiousity, that desire to explore, keeps us vibrant.

Perhaps Kranz’s work falls near and dear to my heart because I feel such a deep connection to nature. Each time I see a rainbow, I think of my grandfather smiling. When I see a ladybug, I am always in awe of its deep red color and eager to count its spots. This curiousity makes me feel alive and vibrant each day. Open your eyes; love is everywhere.

My favorite rocks are back, this time providing colorful and evocative assurances that each of us is loved – always. With Love You When …, Linda Kranz creates an engaging testament to the timelessness of love, once again aided by her frisky and ingenious buddies, the boldly painted rocks who so artfully share her stories. Kranz’ gentle touch with word and brush belies the exquisite power of her message:     I love you always. This may be a children’s book, but children should make sure their adults have one, too! —Jean-Ellen Kegler 

I was thrilled to read your beautiful book Love You When. The images, the message, the rocks! What an amazing book, Linda! I can’t wait to take it home and read it with Sammi while we look through our jar of heart rocks that we have collected through the years. Once again you have inspired me & made my world a better place. Thanks for being you! —Shari Attebery, MA, NCC

You Be You

The follow-up to Kranz’s Only One You features dozens of small, smooth stones painted to look like rainbow-colored fish; each one bears a slightly different pattern of design and color, reinforcing the story’s theme of difference. It has the same hero, too—Adri, who spends his day noticing the many kinds of fish in the ocean: “Some fish are colorful. / Some fish are plain./ Some fish look different./ Some fish look the same.” Photo images of waves and sky serve as a backdrop: the “plain” fish are inked in black but left uncolored, while the colorful ones are festooned with Peter Max–style dots, stripes, and rainbows. “We can learn so much from each other,” says Adri’s Papa, when Adri returns home to share his discovery with his parents. “Life is a grand journey,” adds Adri’s mother. “You be you.” The combination of the colorful, jewellike objects and affirmative messages is likely to make this book as popular as Kranz’s first, which has a loyal following. An added bonus: readers can hunt for Adri, who’s hidden among the other fish on every page.

Flagstaff artist and writer Linda Kranz has published another book featuring Adri, the character from her previous book, Only One You (Rising Moon), which I reviewed in 2009.

Kranz devotees know that Adri is a colorful, meticulously hand-painted oval rock. In You Be You (Taylor Trade, 2011), Adri shares the stage with hundreds of other colorful, meticulously hand-painted rocks.

The message of the book, written for ages 4 to 8, is the same: each person is a unique individual even while being part of a larger group.

You Be You brings a whole new level of excitement to painted rocks. A rounded, smooth rock is a limited canvas but Kranz’s design and the variety of patterns on the rocks makes the book worthwhile before you even read a single word. I looked through the entire book and marveled at the painting and design before I went back to read it.

I imagine kids scavenging their yard and their neighbors’ yards for smooth rocks to paint and creating their own population of rock characters. I envy Kranz the many hours of meditative, painterly joy she undoubtedly

There are many fish in the sea—and they are all different.

Adri, a winsome fish, spends the day exploring, and as he heads home, he can’t help but notice variety in the assortment of finned creatures that surround him. In this companion to the earlier Only One You (2006), which presented Chicken Soup–type advice to the same young fish, Kranz escapes didacticism and provides young readers with an appealing look at diversity. Primarily focused on opposites such as right and left, up and down, big and tiny, smooth and spiny, the bouncy, rhymed text points out differences, while colorful fish swim through the pages illustrating the aforementioned variations. If there is a flaw in Kranz’s stylistic rockfish, it is that the differences are not always obvious, as all of the fish have a similar look, but this will serve to make children examine the pictures more closely. Presented with clarity, the distinctions are nicely summarized by Adri himself when he returns to his parents: “There are so many of us…We all have something special that only we can share.” Youngsters will enjoy the catchiness of the text and the lively nature of the illustrations, while appreciating the concepts found within, and parallels can easily be drawn to differences of all sorts.

A good choice to help children consider similarities and differences. (Picture book. 3-6)

Review by Andrea Zollman

Playful and colorful, this sequel to Only One You stars Linda Kranz’s bright, vivid “rockfish,” and cleverly incorporates photographs of the ocean into the background. As little rockfish Adri swims home after exploring the ocean, he notices that, “Some fish swim left/some fish swim right/some fish swim in a circle/some fish swim in a line,” and observes colorful fish and playful fish as well as quiet fish and loud fish.

