Books by Bruce Whatley

CHRISTMAS WOMBAT by Jackie French
Released: Oct. 16, 2012

"The wombat hopes those strange carrot-attracting creatures will be back soon, and young readers will hope the lovable wombat returns for more cleverly constructed carrot quests. (Picture book. 2-7)"
In this holiday-themed entry in their successful series, French and Whatley introduce their lovable wombat character to Santa and his reindeer. Read full book review >
MY MOM'S THE BEST by Rosie  Smith
IPAD BOOK APPS
Released: May 2, 2012

"A darling first app for little ones to share with their own moms. (iPad storybook app. 1-5)"
A simple, well-executed animal mommy/baby love story for the youngest crowd. Read full book review >
AESOP'S FABLES by Kees  Moerbeek
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 4, 2011

"Timeless wisdom, splendidly decked out. (Pop-up fables. 6-10)"
Huge, extravagantly designed and detailed pop-up illustrations for 10 classic cautionary tales showcase a trio of uncommon talents. Read full book review >
THE SECRET MESSAGE by Mina Javaherbin
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 26, 2010

"Unusual and thought-provoking. (Picture book. 6-10)"
Based on a poem by the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi that Iranian-born Javaherbin heard from her father as a bedtime story, this adaptation offers an environmental message that will resonate with today's readers. Read full book review >
DIARY OF A BABY WOMBAT by Jackie French
Released: Sept. 13, 2010

"Still, the air of freshness that blew through the first book is absent here; better to buy a new copy of the first than to invest in this rerun. (Picture book. 5-7)"
If this duo's minimalist Diary of a Wombat (2003) was a textbook example of words and art together creating narrative, then this sequel is equally an exemplar of what can go wrong when you try to apply a formula to success. Read full book review >
MARTHA DOESN'T SHARE! by Samantha Berger
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 7, 2010

"Still, for Martha's fans or for parents looking for a book to help deliver a message, this may be just the ticket. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Martha (her new favorite word is "mine") is more than a bit reluctant to share her toys with her baby brother. Read full book review >
MARTHA DOESN’T SAY SORRY by Samantha Berger
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2009

"An enjoyable introduction to what could be a new beloved character. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Martha is a pretty normal kid, for an otter—she skateboards and sings, shares her snack and makes presents, sticks out her tongue and throws things. Read full book review >
HOW TO SCRATCH A WOMBAT by Jackie French
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 16, 2009

"This shorter version of a 2005 title published Down Under is as irresistible as its subject. (Nonfiction. 9-11)"
In an equally beguiling companion to their award-winning Diary of a Wombat (2003), French and Whatley collaborate on an introduction to wombats and their behavior—as observed through the author's 30+ years of having them as neighbors and caring for injured ones in New South Wales. Read full book review >
CLINTON GREGORY’S SECRET by Bruce Whatley
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2008

"EWSLUGp2006, one of Harold's forays with his purple crayon. (Picture book. 6-8)"
In tribute to unfettered imaginations everywhere, Whatley introduces a smiling lad with an inner life so filled with adventure that even a day of "nothing much at all" brings handmade paper hats for a ship full of pirates, a rocket voyage to the Moon and a trip around the world on plates of spaghetti. Read full book review >
JOSEPHINE WANTS TO DANCE by Jackie French
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"An entertaining read-aloud that shows off an appealing tutu-clad kangaroo leaping across perfectly pink pages as if she were captured in a series of camera clicks. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The oft-told story of the stage-struck youngster who saves the show when the star is injured returns in this variation that features a ballet-dancing kangaroo named Josephine. Read full book review >
THE GREAT TEXAS HAMSTER DRIVE by Eric A. Kimmel
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"Readers who didn't get their fill of hamsters from Peggy Rathmann's 10 Minutes Till Bedtime (1998) will scurry after this rodentine rout; it also makes a good match for Barbara Ann Porte's A Turkey Drive and Other Tales, illustrated by Yossi Abolafia (1993). (Picture book. 7-9)"
Kimmel spins out an original yarn featuring Pecos Bill, Slue Foot Sue, their five children and 18,376 hamsters. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"If you've got a hankerin' for stories of hair, try Franny B. Kranny (2001) or Bedhead (2000) to share. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Ruthie Bon Bair will NOT dry her long hair, and soon she discovers there are mushrooms up there! Read full book review >
PETE THE SHEEP-SHEEP by Jackie French
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 17, 2005

