Books by Alan Durant

Alan Durant has written many children's books, including ALWAYS AND FOREVER, which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award. Alan remembers his mother saying, "You'll turn into a baked bean one day." Now a vegetarian, he lives in Surrey, England, with


A DINOSAUR CALLED TINY by Alan Durant
ADVENTURE
Released: July 1, 2008

In this readable but ultimately forgettable story, a diminutive lime-green dinosaur follows in the literary footsteps of many other small but mighty characters who aid someone larger or more powerful. The tiny dinosaur, cleverly called Tiny, is cruelly taunted by the larger dinosaurs because of his size, so he finds a new friend, a bird named Archie. The pair of friends devise their own games and entertainments, happily spending time together. When Tyro the T. rex stomps so hard he cracks the (evidently fragile) ground, Tiny and Archie lead him to safety. The logistics of this rescue are hard to see in the illustrations because the cracks in the surface are rendered as flat gray lines that seem neither deep nor dangerous. Several spreads are confusing due to the inclusion of multiple images of the three main characters without clear delineation between scenes. Tiny and Archie do have a certain charm, both in their visual depiction and in their play together, but not enough to overcome the several mystifying spreads and the pat ending. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
BURGER BOY by Alan Durant
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 16, 2006

Fans of modern twisted tales rejoice: Young Benny doesn't like vegetables, but he LOVES burgers. In fact, he eats only burgers, every day and every meal. His mom warns, "If you don't watch out, you'll turn into a burger one day." And sure enough, Benny metamorphoses into a largish hamburger. To his horror, he is suddenly the focus of a pack of hungry dogs. Escape into a field of cows turns surreal when the cows remind Benny what he's made of. Next he happens upon a group of hungry boys and so, like the Gingerbread Man, he runs over hill and dale trying to escape a string of pursuers. Eventually saved by his mom, Benny dines solely on fruits and vegetables, and his body slowly reverts to normal. He vows never again to eat another burger, but with an exclusively vegetarian diet, could Benny be in for another shape shift? Embellished with eventful illustrations that are brimming with delightful comic details, this is a tasty and off-kilter romp. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
DEAR SANTA CLAUS by Alan Durant
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

A little girl named Holly corresponds with Santa during the month of December in this holiday offering that includes her hand-printed letters as part of the text and removable notes (and other tiny treasures) from Santa tucked into small, attached envelopes. The story alternates between Christmas preparations at Holly's house and those at the North Pole, with detailed watercolor illustrations of Holly and her little brother alternating with scenes of the elves and Santa hard at work. The five envelopes with notes from Santa also include a miniature advent calendar, a paper Christmas ornament, a guide to reindeer (including jokes) and a shiny, plastic ticket good for one sleigh ride with Santa. The sleigh ride was Holly's special Christmas gift, requested at the very last moment despite repeated reminders from Santa in his notes to get those gift requests in early. The magical messenger service provided by the elves and the thrilling sleigh ride add excitement to the plot, but the main draw here is the little envelopes with the goodies inside, which make this unsuitable for most library collections but a likely gift idea for doting grandmas. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
IF YOU GO WALKING IN TIGER WOOD by Alan Durant
BIOGRAPHY
Released: June 1, 2005

"If you go walking in Tiger Wood, / you'd better be good. / The tigers might be watching . . . "—as indeed they are. In Boon's leafy scenes a pair of anxious children creep along, startling at glimpses of a baboon, a deer and other benign forest residents, while remaining oblivious to the gathering array of smiling, green-eyed felines padding along behind. Frightening? Not very, as the tigers have such a friendly look, that the level of suspense never rises very high—and in the end, they're just big pussy cats, who invite their visitors to stay and play. Sporting die-cut holes, including one through the front cover, this is an outing with a toddler-pleasing combination of danger and safety. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
BIG BAD BUNNY by Alan Durant
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"Here comes Big Bad Bunny. He's coming to take your money!" Indubitably destined to become an instant read-aloud favorite, this rampaging rabbit will have young children raising their hands in glee. One big scowl between his broad sombrero and twin carrots in jeweled holsters, Big Bad Bunny's after money—but will take what he can get, even if it's only a handful of corn or a little milk. "Is no one safe from Big Bad Bunny?" Leave it to Wise Old Bunny the bank teller who, confronted by the carrot-waving bandit, calmly buries him in heavy bags of coins until he promises to return all of his ill-gotten gains. Parker-Rees places his tubby troublemaker in an oversized western setting populated by smaller, meeker wildlife. In the end, a bully reformed, "Quite Good Bunny" revisits the scene of his crimes by popping out of a giant pie, livening up a dull evening meal. Big Bad Bunny is very, very funny. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
MOUSE PARTY by Alan Durant
by Alan Durant, illustrated by Sue Heap
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

Finding an untenanted beachside villa, Mouse moves in and throws a bash. His animal pals all drop by, each with an accoutrement: Owl with a towel, Hare with a chair, Giraffe with a bath. The hoedown is in full swing when Elephant (not an invitee) enters``with two trunks. He was blowing through one and carrying the other''home from a long vacation. Cat, ever fast on her feet, neatly turns the misunderstanding to the good, so much so that Mouse is invited to stay after the party: ``I think, little Mouse, perhaps it's true, there's room for us both in this house, don't you?'' warbles Elephant. Durant smoothly moves from the simple rhymes of the first half of the book, as the bestiary gathers for the party, to the more expanded text of the latter half, with its occasional couplets and tight rhythmic style even when not in stanza mode. The text will delight those who are doing their first reading; the watercolors are as quick and bright as the story, with peek-a-boo detailing to keep little ones endlessly poring over the pages. Laced with humor and incident, this tale gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ``party animal.'' (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >