Books Illustrated by Karen Ritz 

The links for these titles are Amazon affiliate links because many titles are older and it may be the only way the title is available for sale. If you prefer an Independent Bookseller, please try The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN, as I worked there in the early days, and love all they do to support children's literature, teachers, and young readers. Spend $100 at a local store and $68 of that stays in your community. Buying local also means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint. Most titles are also in your local library!

CORNSTALKS AND CANNONBALLS by Barbara Mitchell (Carolrhoda Books 1980)

VALENTINE'S DAY by Joyce Kessel (Carolrhoda Books 1981)

GO FREE OR DIE A story about Harriet Tubman by Jeri Ferris (Carolrhoda Books 1988)

MY GRAMMY by Marsha Kibbey (Carolrhoda Books 1988)

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS A story about Pearl Buck by Barbara Mitchell (Carolrhoda Books 1988)

THE COUNTRY ARTIST A story about Beatrix Potter by David Collins (Carolrhoda Books 1989)

    * Selected for 1990 Society of Illustrator's Show

THE PARROT MAN MYSTERY by Katha Pelta (Henry Holt & Co. 1989)  

FRONTIER SURGEONS A story about the Mayo Brothers by Emily Crofford (Carolrhoda Books 1989)

CORY COLEMAN, GRADE TWO by Larry Dane Brimmer (Henry Holt & Co. 1990)

KATE SHELLEY AND THE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS by Margaret Wetterer (Carolrhoda Books 1990)

    * Reading Rainbow Feature

    * Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies, 1990

"Watercolor and charcoal illustrations are strong and stormy, with enough dignity to make the book appealing to older reluctant readers." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

ROTTEN EGG PATTERSON TO THE RESCUE by Colin Thiele (Harpercollins 1991)

TELL ME YOUR BEST THING by Anna Grossnickle Hines (Dutton 1991)

A FAMILY THAT FIGHTS by Sharon Berstein (Albert Whitman 1991)

TAXICAT AND HUEY by Gen LeRoy (Harpercollins 1992)

ELLIE'S BIRTHSTONE RING by Beatrice Gormley (Dutton 1992)

A PICTURE BOOK OF ANNE FRANK by David Adler (Holiday House 1993, Scholastic paper 1999)

    * Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies, 1993

    * Nominated for the 1993 Minnesota Book Awards

BOYS HERE, GIRLS THERE by Riki Levinson (Lodestar 1993)

THE GHOST OF POPCORN HILL by Betty Ren Wright (Holiday House 1993, Scholastic paper)

EARTHQUAKE IN THIRD GRADE by Laurie Meyers (Clarion 1993)

JENNIFER JEAN THE CROSS-EYED QUEEN by Phyllis Naylor (Carolrhoda Books 1994)

MANDY SUE DAY by Roberta Karim (Clarion 1994)

HILDE AND ELI: CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST by David Adler (Holiday House 1994)

    * Notable Chidren's Trade Book in Social Studies, 1994

    * Nominated for the 1994 Minnesota Book Awards

CHILD OF THE WARSAW GHETTO by David Adler (Holiday House 1995)

    * Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies, 1995

    * Selected for the 1995 Society of Illustrator's Show

ELLIS ISLAND; DOORWAY TO FREEDOM by Steven Kroll (Holiday House 1995)

    * Winner of the 1995 Minnesota Book Award

REMEMBER THAT by Leslea Newman (Clarion 1996)

    * Nominated for the 1997 Minnesota Book Award

SOMEPLACE TO GO by Maria Testa (Albert Whitman 1996)

HIDING FROM THE NAZIS by David Adler (Holiday House, 1997)

WRITER OF THE PLAINS A story about Willa Cather by Tom Streissguth (Carolrhoda Books, 1997)

IAN'S WALK by Laurie Lears (Albert Whitman, 1998)