When Adri returns home, he tells his parents what he has learned. They welcome his enthusiasm and confirm his uniqueness in the world with his mother providing the title line, “You be you.”

With its universal theme that life is the greatest journey of all as well as its celebration of the differences between all creatures, You Be You offers a positive message to readers of all ages. In addition, parents can share with their children the homilies featured on the endpapers and children can search for Adri swimming among the other fish. These features, plus Kranz’s whimsical illustrations, ensure that You Be You will be an instant favorite of young and emergent readers or anyone looking for a little encouragement during trying times.

Ages 4 and up.

Only One You

As their children grow, parents try very hard to give their children advice, which they hope will help them have happier, fuller, and more interesting lives. Before he goes off into the world, Adri’s Mama and Papa want to “share some wisdom” with him, wisdom that they have gathered from a lifetime of experiences. They begin by telling their son to always “be on the lookout for a new friend.” They go on to advise him to have the courage to find his “own way” in the world. In other words, it is not necessary to be a part of a crowd all the time. They encourage him to be aware of and admire beauty and art. He will see both when he is on his travels for such things can be found wherever one goes. Using her charming little rockfish characters, illustrations, and photographs, Linda Kranz has created a picture book which will help readers of all ages as the make their way through life. Sound wisdom is sweetly juxtapositioned by the artwork and the reader is left with a warm feeling and a great deal to think about. This book would make a perfect gift for a young person who is going off into the wide world on is or her own for the first time.

Mama and Papa fish know it is time to share some wisdom with their son who will soon be off, making his way in the world. Mama and Papa provide simple, powerful wisdom, such as, “Find your own way. You don’t have to follow the crowd,” “If you make a wrong turn, circle back.” and “Look for beauty wherever you are, and keep the memory of it with you.” Through simple text and vibrant colorful illustrations, this little gem packs important and outstanding messages of wisdom that people of all ages should take to heart, including all the wise messages written on the front and back inside covers. Like a small code of ethics, this selection provides solid, positive mottos everyone should live by.

Rautzhan is a nationally syndicated writer and lecturer on children's literature.

This book has a beautiful message, it’s beautiful to look at, and it’s great for all ages — children through adults. We put the book in the customer’s hand explaining that the author has hand-painted each rock, and when they finish reading the book they buy it, and often many copies.

Read this book of encouragement and inspiration and you’ll want to share it with everyone you know. Gorgeous illustrated story, created by an award-winning artist, is a great way to inspire a child, teenager or adult friend. It will capture their favorite wisdom of life and individuality. Makes a heartfelt gift for a new baby, graduation, engagement or wedding.

Only One You is a wonderful springboard for discussions in the classroom to help children develop tolerance. Linda Kranz’s book is a celebration of the uniqueness of each child.

This whimsical book contains simple yet powerful wisdom and insights that can help comfort and guide all of us as we go about exploring the world. It is an excellent resource for the children in all of us, and a lovely way to light up the New Year.

It is a treat to find a book like this in which cleverly painted “rock fish” share life lessons and reaffirm the importance of everyday choices. When Adri is getting ready to go out into the big world/ocean, his parents share their wisdom and remind him how much they love him. Start any new activity off with this book! A great gift, too!

Flagstaff author Linda Kranz has another winner with her new book, Only One You. The beautifully illustrated picture book features a young rockfish whose parents are blessed with extraordinary wisdom. You and your children will benefit from the simple, honest insights offered by Adri’s mama and papa as he goes about exploring the world.

I showed this book to several Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school media coordinators earlier this month. It hits the mark on every level for gift giving. New babies? Give this book. New graduates. Perfect. Want a child to feel especially special? Place this on top of your “to-read” pile.

Every child should have affirming instruction like that told to Adri, the little fish that is a painted rock, Linda Kranz’s specialty. Advice like, “Look for beauty wherever you are, and keep the memory of it with you,” or, “No matter how you look at it, there is so much to discover,” rings true for all ages, especially those just coming into the world.

