Books by Axel Scheffler

Released: Sept. 25, 2018

"Repetition and counting offer satisfying predictability that will keep young readers turning the sturdy pages. (Picture book. 2-5)"
The sweet, round-eyed bunny-and-mouse duo are back for a new adventure in this familiar series for the very young (The New Friend, 2017, etc.). Read full book review >
THE UGLY FIVE by Julia Donaldson
Released: July 31, 2018

"This tale of celebrating inner beauty should appeal to Donaldson and Scheffler's fans as well as to animal lovers. (author's note, picture glossary) (Picture book. 3-8)"
Fan favorites Donaldson and Scheffler (Zog and the Flying Doctors, 2017, etc.) return with a rhyming introduction to the so-called ugliest animals on the African savanna. Read full book review >
Released: June 12, 2018

"New and pre-readers will flip. (Picture book/novelty. 3-5)"
Split pages allow young Dr. Moreaus to create new animals by mixing and matching the tops and bottoms of a dozen sea creatures. Read full book review >
PORTLY PIG by Nosy Crow
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"While the writing is not as whimsical as in predecessors Cuddly Cow and Higgly Hen (both 2017), the prospect of pushing buttons will make this a toddler crowd pleaser. (Board book. 1-3)"
Portly Pig is much too clean and searches for the perfect muddy pool. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"A solid storytime and lap-read that will amuse with each repeated read. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Dynamic duo Donaldson and Scheffler (Superworm, 2014, etc.) are back with a tale full of high drama, medical emergencies, and dragon crash landings in this sequel to A Gold Star for Zog (2012). Read full book review >
THE NEW FRIEND by Axel Scheffler
Released: June 6, 2017

"A well-intentioned but not entirely successful beach outing. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Sea, sun, ice cream, and friendship. Read full book review >
CUDDLY COW by Nosy Crow
Released: April 25, 2017

"The art and writing can stand on their own while the gimmick will likely distract anyone reading aloud even as it delights little ears and fingers. (Board book. 1-3)"
A cow named Cuddly searches for a quiet place to hit the hay in this book with barnyard sounds supplied in an embedded sound chip. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"Bold colors, phonetically zippy rhymes, sturdy book construction and countless creature combinations are a winning formula for beginning readers and storytimers. (Picture book. 3-5)"
"What crazy creatures will you meet today?" Read full book review >
SUPERWORM by Julia Donaldson
Released: Jan. 28, 2014

"Silly and slimy—superfun! (Picture book. 5-8)"
Toads and insects give a shout, and Superworm will help you out! Read full book review >
THE SNOWY DAY by Axel Scheffler
Released: Oct. 8, 2013

"Just the ticket for children who are developing social skills and learning what it is to be a friend. (Picture book. 2-5)"
What could go wrong with a day in the snow? Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 18, 2013

A silly introduction to sounds and rhyme.

This quadruple-screen "flip book" with 121 possible combinations uses the first letter or phonetic sound of an animal's top half combined with the name of a different animal's bottom half to create such creatures as a "purkey" (a pig/turkey—a greedy animal that can't fly, of course) or a "dicken" (a dog/chicken, which herds the other animals and is great at laying eggs). As readers slide either half from side to side, they create new creatures and also new rhyming descriptions, with one quatrain for each half. In this way, the app explores phonetic sound as well as rhyme, with highlighted words to assist emergent readers. Subtle background music never interferes with the narration, and each poem is engagingly read by child actors with British accents—details users have come to expect with Nosy Crow creations. With the exception of the "For Grown-ups" button, which is purposely difficult to open, all of the interactions are quick and responsive. Page flips are quite easy, but young readers must wait for the poems to finish being read before they are able to tap the animals for sound. At that point, both animal halves can be tapped simultaneously, combining their noises and making for some pretty silly fun that will appeal broadly.