     *IBBY Award 1999

     *Dorothy Gray Award 2000

     *Children’s Crown Gallery Award nomination 2002

     *Pick of the Lists, American Bookseller

SISTERS AGAINST SLAVERY A story about Sarah and Angelina Grimke by McPherson (Carolrhoda Books, 1999)

WAITING FOR MR. GOOSE by Laurie Lears (Albert Whitman, 1999)

CITIZEN OF TWO WORLDS A story about Ely Parker by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk (Carolrhoda Books, 2000)

BEN HAS SOMETHING TO SAY by Laurie Lears (Albert Whitman, 2000)

RESCUE ON THE OUTER BANKS by Candace Ransome (Carolrhoda, 2002)

    *2003 Best Children’s Book of the Year by Bank Street College

    *Notable Children’s Trade Book in Social Studies 2003

"This exciting and fast-paced tale will inspire its young readers and the large typeface and illustrations make the story easy to follow. The watercolors are detailed enough to show the characters' emotions and reflect the tale's drama perfectly." —Kirkus

"The text and evocative, full-color watercolor artwork give life to a long-forgotten and exciting sea rescue. A page-turner for newly independent readers." —SLJ

MAXIMILIAN KOLBE (Daughters of St. Paul, 2002)

PADRE PIO (Daughters of St. Paul, 2002)

MARTHA WASHINGTON (Carolrhoda, 2003)

SNOWBOARDING ON MONSTER MOUNTAIN by Eve Bunting (Cricket Books, 2004, $15.95)

   *Junior Library Guild Selection

DADDY’S SONG by Leslea Newmann (Holt, 2007)

Fanciful and lit with whimsy, it begins, "If ice cream cones fall from the sky, / And cats grow wings and start to fly," and soars from there. Joyful, brimming pictures are evocative and intimate. Each illustration shows the creatures in bright, dreamscape colors and doing perfectly impossible things while the little girl, always in her soft pajamas, plays along… Capturing a heartwarming moment as tuck-in time becomes a cozy, loving ritual. —Kirkus Reviews

MAX TALKS TO ME by Claire Buchwald (Gryphon Press, 2007)

    *2008 KIND children’s Honor Book

WINDOWS WITH BIRDS written and illustrated by Karen Ritz (Boys Mills Press, 2010)

SADIE BRAVES THE WILDERNESS by Yvonne Pearson (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2017)


BABYBUG November 2000, July/August 2001, March 2002, February 2003.

CICADA May/June 2005.

CRICKET MAGAZINE  September 1989, March 1990, February, July, October 1991, February 1992, March cover 1993, April, June, December 1994, April, May, June, July, August, September 1996, July, November 1997, August, September 1999, April 2001, October, December 2003.

LADYBUG MAGAZINE  July cover 1995, December 1997, September cover 1998, February, August 2000, June 2001, August cover 2002, January, June 2003, July cover 2005, January, June 2006.

SPIDER MAGAZINE May 1995, May, December 1998, December 1999, May, June 2000, June 2001, January, April 2002, June, September, December 2003, January, July 2004.

GUIDEPOSTS FOR KIDS  July/August 1995, January/February, March/April, July/August, September/October 1996, March/April 1997, September/October 1998, January/February, July/August 2000, January/February 2001.


A CLEAR SPRING by Barbara Wilson (Feminist Press)

ALICE DODD AND THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH by Catherine Frey Murphy (Macmillan)

BRINGING NETTIE BACK by Nancy Hope Wilson (Macmillan)

EARLY CANDLELIGHT by Maud Hart Lovelace (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

GENTLEMEN FROM ENGLAND by Maud Hart Lovelace (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

THE GOOD LIAR by Gregory Maguire (Clarion, O'Brien Press, Ireland)

I HATE MY HERO by Jacqueline Shannon (Simon and Schuster)

RED SAND, BLUE SKY by Cathy Applegate (Feminist Press)

MORE THAN A HORSE by C.S. Adler (Clarion)

WRITE ME IF YOU DARE by Emily Rhodes Johnson (Front Street/Cricket Books)