Only One You — what a perfect title for a truly unique book about the wisdom of life and individuality. It’s the perfect gift for the new baby, graduation, engagement or wedding. Only One You works for any occasion, including just a way to say “you are special.” In addition to having it out on the shelf, we keep a stack under the counter and while ringing out customers, we ask “have you seen this book?” and while we are finishing up the transaction, they read the book and are often hooked. One mom purchased one for each of her children.

Opening boxes of new books is one of my favorite “bookstore owner” things. I can’t tell you how much I love it! My brother, Will, says statements like that only proves what a big nerd I am. Perhaps. But, nerd or not, I think most people will be captured by the cover of Only One You, just like I was. The little “rockfish” on the cover of this book caught my eye as soon as I opened the box. Don’t you just love ‘em?!?! I dug down in the stack, pulled it out of the box, sat down immediately to read it... and was pleased to discover that the story was as colorful and uplifting as the “rockfish” illustrating it. It’s a wonderful book for kids of all ages (even grown-up ones).

It’s time for Adri to learn and gain wisdom and mama and papa are there to share knowledge they’ve learned over the years. And while the bits of wisdom are simple, they are powerful and will serve Adri well. Some of Mama and Papa’s advice: Look for new friends, look for beauty and keep the memory. Stay in the background when necessary and stand out when you have the chance. For the other insightful statements, read Only One You and rejoice. It’s an absolutely wonderful, positive and uplifting book. The illustrations of the rockfish are stunning! The brilliant colors will attract children and adults alike. Armchair Reviews says: Only One You is a must-have book for your precious children.

Let’s Rock: Rock Painting for Kids

Grade 1-6—Lively writing, colorful photos, and bright borders make this craft book particularly inviting. The author begins with an explanation of the types of paint and rocks best used for these projects, as well as general techniques for transferring designs and painting. Then the real fun begins with step-by-step, well-illustrated directions for decorating small, flat stones with flowers, animals, heart shapes, sports motifs, foods, places, holiday designs, and more. Kranz suggests using the finished items as gifts, which young children, perennially in search of inexpensive presents, will appreciate. The last eight pages are devoted to line art for each of the featured designs. These small pictures can be photocopied and used as guides for painting. By providing hours of creative entertainment at little cost, this offering is sure to be popular with crafty children and their teachers and caregivers.

Arizona Reflections: A Travel Journal

Arizona Reflections: A Travel Journal by Linda Kranz, photography by Klaus Kranz. Northland Publishing, unpaginated, $16.95. Not a library book but a gift book with pages allotted to personal journal notes.

Arizona Reflections succeeds where many write-in journals fail. It’s neither sentimental in tone nor pushy in format, providing the touring writer with little topic-starters (“Today we drove to …,”  “What was the weather like?,” “What I will remember most about this getaway?”) that are unobtrusive enough to be ignored if you don’t need them. The photography is consistently fine and well placed.

Arizona Reflections is a handy travel journal organized into three sections or categories: day trips, weekend trips, and vacations. For those who like to record information about their trips, there s ample room for written comments and there is a most unexpected bonus. The colorful photographs gracing the pages are absolutely wonderful. They alone are worth the price of the book. If the photo’s were enlarged and placed in a coffee table–type book it would be gorgeous!

Arizona Reflections, a well-designed, hardcover travel journal, contains stunning photos of Arizona’s natural beauty and lined pages that allow the traveler to record personal thoughts and experiences. Inspiring quotations and starting-off points along the lines of “The view from my window is …” are included.

I’ve been traveling and keeping a travel journal since I was eight years old. The destinations and the written content may have changed since then, but the idea of trying to capture and record those wondrous new things on the road has not. Facing a blank page can be very daunting, so Arizona Reflections: A Travel Journal is perfect; the superb photographs inspire us to get out and see such beautiful places for ourselves and the prompts in each section encourage us to record what we saw and did. I really like the discreet prompts as they don’t dominate the page at all, but just jog the memory in creative ways, while the travel quotes on some pages are sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, but always thought-provoking. This journal will prompt us to have reflections, not only on Arizona but on any travel destination. I know I will pack it next time I travel anywhere.

Where to buy Linda's books online

Available wherever books are sold or click one of the links below to buy Linda's books online.

Amazon.comBarnes & NobleIndie Books