Scheffler's bright, colorful illustrations combine with wordplay for a winner. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)Read full book review >
THE BIG BALLOON by Axel Scheffler
Released: April 1, 2013

"A mild, recognizable adventure for toddlers. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Bright, brief, undeniably cute but still rather bland, Pip and Posy's (The Scary Monster, 2012, etc.) third adventure involves a mishap with a red balloon. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 2012

"'MEEE-EW and the old guitar, / How PURRRR-fectly happy we are.' Sounds like a hit. (Picture book. 2-7)"
A musical cat—what's better than that? Read full book review >
FARM by Axel Scheffler
by Axel Scheffler, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, developed by Nosy Crow
Released: Oct. 18, 2012

"If Old MacDonald had an iPad, this might be his favorite book. (iPad storybook app. 6 mos.-3)"
A winning interactive farm adventure that's sure to appeal to babies and toddlers. Read full book review >
THE SCARY MONSTER by Axel Scheffler
Released: July 1, 2012

"Not the best exploration of a friendly twosome—stick with Mr. Putter and Tabby or George and Martha. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Pip and Posy are back in an oddly flat tale. Read full book review >
THE HIGHWAY RAT by Julia Donaldson
Released: April 1, 2012

"A treat. (Picture book. 3-7)"
With a tale that shares more ground with tales of Robin Hood and the Three Billy Goats Gruff than its inspiration, Alfred Noyes' "The Highwayman," Donaldson and Scheffler deliver a lot of laughs. Read full book review >
THE LITTLE PUDDLE by Axel Scheffler
Released: Dec. 27, 2011

"A cozy 'playdate.' (Picture book. 3-5)"
Behavior modeling for the almost potty-trained, with some decidedly odd developments between its padded covers. Read full book review >
STICK MAN by Julia Donaldson
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Proving once again that almost any item can be a character in a children's book, Stick Man stands out as a sturdy fellow who has a distinct personality that is anything but wooden. When Stick Man leaves his Stick Lady Love and stick children three to go out for a jog, he is chased and carried off by a dog. Poor Stick Man then falls into one mishap after another, demonstrating all the creative uses for a stick by children and animals. After the little wooden man rescues Santa from a too-narrow chimney, Santa reciprocates by returning Stick Man to his family with a Christmas Eve sleigh ride. Scheffler's engaging illustrations, Donaldson's irresistible rhyming text and repeated refrains make this a winning read-aloud that will stick around long after the holiday season. (Picture book. 2-7)Read full book review >
THE FISH WHO CRIED WOLF by Julia Donaldson
Released: May 1, 2008

A surprise ending and an undersea setting update this classic. The only big thing about little Tiddler is his imagination: Each day he dreams up a new tale to explain his tardiness. The other students call him on his outrageous fibs, but Little Johnny Dory loves Tiddler's stories and passes them on to his granny, who then tells them to her friends. But one day Tiddler has a real adventure and gets lost in the big ocean until he overhears a familiar story about the exploits of a fish named Tiddler. He follows his own stories from one sea creature to another, until he is back in familiar waters. And do his classmates believe this tale? Of course not. But Little Johnny Dory does. "He told it to a writer friend . . . who wrote it down for you." Tiddler's underwater world comes to life through Scheffler's highly saturated, detailed illustrations, which give his fish real personality while preserving their resemblance to their natural counterparts. Clever. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
WHERE’S MY MOM? by Julia Donaldson
Released: March 1, 2008

In a picture book sure to be a pleaser at storytime, Donaldson takes the oft-written theme of a lost child and tweaks it by lightly basing the rhythmic speech on that of the tune, "Hush Little Baby." A butterfly with a bizarrely human face tries to help little monkey find his mom but keeps missing the mark. Butterfly takes monkey to an elephant, snake, parrot, bat and other animals before the little monkey tells her that he actually looks like his parents, unlike Butterfly's offspring. Soon all is well, when monkey reunites first with dad and then mom. The text can be sung aloud quite easily. Scheffler's wonderfully colorful pictures convey a sense of forward motion and simultaneously little monkey's frustration with Butterfly's choices. The forest is sumptuously green and home to numerous other animals not named in the text. Children will enjoy the humorous details in the drawings, while adults will enjoy a different take on the lost-child theme. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2006

