Books by Ann Hassett

BOB'S ROCK by Ann Hassett
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"The controlled vocabulary and repetition make this picture book a good segue for fledgling readers. (Picture book. 5-6)"
Young Bob, introduced in Goodnight Bob (2016), is content to play with his pet rock while friend Max is frustrated by his dog's unresponsive behavior. Read full book review >
GOODNIGHT BOB by Ann Hassett
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"A sweetly simple bedtime book with a reassuring message. (Picture book. 2-4)"
A young child's bedtime anxiety is quelled as familiar friends take turns saying goodnight. Read full book review >
COME BACK, BEN by Ann Hassett
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"Hello, Ben! We're glad you're here. (Early reader. 4-6)"
This excellent early reader will send new readers' confidence soaring. Read full book review >
TOO MANY FROGS! by Ann Hassett
Released: July 11, 2011

"Young listeners will quickly memorize the story and then focus on everything else that is happening in proximity to Nana Quimby's latest eccentric encounter with wildlife. (Picture book. 2-6)"
It's a modern-day plague of frogs. Read full book review >
Released: March 21, 2008

Sister wanted a cat for her birthday but what she got was Dudley, the cat-obsessed dog. After Sister blows out her candles and makes a wish, Dudley escapes out a window and begins his pursuit of felines. On eight two-page spreads the dog escapes near death and skunks as various concerned citizens cry, "Do you think you have nine lives like a cat?" On the ninth spread, the dog has a run-in with some tigers and that (understandably) is the last you see of him. That night a cat wearing Dudley's old collar leaps onto Sister's bed because, we are told, "Sister's birthday wish had come true." Hassett's madcap images play with hidden numbers (and equivalent cats) on each page, offering a heady amount of unbridled energy. The twist at the end, however, is less satisfying than it is downright head-scratching. One has to wonder if Sister's birthday wish was for Dudley to become a cat, or simply for the unwanted dog to be eaten by a tiger. Inventive but faulty. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
CAN’T CATCH ME by John Hassett
Released: Sept. 25, 2006

The Gingerbread Man gets a summery update in this latest from the Hassetts. When Mom leaves for the store, Boy sneaks a peek in the forbidden freezer at the ice cubes she has made, allowing one to escape. " ‘Can't catch me,' the ice cube said. I'm off to the sea, where I will grow as big as an iceberg and bump into boats when they are not looking.' " Off he goes in a more or less traditional chase, but among the characters chasing him are an ant wanting to ice skate, a mouse who pinched her tail and a goose who wants goose bumps. Safely making it to the sea, he asks a whale where he can find some boats. What a coincidence—there are some boats in the whale's belly! Lively animals and pudgy people populate the spreads, which are done in muted summery shades. While the refrain is not especially catchy, the illustrations carry it off, and this could be just right on a hot summer day. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 24, 2005

Farmer Tuttle runs a Christmas tree farm in the New England mountains of the late 1950s, at the time when fake trees come into style. Suddenly no one wants his real trees any more, and he has no money to buy his wife her usual new Christmas hat. On the day before Christmas, the farmer receives a mysterious letter stating that a crew will be coming to cut the "finest tree in the forest." That night Farmer Tuttle watches as "tiny figures" cut and load a huge tree into a sleigh, with partial views of reindeer and a man in a red plaid suit. They leave a woman's Christmas hat behind in the snow as payment, and this tradition is repeated each year thereafter. The story is told in a taciturn, understated way in keeping with its New England setting, and the true identity of the tiny helpers and the man in the red suit are left unspoken for young readers to point out. The illustrations in wintry, cool tones have a naïve flavor with flattened perspective recalling the winter scenes of Grandma Moses. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
Released: March 29, 2004

Stylized, attractively odd paintings show a family progress through a sequence of animals. On the day they move in, sister collects flies, brother digs for bones, Mother admires cobwebs, and Father takes a nap on the floor. But Nana Quimby shrieks, "I cannot have a mouse in the house!" Father orders an owl, which scares the mouse away and is rewarded with "a bowl of onions." But Nana hates the owl too, so a dog is ordered—and on from there. The tiger that gets rid of the alligator is rewarded with buttered toast; nobody but Nana minds any of the critters. The final straw is an elephant, by which time Nana has become either fed up or brilliant: she orders a mouse (to frighten away the elephant), and takes herself off to Florida. Spirited, folksy art. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 30, 2002

Those three Billy goats have been transformed into young girls and the troll morphed into a mean boy in this retelling of the classic folktale. When the three Grubb sisters, sized small, medium, and extra large, miss the bus one day, they must walk to school . . . over a bridge where Ugly-Boy Bobby hides out every day. He never goes to school or ties his shoes, he eats bugs and worms, and he often throws things. As each skipping Grubb passes over, he demands to know who is crossing. They sweetly answer, also telling him what they will learn in school that day—to count to ten on their toes, to spell "bumblebee's bottom," and to look at tiny things under a microscope. Bobby threatens to eat the girls' lunches, but the small and medium-sized Grubbs each tell him to wait for the next bigger sister—she has more jelly donuts with her. Now, the extra large offers quite nicely to share, but the condition she sets is not acceptable to Ugly-Boy Bobby, who runs off to school and never misses a day again. The Hassetts (Cat Up a Tree, 1998, etc.) have created a gentler tale with this retelling—no one is threatened with being eaten, the girls and the "troll" are both people with whom children can identify, and the meanie gets rehabilitated. Soft colors, animals, and plants abound in the cartoon illustrations and the round faces of the characters are especially good for expressing emotions. Snip, snap, snout, a good turnabout. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
CAT UP A TREE by John Hassett
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

The Hassetts (Charles of the Wild, 1997, etc.) skewer unhelpful neighbors and public servants with this pointed and witty picture book. When Nana Quimby sees a cat up a tree outside her window, she calls the fire house. They tell her "Sorry," that they don't rescue cats anymore, but that she may call back should the cat start playing with matches. The next time Nana looks, there are five cats, then ten, then fifteen, and so on, but "Sorry" is all she hears from the police, pet shop, zoo, library, post office, and City Hall. As the cats, now numbering 40, settle in to live with Nana, City Hall calls back, begging for help with a surprising new mouse problem. "Sorry," Nana purrs, "the cats do not catch mice any more." In sly illustrations, small, sinuous felines with gracefully expressive tails pose against leafy backgrounds, or in the final scene, are strewn cozily about Nana Quimby's retro kitchen like calligraphed curlicues. Children won't be able to resist the temptation to count them, and few will quibble with the notion that when it comes to cat-and-mouse, turnabout is fair play. (Picture book. 5-7) Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1997

In an exuberant paean to freedom, a pampered house dog hears the call of the wild, but can only dream longingly of running with the wolves and howling with coyotes until an open window offers escape. Charles, a small white blob (a Westie?) of a dog, enters a world of trash, stray cats—and a seedy gentleman who shares with him a jelly doughnut, leads him to the park, and takes him home. Charles hurtles joyously down quiet city streets, flees toothy cats, chases a horde of frisky squirrels, and is last seen bounding high above the sidewalk on what becomes a daily walk with his new friend, with the blessing of his owner. An engaging and very doggy story from the Hassetts (We Got My Brother at the Zoo, 1995). (Picture book. 6-7) Read full book review >