Paula Bunyan

Phyllis Root; Pictures by Kevin O'Malley

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Bounding with oversize visual and verbal humor, here is the previously untold story of Paul Bunyan’s “little” sister, who was as tall as a pine tree, as strong as a dozen moose, and could run so fast that she once ran all the way back to yesterday. As she heads to the North Woods in search of freedom and adventure, Paula uses her brains and brawn to surmount every challenge that comes her way, proving to ferocious animals that she’s their friend and becoming protector of a wild wonderland.

Antic-filled artwork by Kevin O’Malley accompanies Phyllis Root’s text, a great read-aloud with a welcome eco-friendly twist at the end.


Praise for Paula Bunyan

“Root is a polished storyteller, and she’s got the yarnspinner tone down just right (“Now, folks say the mosquitoes up north are mighty bad, and I believe it’s true”). O’Malley trades his usual jazzy fluidity for a more period flavor, with rustic, hatching-rich linework anchoring digital colors, the result suggesting enjoyably cheesy early comics.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“The book presents such a happy pairing of writer and artist that we can now wish for stories about the sisters of John Henry, Mike Fink and Johnny Appleseed.” —New York Times Book Review


“Both the text and illustrations abound with exaggerated humor . . . a fun-filled read-aloud.” —School Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Phyllis Root; Pictures by Kevin O'Malley

  • PHYLLIS ROOT has written over twenty books for children, including The Name Quilt, a Best Children’s Book of the Year, Bank Street College. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. KEVIN O’MALLEY is the illustrator and co-author of the beloved Miss Malarkey series of picture books. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.


Available Formats and Book Details

Paula Bunyan

Phyllis Root; Pictures by Kevin O'Malley

  • Hardcover