Books by Bonny Becker

THE FRIGHTFUL RIDE OF MICHAEL MCMICHAEL by Bonny Becker
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 10, 2018

"Dark and delightful—for readers who enjoy chills with their giggles. (Picture book. 3-8)"
A young boy takes a terrifying bus ride on his way to his grandmother's house in Becker and Fearing's gleefully baleful picture book. Read full book review >
A CHRISTMAS FOR BEAR  by Bonny Becker
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"Another appealing adventure for this delightful duo, just right for a Christmas Eve storytime, perhaps enjoyed with a plate of pickles. (Picture book. 3-7)"
In their sixth adventure together, best friends Bear and Mouse celebrate Christmas with pickles, a poem, and presents. Read full book review >
CLOUD COUNTRY by Noah Klocek
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"A crackerjack salute to the creations of the mind. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Who makes those clouds in the sky, anyway? Writer Becker and Pixar art director and story conceptualist Klocek are pretty sure it's a bunch of kids. Read full book review >
A LIBRARY BOOK FOR BEAR by Bonny Becker
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 22, 2014

"Team Becker and Denton has again succeeded in creating a book that keeps the attention of young readers and makes them smile. (Picture book. 3-6)"
In a series of scenes both silly and gently humorous, the ever persistent Mouse works hard to persuade gruff-but-lovable bear to become a library user. Read full book review >
TICKLY PRICKLY by Bonny Becker
by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Shari Halpern, developed by fishdog.net
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 14, 2012

"Amid the plethora of hyperinteractive apps available for this age group, the barely-there animations are underwhelming even for toddlers, but the charm of the original book remains intact. (iPad storybook app. 2-4)"
A very minimally interactive app for preschoolers uses familiar animals and bugs to explore the sense of touch. Read full book review >
THE SNIFFLES FOR BEAR by Bonny Becker
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"Bear and Mouse are the 21st-century Damon and Pythias—kids who haven't met them yet will be happy they've encountered them now. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Bear is sure no one could possibly be as sick as he is. Read full book review >
MAGICAL MS PLUM by Bonny Becker
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 8, 2009

Magic and common sense mix to create a wonderful year for Ms Plum, who could be Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's granddaughter, and her third graders. Clever and understated Ms Plum sends one student per chapter into her magical supply closet, which smells of "chalk and chocolate and something lovely no one could ever quite name," and that student comes out with a miniature version of an animal that behaves in a way that adds to the students' understanding. For instance, Jovi, a refugee from an unnamed African country, retrieves a fierce falcon the children come to understand needs freedom. With lightness and humor, complemented by Portnoy's occasional black-and-white illustrations, Becker highlights the personalities of Everyclass: the whiner, the optimist, the showoff, the thief, the shy one. Readers will surely see themselves in the chapters and eagerly read on to see what will happen as the year unfolds. Ms Plum has some real teaching magic up her sleeve, and teachers who read aloud to their classes will want to begin or end their years with this one. (Fantasy. 7-11) Read full book review >
A BIRTHDAY FOR BEAR by Bonny Becker
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Fans of the 2008 picture book A Visitor for Bear will delight in this second offering from Becker and Denton about curmudgeonly Bear and his intrepidly friendly—not to mention "small and gray and bright-eyed"—visitor, Mouse. This time, however, the book is an early reader, welcoming new readers to independently encounter this odd couple's deepening friendship. At book's opening, although Bear has accepted Mouse's presence, he rejects all presents and denies Mouse's efforts to celebrate his birthday. Undaunted, Mouse persists in showing up in a variety of disguises to deliver all sorts of goodies and gifts. As in their earlier picture book, Mouse draws up on the sheer force of his cheery goodwill to chip away at Bear's resolve, ultimately succeeding in forging a deeper bond between them. The text is broken into four chapters, and it reads as a well-pitched combination of humorous dialogue and omniscient commentary. Meanwhile, the energetic ink-and-watercolor illustrations brim with humor while firmly establishing Mouse and Bear as friends new readers will enjoy visiting time and again. (Early reader. 6-8)Read full book review >
A VISITOR FOR BEAR by Bonny Becker
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

The sign on Bear's front door declares "NO VISITORS ALLOWED"—and the curmudgeon means it. When a tapping at the door interrupts his breakfast preparation, he's quite annoyed, especially when he opens it and finds a small, bright-eyed mouse. Bear points to his sign and slams the door. But, when he opens the cupboard for a bowl, there is the mouse. "OUT," commands Bear. Three more times, the mouse raps and Bear yells. He locks the door and windows, stops up the chimney, plugs the drain in the bathtub and thinks he's mouse-free—until he lifts the tea-kettle lid and there's the mouse—again! "I give up," Bear blubbers. "You win!" Two plates of cheese, two cups of tea and two sets of fire-warmed toes later, the mouse promises to go. When Bear walks him to the door, he shows his appreciation of mouse's company by taking down his sign: "Only for salesmen—not friends." Charmingly droll, watercolor, ink and gouache illustrations, excellent pacing and the contrast in the sizes of Bear and mouse are a perfect comedic mixture. Kids will giggle each time the mouse reappears and grin with satisfaction when big and little become friends. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
HOLBROOK by Bonny Becker
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 13, 2006