"It's a sweetly fleecy tale of outsider-makes-good, the genially inevitable ending entirely satisfying. (Picture book. 5-8)"
In a sort of "queer eye for the straight sheep," a mild-mannered shearer and his sheep-sheep show a trio of tough shearers how to get in touch with their stylish sides. Read full book review >
I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS by John Rox
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"The music and song lyrics are included in the final spread. (Picture book. 3-6)"
The words to a Christmas song from the 1950s serve as the text for this exploration of a most unusual Christmas gift. Read full book review >
NOISES AT NIGHT by Beth Raisner Glass
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"This tale is a wonderful way to ease bedtime fears and may even result in children creating their own soothing game. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Nighttime, with all its shadows and sounds, can be disconcerting for even the most lion-hearted. Read full book review >
PIG ON THE TITANIC by Gary Crew
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2005

"Capped by a closing note and a later photo of the pig, and owner Edith Rosenbaum, this, like Daisy Spedden's more detailed Polar the Titanic Bear (1996), lends the historical catastrophe immediacy for younger audiences while downplaying its horrific aspects. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)"
Not a living pig, but a musical toy carried on board by a passenger, Maxixe (pronounced "Mash-eesh," though readers are left to look that up for themselves) describes how its simple dance tune helped to keep up the spirits of a lifeboat full of children through that tragic "night to remember." Read full book review >
ON THE FIRST DAY OF GRADE SCHOOL by Emily Brenner
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2004

"Deathless literature it ain't, but it's a fine, funny entry in sub-genre that sees a lot of activity every September. (Picture book. 4-8)"
One python (that didn't squeeze me) is quickly joined by two buzzing bees, three fat rats, four burping goats, and more in a harmless bit of back-to-school fluff that takes its cues from "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Read full book review >
DIARY OF A WOMBAT by Jackie French
Released: Aug. 18, 2003

"The level of irony involved requires sophisticated readers, but they will laugh out loud at the wombat's antics—and breathe sighs of relief that she's not their neighbor. (Picture book. 5-7)"
A wombat, American readers will learn, is an adorable round creature that looks something like a small, pointy-eared bear and likes to sleep. Read full book review >
THE PERFECT PET by Margie Palatini
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2003

"And Elizabeth's antics are sure to strike a funny bone. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Elizabeth must pull out all the stops to convince Mother and Father to trade in Carolyn, her cactus, for a real pet. Read full book review >
HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS by Gene Autry
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Though the song lyrics are primarily about Santa, they also include Christian references to prayer, following the light, and giving 'thanks to the Lord above, 'cause Santa Claus comes tonight.' (Picture book. 2-5)"
Autry and Haldeman's old Christmas song becomes a Christmas Eve story in this interpretation illustrated with realistic paintings by Whatley (Lullaby Lullabook, not reviewed, etc.). Read full book review >
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL by Cecil Frances Alexander
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"Lovely. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)"
All things are indeed "bright and beautiful" in the serene, sharply detailed country scenes Whatley (Wait! Read full book review >
WAIT! NO PAINT! by Bruce Whatley
ANIMALS
Released: June 30, 2001

"It's a sophisticated concept, though—use it with children who are beginning to understand what an illustrator is, and pair it with Janet Stevens's From Pictures to Words (1995) for a thorough treatment. (Picture book. 6-9)"
MY FIRST NURSERY RHYMES by Bruce Whatley
POETRY
Released: March 31, 1999

"A witty introduction to the realm of nursery rhymes. (Picture book. 1-3)"
This entry in the Growing Tree series provides a sampling of ten classic rhymes. Read full book review >