This author/illustrator team's latest is a circular tale about reading, about stories and about how, in life, they often intersect. Eleven books in one, this begins with Charlie Cook perched upon a chair reading his favorite book. It's about a pirate forced to walk the plank, who swims to an island and finds a treasure chest containing a book. In it is the story of Goldilocks, who Baby Bear finds in bed reading his favorite book—a tale of dragons and knights. The knight postpones fighting the dragon to tell a joke . . . from his favorite book. And so it continues, until the final character's book, coincidentally about a boy named Charlie Cook. Masterfully rhymed, the rhythm is consistent throughout the various genres. Scheffler's artwork is perfect for the premise. The outline of each "book" and its pages border every spread. Colors and similar characters unify the illustrations, which, at the same time, are made to suit the individual subjects of the different "books." The endpapers are especially apropos—a bookshelf displays the spines of all the tales found within. A clever way of looking at the universality of reading. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE by Julia Donaldson
Released: March 1, 2004

Like an ocean-going "Lion and the Mouse," a humpback whale and a snail "with an itchy foot" help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive "Ride wanted around the world," scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: "SAVE THE WHALE." Donaldson's rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like "The house that Jack built"—"This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!' / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . ." Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler's snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale's tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2003

Never was a striptease worked to more beneficent ends as when George the humble and sartorially challenged giant starts taking it off, piece by piece. George is obviously no clotheshorse, but even he realizes that his patched and soiled gown has—yes, perhaps—gotten a little too shabby. So he drops in on the village haberdashery for some spiffy, new duds. Then, as he takes a promenade to air his new wardrobe, he gradually gives away the items: his tie to a giraffe with a cold neck, his shirt to a goat in need of a sail for his boat, his belt to a dog who wants to get through a bog (Donaldson throws in some natty rhymes). George doesn't get down to the skinny, but near enough that when he discovers his old gown in the refuse pile, he's a happy man once more; besides, those new clothes just didn't set comfortably on George. Nevertheless, the recipients of his largesse crown him the kindliest giant for his generosity. A lovely piece of work, from the upbeat, musical writing—"George strode on, singing to himself, ‘My tie is a scarf for a cold giraffe, / My shirt's on a boat as a sail for a goat, / But look me up and down— / I'm the spiffiest giant in town!' "—to the appealingly jokey art, with its crack visual storytelling and its clever insinuations of fairy-tale characters into the scenes. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
ROOM ON THE BROOM by Julia Donaldson
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

Each time the witch loses something in the windy weather, she and her cat are introduced to a new friend who loves flying on her broom. The fluid rhyming and smooth rhythm work together with one repetitive plot element focusing young attention spans until the plot quickens. ("Is there room on the broom for a blank such as me?") When the witch's broom breaks, she is thrown in to danger and the plot flies to the finish. Her friends—cat, dog, frog, and bird—are not likely to scare the dragon who plans on eating the witch, but together they form a formidable, gooey, scary-sounding monster. The use of full-page or even page-and-a-half spreads for many of the illustrations will ensure its successful use in story times as well as individual readings. The wart-nosed witch and her passengers make magic that is sure to please. Effective use of brilliant colors set against well-conceived backgrounds detail the story without need for text—but with it, the story—and the broom—take off. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
THE GRUFFALO by Julia Donaldson
Released: June 1, 1999

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
A SQUASH AND A SQUEEZE by Julia Donaldson
Released: April 30, 1993

You may not think you need yet another version of the tale about someone realizing that her house is actually big enough to accommodate a whole slew of animals, after crowding them in—one by one—on the advice of a wise man (he looks as much like a vicar as a rabbi here). But this variant has two things to recommend it: Donaldson's merrily lilting text (``The little old lady cried, `Stop, I implore!/It was cramp-y for three and it's teeny for four./Even the pig in the cupboard agrees/my house is a squash and a squeeze' ''); and Scheffler's vigorously limned cartoon-style illustrations, explicating and elaborating the ludicrous events line by line. Where funds permit, a worthy addition. (Picture book. 3-8) Read full book review >