An earnest message is weighed down by a predictable plot and flat characterization. Holbrook, a lizard with a passion for painting, leaves his desert home to enter an art contest. The trip to Golden City opens his eyes to a new world. But what seems like a stroke of luck leads to disaster. Befriended by Count Rumolde, a weasel with artistic ambitions, Holbrook finds himself confined and forced to create paintings for the tourist trade. He manages to free himself and comes up with a plan to rescue his fellow prisoners. Betrayed again, Holbrook plays on the creative desires of their intended executioner to save the day. Several characters are based on famous artists, including ballerina Margot Frogtayne and opera singer Enrico Escargot. The author's note offers brief information about these and other inspirations, but it's unlikely that they will have much resonance for children. The message that creativity should be valued and nourished is a worthy one, but given the utter lack of child appeal, it's unlikely many readers will get that message here. (Fiction. 8-10)Read full book review >
JUST A MINUTE by Bonny Becker
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

Becker taps into a universal experience with this sympathetic look at a child left to wait just a minute while Mom runs a quick side errand. Stranded in a department store basement, Johnny McGuffin waits. And waits. And waits. Minutes pass—or are they hours? Or days? Or years? Or eons? Johnny loses track, seeing seasons change, himself growing up and raising a family, then going old and gray. Bearing a panicky expression, his moon face looms in Davis's crowded, canted cartoons, as confusions of calendar pages and other signs of change whirl through the background. And, adding insult to injury, Mom reappears at last, makes a breezy apology, then waits impatiently while Johnny learns how to walk again. The illustrations inject more frenetic energy than monotony, but Becker effectively captures Johnny's disorientation by dropping in and out of rhyme in her brief text. Johnny's experience will have children, and their parents, nodding in recognition. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
AN ANT’S DAY OFF by Bonny Becker
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2003

Brushing off his buddy Floyd's reproachful slogans—"You must work and work and work some more . . . Happiness is a finished chore!"—Bart does the unheard-of, dropping his shovel and scrambling out of the anthill for a gander at the wide world. Aside from a brief, comfy snooze atop a dandelion, Bart's day off proves to be not all that relaxing, but after surviving a near-fatal encounter with a frog, a scary but exhilarating flight beneath a bee, and a sudden rain storm, he gains re-entry to the hill thanks to a sympathetic guard who confides that he, too, once took a break. Laden illustrates this pointed message to overscheduled readers with ground-level "Bug's Life" scenes of four-armed ants in work jeans and hard hats, surrounded by towering leaves and flowers. Refreshed, Bart shares his experiences with Floyd over and over as they toil away underground, then ends up slipping further down that slippery slope by taking another flyer to lead his friend outside. What nerve! (Picture book. 6-9)Read full book review >
MY BROTHER, THE ROBOT by Bonny Becker
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

A flawed human child has to cope with a robotic brother who can do no wrong. After Chip fails fifth grade, his disappointed parents tell him that they "don't want to pressure" him, but they've ordered Simon, "the Perfect Son." Simon is a robot and at first blush he does seem to be flawless. Unlike Chip, Simon has impeccable table manners, his hair is always in place, and he's a whiz with facts and figures. Naturally, Chip hates him immediately, especially since his father seems to prefer his perfect robotic son to his imperfect real one. This part of the story, Chip's resentment toward Simon and the relationship that develops between the human and robot brothers, is amusing, insightful and enjoyable. The story goes off track when Simon begins competing on Chip's swim team. If the reader were willing to buy the premise of a robot brother, then having him compete in a sporting event would probably be no problem—but the competition is so patently unequal that it just doesn't fly. Using slippery human logic, Chip is finally able to come out a winner. He also learns the moral of the story, which is that that mistakes are an essential part of human nature and while robots are "stuck with only what can be imagined," humans "get to do the unimaginable." Despite the implausibility of the second half of the story, the text is clever and comical and kids should enjoy it, imperfections and all. (Fiction. 8-12)Read full book review >
TICKLY PRICKLY by Bonny Becker
Released: June 30, 1999

Textured collages invite preschoolers to consider the sense of touch. In this Growing Tree entry, Becker uses simple rhymes to describe the feel of different creatures. "Tickly prickly. Fly away quickly," she says of a ladybug, while a toad feels "Muddy, bumpy. Warty, lumpy." Illustrations of the fuzzy wool of a sheep, smudgy wings of a moth, and opalescent scales of a fish all appear enticingly tactile, due to Halpern's astute use of unusual paper in the collages. Read full book review >